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Advent by James Treadwell

12484258By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

Advent draws you in slowly, starting with Dr. John Faust who delves into science (and magic) and makes his famous pact. He falls for a mysterious woman, but he also covets her magic and knowledge. When she mistakenly trusts him, he steals her gifts and disappears from time. In the modern world, Gavin, a fifteen year old boy, on his way to visit his aunt, realizes that the mysterious woman who is always around him, but invisible to others, actually exists. She tells him he is the one to succeed her. It takes a while for him to realize that with the succession magic has become real. Things become dicey for Gavin, his aunt and his new friends when magic is released and walks amongst the people of a small town in Cornwall. And Dr. John Faust returns, ready to finally use his magic—for the ill of all mankind.

We know a sequel is coming because loose ends remain, plus a there is a veiled hint from Corvo (a sometimes malevolent giant crow) that Gavin will need guidance.  I enjoyed this novel; especially once I began to understand who the mysterious woman was. Linking her to Dr. Faust and the current world was an interesting idea. I haven’t felt so cold reading a book in a long time. I look forward to the next installment.

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

51X-kOQpRsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

William Kamkwamba was born in 1987 and grew up in a rural village in Malawi. His family were farmers, generally making a little extra money with their crops of corn and tobacco, but often doing without. William had to drop out of elementary school because the family couldn’t afford the school fees.   He missed going to school but was happier when he found the tiny local library (6 shelves of books, all donated from other countries.) The books Explaining Physics and Using Energy changed his world. With help from a friend and a dictionary he learned about science and invention. .He learned about wind mills and how they could generate electricity. He thought about how much electricity would help his family: his mother wouldn’t have to go two hours away for firewood if they had a way to heat water with electricity; his father could grow two crops using irrigation by pumping water with an electric pump and they could have lights in the house. He started experimenting–he built a small wind mill first. He started scrounging for materials in an abandoned lot. He often didn’t have money; sometimes his friends helped out, other times he had to work several days to be able to buy a certain parts. He finally built his first windmill at the age of 15 in 2002. Much of his village had doubts about his sanity, until he lit a car light bulb with the electricity from his windmill. Word spread quickly about his accomplishment. An article was written about him in 2006 in a Malawi newspaper and word spread quickly In 2009 he went to Ghana to talk about his windmill. He was then invited to go

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

sister-rosamund-lupton-ebook-e6e66By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

Bee (Arabella Beatrice) received a frantic phone call from her mother—her sister Tess was missing. She took a leave of absence and flew back to England to help figure out what had happened.   Bee knew her sister wouldn’t have left London being eight months pregnant. She knew something had happened to her. But no one could find a thing. She asked Tess’ married boyfriend, she found the photographer obsessed with Tess’ beauty and she found her friends. When Tess is found, the police pronounce it suicide. Bee knows that couldn’t be true and continues her investigation. The further she investigates, the more she believes her sister was murdered.

Ms. Lupton writes in the first person, which I find more direct and personal. I had to read this book for a book club, but I liked it more than I thought I would. It drew me in, kept drawing me in until I had to finish regardless of time.

Break Down by Sara Paretsky

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarianbreakdown

V I (Vic) Warshawski’s cousin, Petra, called her, asking her to find a group of girls in her book group who were meeting secretly in an abandoned cemetery for some sort of ceremony. Some of them were from prominent families, and Petra hoped Vic could find them and get them home safely. Everything was fine until one of the girls thought she saw a vampire, ran scared and nearly fell on a man impaled on a ledger stone. Who was the man and was it a coincidence that he was killed where the girls were? The connections spread out like a spider web, and if V I Warshawski didn’t take great care, she would be caught up in it.

I hadn’t read a Sara Paretsky detective novel in quite a while. I was intrigued by the plot. I wanted to know how the two major events connected. I thought I knew who did it, but there were a few loose ends that threw me. I’ll have to go back and read them in order now.

How Shakespeare Changed Everything by Stephen Marche

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

10256891My Mother was a Senior English teacher, so I learned the value of Shakespeare early on. I love the sonnets and enjoy seeing his plays, so I thought I knew a good deal about Shakespeare. I was wrong. Mr. Marche teaches Shakespeare; he must live and breathe it too. I learned so much more about the most famous of English authors. According to the author, most scholars believe he invented over 1700 words, which works out to be around ten percent of his entire vocabulary! He also invented the name Jessica. Who knew? And we have starlings in North America because of Shakespeare. Want to know why? Read the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed How Shakespeare Changed Everything. I even bought my own copy. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading, literature, plays, language or trivia— actually, just about everyone.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

6493208By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

When Henrietta Lacks went to the doctor in 1951, she was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor took a sample of her cancer cells for medical research, along with several other patients, without telling them.  Henrietta’s cells survived unlike all the other samples and were known as He-La cells. Her cells revolutionized medical research; thus becoming the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks.

In the 1950’s medical science was just beginning to modernize.  Scientists and researchers were trying to find a way to keep human cells alive for medical testing.  The first part of the book explains how He-La cells revolutionized medical research, which Ms. Skloot explains for both those knowledgeable in science and the layman.  The 2nd part tells a more personal story of how Henrietta Lacks’ family learned about the He-La cells and how they were affected by their fame and scientific value.

I learned about the history of medical research and the He-La cells. I was appalled by the cavalier attitude doctors and researchers had for patients at that time, especially those who had no money or choices in healthcare.  Though this book is set in the 1950’s I believe it is relevant in today’s times and can help to better understand our current healthcare situation.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

349347Shadow Moon, just released from prison, accepts a job from a shady character named Mr. Wednesday, and becomes involved in a battle for America. The gods from the old world, who came to America with emigrants from all over the globe, are fighting for prominence against the new gods of technology, which they see as ruling over American life. As Shadow gets pulled further into the struggle, he ends up on a very strange road trip, meeting gods from all over, trying to figure out what is really going on.

American Gods is an interestingly layered book with the battle of the Gods theme utilized to tell multiple shorter stories as Shadow travels in America on his job. There are several vignettes and short stories of varying lengths about the deities as they have coped with the changing times that will delight readers with humor and chills. Shadow has his own story as the hero of the book who goes from tragedy to triumph.

Mr. Gaiman, who now lives in the United States, won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for this novel. Last year he received the Newbery, Carnegie, Audie, and Hugo Awards for his novel The Graveyard Book.

 

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bl10942400edsoe, is an urban fantasy set in rural Eastern Tennessee.  The mysterious community of Tufa is about to be in the spotlight now that wild child Bronwyn has returned home on leave to recuperate from captivity and war wounds.  She has to deal with the strained relations with her parents, the town and her siblings.  She has to find her music again, so essential for all Tufa.  Her ex-boyfriend wants to pick up where they left off , then there’s the haint that is trying to get her attention… All this while being hounded by the media and keeping her secretive community private.  It’s just too much for one person to handle.

I picked up this book for the East Tennessee location, but was drawn into Bronwyn’s world.  An unusual story by the author of the Eddie LaCrosse novels and the Firefly Witch series, The Hum and the Shiver quietly involves you.  When you finish you will start looking for a sequel (there are two so far) and wondering if there are Tufa in remote forests in the Eastern U.S.

The Martian by Andy Weir

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

The Martian

Six members of an exploratory mission land on Mars for a three month stay.  They are advised to abort the mission soon after, as soon as NASA notices a giant sand storm heading their way.  They are packing up to leave when a piece of equipment blows away, taking  crewman Mark Watney with it.  He is presumed lost.

Imagine NASA’s surprise when satellite imagery show changes in the Martian landscape!  Now what?  How do you rescue one stranded crew member on a distant planet?  How do you set up communication that many light years away? Meanwhile, Watney is keeping a log; charting his days and figuring out how to survive.

This is a classic science fiction novel – no alien monsters, just a man trying to survive on Mars.  The tension builds nicely and the problems Watney daces sometimes seem unsurmountable.  This is Weir’s first book and I agree with all the praise being showered upon him.  I do hope he will write much more.

Introducing InterLibrary Loan

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

Did you know that if we don’t have a book in our collection we can get what you want other ways? Let us tell you about Interlibrary Loan.

We offer Interlibrary Loan to all of our patrons. You can request up to 12 books per year per card. It generally takes a couple of weeks, but sometimes it could be longer. We search in our Tennessee Library database, which searches all the public libraries in Tennessee, and two universities. If the book is not listed there we can search throughout the United States (this is where it may take a little longer to get the book.) Due dates are set by the lending library and there is usually sufficient time to read the book. Sometimes we are able to ask for a book to be renewed.   Keep in mind that there is a $.50 fine per day the book is overdue, so it is always best to request a renewal before the due date.

Two important pieces of information: when we notify you a book is here (either by email or phone), you have 5 days to pick up the book. If you don’t make it within those 5 days, the book will be returned and your library card/account will be charged$1.00 for a non-pick up fee.

We also understand if you want a book and all we have are e-audio or e-books. Consider Interlibrary Loan as an alternative.

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