Books


Looking for something new, but familiar, too? Try a reworked classic!

There are tons of books that are inspired by classic novels. Sometimes it’s a sequel in the same time period that follow beloved characters after the original ends. Or it could be a modern retelling of the same or similar plot, but with a contemporary setting and updated sensibilities. How much these reimagined stories adhere to the original varies widely, but they all begin with a love of the original source.

Read a revamped classic today! Here’s a Classical Remakes book list to get you started.

While you’re at it, why not read (or re-read) a classic, too? Here’s the Modern Library’s list of classics, and the Radcliffe Student’s top picks for best novels.

We’ll be discussing classics and reworked classics at our next Readers’ Round Table on Tuesday, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. As always, you can also discuss a different good book you’ve read that does not meet our monthly theme. The themes are just there to help you when you are feeling uninspired.

At the last Readers Roundtable, the theme was International Mysteries. Here’s a handy online list of first-in-a-series mysteries set outside the U.S. and England available at the library. Happy Reading!

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Admit it. You like to read stories about families more dysfunctional than your own. There’s nothing wrong with that.

As holiday family dinners loom over you, we’ve got some titles to remind you that your family is probably not as bad as you think. It’s all relative (sorry).

 

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell

In Between Days, by Andrew Porter

The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper

The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates

You can find these titles and more in this booklist on our library catalog.

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If you prefer real life stories, then try these memoirs instead:

The Autumn Balloon, by Kenny Porpora

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, by Roz Chast

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, by Jeanette Winterson

 

And lastly, two books that are also movies available on DVD at the library:

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts

 

Did we forget your favorite fractious family? Let us know!

 

Congratulations to George Saunders, this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize for his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo! Have you read it? What did you think?

Here’s what one of the prize judges had to say about the novel:

“The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.”

See the Man Booker Prize’s blog for more commentary on the winner.

The Man Booker Prize goes to the best literary fiction written in English, as voted on by a panel of five judges. Originally limited to authors from the United Kingdom & Commonwealth, the Man Booker was recently expanded to include any author writing originally in English and published in the UK. This is the second American in a row to win the prize.

Here are the other titles that were nominated for the Man Booker Prize this year:

Autumn, by Ali Smith

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund

Exit West, by Moshin Hamid

4 3 2 1, by Paul Auster

Elmet, by Fiona Mozley (no library copy, sorry)

Also try this list of past award winning books! It includes Man Booker, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and more.

 

With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to just sit and read.  If you’ve got a stack of unread books and feel like getting out more, you can take care of both situations with Dublin’s Silent Book Club!

On the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, the library hosts an adult quiet reading hour. We’ll be setting up a room with a few comfortable chairs, closing the door, and giving you space to escape into a good book. Even though we call it a book club, we’re not discussing or reading the same book. It’s just a way to schedule some reading time and be around others who appreciate and share a passion for reading.

If you’re feeling social, you can come early and join us for our Readers’ Round Table. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm on the third Tuesday of the month, we spend time talking about the books we’re reading and enjoying. Share your latest find, or find a new author to try! While these two programs happen on the same day, you do not need to attend one to come to the other. Pick what feels right for you.

At last month’s Readers’ Round Table one participant recommended the book The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks. She admitted it was slow to start, but full of detail about life in the South during the Civil War. The characters come to life as you get into it. You learn some history and get some romance. It’s also about how the main character’s home gets taken over by the Confederacy and turned into a hospital.

This prompted another participant to recommend the PBS television series Mercy Street, a somewhat gritty but captivating show about a family-owned hotel turned into an army hospital in Union-occupied Virginia. There’s a mix of interesting characters and perspectives including the Boston widow newly arrived as a nurse, a free black man with untapped medical skills, and a Southern belle whose entitled world has been utterly shaken. Find the DVDs for both seasons at the library.

What new book or show might you discover next? Join us on October 17 to find out!

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a double review of the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Scarlet.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2012

Appeal: Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, and Kiera Cass fans (Middle School)

Rating: 5/5

Cinderella mostly brings the idea of a silky blue ball gown, elegantly rare glass slippers, and a sweet story about love at first sight. Cinder is Cinderella reimagined, in a power packed way you would never expect her.

Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in all of New Beijing. But, she’s different from everyone else. Cinder is a cyborg; one that can tell when someone’s lying, download information, fix practically anything, and even has the perks of not blushing or crying. In New Beijing, being a cyborg isn’t as incredible as it seems. Terrorized by her stepmother and first stepsister, Cinder’s life doesn’t look so good. Especially when her second step-sister and best friend is diagnosed with letumosis, the deadly and rapidly killing pandemic that mysteriously appeared in her country, Cinder has no option but to submit for testing for the cure under her cruel step-mother’s wishes.

At the palace where she undergoes medical testing, Cinder meets Kai, the soon to be emperor, whose father is suffering from the deadly disease and who is torn apart by duty and his heart. Picked up by the whirlwind of her heart, but let down by the gust of reality, Cinder must try to follow a path that has been set for her while making choices for herself, and discovering her identity. But what Cinder learns about herself and her shattering past, can either build the future back up or tear it down.

As you read the book, you’re yanked into Cinder’s bustling world, by a hand made of love, treachery, sadness, betrayal, and a whole lot of strength. Cinder shows you how being different from everyone isn’t as easy as it seems, and you get to feel her anger, her misery, her fear, her enthusiasm, and her love. I would recommend this book to almost anyone who wants to read a good Young Adult book. If you have enjoyed series like Legend, Red Queen, Selection, and Divergent, this book will be an exact fit. Cinder was thrillingly perfect and my favorite aspect of it was that there was an immersive infusion of the beloved classic Cinderella, yet at the same time, the story was much more complex, contrasting in certain areas, and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Janice L., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2013

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 4 stars (1 = did not like it and 5 = it was amazing)

This novel is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, preceding after Cinder . I actually did not read Cinder before reading Scarlet , so I can’t form a judgement on this sequel in comparison to Cinder as the continuation of the storyline in Cinder.

The pacing of the story was a bit too slow in the beginning, but events finally picked up the pace later on as the story unfolded. At some parts of the story, I thought the fight scenes weren’t described well, but the descriptions improved, especially in one of the conflicts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the adventure in the plot and the humor in Cinder’s perspective in her banters with Thorne. I also liked the switch-off between the two different perspectives of Cinder and Scarlet in the chapters of the book as their lives became more intertwined with each other. Kai’s perspective was also switched off between chapters, but I did not enjoy those chapters in particular since they seemed boring to me. I believe the reason why I did not enjoy his perspective as much as the others is because I haven’t read Cinder, so I don’t know the history between Kai and Cinder. Meyer conjured a fascinating connection between them, and I admit I was surprised when I found out the story behind how they were connected. I love that there is a romance element to this novel as well, but this novel doesn’t base its entire plot around the romance. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those that like novels that are spin-offs of fairy tales and to those that enjoy adventure and romance in a novel.

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of an older teen book, An Ember in the Ashes.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: An Ember in The Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2015

Appeal: 6th – 9th Grade

Rating: 5

Laia of Serra, a slave girl, and Elias Veturius, one of the finest and chief soldiers for the Empire, could not live more different lives. But what they don’t realize is that they could also not lead more special lives, because they are both Embers in the Ashes. Laia of Serra is a 17-year-old Scholar girl, afraid of the Empire and her past. One day, Laia’s brother, Darin, is arrested for treason to the Empire. Frozen in fear, while the “masks” invade her home, Laia runs at Darin’s commands. Escaping, all she can think about is her cowardliness so she sets out to find the Resistance, in hopes that they will help free Darin. But all good things come with a price… Laia is forced to spy for the Resistance within the premises of the dangerous military academy of Blackcliff.

Elias can’t be free from his conscience. Reluctant and hesitant to kill, and unwilling to carry out the Empire’s brutal orders, Elias, isn’t sure what he wants: to follow his orders and become the exact person he hates or rebel against the Empire and be what he has been prepared and instructed to fight. When he finishes his training as a mask, a special announcement is made that pits Elias against his own heart and deepest wishes. When Elias meets Laia, with her gleaming golden eyes and silky hair as black as the night, they are both forced to make choices that could quite easily get them killed or lead them to the future they’ve both always wanted.

The way Sabaa Tahir spins Laia and Elias’s tale takes you for a whirl as you make your way through unexpected and exciting twists and turns, and you never really know what’s lurking around the corner. This book is my current favorite because a world is created that makes you laugh, wonder, and at times feel like crying. The characters are strong people who discover things about themselves and in doing so allow you to learn about yourself too. At first when I was reading the beginning of the book, I honestly thought it was going to be a book that would leave me disappointed, but I have to say that this was not the case. In fact, I was actually jumping to read the sequel. If you’ve ever enjoyed classic well-known books like Divergent, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter or even some of the newest Young Adult series like Red Queen and the Selection, then this book is perfect for you. It has the greatest mix of action, a bit of fantasy, and romance. An Ember in the Ashes is an unforgettable and truly thrilling first installment in the series.

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Attention, Book Lovers! The Dublin Library is introducing a new informal group for adult bibliophiles like you. We’re calling it Readers’ Round Table.  Each month, participants will share a bit about a book they’ve read, and fill up their “to-be-read” list with recommendations by peers. We will meet every third Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m., beginning September 19, 2017.

A short list of themed books will be provided each month for inspiration, but you can talk about any great book you’ve just read. Briefly describe what your chosen book is about and why people might enjoy it. Remember, don’t give away the ending!

Anyone interested in an informal, fun, and friendly space to express their love of books should attend. The first meeting’s theme is Reader’s Choice: any book in any genre that you’ve enjoyed. Come share your latest book crush with us. For more information, call 925-803-7252.

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