Thursday, January 22, 2015

What genre do I go to when I want a good read?

For many people, they reach for a mystery, romance or thriller for a "good read".  Since I discovered Andre Norton's books in junior high, it has always been fantasy books for me. It wasn't until years later I found out Andre was actually a woman author named Alice.

It doesn't have to be high fantasy. Urban fantasy will do from authors like Charles de Lint, Tanya Huff and Jim Butcher.  For more traditional fantasy, Mercedes Lackey remains a favorite especially the Vlademar series and Elemental Masters series. For some people, a long series is a problem.  I continue reading most of Andre Norton's books until she died when in her 90s.  I leave the paranormal romances and military fantasy for other to enjoy but that still leaves a wide range of fantasy style to enjoy.

Until recently, there was not one fantasy booklist on our Booklist page.  Now there are three:

Urban Fantasy

Here be Dragons

Tales of the Fey

Is there another kind of fantasy, you really like?

Posted by Becky

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Year's Resolutions and the Library

If you quizzed folks to name their top New Year’s resolutions, the top answers would fall under weight loss and exercise.
For those of you in good health here are a few ideas for the New Year.

The website suggests helping others.

“A popular, non-selfish New Year's resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help”.
Here is a link to the Sno-Isle volunteer program
One of the top ten resolutions is learn something new.
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new?  Want to learn a new language, how to use Excel, create a resume? Visit Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find all you need at Sno-Isle libraries.

Concerned about the environment? Try these titles:
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Joanna Yarrow
The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget by Josh Dorfman

Cosmo girl 250 things you can do to green the world 


Friday, January 9, 2015

What to consume after you finish the Serial Podcast

I confess that I spent my Christmas preparation with earbuds firmly lodged into my ears, riveted to the final episodes of the podcast Serial. I'm not alone in that. The free podcast has been downloaded over 5 million times. I've eavesdropped on patrons in my library talking about it, one of my Christmas guests was likewise addicted, and I myself have spread the bug to other library staff members. But Serial is only 12 episodes long and the producers aren't planning to release a second season until autumn. That's a long time away.

If you haven't (yet) been pulled into the exploration of true crime, guilt, journalism and the justice system, Serial's first season explored a 15-year-old murder for which someone has been convicted, sentenced, and is currently serving life in prison for. But did he really do it? That's what the journalists set out to prove - or disprove - if they can.

In the meantime, I have some suggestions for books and movies that explore similar topics and themes:

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Read Resolutions

2014 was a great year for books and reading, and 2015 is looking to be equally terrific. Do you have any reading resolutions for the new year?

Want to get out of a rut and read all kinds of interesting new things? Find recommendations from Sno-Isle's crack Readers Advisory team here!

Do you want to keep track of everything better, or set up a reading goal for yourself? One of my favorite tools is Goodreads. With this totally free website, you can keep lists of books you want to read, follow what you friends are reading (and what they thought of books they finished), and join groups of like minded readers to discuss topics you love. It can also make recommendations, based on your lists!

Planning on managing your family's library checkouts and holds better in 2015? Library Elf is incredibly helpful...and free for Sno-Isle customers! I love getting a daily email that shows me everything I have checked out, and reminds me what I need to get cracking on (which will be especially helpful next year when our DVD checkout time gets shorter!) Plus, you can add family cards and cards from other library system, making it incredibly helpful.

And don't forget, you can make Lists in your Sno-Isle online account, to track things you plan to get to later, but might not have time to check out right now. I love setting up lists for myself of all those great Best of the Year lists (like our Staff's Favorites from 2014), so I'm not tempted to order everything at once.

What other reading resolutions are you considering for 2015?

- Dawn

Monday, December 15, 2014

VIDEO Files (foreign films, anyone?)

I was originally going to post about the “Best Books of 2014”, but frankly, I’m not all that inspired by what is showing up on those lists this year. SO, I’m going rogue and posting some foreign films & documentaries that I’ve enjoyed:

The Intouchables (France)

An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust, and human possibility. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his street-smart ex-con caretaker, The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.

Benda Bilili! (Congo)

Follow an unlikely group of musicians in Kinshasa, capital of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, from the streets to the world's stages. The band, Staff Benda Bilili, is a group of street musicians composed of four paraplegics and three able-bodied men. The core of the group is four singer/guitarists who use customized tricycles to get around. French film directors Florent de la Tullaye and Renaud Barret document the band's struggles to survive through music in the volatile city.

Mother (Korea)

mother desperately tries to overturn her son's murder conviction, find the killer who set him up, and have him released from prison.  MPAA Rating: R; for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use.

Lagaan (India)

An arrogant British Army captain forces a bet on a group of farmers. If they can win a cricket match against the army team, they will not have to pay the tax called lagaan for three years.

Schultze Gets the Blues (Germany)
Schultze is a recently retired miner who, like his father before him, entertains polka audiences with his accordion. When he discovers the fiery energy of Zydeco music on his radio, the rigid monotony of his daily routine takes a spicy turn. Schultze learns to play his accordion with a new snap and style. His new-found fascination ultimately leads him on a life-changing journey to the Louisiana delta.

What foreign films have you enjoyed?

And in case you DO want to check on the Best Books of 2014, here are links to the lists:

Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Boston Globe
Huffington Post
New York Times
Entertainment Weekly
Wall Street Journal

What do you think of the 2014 best books lists?  DO you have a favorite book from 2014 that you want to share?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Guest post: author Christopher Moore week, over 60 Sno-Isle staff attended a fun and informative training on helping readers find humorous books.  One of the highlights of the training was having author Christopher Moore (author of A Dirty Job, Lamb, and Bloodsucking Fiends, to name just a few of my favorites) do a Q&A via Skype. 

Mr. Moore was extremely entertaining, thoughtful, and had a good many opinions on what makes humor work.  Like many authors, he is also a great reader, and was happy to share some of his picks with us:

Books I recommend to fans:
Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe - Carson McCullers
The Last Days of Summer - Steve Kluger
(For more see his website).

Books that have influenced me:
Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins
Many Vonnegut books. 


Current favorite:
Just read Pure, by Julianna Baggott and I quite liked it

Books on my nightstand:
Dark Lord: The Early Years - Jamie Thompson
A Midsummer Night's Dream - No Fear Shakespeare edition.
Wait for Signs - Craig Johnson

Much thanks for sharing your time and books with us, Chris!

Monday, December 8, 2014


If you want to avoid the crowds, consider giving homemade presents. Some homemade gifts can be made in less time than it takes to get to the mall and find a parking space.
Gifts made by hand are cheaper, greener and more fun than store-bought gifts
Enjoy this list of books for gift giving ideas.