Shelf Life Blog

12/15/2017 - 2:18am
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
After being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, Holly Chase chooses not to mend her spoiled ways. Upon her death, Holly discovers her selfishness has caused her to work for eternity as a ghost of Christmas past. Every year Project Scrooge saves another miserly grouch, and Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. But this year, everything is about to change . . . (catalog summary)
 

12/13/2017 - 2:17am
Cover to Oskar and the Eight Blessings

It’s 1938. After the Night of Broken Glass, Oskar’s parents feel they must send him to America, so he can be safe. Traveling all alone, Oskar arrives in New York City on the seventh day of Hanukkah, which also happens to be Christmas Eve. He must walk a long way across the city to reach his Aunt Esther, hoping to reach her house before she lights the menorah at sunset.

Aunt Esther does not know he is coming, so he must navigate the cold streets by himself, over 100 blocks on the big street called Broadway. It is rather daunting for a small boy, but Oskar is comforted by his father’s last words to him: “Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.”

12/11/2017 - 2:16am
Cover to Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Georgie has had enough of being under her stepsister’s thumb. Binky’s wife Fig is determined to keep the castle colder than even its normal drafty self by not lighting rather necessary fires, and what food there is seems to be doled out in ever diminishing quantities. To top it off, Fig has found a way to save even more money with a scheme to use Georgie as an unpaid governess for years to come.

12/08/2017 - 2:13am
If you like Holiday Tales

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

If you're looking for holiday tales for the season, check these titles out.

An Angel's Touch by Heather Graham
Don and Cathy Angel have never been apart since that fateful day they met in college. Now in their thirties and pursuing demanding careers in New York City, the two have only grown more closely entwined. Until tragedy strikes. When a hurtling train strikes the couple's car on a snowy Christmas Eve, Cathy and Don find themselves looking down at their mangled gray Beamer—and their own bodies inside. Neither fully in this world or the next, they learn that in order to move on, they must perform six miracles before midnight. But with no experience in the field of divine intervention, both are convinced their mission can only end in disaster . . . But on this sparkling, silent night, these two reluctant angels will discover that there is no greater gift than the one we are all blessed to give: the gift of love. (catalog summary)

12/06/2017 - 1:36pm
If you like Holiday Romances

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations to fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Looking for romance for the holiday season? Check out some of these recent holiday romance titles.

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray
In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love. (catalog summary)

11/29/2017 - 2:07am
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

Smell that fresh, piney scent! Will you take your tree home from the Christmas tree farm on top of a car or on a sled? Depends on how close you are! Don't forget to trim the trunk so it can fit in your living room or, wherever you would like to place it. Give it some water, and let it stand tall!

11/28/2017 - 12:59pm
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything

A quack is defined by Google.com as "a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically in medicine." There are other words relating to a quack, such as humbug, charlatan, con artist, and swindler. Overall, anything recommended by a quack will not be useful. In fact, it may be quite dangerous. It may just take your life.

Most of the time, quacks lured in their victims by promising medical miracles. The cures themselves are so dubious that only the desperate would try them. However, the authors of Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything suggest that quackery is not just about pure deception but, in fact, includes situations when people believe that what they're selling may actually be working. Some examples of common practices include the citizens of the Ottoman Empire eating clay to keep the plague away and the Victorians using mercury steam rooms to cure syphilis.

11/27/2017 - 8:25am
If you like Holiday Mysteries

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Looking for some chills and thrills this holiday season? Check out these holiday mystery titles.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 in Once Upon A Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. But is she walking into danger? (catalog summary)

11/23/2017 - 2:02am
Loaves of Fun: A History of Bread with Activities and Recipes from Around the World

Making bread from flour, yeast, water/milk and whatever else goes into your recipe is one of the most satisfying things a person of any age can learn, and there are so many good lessons for homeschooling, too. There’s measuring, of course, but there are a lot of little things that baking reinforces. Patience: it takes time for a loaf of bread to rise. An eye for detail: how do you know when the bread is mixed enough? When it's done? Sharing: whether you’re sharing an Amish or sourdough starter or a complete loaf of bread, sharing can be the best part of baking.

Even with all those good lessons, author Elizabeth Harbison and illustrator John Harbison go it one better by including a cheerful history of bread making in their book, Loaves of Fun: A History of Bread with Activities and Recipes from Around the World. You’ll learn how people across the world and across time have made their bread. They might use different kinds of flour. They might not even use yeast. But it’s all bread, made to be enjoyed—and shared.

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