Shelf Life Blog
Author Shirley Jackson knew where the bodies were buried in the American psyche. Writing down her subtle suburban horrors during a period best known for Leave It to Beaver, she could put herself in the place of the outsider. The new neighbor who could not comprehend the quiet cruelty and amusement at her expense as she tries to interact in a straightforward fashion with her surroundings. Or, an intense young girl, estranged and tormented, who lives in a grand, crumbling house on the outskirts of town with her lovely sister and who may very well have killed off members of her family as they sat down to a meal.
Sleeping Beauties begins in a small Appalachian town where the main source of income for households is working at the women's prison. Doctor Clint Norcross works tirelessly as a psychologist for the prison, trying to create a better environment for the disturbed prisoners. His wife, Sheriff Lila Norcross, takes care of things in the sleepy town smoothly, and always without a hitch.
But, things begin to change. When Lila gets word that a large meth lab has blown up in the hills and there are two dead bodies, not killed by the blast, but instead murdered—the little town begins to fall apart into a strange decedent of madness. Apparently, the devastating fire and murders have been caused by a newcomer: a woman who goes by the name of Evie Black, and who's walking around in a t-shirt, with no pants or undergarments.
There are so many fantastic monster picture books out there! From classics, such as the beastly Where the Wild Things Are, to interactive reads, such as Go Away Big, Green Monster, the library has all sorts of tales about creatures that are friendly, fearsome, silly, and suspenseful.
Here are my favorite picture books that feature monsters of all kinds. Find one that you like and have a howling good storytime!
Jason Zhou wants to make the world a better place.
In recent years, a thick layer of toxic smog has covered Zhou’s home city of Taipei. Deadly viruses plague the city and the government is unwilling, or unable, to help those suffering from rampant pollution, poverty, and disease. For the you, whose extreme wealth allows them to purchase special protective suits and thus a longer, healthier life, society’s problems are easy to ignore. But for the rest of the population, the mei, life in Taipei is brutal and short.
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.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep . . . They even built humans. Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in. Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results. (catalog summary)
Blade Runner 2049 is an upcoming American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. The sequel to Blade Runner (1982), it stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, who reprises his role as Rick Deckard, with Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, and Jared Leto in supporting roles. A new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer K, discovers a dark secret that could bring an end to humanity. The discovery leads him to Rick Deckard, a former blade runner who disappeared thirty years ago. The film will be released globally October 6, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.¹ See the trailer below.
Monster trucks moan! Monster trucks grumble! Monster trucks groan!
Somewhere on a spooky speedway, FRANKENTRUCK (He's ALIVE! He's ALIVE!) is the first to arrive at the great monster truck race. Then, it's WEREWOLF TRUCK, who croons a lovely tune . . . a screech, a growl, and a howl! Next up: ZOMBIE TRUCK, whose headlights glow green, and GHOST TRUCK, who appears out of the shadows, rattling his axles and grinding his gears! Last, but not least, there's VAMPIRE TRUCK, who waits for his victims and drinks down their fuel!
Some people hike through the Appalachian Trail as quickly as they can, trying to set speed records. Some people spend hours in the car each autumn, looking at the bursts of colorful leaves on mountainsides, before heading back to their homes on flatter ground. They get something out of their journeys, sure, but they are missing a whole way of life.
Living in the Appalachians can be hardscrabble. Many of the people there are poor in material things. Why don’t more of them leave for better jobs? Some do. But many prefer to stay, and the answer lies in the strength of their families and communities. For hundreds of years, descendants of mainly Scots-Irish, English, and German immigrants, as well as members of the Cherokee Nation, lived in a culture that is self-reliant, and, yes, hospitable—assuming their visitors remain well-mannered.
Foodways are a big part of that culture. In his James Beard Award-winning Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine, Joseph E. Dabney delves into those delicious delights, while including enough personal notes that you’ll feel you’ve spent some time chatting on screened porches.
Annabelle Balog wants her family to be a little more normal. Normal dads don’t wear old-timey Sherlock Holmes hats. Normal older brothers are actually home every once in a while. Normal little sisters aren’t in danger of being crushed under newspapers. And normal moms are not hoarders.
But Annabelle’s mother is a hoarder, and their house is packed to the brim with junk. There are towers of newspapers, hundreds of empty egg cartons and milk jugs, an entire room full of broken toys and dolls. Nothing can be thrown away, and, as Annabelle’s mother continues to collect and keep everything, there is little room left for anyone else.
Quackers is a duck. Sure, he might hate water, have fur instead of feathers, and say “Meow,” but, still, he’s a duck. After all, he lives at the duck pond with the other ducks. All his friends are ducks. Everyone knows that he’s a duck. Until the day that Quackers meets Mittens.
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.
When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when an unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah's most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben's mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben's chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more. Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us. (catalog summary)
The Mountain Between Us is an upcoming American romance-disaster film directed by Hany Abu-Assad and written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel of the same name. It stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as a surgeon and a journalist, respectively, who survive a plane crash and are stranded in High Uintas Wilderness with injuries and harsh weather conditions. The film will be at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and be released by 20th Century Fox on October 6, 2017, in the United States.¹ See the trailer below.
Looking for a title similar to The Mountain Between Us? Check out these adult fiction options below.