Category Archives: homepage gallery

Slam Poetry with Billy Butler, Wednesdays 7/9-7/30

billybutler2For the month of July, slam poet extraordinaire Billy Butler will be teaching four Slam Poetry Workshops. Billy has performed his spoken word poetry everywhere from the Mill Valley Library to Carnegie Hall in New York! Register for one or all of these special classes.

Wednesday, July 9, 7:00-8:30. Creekside Room. Register here.

Wednesday, July 16, 7:00-8:30. Creekside Room. Register here.

Wednesday, July 23, 7:00-8:30. Creekside Room. Register here.

Wednesday, July 30, 7:00-8:30. Creekside Room. Register here.

Check out Billy doing his thing on his YouTube channel here.

Factions Before Blood: A Discussion of the Divergent Trilogy

August 4th, 2014; Conference Room; 7 PM

Open to high school students (including rising freshmen) and recent grads only. 

If you have read Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, you probably have a lot…feelings. Join us as we discuss our thoughts about the trilogy, from how the movie compared to the book to the controversial ending of the final installment. Favorite characters? Most shocking moments? We’ll be talking about it all. Refreshments will be provided. Registration required. Register here. Veronica Roth’s books can be found here.divergent-trilogy

Creative Writing Links

I do a lot of reading about writing and it seems selfish to keep such a plethora of knowledge to myself. If I find an article/post/cat gif that I, in my totally subjective way, find pertinent to the craft of writing, I will share it here. Generally speaking, I will only post the title and/or first few lines of something, with a link to the full text. If nothing else, this will be a useful repository for me to collect the interesting writing articles I find and usually promptly forget about. There may only be a few pieces to start, but I promise to continue to add more. If you come across something you think should be here, email me or post it to the Facebook page (which pretty much only I read) and I will repost here.  Read/Write on!

~Katie

  • Finished a draft of something? Here are six questions to ask your reader to ensure they give helpful feedback.
  • Failure is Our Muse by Stephen Marche (good, because one of my stories keeps getting rejected and it’s giving me a sad!)
  • “You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” JOSEPH CAMPBELL

  • What Writers Can Learn from “Goodnight Moon” by Aimee Bender
  • Fiction Writer's Cheat Sheet by RipleyNox

    Fiction Writer’s Cheat Sheet by RipleyNox

Choose Your Own Adventure/Summer Reading Extravaganza (Instructions)

CYOAThis summer we want you to Choose Your Own Adventure! Unlike during the school year, this is your chance to read whatever interests you and earn the chance to win prizes while doing it. To participate, follow the instructions below.

  • Sign up for the Choose Your Own Adventure program online or at the library*. 
  • Pick up your Reading Passport at the Library Reference Desk. 

passport.jpg

 

 

 

 

  • Choose whatever book(s) you want to read (see below for reading suggestions/resources).
  • Write the title of each book you read in your Passport to document your summer reading journey.
  • When you finish a book, bring your passport to the Library for a stamp and a raffle ticket.
    passportstamp

 

 

 

 

  • Win prizes at our “Final Adventure” party on August 18th in the Outdoor Amphitheater. Awesome prizes include, but are not limited to, gift certificates to Sol Food, Grilly’s, and Book Passage, and a brand new iPad Mini! The more books you read, the more raffle tickets you get, the more chances you have to win! You do not have to be present to win (but there will be Sol Food, a slam poetry performance, and more, so you should probably come).

Need recommendations for good books? We’ve got you covered!

  • Check out our reading lists, specially created by Katie and other library staff.
  • Find inspiration on our Reading Resources page, which includes links to websites and databases with great book suggestions.
  • Want something more personalized? Make an appointment with Katie, and she’ll craft a reading list just for you, based on your interests. You can find her email, phone number, and hours here.

*Open to high school students (including rising freshmen and recent grads) only.

Sarah’s Book Reviews: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Published May 2014 by HarperTeen

469 pages

Have you ever felt like your life is controlled by your iPhone? That your friend’s life is? That Apple Free to Fall2is slowly but surely taking over the world? In a thinly veiled parallel to this harsh reality, Lauren Miller’s Free to Fall provides one version of answers to these questions. Soon-to-be junior Rory Vaughn has just been admitted to Theden Academy, an intense two-year college prep program, and will enter as a member of the class of 2032. Like most teens in her day, Rory (short for Aurora) is glued to her handheld, tablet, and anything else with a screen. Apple and Google are long gone, replaced by Gnosis, the tech company that makes everyone’s electronics.

Far from just providing cell service and entertainment, the new handhelds have an app called Lux that assists people in making decisions. It tells them how long it takes to get places, when to start their homework, what to eat, and who to have a crush on–all using a simple algorithm. The use of Lux helps people banish the Doubt, the voice inside their head that scientists have now proven to be faulty human instinct and developed medicine and training that will suppress the Doubt at a young age.

Rory is strong, smart, and savvy character that will be easy to look up to and identify with as she fights for the truth about where she comes from and what is happening behind the scenes of her school. The high quality writing provides unique character voice and the plot is fast-moving and unpredictable.

As Rory arrives at her rigorous new school she is challenged by new friends, foes, difficult teachers, suspicious administrators, and the ghost of her mother’s record when she herself went to Theden in 2012. She meets North Pascal, who works at a coffee shop near campus, and who has absolutely no use for Lux or Gnosis. As Rory begins to experience life without Lux, new information comes to light about her parents, her abilities, and how Lux chooses the best course of action. Rory must go head to head with the most powerful company the world has ever known, and hope people are smart enough to to look up from their handhelds long enough to listen.

 

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

Keywords: Technology, future, boarding school, first love

Best Quote: “Knowing that the voice wouldn’t scream to be heard, they made sure that the world stayed loud with music and movies and 24/7 news and incessant online chatter. If they couldn’t silence the whisper, they’d bombard people with other voices.”

 

Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

This is the short story that made me fall in love with short stories. I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t include it in the “Stories to Keep Us Going” collection. You can also download a PDF of the story here.

Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

 The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid.

            ‘What should we drink?’ the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.

            ‘It’s pretty hot,’ the man said.

            ‘Let’s drink beer.’

            ‘Dos cervezas,’ the man said into the curtain.

            ‘Big ones?’ a woman asked from the doorway.

            ‘Yes. Two big ones.’

            The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the felt pads and the beer glass on the table and looked at the man and the girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry.

            ‘They look like white elephants,’ she said.

            ‘I’ve never seen one,’ the man drank his beer.

            ‘No, you wouldn’t have.’

            ‘I might have,’ the man said. ‘Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.’

            The girl looked at the bead curtain. ‘They’ve painted something on it,’ she said. ‘What does it say?’

            ‘Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.’

            ‘Could we try it?’

            The man called ‘Listen’ through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar.

            ‘Four reales.’ ‘We want two Anis del Toro.’

            ‘With water?’

            ‘Do you want it with water?’

            ‘I don’t know,’ the girl said. ‘Is it good with water?’

            ‘It’s all right.’

            ‘You want them with water?’ asked the woman.

            ‘Yes, with water.’

            ‘It tastes like liquorice,’ the girl said and put the glass down.

            ‘That’s the way with everything.’

            ‘Yes,’ said the girl. ‘Everything tastes of liquorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.’

            ‘Oh, cut it out.’

            ‘You started it,’ the girl said. ‘I was being amused. I was having a fine time.’

            ‘Well, let’s try and have a fine time.’

            ‘All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright?’

            ‘That was bright.’

            ‘I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it – look at things and try new drinks?’

            ‘I guess so.’

            The girl looked across at the hills.

            ‘They’re lovely hills,’ she said. ‘They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.’

            ‘Should we have another drink?’

            ‘All right.’

            The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table.

            ‘The beer’s nice and cool,’ the man said.

            ‘It’s lovely,’ the girl said.

            ‘It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,’ the man said. ‘It’s not really an operation at all.’

            The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.

            ‘I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.’

            The girl did not say anything.

            ‘I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.’

            ‘Then what will we do afterwards?’

            ‘We’ll be fine afterwards. Just like we were before.’

            ‘What makes you think so?’

            ‘That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.’

            The girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads.

            ‘And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.’

            ‘I know we will. Yon don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.’

            ‘So have I,’ said the girl. ‘And afterwards they were all so happy.’

            ‘Well,’ the man said, ‘if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.’

            ‘And you really want to?’

            ‘I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.’

            ‘And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?’

            ‘I love you now. You know I love you.’

            ‘I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?’

            ‘I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry.’

            ‘If I do it you won’t ever worry?’

            ‘I won’t worry about that because it’s perfectly simple.’

            ‘Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me.’

            ‘What do you mean?’

            ‘I don’t care about me.’

            ‘Well, I care about you.’

            ‘Oh, yes. But I don’t care about me. And I’ll do it and then everything will be fine.’

            ‘I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way.’

            The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees.

            ‘And we could have all this,’ she said. ‘And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.’

            ‘What did you say?’

            ‘I said we could have everything.’

            ‘No, we can’t.’

            ‘We can have the whole world.’

            ‘No, we can’t.’

            ‘We can go everywhere.’

            ‘No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.’

            ‘It’s ours.’

            ‘No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.’

            ‘But they haven’t taken it away.’

            ‘We’ll wait and see.’

            ‘Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.’

            ‘I don’t feel any way,’ the girl said. ‘I just know things.’

            ‘I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do -’

            ‘Nor that isn’t good for me,’ she said. ‘I know. Could we have another beer?’

            ‘All right. But you’ve got to realize – ‘

            ‘I realize,’ the girl said. ‘Can’t we maybe stop talking?’

            They sat down at the table and the girl looked across at the hills on the dry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table.

            ‘You’ve got to realize,’ he said, ‘ that I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you.’

            ‘Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along.’

            ‘Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple.’

            ‘Yes, you know it’s perfectly simple.’

            ‘It’s all right for you to say that, but I do know it.’

            ‘Would you do something for me now?’

            ‘I’d do anything for you.’

            ‘Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?’

            He did not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights.

            ‘But I don’t want you to,’ he said, ‘I don’t care anything about it.’

            ‘I’ll scream,’ the girl siad.

            The woman came out through the curtains with two glasses of beer and put them down on the damp felt pads. ‘The train comes in five minutes,’ she said.

            ‘What did she say?’ asked the girl.

            ‘That the train is coming in five minutes.’

            The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her.

            ‘I’d better take the bags over to the other side of the station,’ the man said. She smiled at him.

            ‘All right. Then come back and we’ll finish the beer.’

            He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the bar-room, where people waiting for the train were drinking. He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people. They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him.

‘Do you feel better?’ he asked.

‘I feel fine,’ she said. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.’

 

Sarah’s Reviews: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

Published April 2014 by Simon Pulse

384 pages

A death in the family affects everybody differently. After David’s brother, John, is killed serving insalvation2 Afghanistan, the members of David’s family cope in different ways. David is consumed by anger, his sister throws herself into being the perfect daughter, and their parents turn from piety to fanaticism. When they become convinced that the Rapture is going to happen in the form of “The Rush” on May 11th at 3 a.m., David finds himself questioning the faith he’s clung to his whole life.

Told in an alternating sequence of flashbacks and in real time, This Side of Salvation is suspenseful to the last page. Smith-Ready reveals different aspects of the character’s lives and stories like puzzle pieces that appear at just the right moment to keep the reader hooked as David and the reader both have to figure of what happened at the time of The Rush.

This book does a fantastic job of exploring the tricky subjects of belief in god and the place of religion in modern society. Religion has begun to split David’s family up, rather than unite it, and all parties are left to ponder the benefits and drawbacks of unadulterated faith. David struggles to connect the dots and hold his family together when it seems it is already broken. As each new revelation hits, David’s character becomes even more complex and relatable as he fights an internal battle about his beliefs, love, family, loyalty, sex, and friendship.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Keywords: Family, Religion, God, Rapture, love

 

Best Quote: “It would suck if the world ended then. Sweeps week starts on the twelfth. I’d hate to miss the Amazing Race season finale because of an apocalypse.”

 

 

 

 

New and Handpicked Young Adult Books: July, 2014

Infographic History of the World
by Valentina D’Efilippo
Published 2013 by Firefly Bookshspace=2
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781770853164Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

 Review of the UK edition: “The authors have put as much effort into the design as the data and their book is meant to entertain as much as to inform.” — “The Economist”

“The Infographic History of the World” starts at the dawn of time and launches into a 13.8 billion-year journey. Four sections–In the Beginning, Getting Civilized, Nation Building, and The Modern World–present world history as a visual essay of facts, trends and timelines. It is history done in a new way, a beautifully designed collection of insightful and revealing infographics that tell us where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

The book’s design cleverly mirrors the content, opening with parchment-like paper stock, primitive typography and no color and progressing to glossy pages, minimalist design and brilliant color.

Seventy-four topics, 100 infographics and 224 pages weave a story of civilization and conquest, of war and peace, of science and invention, as well as some of the big issues of the day. When did everything in the universe come into being? When did the crusaders set sail? Is religion growing or disappearing? Which countries are eating all the food, causing all the pollution and taking all the drugs? Do more guns equal more gun deaths? What are we dying of and how quickly are we changing? Will we survive the next millennium?

“The Infographic History of the World” is as entertaining a reference as is possible. It will inspire and inform from its permanent place on the coffee table. It is for all ages and all interests and perfect for a society hooked on instant information.


hspace=2Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word
by Julie Zeilinger
Published 2012 by Seal Press (CA)
Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781580053716Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

FBomb blog creator Zeilinger debunks myths about modern youth in the first book about feminism for young women in their teens and twenties to actually be written by one of their peers.

Publishers Weekly 04/30/2012

Zeilinger, an undergraduate at Barnard College and the creator of TheFBomb.org, a feminist blog for teens and young adults, consolidates the ideas and goals of her website into this informative (and hilarious) debut. Zeilinger elucidates the importance of feminism for a new generation by offering a comprehensive view of the movement and how it relates to young women today, detailing its history from Ancient Mesopotamia to the digital age, addressing global issues like sex trafficking, eschewing unrealistic beauty standards, and positing that feminism is “Your Secret Weapon for Surviving High School.” Her colloquial use of wit and sarcasm in addressing serious gender issues makes the complex world of feminism approachable, though Zeilinger never claims to be path-breaking. The text’s ultimate goal is to prove that despite having made great strides in terms of economic, social, and political equality, the feminist cause is still entirely relevant to women and men. While the book’s snarky criticism of sexually conservative politics may be off-putting to some, this is ultimately an empowering and timely treatise, complete with resources for further reading (though neither Mina Loy nor Simone de Beauvoir make an appearance). Zeilinger’s honesty and straightforwardness will appeal to the often jaded members of Generation Facebook, encourage newcomers to climb on board, and reenergize those already on the bandwagon. (May 15) Copyright 2012 Reed Business Information.


hspace=2Rapture Practice
by Aaron Hartzler
Published 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780316094658Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

“Sometimes salvation is found in the strangest places: a true story.”

Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment the Rapture could happen. That Jesus might come down in the twinkling of an eye and scoop Aaron and his family up to heaven. As a kid, Aaron was thrilled by the idea that every moment of every day might be his last one on planet Earth.

But as Aaron turns sixteen, he finds himself more attached to his earthly life and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want the Rapture to happen just yet–not before he sees his first movie, stars in the school play, or has his first kiss. Eventually Aaron makes the plunge from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the best friends aren’t always the ones your mom and dad approve of, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey to find the person he is without losing the family that loves him. It’s a story about losing your faith and finding your place and your own truth–which is always stranger than fiction.

Publishers Weekly 05/06/2013

Hartzler makes his debut with this accessible memoir about coming of age in a very strict Christian family. Aaron, the oldest of four children, has always been a stellar son, following his parents’ edicts to the letter no television, secular music, or movies even when he doesn’t fully understand them. He’s also a joyful soldier of the Lord, happy to help his mother lead their neighborhood Good News Club, or lend accompaniment to his preacher father at church services. But when Aaron turns 16, his natural desire to explore the larger world outside his faith, including listening to pop music, dating and experiencing sexual attraction, and experimenting with alcohol, is perceived as rebellion, stirring up big trouble at home and at his ultra-conservative Christian school. Many readers may find the circumstances of Aaron’s sheltered upbringing hard to believe. What rings very true, however, is the author’s thoughtful search for answers to his heart’s biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey. Ages 15-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.) Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.


hspace=2Free
by Willy Vlautin
Published 2014 by Harper Perennial
Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780062276742Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

In his heartbreaking yet hopeful fourth novel, award-winning author Willy Vlautin demonstrates his extraordinary talent for illuminating the disquiet of modern American life, captured in the experiences of three memorable characters looking for meaning in distressing times.

Severely wounded in the Iraq war, Leroy Kervin has lived in a group home for eight years. Frustrated by the simplest daily routines, he finds his existence has become unbearable. An act of desperation helps him disappear deep into his mind, into a world of romance and science fiction, danger and adventure where he is whole once again.

Freddie McCall, the night man at Leroy’s group home, works two jobs yet still can’t make ends meet. He’s lost his wife and kids, and the house is next. Medical bills have buried him in debt, a situation that propels him to consider a lucrative–and dangerous–proposition.

Pauline Hawkins, a nurse, cares for the sick and wounded, including Leroy. She also looks after her mentally ill elderly father. Yet she remains emotionally removed, until she meets a young runaway who touches something deep and unexpected inside her.

In crystalline prose, both beautiful and devastating, this “major realist talent” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) considers the issues transforming ordinary people’s lives–the cost of health care, the lack of economic opportunity, the devastating scars of war–creating an extraordinary contemporary portrait that is also a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.

Publishers Weekly 10/07/2013

This strong fourth novel from Portland singer/songwriter and author Vlautin (The Motel Life) follows three protagonists who find the strength to make the best of difficult situations. Leroy Kervin, an Iraq War veteran gravely wounded in a roadside-bomb explosion seven years ago, is an inpatient at a male group home in Washington State, where his longtime girlfriend, Jeanette, and mother, Darla, sometimes come to visit. Severely depressed, he attempts suicide by jumping out of an upper-story window, which leaves him bedridden. Freddie McCall, a night orderly at the home, works a second job at a paint store to pay off the debts incurred by medical treatment for his young, physically handicapped daughter, Virginia, who lives with his ex in Las Vegas. Pauline Hawkins, a hospital nurse now caring for Leroy, lives alone with her pet rabbit and keeps an eye on her dysfunctional father. As Leroy succumbs even more to his depression, he has a series of increasingly bizarre, violent dreams involving him and Jeanette being pursued by a relentless vigilante militia calling itself “the Free.” Pauline tries to save a 16-year-old patient who’s become addicted to heroin, while Freddie learns he may have a chance to be reunited with his family. Despite the grim trajectory of Leroy’s story, Pauline and Freddie’s innate decency adds a refreshingly positive note to Vlautin’s character-driven novel. Agent: Anna Stein O’Sullivan, Aitken Alexander Associates, (Feb.) Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.


hspace=2On the Road to Find Out
by Rachel Toor
Published 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780374300142Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what she doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges–including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love–and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined, in “On the Road to Find Out “by Rachel Toor.

Publishers Weekly 03/24/2014

All Alice Davis “champion taker of standardized tests, favorite of teachers, and only child of two achievement-focused parents” wants is to get into Yale. So when the Early Action rejection comes, it sends her into a downward spiral that even her beloved pet rat, Walter, can’t shake her from. Alice vows to start running as her New Year’s resolution, which turns out to be both a challenge and a lifeline. Through running, she meets Joan, a former top-ranked marathoner who shows Alice how to find joy in life, and Miles, a homeschooled, shaggy-haired guy who wins local races and Alice’s heart. Even though Toor doesn’t throw in any real surprises except, perhaps, for Alice’s lengthy discourses on the many upsides to rats her heroine’s rejection and doldrums are relatable, as is her winding journey to figuring out who she is. For many readers who are just starting to feel the pressures of college apps, as well as those who love running (and maybe rats) as much as Alice does, this is a road worth taking. Ages 12 up. Agent: Elise Capron, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (June) Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.


hspace=2Business Book
by Sam Atkinson
Published 2014 by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley)
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781465415851Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

Packed with innovative graphics and simple explanations of business concepts, from managing risk and alternative business models to effective leadership and thinking outside the box, “The Business Book” covers every facet of business management.

Big ideas make great business thinkers and leaders. From Adam Smith and Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, “The Business Book” is perfect for college students, would-be entrepreneurs, or anyone interested in how business works.

“The Business Book” is the perfect primer to key theories of business and management, covering inspirational business ideas, business strategy and alternative business models. One hundred key quotations introduce you to the work of great commercial thinkers, leaders, and gurus from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, and to topics spanning from start-ups to ethics.


hspace=2Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
by Shaun Usher
Published 2014 by Chronicle Books (CA)
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781452134253Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

This spectacular collection of more than 125 letters offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the events and people of history–the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday. Entries include a transcript of the letter; a short contextual introduction; and, in 100 cases, a captivating facsimile of the letter itself. The artfulness of Shaun Usher’s eclectic arrangement creates a reading experience rich in discovery. Mordant, hilarious, poignant, enlightening–surprise rewards each turn of the page. Colorfully illustrated with photographs, portraits, and relevant artworks, this handsome hardcover is a visual treat too, making Letters of Note an utterly distinctive gift, and an instant classic.


hspace=2One Man Guy
by Michael Barakiva
Published 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780374356453Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Why bother, when their home cooking is far superior to anything “these Americans” could come up with? Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshmen year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan. Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. When Ethan gets Alek to cut school and go to a Rufus Wainwright concert in New York City’s Central Park, Alek embarks on his first adventure outside the confines of his suburban New Jersey existence. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend–he’s barely ever had a girlfriend–but maybe it’s time to think again. Michael Barakiva’s “One Man Guy” is a romantic, moving, laugh-out-loud-funny story about what happens when one person cracks open your world and helps you see everything–and, most of all, yourself–like you never have before.

Publishers Weekly 03/03/2014

Being forced to attend summer school becomes a blessing in disguise for 14-year-old Alek Khederian when it sparks a romance with an older boy named Ethan, who runs with a crowd of skateboarders and perceived burnouts. Alek’s Armenian heritage is the ever-present frame for the boys’ budding relationship in suburban New Jersey. Early on, they bond over the Armenian version of string cheese (just one of many culinary specialties described in detail); the strength of Alek’s character, due in no small part to his strict upbringing, is part of what attracts Ethan to him; and, toward the end of the novel, debut author Barakiva draws sharp parallels between homophobia and the ongoing enmity between Armenians and Turks due to the Armenian genocide. While the story tends to favor heightened, romantic comedy moments and dialogue over realism (Ethan is a particularly idealized hybrid of bad-boy/nonthreatening sweetie-pie), Barakiva avoids stereotypes and cliches to create a sweet portrait of nascent adolescent love between two boys growing up and finding themselves (with some help from nearby New York City). Ages 12 up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (May) Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.


hspace=2Truth about Alice
by Jennifer Mathieu
Published 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781596439092Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask “anybody.” Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the “slut stall” in the girls’ bathroom: “Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers” and “Alice got an abortion last semester.” After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they “know” about Alice–and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.


hspace=2I Just Graduated… Now What?: Honest Answers from Those Who Have Been There
by Katherine Schwarzenegger
Published 2014 by Crown Archetype
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780385347204Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

Determined to power through the uncertainty of post-graduation, Katherine Schwarznegger embarked on a year-long quest to gather the best guidance possible from more than 30 highly successful people. Along the way, she uncovers the essential and often surprising advice they have for graduates about job seeking, family support, financial struggles, moving out on their own, taking risks and following their dreams, even when others tell them to give up or that it couldn’t be done.

Sarah’s Reviews: Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Published by Little Brown Books, May 2014
276 pages

This book tore my heart in two. The victims of a tornado that rips their town apart, the citizens of Elizabeth, Missouri suffer tremendous loss and injury. Among them is rising high school senior Jersey Cameron, who was alone in her house when the tornado hit and made it to the basement stronghold. As she surveys the wreckage that once was her neighborhood the morning after, a new chapter of Jersey’s life unfolds against her will.Torn-Away-Jennifer-Brown

Post-catastrophe, nothing in Jersey’s life is the same. She struggles with being stripped of her property and her identity, and what it means to “lose everything.” The part of this book that got to me the most was Jersey’s guilt about her five-year-old sister, Marin. With gum wrappers that she salvages from Marin’s dress-up purse, Jersey holds on to memories of her life pre-catastrophe by scratching drawings on the pieces of tinfoil that her sister saved.. These private moments are so poignant and full of loss, regret, sadness, guilt, and fear, that they moved me to tears almost every time. Marin is a monkey, Jersey writes. Marin loves scorpions. Marin is not a nuisance. Marin is my sister.

Throughout the book, Brown weaves together grief, self-doubt, anger, and a stubborn refusal to let go of the past, and creates a main character that is realistic and powerful. As we struggle althongside Jersey to make sense of senseless destruction–both physical and emotional–we too are forced to examine our relationships and how we treat our loved ones. A heartbreaking novel that is sure to make you ache for things lost, Torn Away is a must-read.

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Keywords: natural disaster, tornado, death, grief, change
Best quote: “I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘everything.’ Whenever something horrible happens you hear people say they ‘lost everything.’…But they have no idea what it’s really like to lose everything.”

Sarah Asch is an avid reader, swimmer, soccer player, and one of the Editors-in-Chief of the Tam News. She’s passionate about giving book recommendations to her friends and excited to share her opinions more widely, hopefully encouraging people to find books they love. The opinions expressed in her reviews are her own and do not represent the views of the Mill Valley Public Library or its wonderful staff. Thanks and enjoy!