Gone Girl. The Girl on the Train. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Why There Are So Many Books with ‘Girl’ in the Title…

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Have you noticed that some of the biggest selling (and LFHS’s most checked-out) books lately have the word ‘Girl’ in the title? Believe it or not, it’s no accident. Check out this recent article by author Emily St. John Mandel that appeared on fivethirtyeight.com, which breaks down the rationale behind this latest trend in book titles. It’s full of stats, bar graphs and quotes from publishing insiders, which make library nerds like us giggle with delight. Have you noticed any similar trends in book titles? Let us know!

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Top Ten Books of October

First quarter down, three to go, and our Scout readers show no signs of stopping this reading season! So, we thought we’d take a break in the action to share our rankings and statistics on our ‘team’ and ‘player’ performances for the month of October. Our top scorer? See the list below!

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-14-32-pm10. CHAMPION: A LEGEND BOOK 3 by Marie Lu

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-13-55-pm9. THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler’s 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled  by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam’s The Amateurs.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-13-30-pm8. AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in. When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god…

Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse…

These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant and action-packed. American Born Chinese is an amazing rise, all the way up to the astonishing climax–and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-13-02-pm7. AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green

Katherine V thought boys were gross.
Katherine X just wanted to be friends.
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart.
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-12-35-pm6. UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-12-14-pm5. LAUGHING AT MY NIGHTMARE by Shane Burcaw

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed inSeabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-11-45-pm4. INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer’s–in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

 

 

 

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-11-23-pm3. THE NATURALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

 

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-09-51-pm2. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

And now, for the winner…

screenshot-2016-10-28-at-3-09-25-pm1. LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

 

See a book you’d like to read here? Let us know and we’ll point you in the right direction!

YALSA Announces Winners of 2016 Teens’ Top Ten!

Check out this list of “Teen Choice” Top Ten Books based on votes from readers around the country, aged 12-18. Each year, books are chosen by 15 school and public library reading groups and votes are cast between August 15th and the end of Teen Read Week. Here’s the list of 2016 nominees for next year’s list. Want to have your reading group participate? Here’s how to to sign up! And let us know if there’s a book on the list you’d like to read!

Faculty Favorites: Mr.Wahlgren

Today we’re featuring one of Mr. Wahlgren’s favorite books, The I Ching, a book of ancient texts translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes. Why is this his favorite book? The I Ching is full of “wisdom still relevant after two thousand years,” says Mr. Wahlgren. Want to check it out? Read the synopsis below:

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The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is one of the 1st efforts of the human mind to place itself within the universe. It has exerted a living influence in China for 3000 years and interest in it has spread in the West.

Set down in the dawn of history as a book of oracles, the Book of Changes deepened in meaning when ethical values were attached to the oracular pronouncements; it became a book of wisdom, eventually one of the Five Classics of Confucianism, and provided the common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy.

Wilhelm’s rendering of the I Ching into German, published in 1924, presented it for the 1st time in a form intelligible to the general reader. Wilhelm, who translated many other ancient Chinese works and who wrote several books on Chinese philosophy and civilization, long resided in China. His close association with its cultural leaders gave him a unique understanding of the text of the I Ching. In the English translation, every effort has been made to preserve Wilhelm’s pioneering insight into the spirit of the original.

This 3rd edition, completely reset, contains a new forward by Hellmut Wilhelm, one of the most eminent American scholars of Chinese culture. He discusses his father’s textual methods and summarizes recent studies of the I Ching both in the West and in present-day China. The new edition contains minor textual corrections, bibliographical revisions and an index.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

More Good Reads for Fall 2016

publishers-weekly-most-anticipated-books-fall-2016There’s something for everyone on this Publishers Weekly List of Most Anticipated Books for Fall 2016: from poetry to non-fiction to music, to memoirs, politics, science and history.  Let us know if there’s anything you’ve read on this list, and check out our copy of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, one of the fabulous books mentioned!

Faculty Favorites: Ms. Rogna

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Today we’re featuring Ms. Rogna’s favorite book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. This NY Times bestseller is now a blockbuster movie directed by Tim Burton, master of the macabre. “The whole premise of starting with photos and morphing them into a story is so intriguing to me,” says Ms. Rogna. “The characters drew me into their circumstances quickly and I began to care about them.” If you’re looking for a scare-your -pants-off book, we think this one will do the trick (or treat).

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A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com