We’re #1! First Books in a Series

As we head into summer with lots of time to read, here are seven first books in a series you may want to try. Some are award nominees as well as favorite librarian picks – you decide which #1 book looks like the next best read for you. Click on the book titles to read the Goodreads’ synopsis.

Leviathan

6050678Part of Scott Westerfeld’s trilogy, the award-winning Leviathan comes highly recommended by Ed Technology’s Mrs. Grigg. Behemoth and Goliath complete this steampunk series.

 

 

 

The Name of the Wind

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Recommended by students and staff alike, this first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss is considered an amazing fantasy. The Wise Man’s Fear is book two, followed by The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

 

 

Six of Crows

23437156The 2018 Abraham Lincoln Award-winning Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a great series about six dangerous outcasts and an impossible heist. Book two, Crooked Kingdom, continues the tale.

 

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling

16160797Robert Galbraith, more commonly known to the world as J.K. Rowling, has a mystery series following private investigator Cormoran Strike. Also adapted for TV and coming to US screens this summer,  The Silkworm is the second book in the series and Career of Evil is book three with more to come. Ms. Fumarolo, LFHS Librarian, highly recommends this series.

 

 

The Selection

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Kiera Cass’ Selection series is an interesting twist on The Bachelor concept – 35 girls, 1 crown, and marriage to a prince. If you like this first book, there are so many more to enjoy. LFHS Library staff members recommend this fun read.

 

 

Days Gone Bye, Volume 1

138398Mrs. Roman, LFHS Library’s comic connoisseur, loves the Walking Dead graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. Check out Volume 1 and see if this is a series you can sink your teeth into – seriously.

 

 

 

Ender’s Game

375802LFHS Library Assistant Mrs. Middlebrook recommends the Sci-Fi series Ender’s Saga by Orson Scott Card. The other books in the series include the original books, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind as well as much newer tales, all found here.

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Top Ten Books of December

We’ve rounded up your Top Ten Books of December–and you checked out quite a few before heading out to Winter Break.

These are the greatest hits–and #1 came as a pleasant surprise. Hint: It’s non-fiction, a graphic novel, AND was checked out 5 times before break.

10. BONE GAP by Laura Ruby

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

9. TROUBLE IS A FRIEND OF MINE by Stephanie Tromly

Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does.

The first time Philip Digby shows up on Zoe Webster’s doorstep, he’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to.

But before she knows it, Zoe’s allowed Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow…attractive? Digby—to drag her into a series of hilarious, dangerous, and only vaguely legal schemes all related to the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that might be connected to the tragic disappearance of his little sister eight years ago. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no.

But is Digby a hero? Or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exorcize his own obsessive-compulsive tendencies? And does she really care anyway?

This is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and a dynamic duo you won’t soon forget. Continue reading

Top Ten Books of February

Happy March Scouts! Winter’s almost over, though you can’t tell by the weather.

You curled up with some great reads last month, so if you’re looking for something to take on Spring Break, try a book on this list!

10. The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

9. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah E. Harkness

IT BEGAN WITH A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers…

8. American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyle’s kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell. Continue reading

What We’re Reading

It’s time for another What We’re Reading! It’s always fun to talk about what we’ve picked up, and we’re read a lot of good books since November. Right now, we’re reading epic fantasy, historicals, and some magical realism.

MRS. GRIGG IS READING…

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, #1) by Scott Lynch

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…

Mrs. Grigg says, “This book was recommended to me by a student last year and all I remember him saying, besides that he really loved the series, was “band of master thieves,” “magic,” “Renaissance Italy.” That’s all I needed to hear 😉 I just started this one but already I can tell I’ll like it. So far I would describe it as gritty and good!”

MS. NEAL JUST FINISHED…

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left wit hboth my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make minstrels weep. 

You may have heard of me. 

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Ms. Neal says, “Though slow to start, The Name of the Wind kept me reading–800 pages in a day! The poetic style, brilliant characters, and the immaculate worldbuilding had me falling in love with fantasy all over again.” 

MS. BARRON JUST FINISHED…

Beneath the Marble Sky by John Shors

Journey to dazzling seventeenth-century Hindustan, where the reigning emperor, consumed with grief over the tragic death of his beloved wife, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum as a testament to the marvel of their love. This monument would soon become known as the Taj Mahal—a sight famous around the world for its beauty and the emotions it symbolizes.

Princess Jahanara, the courageous daughter of the emperor and his wife, recounts their mesmerizing tale, while sharing her own parallel story of forbidden love with the celebrated architect of the Taj Mahal. Set during a time of unimaginable wealth and power, murderous sibling rivalries, and cruel despotism, this impressive novel sweeps you away to a historical Hindustan brimming with action and intrigue in an era when, alongside the brutalities of war and oppression, architecture and the art of love and passion reached a pinnacle of perfection.

Ms. Barron says,  “I recently finished reading Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.  It was recommended by Ms. Herzog after she learned of my life-long wish to visit the Taj Mahal.  It is a wonderful fictionalized account of the building of the Taj Mahal, with court intrigue and romance aplenty.”

MS. PAUSCH JUST FINISHED…

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.

Among the hostages are not only Hosokawa and Roxane Coss, the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Reuben Iglesias, the diminutive and gracious vice president, quickly gets sideways of the kidnappers, who have no interest in him whatsoever. Meanwhile, a Swiss Red Cross negotiator named Joachim Messner is roped into service while vacationing. He comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands, and the days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months.

With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profound, shared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical, melodic, full of warmth and compassion.

Ms. Pausch says, “Bel Canto is a beautiful account of love, crisis, and music that takes place during a coup in an unnamed Latin American vice president’s home. The vivid, diverse cast of characters and lyrical prose drew me in and kept me riveted right to the end.”

MRS. HERZOG IS READING…

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn’t really believe in. Ultimately he can’t resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces—behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe—detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.

Written by an expert whose knowledge imbues every page, this story becomes more gripping with every life the architect tries to save.

Mrs. Herzog can be found reading her favorite…historical fiction!  She is currently reading The Paris Architect, a novel set in German occupied Paris in 1942. Lucien Bernard, an up-and-coming architect is challenged to accept a commission that will bring him a great deal of much needed money, however it is dangerous enough to get him killed.