Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Julia Child Turns 100 Print Email

Jacket cover of Bob Spitz's Julia Child biography Before Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart, Julia Child was the original rock star of the kitchen. Child, born August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, was not a natural at cooking; she decided to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu in 1948 after experiencing a life-changing meal in Paris. Thirteen years later she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which remains a cookbook staple in kitchens across America. Dearie by Bob Spitz, published in early August to coincide with what would have been Child's 100th birthday, describes her incredible life story and explores how she acted as a role model for post-war American women, changing both the kitchen and the culture in the process.

Other recent high-demand books on Child include A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS by Jennet Conant and Julia Child's My Life in France, made popular by the feature film Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.  Interested in cooking memoirs?  Check out our list of "chefoirs!"

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Print Email
Jacket covers of four titles on the following Dayton Awards finalists list.

Finalists were recently named for the $10,000 Dayton Literary Peace Prize which recognizes fiction and nonfiction books (published within the past year) that have "led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view." Past winners include Chang-rae Lee for The Surrendered and Dave Eggers for Zeitoun. 2012 winners will be announced November 11th in Dayton, Ohio. Click "read more" to see a list of finalist titles available in the library catalog.

Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin (1937 Battle of Nanjing, China)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (African-American family during Hurricane Katrina)
Shards by Ismet Prcic (mid-1990s war in Bosnia)
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (adventures on a ship from India to England from a young boy's point-of-view)
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (loss of child and its impact on a marriage)
The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (WWI in Austria-Hungary)

A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead (women of the French resistance sent to Auschwitz)
Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo (wartime Iraq memoir)
Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee (women & Liberia's struggle for peace)
End All Wars by Adam Hochschild (societal perspective on WWI)
What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (psychological and spiritual effects of war on those who do the fighting)

Last Books of Summer? Print Email

Jacket covers from the last three books on this listThe following list and comments by online travel adviser compiles their Top 10 Must-Reads before Summer Ends - it isn't over yet, is it? - with recommendations matching books to types of travelers.  Click on any of the titles to see them in the library catalog. 

1. A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler - Perfect for a couple's romantic weekend away.
2. The Red House by Mark Haddon - Perfect escape from that family vacation you're hesitantly looking forward to.
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - For the salacious girls' weekend away.
4. The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe - This one is for the solo traveler.
5. Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - The perfect beach read.
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - ideal for the romantic traveler.
7. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes - for the woman traveling alone.
8. The Yard by Alex Grecian - for the lover of suspense and mystery.
9. True Believers by Kurt Andersen - for patriotic travelers.
10. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick - for the weekend traveler.

Titles with BUZZ Print Email

Jacket covers of the four books mentioned in this articleTwo titles expected to take off this fall are Will Schwalbe’s touching memoir about his mother, The End of Your Life Book Club,  and Attica Locke’s second mystery, The Cutting Season.  Schwalbe’s memoir of his mother's last months of life demonstrates how asking the simple question “what are you reading?” can transform a relationship while Locke’s tale of murder and injustice in Louisiana explores the enduring legacy of slavery.  Compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, there is growing word of mouth for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by British author Rachel Joyce; in it, a retired Englishman learns that an old friend is dying and decides to walk 627 miles to see her.  M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, The Light Between Oceans, the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds, is being compared to Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

Book Club Suggestions Print Email

Logo from Book Movement website - a cartoon voice bubble with the graphic of a book insideCheck out this list of most popular book club picks during the month of July based on votes from readers and leaders of more than 35,000 book clubs registered at  You can also sign up for their newsletter, enter to win book giveaways, and manage your book club activities!

1. Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
3. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
4. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
5. Defending Jacob by William Landay
6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
7. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
9. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

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