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Promising Books from New Authors

by Marcia Allen, Collection Development Librarian

We all know that Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is the book to read this summer.  We’ve seen the reviews, both good and bad, that make the title very tempting, and the high number of requests at the library attests to the demand for this newly published tale about Maycomb, Alabama. We’ve also seen the latest by perennial favorite authors such as Daniel Silva, Mary Higgins Clark, and Stephen King.   The newest spy thrillers, puzzling mysteries, and shocking tales of horror are readily available from those old favorites. But there are also lots of promising new stories from authors who may not be so familiar to readers looking for something different.  A sampling of fiction titles just received at the library reveals the following potential hits:

 

  • The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo. This one’s a nice selection for those who are fans of the Nevada Barr series.  Special Agent Ted Systead, who works for the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, is one of few trained to investigate crimes committed in parks in the western half of the U.S.  He has a particular interest in homicides, like the one that has just brought him to Glacier National Park.  His trouble is that he witnessed the mauling and death of his own father during a grizzly attack some years ago.  This recent murder would also seem to have the same savagery of that long ago grizzly attack, but the victim is found tied to a tree.  Ted will have to deal with his own nightmarish memories, as well as the reticence of the locals.  Author Carbo has a clear talent for realistic descriptions of the Glacier setting, so this mystery’s rich with atmosphere.

 

  • Buell: Journey to the White Clouds by Wallace J. Swenson.  In the Idaho territory of 1873, young gunman Buell Mace has become something of an outcast and heads off to the gold fields to offer protection to those whose claims are threatened.  Buell is hired by Emma Traen to protect her gold interests, but there are lots of others willing to seize her claims in desperate ways.  Buell has new friends on which to rely, but they, too, are in danger, and he will learn what loss is.  This is a violent western, depicting a young man’s struggle in an untamed country.

 

  • The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario.  Here’s a thriller from a debut author.  The book  opens with the doomed flight of a mother and her small son.  Their brutal follower  manages to kill the mother to regain the boy, but in the confusion and mist of the mountain shrine where the runaways are cornered, the youngster disappears.  The        boy’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea was a famed pianist, but recent losses of loved ones have sidetracked her career.  The discovery of a photo of the missing boy leads her on a journey that will reveal lost artifacts as well as another chance for a fulfilling life.  Romance, intrigue, and new discoveries make this an unforgettable read.

 

  • The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka.  Eric Argus is a quantum physicist with a serious problem:   He was at the top of his game as a university research physicist, but the work dragged him through a serious breakdown.  Now he’s been given another opportunity to do research with an old friend.  In the course of his experiments, he discovers impossible truths:  until an observer notes results, the result remains only probability.  Hence, we have terms like “retrocausality” that are of major concern.  This is a thoughtful work of science fiction, one that questions the nature of the real and the role of human understanding in the universe.

 

  • One final title worth mentioning is Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.  This lovely piece of fiction has made various bestseller lists,  and it has to be among the most heartwarming books of the summer.   It concerns one Monsieur Perdu, the proprietor of a floating bookstore, who helps customers select purchases based not on wants but on what he feels  those readers need in their lives.  A remarkable book.

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Audiobooks for the Whole Family

By Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

The use of audiobooks is on the rise for all ages, and Manhattan Public Library has a lot to offer, both digitally and in CD format.  With an MPL card, you can check out five physical audiobooks at one time.  After registering the card with the Sunflower eLibrary, you can check out five titles on digital format as well.  Digital audiobooks can be downloaded to any mobile device or tablet via the free Overdrive app.  For help with downloading digital audiobooks, view the tutorials online or speak with a librarian.

The physical and online collection include audiobooks for children and adults.  If your child wants to follow along with the text, MPL has book bags that include a picture book and the audiobook on CD.

Audiobooks offer many benefits to readers of all ages, including the introduction of new vocabulary, critical listening, and a model for good interpretive reading and reading aloud.  When listening to audiobooks, a person can “read” at a higher level than usual and connect with the story in a more visceral way.  Since summer is the season of vacations and long road trips, stop by the library and check out these recommended titles that your whole family will enjoy.

 Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     If you are going to have a lot of listening time on your hands, this is the series to start with.  Jim Dale is the master of audiobook narration, using multiple voices to bring the characters to life.   If you are unfamiliar with the series, be advised that, as the series progresses, there tends to be more violence and mature content.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood, narrated by Katharine Kellgren     A teenaged Penelope Lumley is hired as a nanny for a family who just adopted three children who were raised by wolves. As she helps them adjust to human life, they come across many mysterious situations and have to problem-solve their way to safety and understanding.  Maryrose Wood’s writing is whimsical and hilarious, and Katherine Kellgren’s narration is filled with entertaining voices and the necessary animal sound here and there.

Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, narrated by Tim Curry     A 13-book series filled with quick wit and extraordinary circumstances, this series will have everyone rooting for the Baudelaire children as they endure through a. . . series of unfortunate events.  Parents can appreciate the puns and seemingly unbelievable events, while kids will appreciate the individual characters and their strengths.

The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, narrated by Stockard Channing     This classic series follows young Ramona Quimby through struggles with her family, school and just simply growing up.  Everyone will be entertained by her crazy antics and quite literal take on life.  Ramona learns life lessons in a way that is accessible to children and laughable to parents. Stockard Channing reads in a matter-of-fact way as Ramona faces life head-on with occasional confusion.

Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry, narrated by Jim Dale     A prequel to J.M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan, this series follows the adventures of Peter and his friends on the high seas.  Because the story is full of action and entertaining characters, each person in the family is sure to have a favorite villain or orphan boy in each of the storylines.

If you have younger children in your family who would like to follow along with the book, here are a few series that can be enjoyed by the parent-driver and child alike:

Henry and Mudge series and Annie and Snowball series by Cynthia Rylant     Cynthia Rylant has been writing early chapter books for kids for decades and still amazes readers with each publication.  The above series follow, respectively, a boy and his dog, and a girl and her rabbit.

Manhattan Public Library staff would love to help you find your next great audiobook.  Stop by any service desk to get a great recommendation for your road trip or other activity in need of a story in your ears.

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The Best of YA in 2015

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is more than half over already! It’s a good time to review some of the hottest YA books of the year so far. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but here are a few books generating a lot of buzz:

“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah Maas

the court of thorns and roses coverThe human world is in danger. After generations of hostility, faeries and humans live apart, separated by a wall. One day, 19-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods near her home hoping it will help her family survive the harsh winter. Instead, a monstrous creature shows up at her door demanding her life in exchange for killing the wolf. Feyre returns with him to the Fae realm as payment, and she soon realizes that the Fae are not what she expects. This book is a good choice for fairy tale fans. For similar books try “Cruel Beauty” and its sequel, the recently released “Crimson Bound” by Rosamund Hodge.

“Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey coverThis is Kinsella’s YA debut after her popular “Shopaholic” series for adults, and it is a winner. Audrey is struggling with depression and an anxiety disorder. She has recently been released from the hospital and refuses to leave her house or interact with others outside of her family. With the support of her therapist, comically dysfunctional parents, two brothers, and a new love interest, Audrey begins to heal. This book is an excellent choice for fans of Jenni Han’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” or her latest book, “P.S. I Still Love You.”

“Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick

Ghosts of Heaven coverPrintz award-winning author Sedgwick creates another winner. This unique novel is told in four separate stories over a span of centuries. The stories are linked by one single element, the spiral, and can be read in any order. If you are looking for a haunting and thought-provoking choice, this one is for you. Also, try “More Than This” by Patrick Ness, or my favorite by Marcus Sedgwick, “Revolver.”

 

 

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places coverSeniors Theodore and Violet run into each other at the top of their school bell tower where both are contemplating suicide. “Theodore Freak, “as he is known to classmates, is impulsive, unpredictable, and eccentric. Bullied by classmates and his own father, suicide is on his mind a lot. Violet, a popular cheerleader, is grief stricken after the death of her sister in a car crash. The two teens, who tell their stories in alternating chapters, form an unlikely relationship. Read this if you liked “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.

 

“The Walls Around Us” by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us coverAt first glance, Amber and Violet have nothing in common. Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center. Violet is a ballet dancer bound for Julliard. Orianna is the one who ties their two lives together. Ori, Violet’s friend and also a dancer, is sent to Aurora Hills after committing murder to protect Violet. The suspense builds as all the girls’ secrets are gradually revealed. This is a great read alike for “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart.

 

“Ink and Bone: The Great Library” by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone coverIn a near future world, the library at Alexandria still exists, and the Great Library controls the flow of all knowledge. In this world, you can read books, but it is illegal to own them. Individuals can be fined, jailed, or worse if found with an original book.  Even though Jess comes from a family of black market book dealers, he still believes in the value of the Library. But when Jess begins training to become part of the Library, he uncovers sinister secrets that endanger his life. Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will devour this new series.

There are many other excellent new YA books, as well. Check out the New Books Display in the YA area, or ask a librarian for more ideas. If you missed last year’s outstanding titles, choose a book from the Teens’ Top Ten Display or the Award Winners Display.

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Books for Word Nerds

Alphabetical by Michael Rosenby Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

Many avid readers are also fascinated by the use of language and the development of the written and printed word – the history, evolution, techniques, challenges, and sheer beauty of speaking and writing done well. For word nerds, type geeks, and logophiles, Manhattan Public Library has several recent books that will entertain and delight.
Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by Mark Forsyth. The art of rhetoric has been around since classical Greeks created principles and rules for speaking or writing effectively. In his clever and fast-paced book, author Forsyth, who blogs as “The Inky Fool,” using short chapters to explore a variety of rhetorical devices that can help make your reading more meaningful and your writing more elegant. Illustrated throughout with examples from sources like the Beatles, William Shakespeare, the Bible, Katy Perry, Bob Dylan, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickenson, Jane Austen, and Sting, this book is hilarious and great fun to read.

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston. Who knew that punctuation marks have a long and lively history with interesting cultural and social roots? And for that matter, how many of us knew they have names like pilcrow, octothorpe, dagger, manicule, ampersand, and interrobang? In this short and lively book author Houston has written with humor and scholarship about the surprising history of ancient writing and the intriguing development of punctuation symbols.

Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story by Mark Rosen is a history of the alphabet in 26 chapters, filled with fascinating tidbits and oddities including “disappearing” letters lost to history, schemes to rationalize spelling, development of codes and cyphers, the explanations for silent letters, and more. Publishers Weekly called this “a beguiling journey through the alphabet [that] will entrance anyone interested in the quirks of language and its history.”

One of Amazon’s Best Books for 2015, Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris has been called “pure porn for word nerds” (Allan Fallow of The Washington Post). This brief but very funny book is a memoir of her years as a copy editor at “The New Yorker” as well as a discussion of grammar and punctuation, #1 soft lead pencils, the two-hole pencil sharpener, the use of profanity, the reason Moby-Dick is hyphenated, and the future of the apostrophe and the word “whom.”

For more reading fun, here are some older books that may also appeal to grammar and type geeks:

Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey. If you’re a person of a certain age, you may remember diagramming sentences on the blackboard in school. It was a standard technique for teaching grammar and sentence structure in American schools, utilized from the mid-19th century through most of the 20th before being largely abandoned. Still an illuminating and effective visual way to learn grammar, sentence diagramming is a cross between puzzle-solving and graphic design, and for many it’s an oddly satisfying mental exercise. In this charming book, author Florey revisits this forgotten skill and her own memories of sentence diagramming. It’s a fun way to test your memory and refresh your skills.

Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield. For centuries, the printed word has surrounded us, usually without our appreciating the artistry and graphic nuances of the typefaces we see. But with the arrival in 1961 of the IBM Selectric typewriter and its revolutionary changeable typeballs, this changed. Suddenly, an ordinary person was able to change the typeface on a document at will and our creative sensibilities were collectively piqued, although at the time the choices were limited. Then in the early 1980s, Steve Jobs marketed the first MacIntosh computer with a selection of typeface choices and suddenly “font” became a household word. Now there are fonts for every emotion and message. This amusing and enlightening book will introduce you to the social history of type design and the words we see all around us.

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The Taller the Better: Bigger-than-life American Folk Heroes

by John Pecoraro, Assistant Director

Is there anyone who doesn’t know the legend of Paul Bunyan? How it took five storks to deliver him, and how he formed the Grand Canyon by dragging his axe along behind him as he walked. The Paul Bunyan myth also explained the Great Lakes, formed as a watering hole for Paul’s Blue Ox, Babe.

Bunyan’s character originated in tales circulated among lumberjacks in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, possibly as early as the Papineau Rebellion of 1837. Michigan journalist, James MacGillivray, published the first Bunyan stories in 1906. William Laughead reworked the stories for a logging company’s advertising campaign in 1914. The 1922 edition of Laughead’s tales inspired a host of imitators and spread the Paul Bunyan legend far and wide.

Today young readers can learn about Paul Bunyan in several books including “Paul Bunyan: a Tall Tale,” by Steven Kellogg; and “The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan,” by Martin Powell. In “The Story of Paul Bunyan,” Barbara Emberley tells the tall tale of the legendary woodsman, the biggest man who ever lived. His shirt buttons were wagon wheels, and his double-edged axe took an entire town a whole month to build.

Pecos Bill is another big man among American folk heroes. Pecos Bill was said to have fallen out of a covered wagon near the Pecos River in Texas. He was raised by coyotes, used a rattlesnake as a lasso, and his favorite food was dynamite. He rode a horse named Widow-maker, when he wasn’t riding a mountain lion, and he had a girlfriend by the name of Slue-foot Sue (who Pecos was smitten with when he saw her riding a giant catfish down the Rio Grande). Pecos Bill was actually the creation of Edward O’Reilly, who first published stories of the larger-than-life cowboy in 1917.

Young readers who want to know more about Pecos Bill should check out “Pecos Bill: a Tall Tale,” by Steven Kellogg, or “Pecos Bill, Colossal Cowboy,” by Sean Tulien.

John Henry was more powerful than a steam-powered hammer. This African-American steel-driver may have been based on a man who worked on and died at the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad’s Big Bend Tunnel around 1873. It could be that John Henry was based on a 20-year-old New Jersey-born African-American freeman, John William Henry. Henry drifted down to Virginia to work on the clean-up of the battlefields after the Civil War. Henry was arrested and tried for burglary, and released by the warden to work as leased labor on the railway. The story of John Henry is told in a classic folk song, which exists in many versions, and has been the subject of numerous stories, plays, books and novels. In “John Henry, Hammerin’ Hero,” by Stephanie True Peters, the bigger-than-life folk hero challenges a steam-powered steel driver to prove that he is the match for any machine.

Our own Johnny Kaw is younger than most other big men of American folklore. His legend was created in 1955 by George Filinger to celebrate Manhattan’s Centennial. He might be younger, but Johnny Kaw is no slouch. He dug the Kansas River Valley, planted wheat, invented sunflowers, and grew giant potatoes. Johnny Kaw chopped the tops off tornadoes and ended droughts by wringing out clouds. His pets were a wildcat and a Jayhawk (what else?), who caused the dust bowl with all their fighting. You can read more about this Kansas hero in several books including “Johnny Kaw: a Tall Tale,” by Devin Scillian, “Johnny Kaw: the Pioneer Spirit of Kansas,” by Jerri Garretson, and George Filinger’s own “The Story of Johnny Kaw: the Kansas Pioneer Wheat Farmer.”

Finally, editors David Leeming and Jake Page have gathered together the great myths and legends of America in “Myths, Legends, and Folktales of America: an Anthology.” Beginning with the creation stories of the first inhabitants, the editors reveal how waves of immigrants adapted their religion and folklore to help make sense of a new and strange land. This collection illuminates the myth making process, and sheds light on what it means to be American.

Today is Paul Bunyan Day, but the giant lumberjack and his big blue ox aren’t the only larger than life heroes in American folklore. “Every Hero Has a Story” is the theme of this year’s summer reading program. Visit Manhattan Public Library to read about your favorite hero.

 

 

 

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How to be a Great Storyteller

by Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

The act of storytelling is a big part of what makes us human. Nigerian writer Chris Abani told a TED audience “What we know about who we are comes from stories.” We share knowledge from generations past, explore meaning, delve into our own psyches, and generally figure out this thing called life by telling stories to each other. Stories are nothing less than essential.

I’m not telling you this in order to add pressure to your evening storytime routine, but I do hope to add some weight to it. Becoming a good storyteller is worth the effort and can add meaning and understanding to your child’s life. By reading and telling stories to your kids, you’re not only helping them learn to read, but also helping them learn to solve problems and develop empathy. Reading and telling stories makes us better people.

So, what does it take to be a good storyteller? Here are a few tips from WikiHow, the 6 by 6 Ready to Read program developed by the State Library of Kansas, and the story-telling experts in the children’s department at the Manhattan Public Library.

First, choose a story that will interest your child. Does your daughter love trucks? She will probably enjoy a picture book with trucks in it and having fun is important. In fact, fun is a serious part of this process. Log your fun on a nightly fun meter and track the enjoyment quotient over time to determine the success of your storytelling skills. (Just kidding. See, fun can hide anywhere!) For older children, select a chapter book and read one chapter each evening. Librarians can help if you need ideas and recommendations. We love recommending books; it’s one of our favorite things to do. Please never hesitate to ask.

Next, remember to read the story to yourself before you read it aloud. Think of it like reading a script. An actor can’t build drama in a scene if he doesn’t know where the story is going, right? Building anticipation for the next page will help keep your child interested. Knowing the story also helps you relax, which helps your child relax. And what if you’ve accidentally picked up a scary story, or one that doesn’t fit your parenting style? Take a few minutes to read the book first, to make sure things go smoothly.

Asking questions is also a good way to hold your child’s interest during the story. During library storytime, the storyteller will ask questions, such as “What does a frog sound like?” “Have you ever been to a lake?” “Do any of you like carrots?” You can ask questions about the action in the story, or ask your child to count objects on the page or look for colors.

As you’re reading, use your finger to follow along so your child can start associating print with sound and meaning. Point out the first letter in a word, sound it out, spell it, or ask your child to tell you a word that rhymes. This has more to do with the mechanics of reading, and starting early is a good idea. It isn’t necessary for you to sound out every word, just sprinkle in the learning when it feels right.

The library can help you identify the six skills your child should have by age six, so he is ready to start school. Just ask us the next time you visit, or check out the 6 by 6 Ready to Read resources on the KS State Library’s website www.kslib.info. You will find tips, plus links to fun rhymes and songs. Don’t worry: fun is always going to be part of the process.

Last, but certainly not least, use inflection and play with the sounds of the words anytime you tell a story. In essence, “do the voices.” Come up with character voices whenever possible. It will make all the difference. What does the frog sound like when he speaks? Give it your best shot, without a trace of self-consciousness, and you will do just fine.

However, as you well know, stories aren’t always about reading. Children love to hear stories from your own childhood. Tell tales of your adventures, real or imagined. Talk about your parents, siblings, and friends. Tell your child the story of her birth (kids never got tired of that one), and how you felt the first time you held her in your arms. Form your story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Then ask your child to tell a story of her own. Help her along by asking questions when she struggles, and let the magic unfold.a librarian reading to a group of children

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Reading is Your Superpower!

By Jennifer Bergen, Children’s Services Manager

This summer, reading is your superpower! We are highlighting literacy and encouraging reading for all ages with our superhero summer reading program at the library.

Popular shows like Teen Titans Go, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ninjago have comic book series in our graphic novels neighborhood, along with many titles for the popular DC and Marvel characters.  Here are some more fun superhero books for kids:

The Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka has silly plot lines with the school lunch ladies saving the day using tools such as the mustard grappling hook, fish stick nunchucks, the spork phone, whisk whackers and the spatula-copter.  Watch Krosoczka’s TED talk to find out why lunch ladies and men are true heroes in our midst!

Sidekicks by Dan Santat is a longer stand-alone graphic novel with fabulous illustrations and an enticing story.  Captain Amazing is growing older and needs a new sidekick.  Unbeknownst to him, his pets decide to take on superhero personae and help him out.  With help from a former feline sidekick, the pet dog, hamster and chameleon learn some crime fighting skills, but will they be able to defeat an evil villain and save Captain Amazing? Prepare to have this book passed around among all your kids and their friends.

Squish by Jennifer and Matthew Holm features Squish the Amoeba as its main character. He is an ordinary amoeba, but he is inspired by his favorite comic book hero, Super Amoeba. While he may not be a superhero himself, somehow Squish and his best friend Pod end up finding courage to do the right thing, including saving their friend Peggy the Paramecium from the very hungry new kid in class.

These funny, action-packed graphic novels are a great fit for kids who say they don’t like to read.  It’s like sneaking spinach into the lasagna – they will enjoy reading, learn vocabulary words, and sharpen their skills for following both text and illustrations without complaining.  In fact, you might catch them trying to sneak in more reading time because they can’t wait to see what will happen next.

In our early chapter books row, there are plenty of exciting superhero books for kids at a second or third grade reading level. These chapter books are shorter, have larger text and still include frequent illustrations.  Stone Arch is a book publisher that has many options for this age group, including a series of DC Super Heroes chapter books that are 50-80 pages long with full color illustrations of favorite characters in action: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern.

Another fun option from this section is Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby.  Second-grader Eugene McGullicudy turns into an awesome super hero to solve crimes, protect his town and win the spelling bee.  Kids who like Captain Awesome will probably also enjoy Zapato Power by Jacqueline Jules, The Adventures of Jo Schmo by Greg Trine, and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot books by Dav Pilkey, who also writes the ever popular series Captain Underpants.

Shannon Hale’s The Princess in Black is another great read with colorful illustrations by LeUyen Pham.  Princess Magnolia is a very proper princess taking tea with the Duchess Wigtower when her monster alarm rings.  She quickly excuses herself and does what princesses do not do: “Princesses do not stuff frilly pink dresses into broom closets…Princesses do not slide down secret chutes and high-jump castle walls,” but this princess has a secret. She is the Princess in Black, with a mask, cape, tall black boots and her tiara, of course.  Her job? Stopping the monsters who sneak up from Monster Land.  She is pretty good at it, and luckily book two in the series comes out this fall.

Super readers can still sign up for the library’s free summer reading program to earn coupons for free stuff around town and choose up to two free prize books to keep.  It is a fun way to encourage more reading for the whole family. More than 2,000 children and teenagers have already signed up, along with about 400 adults, and have logged more than 300,000 minutes of reading time!

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Escape the Ordinary this Summer!

by Linda Henderson, Adult Services Librarian

Escape the ordinary this summer! Entertain your brain with one of the more than 200 magazines available at the public library.  A wonderfully varied collection stands ready to expand your reading choices this summer.  Familiar favorites like Time, Good Housekeeping, and Sports Illustrated sit next to numerous specialty magazines that cover diverse topics: lifestyle magazines about hobbies, home decor, cooking, and gardening; up-to-date coverage of news, science, and politics; and wide-ranging material on history, art, and entertainment.  On the go?  Borrow back issues and read them when and where you choose.  Or, scan materials using our free scanner, then save them to a flash drive or e-mail them anywhere using a simple touch-screen panel.

Indulge your nesting instinct!  Our home collection boasts titles like Dwell, a unique magazine that stylishly explores both interior and exterior home design by showing modern ways to put identity, creativity, and harmony into living spaces.  Check out Elle Décor, which bridges high fashion and home design with decorating trends to create personality-packed interiors.  And, don’t miss other home-making titles such as This Old House, Victorian Homes, and Fine Homebuilding. 

Get some dirt under your fingernails!  The green-thumbed will surely enjoy many of our gardening titles, like Fine Gardening, Country Living, and Heirloom Gardening.  Don’t miss Taproot Magazine, an ad-free independent homesteading quarterly that also digs into food, farm, family, and craft.  These titles burst with ideas and inspiration to help you make your summer garden fresh.

Spice up your cuisine!  The library serves up a regular buffet of cooking magazines.  Some aspire to gourmet tastes, like Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Cook’s Illustrated.  Others have a down-home touch, like Cook’s Country, full of easy-to-follow recipes for putting together honest home-cooked meals.  Many more cater to specific tastes, including Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, and Mary Jane’s Farm, which also explores organic farming methods and handicrafts.

Stray away from the beaten path!  Explore our collection to find magazines on bicycling, flying, and running, like American Cowboy, Cycle World, and Runner’s World; catch up on well-seasoned favorites like Outdoor Life and Sports Afield.  Backpacker offers straightforward “you can do it–here’s how” advice for packing more into your wild excursions and charts the best locations, gear and techniques for camping and hiking, including fold-out maps and stunning photography.

Make something unique!  The library’s craft magazines offer information and projects that will let you hone your skills while making things you will treasure.  Sew things up with Interweave Crochet and Interweave Knits; build up some steam with Model Railroader; work the grain with Woodcarving, Fine Woodworking, and loads of other hands-on titles from skilled artisans of all stripes.

Reshape yourself!  Grow healthier, exercise effectively, and build the right “you” with advice and encouragement from current exercise, wellness, and nutritional magazines. Women’s (and Men’s!) Health, Yoga Journal, Fitness, and Eating Well are only some of the titles on our shelves that can help you develop confidence and energy through better health.

Learn something truly new!  Titles like Air & Space, Astronomy, Discover,  and Scientific American Mind push the bounds of nature and technology.  Go beyond with Ad Astra, the award-winning magazine of the National Space Society, featuring the latest news in space exploration along with dazzling photography.

Beat the trends!  Titles like Brides, Elle, Vogue, Lucky, and Instyle will help you keep your closet current.  Marie Claire offers a classy perspective on fashion, beauty, celebrities, careers, and love.

Rediscover the Sunflower State!  Magazines such as KC Magazine, Kansas, and Kansas History explore the current and historical happenings that make Kansas a unique place to live­.  Also, free copies of Manhattan Magazine are available at the Information Desk.

Shine a new light on today’s news!  Utne Reader is a quarterly American news magazine that collects and reprints articles on politics, culture, and the environment, generally from alternative media sources including academic journals, regional weeklies, amateur zines, and music papers.  Many more perspectives on life and current events can be found in Week, Humanist, American Spectator, and many more magazines.

Keep your trade current!  Up-to-date business news and insightful financial commentary is yours to command in publications like Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, and Black Enterprise.  Don’t miss the Kiplinger Letters from our newsletters section, or the Wall Street Journal, just one of many newspapers available at the library.

Go beyond hard copies!  The library offers access to several research databases that provide full text articles from thousands [right??] of professional magazines and journals.  Ask for assistance at the Information and Reference desks, and find the right materials for your research needs.

*Summer Reading—The adult summer reading theme is “Escape the Ordinary!” To be eligible for prizes you are invited to sign up online at Manhattan Public Library’s main page (www.MHKlibrary.org)  or at the Information Desk on first floor.

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Summer Teen Reads

Keri Mills,  Young Adult Librarian

Parents, are you trying to get your teens reading over the summer? Sign them up for the Teen Summer Reading Program where they can earn incentives for reading this summer, including restaurant coupons and a free book. Teens also have the chance to win the grand prize which is a Kindle Fire HD tablet, or a number of other raffle prizes such as gift cards to area businesses. Teens can sign up for the program on the library’s website: www.mhklibrary.org or by coming into the library. Here are a few book suggestions to get them started reading:

I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)” by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

This is the inspiring memoir of Malala Yousafzai, who is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Malala recounts what it was like living in Pakistan as the Taliban began to take hold. Despite the constant danger, Malala’s family still allowed and encouraged her to attend school and publicly speak out about education. Because of this, at age 14, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school. Miraculously, she survived and is now an international spokesperson for education.

The Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew

In this graphic novel, Yang creates a backstory for the Green Turtle, a little known comic book character who was likely the first Asian superhero. Hank Chu is a Chinese American teen growing up in 1930s Chinatown. Hank’s aspirations include being a grocer like his father. His mother, however, has other ideas for him. When she is rescued by one of the local superheroes, she decides that Hank should also become a superhero. She sews Hank a costume and tries to help him get superpowers by exposing him to toxic chemicals and other tried and true methods. All her efforts fail, but when tragedy strikes, Hank receives assistance from an unlikely source, and becomes a real hero.

 

We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair is the oldest grandchild of a wealthy family headed by her grandfather who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. The extended family vacations there each summer. Cadence hangs out with her two older cousins and friend Gat, who have all been inseparable since they were young. During her 15th summer, however, Cadence is involved in a mysterious accident where she sustains a blow to the head, and now suffers debilitating migraines and amnesia. She is only able to make it through most days with the help of painkillers. Two years after her accident, Cadence returns once again to the island, where she tries to piece together exactly what happened two years ago.

How It Went Down” by Kekla Magoon

In an inner city neighborhood, an African American teen rushes out of the local market wearing a hoodie and carrying something in his arms. The owner shouts for him to come back. A car pulls up in the middle of the street. Someone shouts, “He has a gun!” That quickly, Tariq Johnson, 16-years-old, is on the ground, dead from gunshot wounds. The shooter, a white man, goes free after claiming self-defense, but no weapon is found on Tariq. Everyone has an opinion about what really happened, but the only person who knows for certain is dead. Seventeen different narrators tell this story, which is ripped from the headlines. Read this with your teens for a great discussion

 

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Sixteen year old Jacob is traumatized by his grandfather’s brutal murder. He decides to travel to Wales to find the orphanage where his grandfather was sent to live during World War II. When he arrives, he gets more than he bargained for. The children from his grandfather’s stories are still alive and living at the orphanage. What’s more, even though it is 70 years later, they are still kids. And now, the same monster that killed his grandfather is after these children. The story is enhanced by the inclusion of almost 50 vintage photographs appearing throughout the book. Read the book now before the movie comes out next year.

Find all these books and many more on display in the YA area throughout the summer. Also, be sure to check out the free teen events going on this summer at the library by visiting the library’s website: http://www.mhklibrary.org/

Posted in: Adult Services, For Teens, Mercury Column, News, Young Adult Dept

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A Summer of Salads or Burgers, You Decide

by John Pecoraro, Assistant Director

May is National Salad Month, so that’s good news for those of us who want to eat lean and green this summer. May is also National Hamburger Month. That’s also good news for those of us who love all things burgers and grilling. There’s no reason in the world that you can’t enjoy both.

For  salad lovers, Manhattan Public Library has a wide variety of books available. You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate “Salad Samurai,” by Terry Hope Romero. This book includes 100 cutting-edge, ultra-healthy, and easy-to-make salads. Based on whole food ingredients and seasonal produce, these versatile recipes are organized by season. Selections for gluten-free and raw-ready options are also included.

If you’re looking for salads a little out of the ordinary, look no farther than “Salads Beyond the Bowl,” by Mindy Fox. This author pairs produce with grains, beans, legumes, cheeses, fish, and meat to create extraordinary salads as starters or main courses. One-hundred inspired recipes are included with flavors from a variety of cuisines, such as Cubanelle Peppers and Ricotta Salata, and Peanut Soba and Chicken Salad with Lime.

Salads are usually considered part of the sideshow to a meal, but often the salad can be the meal itself. In “Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season,” Patricia Wells gives readers hundreds of delectable ideas for main course salads. She also includes recipes for breads of all kinds, including Crispy Flatbread, Tortilla Chips, Ham and Cheese Bread, and Multigrain Sourdough Bread. “Salad Suppers,” by Andrea Chesman, is another source of fresh inspirations for satisfying one-dish meals. From Warm Asparagus and New Potato Salad with Pan-Seared Trout to Vietnamese Beef Salad, Chesman includes plenty of healthful possibilities.

You can find more information on the national celebration of salad at http://www.saladaday.org, or http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/national_salad_month.html.

So maybe the greens aren’t for you. If burgers are what you crave, checkout “The Book of Burger,” by Rachael Ray. This cookbook is packed with over 300 recipes for burgers, sliders, sides, sloppies, hot dogs, sandwiches, sauces, toppings and more. Burger recipes are as varied as Turkey Tikka Burgers with Indian Corn, to Mac ‘n’ Cheese-Burger Sliders, and Spicy Spanish Meatball Subs.

Or try “Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes” by Chef Bobby Flay. It doesn’t get much better than a burger, fries, and a shake, and Flay shows you how to do it right from the shape of the burger to what you put on top. Try the Santa Fe Burger, topped with a blistered poblano, queso sauce, and crumbled blue corn tortilla chips.

One hundred recipes for mouthwatering burgers every day every way is the claim of “The Great Big Burger Book,’ by Jane Murphy. These burgers aren’t limited to beef, but include burgers made with chicken, turkey, duck, fish and shellfish, and veggie burgers too. The average American consumes three hamburgers a week. So to avoid growing bored with the same old hamburger, Murphy offers recipes for Barbecue Cheese Burgers, Pecan Pesto Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Fennel, and Salmon Burgers in Grape Leaves.

There is a burger for every occasion and every taste, and “Burgers: From Barbecue Ranch Burger to Miso Salmon Burger” by Paul Gayler covers them all. The 100 innovative and fascinating recipes include almost every meat imaginable. The final chapter of the book is all about accompaniments with ideas for salsas, relishes, and dips as well as varieties of breads that can be used if you’re tired of the same old sesame seed bun.

Get all the beef on National Hamburger Month at http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/national_hamburger_month.html.

There is no need to feel conflicted this month. Salads for the green-eaters, and burgers for the carnivores, or, why not have your salad and eat your hamburger too. Discover the many possibilities at the library.

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