Author Spotlight: Elin Hilderbrand

Although Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library owns multiple copies of Elin Hilderbrand's books, you probably won't find them on the shelf; enthusiastic readers have made sure her books are constantly checked out. Here's what the library's readers' advisory database Novelist has to say about this rising star:

"While Elin Hilderbrand's characters change from novel to novel, her setting remains consistent - the historic island of Nantucket. Using the island as a jumping off point, Hilderbrand's works offer the hallmarks of an ideal summer vacation read: romance, friendship, a beautiful setting, conflict and characters facing personal challenges. While rife with tales of people living privileged lifestyle, Hilderbrand grounds her stories in topics that will feel familiar to all women: love, illness, friendship, and family relationships."

Because each book is a stand-alone story, newcomers can start with any of Hilderbrand's books. Her most recent book, The Island, is also available to Mastics-Moriches-Shirley patrons in large print and on CD.

Black Friday Reading

Exhausted from all that Black Friday shopping? Hiding out until after the holidays? Here are a few recently-published reads that both Santas and Scrooges may enjoy.

Nonfiction. Presents hard lessons about money, men, and the price of trying to keep up appearances as the author recounts her trouble with shopping addiction, which left her hungry, empty, and deep in debt.

Kava, A. (2009) Black Friday
Thriller. When terrorists attack the largest mall in America, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, while sifting through the debris for answers, discovers that her brother is involved and that another attack could happen in less than twenty-four hours.

Kinsella, S. (2010) Mini-Shopaholic
Fiction. Financially strapped Becky Brandon attempts to plan a surprise party on a budget for her husband, and starts to come apart at the seams as she juggles the party, her precocious child, and her faltering personal-shopping business. Newcomers to the "Shopaholic" series should start with Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Nonfiction. Economist Joel Waldfogel illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste. By reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season without gouging our wallets.

Revisiting Harry Potter

The newest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 continued the blockbuster tradition of the franchise by grossing $125.1 million during its opening this past weekend. All this hype has renewed interest in the books that preceded the movies. In case you missed the books or want to see what the fuss is about, here is the complete seven-book Harry Potter series, in order:

1: The Sorcerer's Stone
2: The Chamber of Secrets
3: The Prisoner of Azkaban
4: The Goblet of Fire
5: The Order of the Phoenix
6: The Half Blood Prince
7: The Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter fans can also enjoy books that are supplemental to the series, such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and don't forget that Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library also has the movies, audio recordings, and video games inspired by these bestsellers.

Caught reading...Scottish romance

Do hunky Highlanders make your heart race? Earlier, a patron at the Readers’ Advisory desk (at the foot of the stairs, near the Quiet Study room) asked for help finding Scottish-themed romances. For all of you Highlander fans out there, the Readers' Advisory Librarian recommends these recent publications:

McCarty, M. (2010) The Chief: A Highland Guard Novel
In order to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen, Highland warlord Tor MacLeod is forced to marry Christina Fraser, a woman determined to break down his defenses and lay siege to his heart.

Scott, A. (2010). Tempted by a Warrior
Sir Richard Seyton is honor-bound to guard Lady Fiona Jardine, whose husband has gone missing in the Scottish borderlands, and he will do anything to keep her safe from her enemies, but cannot protect her from his own desire.

Quinn, P. (2010). Seduced by a Highlander
When he discovers that the woman he stole a kiss from at the king's court is one of his clan's greatest enemies, Highland warrior Tristan MacGregor is still unable to forget her and vows to possess her at any cost.

Other authors to try include Kathleen Givens, Hannah Howell, Lynn Kurland, Julia London, Karen Moning, Bertrice Small, and Veronica Wolff.

Only one week until Thanksgiving

There's one week left until Thanksgiving! Become inspired to count your blessings through these (or other) selections, and please comment: what are you thankful for?

Leszowitz, N. & Sammons, M.B. (2009). Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude
Publisher Summary: The authors present a program for incorporating gratitude into one's life and reaping its many benefits, in a book with motivational quotes, suggested gratitude practice, and anecdotes that is divided into such chapters as "Thank You Power" and "Putting Gratitude into Action."

Emmons, R. (2007). Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
Publisher Summary: A proponent of the field of positive psychology offers a close-up study of the positive influence on people's lives of the systematic cultivation of gratitude, explaining how the practice of grateful thinking can increase one's chances for happiness and help one cope more effectively with stress, recover more quickly from illness, enjoy better physical health, improve relationships, and other benefits.

Patron gushes about Adriana Trigiani

Grace G. of Mastic recently shared an enthusiastic recommendation for author Adriana Trigiani with the librarians at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley. She really loves the books' non-stop humor, as well as the way the author draws on her Italian heritage and life experiences to make the books feel true to life. Grace recommends that anyone looking for a "happy read" would do well to check out Trigiani's books, starting with Big Stone Gap, a book about a thrirty-five year old pharmacist in a sleepy Viriginia town who discovers a shocking family secret.

If you really catch Trigiani-fever, you can see her at Best Bargain Books in Centereach on Saturday, December 4 at 2 pm. She's based in New York City but is no stranger to Long Island: click here for the list of upcoming tour dates.

Patron enthusiastically recommends Debbie Macomber's books

Recently, Linda from Shirley enthusiastically recommended Debbie Macomber to the Readers' Advisory Librarian. Linda said she loved the way Macomber's books keep characters' intimate passions private, and how they are real page-turners that keep a strong hold on a reader's heart. The book that got her hooked on Macomber? Changing Habits (2003), about three very different women who enter a convent in Minneapolis, then change, grow, and ultimately leave the sisterhood.

For Debbie Macomber fans, Novelist (a readers' advisory database free to Mastics-Moriches-Shirley cardholders) also recommends Jan Karon's Mitford series (start with At Home in Mitford) and the Navy-oriented love stories by Susan Wiggs (start with The Ocean Between Us).

Bobbitt Poetry Prize winner just announced

Lucia Perillo's 2009 book Inseminating the Elephant, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, has won the $10,000 biennial Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. The New Yorker praised the book, stating "Perillo's time as a wildlife researcher gives her insight into the workings of a turtle's heart and blackbird behavior, while other topics range from Viagra and video games to Transcendentalism... These poems are tough and witty." Click here to read the full press release from the Library of Congress.

Celebrate Veterans Day with memoirs from past Commanders-in-Chief

It's Veterans Day! Here are two recently-published memoirs of past Commanders-in-Chief that offer some great reading to celebrate this holiday. Talk to the Reader's Advisory Librarian (at the desk in the fiction section) for more great suggestions, and please post some suggestions of your own!

Bush, G.W. (2010) Decision Points
Publisher summary: The author offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life and presidency, discussing the hotly contested 2000 election, 9/11, the Iraq war and his controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan and Iran, as well as his decision to quit drinking, discovery of faith and relationship with his family.

Carter, J. (2010) White House Diary
Publisher summary: During his years in the White House, President Jimmy Carter kept a diary filled with insights into his presidency, his relationship with friends and foes and his lasting impact on issues that are still important today, and now the diary is available to the public for the first time, with the best entries selected by Carter himself and complemented by his candid reflections.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

This morning, local radio station 106.1 WBLI interviewed Max Tucker, a self-proclaimed playboy and author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. This former bestseller shares the carefree experiences of the author, who, according to the publisher's book description, takes pride in being "socially inappropriate and sexually irresponsible." The book has been made into a movie which just came out on DVD, and is also available to Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library patrons in ebook format.

Great teen books for adults

Have you ever been surprised when a book you wanted to check out was shelved in the teen department? Ever since the publication of The Golden Compass in 1996 and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1998, there have been a growing number of crossover books that appeal to both adult and young adult audiences. Here are a few of the many of such books available at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library. Please talk to the librarian at the Readers’ Advisory desk (at the foot of the stairs in the fiction section, near the Quiet Study room) for more great suggestions, and please post your own suggestions as comments!

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Although it is marketed as a young adult book and features a teenage protagonist, the Absolutely True Diary won the National Book Award.

Collins, S. (2008). The Hunger Games.

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting young people against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place. This is the first book in an extremely popular trilogy (the final book, Mockingjay, was just released in August) with sales figures and a readership to rival Twilight. Rumor has it that the series will soon be on the big screen.

Funke, C. (2010). Reckless.

Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a warring world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself until Will follows him one day, with dire consequences. This book, released only a few weeks ago, was highly recommended by a middle-aged patron who visited the RA desk recently.

An Ocean of Stories

This morning, NPR reviewed the newly-published biography telling the story of an usually capricious, sometimes dangerous, but always beautiful entity: the Atlantic Ocean. In his new book Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, bestselling author Simon Winchester blends history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, and science and exposition to relate the saga of the Atlantic Ocean. Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library's copy of this book has just arrived on the shelf in the New Books section: be the first to check it out!

And if this book sparks your interest, you might also want to try the nonfictional work Deep Atlantic: Life, Death, and Exploration in the Abyss, or Buried at Sea, the fast-paced fictional account of a young man whose enigmatic employer leads him into a dangerous chase across the length and breadth of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Get out the vote... for fictional characters

Mickey Mouse always gets a handful of votes on Election Day, but there are so many other great fictional characters to choose from! If you had to vote for a fictional character today at the polls, who would you choose and why?