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September 23, 2009 > Alameda County Library News: The Newark Library Staff Recommends...

Alameda County Library News: The Newark Library Staff Recommends...

Fall is here, and with the children back in school, there's probably a little more time available for you to relax, kick off your shoes, and read a good book. If you're having a difficult time finding a book you like, the staff at the Newark Library has some suggestions for you.

If you enjoy wrapping your mind around a good mystery, our branch manager, Kathy Steel-Sabo recommends The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The first part of a trilogy by the late Swedish author, the book involves an unlikely duo trying to solve a forty-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of a wealthy teen. Kathleen Hannon, Newark's teen library assistant, found The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley to be a great page-turner. In this mystery set in England at the end of World War II, 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist, feels she must solve a murder mystery to exonerate her father, who has been accused of the crime.

If you are interested in more dramatic themes in book choices, Lih Shieh, a page at the Newark Library, found The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards to be a great read. The plot involves what happens after Dr. David Henry helps his wife give birth to twins. One child is healthy, and one child has Down's syndrome. Dr. Henry's decision regarding the fate of his children has a profound impact on his family's future. Brian Edwards, Newark's Circulation Supervisor, recommends Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. In this adult-themed novel the author of Fight Club examines how a young med student leaves med school when his mother is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and becomes a con artist to pay her medical bills.

Barbara Telford-Ishida, Newark's Adult Reference Librarian, thought The Village Bride of Beverly Hills by Kavita Daswani was a good book. After an arranged marriage in Bombay, Priva moves to Los Angeles with new husband Sanjay. Living with his parents, who expect her to be a traditional bride; she also lands journalist position at glossy magazine, "Hollywood Insider." She commences an exhausting double life while trying desperately to achieve a real relationship with Sanjay.

Like some of you, many of our staff prefer to read non-fiction materials. Craig Texeira, a Newark Library page, recommends Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd. This book examines the mystery surrounding the last days Edgar Alan Poe, and describes Poe's dramatic life, which included problems with gambling and alcohol. Alicia Williams, a clerk at the Newark Library, found Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio to be very interesting. Through beautiful photography the book features portraits of thirty families from twenty-four countries surrounded by a week's worth of food. Diane King, another clerk at the Newark Library recommends Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark R. Levin. The author, a radio talk show host, presents essays that recommend specific politically conservative approaches to issues such as immigration, health care, and foreign policy.

If you have children maybe you'd like to read a book along with your kids. Kat Blair, Newark's Children's Librarian, recommends The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, winner of the 2009 Newberry Award, in which an orphaned boy is raised by deceased inhabitants of a graveyard. This might be a perfect book to share with your tween or teen to celebrate Halloween. Mary Ayers, Newark's Children's Library Assistant, suggests trying Sara Dessen's latest novel, Along for the Ride. Written for teens, the novel explores the realities of divorce and blended families. Diane Pyle, a clerk from the Union City Library, who often helps out at the Newark Library as well, recommends sharing Kid's Letters to President Obama edited by Bill Adler and Bill Adler Jr. The book includes more than two hundred letters that kids have written to the President, many of which are humorous and heartwarming.

If our staff still has not whetted your appetite for a good book, come to any of the Alameda County Libraries in Fremont, Union City or Newark. We'd be glad to help you find a book you'll love.

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