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This week’s staff pick is the award winning “The Universe Versus Alex Woods” by Gavin Extence.  It’s a literally laugh out loud and cry book, and appropriate for teenagers to 100+.   It’s got a little bit of science (perfect for this summer’s reading program themes), Vonnegut, and a whole lot of crazy adventure making this a great read for just about everyone.

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn’t had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.

 

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing …

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world. “–Summary taken from Goodreads.com


The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

Published: Jun 25, 2013 by Redhook
Find in the Library


 

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Two of our staffers read this book, and they loved it.  It has secret societies, an unsolvable puzzle (supposedly), and characters you’ll absolutely adore.  Once you get involved in Clay’s story, you won’t want to put it down.  We definitely recommend this winner of the Alex Award, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.   A perfect summer read, or something to help distract you from the fact that no, it’s not vacation time yet for you, check it out from the Library today!  We have it in regular and large type.

“The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.”– Taken from Amazon.com

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In The Sparrow, it’s 2019, and “humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer” — Goodreads.

We have it in book and audiobook format.

Remember to find us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or to follow our blog.

 

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In My Father’s Dragon, “Elmer Elevator (narrator’s father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island”– Goodreads.com

This is the first in a series, so start it today! It’s a timeless classic and you’ll love this romp.  Find the books in our Catalog today!

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It’s the end of National Poetry Month.  What did you read?  Did you keep up with the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day website?  Or did you check out Poetry 180 run by Billy Collins while he was the Poet Laureate? Or maybe you found a new poet or read some of your favorites.  Did you try a novel in verse?

Or if you are in grades 3-12 did you share your poems with other poets at Poet-to-Poet?  You can still email your poems to poet2poet@poets.org with your name and which poem/poet inspired you  today!  Some will be posted on the website in May!

Let us know what you did!

If someone checked out the novel in verse we recommended before, try again, they’re all well worth the read!

-The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber (secret identities, faked murder, and enough drama for at least three Shakespeare plays)

-Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge (modern true stories behind fairy tales)

-Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski (a topsy-turvy modern Romeo and Juliet tale)

-After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy (two high school seniors getting through their last semester)

-The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones (a novel of middle age, motherhood, marriage and mayhem)

… the list goes on.  Try something new this month and tell us if you like it.

 

Find Novels in Verse and Poetry books in the Catalog.

 

Don’t forget, we have a great selection of poetry year round.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog via WordPress.

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