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This week’s staff pick is the debut from author Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes.  Our staffer found it powerful, harsh, and multifaceted.  On the surface, they said it seems like ‘one of those’ fantasy novels, but it quickly sucked them in, and they really enjoyed it.  The first in a series, we highly recommend An Ember in the Ashes, for both teens and adults.

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”–Taken from Goodreads.com


An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir

Published: Apr 28, 2015 by Razorbill
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This week’s staff pick has been making the rounds around the staff, and everyone who’s picked it up has loved it.  This is a building-wide staff pick, and in November it’ll be a movie starring Matt Damon.    The premise is that an astronaut finds himself stranded on Mars, with no rescue in sight for years.   Compulsively readable, Mark Watney is funny, determined, and brilliant.  You’ll be rooting for him from page 1.   This is a fast read (you won’t want to put it down), and every staff member who’s read this encourages you to go pick this up and read it now.   Like, right now.  Hurry up and place your hold!

It should be noted that there is a lot of science in the book (there would have to be to survive), but it’s broken down into easily understood language, and doesn’t slow down the plot.  A couple engineers have read this, and say it checks out.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?”–Taken from Goodreads.com 


The Martian: A Novel

Andy Weir

Published: Feb 11, 2014 by Crown
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Large type:

9781410469571

The Martian

Andy Weir

Published: Jul 09, 2014 by Thorndike Press
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This week’s staff pick is by Mireille Guiliano, and was read by a staffer for the Read Harder Challenge.  She particularly enjoyed French Women Don’t Get Facelifts and found it full of great advice, stories, and recipes.

The author of the bestselling French Women Don’t Get Fat shares the secrets and strategies of aging with attitude, joy, and no surgery.

With her signature blend of wit, no-nonsense advice, and storytelling flair, Mireille Guiliano returns with a delightful, encouraging take on beauty and aging for our times. For anyone who has ever spent the equivalent of a mortgage payment on anti-aging lotions or procedures, dressed inappropriate for their age, gained a little too much in the middle, or accidentally forgot how to flirt, here is a proactive way to stay looking and feeling great, without resorting to “the knife”-a French woman’s most guarded beauty secrets revealed for the benefit of us all!


French Women Don't Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude

Mireille Guiliano

Published: Dec 24, 2013 by Grand Central Life & Style
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It’s finally starting to feel like spring!  We know a lot of you will be doing your spring cleaning soon (or maybe you already have), and might be going through your books as well.   If you’re thinking of donating them, please bear in mind our guidelines for donation when you’re boxing them up.

  • You must bring books you are donating to the Circulation Desk during normal business hours.  Out of consideration for others, we request that you do not drop donations in the book returns or leave them in bags and boxes outside the library.
  • A form letter for tax purposes is available upon request; however the estimated valuation of the donation is the responsibility of the donor.

 We will only accept books that meet the following conditions:

  1. Materials must be in good physical condition (no water damage, mildew, underlining or highlighting).
  2. Paperback books must have covers intact.
  3. Fiction books will generally be accepted if in good condition.
  4. Non-fiction books must be relevant and should not be more than 5 years old.
  5. DVDs, Spoken Word Audio CDs, Children’s Books and Music CDs will be accepted.

The library will not accept:

  1. Materials that are mildewed, moldy, dirty, dried out, damp or musty smelling.
  2. Textbooks, medical or legal texts and workbooks that accompany textbooks.
  3. Encyclopedias.
  4. Magazines, including National Geographic.
  5. VHS and cassette tapes.
  6. Reader’s Digest condensed books.
  7. Games and puzzles.

Remember, books that cannot be donated can be recycled along with your household recycling.  Recycling old books helps the environment, however you should do this from home.  The Library is not responsible for recycling unacceptable donations and it will be the patron’s responsibility to remove these donations from the Library.

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This week’s staff pick kicks off a loose series (meaning that they all occupy the same world but aren’t about the same characters), so you don’t have to read them in order.  The Fairy Godmother looks into what happens when fairy tales go wrong, and how you can change your destiny with determination and a little bit of luck…

“In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can’t carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale…

Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom’s Cinderella–until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with “The Tradition” was no easy matter–until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job…

Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there’s one in particular who needs to be dealt with…

Sometimes a fairy godmother’s work is never done…”–Taken from Goodreads.com

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