Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
A Year of Staff Picks - South Whatcom Library Print Email

In 2015 we are featuring staff picks from a different branch library each month. The calendar's turned to May and we're turning to South Whatcom Library for this month's picks!

Collage of South Whatcom building and staff member photos

South Whatcom Library is the newest WCLS branch. After relocating to the Sudden Valley Adult Center earlier this spring, the staff is excited to once again be offering a full range of library services to the community. When visiting this fresh and welcoming space, you might decide to pop in to the always-buzzing children's room, get a peek at their high-tech 3D printer, or tuck away in the nonfiction corner to get some work done. No matter where you find yourself in the building , the friendly staff is always happy to help you discover terrific items for your reading, listening and viewing pleasure. Check out this list of recent releases and familiar favorites to see what the South Whatcom staff is recommending now!

Rethinking College Print Email

Graduation season approaches, and with it anxiety for parents and students alike about Book cover for Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be by Frank Bruniwhat the next phase promises. Two new books offer perspectives on life after high school.

The first, Frank Bruni's Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be, speaks to the college admissions process and the "mania" that surrounds it. By sharing stories about successful people whose career plan didn't include the mostBook cover for The End of College by Kevin Carey prestigious schools, Bruni offers a breath of fresh air for those whose scholastic path doesn't wind up in the Ivy Leagues.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional learning is The End of College by education writer Kevin Carey. Carey examines learning through the lens of technology, specifically focusing on open-source education and its potential to change higher ed -- and reduce student debt -- in the not-too-distant future. Full of insights and case studies, both books challenge readers to reconsider education's place in our ever-changing world.

Backlist Alert: 5 Titles to Read Now Print Email

This is the time of year when publishers get excited about their upcoming releases, known in the book business as frontlist. But readers like us know that those new releases are even more exciting when you've read the books that come before them - the backlist! This week I'm bringing you a hot list of 5 Backlist Titles to check out right now:

Covers of Natchez Burning by Greg Iles; Life after Life by Kate Atkinson; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson; Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

1. Natchez Burning by Greg Iles - Iles' new novel, The Bone Tree, continues his multi-generational saga of secrets and lies set in the deep South. These sprawling books (over 800 pages each!) are big in every sense of the word.

2. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - This stunning novel throws out the notion that reality is a fixed constant, as a woman experiences her life over and over in different ways. Read this first, then take on the companion novel, A God in Ruins, out next week.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - The author's breakout book delves into the world of virtual reality and one player's race to solve the ultimate puzzle. Packed with pop culture references, this novel will whet your appetite for Cline's Armada, due out in July.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Haven't yet been pulled into this saga of corruption, intrigue and hacker tactics? Now's the time, as a new book in the series, The Girl in the Spider's Web, by author David Lagercrantz, comes out this fall.

5. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - A favorite of book clubs, this novel of two damaged people falling in love doesn't shy away from hard truths. Pick up this one and get ready for a sequel, tentatively titled After You, later this year.

Reading Group Picks 2014 Print Email

Collage of book covers from A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout; Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson; Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo; A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Choosing a title to read with a group isn't always easy. You want a title that offers lots of possibility for discussion, that will keep readers turning pages, and not a story that everyone feels they've read before. Yet it can feel risky to try something new, so groups could end up relying on old favorites which tend to become stale. Fortunately WCLS comes to the rescue, with our Reading Group Picks lists: collections of titles carefully curated to spark lively discussion and compelling reading experiences. Our newest list contains titles published in the past year that may not yet have caught your eye, and we've added multiple copies to make it easy for group members to request. Check out the full list in our catalog - here's to more great group reads in 2015!
Pulitzer Prize 2015 Print Email

Pulitzer Prize medal logo

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners were named yesterday, the 99th year that the prizes have been awarded. Idaho author Anthony Doerr took home the fiction award for his WWII era novel All the Light We Cannot See, a book more than 10 years in the making. In nonfiction, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: A Natural History was the winner; like Doerr's book, Kolbert's has been a rich choice for book group discussion. The biography prize went to The Pope and Mussolini by David Kertzer, a portrait of two men that analyzes the rise of fascism in Europe. And the big winner for the history section was Elizabeth Fenn, with her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, which the judges called "an engrossing, original narrative". Add the prize-winning titles to your TBR list and see if you agree with the judges' distinction of these books as the best of the best.

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