Monthly Archives: October 2012

Staff Picks – Still Life

Still Life by Louise Penny

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his investigative homicide team are called to the quaint village of Three Pines. Jane Neal has been found in the woods, killed by a hunter’s arrow. The locals are sure it’s a tragic accident, seeing as Jane was a gentle, kindly soul without an enemy in the world. Gamache at first is inclined to agree. But as he methodically and thoroughly investigates each of Jane’s friends, he uncovers secrets and circumstances which convince him Jane’s death was deliberate.

I was fortunate to pick up “Still Life”, not realizing it was the 1st in a series of Inspector Gamache mysteries. I like Gamache who is a man of integrity and compassion, respecting not only the victim but those grieving for her, even as he gathers facts and forms a compelling case for murder. Also, the villagers and police work separately and together to determine Jane’s killer, dropping clues for the reader along the way as the story unfolds (though I must admit I did not guess the correct who-dunnit). I plan to read more of this series.

Recommended by: Barbara at Main

Check this book’s availability with our catalog!


Staff Picks- For the Love of Pumpkins

For the Love of Pumpkins by Sarah Marie Talley

This time I picked another Halloween inspiration book to get me ready for my favorite holiday. 🙂 This one caught my attention from the shelves because of the adorably carved pumpkins on the front, and because really who doesn’t love pumpkins at Halloween? The subtitle for this book is “A Visual Guide to Fall Decorating with Pumpkins and Ornamentals”. If you’re looking for exhaustive descriptions of how to recreate the ideas in the book, this isn’t the one for you. There are simple descriptions for each project, but the main focus of this book really is the pictures. (Thus the Visual Guide part, I guess.) And boy, the pictures really are worth it. There are some really adorable displays, and some very elegant ones, and some things I have never seen before and certainly couldn’t have brainstormed on my own! One of the prettiest and most unique ideas I saw in the book was probably the three-tiered pumpkin fountain. They accented the fountain with fresh bittersweet branches and the result was a lush, beautiful, harvest fountain.

As far as the text goes, there seems to be just enough to get you through the projects, but for those of us that sometimes need a little more of the step-by-step instructions, certain steps may leave us stumbling. There are recipes for the Thanksgiving portion of the book that are standard step-by-step fare though, and there is a very informative appendix in the back of the book that details all the different types of pumpkins and gourds found throughout the book. There’s also a lovely (but short) section at the beginning about the pumpkin process – from how the pumpkins are grown and harvested to how to select and care for your pumpkin. I really enjoy the layout of the book – there are often mosaics of pictures on each page, the photos themselves are all well-composed and eye-catching, and where there are blocks of text they fit in instead of breaking the flow of pictures.

All in all I would recommend this book to people looking for Halloween and other fall design ideas who are more visually inspired. If you are a more concrete builder, painstakingly following each direction to create your desired outcome, this is probably not the book for you. But even then, it’s certainly worth a look for the information on pumpkins and the gorgeous pictures!

Recommended by: Ashley at Main
Check this book’s availability in our catalog!

Staff Picks – Maze Runner

Maze Runner by James Dashner

I couldn’t put this book down! The first three chapters were setting everything up. This character named Tom was riding in something like an elevator. It was dark and he was very disoriented. He could not remember anything about his past. His name was the only thing he could remember.

When the elevator stopped, it opened and sunlight almost blinded him. There were numerous boys looking at him, no girls, no adults. He kept asking questions, but no one would give him any answers.

That first day he met the boys that were in charge. They were called the Keepers. They assigned a boy, Chuck, to show him around. He got a tour around the area, and something to eat. Tom kept getting ahead of what they were trying to show him. He decided on the second night that he wanted to be a maze runner, though he didn’t know why.

The maze runners went out into the maze everyday, ran and took notes. They had to avoid Grievers, which were a combination of flesh and machine. They could sting you or kill you, and they lived in the maze. The walls of the maze moved everyday, so it was never exactly the same two days in a row. There was also supposed to be an exit from the maze where they could escape and return to their homes, though they could not remember anything about their lives before they got there.

Tom had been there less than a week when the action started, and the action didn’t stop even at the end of the book. This story is a trilogy, with the addition of a prequel. I’m hooked, and I will have to read them all! And I thought I wouldn’t like a young adult book, silly me.

Recommended by: Kay at Main

Check this book’s availability on our catalog!

Also, if you’re interested in reading and discussing this book, it is our YA Book Club book for the month of October at the main branch! Stop at the circulation desk and check out a copy, and come to the meeting on October 23rd from 4pm – 5pm. 🙂