Monthly Archives: July 2015

Staff Picks-Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

In the mood for something a bit different? Then I highly recommend Gail Carriger’s YA novel Etiquette & Espionage. The setting is an alternate history/steampunk England and the story is fun, exciting, and clever. Sophronia is an intelligent, yet awkward teen whose family wants her to become a proper Victorian lady. Her mother sends her to “Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality” in hopes this prestigious school will reform clumsy Sophronia. However, as soon as she has left her family home, Sophronia realizes this is not going to be any ordinary trip to any ordinary finishing school! First the carriage they are in is attacked by “skyway men”…similar to highway men, but instead of on horseback, these bandits travel in hot air balloons. When Sophronia finally makes it to the academy, she realizes it is a floating, moving school, has werewolves and vampires for professors, and the skills she is set to learn include much more than your basic Victorian etiquette. This story is so much fun, is packed full of adventure and mystery, and even has a touch of forbidden romance. It is the first in the Finishing School series.

You can find the availability of this book in our catalog here

Recommended by Addie at Beckley Branch


Staff Pick-Lost Girls

The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus by John Glatt

I decided to take a short break from fiction to catch up on a current event I didn’t know a lot about. Of course, I had heard of the Cleveland abductions and watched a couple of interviews with Michelle Knight, one of the survivors, but I didn’t understand the case in its entirety. In this book by investigative journalist, John Glatt, I certainly got the full story: from the tormented childhood of abductor, Ariel Castro, to the lives of the three girls that were kidnapped; from the horrors they endured, to the amazing support they were greeted with after their escape. This book is obviously not for the faint of heart—it is upsetting to read about these poor girls and the decade of terror Castro put them through. However, reading about their strength and will to survive, along with their amazing recoveries definitely made it worth it. If you finish this book and want to read more about this case, the library also has Michelle Knight’s memoir, Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed. Also, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus’s story, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland is currently on order for our library.

You can find the availability of this book in our catalog here

Recommended by Addie at Beckley Branch

Staff Picks-A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

In this exciting YA fantasy novel, 19 year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods. Later, a beast-like creature comes to her home to make her pay for what she’s done. But it’s not a wolf…it’s a fairy. She is forced to live at his home, but this is where her feelings start to change from hate to love. Along the way they both fight to break a curse.

This is a great story with memorable characters. I can’t wait for the second book in the series!

You can find the availability of this book in our catalog here

Recommended by Stacy at Beckley Branch

Staff Picks-Dead Wake

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Most people have heard the tragic story of the sinking of the Titanic, but not as many know the truth about the fateful voyage of the Lusitania. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania set out from New York, headed for Liverpool. Though submarine warfare was a huge threat at this time, the Cunard Line felt it would be safe to proceed on this journey. Due to a series of most unfortunate events, misunderstandings, overlooked warnings, and more, Captain Turner’s supposedly unsinkable vessel was sunk by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915. 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696 were aboard and of them; a staggering 1,191 lost their lives.
Erik Larson, best-selling historical non-fiction author of the books Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts (among others), weaves this tale of history in a way that allows the reader to get to know the passengers personally. The heroics of the survivors should never be forgotten, and Larson does an excellent job making sure this is the case.
I am a huge Erik Larson fan and I was not let down by this, his most recent work! If you enjoy non-fiction, stories of disaster, war, survival, and heroics, I would highly recommend this epic book.

You can find the availability of this book in our catalog here

Recommended by Addie at Beckley