Friday, December 26, 2014

eReaders and eBooks

Did you get a new eReading device for the holidays? Did you know you can get FREE ebooks and eaudiobooks from the library? YES! All you need is you library card and an internet connection. 

Depending on the device you have, you can either go to our main library website and click on "E-Library Downloadables" to access the Georgia Download Destination website, or download the OverDrive app to your device from your app store. Sign up for an OverDrive account, and then sign in with your Bartow County Library card number. Then find a great book to read! We have cheat sheets at the library, you can check with OverDrive for help, and as always, your friendly neighborhood librarians can help you out if you need some more assistance. :)

We have THOUSANDS of books ready to checkout! Is there a book you want digitally that we don't have? Let us know! We'll see if we can get it for you. And there are NO LATE FEES with ebooks! Perfect for a cold winter day when you just want to stay in and enjoy a good read.

And while you're at it, why don't you sign up for adult winter reading? Read three books, attend a program, and get a limited-edition Bartow County Library System mug!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book Year in Review: 2014

This year has seen so many wonderful books published, both fiction and non-fiction. So many, in fact, that you might need help finding the ones that are right for you! Now, I will always suggest that you stop by your local library branch and have a chat with your local librarian - we LOVE to talk about books! But here are some other suggestions of ways to find out about the best books of the year.

NPR Book Concierge
OH MY what a fantastic (and fun!) resource this is! Scroll down and look at the options of "what would you like to read" and let the book experts at NPR narrow down the list. Hover over a book cover and get a quick review, or click on it for the full review. Play around with it! And they've done it for a few years now, so take a look at their backlist for even more reading ideas.

Goodreads Choice Awards
If you're an avid reader, you should join Goodreads. Not only can you keep track of all the books you read and want to read in once convenient place, you can also found reviews and suggestions from other voracious readers! Every year Goodreads users vote on their favorite books of the year, so you can have a list of great books selected by readers like you.

LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites
LibraryReads puts out a monthly list of favorite books coming out that month as selected by public librarians across the country. (One of your BCLS librarians has gotten reviews published with them!) This is their first "best of the best" list since they've only been around for a little over a year. But you can rest assured that your library has these titles!

Buzzfeed Books We Loved
You might be aware of Buzzfeed as the website with the gif-heavy list articles, which they do oh-so-well, but they do have some bright book reviewers as well! Though definitely geared toward the Millennial generation, these edgy titles still make great reads for anyone looking for something a little outside the box.

Book Riot Best Books
Another website aimed at Millennials and Gen Xers, the reviewers at Book Riot take pride in finding the best books of all genres, and from writers of all backgrounds. Their list is very diverse, with a lot of books intended to give you pause to think. Book Riot contributors are frequently also librarians or booksellers, so they really know what the public is looking for!

Your Bartow County Library System Librarians
As mentioned before, your librarians LOVE to talk about books. We may not always feel the need to make up a list of our favorite books of the year (though this year we're asking you to help!), but if you are looking for suggestions for your "to be read" list, stop by and ask us. We will absolutely drop everything for the chance to talk books with our patrons! And while you're at it, follow us on Twitter to get updates on what we're reading, new books to check out, and other book buzz we find interesting. It will make our day for your to stop by!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Fiction Books

The Nightingale Before Christmas  Some people can take Christmas decorating to the extreme. When twelve designers are asked to decorate a room in a Christmas-themed show house, overly competitive designers start sabotaging other rooms. When one designer turns up dead, tempers flare and the Christmas season is thrown into chaos. This is a good read for someone who likes Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow Christmas Mystery series, or anyone who is looking for a murder mystery with a Christmas flavor.

A Christmas Promise This is a great read for anyone who likes Thomas Kinkade and the Cape Light series. James Cameron, a minister visiting Cape Light for the holidays, has acar accident. No one is hurt, but this event changes the plans and lives ofJames and Leigh Baxter, another visitor in Cape Light who is hiding from herown past. When these two make a connection, their lives are changed in unexpected ways.

1225 Christmas Tree Lane Beth Morehouse, Cedar Cove resident, is anticipating a wonderful Christmas when an unexpected complication arises. Some drops off a basket of puppies at her door. A second unexpected complication comes up when Beth’s daughters invite Beth’s ex-husband for Christmas.  Debbie Macomber is a best-selling author of romance and women’s fiction and a must-try if you’re in a holiday mood.

The Christmas Secret Waitress and single mother Christine Eisley saves the life of a Wilson’s Department Store employee. When the owner sets out to find her and thank her,he can’t find her. Christine who is behind on the rent and loses her job as a waitress, is nowhere to be found.  James Wilson, grandson of Wilson’s Department store owner, Marshall, is given the unwelcome task of finding her. His reluctant pursuit to find Christine will lead readers to the idea that faith, hope and love can be found even when you really don’t want to look for them.

The Christmas Quilt Sylvia Compson, Master Quilter, prefers a quiet, low key Christmas. Her friendSarah McClure wants a big, traditional Christmas. When Sarah decides todecorate, she discovers an unfinished Christmas quilt stored in an old trunk.Sylvia’s examination of the quilt reveals stories of her mother, aunt, sisterand herself. These stories took place during the Great Depression and World War II and help Sylvia with reconcile her past with her present.

Mr.Miracle Angel in disguise Harry Mills is sent to help twenty-something year old Addie Folson set a new course in life and, for added measure, help her find true love. The only trouble is the match for Addie is a neighbor and former classmate who tormented Addie when they were children. Harry has his hands full completing his mission, while trying to avoid the pitfalls of being an angel in a human body. This is story about the miracle of love happening even with the unlikeliest couples.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Winter Reading has returned!

You may have noticed in the local paper already, but our adult winter reading program, "From Page to Screen," started this week! To participate, all you need to do is register for the program, read three books of your choosing, attend one adult program, and submit your completion! When you complete the program, stop by your local library branch and pick up your completion prize - a limited edition library mug! Each completion is an entry into our grand prize drawing after the program ends on February 28, 2015. 

As an added bonus, we're taking votes on our list of nominations for the best books of 2014 - these books were chosen based on how many times they were checked out by our patrons, and their popularity on Goodreads and LibraryReads. How many have you read? Get a few more titles read by the time votes are due on February 13th! We're having a "Read" Carpet Awards Night on February 20, 2015 to announce the winners, and we'd love to have you there!

Since the theme is Hollywood-related, we've got a few programs in store that fit the bill. We've got our usual Movie Nights on the first Tuesdays of the month. We've got movie-related Trivia Night on January 23rd. We've got a Gone with the Wind Book & Film Discussion on January 29th. And a staged reading on February 6th of Ron Hutchinson's play "Moonlight & Magnolias," a comedy about the writing of the script for Gone with the Wind

And while you can read whatever three books you choose to participate in the program, we'd love for you to check out the lists we made of books that went "from page to screen," and of novels about film or film stars, available in our Reader's Corner, with print copies available at the library. 

Stop by the library and see all the fun things we have to offer! We love seeing you!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Victorian England

This fall I've found myself turning to books set in Victorian England. But just because they have similar settings doesn't mean these stories are all the same!
The Quick by Lauren Owen might be my favorite adult fiction of the year so far. Most of the publicity for the book has kept major information about the plot a secret, but here’s what I can tell you without spoiling anything (although  for me, that information was what made me pick the book up in the first place). In London in 1892, the young poet James Norbury is befriended by Christopher, a young aristocrat who introduces him to high society. When James vanishes, his older sister Charlotte searches for him, a quest which takes her among both the wealthiest and poorest parts of the city. Part historical literary novel and part genre novel, The Quick examines power and class structure of Victorian London, but doesn't skimp on terror or adventure.

The Asylum by John Harwood is a straight up novel of suspense. A young woman, Georgina Ferrars, wakes up in a private asylum with no memory of the past few weeks, and is told that she arrived there the day before under the name Lucy Ashton, then suffered a seizure. When he doctor telegrams her uncle back in London, the reply is that Georgina Ferrars is in London, so the woman must be an imposter. True to gothic storytelling, we get a glimpse into Georgina’s diary and letters as she struggles to find out what led her to the asylum—and what will lead her out of it. This book is ideal for fans of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas takes us into the strange and compelling world of theatrical performers. The charismatic and ambitious stage magician Devil Wix partners with a dwarf named Carlo to create an illusion called The Execution of the Philosopher at a newly reopened theater called the Palmyra. As their illusion increases in popularity, the two men align themselves with others such as Heinrich Bayer and his disturbingly lifelike automata, waxworker and artist Jasper Button, and the beautiful Eliza Dunlop. As the motley group struggles to make their shows at the Palmyra more and more successful, they face jealousies, romances, and even physical danger.

Do you have any favorite books set in Victorian England? Or does a different historical setting call out to you?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fairytale Retellings

I love fairytale retellings. It’s amazing how creative authors can be, weaving bits of a story I already know into a completely new tale. The characters are old favorites, but the journey is completely different. Recently, I've enjoyed reading Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles series. She takes fairytale favorites and puts them in a futuristic high-tech world, while weaving their individual stories into an intertwined saga. The first three books are:

Linh Cinder is a cyborg from New Beijing who falls in love with a prince. When Scarlet Beniot’s grandmother goes missing, she enlists the help of a street fighter named Wolf to find her. Cress is a hacker who’s been confined to a satellite since her childhood, but now has the chance to escape.

The last two books are:

Queen Levana just wants to rule and be the fairest of them all. Fairest comes out January 2015. And then there’s the mysterious Winter, which doesn't come out until November 2015.

Will Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter prevail? Or will the future be in the hands of the evil queen?

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Do you know what NaNoWriMo is? It's National Novel Writing Month! People all over the country (and the world!) spend the month of November WRITING A BOOK! It's a really fun program, and a way for any of you budding novelists to get inspiration, support, and at least a good head start on getting that idea for a novel you've had for years written down.

Even if you're not up to committing to writing 50,000 words in one month (!!), you can still drop by the library and get inspiration for your writing life. Library Assistant Katie has put up a great little display near Reference at the Cartersville branch of books about writing. Here are a few:

Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Terry Brooks' Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons From a Writing Life
Suzanne Strempek Shea's Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year In a Bookstore

And if you need a little bit of a writing community to get you going, stop by our adult writing group, Writer's Block, on November 20th! Bring yourself, pen and paper, and be ready to get some writing done!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Library Reads

Have you heard of Library Reads? It's a great program that's been around for just over a year -- librarians around the country vote on their favorite books being published every month! Certainly you can always rely on the best seller lists for new books to read, but wouldn't you trust a librarian, too? Lots of great title selections from all kinds of genres. Check out the November list today! We also try to keep the current list at the Reference Desk at the Cartersville branch, so stop by and ask us for a reading suggestion! Be "in the know" about great new books coming to the library!

October's list has some great suggestions, too. Definitely check out As You Wish by Cary Elwes, about the making of the film The Princess Bride! It's so delightful. And Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver is great for Agatha Christie fans.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Reads

I know quite a few people who enjoy the countdown to Halloween. Many of them will do a #31HorrorFilms31Days and watch at least one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. I'm not much of a horror film person myself, but I do love a good creepy read! With a few days left before Halloween, why don't you try one of these books to keep you up at night?

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova - Like vampire tales, especially Dracula tales? This is the book for you! It's incredibly suspenseful, as well as being pretty informative about Eastern European history and culture. Entertaining and enlightening! A woman discovers some old letters in her father's things that tell this adventurous and unnerving tale of a man and woman seeking out the history of Dracula lore. It's a hefty tome for sure, but the pace moves fast and will keep you hooked.

Bliss House, by Laura Benedict - This book has only been out for a few months, and the reviews were so good I had to check it out as soon as it was published. A very well-crafted book about a mother and daughter who had recently experienced tragedy, moving back to the mother's ancestral home to try and start anew. But tragedy seems to follow the small family, and the effect that the house has on them is conflicted. The clues of the past are laid out carefully, and will keep you thirsty for the ending.

Horrorstör, by Grady Hendrix - Ever gotten lost in an IKEA? Imagine if that happened at night, you're alone, and something you can't see is after you. That's the premise of this book. It's designed to look like an IKEA catalog, along with vaguely Scandinavian-sounding furniture names. Something is afoot at this IKEA-like store, and a handful employees are volun-told to take an overnight shift and figure out what. Creepiness unfolds. I heard another reviewer call it "Evil Dead 2 in an IKEA," and I think that's a pretty good description.

What good scary reads do you enjoy?

Friday, October 17, 2014

We're BACK!

After a blogging hiatus, we are back! We are reading loads of great things, and we want to share them with you!! So bookmark this page, sign-up to get email updates, follow us on Twitter, add us to your RSS feed of choice - we want to talk about books!

And, of course, you are always welcome to stop by any of our locations and ask your friendly library staff for reading suggestions. :)