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Love Stuff

Love stuff [sound recording]By King, Elle

A patron recommended this artist to me, and I'm glad I checked her out. The artist’s name is Elle King. King is influenced by rock ‘n’ roll, old and new, as well as pop and country. She has a rusty sounding voice, reminiscent of Wanda Jackson and possibly, and oddly, Tegan and Sarah. Her debut album, Love Stuff, is well polished. The overall production is great. Guitars with effects, organs, and catchy riffs make this an exciting album to explore. It’s rebellious, rocking, occasionally soft, and easy to press play and keep listening to. Elle King should feel proud of this exceptional debut album.

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Afterworlds

AfterworldsBy Westerfeld, Scott

Afterworlds is a noteworthy novel, giving us two stories at once. At 18 Darcy Patel is publishing a novel, using the advance from her publisher she moves to New York City to try and make it as an author. In her new reality she meets other authors, makes friends, struggles with edits of her book, and falls in love for the first time. Darcy’s reality is not the typical teens’, but Scott Westerfeld, an experienced teen novelist himself, gives the reader a fun and insightful look into the world that is YA publishing in NYC. Interspersed with Darcy’s new life is Darcy’s novel, Afterworlds, a thriller that follows Lizzie, who after being the sole survivor of a terrorist attack discovers powers that allow her to visit a place between life and death. In this world Lizzie hones her skills by befriending a handsome and mysterious boy who shares her gift, as well as her mother’s murdered childhood friend, who unbeknownst to Lizzie, has been living in her and her mother’s house for years. She also comes across a wicked and cunning man who uses his own powers for personal gain in the Afterworld. As different as the two stories are, both Darcy and Lizzie’s story are entertaining and absorbing, especially Lizzie’s adventures. The reader is left satisfied, and wanting more. Afterworlds is begging for a sequel!

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the dying girl [sound recording]By Andrews, Jesse

“During my senior year, my mom forced me to become friends with a girl who had cancer. This brought about the destruction of my entire life.”
If you’re a fan of young adult books about dying girls then this is your book. If you're a fan of books that are about very real people that make you laugh out loud this also is your book. There are key differences that set this book apart from The Fault in Our Stars. I’m a big fan of John Green’s books and I liked TFIOS, but I absolutely loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Loved it! There are no life lessons punching you in the face; only the main character Greg Gaines wanting to punch himself in the face for saying or doing something stupid, which in his opinion was often.
The characters are real and imperfect, like the rest of us, but the best part of MAEATDG is that it is laugh out loud funny. It is freaking hilarious, especially the audiobook which is read by the 2 actors who played Greg and Earl in the film version. Did I mention that it’s a film? It’s a film and it is just as good as the book. Do yourself a favor and read/listen to this book and then watch the movie. It will be available on dvd this fall. Highly recommended for ages 15 and up.

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Between the World and Me

Between the world and meBy Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Ta-Nahisi Coates is an award-winning senior writer for Atlantic, author of their June, 2014 cover story, “The Case for Reparations”. His newest book is certain to become a classic work on race relations in America. Framed as a letter to his son, Samori, it combines a father’s love, a journalist’s keen observations of events and historical perspectives, and a personal memoir of his years growing up in Baltimore, his college life at Howard University, and his experiences living in Paris. The narrative is an urgent warning, at a particularly appropriate time given current events, about the life-and-death hazards facing young black men in today’s culture. By sharing his pain, wisdom, and insight, the author seeks to instill a vivid awareness of how black males must navigate this current and future nightmare.
Coates' other book is The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, a Son, and the Unlikely Road to Manhood, available in print and as a book on CD.

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The Green Road

The Green RoadBy Enright, Anne, 1962-

Renowned Irish author Anne Enright is no stranger to literary fame: her books have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker (for The Gathering) and the Andrew Carnegie Award (for The Forgotten Waltz). Her new book is about the family of widowed Rosaleen Madigan and her four adult children who have gathered for one last holiday in their home, which Rosaleen has decided to sell. Only daughter Constance has married and settled near her demanding, unhappy mother. The others have gone far afield, and their reunion with Rosaleen is rife with unmet expectations and bitter realities they each carry from their own lives. Hanna’s acting career has not taken off, Emmett is emotionally drained from his relief work in Mali, Dan has abandoned priesthood plans for the New York arts scene. An excellent family drama that won’t disappoint. The Green Road has made the longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Award.

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Fun with Dude and Betty

Fun with Dude and BettyBy Pliscou, Lisa.

One thing is certain, Dude and Betty are not Dick and Jane! While Fun with Dude and Betty is done in caricature of the old Dick and Jane readers that is where the similarities end. For one, Dude is a surfer, and Betty a “surf bunny”. Using surf terminology along with simple grammar (Yowzer! Surf Dude surf) this reader is fun for children and adults alike. The surf speak may challenge its authority as a true early reader, as I am sure in no other early reader would you find the sentence “Bud is harshing on Dude’s mellow”, but that’s what makes it great. An ordinary early reader this is not. I was highly amused, and my son found the uniqueness of the language very entertaining. Soon we were both laughing aloud as we read our way through Dude and Betty’s day. I found this book on accident, and I’m so glad I did. If you don’t mind surf terminology and enjoy some merriment this is truly non-bogus read!

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The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible

The Jefferson rule : how the founding fathers became infallible and our politics inflexibleBy Sehat, David.

Ever notice how politicians and patriots of every political persuasion and point of view are forever invoking the Founding Fathers and/or the Constitution to prove their points?
This book unravels the history of just what those founders said and what they meant when they said it and how that has been changed, massaged, re-interpreted, and used over the short history of this country. Can meaning change over time? Can the Founders words have been perfect for then and now and are they fair game for any side of any debate?
Sehat’s book discusses all the Founders' warts and points of view and guides the reader back to sanity in terms of evaluating how our “perfect union” is still evolving, not a static reference. This edifying read is highly recommended.

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The Small Backs of Children

The small backs of children : a novelBy Yuknavitch, Lidia

This harrowing story grips the reader and never lets go. A wartime photograph of a young girl propelled toward the lens ahead of an explosion subsequently is lauded and receives world-wide acclaim for the winning photographer. She, however, withdraws from the picture, as it has overwhelmed her senses and devastated her life. Well-meaning friends and family launch an attempt to rescue the girl from Eastern Europe and bring her to America, thinking this will help the photographer come to terms with her conflict-zone occupation and her warring emotions. This is a frank, in-your-face exploration of the connections and moral ambiguities between violence and the creation of art.
Caution: this book contains mature themes and includes sexual content which may disturb some readers.

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A Love Like Blood

A love like bloodBy Sedgwick, Marcus author.

Sedgwick’s adult debut is billed as a macabre psychological thriller. We first encounter medic Charles Jackson in Paris, witnessing what appears to be a man drinking blood from a young woman’s chest in a murky underpass. Rather than go to her assistance, he flees, a decision that will forever haunt him. A few years later, while attending a hematology conference, Jackson sights the same man, and learns his name (Verovkin) from his English tutor, Marian, with whom Jackson falls in love. His growing obsession and guilt lead him on a dangerous path, for Verovkin is involved in what seems to be a religious cult. When he finds out that Marian has died, Jackson’s mania overtakes him, and he is reduced to compulsive blood-thirst himself. Tension is kept high in this tantalizing page-turner. Not for the squeamish.

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The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and BabbageBy Padua, Sydney.

*The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer

Padua’s webcomic finds agency in this alt-history graphic novel about the real-life collaborations of young Ada Lovelace (a daughter of poet Lord Byron) and genius mathematician Charles Babbage. Babbage’s life work was to invent an analytical machine, commissioned by Queen Victoria. Lovelace studied math and science in an effort to avoid her father’s poetry madness, and translated one of Babbage’s books; her detailed notes are recognized as examples of early writing on computer programming. The chapters are populated by several other Victorian luminaries and delightful steampunk antics and have extensive footnotes and endnotes to enhance this witty and compelling fantasy.

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The Sculptor

The sculptorBy McCloud, Scott, 1960-

Scott McCloud is “an internationally-recognized authority on comics and visual communication, technology, and the power of storytelling, McCloud has lectured at Google, Pixar, Sony, and the Smithsonian Institution”. (PUB)
Sculptor tells the story of a young artist who makes the proverbial deal with the devil (who appears as his deceased Great Uncle Harry), exchanging time (200 days) for enhanced ability at his craft. David struggles for recognition in the stultifying New York art world of investors and gallery owners: doing sculpture is the only value his life has and he has no plan B. As he uses up his precious days left, he falls in love. Of course, this changes everything and drives the story to its conclusion. McCloud wrote the story and did the art work for this stunning graphic novel.
You might enjoy these other books by Scott McCloud: Zot! (1987-1991 compilation), Understanding Comics (1994), Reinventing Comics (2000), Making Comics (2006).

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My Sunshine Away

My sunshine awayBy Walsh, M. O. (Milton O'Neal).

Author M. O. Walsh immerses us in the heat, the beauty and the underlying unease of his native Louisiana in this Southern gothic style tale of the folks on Piney Grove Avenue in Baton Rouge, in particular the life of one young man and his adolescent obsession with the girl across the street.
What lies behind the doors of this seemingly charming neighborhood are the intimate stories of growing up, of heart-break and tragedies, of family life, of young love, and of monsters posing behind masks of suburban civility. The narrator is a man looking back on his teenage years seamlessly jumping back and forth in time, who finds it necessary to share from memory, in often charming detail, a particularly earth-shaking year of his life, when a horrible crime took place on this street, and how, over time, despite his best intentions, he came to accept his role in this event. A big-hearted page-turner. Available in print and as a BOCD, read by Kirby Heyborne.

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Pride

PrideBy Matthew Warchus

Pride is an exuberant film homage to the real-life group of London young people known as Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) who, in 1984-1985, raised funds and collected goods for striking Welsh coal miners and their families. When the LGSM decides to visit the town where their donations are going, a culture clash ensues but with dogged dedication by a few townspeople, fear and apprehension gradually turns to trust and gratitude, to the extent that the support of the Miner's Union influenced Thatcher's Labour party platform in favor of gay rights in England. While maintaining a generally light-hearted tone, the film does address some serious political and social issues. A great ensemble cast and direction almost deliver the feeling of a seasoned Broadway production: neither the pace nor the enthusiasm ever lags. Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus and starring veteran British actors Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Constantine, comes highly recommended by this viewer.

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In the Unlikely Event

In the Unlikely EventBy Blume, Judy

Once again Judy Blume proves she is unforgettable, an author for all ages and times. Her latest work, which was many years in the making, is an adult novel based on a succession of plane crashes that happened during her own teenage years. In 1951, WWII is still a fresh memory, the situation in Korea is a current threat, but air travel is something new and exciting for everyone. Elizabeth, New Jersey is a quiet town where the community mostly knows one another, and which lays directly in the flight path for Newark Airport. Miri Ammerman is a fifteen year old girl, with a loving family, a lot of friends, and in love for the first time. Her life is pretty near perfect when the first plane crashes into the Elizabeth River. Judy Blume paints a thorough picture of a town and community in disbelief and shock. Much like a good Maeve Binchy novel, we are allowed insights into many different characters. Blume’s characters are well developed and their reactions believable. Friends, acquaintances and family members are all affected by the tragedies. Mira’s positive outlook on life begins to harden as things worsen, her best friend Natalie begins to withdraw into herself, and Miri’s Uncle Henry, a reporter for the town’s newspaper, becomes well known for his stories covering the crashes. So many other characters and subplots contribute to this novel, which simply put, is a good story. Thirty years later Miri returns to Elizabeth for an event commemorating the crashes. At which point the reader is lucky enough to see what became of Miri and many other characters after the crashes turned their lives upside down. Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event does not disappoint.

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Borrowed Crime

Borrowed crimeBy Cass, Laurie author.

My favorite fictional bookmobile librarian and her cat are back in this third installment of Laurie Cass’ cozy mystery series. Minnie Hamilton is the assistant director of a small-town library in Chilson, MI (an imaginary city between Petoskey and Charlevoix). She also operates the bookmobile, with Eddie the cat riding along. One day, her volunteer assistant can’t make the day’s bookmobile run, so the volunteer sends her husband in her place. When he gets shot outside a gas station during their break, the police rule it a hunting accident. Minnie isn’t so sure. But if it’s murder, was he the actual target, or is someone still after his wife?

With the turning of the seasons, Minnie is staying with Aunt Frances at the boarding house, rather than on her houseboat. Restauranteur Kristen is wintering in Florida. There’s a strange and surly new neighbor across the street from the boarding house. The atmosphere Cass has created makes reading these books feel like visiting with friends.

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Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2014 Prize in Literature
Patrick Modiano

National Book Award

2014 Prize for Fiction
Redeployment
by Phil Klay

2014 Prize for Nonfiction
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
by Evan Osnos

Newbery Medal
2015 award
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

Caldecott Medal
2015 award
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

b
y Dan Santat

Printz Award

2015 award
I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
Friction
, by Sandra Brown
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
The Martian
, by Andy Weir
Go Set a Watchman
, by Harper Lee
Small Wars, by Lee Child

 

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
It Is About Islam, by Glenn Beck
Plunder and Deceit
, by Mark R. Levin
Between the World and Me
,  by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Boys in the Boat
, by Daniel James Brown
The Devil in the White City
, by Erik Larson
 

 

More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award