Books Blog

Great Audio Books for Family Road Trips

A Year Down Yonder

A recent New York Times Book Review article sings the praises of audio books and recommends several gems for family road trips. With summer right around the corner, it’s a nice reminder that audio books are the perfect way to keep the whole family happy on long car drives.

I have three children, and when we take a road trip, we always have several audio books on hand. I find they are far superior to DVDs for making a road trip a fun family experience. Unlike videos, which only the kids can watch, audio books are something the whole family (including the driver of the car!) can enjoy. In addition, we can listen to the audio books while also looking out the window. And – really – what’s the point of a road trip if you aren’t taking in the majestic scenery rolling past?

Waiting for Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother?

Over the weekend I read Alison Bechdel's new graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.

This follow up to her 2006 memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which focused on her father, concentrates both on her relationship with her mother and on her therapy process. At one point, Bechdel refers to Are You My Mother? as a meta-book, as much of it deals with the time period when she was writing Fun Home, as well as her interactions with her mother around writing both that book and Are You My Mother?

KIDS - Recommended New Books

from Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Every month, librarians from Denver Public Library branches get together to talk about new books for school-aged kids. With summer vacation just around the corner, here are some great new titles to keep you reading all summer long.

Younger Readers:

Letters to Leo by Amy Hest. Annie's dad has finally given in and let her get a dog, so now Annie writes letters to her new pet during the school day so he can keep up with all of the exciting things that happen to her while she is away from him. Annie is not exactly a "model citizen" and there are lots of funny stories and drawings throughout the book. Recommended by Gigi from the Children's Library.

Author Jean Craighead George Dies at Age 92


Children's writer Jean Craighead George, author of more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books, has died at the age of 92.

One of my favorite childhood books, one that I read over and over, was her classic book of a young boy's survival in the Catskill mountains, My Side of the Mountain. I remember with vivid detail how Sam Gribley ran away from the city to survive on his own in the wilderness--how he made his own clothes, hunted food (and eventually caught and trained a falcon to do some hunting for him), and carved out a tree to make a comfortable home.

Geeks Who Read Book Club

Are you interested in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and graphic novels? Join us at the Geek Book Club! We've had several successful meetings, with more great selections coming this summer. Our next meeting is Saturday, May 19 at 2 p.m at the Schlessman Family Branch. We'll be discussing World War Z by Max Brooks. Where will you be when the zombie apocalypse goes down?

World War Z: The Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks was published in 2007 and is often cited as one of the best zombie novels of the last ten years. The book is a string of first person accounts of various characters around the world and how they remember the zombie outbreaks and following war. There are testimonies from military personnel, intelligence officials, and regular citizens who try to defeat the zombies.

Carlos Fuentes, November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012

The Writings of Carlos Fuentes

Prolific Mexican intellectual, novelist, essayist, and occasional commentator Carlos Fuentes died suddenly May 15, 2012 at the age 83. The author of The Writings of Carlos Fuentes quotes Fuentes as saying that "writing implies an engagement with history, culture and identity." There is no doubt that Carlos Fuentes engaged generations worldwide in truly seeing and contemplating Mexico.

Carlos Fuentes gave many fascinating interviews and many of them are available to watch online. The library has many titles by and about Carlos Fuentes, in Spanish and English. Here are a few:

Let's go hiking

Peterson Field Guide to Birds

Spring is the time of year when people start to hit those trails again, and the holds lists for hiking guides just sky rocket. But don't just stop at the trail guide learn more about your hike with some of these excellent materials.

Add some depth to your trek by bringing along a field guide or two:

What Would You Do??

Cover of Defending Jacob by William Landay

I read Defending Jacob about two months ago and the story and its ethical issues have stayed with me.  Given the circumstances in this well-written novel, I find myself still puzzled about what I would do.  The ending was a complete surprise to me.  What would you do?   

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

Celebrating the life of author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.

Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away last week.  His work inspired and intrigued, with stories and pictures that were at once magical, beautiful, and strange.  I fell in love with Sendak as a child, and rediscovered him as an adult when I was working as a nanny.

James Beard Foundation Book Awards--The Best in Food Writing

Blood, Bones, and Butter

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards were recently announced. These awards celebrate books about cooking in various categories. Check out these award winning titles the next time you're looking for a new recipe to try, or you just want to read about the wonderful world of food!

Cookbook of the Year, Cooking from a Professional Point of View: Modernist Cuisine, Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

Cookbook Hall of Fame: Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, Laurie Colwin

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