Wednesday, February 27, 2013

30 Best Places to Be if You Love Books

Buzz Feed recently published an article at the web address: Take a look at all of these cool libraries and book stores. I warn you, though, these libraries, bookstores, and personal home libraries will have you feeling jealous (believe me, I did).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sweetwater Creek / Anne Rivers Siddons

Boykin Spaniel
Photo by billread available through a Creative Commons license

In Anne Rivers Siddons' Sweetwater Creek, we find the coming-of-age story of young Emily Parmenter, a 12-year-old growing up in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Emily is a stranger in her own house, Sweetwater Plantation, where her father and two older brothers hardly know what to do with this girl on the cusp on womanhood.

Emily, whose mother left when she was a baby, just wants someone to love who loves her back. She finds solace of sorts with her impeccably trained Boykin spaniel Elvis. The Parmenters breed and train the spaniels and Emily is actually a bit of a savant when it comes to the family trade.

Nevertheless, her place in the family is an ill-fitting one, and terribly sad as we watch father Walter miss chance after chance to forge a true connection with his only daughter.

The catalyst for change is Lulu Foxworth, the mysteriously troubled college-aged daughter of a prominent Charleston family. When her family visits Sweetwater to see its spaniels, the connection Lulu has with the dogs is immediately apparent. Her parents asks if Lulu can spend the summer at Sweetwater and to Emiy's resentment, Walter immediately assents, eager to find an "in" with high society.
But what came, on the new wings of summer, was Lulu Foxworth, as glistening and beautiful and vulnerable as a beached Portuguese man-o-war, and just as dangerous. And for everyone at Sweetwater everything changed, and nothing ever went back to the way it was before.
The maelstrom Lulu brings with her will affect Emily the most of all.

Siddons crafts a riveting story about the idyll of childhood and the price we pay as we step toward adulthood and move beyond the boundaries of home. Her characters are well-rounded and believable. Emily comes across as a sensible girl who yearns for a kindred spirit, a vulnerability that Lulu latches onto. Even Lulu, conceivably the antagonist of the story, courts our sympathies as we learn of her sordid past. In many ways, she's a child herself.

Their relationship plays out in a way that has you hoping it's for real for Emily's sake. But woven into their developing friendship is an air of unease and even menace. This can only end badly, we think, but we read on because we want to be wrong. Siddons keeps us in her grip to the very end.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Classics Retold or Reimagined

The classics are books that lots of people are familiar with, whether you had to read them in your high school English class or just enjoy reading for fun. There are lots and lots of contemporary books that have been written as sequels, retellings, or reimagings of these classic works. This post will cover some of them, and there is a bibliography on the website and by the catalog computers if you would like to find out about more. Give one a try and see if the author was able to catch the same feeling or capture your interest in the same way that the classic does. Happy reading!

FIC ADRIAN / Chris Adrian              
Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
The Great Night                                                        

FIC AIKEN / Joan Aiken                           
A sequel to Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Eliza’s Daughter                                                     

FIC BORCHERT / Don Borchert           
Based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead         

FIC BROOKS / Geraldine Brooks
Based on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

FIC CLINCH / Jon Clinch           
Based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

SF CORNWALL / Emma Cornwall                    
Based on Dracula by Bram Stoker

FIC ESSEX / Karen Essex                       
Based on Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula in Love                                                                    

FIC GRAND / Porter Grand
Based on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott               
Little Women and Werewolves                                          

FIC HAMBLY / Barbara Hambly
Based on Dracula by Bram Stoker                      
Renfield: Slave of Dracula                                                 

FIC HART / Lenore  Hart                    
Based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher               

MYS HOROWITZ / Anthony Horowitz              
Based on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The House of Silk                                                                

FIC JORDAN / Hillary Jordan                             
Based on The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
When She Woke                                                                 

FIC KALPAKIA / Laura Kalpakian                     
A Sequel to Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Cosette: The Sequel to Les Miserables                          

MYS KING / Laurie King                          
Based on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice                                             
A Monstrous Regiment of Women                                   
A Letter of Mary                                                                    
The Moor                                                                               
O Jerusalem                                                                         
Justice Hall                                                                           
The Game                                                                            
Locked Rooms                                                                     
The Language of Bees                                                       
The God of the Hive                                                            
Pirate King                                                                            
Garment of Shadows                                                         

FIC KOONTZ / Dean Koontz                               
Based on Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein Series
Prodigal Son                                                                         
Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son     (graphic novel)
City of Night                                                                          
Dead and Alive                                                                    
Lost Souls                                                                             
The Dead Town                                                                   

SF LAMPLIGH / L. Jagi Lamplighter                 
Based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Prospero’s Daughter Series
Prospero Lost                                                                          
Prospero in Hell                                                                   
Prospero Regained                                                             

FIC LIVESEY / Margot Livesey              
Based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Flight of Gemma Hardy                                               

FIC MAGUIRE / Gregory Maguire & Douglas Smith 
Based on The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Wicked Years Series                                                  
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West                       
Son of a Witch                                                                      
A Lion Among Men                                                             
Out of Oz                                                                              

SF MIEVILLE / China Mieville                            
Based on Moby Dick by Herman Melville

FIC MOORE / Christopher Moore                      
Based on King Lear by William Shakespeare

FIC SMILEY / Jane Smiley                                   
Based on King Lear by William Shakespeare
A Thousand Acres                                                              

FIC SNODIN / David Snodin                               
Based on Othello by William Shakespeare       

FIC STOKER / Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
A sequel to Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula: The Un-Dead                                                       

FIC URBACH / Linda Urbach                             
Based on Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary’s Daughter                                              

FIC WINTERS / Ben H. Winters
Based on Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Android Karenina                                                                
Based on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters                                    

Some found in the Young Adult section:

YP FIC ANDERSON / Jodi Lynn Anderson
Based on Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Tiger Lily                                                                                

YP FIC CHAPMAN / Lara Chapman                                         
Based on Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

YP FIC GAUGHEN / A.C. Gaughen                   
Based on The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

Adele Griffin
Based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Bethany Griffin
Based on The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
Masque of the Red Death                                                  

YP FIC JAY / Stacey Jay              
Based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Juliet Immortal                                                                      
Romeo Redeemed                                                              

YP FIC PRATCHET / Terry Pratchett
Based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens