Monday, September 29, 2014

Bartlett Reads: What Would Erudite Read?



Welcome to the fifth post in the Bartlett Reads 2014 blog series! This year, our community-reads selection is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Each week in September, we'll feature the factions from Divergent and books that they might read. Next up is Erudite. They are known for intelligence and wisdom. What books might they like to read?

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

  Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping New York. Could the city's future rest with its most unlikely scientist? If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning's esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn't like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails. With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. Prudence quickly learns that an inquiry of this proportion is not confined to the lab. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. But there's no answer in sight-until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed "Typhoid Mary" by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn't been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery? Prudence is determined to find out. In a time when science is for men, she'll have to prove to the city, and to herself, that she can help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century.


 A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
 

 Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch


On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery. Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape. But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run---with only one place to go.


 The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.




If you're looking for books that explore secrets, try these. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bartlett Reads: What Would Dauntless Read?




Welcome to the fourth post in the Bartlett Reads 2014 blog series! This year, our community-reads selection is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Each week in September, we'll feature the factions from Divergent and books that they might read. Next up is Dauntless. They are known for bravery. What books might they like to read?

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Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?



In a gripping, moment-by-moment narrative based on a wealth of recently declassified documents and indepth interviews, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin focus on the story of the eleven young Marines who were the last men to leave, rescued from the Embassy roof just moments before capture, having voted to make an Alamo-like last stand. As politicians in Washington struggled to put the best face on disaster and the American ambassador refused to acknowledge that the end had come and to evacuate, these courageous men held their ground and helped save thousands of lives. They and their fellow troops on the ground and in the air had no room for error as frenzy broke out in the streets and lashing rains and enemy fire began to pelt the city. A riveting true story finally told, in full, by those who lived it.



Narrator Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday. They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The sociopath, whom Jack has dubbed Old Nick, visits at night, grudgingly doling out food and supplies. But Ma, as Jack calls her, proves to be resilient and resourceful--and attempts a nail-biting escape.  





Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.



 When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes, we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice. Convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes, instead, annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders.' Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England.


Stay tuned next week for more faction-based reads!




Monday, September 15, 2014

Bartlett Reads: What Would Candor Read?





Welcome to the third post in the Bartlett Reads 2014 blog series. This year, our community-reads selection is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Each week in September, we'll feature the factions from Divergent and books that they might read. Next up is Candor. They are known for always telling the truth. What books might they like to read?

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 All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.



 The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Ariely shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior, both intentionally and unintentionally. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards. But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty will change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.


 Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute, who has always done exactly what she wants, until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. Meanwhile she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...


 The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?



 You Can't Lie to Me by Janine Driver

Driver distills nearly two decades of behind-the-scenes knowledge, cutting-edge science, and relatable case studies into a simple, powerful five-step program. Whether it's with your teenager, spouse, mechanic, or fellow board member, and whether you are communicating face-to-face or through phone calls, e-mails, texts, Facebook posts, or handwritten notes, you will have all the tools and confidence you need to spot deception. More important, you will recognize the truth as you build the caring, authentic connections that make life worth living. In You Can't Lie to Me learn how to perfect your inner lie detector ("BS Barometer") and ban liars from your life, so you can feel more confident and create stronger, more trusting relationships.


Stay tuned next week for a new blog post about faction-style reading!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Pink Suit by N. M. Kelby

   On November 22, 1963, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy accompanied her husband to Dallas, Texas wearing a Chanel-style pink suit. She was still wearing that blood-stained suit when she accompanied her husband's body back to Washington D. C. hours later. This novel is about the people that created that infamous suit.

In the early 1960s, Chez Ninon was a well known, fashionable boutique in New York City. This is where Jackie Kennedy now buys her clothes after being criticized in the media for spending too much money on French designers. The story is really about the workers that painstakingly copied these designs into perfect garments for one of the most photographed women in the world and got absolutely no recognition for their efforts.

The Pink Suit is a fascinating portrayal of not just this one shop, but the mood of the 1960s in general and particularly all things Camelot.

Karen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bartlett Reads: What Would Amity Read?





Welcome to the second post in the Bartlett Reads 2014 blog series. This year, our community-reads selection is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Each week in September, we'll feature the factions from Divergent and books that they might read. Next up is Amity. They are known for peacefulness, nature, and pleasantness. What books might they like to read?







 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future, where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.




 Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 Peaches combines three unforgettable heroines who have nothing in common but the troubles that have gotten them sentenced to a summer of peach picking at a Georgia orchard.

Leeda is a debutante dating wrong-side-of-the-tracks Rex.

Murphy, the wildest girl in Bridgewater, likes whichever side Rex is on.

Birdie is a dreamer whose passion for Girl Scout cookies is matched only by her love for a boy named Enrico.

When their worlds collide, The Breakfast Club meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in an entirely original and provocative story with a lush, captivating setting.



 Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.

His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York.


  
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt

"Henry Smith's father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you." But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pickup truck that strikes Henry's older brother, Franklin. In the truck is Chay Chouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin's preparatory school, and the accident sparks racial tensions in the school--and in the well-established town where Henry's family has lived for generations. Caught between anger and grief, Henry sets out to do the only thing he can think of: climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, which he and Franklin were going to climb together. Along with Black Dog, whom Henry has rescued from drowning, and a friend, Henry leaves without his parents' knowledge. The journey, both exhilarating and dangerous, turns into an odyssey of discovery about himself, his older sister, Louisa, his ancestry, and why one can never escape from Trouble.


 Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens, both named Will Grayson, are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical.







Stay tuned next week for a new blog post about faction-style reading!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons

Hmmm... not really sure what to say about this one. Anne Rivers Siddons is one of my favorite authors, but The Girls of August, well, let's just say if you've never read her before, do not start with this one. If you haven't read her before, then this is an OK beach read.

Four twenty-something women meet when their husbands all attend the same medical school, and a bond develops. Since their husbands are busy all the time, the women begin taking an annual trip together every August, and this goes on for years. Each year, it's a different house and a different experience.

But when one of them is killed in a car accident, everything stops. A few years go by, and the girls decide it's time to try again. This time, however, there's a new wife. A very young new wife.

Can these girls all get along?

If you decide not to care (which I did) at least the description of coastal South Carolina is nice.

Karen

Read-alike author: Nancy Thayer.

Think Like a Freak by Seven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner


Think Like a Freak is Levitt's and Dubner's third Freakonomics book (there is also: Freakonomics: a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything and it's follow up Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance).  This addition is all about trying to help readers think a little bit more like the authors of this book. Tips include thinking like a child (sometimes) and asking some questions that may seem obvious. If you liked the Freakonomics you will most likely find this book interesting and it definitely makes you look at things differently. This reader liked it more than Super Freakonomics, but the first is still the favorite. However, for those that did read Super Freakonomics there is an amusing bit of information given regarding terrorists and life insurance. Overall and enjoyable read or listen* (this book, along with the others in this series, is read by Stephen J. Dubner).

For more Freakonomics you can check out their podcast

If you like Think Like a Freak you may also want to check out:
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Lisa