Red Rising by Pierce Brown

First ImpressionsRed Rising
I had heard a lot of buzz about Red Rising online and in Entertainment Weekly, but when it came to the library for me I hesitated to read another dystopian novel. I waited until it was almost due and then devoured it in one day.

Drive-By Summary
Darrow is a 16 year miner who lives under the surface of Mars. He and his family live in clans, digging night and day for an element to help make Mars habitable for humans.  They are the lowest group, the Reds, in a class system that is ruled by the “Golds”. The Golds rule with brutality and secrecy and when Darrow rebels against them after a tragic sequence of events, he pays the ultimate price and the story really begins.

My Favorite Character
I really like Darrow because he goes through so many changes throughout the story, but there are many great characters in this book; a girl named Mustang, a brilliant Gold who saves his life, Eo, his young wife, and Sevro, a most unlikely friend and ally.

Words to Live By
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Recommended For
Anyone who liked The Hunger Games, the Divergent series or Ender’s Game would enjoy this book.

Final Say
I am really excited about this book. It is the first in a trilogy and I am anxious to get back to Mars and find out what happens. This book will appeal to adults and teens a like. It is science fiction, but also a love story and a story of friendship, revenge, and justice. It is so much more than all the other dystopian books out there these days!

Grab a copy of Red Rising today!

– Lesley

Summer Reading Reviews, Week 3

Here are some more great reviews from our Summer Reading for Adults program:

Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea HandlerBook Cover
2 Stars
I chose this book due to the front cover with Chelsea dressed in a high-end, floor length gown and an elephant alongside her. The book is a long, tongue-in-cheek dictionary of Chelsea’s safari adventures; it turns out she and five friends were the safari, the animals were a ploy in this tedious tale. Chelsea Handler says whatever she wants and will go that extra mile to raise a few eyebrows. Not as funny as I first thought. Bordering on clumsy and offensive.

Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie HuangFresh Off the Boat
4 Stars
This lively memoir explores identity, race and hip-hop from the perspective of a Taiwanese American chef. Laugh out loud funny, this brash book talks about aspiration and assimilation in a no holds barred style with insight and verve.

 

Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinBook Cover
4 Stars
I loved-hated this book, would read and get mad, put it down, then couldn’t resist picking it up again. The characters are amazing and I am easily caught up in this world.

 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
5 Stars
Not my usual cup of tea bookwise, but I devoured this book in an afternoon. Do read it.

 

 

Would you like to see your review here?  Review a book, using this form, and turn it in at any Bellingham Public Library location for a chance to get your review featured on Read More! and to earn a prize.

The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey

First ImpressionsBook Cover
My love of adventure, Hawaii and wanting to listen to something humorous I decided to download this audio book from Washington Anytime Library.

Drive-by Summary
I was intrigued by the picture of a hula girl on the cover. She is the hula girl of pure stench. The thought of a hula girl with gas was a cheeky idea. For me, Hawaii is somewhere between heaven and earth; the air is permeated with exotic scents and delightful sounds.

Two men are given a gift of a “treasure map” to the Golden Monkey by a wizen travel agent which leads them to adventure, danger and possibly regret.  Satirical, witty, and outlandishly bizarre think of fairy tales as told by Hunter S. Thompson or Jimmy Buffett’s zany stories. Jack Handey is quite dandy with world play:

“Sticky dynamite, souvenir hula girl made of pure stench, pineapple wood, a cardboard canoe and polinkas.”

Jack Handey, a humorist for the New Yorker takes you on a psychotic inspired journey and will make you laugh out loud with his stories too bawdy to be told to children.

Sound Bite
Jack Handey also narrates his own audiobook and does a masterful job.  Check it out:

https://soundcloud.com/hachetteaudio/stench-of-honolulu-jack-handey

My Favorite Character
Jack as himself – although you really not sure who he actually is!

Words to Live By
The following quotes came from a chapter called “Theories”.   They are theories the narrator had developed while staying as a guest at Dr. Ponzari’s, a scientist:

“Humans are evolving into a higher form and a lower form and at the same time. Confused? Then guess which one you are.”

“Birds evolved from dinosaurs, but guess what dinosaurs evolved from? That’s right! Birds!”

“When you die you become pure energy, but it’s not what we call reusable energy.”

Recommended For
Anyone who would like to be entertained or disgusted because Jack Handey will do both in a matter of minutes!

Final Say
I expected something very different from this audiobook and am happy to say that it had me laughing maniacally.  I had to stop listening to it at work for fear someone may hear me and wonder if I had lost my mind.

You can grab The Stench of Honolulu, in multiple formats, at the Bellingham Public Library.

- Keyla

Summer Reading Reviews, Week 2

Here are some more great reviews from our Summer Reading for Adults program:

Gone Girl by Gillian WelchGone Girl
5 Stars
Whodunit that alternates between the louche husband of the diary left behind by the woman who disappeared on her anniversary. Well drawn characters offer a chilling read that will keep you turning pages.

 

 

My Real Children by Jo WaltonMy Real Children
5 Stars
In alternating chapters, Walton tells the Story of Patricia Cowan’s parallel lives. One decision will lead to two very different endings. Pack this book for the beach.

 

 

Ghost Bride by Yangsze ChooGhost Bride
3 Stars
A rather unusual tale read by the author. Ghost Bride encompasses traditional lore from China and Malaysia in which families ensure that the dead and departed have all their needs met even in the after life. The main character Li Lan accidentally sends herself to the underworld after she makes a special tea; leaving her body, her spirit travels to the world of the dead in order to solve the mysterious death of her “dead” bethrothed young master Linn.

Would you like to see your review here?  Review a book, using this form, and turn it in at any Bellingham Public Library location for a chance to get your review featured on Read More! and to earn a prize.

Win Tickets to See J.A. Jance at the Chuckanut Radio Hour

Village-Books-JA-Jance-Bellingham

Mystery fans are you as excited about the Thursday, July 24 Chuckanut Radio Hour as we are?!

You totally should be!  Reader favorite, J. A. Jance, will be at WCC’s Heiner Theater at 6:30 p.m. to talk about her new book, Remains of Innocence.

Local theater + great mystery author = Argh!  That is totally awesome.

But even better?  You now have a chance to win 2 tickets to see her live courtesy of Village Books.  All you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us which previous Chuckanut Radio Hour author you liked best and/or the title of your favorite J.A. Jance book.  Then, on Tuesday, July 22, we will randomly select one comment to receive two Chuckanut Radio Hour tickets.

What are you waiting for?  Leave us a comment now!

 

Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland

First ImpressionsBook Cover
Worst.  Person.  Ever.  is a fast-paced story of terrible things happening to a terrible person; brought to life by prose steeped in the witty energy of pop culture.  Coupland satires everything including junk food, nuclear testing and airport security.  His mockery may be too low-brow at times, but sometimes you just need to roll with it and watch the nonsense unfold.  And if you miss a brand name or song reference?  Coupland will explain it for you, using the handy book equivalent of Pop-Up Video.

The results?  Such offensive.  Much sex.  Many profanity.  Very laughing.  Wow.

Drive-By Summary
Raymond Gunt is a washed-up, lecherous, self-glorifying cameraman whose equally despicable ex-wife offers him a job shooting a Survivor-style TV show in Kiribati.  Bereft of friends and in need of a production assistant, Gunt recruits the help of Neal, a homeless person he attacked only hours prior.  The pair clink glasses at the airport and jet off – what could go wrong?  Their adventures are a sarcastic send-up of consumerism, celebrity and dignity, with Gunt finding himself going from bad to worse to unspeakably, cringingly appalling; all while entertaining delusions of being an unfairly-targeted-by-fate version of Jason Bourne with no personal responsibility.

My Favorite Character
If Gunt is the worst person ever, Neal is the best – hard-working and humble, his successes make Gunt’s failures just that much more infuriating.

Words to Live By
“Behind her desk sat Fiona, elfin, her pixie hair dyed a cruel black.  She cocked an eyebrow at me.  “Jesus, Raymond, I’ve seen rhesus monkeys that look hotter than you.”  She was busy piling caviar atop a Ritz cracker.

“Lovely to see you, too, dear.”

Her office was well-oiled leather and chiseled steel, a fine enough reflection of her method of handling daily life.  What was painfully evident was that Fi was minting money with her casting agency.  The joke was on me for having suggested that she give the casting gig a try.  She’s an expert at meeting people and figuring out instantly what their personal style of lying is and how to make it work for them.  What else if acting, if not that?

But you do need to know that Fi is a dreadful, dreadful, dreadful person.  She is monstrous.  She is the Anti-shag.  She is an atomic bomb of pain.  If you puncture her skin, a million baby spiders will explode from her body and devour you alive, pupating your remains, all the while making little squeaking noises that will taunt you while you die in excruciating agony.”

Recommended For
Fans of Max Barry, Chuck Palahniuk and The Cure.  If you cannot stomach the obscenities of South Park, despair of a Graham Linehan comedy or the puerile absurdity of a Jackass sketch, then this isn’t the book for you.

Final Say
This May, Coupland unveiled an eight foot tall statue of his head outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, which the public will be invited to contribute to by pressing their discarded chewing gum onto his fiberglass face.  If that isn’t enough to make you curious about an author, this is the only book that has sent me racing across the room to look up a YouTube URL.

You can pick up Worst. Person. Ever. at the Bellingham Public Library.

– Nicky

Summer Reading Reviews, Week 1

Here are three awesome reviews that we received from Summer Reading for Adults participants during the first week of the program.

Trickster’s Choice by Tamora PierceBook Cover
Rating: 4 Stars
Superb YA novel that fives voice to the adolescent struggle to find engaging purpose set in a fantasy world with importat stakes that comment on conditions in our society. GREAT read!

 

 

Northwest Foraging by Doug BenolielBook Cover
Rating: 5 Stars
The beauty of this book is that the chapters are written in categories: easy to identify, good-tasting and highly nutritious, of special interest to hiker/camper, of special interest to the city dweller, and seasonal plants. All poisonous plants are clumped together making it easy to identify any plant before you pick something you may regret touching. I was happy to see so many different types of uses for each plant. I have learned all about what types of berries are available in the wild that are easy to gather.

 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara KingsolverBook Cover
Rating: 3 Stars
Kingsolver is at her best when she writes nonfiction. Her depth of research shows.

 

 

Would you like to see your review here?  Review a book, using this form, and turn it in at any Bellingham Public Library location for a chance to get your review featured on Read More! and to earn a prize.

Summer Reading for Adults at a Glance

Summer Reading Poster

 

Summer Reading for Adults might be one of Bellingham Public Library’s best programs that most people don’t know about.* You can explore what the library has to offer, write reviews of books you loved (or really hated – we don’t judge), earn cool badges, and find interesting new reads with a chance of winning a weekly prize or even one of our larger, end-of-summer prizes.  It is a sweet deal, honestly.

Want to know more? Then, in no particular order, here are our favorite things about the 2014 Summer Reading for Adults program:

It is okay to be analog!09 Adult Flask
We know that being on a computer in the summer can be a huge drag.  Thankfully, we have a handy paper form available at all of our locations (and, yes, online too) that allows you to get credit for reading, rating, and reviewing books.  Just read a book, write down the title and author, then give it a quick star rating and/or write a review, then turn it in at the library of your choosing.  We even have a handy reading list to help you find new and interesting books to read.

Badges are the new black.
BADGES.  They are awesome and you can earn them for doing a whole bunch of neat things with our new online Summer Reading program.  Like eBooks?  There’s a badge for that.  Follow the library on Facebook?  There’s a badge for that too.  There is even a badge for earning all the other badges!  Shoot, if you are reading this and are following Read More! via email, you have already earned the Read…More! badge and a chance to win a sweet prize.

Winning isn’t everything, but the rewards are pretty sweet.12 Adult Atom
Speaking of prizes, every time you submit a paper form or earn a badge you are eligible to win a weekly prize throughout the summer and one of several grand prizes at the end of the program.  Weekly prizes consist of the zippered Friends of the Bellingham Public Library bag, a bumper sticker, and a small surprise.  Our grand prizes include 3 Village Books gift certificates, a Kindle Paperwhite, and a Nook Simple Touch.  Reading may be its own reward, but wouldn’t it be sweet if you were reading a great book on a new eReader?

Learn more about the history of electricity-for free!
The fantastic people over at the Spark! Museum have given us 100 free pass to their museum this summer to encourage people of all ages to learn more about science and electricity. Plus, when you visit the museum, you can earn the Explorer badge and be eligible for our prizes.  You just need to visit the Central Library and ask for a free pass at the Reference Desk which is located near the public computers.  Do it soon – before all the passes are gone!

It is nice to have friends.06 Adult Tubes Books
Specifically, it is great to have the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library supporting our library.  Their sponsorship of Summer Reading for Adults is the reason we have our new online program AND our spiffy rewards.  If you know one of our Friends, please thank them!  And, if you are a Friend, THANK YOU for everything.

There is, of course, a lot more to enjoy and discover with our summer reading program – so check it out today!  You might be surprised at what you find.  The program runs now through Sunday, August 31.

*Except for you, dear readers! You are all hardcore bibliophiles.  Which is awesome.

Well, that was unexpected…

I'm Sorry Movie Title Card

Man, where has the time gone?  More importantly, where has Read More been?

Good questions, readers! The Read More Librarian was working on a really big project and let May and June escape without a single blog post.   We very sorry about that – and will not let it happen again.

We have a bunch of great reviews, lists, features, and a giveaway coming your way as consolation to help you with all your summer reading needs.

And speaking of summer reading, have you heard about our Summer Reading for Adults program?  It is a great way to earn prizes for doing two things you already enjoy – reading and visiting the library!  Over the next week on Read More we will be taking a look at some of the cool things you can do to participate and win this summer.  We will also be highlighting some of the great reviews we have received so far this summer.

Stay tuned!  Good things are just around the corner.

#WBN2014

World Book Night logoIt’s World Book Night!  As we told you back in November, eager librarians and community members will be handing out free books tonight in an effort to spread the joy of reading.  You have a chance of getting a book on the bus, at your gym, while you are getting coffee … the possibilities are endless.

Awesome, right?!  But wait, it gets better…

Five of your favorite Bellingham Public Library employees will be handing out books this evening at the Grand Avenue Ale House around 5:30 p.m.  So stop by, grab a beer and a bite, and enjoy some free literature courtesy of World Book Night.

And if you don’t get a free book tonight, you can always check them out (for free!) at the Bellingham Public Library.  We even have a handy list of the 2014 World Book Night Picks for you to choose from:

World Book Night 2014, pt. 1

World Book Night 2014, pt. 2