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Staff favorites from 2013
Cover Art This year, we polled HCL staff about their favorite books of 2013. The Other Typist was the most likely to be voted “Most Impressive Debut,” while Eleanor & Park was a popular choice for "Best Teen Book." In the "Children’s Books" category, The Day the Crayons Quit, Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson and Counting by 7s were popular. Here are the results:
HCL Staff Picks: Adult Nonfiction
HCL Staff Picks: Adult Fiction
HCL Staff Picks: Teen
HCL Staff Picks: Children’s Books
HCL Staff Picks: Underappreciated Gems
posted Dec 30, 2013 by Ian S. Category: Fiction

Trying something new
Cover Art Now that the holidays are coming to a close, life is becoming less hectic and possibly more open for leisure activities like reading. As you ponder the myriad possibilities, consider escaping into new worlds through a different genre: graphic novels. There's manga and action heroes, but there are also complex, thought-provoking stories about any number of ordinary topics that come to life through art. It's a unique way to experience a gripping story.

If you're looking for a good place to start, look no further than Bookspace. Our librarians have put together lists of a range of highly-regarded graphic novels. Don't discount this special genre as you think about your next read. Your new favorite book might be shelved where you least expected it.
posted Dec 25, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Graphic Novels

eBook classes continue
Mobile devices, including ereaders, are among the most popular holiday gifts. Whether you or someone you know gets a Kindle, iPad or other device this December, make sure to check out our ebook classes in January! We'll show you how to search for ebooks on our website, place requests, and check out titles to your ereader. Classes fill up fast, so make sure to register as soon as you can online or by calling your local library.
posted Dec 18, 2013 by Anne P. Category: eBooks

Stay connected
Cover Art Ever wonder how the request list got so long before you even heard about a new book? Most likely it's because other readers in Hennepin County are taking advantage of the author alert option in Bookspace. When you create a Bookspace account, you can make a list of your favorite authors and be alerted by email or text when the library orders an author's new book. It's a great way to stay ahead of the curve and make sure to get a hot title sooner.
posted Dec 11, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

Read on
Cover Art With the current success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in theaters, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is back in the public eye, as is the long request list for all three books in Hennepin County Library. If you're looking for other similar adventures, check out our list of Hunger Games read-a-likes. We've put together a collection of exciting dystopian fiction titles for adults and teens that will give you the thrills and chills of The Hunger Games without the long wait.
posted Dec 4, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

National Book Awards announced
Cover Art The National Book Awards were announced on November 20. Winners in the four major categories were:

The Good Lord Bird
James McBride

The Unwinding: an Inner History of the New America
George Packer

Incarnadine: Poems
Mary Szybist

Young People's Literature:
The Thing About Luck
Cynthia Kadohata

posted Nov 27, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

Honoring Doris Lessing
Cover Art British author Doris Lessing passed away this week at the age of 94. The legendary writer published works in many genres, from short stories to plays to novels, and was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007. The honor recognized Lessing as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny."

Lessing is probably best remembered for her 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, which explored the emotional turmoil of a struggling career woman. This work would be a harbinger for the socially conscious works Lessing created over her life, works that encouraged a discourse about important topics such as apartheid, Communism, and domestic violence. Her strong, unique voice in the literary world will be missed.
posted Nov 20, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

Library book clubs
Cover Art What titles do we recommend for book clubs? Here's a rundown of what Hennepin County Libraries are reading this month:

*Maple Grove Library
I Still Dream About You
Fannie Flagg

Defending Jacob
William Landay

*St. Louis Park Library:
The Soul Thief
Charles Baxter

*Ridgedale Library:
The Lost City of Z
David Grann

*Linden Hills Library:
Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri

*Champlin Library:
The Likeness
Tana French

*Westonka Library:
Mayor of the Universe
Lorna Landvik

Sound intriguing? Check out the full list of dates and times and join us at your local library. New readers are always welcome!
posted Nov 13, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

Sell Me On: Daniel Silva
Cover Art You've seen the name, you know he writes mysteries that sell. But who is Daniel Silva? Is he worth checking out? Here's the scoop:

Name: Daniel Silva
Genres: Thrillers/Espionage
Popular series written by Silva: the best-selling of Silva's books relate to Gabriel Allon, an Israeli art restorer who also serves as a spy and hired assassin. The first of the series was published in 2000 and the Allon novels have since picked up in popularity with the publication of 13 total novels, the latest of which is The English Girl.
What makes him stand out: Silva's novels have the unique perspective of a character who lives in and understands the Middle East, where most of the books are set. His books feature the quick pace and action-packed plot readers enjoy about the genre, but also deeper revelations about the war on terror and the complexities of the times we live in.
Where to start: The Kill Artist, the first in the Allon series
posted Nov 6, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

The right story to listen to
Cover Art Why listen to a book when you could read it? Listeners are inspired for a variety of reasons, from reading challenges to long car trips. But devoted listeners will also tell you that a bad narrator can poison their view of the book itself, so choosing the right audiobook is key.

If you're looking for highly-praised audiobooks from the past several years, look no further than Bookspace. Our librarians have compiled lists of some of our favorites (fiction and nonfiction) but also lists of award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles that will help you select a book you're sure to love.

Happy Listening!
posted Oct 30, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Audiobooks

Who is Eleanor Catton?
Cover Art That was the question many readers were asking when Catton received the prestigious Man Booker Prize last week for her second novel, The Luminaries.

But Eleanor Catton also received great attention and extraordinary praise for her first novel, The Rehearsal, which was published in 2008 when she was only 23. The New Zealand-born writer now holds two distinctions: she is the youngest writer ever to receive this literary award (28) and The Luminaries weighs in as the longest book ever to win (832 pages).

Catton's epic novel tells the story of Walter Moody, a wanderer who comes to work in the New Zealand goldfields in 1866. Over the course of the story, Moody finds himself entangled in a "series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries."
posted Oct 23, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

And the Nobel Prize goes to..
Cover Art Alice Munro! On October 10, this year's Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the revered Canadian author, whom the committee described as a "master of the contemporary short story." Munro's writing career effectively began in 1968 with the publication of Dance of the Happy Shades, a collection of short stories that made her a popular literary figure in her native Canada. Since then Munro has gained an international following, thanks to her 14 original short-story collections and six short-story compilations.

In writing about Munro's style, the Nobel Prize commitee says, "her texts often feature depictions of everyday but decisive events, epiphanies of a kind, that illuminate the surrounding story and let existential questions appear in a flash of lightning." Others have described her as the Canadian Chekhov for the depth of her characters and social commentary.

Congratulations to this gifted, much-loved author!

posted Oct 16, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

Gearing up for Halloween
Cover Art While there may not be a literal chill in the air, you can always feel a stirring of something creepy come October. As the leaves blow in the wind and darkness settles in earlier and earlier, we know that Halloween is coming soon and tis the season for horror, whether your tastes run toward the classic or contemporary. If you've missed out on the Poes and Gaimans up until now, what better time of year to treat yourself?
posted Oct 9, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

R.I.P. Tom Clancy
Cover Art Popular author Tom Clancy passed away this week at the age of 66. Clancy wrote many successful political thrillers, such as The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, which went on to become Hollywood blockbusters.

Find a more complete list of Tom Clancy titles in the HCL catalog and don't forget to check out Bookspace for other great mystery recommendations!
posted Oct 4, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

Sell Me On: Michael Pollan
Cover Art Maybe you've seen the name on the bestseller list or heard him interviewed. But who is Michael Pollan? Is he an author you'd enjoy? Here's the scoop:

Name: Michael Pollan
Genres: Nonfiction exploration of food, the food industry and the American diet.
Popular books written by Pollan: Pollan is well-known for a number of books, especially Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma.
What makes him stand out: Readers enjoy Pollan's research and perspective about issues of health through nutrition mixed with larger cultural issues of food production. He presents unsettling truths, but does so in a manner that is readable and consistently fascinating.
Where to start: If you are curious about these questions of our cultural relationship to food, any of Pollan's books will be of interest.
posted Sep 9, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Nonfiction

Finding your next favorite book
Cover Art Ever read a book you absolutely loved and wanted to find something else just like it? Librarians at Hennepin County Library get asked about several books or authors in particular and have put together read-a-like lists, including ones for recent bestsellers Gone Girl and The Help.

Maybe it wasn't so much as the book itself as the type of book. You can also find genre lists on Bookspace that include popular types of books, ranging from Family Sagas to Psychological Suspense to Food Writing.

But whether you're looking for more of the same or a new surprise favorite, Bookspace has got you covered.
posted Sep 4, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

Farewell, Elmore Leonard
Cover Art Elmore Leonard, the hugely successful writer behind such modern-day classics as Get Shorty and Out of Sight, passed away on August 20 at the age of 87. Leonard was known as a crime writer with a keen sense of humor and his style made a lasting imprint not just on the literary world, but on the movie world, where adaptations of his work gained widespread popularity and recognition.

If you're unfamiliar with Leonard's work, but enjoy a gripping caper, check out his myriad titles in our catalog. And be sure to check out Bookspace to find other great reads in a wide range of genres.
posted Aug 26, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Talk of the Stacks this fall
Cover Art Talk of the Stacks returns this fall with a series of eclectic and exciting programs. The lectures, held at the Minneapolis Central Library, are free and open to the public. Upcoming speakers include:

September 12:
Larry Watson and Jon Pineda

October 25:

November 13:
Amy Tan

December 12:
Nikki Giovanni

Learn more about this lecture series and mark your calendars now! All four events promise to standing room only.
posted Aug 19, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Events

Romance is in the air
Cover Art The RITA Awards, the highest award for romance genre fiction, were recently announced at the Romance Writers of America Conference in Atlanta. Among the big winners were:

Best First Book:
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
by Simone St. James

Historical Romance:
A Rogue by Any Other Name
by Sarah MacLean

Inspirational Romance:
Against the Tide
by Elizabet Camden

Browse the complete list of winners and be sure to check out Bookspace for other great romance titles!
posted Aug 12, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Romance

One Minneapolis One Read book discussions
Cover Art One Minneapolis One Read commences in September around the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Library is pleased to offer a series of book discussions relating to this year's book, A Choice of Weapons. We welcome you to join us as we explore the life of Gordon Parks and the larger issues of race, class, and artistic voice in Minneapolis history.

Check our Events page to find a book discussion near you as well as other programming in support of this year's event.
posted Aug 5, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

Sell Me On: Kristin Hannah
Cover Art Maybe you've seen the name on the bestseller list or noticed her most recent book prominently displayed at a local bookstore. But who is Kristin Hannah? Is she an author you'd enjoy? Here's the scoop:

Name: Kristin Hannah
Genres: family relationships/gentle fiction/female friendship
Popular series written by Hannah: Hannah has been known for her stand-alone works until the recent publication of Fly Away, the sequel to her popular 2008 novel Firefly Lane.
What makes her stand out: Hannah writes gentle, emotional stories that speak to the heart and exhibit a rare understanding of female friendship. Readers often turn to her novels when they're looking for a satisfying tearjerker.
Where to start: the Kate and Tully stories, listed above, are probably this author's most popular works, but readers could start with any of her well-received novels, including Home Front, On Mystic Lake, and True Colors.
posted Jul 29, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

New Pen Pals season
Cover Art The Friends of Hennepin County Library recently announced the new line-up for their Pen Pals Author Lecture series. Commencing in October, this year's guests range from George Saunders, whose Tenth of December has received unanimous acclaim in recent months, to Art Spiegelman, whose graphic novel Maus established the genre as a legitimate art form and continues to be one of its most recognized and respected examples 20 years later.

Connect with your bibliophile friends and get your tickets early! It promises to be a memorable and extremely popular season!
posted Jul 24, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Events

For the love of great food
Cover Art In a season of family reunions, neighborhood block parties and any number of other get-togethers, finding new and exciting recipes to share is part of the fun. The James Beard Foundation Awards, presented this spring, honor cookbooks of all categories, including vegetarian and international cuisine, beverage recipes and baking and desserts. You can also find their picks for food memoirs and professional instruction books. Wherever your heart--and stomach!--is drawn, the JBF Awards offer some wonderful suggestions to expand your cooking repertoire this summer! Here is a brief sampling:

*Cookbook of the Year:
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America
by Maricel E. Presilla

*American Cooking:
Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking
by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits & Pieces
Photographer: Katie Quinn Davies
posted Jul 15, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

Lightening up
Cover Art Among the most popular nonfiction titles are the essays, short stories and general musings of humorists. As they offer us a window into their wacky lives, we find some of the happiest escapes around. If you love David Sedaris, John Hodgman and Sloane Crosley, check out Bookspace's new list of Anecdotal Nonfiction. Further great summer reading awaits!
posted Jul 8, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Nonfiction

Summer listening for grown-ups!
Cover Art If you're not lying on a beach, you may be in the car on a summer road trip. For those with a long stretch of road ahead of them and a desire for a good story, behold! Fantastic audiobooks for summer reading:

*Extraordinary Audio
*Urban Fiction Audiobooks on CD
*Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense
*Selected Fiction
*Award Winning Nonfiction
*Great Listening Experiences
posted Jul 1, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Audiobooks

Summer reading for grown-ups!
Cover Art Given library circulation stats, it's clear that readers of all ages consume more books than ever during the summer, with or without an official reading incentive program. For adults looking for great summer reads, here are some of our staff and patron book lists to inspire you:

*Humorous Fiction
*Family Relationships
*Stupendous Summer Reads
*Beach Reads for Sex and the City fans
*Pure Fluff
*Interesting New Mysteries (Summer 2013)
*What We're Reading Summer 2013
*Magical Escapes
*If You Like Gone Girl
*World Historical Fiction
*Not Exactly Beach Reads...

posted Jun 24, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

R.I.P. Vince Flynn
Cover Art We are saddened to hear of the passing of Vince Flynn, the prolific Minnesota author of popular political thrillers. Flynn's writing career began with the publication of Term Limits in 1997, introducing the world to Mitch Rapp, an undercover CIA agent fighting terrorism. There are 14 books in the series and the 15th, called Survivor, is scheduled for release in October of this year.

Explore Flynn's other works in the library catalog and learn more about his life and career on the official Vince Flynn website.
posted Jun 19, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Fiction

Gay pride at the library
Cover Art June is LGBT Pride Month in the United States. As delineated by an article from the Library of Congress, "the purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally."

Here in Hennepin County, the Twin Cities Pride Festival will be held June 28-30 and Hennepin County Library will be tabling at the event. We hope you will stop by and say hello if you're in the park for the festivities!

To further celebrate Pride Month, browse our lists of GLBTQ fiction and nonfiction for all ages:

*GLBTQ Voices (Nonfiction)
*GLBTQ Voices (Fiction)
*Celebrating Our Family Stories for Kids
*GLBTQ Families for Birth to Six
posted Jun 17, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Events

Resources for your book club
Cover Art If you are a book club member, you've probably experienced the frustration of not being able to get the book from the library in time for your meeting. Did you know that Hennepin County Library has book club kits? You can choose from hundreds of titles, reserve the kit online and have multiple copies of the book to hand out to your fellow book club members at the same time.

While you're browsing for your next book club selection, make sure to visit Bookspace for lists of popular book club titles, tips on leading a meaningful discussion and much, much more!
posted Jun 12, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

Awards for mysteries
Cover Art Looking for the right mystery for summer? Consider an award winner! The Edgar and Agatha Awards, both of which honor the year's finest mysteries, were presented in May. Among the winners were:

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
The Expats by Chris Pavone

And don't forget to check out Bookspace for librarian recommendations, readers' lists and updates on the latest mystery novels available at your library.
posted Jun 5, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Sci/Fi awards announced
Cover Art The Nebula Awards, honoring excellence in science fiction and fantasy literature, were held on May 18. Key categories and winners were:

Outstanding Novel
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Outstanding Novella
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress

Outstanding Novelette
Close Encounters by Andy Duncan

Check out the full list of winners and nominees and weigh in on your favorite sci/fi titles for 2012 by creating a readers' list in Bookspace!
posted May 26, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

eBook classes are here!
As you gear up for summer break and the delightful thought of sitting by the lake with 12 books in tow, you may be reconsidering that eReader you got for Christmas. Wouldn't it be nice to download all your books to one lightweight device instead of packing so many cumbersome books?

If learning the eBook technology has seemed a bit overwhelming for you, may we remind you that Hennepin County Library is offering eBook Basics classes in many locations over the next couple of months. You will learn how to search for books, download them to your device, and manage your digital account. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn the technology and start enjoying the wonder of eBooks!
posted May 22, 2013 by Anne P. Category: eBooks

Sell Me On: Tana French
Cover Art You've seen the name, you've heard the hype, you have a vague sense that she writes creepy psychological thrillers. But who is Tana French? Is she an author you'd enjoy? Here's the scoop:

Name: Tana French
Genres: Mystery stories/police procedurals/psychological suspense
Popular series written by French: French has written a total of four books, only two of which follow the same characters. But her most well-known book to-date is In the Woods, a thriller set in Dublin. French won numerous awards and widespread critical praise for her atmospheric detective story.
What makes her stand out: French creates vivid characters, nonformulaic plot twists and truly creepy stories that are perfect for those with a taste for the psychological, similar to Val McDermid.
Where to Start: In the Woods (2007)
posted May 15, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Talk of the Stacks returns!
Cover Art Do you love seeing author interviews such as Talking Volumes at the Fitzgerald? You're in luck! Hennepin County Library offers Talk of the Stacks, a series of author presentations and book-signings featuring some of the hottest writers around.

Our next set of Talk of the Stacks programs begins next month. The line-up is as follows:

Tuesday, June 11: David Rhodes
Monday, June 24: Colum McCann
Tuesday, July 23: Terry Brooks

All programs are held at the Minneapolis Central Library from 7:00-8:30pm. Learn more about the specifics of these authors and their visits. We hope to see you there!

posted May 8, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Events

One Minneapolis One Read III
Cover Art Hennepin County Library is delighted to participate in the third year of the One Minneapolis One Read program. Along with other community partners in Minneapolis, the library promotes reading, discussion and ongoing programming each year devoted to a book of local interest. This year's pick, A Choice of Weapons, tells the autobiographical story of Gordon Parks, a renowned photographer who grew up in the Twin Cities. His inspirational story promises to spark meaningful conversation as the program gets underway.

Get involved with One Minneapolis One Read this fall and, for other nonfiction recommendations of related interests, check out some of these great lists from Bookspace:
Black Voices
Biographies and Memoirs
Minnesota Experience
posted May 1, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Nonfiction

And the book award goes to...
Cover Art Book awards season has begun with two major awards' ceremonies held this month.

The Pulitzer Prize is awarded for journalism, letters, drama and music, with this year's winners announced April 15. In addition to two exciting wins for the Star Tribune, book winners included:
The Orphan Master's Son
Embers of War: the Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

On a local level, the Minnesota Book Awards were held on April 13. In major categories, a few of the winners were:
Rez Life
Curse of the Jade Lily
The Round House

To see the complete winners' lists, visit the websites of the Friends of the Saint Paul Library and the Pulitzer Prize.
posted Apr 24, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Awards

Cooking up some good conversation
Cover Art Food plays a magical role in many works of literature, from Edmund's Turkish delights in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to the fried green tomatoes from Fannie Flagg's Whistle Stop Cafe. And when planning a top-notch book club meeting, finding foods that relate to the book is the perfect finishing touch for great conversation.

Try one of these titles to find recipes and inspiration for your book club:
The Book Lover's Cookbook
The Book Club Cookbook
Kafka's Soup

Bon Appetit!
posted Apr 16, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

Author Theresa Weir Appearing at Ridgedale Library April 18
Cover Art Don't miss your opportunity to see author Theresa Weir at Ridgedale Library on Thursday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. Weir (aka Anne Frasier) will speak about her new memoir The Man Who Left and her previous work The Orchard.

I loved The Orchard, a gripping memoir about Theresa's brief courtship with a farmer and then her eye-opening experiences living on his apple orchard after they marry. O magazine said, "What do those perfectly round, shiny red apples really cost? This poignant memoir of love, labor, and dangerous pesticides reveals the terrible true price."

Books will be available for purchase and signing.
posted Apr 15, 2013 by Kim B. Category: Events

Sell Me On: Vince Flynn
Cover Art You've seen the name, you know his latest book has a million holds, you have a vague sense that he writes fast-paced thrillers. But who is Vince Flynn? Is he worth checking out? Here's the scoop:

Name: Vince Flynn
Genres: Political/suspense/anti-terrorism thrillers
Popular series written by Flynn: the Mitch Rapp chronicles, which follow an undercover CIA operative fighting terrorist plots
What makes him stand out: in the words of Publisher's Weekly, "Flynn knows his politicians and pits his characters against impossible odds with nonstop action and suspense."
Where to Start: American Assassin (2010)
posted Apr 10, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Award winning eBook collection
One of the options on the eBooks Advanced Search page allows you to limit your search to an award winning category. Choose an Audie award winning audiobook to listen to. Or browse the chilling titles that have won the Bram Stoker award.
posted Apr 5, 2013 by Carrie B. Category: eBooks

Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Cover Art This Alex Award winning story is about June, an awkward, intelligent fourteen-year-old girl who adored her uncle Finn. The story is told from June’s point of view. June is a loner who likes to walk in the woods and pretend she’s living in the Middle Ages. The novel explores her relationships with Finn, her often difficult older sister, and Finn’s boyfriend Toby whom she gets to know and secretly befriends after Finn dies of AIDS. I don’t think I will ever forget this wonderfully unique novel. A friend told me it was the best book she read last year, and I wonder if I will discover one I like more this year. I kind of doubt it.
posted Apr 3, 2013 by Kim B. Category: Fiction

Life After Game of Thrones
Cover Art The wait is finally over! Nearly a year after the completion of the second series, HBO will be airing the third season premiere of Game of Thrones this Sunday night, March 31. Based on the wildly successful George R.R. Martin books, the television drama series tells the story of the Seven Kingdoms and the charismatic personalities who are fighting for power.

If you found yourself won over by the intrigues, the scandals and all-around great fantasy storytelling, you may enjoy a similar epic series in our list of read-a-likes. These titles are Book 1 in multi-part science fiction series, allowing you to delve deep into other worlds and lose yourself in the escape. Enjoy and remember, winter is coming!
posted Mar 29, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Hardboiled in Scotland
If you've read and enjoyed authors such as John Sandford, Dennis Lehane, and Michael Connelly, you're reading a genre lovingly referred to as "hardboiled." These gritty narratives with a street smart protagonist are popular in the United States, with many authors from which to choose. However, Scotland seems to lend itself well to this genre, too. You might want to try authors such as Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Quintin Jardine, Val MacDermid, and a favorite of mine, Stuart MacBride.
posted Mar 26, 2013 by Jean B. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Inspired novel trips
Book your vacation, literally! Minnesota Monthly's April 2013 issue features 14 trips with Minnesota literary connections. Some of the books would make great book club books.
posted Mar 20, 2013 by Rose R. Category: Book Clubs

Coffee House Press to add Creative Nonfiction to Repetoire
Cover Art On March 1, Coffee House Press, a local publisher with a national reputation, announced it will publish essays and other creative nonfiction on a regular basis. As detailed in the full press release, the press "has published nonfiction titles in the past, including Kao Kalia Yang’s renowned memoir The Latehomecomer, Judith Kitchen’s recent essay collection, Half in Shade, and U Sam Oeur’s memoir, Crossing Three Wildernesses, the decision to include essays on a regular basis is a deliberate one in service of their mission."

If past titles are any indication, we have much to look forward to!
posted Mar 5, 2013 by Stephanie S. Category: Nonfiction

Book Clubs At Your Library
Cover Art If you stop by any Hennepin County Library this summer, you will be floored by the number of book clubs available for children and teens. At many locations, it's a long-standing institution and enthusiastic kids of all ages sign up early to make sure they're included. This is great, you may be thinking, but what about those of us a little older?

Hennepin County offers a variety of book clubs for adults that you may not know about. Take, for instance, the Mystery Adult Book Club at Nokomis or the Last Word Book Group at Southdale. These thriving reading communities may not be as noticeable as their young counterparts, but are no less successful or enjoyable for their members.

Ask your local librarian if your library has an Adult Book Group or if you could help to start one. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and share great books while you're at it!
posted Feb 20, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

Nebula Award Nominees Announced
Cover Art The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America just nominated their fellow writers in the following categories:

Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon
Tina Connolly's Ironskin
N.K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon
Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Drowning Girl
Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour in Glass
Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
Kelly Barnhill's Iron Hearted Violet
Holly Black's Black Heart
Leah Bobet's Above
Libba Bray's The Diviners
Sarah Beth Durst's Vessel
Rachel Hartman's Seraphina
Alethea Kontis' Enchanted
David Levithan's Every Day
Guadalupe Garcia McCall's Summer of the Marioposas
China Mieville's Railsea
E.C. Myers' Fair Coin
Jenn Reese's Above World

See the complete list on SFWA.
posted Feb 20, 2013 by Jody W. Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

What is the NY Times talking about?
Cover Art I like to read the New York Times Arts Beat blog to find out about best selling great titles I should be reading. Here's a quick run down of some mentioned in the past couple of months.

Bill Willingham's Fables
Robert Kirkman's Invincible
Ema Toyama's Missions of Love
Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis
Peter David's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower
Yuuki Kodama's Blood Lad
Tadashi Agi's The Drops of God
Osamu Tezuka's Message to Adolph
posted Feb 11, 2013 by Jody W. Category: Graphic Novels

Winter Jackets Reading Ideas
Cover Art In the midst of a blustery Minnesota winter, reading indoors where it's warm and cozy is hard to beat. Consider creating a book list of your favorite titles (or limit your list to a theme or category) on Bookspace -- it's so easy. Here's a list entitled Books Way Too Good to Miss. Avid readers will enjoy your suggestions during Winter Jackets.
posted Feb 10, 2013 by Kim B. Category: Fiction

Helpful videos for getting started
OverDrive offers videos to help you get started using digital material, including mobile devices, ebooks, and audio material.
posted Feb 7, 2013 by Carrie B. Category: eBooks

Sell Me On: David Baldacci
Cover Art If you're an avid reader, David Baldacci is a name you may have heard a few times. You know he's written a lot of books (about 35, according the Hennepin County library catalog), that people who read him seem to be obsessed with getting his latest title and maybe even that his first bestseller, Absolute Power, was made into a hit movie with Clint Eastwood. But if you don't know much more than that and aren't sure if this superstar author is right for you, here's the breakdown:

Name: David Baldacci
Genres: Suspense, political/legal, thrillers
Popular series written by Baldacci: Camel Club, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell
What makes him stand out: as Newsweek writes,"In these stressful times, Baldacci offers a break—and people who care about books should care about him."
Where to start: Baldacci offers many titles that stand-alone, including Total Control, The Winner and The Simple Truth. If you'd like to get into one of his five series, ask your local librarian for help finding the first title.
posted Feb 6, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Just in time for Valentine's Day
Cover Art Yearn for an epic love story? Hanker for a four-hanky romance? Find your heart's desire on BookSpace Romance from Contemporary to ChickLit to Suspense.
posted Feb 5, 2013 by DJ Category: Romance

Celebrate Black History Month
Cover Art Read, Learn, Explore and Enjoy!
posted Feb 5, 2013 by Jen L. Category: Nonfiction

Minnesota Book Award Finalists Named
The Minnesota Book Award finalists were named in eight categories. The state book awards gala is April 13, 2013 in Minneapolis.
posted Jan 30, 2013 by Rose R. Category: Book Clubs

New York Magazine's Self-Help Issue
Cover Art Like you do every year, you took a long hard look at yourself after the holidays and decided you needed to get fit, manage your debt, get more organized, etc. About now you're realizing just how hard it is to break bad habits. You might find yourself heading to the library to look for The 4-Hour Workweek, The Power of Habit, or Daring Greatly to help you figure out how to get back on track.

Did you resolve to read more in 2013? Check out last week's issue of New York Magazine, which took some interesting, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous looks at self-help as a category. In The Power of Positive Publishing, Boris Kachka looks at the history and changing nature of self-help publishing. In The Self in Self-Help, Kathryn Schulz wonders how we can help our self if we don't even know what a self is. In How to Read 31 Books in Four Minutes, staff writers read and summarize 31 currently popular self-help books so you don't have to! And for a little comic relief, SNL's Bill Hader, provides 7 Steps to Becoming a Highly Effective Bill Hader.
posted Jan 22, 2013 by Stephanie Steinwedel Category: Nonfiction

2013 Edgar Awards
The Mystery Writers of America released the Edgar Nominations for best mystery writing on January 16th. How many have you read?
posted Jan 18, 2013 by Jean B. Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

How to narrow your search
OverDrive offers multiple ways to search our digital collection. You can use Advanced Search to narrow your search topic, it's in the upper right corner of the OverDrive page. Or, if you start with a subject area to browse through you can then limit your results by the categories offered in the Filter Search By column.
posted Jan 18, 2013 by Carrie B. Category: eBooks

100 Best Books of All Time?
Cover Art In 2002 one hundred authors from 54 countries were asked to name their top 10 works of fiction of all time. The result is this compilation of the 100 Best Books of All Time. I have read only 23 of these titles so I have some catching up to do. I was surprised to see Pippi Longstocking on this list but Norwegian Book Clubs came up with the idea to do the compilation so perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. Take a look and see how many you have read (so far). By the way, if you click on the Print icon, you can see the 100 titles at one time.
posted Jan 16, 2013 by Kim B. Category: Fiction

Best of the Best
Since 1975 the Science Fiction Writers of America recognizes outstanding authors with a lifetime achievement award called the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. Here are just a few of the winners, including some from Minnesota!

Robert A. Heinlein (1975)
Clifford D. Simak (1977) - Minnesota
Andre Norton (1984)
Ray Brandbury (1989)
Damon Knight (1995)
Poul Anderson (1998) - Minnesota
Ursula K. Le Guin (2003)
Anne McCaffrey (2005)
Michael Moorcock (2008)
Connie Willis (2012)
Gene Wolfe (2013)
posted Jan 15, 2013 by Jody W. Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Where to get help
Visit the OverDrive Help page for information on using eBooks. You'll find an introduction to the new OverDrive Read interface, as well as information for using your specific device, including downloading software to get you started.
posted Jan 11, 2013 by Carrie B. Category: eBooks

Top Romance Novels of 2012
Cover Art Booklist named their best books of 2012 and USA Today listed the top sellers of the year.
posted Jan 7, 2013 by DJ Category: Romance

Todd M. Johnson at Ridgedale Library
Cover Art Edina native Todd M. Johnson will read from his accomplished debut novel The Deposit Slip tomorrow night (January 8) at 7:00 p.m. at the Ridgedale Library. Publisher's Weekly says, "With an irresistible set-up, suspense, a subtle love triangle, strong dialogue, characters, and a focused plot, Johnson makes a strong first literary case." Books will be available for purchase and signing.
posted Jan 7, 2013 by Kim B. Category: Fiction

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Take Franz Kafka's advice and browse the over 16,000 downloadable audiobooks the library offers for your listening pleasure.
posted Jan 4, 2013 by Carrie B. Category: Audiobooks

Oprah Returns
Cover Art For millions of avid readers, the term "book club" inevitably calls to the mind the wildly successful Oprah Book Club of yesteryear. Beginning with The Deep End of the Ocean in 1996, Oprah Winfrey engaged passionate readers and undoubtedly created many, many new readers with her show's monthly book discussion, often including the book's author for the conversation.

Although she no longer has a television show for a platform, Winfrey recently announced the commencement of Oprah 2.0 to continue her love of discussing books. This new online book club maintains the spirit of the original while utilizing technology from a new era. Based on the number of requests in Hennepin County for her two current picks, Oprah wasn't the only one who missed the book club! Feeling nostalgic for the original? Check out our list of titles from Oprah 1.0 to get some great discussion-provoking titles for your own book club, too.
posted Jan 2, 2013 by Anne P. Category: Book Clubs

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