March 26, 2015

Staff Pick - Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief is the first in Rick Riordan’s series that follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, the half mortal son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the Sea. Unaware of his godly heritage, twelve year old Perseus “Percy” Jackson starts to learn of his true identity after an encounter with his pre-algebra teacher, who transforms into a mythological creature called a Fury and attacks him.

Sent home for summer vacation, Percy plans to enjoy a trip to the beach with his mother, until a giant Minotaur attacks them and sends her to the underworld. He wakes up at Camp Half-Blood where he learns that his best friend is a satyr (half goat) and his favorite teacher is a centaur. Oh, and that he’s the son of Poseidon, who’s currently in a quarrel with Zeus and Hades about the location of Zeus’s missing master lightning bolt.

That quarrel sends Percy off on a quest across America to return the master bolt to Mount Olympus, a portal to which is now conveniently located in New York City. Whether it’s a fight with a mythological beast or escaping from an ambush, the pages of this book are filled with action that will carry you through to the end. An exciting and enlightening read!

If you'd like to check out The Lightning Thief, you can find it in our catalog by clicking here.


March 12, 2015

Staff Pick - My Name Is Mary Sutter

I first heard about this book at the Iowa Library Association Conference. It was the book chosen as All Iowa Reads book for 2015. It sounded like a good story and when I saw our copy one day, I picked it up.

This story is about a young woman living in Albany, New York just prior to the Civil War. Mary's mother, Amelia is a well-known midwife. Since they were very young, Amelia took her children along when she had a delivery scheduled that would take some time away from home.

Mary quickly became Amelia's diligent helper and learned everything she could about childbirth. Mary and her twin sister, Jenny, turned 20 yrs. old the day their father died in Sept. 1860. The day after his funeral, Mary wrote her first letter to request admission to the Albany Medical School. Her deepest wish was to become a surgeon.

As she leaves for the city of Washington, she plans to do whatever she can to become a nurse while the war rages around her. She couldn't have guessed how difficult it would be to be taken seriously. She is turned down by Dorothea Dix, Female Superintendent of Army Nurses. When Mary arrives at the Union Hotel, it has been occupied as a Hospital. It is old and dirty and not ideal as a Hospital, but Mary goes to work doing anything that needs done. Mopping floors, washing bedding and when the first wounded soldiers come it is Mary working alongside Dr. Stipp taking care of them as best as anyone can.

Mary's story gives the reader a first hand look at the difficulties in the medical field during the Civil War. Mary leaves her family home and it's comforts behind in Albany and learns many new things in the care of soldiers and their wounds.

If you'd like to read My Name Is Mary Sutter, you can find it in our online catalog by clicking here.

- Cindy

February 25, 2015

Staff Pick - Throne of Glass

I cannot say enough about Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I was pretty excited about a YA book being about an assassin rather than vampires, werewolves, or some other overdone creature.

"In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien." 

What I loved about this book, among many other things, was the action. Most teen books dull down the action and blood, but this book doesn't disappoint. It's dark, grisly and wonderful. The characters are fabulous as well.

Celaena is cocky, sarcastic, and tough. Normally you wouldn't care for a person like that but it works so well here. The Crown Prince is charming and a bit spoiled and the Captain of the Guard is swoon-worthy.

It has everything. Princes, action, magic, romance and awesome swords. What more could you want in a book? If you ever need a heroine that kicks serious butt, pick up this book. Seriously. You can find it in our online catalog by clicking here.


February 23, 2015

If you like Fifty Shades of Grey

As with any film adaptation, the release of E.L. Jame's self-published phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters has increased interest in the series. If you're waiting on a copy, or just looking for something similar, here are a few titles you might also like:

Crossfire Series
by Sylvia Day
Eva Trammel, plagued by her own insecurities, is drawn into an intense, obsessive relationship with the wealthy and arrogant Gideon Cross. "Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness. He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anyone in my life..." The series starts with Bared to You.

Breathless Trilogy
by Maya Banks
Gabe is wealthy, powerful, and accustomed to getting anything he wants. Mia was his best friend's little sister... but she's not so little any more. Mia knows Gabe is way out of her league, but she's an adult now, and there's no reason not to act on her most secret desires. Starts with Rush.

Stark Trilogy
by Julie Kenner
An erotic, emotionally charged romance between a powerful man who's never heard "no" and a fiery woman who says "yes" on her own terms.  "He was the one man I couldn't avoid. And the one man I couldn't resist. Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me..." Starts with Release Me.

Submissive Series
by Tara Sue Me
When CEO Nathaniel West, a skilled dominant, is looking for a new submissive, Abby King agrees to play the part and although Abby finds fulfillment in her new experiences, she realizes that Nathaniel can only remain cold and distant. Starts with The Submissive.

The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy
by Anne Rice
It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. In the first book of the trilogy, Anne Rice, probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Starts with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.

All descriptions adapted from our online catalog or

January 28, 2015

Staff Pick - Sunshine

Rae Seddon, known by everyone as Sunshine, has grown up working in her stepfather's bakery since her teens in a post apocalyptic world where Vampires rule a fifth of the world and the SOF (Special Other Forces) do their best to protect the population.

Sunshine wants nothing more than a normal life making cinnamon rolls for her stepfather and hanging out with her ex boyfriend, Mel.

One night, Sunshine wants to get away from everyone for a while and decides to drive down to the lake, to the house belonging to her father where no one has lived since the wars broke out.

It was a choice one might call the biggest mistake of her life as she's taken captive by Vampires and chained up inside a ball room with another captive of theirs - a vampire named Constantine, who is also chained, and becoming quite hungry.

Sunshine is a story about alliances being made where one might least expect them, and shows that the world might be made up of more shades of grey than anyone might have been able to believe. It's not your typical vampire story, that's for sure.

I really enjoyed reading Sunshine. When I picked it up, I was curious, and not sure what to expect. McKinley often finds a way to spin an old concept, or story, and make it feel new again, and that's what she did here.

So, if you're looking for a new twist on vampires, magic, and the world in general, I'd highly recommend picking up Sunshine by Robin McKinley. If you'd like to check it out, you can find it in our online catalog by clicking here.