Botanical Reads for Spring

By - May 12th, 2017

The last traces of winter are finally behind us, and SPS is in full bloom! This month, you can grow your garden of knowledge through these plant-centered reads.

 

A comprehensive and visually appealing botanical compendium:

 

Plant: Exploring the Botanical World

Phaidon Press Editors

Phaidon Press 2016

704.9 C55P (shelved with the dictionaries on the main floor)

 

“Following in the footsteps of the international bestseller Map: Exploring the World, this fresh and visually stunning survey celebrates the extraordinary beauty and diversity of plants. It combines photographs and cutting-edge micrograph scans with watercolours, drawings, and prints to bring this universally popular and captivating subject vividly to life. Carefully selected by an international panel of experts and arranged in a uniquely structured sequence to highlight thought-provoking contrasts and similarities, this stunning compilation of botanically themed images includes iconic work by celebrated artists, photographers, scientists, and botanical illustrators, as well as rare and previously unpublished images.” (Amazon Description)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A practical guide to the plants around us:

 

Wildflowers of New England

Ted Elliman and the New England Wildflower Society

Timber Press 2016

582 EL5W

 

“Wildflowers of New England is for hikers, naturalists, gardeners, and anyone wishing to learn more about the region’s diverse wildflowers, or just wanting to know the answer to “What’s that plant?” Ted Elliman, a plant ecologist for the New England Wild Flower Society, describes and illustrates more than 1,000 species commonly found in all six New England states, including annuals, perennials, and biennials, both native and naturalized. This helpful field guide uses a logical and convenient identification key based on flower color, petal arrangement, and leaf characteristics. One thousand color photographs help to confirm that you’ve got the right plant. The introduction includes an explanation of plant parts and information on plant names.” (Amazon Description)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A look at gardens as literary inspiration:

 

The Writer’s Garden

Jackie Bennett

Frances Lincoln 2016

820.9 B43W

 

“Great things happen in gardens. No one can doubt the importance of the garden in Roald Dahl’s life as it was here where he worked, and here that he created James and the Giant Peach. And where would Jane Austen have been if she had never seen a ‘walk’, an ornamental lake, or a wilderness?

Gardens hold a special place in many author’s lives. For Beatrix Potter, Hill Top house was made possible by the new found freedom and wealth that a literary career can bring; for Sir Walter Scott, laying out his garden at Abbotsford was a way of distracting himself from mounting debts.

In this book of 18 gardens and 20 writers, the author examines how the poet, writer, novelist derived a creative spirit from their private garden, how they tended and enjoyed their gardens, and how they managed their outdoor space.” (Amazon Description)

Judging a Book by Its Cover

By - May 5th, 2017

In this month’s Judging a Book by Its Cover post, we highlight books from our new McNaughton Collection. The McNaughton Collection books are recently released books from the McNaughton® book leasing subscription service. If you are looking for your books to be fresh off the presses, sometimes even on the day of its release, come on over to the Baker Reading Room of Ohrstrom Library and have a look at the McNaughton Collection.

 

The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett
Viking Feb. 2017
Call Number: McN L

“Charlie Lovett’s diverting The Lost Book of the Grail is a mystery, a history, a pleasure—and a treasure. Find yourself within its pages, and you find yourself remembering the virtues of books and book-making.”
Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and After Alice

 

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
Gallery Books March 2017
Call Number: McN O

“In Before I Go, Oakley address the oft-asked question: if you only had six months to live, what would you do? In her deft hands, what could easily turn maudlin becomes a funny and insightful journey with Daisy, and the love of her life, Jack. If you loved JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You, this book is for you.” (Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of HIDDEN and FORGOTTEN)

 

Indelible by Adelia Saunders
Bloomsbury Jan. 2017
Call Number: McN S

“Magdalena has an unsettling gift. She sees the truth about people written on their skin–names, dates, details both banal and profound–and her only relief from the onslaught of information is to take off her glasses and let the world recede. Mercifully, her own skin is blank.”  (Amazon Description)

“Richly detailed and highly observant . . . Fans of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife will love Saunders’ debut, which takes up the mantle of myth, history, and storytelling with beautiful, sure-footed prose.”- Kirkus Reviews

 

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Scribner March 2017
Call Number: McN S

“A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple. . . A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.” (Amazon Description)

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Fun Fiction Reads with McNaughton

By - April 28th, 2017

When you’re looking for your next fiction book, be sure to stop by our new collection in the Baker Reading Room! The library now receives the latest popular fiction releases through McNaughton subscription services. Here are a few titles to check out on your next visit to Ohrstrom!

 

If you’re a fan of not-so-far-fetched sci-fi…

 

New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Orbit 2017

MCN R

 

“A new vision of the future from Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora.

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.

And how we too will change.” (Barnes & Noble Description)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in the mood for an international and intergenerational tale…

 

The Last Days of Café Leila, by Donia Bijan

Algonquin 2017

MCN B

 

“Set against the backdrop of Iran’s rich, turbulent history, this exquisite debut novel is a powerful story of food, family, and a bittersweet homecoming. When we first meet Noor, she is living in San Francisco, missing her beloved father, Zod, in Iran. Now, dragging her stubborn teenage daughter, Lily, with her, she returns to Tehran and to Café Leila, the restaurant her family has been running for three generations. Iran may have changed, but Café Leila, still run by Zod, has stayed blessedly the same—it is a refuge of laughter and solace for its makeshift family of staff and regulars.

As Noor revisits her Persian childhood, she must rethink who she is—a mother, a daughter, a woman estranged from her marriage and from her life in California. And together, she and Lily get swept up in the beauty and brutality of Tehran.

Bijan’s vivid, layered story, at once tender and elegant, funny and sad, weaves together the complexities of history, domesticity, and loyalty and, best of all, transports readers to another culture, another time, and another emotional landscape.” (Publisher’s Website)

 

 

 

 

If you adore Hamilton, historical fiction and love stories…

 

Alex & Eliza, by Melissa De La Cruz

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 2017

MCN D

 

“1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival those of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, Eliza can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.” (Publisher’s Website)

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So Many New Books!

By - Systems Librarian April 25th, 2017

 

We have so many new books available – browse the shelves in Baker Reading Room and check something out today!

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Judging a Book by its Cover

By - April 21st, 2017

Here is another selection of great books with great covers to be found on the New Book Shelves in the Baker Reading Room at Ohrstrom Library.

 

The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Dutton Children’s Books 2016
Call Number: Fiction G36

A 2017 Newbery Honor Book

“What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering. ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’ is equal parts swashbuckling epic, medieval morality play, religious polemic and bawdy burlesque, propelling us toward a white-knuckle climax where three children must leap into a fire to save…a Talmud. And yet, the rescue of this single book feels like higher stakes than any world-incinerating superhero battle. Part of this is because ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’ is dense with literary and earthy delights, including Hatem Aly’s exquisite illustrations, which wrap around the text as in an illuminated manuscript.” —New York Times Book Review

 

 

 

The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller
Houghton 2017
Call Number: Fiction M61

“1991. Near Checkpoint Zulu, one hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones in part to avoid his lackluster marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Arwood is a midwestern American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus, or might be a genuine lunatic with a death wish–it’s hard to tell. Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is killed as they are trying to protect her. The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both. Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, they meet again and are offered an unlikely opportunity to redeem themselves when that same girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?” (Amazon description)

 

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Tin House Books 2017
Call Number: Fiction F95

“A famous elderly author looks out the window of a bookstore and thinks he sees his deceased wife. Upset by this event, he takes a near-fatal tumble and winds up in the hospital. Flora, his youngest daughter, returns home to help care for him—shortly thereafter, letters from her mother will be discovered hidden inside the books of her father’s prized library. Thus begin two plot lines, as Flora and her sister care for their father, and as their mother’s letters lay out her side of the marriage—starting with their first meeting when she was a student and he was a professor. Is their mother dead now, or did she run away? And what other secrets are hidden inside the letters? Well-paced and finely detailed, Swimming Lessons is a mystery about an uncoiling family that will keep you turning pages and cause your loyalties to ebb and flow like a tide.” Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

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