Friday, August 23, 2013

Nonfiction Friday: Family Fun Month!

August is Family Fun Month—the last month of summer, the last month before school, the last month of that sweet, sweet freedom to come to the library every single day for the entire day. To help you fill the rest of 08/2013 with all the joy you can, we've curated a list of books filled with last-minute must-dos. What are you waiting for? Family Fun Month's nearly over!!

Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build by David and Jeanie Stiles.
Call number: D.I.Y. 690.89 STILES

Learn to build creative carpentry your children will enjoy for years to come.
Treehouses and Other Cool Stuff: 50 Projects You Can Build by David and Jeanie Stiles.
Call number: D.I.Y. 690.89 STILES

More than just treehouses and playhouses, this book is filled with cool outdoor toys for kiddos.

Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World through Nature, Imagination, and Play by Sarah Olmsted.
Call number: 790.122 OLMSTED

Ideas for outdoor imaginative play that keeps children engaged in nature.

Touch a Butterfly: Wildlife Gardening with Kids by April Pulley Sayre.
Call number: 635.96 SAYRE

Learn how to attract wildlife to your yard for your kiddos' enjoyment!
Best Tent Camping: Wisconsin by Kevin Revolinski.
Call number: TRAVEL 917.75 REVOLINSKI 2013

Enjoy the beautiful state we live in one (or TEN!) more times before autumn falls.

National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities and More for Hours of Backseat Fun!
Call number: J 921.73 BOYER

A fun road trip atlas that will keep kids entertained for that lengthy car ride.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Light ON "The Cuckoo's Calling"

The Cuckoo's Calling by "Robert Galbraith"

I'll start by being totally honest:
I would not have read this book if J. K. Rowling hadn't been revealed as the author. The leak of The Cuckoo's Calling's true creator flooded me with interest in the novel (not to mention swelled its sales -- 4000% increase almost over night? Unheard of.). I went into it with all the hope of a sincere Rowling fangirl who was a little downhearted after an unsuccessful attempt to get into The Casual Vacancy.

From the very beginning of Cuckoo, I thought to myself, If no one had leaked JKR as the author, I would have known! I would have knownnnn!! Of course, there is no way to be sure of that; it was just a feeling. All the excitement I felt catch hold in myself the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came surging up through my heart in a moment I can only describe as pure nerdy giddiness. Rowling as Galbraith does exactly what we loved her for through 7 Harry Potter books: She created noble, bright, magnetic characters that immediately engage your sympathies. To be sure, they have their flaws. Robin the temp spends her whole walk to her new short-term job as a private investigator's assistant sighing over her recent engagement (which I found profoundly annoying). All the romance ends quickly, and painfully, when a woman storms out of the PI's office, pursued by a huge man who nearly knocks Robin down a very steep spiral staircase — saving her only by hauling her back up (unfortunately) by the only thing he could grab hold of... her breast. Robin's savior happens to be her embarrassed new boss, private investigator Cormoran Strike. As we get to know Strike (former military man; amputee; illegitimate son of a rock star and a supergroupie; impoverished and deeply in debt to multiple parties; on-again, off-again fiancĂ© of a beautiful, manipulative, spoiled rich girl) the more we yearn for his success not only in life, but in the case he's just taken on: The apparent suicide of young supermodel Lula Landry.

Her incredibly public death reflected her life, with the tabloids leeching on every tiny detail of the case. Landry's adoptive brother, a middling lawyer named John Bristow, suspects that the police and journalists must have missed something — his sister, though bipolar and on medication for her condition, would not have killed herself. Her friends mostly agree with his assessment, while the police are adamant that deaths like hers very often come without warning. Strike, in desperate need of money, feels a little slimy taking a case he feels was probably pretty well proved, but when he shakes hands with Bristow, he comes at Landry's death with a remarkably keen eye. As the investigation narrows toward a surprising conclusion, Landry shapes up to be a compelling character in her own right. Most excitingly, Robin the temp, who since her youth has longed wistfully to be a PI, takes a huge interest in the case, investigating leads, taking on ad hoc personae, and getting Strike closer to the truth.
Illustration: Matt Blease
In writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Rowling gave herself the freedom to try a new genre with a novel that could succeed or fail on its own merits. Until she was revealed as the author, The Cuckoo's Calling truly was a small success — well reviewed and selling fairly well. Clearly, this book is now a blockbuster with movie theaters clamoring for film rights, but it's succeeding with good reason. Like Harry Potter who came before him, Cormoran Strike is going to be a well-known name (so long as JKR keeps more Strike tales coming ... and allow me to publicly plead via the Internet that she continues this into an endless series with tons and tons of movie licensing agreements). The CAFÉ system has abundant copies, so put a hold on one today!

- Abby, Reference Librarian