Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If You Like...Ghostly Stories

I’m not sure at what point I realized stories that included ghosts didn’t have to be scary. I know when it came to stories I read when I was younger, it was when I began E.W. Hildick’s Ghost Squad series – a mystery series that had four child ghosts and a couple of live kids working together to solve the mysteries that came their way; in fact, being a ghost has its perks in the detective business! At any rate, the books on this list are not for anyone looking for ghost stories in the horror sense, though some of these titles have their spooky moments. However, they all feature ghosts significantly in the story as a character or plot point and are well worth a read!


Lockwood and Co. series – Jonathan Stroud

Stroud’s London is a London long afflicted by a ghostly epidemic with which only brave children can deal effectively, children who are able to see the specters and who sometimes are talented beyond seeing. And Lockwood and Co. is unique among Psychic Detection Agencies, being run entirely by children, with young Anthony Lockwood at its head. Humorous and, at times, undeniably creepy, it is easy to get lost in this series and even forget the main characters are actually children. The Screaming Staircase is the first in the series.

A Study in Sable – Mercedes Lackey

This book is a recent addition to Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, a series which, to this point, has mostly retold fairy tales. As you might guess from the title, this book delves into the world of Sherlock Holmes. It also features a healthy dose of ghosts, since one of the main characters, Sarah Lyon-White is a medium. Sarah and Nan, a psychic, have been commissioned to help Dr. and Mrs. Watson on a few of their more occult cases and both their talents and their friendship are tested.

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens grows up in a Graveyard, raised by the ghosts who inhabit it and the mysterious Silas, who is neither living nor dead, after the murder of his family when he is still too young to remember. Unfortunately, the murderer is still out there and determined to finish the job once he tracks down the baby he failed to kill. Bod is only safe in the graveyard – but a growing boy can’t stay in a graveyard forever…


Ghost and Mrs. Muir– R.A. Dick

When Mrs. Muir is widowed at a relatively young age, she decides to exert her independence and moves her little family away from her in-laws – to a house haunted by the ghost of a sea captain with unfinished business. Striking a bargain with him, he allows her little family to live in the house in peace and their growing friendship will change Mrs. Muir’s life – and possibly even afterlife - forever. Readers who enjoy Gone with the Wind, for its writing style or the interaction between Rhett Butler & Scarlett O’Hara may especially enjoy this book!

Constable and Toop – Gareth P. Jones

Unlike the other books in this list, this book tells its story through the points of view of both the living and the dead interchangeably. Yet again set in London, this London’s ghosts are actually disappearing thanks to an infestation known as “The Black Rot”, which imprisons unsuspecting ghosts in haunted houses that have lost their ghosts. It’s caught the attention of both the Ghost Bureau and an undertaker’s son, Sam Toop, a “Talker” who can see and hear ghosts. Only by working together may they be able to push back the darkness and bring back harmony to their worlds.

The Mediator Series - Meg Cabot

Susannah Simon has been able to see, hear and speak to ghosts from a very young age. When her mother remarries and she moves with her across the country, Suze is hoping for a fresh start, one that doesn’t involve any ghostly business. But as she will soon learn, someone with her gift can’t set it aside so easily. She is a mediator, and it is up to her to learn the tricks of her trade, to protect the living and help the dead to move on. Shadowland is the first in the series.

Have other recommendations for those who want something ghostly to read that’s not too scary? Don’t forget to leave them, along with any suggestions for future “If You Like…” posts, in the comments!

-Denise Dolan, George Mason Regional Library

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What's on Your Librarian's Shelf? George Mason Regional Reads

Ever wondered what that friendly librarian at your local library is reading? Take a peek below to see titles that have staff at George Mason Regional excited this month. See something intriguing? Select a book cover to find out more. Take a minute to let us know, either in the comments below or in a branch, what has you excited as well. We always have time to share a really great book!^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=commonwealth&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

At the christening party for Franny Keating, a guest brings the unusual gift of a bottle of gin. Commonwealth follows 5 decades of two families whose lives will be forever changed on that hot day. Lots of twists, turns and complex characters. Partly set in Virginia.
-Karla Pruefer{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

As a half-breed prince far removed from the royal line of inheritance, Maia lives in obscurity under the watchful eye of his spiteful cousin—that is, until the day news arrives that much of the royal family has died in a dirigible accident, and now Maia must ascend the throne as Emperor.
-Cuong Nguyen^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=beautiful animals&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Do you like glamorous psychological thrillers? This is your next read. Two beautiful girls, vacationing on the Greek island of Hydra, find an immigrant washed up on the beach. One of them has a plan to rescue him, or so she says. A fun read which I could not put down!
– Carey Hagan in moscow&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Sentenced to house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel, Count Rostov lives the fullest of lives, discovering the depths of his humanity.
-Jenny Grimsley{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

Jayne Entwistle is my new favorite narrator. Flavia deLuce grows better and better in each book. This is a great for detective story lovers like me.
-Shelly Kaufman-Young the birds in the sky&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Technology vs. magic. I picked this one by the cover. So there.
-Sarah Souther serpent&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Sightings of a legendary sea serpent bring together a young Victorian widow intrigued by the natural sciences, a rural vicar and a Dickensian cast of supporting characters. A British Book Awards Book of the Year.    
-Rebecca Wolff^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=german girl&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

A 12 year old Jewish girl escapes from Germany to Cuba in 1939 only to discover she’s unwanted there, and after the revolution in 1959, watches history repeat itself. Friends disappear in the night, it's not safe to be outside, jobs are taken away and people are arrested for no reason.
-Marie Cavanaugh^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=japanese lover&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

This book was recommended to me by my 86 year old father. San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric nursing home called the Lark House is where newly hired Irina meets resident Alma. It’s a bit “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” meets “Orphan Train” and so much more!
-Karla Pruefer

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Five Fictional Bookstores You Won't Want to Miss

It’s a poorly-kept secret that many librarians deep down really love– gasp – a really great bookstore. While I love libraries so much I try to visit a new one every time I travel, I’m no exception. I love inhaling that new-book smell while wandering past stacks of pristine, never-touched books. Ditto for the slightly musty scent of a well-stocked used bookstore, with shelves of hidden treasures waiting for the discerning browser.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that I also can’t resist a great fictional bookstore. Who wouldn’t want to walk in wonder through J.K. Rowling’s Flourish and Blotts or pop into Portlandia’s Women and Women First? Take a stroll through this eclectic collection of fictional bookstores and you’ll be a fan as well.


The Storied Life of A .J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Grumpy, disillusioned A.J. Fikry is more than ready to leave his woes and his failing bookstore on Alice Island far behind. He’s even willing to sacrifice his most prized possession – a 1st edition copy of Poe’s Tamerlane – to do so. It takes a midnight theft and a surprise package to help A.J. see his life, love, and yes, his bookstore, in a whole new light.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
When unemployed website designer Clay Jannon takes a job working the night shift at San Francisco book store, he agrees to honor the odd stipulation he never to open a single book. Intrigued by the quirky shop’s odd design and eccentric customers, he embarks on an adventure using technologies old and new to solve an ancient mystery.

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
As a young boy in post-war Barcelona, Daniel Sempere’s father took him to a secret bookstore called the Cemetery for Forgotten Books and allowed him to choose just one book to take home. Daniel found solace and wisdom in his chosen book as a boy. As an adult, however, he encounters secrets and tragedies as he attempts to track down the author of The Shadow of the Wind.  


The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Jean Perdu doesn’t just sell books from his bookshop on a Paris barge; his customers go home with books to cure their bodies and souls. Monsieur Perdu, however, has never found the written words to repair his own broken heart. A shocking revelation from his past causes him to flee Paris on his floating bookshop on a journey to reconnect with life.  

The Bookshop On The Corner by Jenny Colgan
When British librarian Nina Redmond loses her job due to budget cuts, she picks up the pieces of her life and relocates to the Scottish Highlands. There she uses her skills in literary matchmaking to run a bookshop from a refurbished van. While exploring the wide beautiful vistas, she finds new friends and a few matchmaking opportunities of her own.

-Rebecca Wolff, George Mason Regional Library

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

What We're Reading This Fall

Word of mouth is one of the best way to find new reads. See what old favorites and new titles have been creating a buzz here at the library by visiting our What We're Reading Fall 2017 page.

What buzzworthy books have you been recommending this fall? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!