May We Suggest

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More non-fiction than fiction, but often a well-written biography or history can be as exciting a read as a good suspense novel.

"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"--.

NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time. As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life.

Florida's favorite trigger-happy, shoot-from-the-hip vigilante history teacher is back--and he has a few scores to settle Serge A. Storms is hitting the road. Inspired by the classic biker flick Easy Rider, the irrepressible trivia buff and his drug-addled travel buddy, Coleman, head out on a motorcycle tour down the length of the Sunshine State, on a mission to rediscover the lost era of the American Dream. But going from small town to small town, they discover that some have lost much of their former charm--including one particular hamlet of skeezy rural politicos that is hell-bent on keeping prying eyes out of their ineptly corrupt style of local government. Traveling across the state, Serge and Coleman engage in some high-life hijinks, complete with the state's trademark crop of jerks, lethal science experiments, drug kingpins, double-crosses, unearthed bodies, barbecue and groovy tunes. And when a few innocent newcomers stumble into the mix, the stakes are raised to new back-woods heights.

Around the world in ten books...

The unquiet dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

"Detective Esa Khattak is in the midst of his evening prayers when he receives a phone call asking that he and his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, look into the death of a local man who has fallen off a cliff. At first Christopher Drayton's death--which looks like an accident--doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, especially not from Khattak and Rachel's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But it soon comes to light that Drayton might have been living under an assumed name, and he may not have been the upstanding Canadian citizen he appeared to be. In fact, he may have been a Bosnian war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. And if that's true, any number of people could have had reason to help him to his death. As Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, and there are no easy answers. Did the specters of Srebrenica return to haunt Drayton at last, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death in a tragic accident? In her spellbinding debut, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a complex and provocative story of loss, redemption, and the cost of justice that will linger with readers long after turning the final page"--.

Dinah Pelerin has finally put her life in order. Living in Berlin with her boyfriend Thor, she has landed a job teaching Native American cultures at the university. She's never felt happier. And then her Seminole mother Swan shows up with a crazy scheme to blackmail a German tax dodger and dredges up a secret Dinah has kept hidden from the IRS and from straight-arrow Norwegian Thor, a former cop now with hush-hush international duties.Germans harbor a century-long fascination with the American Wild West and American Indians. Some enthusiasts dress up as Indians and adopt Indian names. Like Der Indianer Club which has invited Swan to a powwow where she plans to meet her blackmail victim. Dinah tries to head her off, but arrives at the scene too late. A man has been killed and scalped and Swan quickly becomes the prime suspect. Torn between love for her mother and dismay at her incessant lies, Dinah sets out to find the killer--hoping the killer doesn't turn out to share her DNA. But Swan isn't the only liar. Everyone is lying about something. Margaret, Swan's dead ex-husband's former wife, come to the city with Swan. Dinah's teen-age "ward." Thor. Especially Dinah. Ghosts of Germany's terrible history haunt Berlin while she faces exorcising a hateful ghost of her own.

Corinna Chapman was once a high profile accountant and banker. That is until she walked out on the money market and her dismissive and unpleasant husband James, threw aside her briefcase, and doffed her kitten heels forever. Now she is a baker working in her own business, Earthly Delights, in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Corinna is living in an eccentric building on the Roman model called Insula, which has eight stories, sixteen apartments, and a lot of strange and interesting people. Corinna is quite content with her cat Horatio and her shop until a junkie falls half dead on her grate, a gorgeous sabra stalks along her alley and tells her that she is beautiful, and she starts receiving threatening letters accusing her of being a scarlet woman. Then it is Goths, lost girls, fraud, late nights, nerds, and beautiful slaves. Life for Corinna has suddenly become interesting.

"The one thing we can never get enough of is love.  And the one thing we never give enough is love." --Henry Miller (1891-1980)

Thrill me [large print] by Susan Mallery

Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could--she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool's Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports. Now ten years later, May's been hired to promote her hometown's new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot.

Ever after [large print] by Jude Deveraux

Hiring a friend's cousin to be her physical therapist after inheriting a house on Nantucket, Hallie Hartley discovers that her housemate is suffering from PTSD during a summer marked by mysteries, ghosts, and romance.

Candice Bergen shares the big events in her life : her marriage to a famous French director, the birth of her daughter, Murphy Brown, widowhood, falling in love again, and watching her daughter blossom.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Hit the Road: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Browse the titles below and find stories that will take you on a journey to a new place. Some fiction, some nonfiction, all focus on a story of leaving somewhere behind for a new life.

Click on the titles for location and availability. Check for other media formats (included below) to earn eLectrified badges.

 

90 miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
Also available in: e-audiobook

When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian's parents must make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

Offers an account of the first fourteen years of the author's life in poems, telling of her time spent between her mother's native Cuba and her home in Los Angeles, until the revolution in Cuba dramatically alters relations between the two countries she loves.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Hit the Road: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

The books below are set in many different places. Use them to take a trip, somewhere new and exotic, or somewhere familiar. 

When a man brings to a remote village two burros, Alfa and Beto, loaded with books the children can borrow, Ana's excitement leads her to write a book of her own as she waits for the BibliBurro to return. Includes a note on the true story of Columbia's BiblioBurro and mobile libraries in other countries.

The sky of Afghanistan by Ana A. de Eulate

A little Afghan girl dreams of peace spreading throughout her country.

Gauchada by C. Drew Lamm

A necklace is lovingly passed from one person to another, traveling much farther than the Argentine gaucho who made it will ever go.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Hit the Road: E-lectrified badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Check out a variety of musical stylings to play in the car. Warning: musical taste will vary, and not all albums are suitable for listening on repeat until a child finally tires of them.

This CD, designed to entertain babies in the car, contains a selection of classical music with catchy, yet complex musical patterns, without startling loud bursts or over-stimulating sounds.

Turn turn turn [sound recording] by Elizabeth Mitchell

Two of the foremost makers of handmade, independent, and family friendly music join forces for a collaborative album. Among the tracks is a new version of the classic song Turn Turn Turn written specifically for children by Toshi Seeger.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Keep It Real: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Many of these nonfiction titles include actual digging, but others just dig up the facts. Many could be used to earn your Make History badge instead. 

Examines how a team of scientists and historians unearthed a Maryland homestead from the 1600s and details the painstaking work required to restore the ruin to its former glory.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Keep It Real: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

True stories can be especially compelling, but if nonfiction's not your thing, try a different format. Graphic novels can put a new spark in real life events. The following suggestions are either straight nonfiction or based on true stories. 

Human body theater by Maris Wicks

A humorous and informative skeleton introduces each system of the human body, gaining a layer of her "costume" by the end of each act, becoming a fully formed human by the end of the play.

Journey into Mohawk Country by Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

Stories of dislocation and family fracture, of whimsical infidelities and sudden deaths with sinister causes, brilliantly unsettle the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way.

Also available in: audiobook

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie seeks out answers when her best friend and next-door neighbor Evie Verver goes missing after the two girls saw a dark car driving past earlier in the day, and throughout her efforts, Lizzie begins to question how well she knew Evie.

One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendia family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America. Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility -- the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth -- these universal themes dominate the novel. 

Winter's tale by Mark Helprin
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

A bestseller that takes readers on a journey to New York of the Belle Epoque, where Peter Lake attempts to rob a Manhattan mansion only to find the daughter of the house at home. Thus begins the love between the middle-aged Irishman and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Geek Out: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Classic stories are told, retold, then changed and retold again. Rediscover some of your favorite stories in a new way. Try a print format to earn your Geek Out Bookworm badge, and look for an audio-visual version to earn your Geek Out eLectrified badge. Although these classics are usually considered children's stories, grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun.

Bonus: find your own adapted classic and share on Social Media #CYSreturnofthefun. 

Peter Pan

Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M. Barrie
Also available in: e-book

Film Adaptations: Disney Animated Peter Pan; Live Action Peter PanPeter Pan Live; Neverland; Pan (coming 2016)

The original adventures of the three Darling children in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.

Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.

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