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Best of 2011

Lists, lists, and more lists. As 2011 draws to an end everyone seems to be creating "Best of" lists. For readers of all ages and tastes, holiday gift suggestions:

Do You Find School Boring?

Well then, you might try enrolling in either Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains or Blatt School for the Insanely Gifted. Granted, you must be the child of a notorious evil entity, such as Dracula, The Big Bad Wolf, or a warlock and be lacking in evil to normally qualify for entry into the former school, but heck, you could always give it a shot. "Gifted" has a lot of definitions. The deciding factor for entry into the later school is that you have the ability to invent something the headmaster might want to steal from you, thereby increasing his fame, fortune, and power — but you don't know this of course. Trust me, if you do have the opportunity to attend one of these schools, you will gain a whole new perspective on education.

Villain School : good curses evil by Stephanie S. Sanders — Join Rune, Jez, and Wolf Junior as they try to succeed at a nearly impossible Plot in order to avoid being expelled for not being bad enough.

The School for the Insanely Gifted by Dan Elish — Wild rides, literally, are in store for you with Daphna, Harkin, and Cynthia as they embark on an international search for Daphna's missing mother and prepare for the school's upcoming "Insanity Cup" competition. Don't miss this action-packed adventure fantasy. If you liked The Mysterious Benedict Society, you will love this for sure.

Fast, fun, reads, both of these weird school books are sure to please!

Fantasy and Supernatural

Here are some great new books if you are a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and/or supernatural stories, especially those with a touch of romance.

The girl of fire and thorns by Rae Carson

Entwined by Heather Dixon

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Club in a Bag Kit

The Hunger Games [kit] by Suzanne Collins — Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.

Voice Control

At today's Let's talk iPhone event, Apple VP Phil Shiller announced Siri, an advanced voice-activated control system included with the new iPhone 4S. Even though this is an exciting step forward, computers have had speech recognition for years, and movies and television have simulated it for even longer. Here are some examples of fictional computers in movies that could hold a conversation:

2001 [videodisc]: a space odyssey by Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer

Ruby Red Rave Reviews

Are you in the mood for an awesome time-travel triology that promises to have a Twilight-ish romance flavor to it too? Then you'd better get started with book #1, Ruby Red by Kirstin Gier now. Gwen lives in London with her mother's rather eccentric family. For years all the attention has been focused on her cousin Charlotte who is supposed to be carrying the family time-travel gene and preparing her for life in the past. However, when Gwen turns 16, she is the one who suddenly starts disappearing into the past.

Hugo Awards 2011

The votes are in! The Hugo Award winner for best novel is Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis. In addition to the 2011 Hugo award, several of Willis' novels have received accolades including The Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog.

Hugo Award Winning Science Fiction

Looking for a great science fiction read? These Hugo Award winners have been voted as being the best in their genre.

If You Like Twilight: Stephenie Meyer

If you are a fan of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, you might enjoy the following authors.

Shades of gray by Amanda Ashley

Dark prince by Christine Feehan

A quick bite by Lynsay Sands

Undead and unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

Fantasy & Fablehaven Fans Readers' Alert!

Book #1 in Brandon Mull's new Beyonders series is beyond belief. Action, suspense, humor, magic, mystery, plot twists, bizarre portals to alternate realms, epic battles between good and evil — A World Without Heroes has it all. Jason, a regular teenager with no dreams of glory, suddenly finds himself devoted to overthrowing an evil tyrant after slipping through the mouth of a hippo into the realm of Lyrian. Just when you think he must undertake this mission impossible alone, he encounters Rachel, who was also magically ported into Lyrian. These two intrepid teens must quickly learn not only to trust each other, but to recognize honesty and deception in the many bizarre creatures they encounter on their quest.

Book Club Choices: June 2011

Has your book group tried our Book Club in a Bag kits? Each kit has 8 books and a resource guide with book discussion questions, author information, and articles relating to the book. To reserve a Book Club in a Bag kit for your group, contact Adult Reference Desk at (734) 397-0999.

Prodigal summer: a novel [kit] by Barbara Kingsolver

The red tent [kit] by Anita Diamant

Happy Birthday Yoda!

Happy Birthday Yoda! Well, actually, it isn't exactly Yoda's birthday but the big day for Frank Oz. He was born on May 25th, so you still have time to get a card out to him. The library has many great books with a Star Wars theme and also materials on his other genius voice work, the Muppets! Enjoy!

Starkweather Book Club Just Can't Get Enough of Katniss.

I have the pleasure of working with a fantastic group of young adults at the Starkweather Alternative High School. The Canton Public Library in cooperation with Starkweather was awarded an ALA Great Stories Club Grant last year. The book club was such a success last year we decided to continue meeting. We are currently reading the second book in The Hunger Games Series, Catching Fire. As with any good series, the group just couldn't wait to read more!

Pathfinder

Orson Scott Card, writer of Ender's Game, delivers another brilliant teenager in Pathfinder. Rigg has a gift; he can see people's paths through history, much like an animal leaving its tracks. On the day his father dies he is mysteriously charged to seek the sister he never knew he had, and from there the plot weaves together fantasy adventure with hardcore science fiction. This book may be a little slower than Ender's Game, and even repetitive at times due to the nature of its plot, but for all of that it's deeply philosophical, and fun. For an adventure book with one of the most original takes on time travel out there, it's worth reading.

What Should I Read?

In what order should you read a series? Read everything written by Sue Grafton or Malcolm Gladwell and would like to try a similar author? Books & Authors, available in Canton Public Library's databases, allows you to search by title and/or author, subject, keyword, time period, geographic location, or character. Follow the series links for additional titles, or take advantage of the Expert Picks & Librarian's Favorites for recommendations based on some of your favorite titles or topics.

Detroit Style Science Fiction

Anya Kalinczyk may spend her days as an arson investigator for the city of Detroit, but at night, she's a ghost hunter. She's not just any ghost hunter, however, but a Lantern, with the ability to consume ghosts and demons. If you're an urban science fiction fan, try these two books, with a dash of red hot demons in the motor city.

Embers by Laura Bickle



Sparks by Laura Bickle

The Search for WondLa

Tony DiTerilizzi has created another fantastical masterpiece with The Search for WondLa, the first book of a trilogy. Eva Nine has lived a pleasant, but sometimes boring, secluded existence in an underground, artificial world with her robot 'mom' for her first twelve years. A paid huntsman radically changes this life when he destroys their home and captures Eva. With the help of some strange creatures, who soon become her best friends, Eva manages to escape. Together they embark on a thrilling journey packed with awesome encounters of every sort as Eva courageously searches for other human beings. Readers can only hope that book #2 won't be long in coming.