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Historical Fiction

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: June 22, 2011

Canton Seniors Book Discussion group will meet on Wednesday, June 22 from 2:00-3:00PM in Canton Public Library's Group Study Room A. We'll be discussing Sarah Blake's The Postmistress:

It is 1941 and America has not yet entered the war waging in Europe, but they listen avidly to radio broadcasts sent from London. In The Postmistress two women find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news of the War in Europe yet afraid to hear it. Sarah Blake's The Postmistress shows how we bear the fact that war goes on around us while ordinary lives continue.

Murder Will Out: Arthur Ellis Awards 2011 Announced

Bury Your Dead: Book JacketThe Crime Writers of Canada announced the winners of this year's Arthur Ellis Awards. Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead won for Best Crime Novel and The Debba by Avner Mandelman was chosen Best First Crime Novel.

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

International Authors

The alchemist by Paulo Coelho; translated by Alan R. Clarke

The tale of the unknown island by José Saramago; illustrated by Peter Sís; translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa


If on a winter's night a traveler
by Italo Calvino; translated from the Italian by William Weaver

Book Club Choices: May 2011

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

An unfinished life [Large print kit] by Mark Spragg

Water for elephants: [kit] a novel by Sara Gruen

British Royal Fiction

Just can't get enough of the pomp and pagentry of British royalty? Give these historical fiction novels a try.

Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell

The confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

Here be dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

Innocent traitor by Alison Weir

Book Club Choices: April 2011

The perfect book for a book discussion is one that's not too easy, not too hard, which will hold the interest of a diverse group of readers and will also inspire a lively discussion.

Book Club Choices: March 2011

Is your book group looking for a good read?

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

The other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory

The piano tuner by Daniel Mason

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Saving Zasha

Are you in the mood for a simple, sweet dog story? Then Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow is just for you. It takes place in the Soviet Union right after World War II and is based on the real situation of canines in Russia at this time. Two brothers are determined to save a beautiful German Shepherd from certain death, since anything 'German' should be destroyed. Service in the military, starvation, abandonment, illness, and injury had all but eliminated the entire dog population in the Soviet Union. Finally realizing the value of dogs the Soviet government decided to create a new breed of dog — a "superdog" — to be used for work and military purposes. What few dogs remained were being kidnapped and sold for large sums of money.

Mysteries of the Magnificent Variety

Are you looking for a great mystery with some meat to it? Lewis Buzbee has written such awesome books. In Steinbeck's Ghost, 13-year-old Travis, unhappy about his family's recent move, finds he can still connect with his old life at the Salinas Library re-reading his favorite books. He enjoys Steinbeck — after all, Salinas is Steinbeck's hometown. But suddenly he begins seeing the characters spring to life. As he struggles to solve this mystery, budget cuts threaten his library. In looking for ways to save his haven, Travis uncovers many truths and stumbles into a story Steinbeck might be telling him to write.

Moon Over Manifest

This year's Newbery Award winning book, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, presents a story within a story and is totally captivating. Historical fiction should always be this compelling. But you can read the rave reviews and plot summaries by clicking on the link to this item in our catalog. What I want to relate is why this superb novel touched me personally. One story take place in 1936, during The Great Depression. I grew up hearing stories and accounts of what it was like to live during this trying time from my parents and grandparents. My mother told about searching for stray pennies in couch cushions to buy a loaf a bread. She had to sleep on the floor so boarders could have the beds in the bedrooms.

Book Club Reads: February 2011

Canton Public Library's Book Club in a Bag offers a wide variety of reading selections for book clubs. Each kit has 8 copies of the book, resource material for the leader, and a sign out sheet for members. Book Club in a Bag kits can be reserved by calling the Adult Reference Desk at (734) 397-0999.

Pope Joan: a novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross

The other Boleyn girl: a novel by Philippa Gregory

Epics and Sagas to Sweep You Off Your Feet

Epic fiction, defined as novels that cover a span of time (often centuries) and are focused on a specific geographical location, and sagas series, defined as lengthy novels (often historical) that focus on the characters and families over a certain span of time, are large and expansive. They'll carry you to a different time and place. Give these a try:

Roses by Leila Meacham

The princes of Ireland: the Dublin saga by Edward Rutherfurd

Look What's In Large Print: February 2011

Tired of squinting while reading? Getting a headache from focusing too hard for too long? You're not alone — one in six Americans over the age of 45 have trouble reading small print.

Turtle in Paradise

Meet Turtle, a charming eleven-year-old who is in under no illusions about the ways of the world. It is 1935 and her "starry-eyed," romantic mother (who is always falling in and out of love with total losers) ships Turtle off to relatives in Key West, Florida because her latest housekeeping job does not allow children. Turtle is thrown into a radically different way of life amid boisterous cousins, eccentric adults, hurricanes, scorpions, and windfall fruit. She isn't allowed into her cousins' Diaper Gang (no girls allowed) to earn spending money, but has high hopes she'll soon be on Easy Street like Little Orphan Annie when she discovers a pirate treasure map.

I Knew It Was An Awesome Book!!!

Check out the blog I posted on this super historical fiction book a couple months ago. It has been named a Newbery Honor Book. I know a winner when I read it! (Well… usually!)

One Crazy Summer

Rita Williams-Garcia's most recent book, One Crazy Summer, was named a Newbery Honor Book this week. So what is it about?
In the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters are shipped off by their father to spend a month with their estranged mother in Oakland, CA. But their mother has no time for them. Instead of taking them to Disneyland as they had hoped, she sends them to the People's Center run by the Black Panthers so she can write poetry. Delphine is a remarkable older sister, wise beyond her years, and an expert at handling her siblings. Each girl has a distinct response to their mother and the ideas and people to which they are exposed. They develop a hard-won, tenuous connection with their mother and an awareness of injustice on a personal and universal level. With endearing characters, a vivid depiction of a pivotal moment in African-American history, and beautiful, poetic language, this is a book worth reading more than once. Readers will wonder what happens to the sisters when they return to their father in Brooklyn with their 'radical' new ideas about the world.

History, boring? Never!

Looking for some fun historical reads? Look no further.

Sugar changed the world: a story of magic, spice, slavery, freedom, and science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Journey into Mohawk Country as written by H.M. van den Bogaert with artwork by George O'Connor and color by Hilary Sycamore