Winter Break Blizzard of Books

There’s a light dusting of snow on the ground, and in less than two weeks, we’ll all be on Winter Break.  What a perfect time to check out some books to enjoy.  NOT SURE IF WE HAVE A TITLE?  Click to check the catalog (

Here are our recommendations:

Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are

New Arrivals

New Arrivals

Prep School Literature

Prep School Literature

Secret Knowledge

Secret Knowledge

New Arrivals
Some great new fiction includes The Innocents, by Francesca Segal, and Longbourn, Jo Baker’s below-stairs version of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.  Two newer history-themed graphic novels we’ve added are Genius, about Albert Einstein and, um, Ted, a physicist, by Seagle and Kristiansen.  March:  Book One is about the March on Washington, and is by Congressman John Lewis, Aydin and Powell.  Doris Kearns Goodwin has a new one out.  If you liked Team of Rivals, you might love The Bully Pulpit, which deals with presidents Taft and Roosevelt.  Sabato’s new book The Kennedy Half Century will appeal to Kennedy fans.  On the lighter side, how about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, or Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell?

World War II Fiction
City of Women by David Gillham and Atonement by Ian McEwan are two wrenching tales about the effects of war.  Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 is a classic, and you might enjoy Suite Francaise, which was pieced together by the notes left by Jewish Ukrainian writer Irene Nemirovsky after she was swept up in the Nazi occupation of France in the 2nd World War.  On the home front, in Wales at least, Peter Ho Davies’ novel, The Welsh Girl, is one I’d personally recommend for a rural glimpse of German POW’s in a small community.

Prep School Lit
Tobias Wolff’s Old School is a fine new classic, and you may enjoy Reconstructing Amelia, about the questions raised by the death of a teen at a private school.  Prep, by Sittenfeld is a guilty pleasure.

This is Your Brain on Books
Try the Compass of Pleasure, by David Linden, which arguably has the most eye-catching subtitle I’ve seen for a book.  To improve your memory, Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer.  Medina’s Brain Rules may help you organize your life at school and home.  What do you notice, and what do you overlook?  Read The Invisible Gorilla by Chabris and Simons, and be surprised.  Check out this video by Simons to get the general idea:

Come see us before the end of the day on Thursday, December 19th to check out an armload of good reading.

-Sue and Dennis

Halloween Books & Films for Chilly, Dark Evenings

The nights are cold and crisp, the moon is waxing, and Halloween is coming in just three weeks.  We’ve just chosen a display of books and films to help you celebrate the season.


Here are a few of our picks.  Click them to see a full review, and click HERE for a full list of options.

New fiction

Silver, and Tarnished, by Rhiannon Held.Dr. Sleep, by Stephen King.
Raven Girl, by Audrey Niffenegger.
Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon.

Creepy films

An American Werewolf in London
Dracula This is the Francis Ford Coppola version.

Classic favorites

The Shining, by Stephen King.  If you’ve seen the movie, I can tell you that the book is scarier.
Tales, by H.P. Lovecraft.
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley.

We’ll announce news of a costume contest soon.  Happy October!

–Sue & Dennis

Banned Books in the US Library

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What do these students have in common?  They’re reading banned books!  Whether it’s Harry Potter or even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (yes, really!), a large number of  books have been challenged or banned by school districts or public libraries around the country.  People challenge books that they believe to be dangerous or provocative.  Click here to see a list from the American Library Association of titles that have been censored.

We welcome students and aduts to join our gallery of Banned Books readers.  Stop by to have your photo taken, and we might just add it to the blog.

The US Library does not support censorship, and believes that ideas should be in circulation.  If we do not own a title, we can help teen readers find a copy in the local area, often through a public library.

When you come in to check out our Banned Books display, grab a Banned Books Week pin, and celebrate your freedom to read.  

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(Special thanks to our students for modeling the act of transgressive consumption of texts!)

-Sue & Dennis

Students Recommend Books to Teachers

(CLICK HERE for our full Summer Borrowing list of reviews, videos, and more.)

In a delightful reversal of the usual order of things, we polled students this month to find out what they think the teachers should read this summer.  They had a great deal to say!  About 1 in 7 students responded with a list.  Among those recommendations, we’ve gathered up copies of all the titles we own, and have made a book display at the front desk.  We took our students’ advice, and placed orders for several of their top choices.

Take a look:

Teachers, here you go!  Let the students assign YOU a book to read for a change.

Happy Summer Borrowing to all.


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