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Readers Dozen 2019!

Hey Readers! If you’re looking for a challenge in the New Year, or maybe trying to fulfill reading resolution, try out our 2019 Readers Dozen starting in January.

Complete the monthly challenges during the month of the challenge and fill out your ticket by the 7th of the following month to be eligible for monthly prizes. We’re giving away books, mugs, games, gift cards, and more. And – if you complete all 12 months, you are eligible for the Final Prize (last year, we had tees for everyone!). All other participants will be entered in a drawing for a Final Prize.

For questions or recommendations, see the Reference Librarians!

Take Ten: Christmas Ghosts

Although we’re used to ghost stories around Halloween, in the past the tradition was to tell stories of spectres and spirits at Christmastime. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol re-popularized that tradition in the Victorian Era, but other than that, we’ve let the idea of Christmas ghosts slide a little. Bring the “spirit” back with one of these:

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The Beautiful Child – Emma Tennant

  • Presents a story based on the unfinished work of Henry James about a couple who enlist an artist to paint a portrait of a child they never had.

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

  • A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (If you haven’t read this one in awhile, or have only seen the TV shows/movies, pick it up – you won’t regret it! Also features five other Christmas stories/sketches.)

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days – Jeanette Winterson

  • A collection of stories written annually at Christmas includes tales of trees with magical powers, a tinsel baby that talks, flying dogs, philosophical fairies, and a haunted house.

Christmas Ghosts: An Anthology – edited by Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis

  • Eleven classic Christmas tales, including a shortened version of A Christmas Carol that Dickens used during his public readings.

The Christmas Pearl – Dorothea Benton Frank

  • The matriarch of a family of belligerent idiots, Theodora finds her efforts at bringing them together for a South Carolina Christmas reunion have gone badly awry, until a very special someone uses Gullah magic and common sense to bring about a miracle.

Christmas Spirits

  • Lynn Kurland, Casey Claybourne, Elizabeth Bevarly, and Jenny Lykins present a collection of romantic holiday ghost stories.

Daniel Plainway, or The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League – Van Reid

  • During the Christmas holidays in nineteenth-century Maine, Tobias Walton and his fellow companions in the Moosepath League become caught up in the lives of colorful associates of country lawyer Daniel Plainway.

The Ghost of Christmas Present – Scott Abbott

  • Patrick Guthrie, a widowed public school drama teacher, will do whatever he can to make the money for a life-saving operation his ten-year-old son needs–including begging on the streets of New York.

The Haunted Tea-Cosy: A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas – Edward Gorey

  • Provides an off-beat look at Christmas and the holiday season in a new version of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

Merry Merry Ghost – Carolyn G. Hart

  • When a determined heir moves to block a wealthy woman’s attempt to include her newly discovered grandson in her will, it is up to good-intentioned ghost Bailey Ruth Raeburn to protect a little boy, foil a murderer, and save Christmas.

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus, which has great reader information. Log in with your TFPL card.

Best Books 2018 and Staff Favorites

Forget decorations and presents – the reason December can be so much fun is because of the “Best of” lists that come out this time of year. It’s always fun to find out if you’ve read/watched/listened to the books/movies/music that are celebrated for the year. And, if you haven’t read/watched/listened to the “bests” you can compile a list of things you want to read/watch/listen to!

Of course, everyone has a different list, which adds a bit of challenge to the whole venture. Here’s a list of lists that you might want to glance through for an idea for your next good read:

Publisher’s Weekly

New York Times

Amazon

NPR

Powell’s Book Store

Chicago Review of Books

New York Public Library

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And, in case you want a few local recommendations, here’s what some of our staff enjoyed reading this year:

Favorite Books Published in 2018

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton (Jennifer)

Artificial Condition – Martha Wells (Jason)

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World – Mackenzi Lee (Jordan)

Christmas Cake Murder – Joanne Fluke (Kathleen)

The Clockmaker’s Daughter – Kate Morton (Susan)

The Dark Between Stars: Poems – Atticus (Sarah)

The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah (Amy)

Markswoman – Rati Mehrotra (Jessica)

Scourged – Kevin Hearne (Erica)

Sea Prayer – Khaled Hosseini (Amt)

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson (Erica)

The Word is Murder – Anthony Horowitz (Susan)

The Winter Soldier – Daniel Mason (Jennifer)

Favorite Older Books

Attachments – Rainbow Rowell (Susan)

Cinnamon Roll Murder – Joanne Fluke (Kathleen)

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons, and Growing Up Strange – Mark Barrowcliffe (Jordan)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (Susan)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot (Jessica)

The Mountain Between Us – Charles Martin (Amy)

Off Armageddon Reef – David Weber (Jason)

Origin – Dan Brown (Amy)

Out of My Mind – Sharon Draper (Erica)

Patient Zero – Jonathan Maberry (Erica)

Savage Country – Robert Olmstead (Jennifer)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (Sarah)

Great Online Resource: Creative Bug

Just in time for the holidays! If you’re into crafting, making, cooking, etc – we’ve got a great new resource for you: Creative Bug. With video classes and printable guides, Creative Bug offers help on all sorts of topics, from paper crafts to knitting to baking to home decor. And, with your TFPL card, it’s free to use. Get a jump-start on Christmas gifts or just give yourself a new challenge. Check it out!

Take Ten: Soldiers of WWI

Armistice Day in Twin Falls, November 11, 1918 (Photographer: Clarence E. Bisbee)

November 11, 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the armistice of WWI. The Great War, as it was called at the time, lasted four years (though the U.S. had been involved for just over a year). What was it like for the average soldier in the trenches, or in the air, or even at home? The following books all take a look at the war through the eyes and actions of the American men who fought in WWI.

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Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family: A Test of Will and Faith in World War I – Louisa Thomas

  • Norman Thomas and his brothers’ upbringing prepared them for a life of service–but their calls to conscience threatened to tear them apart. Sons of a Presbyterian minister and grandsons of missionaries, the four brothers shared a rigorous moral upbringing, a Princeton education, and a faith in the era’s spirit of hope.

The Doughboys: America and the First World War – Gary Mead

  • Examines the contributions of American soldiers during the First World War, following their progress from initial derision by the Europeans to a hard-won respect.

The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Grandest Escape of the Great War – Neal Bascomb

  • Presents the story of a group of downed Allied airmen who masterminded a courageous and ingenious breakout from Germany’s Holzminden POW camp.

First to Fly: The Story of the Lafayette Escadrille, the American Heroes Who Flew for France in World War I – Charles Bracelen Flood

  • The story of the daredevil Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew in French planes, wore French uniforms, and showed the world an American brand of heroism before the United States entered the Great War.

Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I – James Carl Nelson

  • Documents the stories of five young Harvard students who met different fates while serving in World War I, drawing on uncensored letters and memoirs to illuminate the impact of the conflict on the educated class of soldiers.

Hellfire Boys: The Birth if the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service and the Race for the World’s Deadliest Weapons – Theo Emery

  • Traces the actions of the “Hellfire Battalion,” a group of American engineers who were trained in gas warfare and were sent to the front lines in France to launch multiple assaults against the Germans.

The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War – Richard Rubin

  • Journalist Richard Ruben painstakingly tracked down and interviewed dozens of surviving WWI veterans (aged between 101 and 113 years old at the time of their interviews) over the course of a decade. He skillfully weaves their halting, haunting individual stories into a vividly humanized account of the world’s first industrial-scale war, and America’s last days as a rural economy.

Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality – Richard Slotkin

  • Examines the United States’ history of ethnic assimilation and racial strife through the experience of World War I regiments, the fabled Harlem Hell Fighters of the 369th infantry and the legendary “lost battalion” of the 77th division.

Sons of Freedom: The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I – Geoffrey Wawro

  • A prize-winning historian describes the battles, strategies and human toll of the Americans during World War I, but whose efforts ultimately saved the Allies, defeated Germany and established their nation as a great power.

The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home – Patrick K. O’Donnell

  • A critically acclaimed medical historian describes the history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and tells the stories of those laid to rest there as well as those veterans serving as Body Bearers.

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus – get more great book and author information by logging in with your TFPL card.

Annie Pike Greenwood

Last week, Idaho Public Television broadcast a new episode of its “Idaho Experience” series, this time featuring the story of a woman with deep Magic Valley ties – Annie Pike Greenwood. She and her family settled on the Northside, near Hazelton, and she wrote about her experiences in a book that was published in 1934.

If you didn’t catch the initial airing, you can see it online (or check their schedule for a rerun). And, if you want to learn more about Greenwood, we have copies of her book, We Sagebrush Folks, available for check out.

Still interested in pioneer life in the early days of the Magic Valley? Pick up one of the following titles and learn more about the history of our region.

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Six Decades Back – Charles S. Walgamott

Bucking the Tide – Henry James Kingsbury

Twin Falls County Pioneers – James L. Holloway

Gifts of Heritage: Pioneer Portraits – edited by Donna Scott and ZoeAnn Shaub

Buckskin and Smoke – Anna Hansen Hayes

Happy 200th, Frankenstein!

Mary Shelley practically invented science fiction in 1818 with her novel featuring Dr. Frankenstein and a very interesting monster. If you haven’t already read the classic, now’s a good time to pick it up – and if you have, try one of these works to learn more about the creator and her creation.

Frankenstein and the Birth of Science: The Era of Ingenuity That Electrified Science and Fiction – Joel Levy

In Search of Mary Shelley – Fiona Sampson

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece – Roseanne Montillo

Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – Kathryn Harkup

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon

The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein – Dorothy Hoobler

Frankenstein: A Cultural History – Susan Tyler Hitchcock

Monsters in the Movies: 100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares – John Landis