June 3rd, 2014

Perfect Book Gifts for Grads

graduationIf you’re anything like me, the beginning of June means a growing stack of graduation announcements and party invitations sitting on your kitchen counter. Graduation is such an exciting time, but for us party-goers, it also means we need to figure out a lot of presents. Instead of opting for a check in a card, think about one of these books that would make a perfect gift for any high-school or college grad.  Interested in checking one out for yourself?  Click the links below or ask our staff about Marina InterLibrary Loan.


The Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz
Forget the freshman 15! This book will help any college student learn how to eat properly when all their options come from a dining hall, and how to cultivate a healthy lifestyle they can continue throughout their life…not just during their college years.

The Naked Roommate & 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College by Harlan Cohen
This bestselling guide is full of advice and tips from how to share a bathroom with an entire floor of people to sharing lecture notes. Grads will get the answers to all the questions they need to know, but never thought to ask.

How to Survive Your Freshman Year
While similar to “The Naked Roommate,” this advice book for college freshman is written by former and current college students. The advice ranges from laundry to social media to dealing with roommates and saving money.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
While this classic might not be go-to reading for most high-school graduates, it provides great advice about how to become a successful individual. This book can be a motivator for any age and delivers great life lessons.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Personally recommended by our Young Adult Librarian in Elkton, this novel is all about following your heart and learning to live for more than what meets the eye. This book can be a great read for any student and teaches the reader about being true to themselves in life.

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
A funny read for anyone nervous about living with a roommate that they have never met before — this book might just be the comforting voice they need to hear!


The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld
After my college graduation this past year, my biggest worry was cooking. The dining hall was gone and now I had to make meals I could live on. Enter this cookbook. It explains everything a beginner cook needs to know, from how to clove garlic to how much a ‘pinch’ really is to how to use the food processor…properly. These yummy recipes are easy and impressive and can make a recent graduate feel like they really can do anything.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Marina Keegan was a 2012 Yale graduate who tragically died in a car crash five days after her graduation. This book is a collection of her writings, put together by her family, friends and professors. Her writing is exceptional, her stories are brilliant and a good reminder for all college graduates about how precious life really is.

Make the Most of Your Time on Earth
A perfect gift for the graduate who wants to travel the world, this book is full of stunning photos that highlight voyages on all seven continents.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman
Graduating from college can be a rough wake-up call when the first student loan payment kicks in. Full of practical advice, this book is a great read for financials newbies or anyone who just needs a refresher on paying off debt, finding a job, buying a home or figuring out what insurance to buy.

Congratulations graduates!  What’s your favorite book to give to new grads?

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May 29th, 2014

Best Books of Summer

beachAnnouncing my intention to attend a work conference in Detroit was my most successful dinner time conversation starter in years.  My son was confident the TSA would waive its rules for carry-on personal protection items in such circumstances, even when their website proved him wrong.  My husband insisted I take time to investigate the local real estate market for a $100 “investment” house with views of Canada.  Even having backpacked through Europe in my day, the conference’s promotional tagline “Detroit—it’s not as bad as you think” gave me pause.

After four days, I was missing both sweet tea and the sight of trees and green grass, neither of which downtown Detroit appeared to have.  But, in return, I’d found the Astoria bakery’s heavenly baklava, sky-high views from the People Mover and my long buried sense of adventure.  Detroit—it deserves better.

If an adventure into the unknown is not on your radar this summer, go along for the journey in one of these titles voted best books of the summer.

Lucky Us—Amy Bloom
Eva and her newly discovered half-sister leave depression-era Ohio for Hollywood only to be detoured on their epic road trip by a needy orphan, an accused German spy and their unrepentant father.  A comedic road trip that proves distance and fate need not tear a make-shift family apart.

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street—Susan Jane Gilman
Adopted by a guilt-ridden Italian ice cream vendor, Lillian leaves her Russian Jewish heritage behind as she ascends to the self-proclaimed role of America’s Ice Cream Queen.  A cooling rags-to-riches story designed for a hot summer day.

Carsick—John Waters
When the indie filmmaker of Hairspray and Crybaby decides to hitchhike from Baltimore to California holding a sign saying “I’m Not Psycho,” nothing can go wrong, can it?

Mr. Mercedes—Stephen King
Where would any self-respecting sociopath hide in a Stephen King novel released in the summer–the local neighborhood ice cream truck, of course.  The question is what path will lead to discovery and how many will be hurt on the way.

The Book of Unknown Americans—Cristina Henriquez
The Rivera family makes the journey from Mexico, where they ran a thriving construction business, to Delaware hoping for help for their brain-injured daughter.  Finding work at a local mushroom farm does little to ease the family’s fears as they have little English or money to sustain them.  A perspective on the American dream with roots close to home.

Vacationers—Emma Straub
Fired for dallying with an intern, Jim begins his two-week island vacation on the losing end of the silent treatment from his wife Franny.  Planned to celebrate their 35th anniversary, the trip gathers family and friends preoccupied with their own secrets and ambitions set to be revealed under the hot Mallorca sun.

Where are you headed this summer and what’s on your reading list?