Last-Minute Gift Ideas

December 19th, 2016

Are you still struggling to find that final gift for a friend or family member? Have you racked your brain to figure out what they would possibly enjoy? No worries: here’s a list of books for everyone in your life. The best part? Once they finish, they’ll surely let you borrow the copy! And remember: before you buy, take a peek at the book through your local Cecil County Branch Library to guarantee excellence!
Here are the perfect picks for the person in your life…

…who is always on-trend:
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Literary Fiction
Why not give your coolest friend a book swarming with buzz? The Nest, published in March 2016, has been on multiple Best Books of 2016 lists. When the Plumb family’s joint trust fund, dubbed “The Nest,” is endangered by the reckless older brother, Leo, the remaining siblings, Melody, Beatrice, and Jack, swarm to protect their share of the money. A page-turner that shows you the power, complexity, and general dysfunction of family relationships. You will surely get an impressed “Oh! I just heard about this book!” with this gift.

 

…who is a hopeless romantic:
Please Enjoy Your Happiness: A Memoir by Paul Brinkley-Rogers
Memoir/Biography
Before Paul Brinkley-Rogers became a Pulitzer-Prize winning war correspondent, he was a 19-year old sailor aboard the USS Shangri-La. During his stay in Japan, Paul develops a relationship with an older woman named Kaji Yukiko. Their relationship flourishes with their shared interest of literature and art. However, tragedy strikes when a member of the yakuza, the Japanese crime syndicate, makes plans to kidnap Yukiko. Paul begins to learn more about Yukiko and post-WWII Japan. Yukiko’s beautiful, lyrical letters are mixed in throughout the book. Please Enjoy Your Happiness is a tender, unforgettable romance.
…who needs an escape:
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
Suspense/Thriller Fiction
Sometime during this holiday season you’re going to talk to someone who really needs to take a break. Give them The Passenger, a fast-paced thriller of a woman trying to escape her past. She moves from town to town like a chameleon, shedding and changing her identity whenever needed. The Passenger is a perfect plot-driven novel that will stick with your giftee even after they’ve finished.

 

…who loves time travel:
Patience by Daniel Clowes
Graphic Novel/Science Fiction
They love Outlander, can’t get enough of Doctor Who, have always been obsessed with Back to the Future. Give them a new way to read about time travel: through a graphic novel. Daniel Clowes, author of the critically acclaimed Ghost World and one of the leading graphic artists of our time, has created an intricate story of one man’s quest to find out who murdered his wife through–you guessed it–time travel. Loud, psychedelic illustrations, bitingly realistic dialogue, and highly detailed — whoever is lucky enough to receive this sci-fi love story will be mulling over the book for days afterwards.

 

…who loves to learn (but doesn’t have a lot of time):
Seven Brief Lessons in Physics by Carlo Revelli
Nonfiction
A short (96 pages!) poetic introduction to physics, tailored to those who know nothing on the subject.

 

 

 
…whose goal in life is to go to every national park:
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
Nonfiction
A beautifully written book about America’s national parks and our relationship with them.

 

 

 

…who is a history buff:
Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History by Richard Snow
Nonfiction
An in-depth look of the sea battle fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia in March 1862.

 

 

 

…who goes to Turkey Point any chance they get:
Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse by Eric Jay Dolin
Nonfiction
Enjoy this expertly researched chronicle of the American lighthouse from its early 1700 beginnings.

 

 

 

…who would live in a fairy tale if they could:
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Young Adult Fantasy
From the author of the “Cinder” series comes a new tale about the Queen of Hearts, before she was infamous.


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Literary Halloween Costumes (on a budget)

October 24th, 2016

I always, always, always wait until the last minute when it comes to Halloween costumes. It crosses my mind briefly in early September, but I wave it away, thinking I have plenty of time. Then the week before I’m scrambling to find anything that would look decent.

If you’re the same way, struggling to think of a smart, interesting, and affordable costume, look no further! We’ve got a few costumes sure to please any bookworm.

1. Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
Who wouldn’t want to be the tough Lisbeth Salander? If you’ve ever read the books (or watched the movie), you know her look is recognizable. All you need is to wear all black, combat boots, some clip on jewelry and of course… the tattoo. Either use a temporary tattoo or find someone artistic to draw it on your back. Voila! You are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

2. Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Love Harry Potter, but want to stand out from all the Hermiones and Rons? What about trying everyone’s favorite ghost who haunts bathrooms: Moaning Myrtle! Get a school uniform or robe, glasses, and hang a (clean) toilet seat around your neck. For an extra touch, put some “teardrops” down your cheek.

3. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is more than an Ernest Hemingway classic: it’s a perfect couple’s costume! If you don’t want to go all out with stage make-up, all you need is a cane to become the old man. If you’re the sea, wear all blue and tape paper fish to yourself, or if you’re really low-maintenance, get a blue shirt and write “C” in the middle.

4. “For Dummies” series
Everyone knows the iconic “For Dummies” series. Wear a yellow hat, a black shirt with “Halloween for dummies” and then yellow pants. Come prepared with a history of Halloween spiel, and tips on how to make the party you’re attending even better. Warning: you might get kicked out for being a know-it-all.

5. The Mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff
If you’re looking for a children’s costume, consider the iconic “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” book. Attach mouse ears (which you can make from cardboard or construction paper) to a headband, give them some whiskers, and have them carry around a huge cookie–either printed out, or make a stuffed cookie. Your kid will be the cutest one on the block.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, stop by your local CCPL branch and get re-introduced to some to your favorite books or find new ones. CCPL library staff offers expert recommendations either in-person or through our BookMate service which is available for teen as well as adult readers. With BookMate, you fill out a short survey and then one of our librarians will match you with 4-6 new titles. One of them could contain your next favorite character… or Halloween costume! We hope to see you soon!


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