Monday, October 13, 2014

What's your next read?

Like most people, staff at Carnegie-Stout enjoy taking the occasional online quiz that promises to tell us which Game of Thrones character we're most like or whether or not we'd survive in The Hunger Games. Then we thought, why not make our own book quiz? So we made two!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Pete Seeger Primer

When I hear the name Pete Seeger, my first thought is of his song “Where have all the flowers gone?”  My high school German class sang the song “auf Deutsch”, and those lyrics still reverberate through my memory, although in Marlene Dietrich’s smoky version rather than the off-key sophomoric rendition from Herr Lange’s classroom.  I like Seeger’s music, but I didn’t know much about him as a person, other than he was controversial.  Then I listened to Jeff Haynes’ The Storm King.  I checked it out because it received an award for distinguished audio book achievement in 2014.  I was so intrigued with The Storm King that I watched Pete Seeger: The Power of Song and read Pete Seeger: In His Own Words and The Pete Seeger Reader.  If I only had a banjo, I’d check out How to Play the 5-String Banjo: a Manual for Beginners!

The Storm King was my favorite.  Music and story and memoir are twined together just as in Seeger’s actual life.  Listening to The Storm King is like sitting around a campfire on a crisp autumn evening with friends talking about life in word and song; tasty like ooey-gooey s’mores.

Pete Seeger died on January 27, 2014 at the age of 94.  You don’t have to agree with his politics to love his songs.  Honor his memory and enrich your life by listening to some of his music.  The Storm King is a great place to start.

~ Michelle, Adult Services

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Magazines of the Month: Threads & TV Guide

Our October magazines of the month are Threads and TV Guide. Stop in to check out an issue!

Threads is a publication of Taunton Press, publisher of several craft, home, and garden publications. Threads is focused on sewing and fashion. You can find out more on their website:

TV Guide has been in publication since 1953, and offer coverage of television news and trends. You can find otu more on their website:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Staff Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I thoroughly enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. The story line is one of a young princess, Kelsea, who comes of age and then has to begin to rule her kingdom. The difficulty is that she has been in hiding since her infancy, and her dead mother left their kingdom weak and at the mercy of an evil “Red Queen.”

Kelsea must figure out how to gain the respect and loyalty of the people she rules over and face the Red Queen's anger when she decides to not honor the agreement made years earlier by her mother.

Besides the political challenges that Kelsea faces, there is also the challenge of realizing that she has some magic present in her life. She must figure out how to use this magic in positive ways without destroying herself or those around her.

Some of the story was a little awkward to follow, for example, the unexplained catastrophe that caused the previous world to end (comparable to present day Earth) leading the world in the book to be at a level similar to the Middle Ages and yet there are discussion of organ transplants and the development of drugs, such as heroin. Questions of what exactly happened are not answered and I just decided to “go with it.”

The characters are well developed and I was able to envision them all in my mind quite well. It was definitely a book that I rushed home to read each day!

~Jackie, Circulation

Monday, September 22, 2014

Staff Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore was recommended to me and I'm so glad it was! I REALLY, REALLY loved this book! The main character is a young woman named Katsa who KICKS BUTT!

The story revolves around Katsa and her ability or “grace” of fighting. The world is in a Middle Ages setting with kings and kingdoms. Katsa's uncle is one of the Kings and she is used by him to punish those who he feels deserves it. She struggles with this role and behind her uncle's back, begins to perform heroic acts all around the seven kingdoms with the help of her close friends and allies.

As the story progresses she comes across others who also have “graces” and begins to understand that she is not alone in the world. After years of being sheltered and feared by those around her, the reader sees her develop into someone who is less closed off and begins to trust herself and others.

I loved the action in this book as well as the romance. In my opinion, it's well rounded and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy!

~Jackie, Circulation

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staff Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

Jessica Brockmole's first novel, Letters from Skye, is a charming, character-driven story of love and loss in war time. Like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyLetters from Skye, is an epistolary novel (told in the form of letters between characters). It's easy to compare these two novels, both have interesting characters, are packed with literary references, and feature small island communities. In fact, it's safe to say that if you enjoyed the one, you'll like the other, though Letters from Skye is a bit more scandalous.

The story's action alternates between the First and Second World Wars, which adds to the tension as you are given clues about the characters' past. Margaret has lived with her mother, Elspeth, in Edinburgh for as long as she can remember. Elspeth never speaks of Margaret's father or her youth on the remote island of Skye. Margaret doesn't question her mother, until the day a German bomb reveals a collection of hidden letters from a mysterious American named Davey, and Elspeth disappears.

I downloaded the audiobook version from our OverDrive collection because I'm a sucker for narrators with accents, especially Scottish accents. The audiobook features a full cast, which means that each of the main characters' letters is read in their own voice. Elle Newlands (Elspeth), Katy Townsend (Margaret), and Lincoln Hoppe (David) carry most of the story, and all are very skilled at conveying the emotions of the story.

You can listen to a sample of the audiobook in our catalog.
~Sarah, Adult Services