FDL Reads: Love & Inheritance Trilogy

Cover image for Habits of the houseCover image for Long live the kingCover image for The new countess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love and Inheritance trilogy by Fay Weldon

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Reference Assistant

Genre: Historical Romance

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: The first book of this trilogy is Habits of the House, which introduces the Dilberne family and their various servants at No.17 Belgrave Square, London. Lord Robert and his wife Isobel have two grown, unmarried children:  Arthur at 26 and Rosina at 28. They are all in town past the London season into October when bad news comes at the beginning of the novel. The start of the second Boer War, which distresses their investments in a gold mine in the region of the Transvaal, has begun. Solutions to the problem of the family’s impoverishment include marrying Arthur to an American heiress and marrying Rosina to anyone who would have her since she is of an advanced age and a very outspoken liberal with thoughts of becoming a doctor or some kind of reformist. The story is told with many perspectives including Lady Isobel’s maid, Grace. She is a young woman of substantial intellect and drive for a servant, who knows how to type and to make herself indispensable to Lady Isobel and the household.

The trilogy continues with the novel Long Live the King, which is set during the period when a personal friend of Lord Robert, Edward is ascending to the British throne at the beginning of the 20th century. And the last of the trilogy is The New Countess, which is set at the Dilberne’s estate with the planning of King Edward and Queen Alexandria’s eminent visit.

My Review: This noted English author, Weldon, is the original pilot writer for the PBS/BBC series Upstairs Downstairs. With the recent series Downton Abbey, this type of historical romance set during the Edwardian period when the differences between the servant class and their masters were at the brink of major changes has become very popular. Downton Abbey started with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 as the catalyst of change for the Crawley family, whereas this trilogy is set during the 1899-1903 period.  However, I believe the viewers of Downton Abbey would enjoy reading this trilogy, as I did.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Black Science

Cover image for Black Science. Volume 1, How to fall foreverBlack Science by Rick Remender, art by Matteo Scalera

Reviewed by: Dave Gibbons, Library Volunteer

Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: The “eververse” is like an onion, layers of alternate realities surrounding what may be the primal universe that started it all, or so supposes Grant McKay when inspiring the logo design for his so called “dementionauts.” But a more accurate statement would be that the characters in this story are like onions: each layer peeling back as they jump from reality to reality.  High-tech Native Americans fighting the savages of Europe in a manifest destiny like war, barbaric lizard kingdoms that exult in debauchery that would make Nero blush and disembodied sentiences that ravenously seek out hosts are just a few of the perils that are faced as McKay’s team stumbles from world to world. Consisting of the philandering Grant McKay, his children Nathan and Pia, his arch rival Kadir, assistant Chandra, fellow scientist Rebecca, noble security officer Ward and Shawn a scientist desperately trying to hold on to his humanity, the team’s struggle for survival will push them to do things they never imagined they were capable of.

My Review: Best known for his work with Marvel Comics on Uncanny X-force and Uncanny Avengers, author Rick Remender has penned a modern take on a classic sci-fi trope. While the family dynamic is central to the story, it is pitted against the harsh realities of science gone wrong as the flaws in each person begin to come to the surface. Fears and insecurities are laid bare as the characters are forced into each situation. It is as if Lev Grossman (The Magicians) wrote Fantastic Four. The story is further amplified by Italian based artist Matteo Scalera’s breathtaking artwork. Each world is given a unique scope and fools you into becoming at ease with it only to surprise you with the bizarre reality. This book is exactly where modern science fiction is heading and I for one am excited to be along for the ride.

Rating: Story – 4/5  Art – 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Jobs at the Library

Picture1Love the library? Why not work here? We currently have three part-time openings: a Youth Services Assistant, a Custodian, and a Library Page.

Visit http://www.fondulaclibrary.org/about-us/jobs/ for more information.

New & Upcoming Titles

A list of New & Upcoming Titles at Fondulac Library has been added to the website! The books on this list are available to check out or place on hold.

Here is a sampling of a few of the latest titles:

hoag   Steel   Llywelyn   Patterson

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: The Ghost of Graylock

Cover image for The ghost of GraylockThe Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Assistant

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Neil and his sister Bree are living with their aunts while their mother copes with her husband’s decision to leave the family. The abandoned Graylock mental hospital is located near their aunts’ home, so Neil, Bree, and their new friends Wesley and Eric decide to explore it. After their visit, one of the entities seems to be following Neil and Bree, urging them to discover the truth about what happened at Graylock.

My Review: One of the things I like about this book is that there is a mystery to solve, and enough complexity in the plot for several plausible theories. I was anxious to satisfy my suspicions and my curiosity kept me engaged. I also appreciated the references to modern technology and theories surrounding paranormal activity. Poblocki’s descriptions are vivid, but not so excessive that they slow down the story or could potentially bore a young reader. The book was exciting and contained enough reasonable content for me to be willing to suspend my disbelief for some of the more extreme ghostly manifestations that took place. I will definitely be checking out some of Poblocki’s other novels, and would suggest his work to fans of Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Job Opening: Custodian (PT)

Picture1Fondulac District Library is seeking a responsible, dependable, and detail-oriented individual who takes pride in providing a clean, safe, and welcoming library environment for a part-time Custodian position.

The current posting for this position closes January 22. Please see http://www.fondulaclibrary.org/about-us/jobs/ for more information.

We’re hiring!

We're hiring!Love the library? Why not work here?!

The library currently has a job opening for a part-time Youth Services Assistant.

Please see the Library Job Openings page for information about the position, job description, qualifications, and more.

FDL Reads: The Alex Crow

Cover image for The Alex crowThe Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: This story is told from the perspective of Ariel, a 15 year old Middle Eastern refugee who has been adopted by the Burgess family and relocated to Sunday, West Virginia. This is the story of how Ariel survived the massacre of his village. This is the story of Ariel and his adopted brother Max surviving their summer at the Merrie-Seymour Camp for Boys. This is also the story Leonard Fountain, a radioactive schizophrenic known as the Melting Man. And it is the story of a failed Arctic expedition in the 1880s. Smith ties all of these narratives together into an amazingly weird shared story that shows how people are interconnected through time and space.

My Review: I enjoyed this book a lot. Smith has a distinct talent for the weird. The book is labeled as science fiction but it is only tangentially so. Ariel’s new father works for the top secret Alex Division of his lab and his new family has a resurrected from the dead and also suicidal pet crow. Named Alex. The doomed Arctic vessel, named the Alex Crow, finds supernatural horrors buried in the ice. The Melting Man has a close relationship with Joseph Stalin and may or may not be the victim of spying by invisible drones. The novel is sprinkled throughout with bits of weirdness, but it is ultimately a story of survival and also the idea of thriving instead of merely surviving. Ariel, Max, and Cobie are endearing and honest characters. I really do love how weird Smith’s books are and the way he connects stories that don’t seem to have anything in common.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

St7550814uff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Non-fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Stuff takes an in depth look at hoarding in many of its forms. The authors interview and profile many different people over the course of this book and examine their relationships to the things they collect. Some people obsess over the information in newspapers and magazines. Other people feel the need to keep anything they come into contact with or possess, including garbage. Other people feel the need to collect living animals. Frost and Steketee deconstruct all of these behaviors, examining the unique relationships people have to the things they own, interspersed with historical accounts of hoarding and collecting.

My Review: I mostly read this book out of curiosity. As someone who likes a minimal amount of stuff, I was curious about the need some people have to pack their homes and their lives with literal baggage. I thought that this was a wonderfully insightful and compassionate look at hoarders. Frost and Steketee do a great job of explaining hoarding behavior and the potential reasons behind it. They do an excellent job of giving their interviewees/patients a voice without being judgmental. It’s important for potential readers to bear in mind that this is a history and analysis and not a self-help book. But weather you are a hoarder, know a hoarder, or are simply curious, this is a great look at a sub-section of human nature.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

Cover image for Hidden : a child's story of the HolocaustHidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier; illustrated by Marc Lizano

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant

Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Graphic Novel

Suggested Age: Elementary school children, teens, and adults

What is the book about?: Hidden tells the story of Parisian Dounia Cohen, a Jewish girl who was hidden from the Nazis during World War II after soldiers took Dounia’s parents to a concentration camp. Dounia poignantly tells her life story to her granddaughter, Elsa, late one night when Elsa finds Dounia crying as she looks over some old photos. Dounia sadly tells about the growing hatred toward the Jews during the Nazi occupation of France until finally, one night, soldiers come to take away Dounia’s parents. Her parents hide Dounia in the bottom of a wardrobe, making Dounia promise not to make a sound. A neighbor later rescues Dounia, and they escape into hiding at a farm in the country.

My Review: Author Dauvillier tells the story in simple words so that children can understand Dounia’s humiliation and fear, as well as the strong sense of loss she feels without her parents. Through detailed drawings and a color palette that draws the reader into the story, illustrator Lizano expertly reinforces the emotions felt by the story’s characters.  Both text and illustrations clearly relate to the reader the cruelty that Dounia experiences but – since the book is meant for a juvenile audience – the reader is not overwhelmed by the totality of the horror of the Holocaust.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

 

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