Staff Pick — Amanda — Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore — DB 75599

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a story about books, technology, typography, and a secret society. It’s about the intersection of old and new, about friendship, and about the meaning of life. The story is a mystery and a quest – there are plenty of twists and turns but the author’s writing style is easy and straightforward. The characters are interesting, engaging, and by the end of the book seem like real people. Sloan also creates a great sense of place, putting you on the streets of San Francisco and right inside the unusual bookstore. Every place the reader visits – Clay’s apartment, Google headquarters, New York City – are well drawn, and help to transport you into the story. If you like fun and quirky books, give this book a try.

SLOAN, ROBIN, 1979- Original Date: 2012
While hunting for a new job, Web designer Clay Jannon wanders across Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Bookstore, which sits next to a strip joint. Hired for the night shift, Clay is soon drawn into a world of mystery, intrigue, and kooky customers. 2012.
DB 75599 BR 19723

Read Across America

Here at Texas Talking Books we celebrate reading every day – and so do you, our patrons! On March 3, we get the opportunity to join with teachers and librarians across the country to celebrate Read Across America, an annual event held each year on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, is sponsored by the National Education Agency in partnership with local schools, libraries, churches, and other community organizations. Through a variety of events and activities in communities across the country, Read Across America encourages children to read regularly and often, both independently and with teachers, parents, and caregivers. This year, take advantage of this nation-wide celebration to try a new author, share your favorite book with a friend, read aloud with someone, or just curl up with a good book, knowing you’re part of a community of readers and book lovers.

To celebrate Read Across America, why not try out one of the following books, voted on by children across the country as some of their favorite books (the full list can be found on the NEA website.)

SEUSS, DR                                         1960
Nonsense rhyme about a delightful creature named Sam-I-Am, and his efforts to get another to eat green eggs and ham. For preschool-grade 2.
BR   08956      BR   13450      BR   16721      RC   34056      DX  34056

ROWLING, J.K                                      1997
On Harry Potter’s eleventh birthday, he learns that he is more than an unwanted orphan. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry recruits him because he has inherent magical abilities. As he purchases his school supplies–robes, wand, and messenger owl—Harry looks forward to attending his new boarding school. Bestseller. 1997.
BR   17774      BT   03288      RC   47260      DB   47260     DX   47260     LB   04656

PAULSEN, GARY                                     1987
Brian, thirteen and troubled by his parent’s divorce, is flying in a single engine plane to visit his father.  As Brian is the only passenger, the pilot casually shows him how to fly the plane.  When the pilot has a heart attack and dies, Brian must take control.  After the plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, Brian has only the hatchet attached to his belt to help him survive.  Newbery Honor book 1988.
BR   11525      BT   03120      RC   30535      DB   30535     DX   30535     LB   04094

SACHAR, LOUIS, 1954-                               1998
Stanley Yelnats IV finds himself in a detention center for possessing stolen property that he didn’t take. While digging holes under the summer Texas sun, he sees a fellow inmate running away–and follows him. Legends, loyalty, and buried treasure are revealed as Stanley learns to survive.   Newbery Medal.
BR   12174      BR   17776      DB   47444     LB   04941

BLUME, JUDY                                       1970
Margaret Simon (almost twelve) frequently chats with God. She is lonely after her parents buy a new house in Farbrook, New Jersey.Because she is from the city, the new girls expect her to be more grown up than they are, but Margaret’s body hasn’t begun to mature yet and she’s never kissed a boy.
BR   07171      RC   37405      DB   37405     LB   03468      LB   06053

If adult books are more to your taste, try out one of these books recommended by Texas Talking Book Program’s Reader’s Advisory Librarians:

GALBRAITH, ROBERT                                 2013
The author is J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith. Private detective Cormoran Strike is down on his luck–he lost a leg in Afghanistan, his practice is suffering, he broke up with his            girlfriend, and he lives in his office. Then he is hired to investigate supermodel Cuckoo’s supposed suicide.  Strong language,
DB   76784

GAIMAN, NEIL                                      2013
Sussex, England. A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral. While there, he is drawn to the farm where his friend Lettie lived with her mother and grandmother. After he enters the property, he remembers the terrifying experiences he and Lettie shared. Some violence. Bestseller.  2013.
BR   20187      DB   77198

FROST, RANDY O                                    2010
Two experts in obsessive-compulsive disorders describe hoarding syndrome and share case examples of their research-study patients, whose homes are overrun by towering piles of found or purchased items they are unable to part with or stop collecting. The authors discuss treatment possibilities and the condition’s effects on family members.
DB   73054

GAFFIGAN, JIM                                     2013
Stand-up comedian and actor describes living with his wife and their five children–all under the age of nine–in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan. Bestseller.  2013.
DB   76916

Staff Picks – Amanda – The Bookman’s Tale, DB 76839

The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession, by Charlie Lovett opens in a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, where an antiquarian book dealer stumbles upon a Victorian painting that looks exactly like his recently deceased wife. Peter Byerly is not dealing well with his grief and the loss of his wife, and this picture lights a fire inside of him, urging him to figure out where it came from, who painted it, and who is pictured. His quest leads him into a mystery surrounding a potentially history-making rare manuscript, a centuries-old family feud, a blackmail scheme, and murder.

As Peter’s present-day story unfolds, the author uses alternating chapters to also tell us the story of the manuscript and more of Peter and Amanda’s story. The mystery unfolds slowly, and brought to mind chilly, rainy days, crackling fires, musty libraries, and good, strong cups of tea. The Bookman’s Tale is also as much a story about books and the love of books (the older the better) as it is about the characters and plot. It’s a book for booklovers.