Tag Archives: Southfield Public Library

Veterans Day reading list


We observe Veterans Day on November 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended the hostilities of World War I. As we thank our veterans for their service to the United States, it is also a good time to reflect upon and learn more about what they did for us. Here is a list of a few books to read, keeping in mind the sacrifices our veterans made!

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose  tells of the men in Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, US Army. Men who fought, went hungry, froze & died, a company that took 150% casualties & considered the Purple Heart a badge of office.

Flags of Our Fathers by James D. Bradley is the story of the men who were immortalized on the Marine Corps War Memorial. It is a powerful account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and US Airman, and the journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul. For additional reading on the Vietnam War try these titles: A Rumor Of War by Philip Caputo –and– We Were Soldiers Once… and Young by Harold G. Moore, Joseph L. Galloway

Generation Kill by Evan Wright is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of the USMC First Recon Battalion, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American war.


Chill Out!

While this latest heat wave is almost over, we’ve still got a lot of summer to go! Here are some books set in cold climates to take your mind off that ever rising thermometer…..


Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell is set in the bitter cold of an Ozark winter. Rees Dolly, a girl of 17, must find her no-account father before she and her younger siblings are evicted.  It’s also a great movie.

Smilla’s Sense Of Snow by Peter Hoeg finds Smilla, a detective in Copenhagen, trying to solve a murder.

Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. creates a new world in this first of a very popular series and  a very long winter is coming.  You can also watch the HBO adaptation.

Something Red by Douglas Nichols finds a small troupe trying to cross the mountains before the snows set in… but something more than bears are prowling about.

Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson is a story of star-crossed lovers , prejudice and justice set among the snowy woods of Washington. The movie version is also available.

A Fatal Grace by Lousie Penny finds Inspector Gamache up in Three Pines, Quebec , trying to solve the murder of woman along side the curling rink.

Winter’s Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher takes the reader to a snowy Christmas time in the hills of Scotland.

Books Into Movies – The Summer Edition…..


There’s a whole lot of sequel-ing going on in movie theaters this summer, but there are also some movies that are based on books. Give one of these a try and you decide which is better…. the movie or the book!

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the screen version of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a novel of class, money, excess, identity, friendship and love.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is based on  a book by Rick Riordan. You might have met Percy before in both movie and book form… this version finds Percy fighting all sorts of monsters in the Bermuda Triangle.

World War Z by Max Brooks chronicles an attack on civilization by zombies created by a virus… Brad Pitt puts his spin on it in the movie version.

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume tells the tale of young girl who needs to work through her grief over her father’s death. Can the movie live up to the book?

Paranoia takes you into the world of corporate espionage. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are two of the stars of the movie based on the book by Joseph Finder.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare is given a modern twist by Joss Whedon.. two sets of star-crossed lovers finally find their happiness fulfilled.

Under the Dome is actually a television series based on a book by Stephen King. You know he can’t be contained in a two hour movie! A town in Maine finds itself isolated under a mysterious dome…

Mortal Instruments is another teen book turned movie. It’s based on the book called City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and full of Shadowhunters and demons and vampires and all sorts of otherwordly creatures.

So, enjoy those movies, read those books and let us know which you preferred!

Ah, Summertime!

Ah, sunshine, blue skies, summertime! And, back again at the library is the Summer Reading For Grown-Ups program.  Stop at the 2nd floor Fiction Desk for details and to sign up!

oh the places

Our theme this year is OH THE PLACES YOU WILL GO – WHEN YOU READ!

Those places could be another city, another state, another country, another planet, another time …

To get you started on a journey, try one of these…

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather is an oldie but goodie, where she recreates the world of immigrants on the Nebraska frontier of the late 19th century.

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan is set in Berlin and Paris in the late 1930’s. Here, a troupe of ex-pat African Americans have made it big as jazz musicians, but are now facing the threat of the rise of the Nazi party.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones transports the reader back to pre-Civil War days in Virginia and explores the lives of slaves, under the ownership of both white and black masters.

The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais tells the takes you on a delicious journey from Bombay to Paris with Hassan, a man who loves to feed people.

Shantaram is an epic novel written by Gregory Roberts. In it, an escaped Australian convict finds freedom in the slums of Bombay. The author shares with the reader the sights and the sounds and the smells and the beauty of that crowded city, as well as creating a rousing adventurous tale.

The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe is a sweeping novel, set in the western states and provinces of the U.S. and Canada in the late 1800’s. There, a band of searchers join together to find a lost brother, a sister’s killer, a place in the world and much more.

Memorial Day 2013

poppies veterans

Memorial Day is coming up on May 24th and while it is the unofficial kick off for summer for many of us, it’s also a day to honor the men and women who have given their lives for their country.

 Try picking up one of these books to get a sense of what those heroes  go through.  Some of them may be echoes from your high school English classes, but I think they are worth another read.

Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane tells the tale of a young boy fighting in the Civil War.

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk is the first of a trilogy, following the Henry family as they fight in World War II.

Ernest Hemingway’s novels, A Farewell To Arms covers the life of a soldier in World War I, while For Whom The Bell Tolls explores the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.

And If I Perish by Evelyn Mohahan is the true story of World War II army nurses and the dangers they faced.

Alexander Jefferson’s autobiography, Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free, relates the story of one of the Tuskegee airmen.

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose follows one regiment of soldiers, starting with the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.

Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride is a novel detailing the experiences of a group of Buffalo Soldiers fighting in Italy in World War II

Jarhead by Anthony Swofford tells a Marine’s perspective on the Gulf War.

The novel Yellow Birds by Kevin Power brings light to a soldier’s life in the Iraq War.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller is a satirical look at the insanity of war.

Slaughterhouse 5, a novel by Kurt Vonnegut is based on the author’s own experiences in World War II. 

There are so many other titles for you to choose from – stop at the Fiction Desk and we’ll help you find one.

As always, Happy Reading and Happy Summer!


Witches are the new zombies…..

According to an Entertainment Weekly article, there’s a “coven craze” coming to to movies and television. (Summer Movie Double Issue, 2013).

They’ve listed movies such as Oz The Great And Powerful, The Lords of Salem and Seventh Son as proof.

There have been a fair amount of new book titles with witches as central characters. Here’s a few that are sure to charm you!

Deborah Harkness has the first two parts of her trilogy ready to read.
A Discovery of Witches is the first and Shadow of Night follows.  In them, Diana Bishop, the last of a line of powerful witches, prefers academia over magic but she soon finds herself entangled in a war between witches, daemons and vampires!

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz is the first in a series, as well.  A mother and her two daughters are living a quiet life on Long Island but they harbor a secret… they are witches, banned from using their powers.  But when strange things start plaguing their town, they know they have to use those powers to keep the town safe.

Circle of Five by Dolores Riccio introduces us to a group of women  with special powers.  But, in their attempt to solve and prevent murders, they find themselves in danger.  A bit of humor lightens the creepy feel of this book, according to reviews.

The After Wife by Lexi Davis finds Nia trying to find love, but everytime she comes close to it, strange things happen to drive Mr. Right away.  The problem is that Nia is not an ordinary girl but a powerful witch’s daughter pledged to a demon!

Janet Evanovich’s contribution to this witchy world is a series that begins with  Wicked Appetite.   Lizzy Tucker has a bakery in Salem, Massachusetts but soon finds herself caught up in a frenzied hunt for ancient relics.

Happy Reading!

Action, Adventure, and Women Protagonists!

I must confess, I love James Bond; he is witty, debonair, and gets to drive all of those classy cars. Now, I have found some classy fictional women who pull their own comparatively, but without the cars and martinis.

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Stephanie Plum, and if you’re not, shame on you! Just kidding! She’s classy in a Jersey way, quick on her feet (sometimes), and has a great sense of humor. There are cars, but they usually don’t remain functional for too long, if you know what I mean. Janet Evanovich’s latest adventure is  Notorious Nineteen. But if you love Stephanie Plum, I have other amazing women sleuths to introduce you to!

Lisa Lutz has created a series, starting with The Spellman Files.  Who are the Spellmans, you ask?  Just a family whose members all work in the family private detective business.  Of course, they are all just a bit dysfunctional, and find issues with each other and their clients, but they should make you laugh.

Kat Richardson’s  series introduces us to Harper Blaine, a private investigator. The first title in this series is Greywalker and is fantasy, but action packed and a refreshing take on mystery solving. Harper Blaine becomes a greywalker, able to walk both the world of the living and the dead as a result of an accident in the beginning of the series.

Carolyn Haines has created Sarah Booth Delaney.  The first book in the Bones series is called Them Bones. Sarah has a lot in common with Stephanie Plum in the beginning of her series: she’s single, jobless and broke! But Sarah is haunted by the ghost of her great-great-great grandmother’s nanny and she falls into detective work after a bout of innocent criminal activity!

K.J. Larsen’s  creation is Cat DeLuca and her mystery series begins with Liar, Liar. Cat is a recently divorced Private Investigator and owns her own detective agency, catching other people’s cheating partners and more!

Charlaine Harris has written the Harper Connelly series, among others, but this one begins with Grave Sight. Harper has a unique ability to find the dead. As you can imagine, this can be a pretty nifty gift given the right circumstances, but Harper typically finds cold receptions and threats made against her as she tries to make a living helping put the dead to rest.

For more serious series:

Mallory’s Oracle is the first in a series by Caroll O’Connell. Mallory is a NYC police officer who follows her own rules. People who like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series would like Mallory.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith is the first of many in this series.. African detective, Precious Ramotswe, is devoted to helping others and quickly becomes involved in solving mysteries in her home, Botswana.

Check out Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. Kay Scarpetta is a forensic analyst and medical examiner whose investigative work often makes her the target of her victims’ murderers. Start with Postmortem to meet Scarpetta for the very first time.

Tess Gerritsen is the author of the  Rizzoli & Isles series, beginning with The Surgeon. This is a thrilling and suspenseful series that involves a female Boston homicide detective and is chock full of forensic investigative material.

Hope this is enough to keep your adrenaline levels up!