Author Archives: Tessa Terry

#BookFaceFriday “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel” by Heather Morris (Harper, 2018) is a part of the NLC Book Club collection! Even better, your book club can celebrate Veteran’s Day all month long with our book club search engine’s Category setting. Quickly find fiction and non-fiction books covering the topic of War and Military Service. The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel” is based on the real-life experiences of a Holocaust survivor, historical fiction doesn’t get any better than this.

To many, this book will be most appreciated for its powerful evocation of the everyday horrors of life as a prisoner in a concentration camp, while others will be heartened by the novel’s message of how true love can transcend even the most hellishly inhuman environments. This is a perfect novel for book clubs and readers of historical fiction.” (Publishers Weekly)

This week’s #BookFace models are current NLC Commissioner Arunkumar Pondicherry, and past NLC Commissioner Sandy White! Arun was appointed in 2018 to his first three-year term and Sandy just finished her three-year term just this month. A big thank you to all of our NLC Commissioners for their service on our board!

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Skeleton Man” by Joseph Bruchac

This #BookFace is sure to get your blood pumping!

We are hitting our Halloween stride with this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “Skeleton Man” by Joseph Bruchac (HarperCollins, 2003) is a chilling middle-grade read. Full of missing parents, nightmares, and spooky stories this book club kit is a great way to learn about tribal legends. Reserve it for your youth book club today!

Although it’s steeped in Mohawk lore and tradition, Bruchac’s story is contemporary both in its setting and its celebration of the enduring strength and courage of Native American women. – (ALA Booklist)

This week’s #BookFace model is our new TBBS Director, Gabe Kramer!

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Ghost of Fossil Glen” by Cynthia Defelice

This #BookFace is a graveyard smash!

We are getting into the Halloween spirit with “The Ghost of Fossil Glen” by Cynthia Defelice (Square Fish, 2010.) It’s a 3-7 grade read with a teacher’s guide available. Just like a Nancy Drew mystery if she’d had a little paranormal help. Get it reserved for your youth book club today!

An imaginative and adventurous sixth grader makes a connection with the ghost of the victim of an unsolved murder and puts her own life in jeopardy to find the killer…Fans of ghost stories…will find this excellent book difficult to put down. ―Starred, School Library Journal

This week’s #BookFace model is Cathy Hatterman, NLC’s Acquisitions Librarian! Unfortunately, we did not have access to a graveyard so our stacks had to suffice for this week’s #BookFace photo.

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Youth Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear

Hey, #BookFace fans, you can stand under my umbrella.

We took advantage of yet another rainy day for this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Crime; 10th Anniversary ed. edition, 2014) is the first novel in what is now a series of fifteen books, 2 in the NLC Book Club collection! These well written, historical fiction novels begin in 1929 and revolve around the heroine’s newly opened private eye business. Fans from Veronica Mars to Downton Abbey will be able to appreciate this mystery series.

“A delightful mix of mystery, war story and romance set in WWI–era England . . . A refreshing heroine, appealing secondary characters and an absorbing plot [make Winspear a] writer to watch.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood

Is this #BookFace a Femme Fatale or Innocent Maiden?!

Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017) is just one of several Atwood works in the NLC Book Club collection! Gear up for her new novel with more than a TV marathon, reserve any of her past works for your book club today. 

“A stunning novel full of sly wit, compassion and insight, boasting writing that is lyrical, assured, evocative of time and place, and seductive in its power to engage us.”
–Houston Chronicle

This week’s #BookFace model is our NLC Commissioner Debby Whitehill Bloom! She was reappointed in 2018 to a second three-year term and is the current Commission Chair.

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Boy in the Black Suit”

Everybody’s crazy for a sharp-dressed #BookFace!

The Boy in the Black Suit” by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015) is the 2019 One Book for Nebraska Teens selection and a part of the NLC Book Club collection. This excellent YA novel is also a 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book. You can reserve this kit today for your youth book club!

“Matt is a wonderfully sympathetic, multidimensional character whose voice is a perfect match for the material and whose relationships with Love and Mr. Ray—also a fascinating character—are beautifully realized. This quiet story is clearly a winner.” -Booklist

This week’s #BookFace model is our newest Commissioner Vernon J. Davis! He began his three-year term as Commissioner this July after his appointment by Governor Pete Ricketts. Welcome, Vernon!

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Woman in the Window”

I always feel like somebody’s watching me! "The Woman in the Window" Book Face image

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

In honor of Friday the 13th, check out “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018) in the NLC Book Club collection. The ups and downs of an agoraphobic woman and what she thinks she’s witnessed will have you on the edge of your seat. A perfect fit for any Rear Window fans, or lovers of Tana French and Gillian Flynn. Browse this title or our entire collection at nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub today!

The Woman in the Window is a tour de force. A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality. It left my own mind reeling and my heart pounding. An absolutely gripping thriller.” (Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author)

This week’s #BookFace model is our staff break room, more commonly known as the Crows Nest. No blinds were harmed in the making of the #BookFace.

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Master Butchers Singing Club”

Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do! Sing along with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

Written by National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Louise Erdrich”
The Master Butchers Singing Club
“(HarperPerennial 2005) is worth a read. The perfect choice for fans of our 2016 One Book One Nebraska title “The Meaning of Names.” Follow the story of German immigrants after WWI, as they make their lives in South Dakota. This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection and a great choice for every book club!

“A brilliantly layered look at war’s costs …Daring, graceful, comprehending and, rooted in the great plains, uniquely American.” (Kansas City Star)

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Shoshana Patocka, our Cataloging Librarian!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: “After the Flood” by Kassandra Montag

How far would you go to find your stolen child? What lies would you tell? What lines would you cross? I have been waiting at least a year to get my hands on this book, and when I finally did I couldn’t put it down. In her debut novel, Kassandra Montag has created a world that doesn’t seem as unlikely as you’d hope. Left in a Noah-esqu existence, characters are just trying to survive the destructive effects of climate change. Only the highest mountain tops dot the new landscape after massive flooding covers the earth. Myra, our heroine, and narrator is making her life on a small fishing boat after suffering devastating loss and betrayal. With only her six-year-old daughter by her side, Myra must make the choice of pursuing the trail of the daughter she lost or protecting the one she still has.

While the setting is a post-apocalyptic, the characters are completely authentic. No super-human strength, good looks, or smarts, just real people coping with their new reality. This book left me wanting more of everything, the story, the characters, and their relationships. I’m not so secretly hoping Montag has a sequel up her sleeve.

Come hear more about this great novel from the author herself on September, 7th at the Nebraska Book Festival. This Nebraska author will be answering questions and signing books, so don’t miss it!

Montag, Kassandra. After the Flood. William Morrow (2019)

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “How It Feels to Float”

Get swept away with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

Praised as “Profoundly moving,” “Frank [and] beautifully crafted” you will not be able to stop reading this week’s #BookFace! “How It Feels to Float” by Helena Fox (Dial Books, 2019) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both ebook and Audiobook format. So no matter how you like to read, this book is for you. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Biz is smart, funny, and self-deprecating . . . [How It Feels to Float is] a masterful portrayal of mental illness that illuminates the complex interplay between emotional trauma and the mind’s subsequent recoil. And the writing is just beautiful.” —Booklist (starred review)

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Linda Babcock, our Library Development Services Staff Assistant.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Because of Mr. Terupt”

This #BookFace is going back to school, back to school!

…to prove to dad I’m not a fool. Just kidding, #BookFaceFriday never has to prove that. As all the kids, teachers, families, and librarians gear up for another year, we’ve got a great start to your youth book clubs! Check out “Because of Mr. Terupt” by Rob Buyea (Yearling, 2011). Written from the perspective of seven fifth graders, this children’s chapter book has a character that every type of kid can relate to. As a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, this read would be a great start to any school year.

“The characters are authentic and the short chapters are skillfully arranged to keep readers moving headlong toward the satisfying conclusion.”–School Library Journal

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Gabe Kramer, our  new Director of Talking Book & Braille Services. Learn all about him in his recent NLC Staff profile!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NLC Staff: Meet Gabe Kramer

Gabe Kramer: The Accidental Librarian

Meet Gabe Kramer who joined the Library Commission staff ten years ago and recently became Talking Book & Braille Service Director. Gabe grew up in Wahoo and graduated from Wahoo High School. He attended UNL earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting and completed his Master’s Degree in Library Science this past December from the University of Missouri. As a kid, Gabe remembers reading all the Goosebumps books and his first Stephen King book in 5th grade.  As an adult, Gabe prefers nonfiction and is currently reading John Adams by David McCullough. Gabe estimates for every fiction book he reads, he reads two nonfiction. Stephen King is his favorite author. Gabe’s library also includes a substantial music collection featuring David Bowie, Nirvana, Kanye West, and Radiohead.

Prior to working in libraries, Gabe worked at Dairy Queen, the UNL Parking and Transit Department, and produced the broadcasts for the Lincoln Stars and the Lincoln Saltdogs. Gabe submitted an application for several jobs with the State of Nebraska and received a call to interview for the Library Commission. He does not remember applying specifically for a job at the Library Commission but happily, his application made him a good candidate making Gabe an accidental librarian. When he isn’t busy juggling the many staff shortages his department has been dealt recently, he likes to play basketball and spend time at home with his family listening to music and playing video games.

Gabe is married to Jenny and together they have a 9-year-old daughter, Ella. When I asked Gabe what is the best thing about life in Nebraska, he replied, “Jenny keeps me here.” A perfect day for Gabe is one with lovely weather, no chores, and plenty of time to do whatever he wants.  If Gabe won the lottery, travel would be the first priority with the goal of filling all the pages of his passport book with custom stamps. Two trips to Japan to visit his mother’s family has whetted his appetite to see more of the world. Accidental or otherwise, we’re grateful Gabe joined the staff at the Library Commission.

NLC Logo

Posted in General, Public Library Boards of Trustees, Public Relations, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: “Zoo Nebraska” by Carson Vaughan

A few Nebraska natives still remember the little ragtag children’s zoo in Royal, Nebraska before its tragic end, but its existence has faded into the background of local knowledge like an empty, weathered barn. Easily overlooked. Carson Vaughan invites readers to slow down and take a closer look at what happened—or what could have, should have happened—in Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream.

The murder of a mentor, a chimp named Reuben, a generous donation from Johnny Carson, and a white-knuckled hope to wring a scientific center out of an underfunded zoo drive founder and director Dick Haskin, but the dream alone can’t sustain him for long. Exhausted, Haskin turns directorship over to others, and we watch the actions of each new, well-meaning but misguided leader unravel into tragedy.

Vaughan calmly lays out the facts in vivid detail. Reading these pages I could feel the gravel crunch beneath my feet as he guided me through Royal, showing the empty buildings, the shadows of past residents. And I felt Vaughan’s shock as my own as he pointed, saying, “That’s where they shot Reuben.”

This week’s Friday Reads was guest written by Anna Weir, Publicist at the University of Nebraska Press! Vaughan will speak at the Nebraska Book Festival on September 7. Read Zoo Nebraska and bring your questions – I’m sure this candid narrator would be happy to answer.

Vaughan, Carson. Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream. Little A (2019)

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Jigger Bunts”

This #BookFace was born a ramblin’ gamblin’ man.

Do you just love a good Western? If that’s the case this #BookFaceFriday is for you!  “Jigger Bunts” by Max Brand (Blackstone Publishing, 2019) was recently discovered among his unpublished works and will delight fans of Max Brand Westerns. This is one of the 1,210 Westerns available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Dave Eckmann, our Talking Book & Braille Service Circulation/Studio Support Clerk. Did you know Westerns are one of the most popular genres in our TBBS collection?

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “A Sister’s Memories”

#BookFaceFriday just loves a book with ties to the Good Life.

"A Sisters Memories: The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott:" Edited by John Sorensen
 If you’re in the mood for a fascinating non-fiction read check out the Nebraska Book Award-winning historical biography “A Sister’s Memories: The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott” edited by John Sorensen (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

“Grace Abbott emerged as one of the leading reformers of her generation. Studious, committed, and experienced, she worked with recent immigrants through Hull House in Chicago, headed the Children’s Bureau, and assisted in the crafting of New Deal legislation. This lightly edited volume, compiled from the notes and partially written chapters of her sister Edith, provides some insights about the motivation and dedication with which she undertook this work. Edith Abbott was an accomplished social welfare worker in her own right, and intended to publish a book to ensure that her sister’s contributions would be remembered. She included personal anecdotes about their childhood in Nebraska, their years spent in Chicago, and correspondence from Grace’s long service with the Children’s Bureau. . . . Recommended.”

(Choice)

This week’s #BookFace model is NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Sally Snyder!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Under the Harrow”

New Books = New #BookFaceFridays!

"Under the Harrow" by Flynn Berry BookFace PhotoHas your book club been on the hunt for new reads? The NLC Book Club Kit collection is here to help! We’ve recently added several new titles to the collection, one of which is   “Under the Harrow” by Flynn Berry (Penguin Books, 2016). For those of you who devoured “Gone Girl” and “Girl on a Train,” this psychological thriller is sure to get your blood pumping. Browse all the new additions at nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub today!

“A thrilling novel of psychological suspense…Under the Harrow contains similarities [to The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl]that will undoubtedly attract readers – but underneath its hard-driving, page-turning, compulsively readable narrative is a striking, original voice all Berry’s own…[Her] precise sentences call to mind Hitchcock’s meticulous storyboards and enrich the work with a cinematic scope.”—Elizabeth Brundage, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

This week’s #BookFace photo is Cathy Hatterman, our Acquisitions Librarian! We added a large number of titles to our book club kit collection in the past 2 months! Cathy has been hard at work tracking down all our requests, as well as adding quite a few books to our library science collection.

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Night Circus”

Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth! #BookFaceFriday!

Join us under the big top for the magic, mystery, and romance that is “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern (Random House Audio, 2011). Braver than a lion, more beautiful than a bearded lady, as nail-biting as the flying trapeze! Morgenstern’s debut novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection. This book kit includes a magical Audiobook version, available upon request! Narrated by Jim Dale, who also narrated all of the Harry Potter books.


“Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus, is quietly, enchantingly perfect…reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical.”
–Newsday

This week’s #BookFace model is NLC’s Technology & Access Services Librarian, Allana Novotny! Unfortunately, we were not able to coax a rabbit out of the hat.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

“Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!”

I recently finished Shirley Jackson’s 1962 work “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” There’s definitely something lyrical in Jackson’s writing, that perfectly mirrors the narrator, Mary Katherine or “Merricat’s,” sing-song thought process. The children’s rhyme above is repeated throughout the novel underlining the story’s natural rhythm. Merricat lives an isolated existence with her older sister Constance and their invalid Uncle Julien. While Merricat is in her late teens, she still has a childlike existence, playing in the woods, burying treasure, her sole companion (outside her family) a cat named Jonas. Through her, we learn the backstory of a dark family tragedy, the death of her parents, brother, and aunt by poison six years earlier. The authorities charged Constance with murder and she’s acquitted of the crime but it leaves her agoraphobic, unwilling to leave the family’s large estate. The sisters are taunted and ostracized by the small local village, by the children and adults alike. And just as you are settling into this family’s strange routine, a long-lost family member shows up on their doorstep and turns their little world on its head.

I chose this book for a couple of reasons, first, I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and read different genres and authors. I thought I’d dip my toe in horror with this book and move on to Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” next if it all went well. My second reason is that the movie recently hit theatres and it’s always my goal to read the book first. This was my first Shirley Jackson book, and it will not be my last.

Jackson, Shirley. We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Penguin Classics, 2006.

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Sister Noon”

Who’s up for a little #BookFace intrigue?

Take a trip to San Francisco, circa 1890 with this week’s #BookFace title. Get to know Ms. Lizzie Hayes as she navigates upper-class society as a middle-aged spinster in “Sister Noon” by Karen Joy Fowler(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002). This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and is the perfect selection for your book club!

“A playful, mysterious, highly imaginative narrative set in the San Francisco of the 1890’s…Robust, sly, witty, elegant, unexpected and never, ever, boring.”—Margot Livesey, The New York Times Book Review

This week’s #BookFace model is Susan Knisley, NLC’s Online Services Librarian. She was kind enough to indulge us and played dress up for this week’s photo.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “On the Road”

We just can’t wait to get on the road again . . .

Passport services at the Library? That’s exactly what we’re talking about in this week’s NCompass Live and #BookFaceFriday! Which made “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Books, 1976) an obvious choice. This title is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

On The Road, the most famous of Jack Kerouac’s works, is not only the soul of the Beat movement and literature, but one of the most important novels of the century. Like nearly all of Kerouac’s writing, On The Road is thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac’s real life friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac’s alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture” —Amazon.com Review

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Joseph Leier, Customer Service Manager from the Colorado Passport Agency and presenter in Wednesday’s episode of NCompass Live. Check out the recorded show, “Providing Passports at Your Library” in our NCompass Live archives. Learn how your library could begin offering passport services, generating income with each application.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment