Tag Archives: books

#BookFaceFriday – “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva

Bah! Humbug! and Happy Holidays from #BookFaceFriday!

Don’t let the ghost of Jacob Marley get you down! A good book, a cozy blanket, something warm to drink. This is the perfect recipe to put any Scrooge into the holiday spirit. We have ten copies of “Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel” by Samantha Silva (Flatiron Books, 2017) and an audio version for our TBBS users as well. Reserve it for your book club to read next holiday season! You should also take a peek at all of our holiday-themed book club kits!

In the collection we have 114 holiday titles, 81 of which have 4 or more copies. If a library is looking to weed some of their holiday titles – they can think of us because we’re always happy to add to this particular collection!

These titles are very popular in November and December, with some book club groups reserving their choices up to a year in advance! NLC staff keep their eyes peeled for holiday-themed books year-round in order to meet the demand come the first snowfall.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.”
―Anthony Doerr

This week’s #BookFace model could be considered by some, our very own office Scrooge, but with a heart of gold. It’s Jerry Breazile, our Business Manager!

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

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#BookFaceFriday – Holiday Collection

We’re rockin’ around the Christmas tree with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

Our holiday books are right at home among the twinkle lights and sparkling ornaments! Reserve a holiday read like “The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing, 2014) or “The Christmas Thief” by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster, 2004) for your book club! Take a peek at all of our holiday-themed book club kits today!

In the collection we have 114 holiday titles, 81 of which have 4 or more copies. If a library is looking to weed some of their holiday titles – they can think of us because we’re always happy to add to this particular collection!

These titles are very popular in November and December, with some book club groups reserving their choices up to a year in advance! NLC staff keep their eyes peeled for holiday-themed books year-round in order to meet the demand come the first snowfall.

“David Baldacci’s THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN is filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief…and shows how we do get second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles.” – book jacket

“Mary Higgins Clark, America’s Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark, have again joined forces to create a suspenseful and humorous holiday tale. The Christmas Thief is filled with suspense, comic characters, and holiday cheer, and is sure to delight its readers.” – book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is Aimee Owen’s Christmas tree, she’s NLC’s Information Services Librarian.

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Christmas Lights”

It’s the hap-hap-happiest #BookFaceFriday!

Looking for a heart-warming Christmas tale, a holiday romance, or a good Yuletide murder mystery? Take a peek at all of our holiday-themed book club kits!

These titles are very popular in November and December, with some book club groups reserving their choices up to a year in advance! NLC staff keep their eyes peeled for holiday-themed books year-round in order to meet the demand come the first snowfall. Reserve a holiday read like “Christmas Lights: A Novel” by Christine Pisera Naman ( Skyhorse, 2017) for your book club!

Christmas Lights is an inspiring, warm and tender read which could set your mood for the upcoming holiday.” —The Lakeland Times

This week’s #BookFace model is Kayla Henzel, NLC’s Administrative and Communications Staff Assistant.

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Sport, Philosophy, and Good Lives”

Get your fat pants on and get ready to yell at the TV! It’s a football #BookFaceFriday!

Today, all across the state, families will get out the Thanksgiving leftovers and settle in to watch some football! And for those of you who aren’t, may we suggest settling in with a good book, like “Sport, Philosophy, and Good Lives” by Randolph Feezell (University of Nebraska Press, 2013.) The author is a professor of philosophy at Creighton University, who posits, “There’s more to sports than the ethos of competition, entertainment, and commercialism.” As part of our permanent collection, it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

Sport, Philosophy, and Good Lives provides illuminating discussion for those in sport studies (both undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars too) as well as general readers interested in reflecting on the meaning of sport.”—Douglas Hochstetler, Journal of Sport History

This week’s #BookFace model is Bruce Oorlog, NLC’s Mail/Material Specialist. He also happens to be quite the sports junkie, so we thought he was the perfect choice for this week’s model.

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Small Public Library Management”

There’s nothing like a little Library Science on a #BookFaceFriday!

Did you know the Commission has a collection of library science titles? Our Library Science Collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs. This includes all librarians and library science students. Checkout period is 4 weeks, and items can be sent through the mail or picked up in person. An especially pertinent title for Nebraska is “Small Public Library Management” by Jane Pearlmutter and Paul Nelson (American Library Association Editions, 2012.)

“Highly recommended to any small public library administrator it will have a permanent place on this reviewer’s nightstand.”Booklist

This week’s #BookFace model is Cathy Hatterman, NLC’s Acquisitions Librarian. Cathy orders books and magazines for the Library of Congress collection, as well as for the Reference collection, and any special orders needed.

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Cold Shot” by Dani Pettrey

After this week’s chilly temps, we’re ready for a smokin’ hot #BookFaceFriday!

This #BookFaceFriday is the first installment of the Chesapeake Valor series by romantic suspense author Dani Pettrey. Is your book group in the mood for a suspenseful thriller or fast-paced mystery? You can search our book club kit by genre: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/.

“An intricate plot, a reunion of friends and an appealing lead couple make this a standout.”–Booklist

This week’s #BookFace model is Lowell Owen, spouse of Information Services Librarian, Aimee Owen. He will probably hesitate to visit her at work in the future.

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

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#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!

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#BookFaceFriday – “Komi Can’t Communicate” by Tomohito Oda

Is our quiet #BookFaceFriday coolly aloof…or just super awkward?

This #BookFaceFriday is also this week’s Friday Read’s post by our Youth Services Coordinator Sally Snyder! Read all about the first volume in this Manga series in her review.

“The journey to 100 friends begins with a single conversation.” book cover

This week’s #BookFace model is Library Development Staff Assistant, Linda Babcock!

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Dracula” by Bram Stoker

Velcome to #BookFaceFriday!

Grab your garlic and wooden stakes, we’re wrapping up October with this classic tale of horror (Puffin Classics, 1994, first published 1897). Written as a series of journal entries and letters, it tells the story of the quest to destroy the evil Count Dracula and end his reign of terror.

“Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker’s still-living creation are surely the undead .” New York Times Review of Books

This week’s #BookFace model is our new TBBS Circulation Technician, Amy Irons!

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

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#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!

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#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!

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#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!

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#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!

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Friday Reads: It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree By A.J. Jacobs

When I’m out of something to read, or just in a rut, memoirs are my go to genre. Something about peeking into the lives of others, and realizing even the biggest star has gone through many of the same things I do, gives me the feeling of being transported to another time and place like no other.

A.J. Jacobs is writer of a number of memoirs, a few of which I’ve also read, mostly centered on a big idea. In his book “The Know-It-All” he tackles every entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica. In “The Year of Living Biblically” he does… well… just that by trying to follow the rules of the bible, and not just the big ones, as literally as possible. A.J. writes not only about his personal experience in each book but also how it affects his family, as well as the research and study surrounding each subject.

For this edition of “Friday Reads” I read “It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree”. It starts off with a seemingly innocuous email from the husband of A.J.s eighth cousin. This man’s work on his own family tree has become his life’s passion with over 80,000 relatives on it, including A.J. This sparks something in A.J. who, after some quick poking around on his own, decides that he’s going to throw the world’s largest family reunion.

This book isn’t only just about genealogy but touches on a myriad of subjects like the meaning of family, DNA, privacy, history, race, celebrity, and death. Broken down into a weekly countdown to the reunion the chapters are in bite size chunks which makes for a quick and enjoyable read. There’s also a guide in the back of the book where A.J. goes over how to start researching your own family tree.

Personally I’ve never been into researching my families past, the making of a boring list of names, but this quote from the book tugged at my heart strings enough that I may have to give it a shot…

“What affects me emotionally isn’t seeing the ground where my ancestors’ bones lie. It’s hearing their tales, seeing their images, reading their words. It’s learning about the nickels they strewed on the ground for loved ones… that’s what gets me.”

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#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!

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#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!

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Friday Reads: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden Keefe

Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, I was aware of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland—I heard news reports of IRA bombings and hunger strikes—but I definitely didn’t have a clear understanding of the issues. Therefore, when Patrick Keefe published Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland to rave reviews earlier this year, I figured it would be an educational and engaging read. I wasn’t disappointed.

As its subtitle suggests, Say Nothing follows some conventions of the true crime genre. The book begins with the 1972 abduction of Jean McConville, a mother of 10, from her apartment in a public housing complex in West Belfast. Twenty-some chapters later, in 2003, her remains are uncovered on a beach in the Republic of Ireland, just south of the border with Northern Ireland. A pathologist’s report suggests she died from a single gunshot to the back of the head.

The “whodunit” thread definitely runs throughout the narrative, sometimes surfacing as a major plot point, but just as often fading into the background. My sense is that Keefe’s primary interest is in using McConville’s disappearance as a springboard for his broader exploration of the period known as the Troubles—three decades of violence centered in Northern Ireland, beginning in the late 1960s and running through approximately 1998.

My takeaways from reading the book include a more granular understanding of the differences between the Official IRA, the Provisional IRA, and Siin Féin; greater awareness of the various roles played by Gerry Adams during the Troubles, as well as insight into why he is such a controversial figure; and the sobering realization that Bobby Sands was actually one of ten hunger strikers who died at intervals over the summer of 1981.

Say Nothing is exactly the kind of nonfiction book I enjoy. It taught me something new without giving off a dry textbook vibe. It’s also given me a more nuanced understanding of how tensions from the past inform present day concerns—in this instance, related to Brexit. Chief among these concerns is what impact the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will have on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Speculation also swirls that Brexit may tip the scale toward Irish unification—a longstanding republican dream. As Keefe writes, “[i]t would be ironic, to say the least, if one inadvertent long-term consequence of the Brexit referendum was a united Ireland—an outcome that three decades of appalling bloodshed and some thirty-five hundred lost lives had failed to achieve.”

Overall, this book is a powerful reminder of William Faulkner’s assertion that “[t]he past is never dead. It isn’t even past.”

Keefe, Patrick Radden. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. New York: Doubleday, 2019.

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#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!

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#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!

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#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!

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