Archive | Reviews & Recommendations

Readers Without Borders: International Literature Reading Challenge

Readers Without Borders: International Literature Reading Challenge

Introducing the 2017 Castilleja Library reading challenge!

black and white picture of books

This year, we’re broadening our collection and your reading experience even more by challenging you to read books published outside the United States. Read a book from each continent!

If you read three books from three different continents, you get a prize! If you read books from six different continents, plus one book from a First Nations author, you get another prize!

Books must be new to you, and must be originally published outside the US or written by an international author. They can be read in the original language, or in translation.

Castilleja Library has over 200 internationally published books for you to choose from, so you’ll have no problem finding things to read. A short list of books we think are awesome can be found here, and a Pinterest board is here. A complete list of relevant books in the collection is available here as a sortable spreadsheet.

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Four to Read More: Criminal Families

Four to Read More: Criminal Families

From confidence tricksters to thieves to magicians, the families of these protagonists are not going to win any awards for good citizenship.
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White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, people who can change your looks, your feelings, your luck with the touch of a hand. Cassel has no powers–or so he believes. When he starts having nightmares about a white cat, the world he thinks he has starts crumbling apart (3 book series).

heist

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Sick of her family’s life of art theft, Katarina scammed her way into a boarding school and left it all behind. But when her father is blamed for stealing from a mob boss, Kat is dragged back to steal back the stolen treasures before her father is the mob’s next hit (3 book series).

lies

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

When your family cons people for a living, you have rules to keep from getting caught. #1: Never fall in love with your mark. But for Grace…that may be easier said than done (Has a sequel).

all these things

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, water is scarce, and New York is wracked with crime. Thanks to her father’s illegal chocolate business, Anya doesn’t have to worry about much. Until her ex boyfriend turns up poisoned by her family’s chocolate, and she’s the prime suspect (3 book series).

Want more recommendations? Check out our Pinterest page!
Header picture: Remembering by Rubén Díaz licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

elizabeth enjoying audiobooks

The library is delighted to announce that we now have audiobooks that you can check out!

Our collection, offering a range of choices for listeners age 11-18 and beyond, is with the ebooks in Overdrive. If you want to see which of our audiobooks are recommended for someone your age, check out our Pinterest board.

If you are not an audiobook devotee already, you might be wondering what there is to get excited about. Click on a cover below to take a listen to some samples from our collection and find out:

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

 

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So check out some audiobooks today, an tell us how you enjoy experiencing books in a whole new way!

Learn how to check them out on our how-to page.

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Four to Read More: Graphic Memoirs

Four to Read More: Graphic Memoirs

We know you love Smile, and El Deafo. We know you’ve probably read Persepolis already (and if you haven’t, get on that!), and that you might be staring at the graphic novel section, wondering how you’ll possibly find the memoir comics among all the superheroes and anthropomorphized mice. But never fear my intrepid readers! Your friendly librarian is here to assist you!

Here are four recommendations for graphic memoirs.

prison island

Prison Island by Colleen Frakes

Colleen grew up on MacNeil Island, the last operating prison island in the United States. Off the coast of Washington, the island is accessible only by land or sea. In this book, she tells the story of a life where pizza deliveries are met at the ferry, pool toys have to be locked up so inmates can’t escape on them, and being an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances.

honor girl

Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

In unflinching honesty and beautiful watercolor illustrations, Maggie Thrash tells the story of her fifteen year old self’s first love with an older teen girl at Camp Bellflower in Kentucky, and the support and prejudices she encountered.

tomboy

Tomboy by Liz Prince

Liz doesn’t do pink, tutus, or other “girl stuff.” She hates the way girls are supposed to act. But she’s not one of the boys either. Follow her journey of discovering where she fits, and if there’s more than one way to be a girl in this memoir.

 

ozge

Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey by Özge Samanci

Özge’s family expects her to grow up and be an engineer like her sister, but she is drawn to the sea and a more interesting and chaotic life. Set against a backdrop of militaristic, secular, and religious conflict in Turkey, Özge tells her struggle to find a version of herself that everyone can be happy with.

 

If none of those appeal to you, or if you just want more, all you have to do is go the the catalog, put autobiographical comics into the search box and hit the button that says Subject. Then you’ll see all the graphic memoirs we have!

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New in the Library: The Believer!

New in the Library: The Believer!

Last year your librarians spent some time choosing new magazines and periodicals for your perusal. We’ve got some excellent ones now, like Lapham’s Quarterly and Creative Nonfiction, and another one I enjoy is The Believer. How can you not enjoy a magazine that explains its contents as “journalism and essays that are frequently very long, book reviews that are not necessarily timely, and interviews that are intimate, frank, and also very long”?

The Believer 201508features regular columns by Nick Hornby, and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), articles on subjects such as post-Mao fashion in China, HIV prevention in Tijuana, and having afternoon tea with the high priest of the Church of Satan. Among my favorite regular features is the column A Series of Essential Advice, which most recently featured “How to Field Dress a Deer” and “How to Send Things to Germany.”201511

So if you are in the mood for some fascinating in-depth interviews or book reviews, or simply have a package that needs to go to Germany, come check out The Believer!

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October Bay Area Literary and Author Events

October Bay Area Literary and Author Events

locke & keyRidley Pearson, author of Lock and Key: The Initiation
Saturday, October 1, 2016 – 2:00pm
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
atlas
Dylan Thuras, one of the authors of Atlas Obscura, in conversation with Mary Roach
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 7:30 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park CA 94025
More information and tickets here.
cruzMelissa de la Cruz  and her new book Something in Between
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 7:00pm
Redwood Shores Library
399 Marine Parkway @ Bridge Parkway
Redwood City, CA
Amy-Kurzweil-Books-Inc.-Palo-AltoAmy Kurzweil in conversation with Malena Watrous
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 7:00pm
Books Inc.
74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA
summerlongPeter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and Summerlong, in conversation with Tad Williams
Thursday, October 6, 2016 – 7:00pm (seating opens at 6:00)
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
rebel genius

Michael DiMartino, author of Rebel Genius, in conversation with Castilleja friend Gene Luen Yang
Monday, October 10, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
RSVP here.

alton
Alton Brown Book Signing: EveryDayCook
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – 7:30 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park CA 94025
black widow
Margaret Stohl and the People of Marvel, Black Widow: Red Vengeance
Friday, October 14, 2016 – 7:00pm
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
picoultJodi Picoult in conversation with Natalie Baszile about her new book, Small Great Things
7:30 PM
Fox Theatre Redwood City, CA
Steven-Nightingale-Books-Inc-Palo-AltoSteven Nightingale, father of Gabriella ’19, The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace: 64 Stories
Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 7:00pm
Books Inc.
74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA
FC9780385744126 FC9780553535907Not Your Mother’s Book Club presents Kiesten White, Arwen Elys Dayton and Jessica Cluess
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – 7:00pm
Books Inc.
3515 California St
San Francisco, CA
Jessi Klein, author of You’ll Grow Out of ItJessi-Klein-at-JCCSF
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 – 7:00pm
JCCSF
3200 California St
San Francisco, CA

 

Header picture: “Pumpkin Texture” by Holly Kuchera, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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