Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel
The story begins in a new dark age, where the pious monks of the Order of Leibowitz have collected and protected the few remaining pieces of writing left since the “Simplification” nearly wiped out all recorded knowledge several hundred years before. Though much of these scavenged writings are incomplete, partially burned, or indecipherable (what are “electronics,” anyway?), these monks dutifully carry out the task of preservation handed down to them by their founder, the blessed Saint Leibowitz, as these manuscripts are the last vestiges of a once-great civilization that has been reduced to ash and ruins by some great hellfire. As the centuries pass and light returns to the world, can these humble monks piece together enough of the world’s history to avoid repeating it? Or will the light of knowledge become brighter and brighter until the mankind is once again burned and blinded?
A must-read classic for fans of science fiction and good literature alike, A Canticle for Leibowitz is one of the first great works of fiction to deal in the post-apocalyptic theme. There is no easy way to characterize this novel; funny and thought-provoking, ironic and chilling, the reader remains haunted by the hopeless, unanswerable contradictions inherent in human existence. Many novels boil down to a battle of light versus darkness, but this story begs the question: does a brighter light only serve to cast deeper shadows?
Warning: Contains Latin
Unfortunately, we only have one copy of this novel available in our library system, but several editions of this book can easily be obtained through Link+.
We’re boarding our first international flight in this week’s installment of our "You Are Here" summer reading lists. Pack your beret, lederhosen, or wacky royal wedding hat…Next stop: Europe! We’re exploring England, France, Italy, Germany, and more in this week’s list of recommended reads, which contain a mix of sci-fi, romance, mystery, and historical fiction.
Teens, don’t forget to keep writing those book reviews! Last week we gave out the AMC Gold Experience movie packs to lucky winners at all SJPL locations in our first bi-weekly Summer Reading Celebration raffle. Don’t worry though, there’s still time to read and write reviews before July 31 in order to win upcoming prizes, or you can finish up that video review for a chance to score the Nook Color!
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
When sixteen-year-old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.
Heist Society by Ally Carter
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector. The new sequel is out now: Uncommon Criminals.
Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale
In Victorian London, after his life is saved by a young physician, a thief utilizes the knowledge he gains in prison and from the scientific lectures he attends as the physician's case study exhibit to create a new, highly successful, double life for himself.
Num8ers by Rachel Ward
Fifteen-year-old British teen Jem knows when she looks at someone the exact date they will die, so she avoids relationships and tries to keep out of the way, but when she meets a boy named Spider and they plan a day out together, they become more involved than either of them had planned.
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life. Check out the new sequel: The Last Little Blue Envelope.
Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper. Summer sucks for Seth Baumgartner. In one horrible afternoon he is dumped by his girlfriend who gives the lame explanation that she is “too comfortable” with him; he sees his father having a way too friendly lunch with a sexy woman who is NOT his mother and he gets fired from his job at the French fry stand in the mall. Understandably, Seth is feeling pretty confused and angry about love and relationships. To try to sort some of this stuff out and to blow off some steam, Seth starts recording an anonymous podcast called the Love Manifesto. In it he wonders about the absurdities and mysteries of love such as why normally sane people are "stupid enough to go back for more." He plays appropriately emo music. And he gives a blow by blow account of his “secret” mission to find out who his father’s mystery woman is. As you might have guessed, as the Love Manifesto gains in popularity, its creator’s identity is no longer a secret. That’s when stuff REALLY hits the fan for Seth. This book is a lot of fun; complete with loyal, wise-cracking friends, golf, lots of laughs and maybe even another shot for Seth at figuring out this thing called love.
Available in EPUB format, check out Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto from our OverDrive downloads page, download it, and start laughing.
We hit the road in last week's installment of our "You Are Here" summer reading lists. It was a long drive, but we've finally arrived at the Atlantic. These books below take place along the East Coast. Get your passport ready, because next week we're crossing the pond.
Also, don't forget to enter your five book reviews online to score your free book and to get entered into our gift card raffles. If you create a video review, you'll also be entered to win a Nook Color. Keep up the great reading!
The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
In New York City, three fourteen-year-old best friends who are all daughters of celebrities watch out for each other as they try to strike a balance between ordinary high school events, such as finding a date for the homecoming dance, and family functions like walking the red carpet with their famous parents.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In this dystopian sci-fi tale, Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life in her hometown of Portland, Maine, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
It's the night of Nick, Norah and NYC. Their chance meeting turns into a crusade to find a legendary rock band's secret show, which somehow ends up as a first date, and ultimately becomes a night that will change their lives forever.
Summer of the Geek by Piper Banks
Fifteen-year-old Miranda's summer job in Florida as au pair to a ten-year-old piano prodigy proves to be as challenging as keeping out of her stepmother's way, passing her driving test, and holding her boyfriend's interest when his former girlfriend returns.
Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers by Brent Runyon
During the summer vacations of his thirteenth through his sixteenth year at the family's lake cottage in upstate New York, Luke realizes that although some things stay the same over the years that many more change.
Tell Us We're Home by Marina Budhos
Three immigrant girls from different parts of the world meet and become close friends in a small New Jersey town where their mothers have found domestic work, but their relationships are tested when one girl's mother is accused of stealing a precious heirloom.
Vampire High by Douglas Rees
When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts, and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus onthe first day.
Yesterday was the first official day of summer, (as if you couldn't tell by the heat, right?) . I hope you all have signed up for the Summer Reading Celebration by now! As I promised last week in my first installment of my "You Are Here" reading lists for the summer, I'm back for another adventure. This week we are hitting the open road before we arrive at our next destination. This list is all about road trips across these great fifty states of ours. Some of them are wild, some are fun, and some are a bit sad, depending on your mood. So grab your convenience store snacks, put together an awesome playlist, round up your friends, and let's go!
You Are Here: American Road Trips
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
After the death of her father, Amy sets out with Roger on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but they wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt. Like a scrapbook, there are photos, receipts, drawings, and playlists throughout the novel, which enhance the story.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Colin Singleton always falls for girls named Katherine--and he's been dumped by a Katherine 19 times, to be exact. Letting expectations go and allowing love are at the heart of his hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.
As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
A teenaged boy encounters one comedic calamity after another when his train strands him in the middle of nowhere. Meanwhile, his parents, grandfather, and even the family dogs encounter adventures of their own as they all try to make their way back home.
Hit the Road by Caroline Cooney
Brit has had her driver's license only 11 days when her parents drop her off to stay at her grandmother's house for two weeks while they go on vacation. Little do they know Brit is headed for a three-state road trip with Nannie to pick up her college roommates and bring them to their alma mater for their 65th--and most likely final--reunion.
Night Road by A.M. Jenkins
Turns out vampires can take road trips, too. Battling his own memories and fears, Cole, an extraordinarily conscientious vampire, and his friend, impulsive Sandor, spend a few months on the road, trying to train a young man who recently joined their ranks.
Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Hired by Madeline Gladstone, the president of a shoe company, to help her prevent a corporate takeover, 16-year-old Jenna Boller embarks on an eye-opening adventure that teaches both of them the rules of the road--and the rules of life.
The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker – This beautifully-written story takes place in two separate time periods which sometimes, like water, seem to blend together--the early 1800’s and the 1970’s--on storm-beaten Yaupon Island off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The historical portion of the novel deals with the mystery of the missing daughter of disgraced Vice-President Aaron Burr, Theodosia, who disappeared at sea in 1813. For purposes of this story, she was saved from death by pirates by feigning insanity and survived, barely, on Yaupon, forever cut off from the mainland and her former life. She is the ancestress of two older sisters, Maggie and Whaley, who struggle to remain on the island of their births, now down to a population of three, in the 70’s. Woodrow Thornton, the only other modern inhabitant and himself a descendant of a freed slave who worked for Theodosia, is the sisters’ only support system; together they cling to their intermingled yet solitary island lives.
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce – I really had a hard time putting this book down! I found myself wanting to finish it quickly without detouring to read other books as I often do. Essentially it is a love story about a married couple on a ski holiday who get caught in an avalanche but manage to rescue themselves, only to find themselves in an evacuated mountain village still being threatened. An impending sense of doom permeates, while at the same time the story is moving and uplifting. The novel can only be described as compelling because although the reader suspects where the story is going, it is necessary to find out the meaning of the trip!
Miss Timmin’s School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy – This atmospheric fiction debut is set in a girl’s boarding school in 1974 India where world societal changes that started in the sixties have filtered into even this closed society. In a bit of a switch, scandals are brought by the adults in charge rather than the students themselves. Stories and rumors swirl around the proper headmistress and her teachers, including Charu Apte, the new teacher from a respectable family with secrets of its own, and the wild English woman teacher, Moira Prince, who sets her sights on Charu. Moira seduces sheltered 21-year-old Charu and introduces her to characters in the community offering the glamor of casual drugs and vice; then one night during the monsoon season the conflicted Charu quarrels with Moira who then falls - or is pushed - to her death in a mountainous area known as “table-land.” These plot lines are woven together as part cultural lesson and part 70’s history lesson, with portrayals of terrific student characters who turn into sleuths to attempt to solve all the mysteries.
Sister by Rosamund Lupton – This is another compelling read which is a psychological thriller/mystery but is also a moving family story about an older sister’s love for her younger sister. Beatrice rushes to London from her home in New York when she learns her free-spirited younger sister Tess is missing; when Tess is found dead and Beatrice learns that she died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn child, she refuses to believe that Tess took her own life. Soon she is virtually inhabiting her sister’s life, living where she lived, working where she worked, in an effort to solve the mystery of her untimely death. The story is written in the form of letter to her sister; the reader knows that somehow Beatrice has proved her theory and that Tess was actually murdered, but the search for the killer continues until the final twist ending. There is a lot of buzz about this book!