Recently, I asked the entire library staff to let me know what library item they wanted the Central Penn College Community to know we have. I have listed their responses in alphabetical order by their first name because that is a very librarian- like way of doing it!
Beverly, one of our student library clerks, wants everyone to know that we have what we call “course reserves”. On a shelf behind the circulation desk, we have many of the textbooks required for your classes. Beverly does point out that we don’t have all the textbooks and that you are required to use them in the library but she thinks it is a great service that everyone should know about.
Diane, our director, selected the book Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor [813.622 TAY]
Blue Orchard was inspired by the life of the author’s Grandmother, Verna. The story follows Verna from her poor rural upbringing, through her education as a nurse, to working for an African-American Doctor who provided abortions well before that would be legalized. Blue Orchard is set in central Pennsylvania and many of the locations will be familiar to locals. The book explores several deep topics in an easy to read manner, and like all historical fiction allows readers to experience a bit of the past, and perhaps think about how we got to where we are now and where we are going.
Emily is our instructional and reference librarian. From her list you can see that she really enjoys reading!!!
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) [813.54 Car]
Genre: Science Fiction
This is the story of Ender, a boy genius that is asked by the government to help save the human race from invading aliens. He attends a school to be trained in the art of killing the enemy in space through the use of video games.
I would recommend this book to gamers and anyone who likes Star Trek or Star Wars.
A Time to Kill (John Grisham) [813.54 Gri]
Genre: Legal Thriller
This thought-provoking book asks many ethical questions, one of which is: Is there ever an appropriate time to commit murder? It’s the Deep South during a time of high racial tensions. A ten-year-old black girl is raped and left for dead by two young white men. The girl’s father intentionally kills the rapists and is then arrested to face trial. Will the jury find him guilty?
I would recommend this book to Criminal Justice majors or anyone who enjoys courtroom dramas or psychological thrillers.
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) [813.54 Kidd]
Genre: Historical Fiction
It’s the 1960s in South Carolina. Lily is a young girl growing up with a very difficult father and with no mother. When her housemaid Rosaleen is beaten up by three racists, Lily decides to run away with Rosaleen. Lily finds herself at a house of beekeepers who have all the answers – who was Lily’s mother and how did she die? This book is eloquently written and makes the reader want to visit the picturesque South Carolina countryside.
This book is good for anyone who likes historical fiction and coming of age stories.
The Giver (Lois Lowry) [813.54 Low]
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Did you like The Hunger Games? So now you like dystopian novels? Here’s one that was written before The Hunger Games!
Jonas is eagerly waiting to learn what job he will have in his broken community. To everyone’s surprise, he is trained to be the next Giver. The Giver is the only person in the community who has any memory of emotions. Jonas finds out just how broken and corrupt his world truly is.
This is recommended to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. (This is also the first book in a series of five books.)
My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult) [813.54 Pic]
Genre: Legal Thriller
Is one life more valuable than another’s? That is the question this book grapples with. Anna was conceived in order to donate organs to her older sister Kate who was diagnosed with leukemia as a baby. So when Anna decides to stop donating her organs to her, her parents are in disbelief.
This book is good for people who like to read about stories with moral and psychological implications, and people who like courtroom dramas.
Safe Haven (Nicholas Sparks) [813.54 Spar]
This book is a wonderful mix of light-hearted romance and darker, psychological thriller. Katie is running away from an abusive husband and hides herself in a quiet town. She makes a new life for herself, learning to love and trust again – but will her ex finally track her down?
This is a great book for people who like Nicholas Sparks or people who like psychological thrillers.
Life of Pi (Yann Martel) [813.542 Mar]
This is a marvelous book that has many layers – some of which are only revealed at the very end. It tells the story of Pi, a young Indian man who is stranded in a life boat for almost a year. He has many adventures – and who can tell what is fantasy and what is real?I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys character studies, coming-of-age stories, or tigers.P.S. The movie is also very good – one of the better films that is based on a book.
The Help (Kathryn Stockett) [813.62 Sto]
Genre: Historical Fiction
It’s 1962 Mississippi, and Skeeter is an independent young woman who has a career and doesn’t need a man! When Skeeter returns home from college, she is surprised to find how passionately she disapproves of how “the help” are being treated. As a journalist, she goes undercover and writes the stories of several black women, then publishes it. How do you imagine the town reacts?
This is a wonderful, well-written story told from multiple points of view. People who enjoy learning about the Civil Rights Movement will enjoy this book.
Still Alice (Lisa Genova) [813.622 Gen]
This is the story of Alice, an accomplished psychology teacher at Harvard. When she’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, her whole world turns upside down. Lisa Genova does a masterful job describing the horror of losing your mind. It’s a book I haven’t forgotten.
I would recommend this to students in the health sciences field or anyone interested in learning about early onset Alzheimer’s. This book was extremely well-researched.
Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) [940.547 Hil]
This is easily the best book I’ve ever read – it’s the best story, the most inspirational, the most memorable. (DON’T JUDGE IT BY ITS MOVIE!) This is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who survived almost 50 days in a lifeboat, then spent time in a Japanese POW camp during WWII. How he endured is simply incredible.
I would recommend this to: EVERYONE
Joel, one of our student library clerks, recommends the video game NBA 2K15 [XBOX Game]. He has enjoyed it because it has an updated roster of the latest rookies in the NBA and it is action- packed.
Karen is our evening librarian and she recommends
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Sam Kean) [546 Kean]
Karen was initially drawn to this book by the title—how do you make a spoon disappear, and how does that relate to the periodic table? (The cover art includes a sizable picture of a spoon in test tube.) The answer to the spoon question appears on the back of the book, and the author poses other intriguing questions there (which are not answered) involving various elements to encourage the browser to be become a reader. Kean discusses the periodic table—a scientific concept—through anecdotes which involve various scientists and other characters involved in what becomes scientific and general history.
Kean organizes his anecdotes into chapters with titles including “Elements in Times of War” (includes a discussion of chemical warfare), “Poisoner’s Corridor: ‘Ouch-Ouch,’” and “Elements of Money.”
This book is part science and part history, so if you enjoy either—or especially if you enjoy both—I recommend you check this title out.
Krista is one of our student library clerks and she recommends
Heaven is for Real [DVD 791.4372 HEA] is about a child who was sick and went to the hospital for surgery and during surgery he had died and came back to life. While he was passed away he had saw heaven and the book and DVD goes into detail about his trip to heaven. I recommend this DVD and the book if you are able to get the book from somewhere because it was a very good story to help you realize some things in life such as taking every moment and cherishing it because things happen more quickly than we all expect. ( note– we can borrow the book for you through InterLibrary Loan)
Sallie (hey, that’s me) is our part time librarian and she selected these books after realizing that Emily had recommended many of the same books she wanted to recommend!
The Dovekeepers ( Alice Hoffman) [813.542 HOF]
The Dovekeepers is not a light, fluffy read. It is the story of four women whose lives are intertwined as they live at Masada in 70 CE. The four women are part of the Jewish community trying to defend their rocky fortress from the strong Roman army. Alice Hoffman creates strong characters and memorable historical fiction.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and a nice challenge and not just an escape read.
The Women’s Murder Club series (James Patterson) [813.54 PAT and 813.542 PAT]
As of now, there are 14 books in the Women’s Murder Club series and our library has quite a few of them. The individual titles all have a number in the title such as First to Die. You can find the titles we have by searching Women’s Murder Club and using the series option in our online catalog. The Women’s Murder Club consists of four women; a police detective, an assistant DA, a reporter and a medical examiner, who sidestep their supervisors to track down criminals. There is plenty of action.
I would recommend the series to anyone wanting an escape and/or criminal justice majors.
Fall of Giants; Winter of the World (Ken Follett) [823.914 FOL]
Ken Follett tackled writing the history of the 20th century in just 3 historical novels. He weaves the lives of 5 families from different countries into the plot and history comes alive.
We have two of the three titles in our library. Fall of Giants covers the early part of the 20th century including World War I and Winter of the World continues world events and includes World War II.
I have also read the final book of the trilogy, Edge of Eternity, which covers the Cold War but I was disappointed in the presentation. If you do want to complete the series, we are able to borrow this book for you through InterLibrary Loan.
People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks) [823.914 FOL]
The famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a 15th century Jewish prayer book has been salvaged from a fire. Hannah, a book conservator, in working to restore the book and she discovers a series of artifacts hidden in the centuries’ old binding. She traces the artifacts to unlock deep mysteries.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading other books written by Geraldine Brooks such as Caleb’s Crossing, which the library also owns.
Teta, one of our student library clerks selected the X-MEN movie series collection [ 791.4372 X-Men]
I really liked the fact that the library had all the series and I could check them all out at once to watch from start to end. Note- we have X-Men; X-Men, the Last Stand: and X-men- days of Future Past.
Tyler, one of our student library clerks, recommends the DVDs of
Amazing Spiderman and Amazing Spiderman 2 [DVD 791.4372 AMA ]
He says they will grab your attention!
Come to the library to check out our Staff Picks!