We asked EPL staff members and our Facebook followers to recommend their favorite books of 2012, and (optionally) tell us why. Their suggestions offer a variety of choices: Fiction, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, Teen, Juvenile and Picture Books were all included in this year’s picks.
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray, says Debbie H., is “a very funny book.”
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda Brunstetter and The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis, both Inspirational Fiction, were among April’s favorites this year.
Facebook follower Deborah, enjoyed Gone Girl, a mystery by Gillian Flynn.
Daredevil, Vol. 1 by Mark Waid is a Graphic Novel featuring “a character that Marvel has shifted to the back burner in recent years, and makes him a must-read,” says Paul. “Don’t even bother trying to put this one down until you’re done.”
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker is Allison’s choice for adult fiction.
Judy F. enjoyed The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds by Julie Zickefoose. Judy writes, “Zickefoose is a talented author and gifted illustrator, who shares her observations and expertise on backyard birds, the rehabilitation of injured birds, and the ethics and responsibilities of a pet bird owner.” Booklist calls The Bluebird Effect a “lovely book… one to savor slowly, admiring both writing and artistry.”
Celine describes The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, as “Interesting and enlightening.”
Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry is another of Paul’s favorites. It is the second book in a series that combines a zombie apocalypse with a coming of age tale, and “hooks you before you know you’re hooked. Start with Rot and Ruin, then check this one out.”
Paul also recommends the Young Adult Graphic Novel Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. “Humor, high school and a haunting. What more could you want?”
Donna and her patrons highly recommend Seconds Away by Harlan Coben, the second book in the Mickey Bolitar series, after Shelter. Donna says “Adults enjoy these books as much as the teens do.” (For Coben fans, Mickey is Myron Bolitar’s nephew.)
Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer is a favorite of Facebook responder Mary.
The Diviners by Libba Bray is Allison’s recommendation for teens.
Cheryl highly recommends The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy for older elementary-age children. It is the story of the Princes Charming, in which the princes from Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty embark on a quest to save Cinderella. “This book really has a sense of humor and gives some personality to those bland fairy tale characters.”
Allison and Paul both like The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. “Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure,” says Paul. “Ivan is a must-read for animal lovers.”
Another of Mary’s favorites, as posted on Facebook, is Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket. (New series: All the Wrong Questions: Question 1)
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, says Cheryl, “shows green in all its wonder. The book is filled with colors like jungle green and lime green. It even has a few pages that are different, like the page that is “not green” and shows red instead.”
Laurene’s favorite picture books this year are Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney, Listen to My Trumpet by Mo Willems and Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond.
The best eReader is not necessarily the one with the most features, but rather the one that does what you need it to do. The sheer number of eReaders and tablets now available can make choosing the right one seem overwhelming.
|Is this a gift for mom or dad?||If you are buying an eReader as a gift, make sure that the person actually wants one. This may sound obvious, but it is very important. You may be excited about this new technology, but does your family member have a similar level of interest and enthusiasm to push through the initial learning curve required to download and read eBooks?Does your family member have the computer skills, email account, Internet access and home computer that may be necessary to use the eReader you have in mind?|
|Compatibility with Library eBooks||Do you plan to download free books from the Library’s website? Make sure you choose an eReader that is compatible with this service.|
|Navigation||Is navigating the menus simple and intuitive? Is it easy to remember how to use the eReader each time you pick it up?|
|Price||Narrow your choices by setting a budget. There are great eReaders in any price range.|
|Screen Size||Measured diagonally, screens range from about 5 to 10 inches. Where do you plan on taking your eReader? While a giant screen may be appealing while reading at home, a smaller screen will be small and light enough to slip into a handbag or briefcase. If you have problems with your hands, the weight and thickness may make a difference to you.|
|Battery life & replaceability||While some eReaders offer many features, they may not have the battery life you need. Are you planning to travel where recharging will be inconvenient? Some devices must be recharged every 4-5 hours. Some can last months. Is the battery user replaceable?|
|Input device: touch screen vs. directional keypad||Some eReaders require a stylus or your fingers to operate a touch screen. Others have one or more control buttons. How you interact with the display will make a huge difference – and it’s an individual preference. Some eReaders are dedicated to displaying eBooks and nothing else. These are simple and have fewer options and controls.|
|Extra features||Virtually every eReader brand has distinctive capabilities. Some eReaders have color, 3G or other wireless, audio, video, dictionaries and note taking features. These features may use more battery power, take more time to learn, and are more expensive. Watching and reading online reviews can be helpful.|
|E Ink or LCD||LCD eReaders do not require an outside light source and can display color. E Ink relies on an outside light source; it is not backlit. Some E Ink eReaders now have an internal light that can be turned on and off as needed. In bright sun, E Ink is easier to read than an LCD screen. LCD eReaders tend to weigh and cost more.|
|Refresh rate and page turn||How long does it take for the screen to refresh? Most eReaders refresh pages in under one second. It can feel similar to the time it takes to turn a page in a paper book, but it may seem slow when navigating menus. Some models are a few seconds quicker to wake up from sleep mode, or a few minutes faster to boot up from off mode, than their competitors.|
|Readability||How crisp are the letters? How stark is the contrast between the text and background?|
|Power cords||Will it charge with any other USB power adapter except the one included? Will it charge from USB cable connected to a computer? Is a AC USB wall adapter included with your device or available for purchase?|
Once you have an idea of what features you want, these sites offer comparisons, reviews, recommendations and specific product information:
- Eugene (Oregon) Public Library’s eReader Shopping Guide
- The eBook Reader: A comprehensive guide to “everything about the world of electronic readers”
- Engadget Fall 2012 Tablet Buyer’s Guide
- Amazon Kindle Comparison Guide
- Barnes and Noble Nook Comparison Guide
- CNET: Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy?
The Homework Assistance program at Elkhart Public Library (EPL) is for students in Kindergarten through grade 12. Homework help is available in many different subjects and on a first come, first served basis.
Homework Assistance is offered from September through early May.
Times and Locations:
- Main Library – Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m.
- Pierre Moran Branch Library – Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
- Osolo Branch Library – Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
- Cleveland Branch Library – Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
For more information contact us by email or phone at (574) 522-2223.
A collection of helpful information and interesting facts about this uniquely American holiday.
Celebrate Halloween at the Elkhart Public Library, Wednesday, October 31
Trick or Treat at the Pierre Moran Branch
All day; all ages
Dress up, drop in, say the magic words and get a treat.
Halloween Parade at the Main Library
All ages; 10:00 a.m.
Games, stories, snacks and crafts. Parade through the library and show off your costumes.
Trick or Treat Party at the Main Library
All ages; 4:00 p.m.
Dress up as your favorite book character (or a costume of your choice) and win a prize! Bob for apples; play games; get treats. (If you like, you may bring an unopened bag of goodies to share.)