Coles' Notes, Staff Picks!

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library

“Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” was originally published in The Napanee Beaver on January 9, 2014

julieJulie Wendland, Reference Assistant at Library Headquarters, has a book suggestion that will suit readers young and old. Here is what she has to say about Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein:

“Do you have a child that loves games and puzzles?  Are you looking to revisit your childhood?  If the answer is yes to either of these two questions then you should put Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library on your TBR (To Be Read) list.

Kyle Keeley is the youngest of three brothers.  His two older brothers are successful at sports and academics which is why he loves board games which is a great equalizer.  Word gets out that there his favourite games maker, Mr. Lemoncello has designed the new escape from mr lemoncellolibrary and is having an invitation-only lock-in to spend the night in the library as its grand opening.

Kyle, along with 12 other contestants find out the easy part was getting the invitation now inside the library it becomes the ultimate game on how to get out of the library.  Through ingenious games involving the Dewey Decimal system, solving riddles and working out puzzles the children figure out how to escape the library and reap the benefits of the prize.

This book would appeal to readers of all ages.  Children will enjoy this book as they can solve the puzzles with the contestants.  Will they as readers be able to escape the library before the book’s characters?   This would also be an ideal read aloud to younger children as older adults will see many references to books of their past such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Phantom Tollbooth. “

Race to your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries to get this book off the shelf and may the best person win!

Coles' Notes

The View From Castle Rock

By Catherine Coles, Manager of Library Services
“The View From Castle Rock” was originally published in The Napanee Beaver on January 2, 2014

the viewGenealogy is a popular pastime that involves tracing family lineages and discovering one’s ancestral history. It is an interest shared by many Canadians, including Nobel Award winning author Alice Munro.

In her 2006 novel of short stories The View From Castle Rock, Munro writes about the fascinating, tumultuous lives of her ancestors. Developed through years of thorough research, Munro (nee Laidlaw) tells several stories, beginning with the Laidlaw family in the hills of 18th century Scotland.

With vibrant prose, Munro details the family’s life in Scotland, their eventual voyage to Canada, and the difficulties they faced living as pioneers in the new country. The book traces through the generations, culminating with Munro’s first-person stories set during her own lifetime.

Living in the County of Lennox & Addington, we are lucky to have many genealogical resources at our disposal. The County Museum and Archives provides users access to Lennox & Addington census records, published and unpublished genealogies, genealogical reference works, micrographic sources, card indices and family files.

If you are interested in some of the resources the museum (and the County Libraries) have to offer budding genealogists, join us for the first installment of our monthly Speaker Series. Shelley Respondek, Archivist at the County Museum & Archives, will speak about accessible tools for tracing your family history, including which you can use from free at any library branch. Shelley’s talks will be held Amherstview on January 6 at 3-4 PM and Napanee on January 8 @ 3-4 PM.

The View From Castle Rock is available at the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.

Coles' Notes, Staff Picks!

Staff Picks: Outside The Lines

“Staff Picks: Outside The Lines” was originally published in The Napanee Beaver on December 19, 2013

patricia Patricia Richard, Programming Coordinator for the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries, suggests Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany for fans of Chick-lit with a domestic edge. “While perusing recommendations in my Goodreads account the book Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany was recommended to me because of my interest in Chick Lit,” says Richard. “Amy Hatvany’s work explores various life struggles, family dynamics, love and relationships.”

“In Outside the Lines, Hatvany tells the story of a troubled and complex relationship between Eden and her father David. David struggles with mental illness and at a most troubling moment tries to commit suicide and a ten year old Eden finds her father bleeding out on the bathroom floor. After recovering and continuing to struggle David kidnaps Eden and flees their family home. Once returned to her mother the relationship between David and Eden is severed until in her thirties Eden decides to try and locate her father for answers.”Outside the lines

“The quest to find her father leads  Eden to discover things about herself, her mother, her father and it leads Eden to Jack the man who could be ‘the one’ for Eden. Together Eden and Jack search for David while falling in love. Outside the Lines is told through a past and the present narrative weaving David and Eden’s story into one heart-wrenching, loved filled tale that leaves a reader like me looking forward to reading all of Amy Hatvany’s books. For those readers that look forward to books by authors like Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova get ready to add Amy Hatvany to your to read list.”

This novel can be requested at your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.

Coles' Notes, Staff Picks!

Staff Picks: Letters From Skye


“Staff Picks: Letters From Skye” was originally published in The Napanee Beaver on December 5, 2013.

Marg Wood of the Napanee Branch of the Library suggests Letters From Skye for readers of historical fiction with a touch of romance. Here’s what she has to say:

“Letters from Skye is a debut novel by Jessica Brockmole. It joins Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants on my all-time favourites list. Letters from Skye is written in the epistolary form, meaning it is written in a series of letters, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. “

“At the start of WWI, American college student David Graham sends a fan letter to published poet Elspeth Dunn who lives on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland. This begins a series of correspondence between the two which eventually finds them falling deeply in love despite the fact that Elspeth is married and they have never met in person. David joins the war effort as an ambulance driver in Europe and they finally meet in London. Years later at the cusp of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter Margaret discovers her mother’s letters in which David refers to Elspeth as Sue (his nickname for her). When Margaret questions her mother about the letters Elspeth becomes visibly shaken and she disappears the next day. Margaret is left trying to solve the mystery of who David and Sue are and why her mother was so upset about the letters being discovered. Meanwhile, Margaret’s own wartime love story with Royal Air Force pilot Paul is being played out despite warnings from her mother not to fall in love with a soldier. “letters from skye

“I enjoyed how descriptive this book was; you could feel Elspeth’s angst and pain over her relationship with David and picture life in war-torn Europe through the author’s superlative storytelling. Letters from Skye is a beautifully written story that is part historical fiction/part romance which I found to be bittersweet and touching.”

Reserve Letters From Skye at your local branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.

Coles' Notes, Staff Picks!

Staff Picks: Thumbs up for A Grown Up Kind of Pretty

“Staff Picks: Thumbs up for A Grown Up Kind of Pretty” was originally published in The Napanee Beaver on November 21, 2013

AmyKAmy Kay, Supervisor of the Amherstview Branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries suggests A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilynn Jackson “if you like chick-lit and even if you don’t.” Here is what Amy has to say about this page-turning novel:

“Tackling dark topics with a bright voice and characters that are full of spirit is Jackson’s signature style. Her books are spread throughout the south and follow gutsy and A_GROWN-UP_KIND_OF_PRETTYwillful women through hard times and love; they are definitely not fluffy.  A Grown Up Kind of Pretty follows the lives of three generations of women in the Slocumb family. Every 15 years something bad happens to them.

“Ginny (aka Big) gave birth to Liza when she was 15. And Liza had Mosey when she was 15. Now Mosey is 15 and terrified of getting pregnant, despite the fact that she’s scarcely been kissed. Mosey seems to be safely out of trouble as the curse strikes in a different form. Liza suffers a stroke that renders her mute and crippled forcing Big to become the caretaker of her adult daughter and teenage granddaughter. Liza’s stroke is more than the Slocumb women are prepared to deal with but it’s the unearthing of a small silver box in the back yard that threatens to undo the family.  The three Slocumbs react separately to the discovery. Liza knows the truth, but doesn’t have the words to explain what happened. Big fears what might have happened and will stop at nothing to protect her family. Mosey loves them both but is struggling to find her own identity and on the verge of making the same mistakes as her mother and grandmother.”

“A Grown Up Kind of Pretty is a page-turning mystery, and edge of your seat drama and a fierce comedy, all at once – which is why I wouldn’t exactly call it chick-lit. You will be pulled in by the snappy southern dialogue and the undeniably likeable Slocumb women.”

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty can be reserved at your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.

Coles' Notes, What's Popular - Non-Fiction

Top 10: What L&A is Reading – November – Non-Fiction

By Catherine Coles, Manager of Library Services
Originally published as part of “Top 10: What L&A is Reading” in The Napanee Beaver on November 14, 2013.

Here’s what L&A is Reading: the following are November’s most popular non-fiction titles as determined by checkouts at the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.


1.      The Massey Murder: a Maid, Her Master and the Trial That Shocked A Country by Charlotte Gray
2.      Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie DeDuff
3.      My Way by Paul Anka
4.      These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack & Jackie by Christopher P. Anderson
5.      The Ballad of Jacob Peck by Deborah Komar
6.      Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes by Kamal Al Solaylee
7.      The Butler: A Witness To History by Wil Haygood
8.      Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
9.      Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds
10.  The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

massey murderOn the non-fiction side of things, The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray tops the list. Gray is one of Canada’s foremost biographers and her previous books, most notably Gold Diggers and Sisters of the Wilderness, have captured fascinating moments in our history. The Massey Murder is no different. In February 1915, a member of one of Canada’s wealthiest families was shot and killed on the front porch of his home in Toronto as he was returning from work. Carrie Davies, an 18-year-old domestic servant, quickly confessed to the crime – but who was the real victim here? Set against a backdrop of the Great War in Europe and the changing face of a nation, this sensational crime is brought to vivid life by Gray for the very first time.

Coles' Notes, What's Popular - Fiction

Top 10: What L&A is Reading – November – Fiction

By Catherine Coles, Manager of Library Services
Originally published as part of “Top 10: What L&A is Reading” in The Napanee Beaver on November 14, 2013.

Here’s what L&A is Reading: the following are November’s most popular fiction titles as determined by checkouts at the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.

  1. How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  2. Never Go Back by Lee Child
  3. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  4. The Hit by David Baldacci
  5. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  6. Gone by James Patterson
  7. Inferno by Dan Brown
  8. Hunting Eve by Iris Johansen
  9. Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs
  10. The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

How The Light Gets InCanadian mystery writer Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache novel tops our most popular fiction chart for November. In How The Light Gets In, Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines which he is compelled to investigate — a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished without a trace. As he begins to shed light on the investigation, he becomes tangled in a web of murder, lies and unspeakable corruption at the heart of the city. Facing his most challenging and personal case to date, can Gamache save the reputation of the Sûreté du Québec? Those who have read all the previous books in the Chief Inspector Gamache series will not be disappointed. Penny’s writing somehow is brought to an even higher level, her plots are even more complex, her characters more finely drawn. If you haven’t read any Gamache books, start at the beginning with Still Life.

Reserve any of the novels mentioned here, including Penny’s entire Inspector Gamache series, at your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Public Libraries.