New copies of Naruto!



We bought all new copies of the Naruto graphic novel series through volume 30. Come check them out!

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Ranger’s Apprentice series–all here now!

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We have had some guys asking for fantasy fiction with male protagonists/heroes. You want to read something great beyond The Lord of the Rings.

Come checkout The Ranger’s Apprentice. We’ve filled out the series, and finally have them all. I read the first 9 but had to stop to read other things. (So many books, so little time.)  In the past I reviewed a few if you want to get an idea of what they are like:

The Siege of Macindaw

The Sorcerer of the North

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You Loved “Au Revoir Crazy European Chick”

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We have the sequel–Perry’s Killer Playlist. And if you’ve read that, we have a new book by the same author–Con Academy.


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Zombie Librarian

Thanks to MotiFake for the image!

We have all sorts of scary books for you here at the library!

zombie librarian

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Reluctant Readers: “The Bully Book”

The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale  bully book

Up until 6th grade, Eric has always been a sort of regular kid. He has a crush on his best girl/friend, Melody. Since fourth grade when they connected over a class project, Eric has been hanging out with Donovan, an overweight guy with braces.

But something strange happens on the first day of grade six. Donovan comes into the class looking like a new person. He’s lost about 25 pounds, has no braces and his hair is cut short. And, he pretends not to know Eric.

Instead, Donovan is hanging with Jason Crazinski and Adrian Noble, who have suddenly decided to bully Eric and to get the rest of the class to do so as well. With their teacher always absent on Mondays, they make up vocabulary sentences with Eric’s name in them–all derogatory–and the whole class joins in. The sub doesn’t notice.

Things get crude and gross with incidents in the boys’ restroom at the urinal. And worse.

What happened over the summer that led to this change? The bullies got ahold of “The Bully Book,” a secret document that has been passed down through the years, a manual for selecting a “Grunt” and then ruining his life.

Grunts don’t fight back; they are easy targets. And while Eric never tells any adults what is happening to him, he does try to figure out what the Bully Book is, who has it, and how he can stop being the Grunt.
High school housekeeping: I wanted to a read a suspenseful book for students who are working on their reading skills. The Bully Book is a good choice. The chapters alternate between text from the Bully Book and passages from Eric’s journal. The Bully Book explains how and why the bullies torment the Grunt. And then the  reader sees specifically how the plans from the Bully Book affect Eric. He becomes a loner, someone who is mentally, emotionally, and physically abused. The Bully Book book has a 620 Lexile level, so it’s about 5th-grade reading level. But the topic of selecting a classmate for everyone to pick on and seeing how that person falls apart is one that resonates with older readers. I’d recommend The Bully Book to students who are working on their reading skills.

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Nonfiction: “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal”

gulp  Gulp by Mary Roach

Mary Roach has come up with another fun look at science, this time focusing on the anatomy and physiology of human digestion. Here she answers the questions you’ve always wanted to ask:

  • Can snakes taste?
  • Can your stomach digest itself (and why doesn’t it do that)?
  • Why do humans (or at least Americans) throw away the most nutritious parts of the animal (brains, intestines, etc.)?
  • Why are we so squeamish about what goes in our mouths?
  • Why are we horrified by saliva once it’s out of the mouth? (For example, you wouldn’t spit in your soup and then eat it, but you will put the soup into your spitty mouth and swallow it.)
  • Could Jonah really have survived in the belly of the whale?
  • Can you eat so much that you blow up?

There are lots of fun facts about animals’ eating habits:

  • At one time, cat food was evaluated by human tasters (this didn’t take off).
  • Dry pet food came about because canned food was needed for war rations.
  • Dogs like the smell of decomposing flesh if it isn’t too old.
  • Cats and dogs really like just a few favors–we just think they like to eat like us, so pet food makers are trying to please us (vegetarian kibble for true carnivores is an example).
  • Animals with no taste receptors, such as whales, swallow a lot of junk (cups, toothpaste tubes, etc.)

And fun facts about people:

  • With soldiers consuming about a pound of meat a day during WW II, meat at home had to be rationed–so the government tried to get Americans to eat organs and reproductive parts (very nutritious).
  • For the adults–you shouldn’t equate complexity with quality when you pick a beer. (A professional alcohol taster says that after hard work, the person who wants a refreshing beer should go for a  Bud, not an IPA.)
  • In microwavable food, the sauce makes the favor which disappears from the chicken
  • You should eat slowly if you’re trying to lose weight–but not too slowly or you’ll be in big trouble.
  • At one time, doctors used saliva for cures for syphilis and more. ( You can read about its effectiveness.)

On the opposite end of the alimentary canal, Roach can make even topics that disgust us pretty interesting. There’s a lot about poop here, and intriguing facts about the rectum.

  • How do those prisoners manage to smuggle drugs and cellphones into lock-up without pooping them out? Inquiring minds want to know and Roach gives us the answers.
  • Did you know that red meat will make your farts and poop stink more than other foods? (Unless those other foods are unrefrigerated and decomposing.)
  • The future of fecal bacteria transplants–there may be a very cheap way to get rid of intestinal disorders.
  • The terrible way Elvis Presley really died had more to do with constipation than a drug overdose.

More than junk food and not a load of crap, Gulp has the science and the history that will delight you beyond a mere gut reaction and keep you reading to the end.

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Nonfiction: “Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife”

Spook by Mary Roach spook

I’m gathering some scary stories for a fall display, and thought I’d add Spook–which is not a scary book at all, but rather an entertaining work of nonfiction that takes a look at life after death.

Mary Roach, the author of Spook, wants to know if we can scientifically prove or disprove the existence of life after death. She wants to know if there really is a human soul. She begins her investigation (or at least her narrative about it) in India. Roach accompanies an investigator who is hoping to verify the reincarnation of a man, born into a child who lives not far from where the man had lived his life. This journey is pretty disappointing, and what she learns supports Roach’s initial feelings–she’s a skeptic.

In fact, proving or disproving the existence of the human soul has frustrated great philosophers, theologians, and scientists all. So the reader shouldn’t expect great revelation here. But what makes the book a worthwhile read is learning about some of the crazy history–and present day shenanigans–of folks who claim to be in touch with the dead.

How hardily many people accepted mediums a century ago is surprising. Folks believed in the presence of the dead during seances when tables levitated and trumpets played by themselves. Weirder still is how ‘ectoplasm’ would often appear around the medium during a seance. How did this filmy tissue of phantomness–that looks a lot like cheesecloth–get in the room? (OK, the answer is creepier than actually dealing with the dead. Can you say orifice?)

As always, Roach has fun in her investigations. She goes to medium school (really just a weekend workshop) and tries to learn the craft along with a cohort of believers.

Roach also turns to science, past and present. At one time, a serious surgeon studied whether the soul had left the body by weighing patients at death and seeing if there was a change.

Today, there are a few serious scientific institutes that study the paranormal. They use computers, infrasound and electromagnetic waves to try to locate the souls among us. They investigate those out-of-body experiences that people have during surgery when their hearts stop.

High school housekeeping: Spook roams all over the place, but in a good way. California teens will remember the Donner party from their youthful studies of California history, and will be engaged by the author’s efforts to reach the spirits of those departed cannibals. Mary Roach has written several books about her investigations into questions that have always puzzled her. She’s always funny while she’s informative. Her footnotes, which can really stray from the subject at hand, are sometimes the most fun of all. A book that goes over well in book talks is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. It, too, is an interesting read for fall as our thoughts turn to the dead (and the undead).

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