Book Club Kit: Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes cover imageClose Your Eyes
by Amanda Eyre Ward
First Published: 2011
10 Copies & Reading Guide

For most of her life, Lauren Mahdian has been certain of two things: that her mother is dead, and that her father is a murderer. Before the horrific tragedy, Lauren led a sheltered life on the banks of Long Island Sound, a haven of luxurious homes and seemingly perfect families. But one morning, eight-year-old Lauren and her older brother awoke to discover their mother’s body and their beloved father arrested for the murder.

Years later, Lauren is surrounded by uncertainty. Startling revelations force her to peek under the floorboards of her carefully constructed memories, put aside the version of history that she has clung to so fiercely, and search for the truth of what really happened that fateful night long ago.

Reader’s Guide:

Random House – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Reviews & Articles:
Kirkus Reviews
Publisher’s Weekly

You Also Might Like:
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker
The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

Did your book club read Close Your Eyes? Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment or join us over at Goodreads!

We Recommend…Linnea Sinclair

Games-of-CommandLinnea Sinclair
Available Formats: Paperback | eBook

Do you like Science Fiction with a lot of action and a little romance? Then you’ll enjoy award winning novelist Linnea Sinclair. Her fast paced novels feature strong, independent women that find themselves in serious, often life threatening, situations. In one of my favorites, An Accidental Goddess, the protagonist is thrown more than 300 years into the future and discovers that she’s been turned into a goddess!

Ms. Sinclair has several stand alone novels as well as one series, Dock Five. Gabriel’s Ghost is the first book in the Dock Five series. The Down Home Zombie Blues was optioned for a movie in 2010 but has not yet been released.

Visit the author’s website: http://www.linneasinclair.com

Book Club Kit: The Sandcastle Girls

Sandcastle Girls cover imageThe Sandcastle Girls
By Chris Bohjalian
First Published 2012
10 Copies & Reading Guide

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. It’s 1915, and Elizabeth has volunteered to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide during the First World War. There she meets Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. After leaving Aleppo and traveling into Egypt to join the British Army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, realizing that he has fallen in love with the wealthy young American.

Years later, their American granddaughter, Laura, embarks on a journey back through her family’s history, uncovering a story of love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

Reader’s Guide:
Random House

Reviews & Articles:
The Washington Post – “Chris Bohjalian’s ‘The Sandcastle Girls’ Relives the Armenian Genocide” by Eugenia Zukerman
The Armenian Weekly – “The Kernel That Led to the Novel, The Sandcastle Girls” by Chris Bohjalian
Lonely Planetmap of Armenia

Author’s Website: http://www.chrisbohjalian.com

You Might Also Like:
Toby’s Room by Pat Barker
Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd
The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian

Did your book club read The Sandcastle Girls? Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment or join us over at Goodreads!

Book Club Kit: Wild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild cover imageWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
By Cheryl Strayed
First Published: 2012
10 Copies & Reading Guide

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered, and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Reading Guide:
Random House – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Reviews:
NPR – “A Walk on the Wild Side” by Michael Schaub
New York Times – “The High Road Wild, a Hiking Memoir” by Dani Shapiro

Author’s Website: http://www.cherylstrayed.com

You Also Might Like:
Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington
The Old Ways: A Journey on foot by Robert MacFarlane
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Book Club Kit: The Shoemaker’s Wife

The Shoemakers Wife cover imageThe Shoemaker’s Wife
By Adriana Trigiani
First Published: 2012
10 Copies & Reading Guide

The majestic beauty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the twentieth century is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy. When Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished and sent to hide in America. Soon Enza’s family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America.

Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America. Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I as Enza begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House. Over time, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

Inspired by Adriana Trigiani’s own family history and the love of tradition, The Shoemaker’s Wife defines an era with operatic scope that will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come.

Reading Guide:
Harper Collins – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, and Discussion Questions

Reviews:
Publisher’s Weekly
Kirkus Review

You Might Also Like:
A Good American by Alex George
Elizabeth Street: a Novel Based on True Events by Laurie Fabiano
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy

Book Club Kit: The Hour I First Believed

Hour I First BelievedThe Hour I First Believed
By Wally Lamb
First Published: 2008
10 Copies & Reading Guide

When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, while Caelum is away, Maureen finds herself in the library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. Miraculously, she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. When Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family’s Connecticut farm, they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.

Reading Guide:
Harper Collins – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, and Discussion Questions

Reviews:
BooklistReview by Joanne Wilkinson
Kirkus ReviewReview

You Might Also Like:
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Columbine by David Cullen
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

We Recommend…Ghostman

GhostmanGhostman by Roger Hobbs
Available Formats: Hardcover | Audiobook | eBook

“Ghostman” is a first novel by Roger Hobbs, written between his junior and senior years at Reed College. He sent the manuscript off to a publisher the day he graduated! A few weeks later it caused an uproar at a book fair in Germany. His senior thesis focused on creating suspense in a story, and he definitely does that in this novel. We never actually learn the name of the Ghostman since he has many names and the supporting licenses, passports, credit cards, etc. to back those names. He is an expert at changing his appearance so that he is unrecognizable even to those who have met him. He is a master thief and works with other master thieves. When he is called upon to find the million dollars that was stolen from a casino in Atlantic City, he not only has to find the money, but he also finds himself in between two powerful men—one a master thief and one a drug lord—who both want the money for different reasons. This is an amazing first novel, very suspenseful and different from the usual thrillers.

You Might Also Like:
The Keller series by Lawrence Block

3M Cloud Library App Improvements

3M Cloud LibraryWe hope everyone is enjoying our new eBook service! As with any computer or tablet applications, 3M is constantly trying to improve the service they offer through the Cloud Library. Over the past month a new Mac app launched, the PC App improved, and updates are coming to the Android and iOS apps! Finally, the 3M Portal Page has been updated with new information – including support videos!

PC APP UPDATE:

If you’ve opened the PC Application recently, you may be prompted to update the PC App. After the update has loaded you will be asked to log-in again. Please note, that any shortcuts you created to the app may also need to be changed.

These updates include a variety of new improvements – some you might notice and some that simply make the product better.

Two big changes:

A link back to the full PCLD Catalog are now available at the bottom of the search screen. So if you can’t find your favorite by Debbie Macomber, you can easily head over to the full catalog and complete your search for the physical book.

PC App Updates

A direct link back to our Digital Books page is available under the “i” icon located at the top right of the application. Once you click on the icon, a screen pops up with a few different options:

  • Feedback – You can email suggestions for improvements and new features to 3M.
  • Online Help – This is a less than helpful option that sends you to a 3M products page.
  • End User License Agreement – Provides you with text for the agreement you accept when you first log-in.
  • Library Support – This will link you back to our Digital Books page which includes FAQs and how-to guides.

Unfortunately, this update did not include a check-in feature within the PC Application, but we hope this option returns to the PC soon.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve added many new titles and are trying to stay on top of all of the wish list requests.

We’ve also posted a few eBook blog posts you might have missed:

Be on the lookout for a survey in the coming weeks relating to eBooks and the 3M Cloud Library.

Thanks for your support and for making our launch a big success!

Free Downloadable eBooks

While we’re really enjoying our new 3M Cloud Library eBook collection, there are still many hurdles to jump. EBooks for libraries are expensive and have many restrictions set by the publishers – so much to our dismay, we can’t offer you every book ever published. However, there are other ways for you to find free and less-expensive eBook options. There are thousands of free eBooks available to download to your eBook or tablet, but finding them can be difficult.

But remember, while we can provide you with resources to try out, your device still might not work with the service. Some eReaders and tablets use proprietary formats that will not allow you to download eBooks from some sources – one example is that you cannot (at this time) download Project Gutenberg titles to a Kindle Fire.

Project GutenbergProject Gutenberg – This website makes thousands of titles available that are out of copyright, plus each book is available in multiple formats. That means these titles are available to download on basic eReaders and tablets. Check out Project Gutenberg’s MobileReader How-To to find out how to get their titles on your device.

Open LibraryOpen Library – This project, part of the Internet Archive, is an editable library catalog. They provide free eBooks and books available to borrow through their lending library.

ManyBooks.netManyBooks.net – This site includes many of the Project Gutenberg eTexts, but also has public domain titles and Creative Commons works from other sources.

SmashwordsSmashwords – If you’re looking for indie eBooks, check out Smashwords – an eBook distributor. Once you register with the site, you can create your own personal Smashwords library and find affordable self-published eBooks, plus many free titles.

Baen BooksBaen Free Library – Looking for Science Fiction & Fantasy titles? Take a look at Baen’s collection of free titles. Authors choose to make their works available for free, so many of the titles are the first in the series; however, their eBooks are also reasonably priced.

feedbooksFeedbooks – The site includes free original works and public domain titles. You can sort the collection by price or simply browse the free eBooks listings.

InkmeshInkMesh – Recently published works are rarely available for free, but you can search for a title on InkMesh to compare prices across platforms and websites. InkMesh even provides you with information on what eBooks are free at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and many other eBook vendor websites.

Also try…
Depending on your eReader or tablet, you might be able to find daily discounts and a listing of free ebooks on the website for your eReader brand.

Don’t forget to search the Google Play store for your Android device and the iBooks store on your iPhone or iPad.

For more resources, check out these blog posts:

Searching in the 3M Cloud Library

3M Cloud LibraryWhen you first login to Pinal County Library District’s 3M Cloud Library, the screen will open up to the Shelves tab. On this page you will see row after row and cover after cover of books available in our eBook collection. You can also browse through the Categories tab if you aren’t sure what you want, but you know the genre you’re interested in reading.

Search Android

Click the image to enlarge

But maybe you know exactly what you want – you don’t want to waste your time browsing – you can simply do a SEARCH.

Look for the SEARCH tab at the top or bottom of your screen. The screen might look a little different depending on which version of the 3M Cloud Library app you’re using, but the basic functions are available on each app.

Search iPAD

Click the image to enlarge

Like the Categories tab, the Search tab has options available that will limit or expand your search results. You can choose one of two search options:

  • Show Only Books Available to Check Out – This option will limit your search and provide you with only those titles that you can check out immediately.
  • Include Books Not in My Library – This option will expand your search to include ALL titles 3M has available for libraries to license. This can be a very overwhelming option because it will include thousands of titles that are not available for you to check out, but you can place the titles on your Wish List.
Search_PCApp

Click the image to enlarge

You can sort your results by:

  • Relevance (default)
  • Title
  • Author
  • Rating
  • Newest/Publishing Year (varies based on app).

If you’d like to search the collection without downloading an app, you can do that on the Browsing Website. However, to read a book from the 3M Cloud Library, you will need to download one of the reader apps. Also, the apps will allow for a much faster searching experience.

Head over to our Digital Books page to find more information and to access guides to help you get started.