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Our Best of 2018: Book and Video Game Recommendations from the Past Year!

2 Jan

In celebration of the New Year we decided to look back at a few of the library staff’s favorites you can check out from Hoboken and other BCCLS libraries!  I’ve linked to the print editions, but Hoboken Library Patrons can check out many of the books as ebooks and digital audiobooks from eLibraryNJ, Hoopla, or eBCCLS.

Favorite Fiction: Lost Empress by Sergio de la Pava and
Social Creature
by Tara Isabella Burton
social creature
I read a lot of good books in 2018. My favorite was Lost Empress by Sergio de la Pava. I wrote about it for the blog earlier this year. I loved this book for the intricate plot, the stunning prose and dialog, and the way it made me laugh out loud.

Another book I greatly enjoyed was Tara Isabella Burton’s Social Creature, about a toxic friendship between Lavinia, a well-off New York party girl,  and Louise, who dreams of living Lavinia’s lifestyle, but barely manages to live hand to mouth as she pursues her dream of becoming a writer in New York. I loved the decadence, the homage to social media, the upscale product placement (Cristal! Agata and Valentina!), not to mention the sex and the drugs. Some of the craziness stretched credibility, but Social Creature is definitely not easily put down.

Written by:
Victoria Turk
Reference Librarian

Favorite Nonfiction: American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment
by Shane Bauer
American Prison
In 2014, Shane Bauer spent four months working undercover as a $9-an-hour prison guard at Louisiana’s notorious Winn Correctional Center, a private prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Bauer’s experiences at Winn will horrify most readers as he documents his experiences working in a severely understaffed private prison where guards are poorly trained and inmates live in appalling conditions. American Prison is not only an incredible piece of first-person journalism; Bauer also provides a history of private prisons, interspersing his narrative with an expose on the era of “convict leasing” in which prison labor replaced slave labor on plantations and free labor in many industries. Bauer’s history has made me reevaluate my understanding of America’s justice system more than any other book I have read.

Written By:
Karl Schwartz
Young Adult Librarian

Favorite Mystery: An Act of Villainy
by Ashley Weaver

My favorite mystery this year was An Act of Villainy by Ashley Weaver.  The book is part of Weaver’s Amory Ames series which I had written about in a blog about her previous novel The Essence of Malice.  I think this is my favorite in the series I’ve read so far.  The book is set in the backstage theatrical world of London in the 1930’s; Amory is asked to investigate when a leading lady (and mistress of a friend) begins receiving menacing letters.  In addition to an intriguing mystery, I thought it was interesting to see Amory react to the relationship troubles of another couple in light of some of her own marital complications.  Honorable mystery mentions go to Diane Andrew’s Toucan Keep a Secret and Rhys Bowen’s Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding.

Other books I have loved this year and previously blogged about include for science fiction: Catherynne M. Valente’s funny fanciful Space Opera which takes Eurovision Song Competition to a galactic level; best fiction would be The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen, with it slow building suspense and well written characters; and for fantasy Kill The Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson which gives a refreshing new spin on the classic hero’s quest.

Written By:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Favorite Video Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I’m an avid gamer and have been since childhood, so I was really looking forward to the newest installation of Super Smash Bros., especially since I’m old enough to have been around and playing since the first Smash Bros. game was released in the 1990s. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which was just released on December 7, absolutely lives up to the hype of its predecessors, and since acquiring it I haven’t been able to put it down and trying to unlock a roster of 74 video game characters so I can play as whoever I want. Smash Ultimate, the fifth installment of the series, is highly recommended.

Written By:
Steph Diorio
Local History Librarian

Curious what other library patrons have been enjoying this past year? Here are the ten most frequently circulated fiction and nonfiction works of 2018 compiled by Head of Circulation Rosary Van Ingen:

Top Circulating Fiction 2018

  1. Little Fires Everywhere
  2. An American Marriage
  3. The Woman in the Window
  4. The Immortalists
  5. The Great Alone
  6. Manhattan Beach
  7. Still Me
  8. The Lying Game
  9. All We Ever Wanted
  10. The Woman in Cabin 10

Top Circulating Nonfiction 2018

1. Fear: Trump in the White House
2. The Last Black Unicorn
3. Educated: A Memoir
4. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
5. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
6. Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
8. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
9. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
10. Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems

What were some of your favorite items this year? Let us know in the comment section!

Upcoming Console Games and Their Current Counterparts

28 May

There are some great new console games set for release in 2014.  Hoboken Public Library will be adding these to our collection as soon as we can, but we already have a considerable collection of games for PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Wii U.  So, here are some upcoming console releases along with similar games currently in our collection.











Upcoming:  Destiny

Systems:  Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3

Release Date:  September 9, 2014

Website: Destiny the Game

When a company like Activision (Call of Duty) is backing the renowned game-makers at Bungie, it’s difficult not to be enthralled.  Destiny will undoubtedly be a next-gen flagship although it’s set to be released on both new and old consoles.  With the incorporation of some RPG archetypes such as character classes, Destiny promises to breathe new life into the often stale and overdone first-person shooter genre. But, despite a nifty new system of character specialization, Destiny looks less like a militarized mock-up of a sci-fi RPG and more like a shooter game (Halo series) with some added style.  Destiny’s setting is also strikingly similar to that of Halo, a wide universe of sprawling structures and mammoth military craft.  These similarities are not necessarily a bad thing, and Destiny looks like it will only be building upon Bungie’s past successes.  Plus, the gameplay looks action-packed, graphically engrossing, and just plain fun.  And, I am sure there will be plenty of aliens to kill.

If blasting aliens sounds like a dream come true, check out these current counterparts of Destiny from Hoboken Public Library or through interlibrary loan:

If you were more excited when I mentioned sci-fi RPGs, check out these titles:












Upcoming:  Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Systems:  Wii U, Nintendo 3DS

Release Date:  TBA – 2014

Website: Smash Bros.

Back in 1999, Nintendo released the original Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64 which soon became the nucleus of teenage slumber parties worldwide.  Never before had Nintendo fans been able to pit Pikachu against the likes of Luigi, and suddenly, gamers had an awesomely entertaining avenue by which to settle their differences through virtual four-way battles of epic vitriol.  In 2001, Nintendo expanded the possibilities by releasing the follow-up title, Super Smash Bros. Melee on Gamecube.  This game more than doubled the cast of characters that take part in these enthralling throwdowns. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) on Wii was the logical follow-up to Melee, refining the game where it faltered and further expanding character options outside the world of Nintendo.  Finally, Nintendo has announced the next installment in the series, set to be released in 2014.  This one promises to please by building upon what Nintendo fans already love, fights with their favorite characters and friends.  It also will expand the Smash Bros. model a little more by featuring a multitude of mighty characters from both inside and outside Nintendo.  Classic Capcom character Megaman has already been announced, and Sega staple Sonic will be reprising his role from Melee.  Punch-out boxer Little Mac will also be entering the arena.

If you’re keen on fighting your friends with classic characters, check out these current counterparts from Hoboken Public Library or through interlibrary loan:














Upcoming: Mad Max

Systems:  Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3

Release Date:  December 31, 2014

Website: Mad Max Game

At last!  The futurist tale of post-apocalyptic Earth is becoming a video game.  For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Mad Max is based on a series of films about the world after oil shortages have plunged it into continual chaos.  The films feature a plethora of ad hoc contraptions and crafty vehicles of destruction.  The game will hopefully have much of the same hell-raising action but in a free-roam virtual environment where players employ their skills both on-foot and behind the wheel of various murder machines.  It is also slated for a release that coincides with the new film, Mad Max: Fury Road.

If frantic skirmishes in a post-apocalyptic world sounds like your cup of tea, check out these current counterparts of Mad Max from Hoboken Public Library or through interlibrary loan:

If you’re more interested in the films, check those out as well:

-Written by Joseph Emery, Library Assistant

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