Category Archives: Books

Book Suggestions: The Supernatural Enhancements

At CMLE Headquarters, we love books!

This is likely the most popular and most unifying statement you can possibly make when chatting with library people – but it’s true! On our weekly podcast, Linking Our Libraries, we always have a book segment so we can share some of the books we read. This is always popular with our listeners, so we are expanding that into other formats including a second podcast coming out this fall, and in some regular book suggestions here on our site.

(Books below have links to Amazon; if you follow them and buy stuff from Amazon, Jeff Bezos and his crew will donate a small percentage of your sale to CMLE! It can really help us out, so thank you! And if you want to use our Amazon link anytime you shop, it helps us out. Check it out here for all the info!)

I stayed up late last night to finish this book – I couldn’t put it down! Usually, I really like audio books; and this is available in that format. But in this case, I would recommend reading the paper copy. Much of the story is told in journals, descriptions of video recordings, codes, and other formats easier to read than to hear.

The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero “The mesmerizing English debut from the bestselling author of Meddling Kids—what begins as a gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt.

Months after the last of the Wells sons jumped out of his bedroom window in Axton House (incidentally forgetting to open it first), a strange couple of Europeans arrive in Virginia to take possession of the estate. A. is the 23-year-old unforeseen scion; Niamh is the mute punk teen girl he refers to as his associate or his bodyguard. Both are ready to settle into their new cushy lifestyle, and the rumors about the mansion being haunted add to their excitement. But ghosts are not in any way the deepest secret of the house.

Through journals, letters, security footage, audio recordings, and ciphers, we follow A. and Niamh as they delve into Wells’ dubious suicide, the secret society he founded and its mysterious Game —a “bourgeois pastime” of global proportions— in Edgar Cantero’s dazzling and original gothic adventure.”


You might also like his newer book: Meddling Kids. I listened to this one, and laughed out loud at  points while walking. For pop culture fans, like me, it was fun to read for all the nods to assorted icons.  I liked it overall; for me, it kind of trailed off  as it got closer to the end and less pop-fun. But I did still enjoy it, and if you like mysteries and stories that turn tropes on their heads – this maybe  the book for you!

Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero “With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.”



What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Do you have other suggestions? We want to hear all about it in the comments section!

Day Seventy One of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Classification of Folk Tales

“There are many different folk tales in the world, but many tales are variations on a limited number of themes. The classification system originally designed by Aarne, and later revised first by Thompson and later by Uther, is intended to bring out the similarities between tales by grouping variants of the same tale under the same ATU category.”

This is a great tool to use as you are looking for all kinds of folk tales and fairy tales! You can use this yourself, or as a very handy Reader’s Advisory tool.

And if you like such genres, you can see it applied in an entirely fiction setting in the Seanan McGuire Indexing series! Fairy tales come to life, in dark and dangerous ways. I looove both of these books, and am anxiously waiting for a third! (I have them in audio format from, and suggest that format; but electronic book or paper would be fine if they are more accessible.)

Indexing, by Seanan McGuire

“For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That’s where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you’re dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn’t matter if you’re Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.”

Indexing: Reflections, by Seanan McGuire

“The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister—along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate.

But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over—and this one might not have a happily ever after.”

We hope you are enjoying National Book Lover’s Day! 9th is National Book Lover’s Day, and as library people, it is no secret at all that we love books!! (And encourage our families to love books too, as you can see from this picture below!)

Just in case you need a little extra encouragement to celebrate this excellent day, here’s a great article from the Literacy and NCTE blog with suggestions on how to share your love of books. Check out this list of Twenty Sayings to Share with Bibliophiles. Or, just grab a selection from your TBR pile and get reading! 🙂


Help The Newberry Library Transcribe These Medieval Texts About Magic & Witchcraft

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Libraries are filled with all kinds of projects, and library people are pretty naturally helpful people. So when there are big, potentially interesting tasks that people could help with, the call goes out. If you want to do a little transcription work, and maybe learn a few basics of digital projects,  this is a project you can participate in too!

, Read the entire article here!

“It’s like crowdsourcing, but with more sorcery.

Chicago’s venerable Newberry Library is asking for the public’s help with what might be the coolest mass transcription project to ever hit our radar. The research library has uploaded to its website a handful of texts that date back at least to the 17th century—including real-life post-medieval manuscripts about magic and witchcraft—that users can help transcribe, translate and edit.

The “magical” text, called Book of Magical Charms, was written by two unknown authors in the 1600s in England. So far scholars have been able to determine that the manuscript contains everything from occult toothache remedies to prayers and litanies. Like The Commonplace Book, a post-medieval general-knowledge compendium of sorts that is also available online for transcription and edits, the text is written in old English and Latin.” Continue reading Help The Newberry Library Transcribe These Medieval Texts About Magic & Witchcraft

Day Seventy of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

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Library people love to help others, and we also like to investigate to find information. So when the Glencoe Public Library staff found a purse, hidden inside a wall of the library, they kept investigating until they found the woman who had owned it!

A dental appointment slip, a high school attended only year, and some good old-fashioned internet research helped to track down the owner – now living in California.

The story was first reported here, filled with clues the library staff had collected and asking people to contribute their help. The exciting find, along with an interview with the owner of the purse, is detailed here.

Libraries are filled with mystery and adventure!