Archive for the ‘Editor’s Picks’ Category

Mystery and Suspense You May Have Missed

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham.

“Psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is being pushed away. His marriage is ending. Charlie, his eldest daughter, will barely speak to him. And Charlie’s rebellious best friend Sienna is getting into more and more trouble, and taking Charlie along for the ride. Sienna has been almost like family to O’Loughlin-a troubled child who for years spent more time in the O’Loughlin residence than her own home. O’Loughlin’s worst fears are confirmed when Sienna turns up at his front door, traumatized and covered in blood. The police find a major piece of the puzzle at Sienna’s house: her father Ray Hegarty, a celebrated former police officer, murdered. The blood covering Sienna was her father’s. She can’t remember what happened, but, at the same time, doesn’t mourn her father’s death. O’Loughlin vows to unearth the dark secrets of Sienna’s mind, hoping his efforts will win back the confidence of a daughter he may be in danger of losing forever. But as the accusations fly, the line between victim and accused begins to blur. When the detective in charge of the case seems all too eager to lay the blame at Sienna’s feet rather than malign the honor of a respected former colleague, O’Loughlin begins to make his own inquiries. But each step he takes toward the truth also brings him closer to the path of a manipulative killer unlike anything he has ever encountered”– Provided by publisher.

The Devil She Knows by Bill Loehfelm.

“Struggling with a dead-end job and a strained relationship with her mother, Maureen witnesses a gay encounter between a co-worker and an aspiring politician and is threatened into silence, a situation that is complicated by the co-worker’s suspicious death.”

 

Iron House by John Hart.

“At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time to kill, time for two young orphans to learn that life isn’t won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. When tensions boil over and a boy is brutally killed, there is only one sacrifice left for Michael to make: He flees the orphanage and takes the blame with him. For two decades, Michael has been an enforcer in New York’s world of organized crime, a prince of the streets so widely feared he rarely has to kill anymore. But the life he’s fought to build unravels when he meets Elena, a beautiful innocent who teaches him the meaning and power of love. He wants a fresh start with her, the chance to start a family like the one he and Julian never had. But someone else is holding the strings. And escape is not that easy… The mob boss who gave Michael his blessing to begin anew is dying, and his son is intent on making Michael pay for his betrayal. Determined to protect the ones he loves, Michael spirits Elena- who knows nothing of his past crimes, or the peril he’s laid at her door- back to North Carolina, to the place he was born and the brother he lost so long ago. There, he will encounter a whole new level of danger, a thicket of deceit and violence that leads inexorably to the one place he’s been running from his whole life: Iron House.”–From book jacket.

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo.

“Two young women are found murdered in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches fever pitch: Could this be the work of a serial killer?

The crime scenes offer no coherent clues, the police investigation is stalled, and the one man who might be able to help doesn’t want to be found. Traumatized by his last case, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong’s opium dens. Yet when he is compelled, at last, to return to Norway—his father is dying—Harry’s buried instincts begin to take over. After a female MP is discovered brutally murdered, nothing can keep him from the investigation.

There is little to go on: a piece of rope, a scrap of wool, a bit of gravel, an unexpected connection between the victims. And Harry will soon come to understand that he is dealing with a psychopath for whom “insanity is a vital retreat,” someone who will put him to the test—in both his professional and personal lives—as never before.” (Random House, Inc.)

Poison Flower by Thomas Perry.

“Protecting a man wrongly charged with the murder of his wife, Jane Whitefield is shot and abducted by the real culprits, who threaten to kill her if she does not reveal her client’s whereabouts.”

 

 

Red Means Run by Brad Smith.

“Mickey Dupree is one of the most successful criminal attorneys in upstate New York. The upside of being Mickey: he has never lost a capital murder case. The downside: Mickey has a lot of enemies, and one of them has just driven the shaft of a golf club through his heart, leaving him dead in a sand trap at his exclusive country club. The cops, led by a gung ho but dim-witted detective named Joe Brady, focus their attentions on Virgil Cain. Just two weeks earlier, Virgil told a crowded bar that “somebody ought to blow Mickey’s head off,” after the slippery lawyer earned an acquittal for Alan Comstock, the man accused of murdering Virgil’s wife. Comstock, a legendary record producer, gun nut, and certifiable lunatic, has returned to his estate, where he lives with his wife, the long-suffering Jane. Virgil is convinced that the fix is in when Brady immediately throws him into jail with no investigation. So Virgil escapes from custody, determined to find Mickey’s killer himself. His only ally is the smart and sexy Claire Marchand, a detective who is at least willing to consider that Virgil may be telling the truth. Now it’s up to Virgil to prove his innocence, and to do that he needs to find the killer. Before the killer finds him.”

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante.

“Implicated in the murder of her best friend, Jennifer White, a brilliant retired surgeon with dementia, struggles with fractured memories of their complex relationship and wonders if she actually committed the crime.”

 

 

Wyatt by Garry Disher.

“Garry Disher’s cool, enigmatic anti-hero Wyatt has a job–a jewel heist. The kind Wyatt likes. Nothing extravagant, nothing greedy. Stake out the international courier, one Alain Le Page, hold up the goods in transit and get away fast.

Wyatt prefers to work alone, but this is Eddie Oberin’s job. Eddie’s very smart ex-wife Lydia has the inside information. Add Wyatt’s planning genius and meticulous preparation, and what could possibly go wrong?

Plenty. And when you wrong Wyatt, you don’t get to just walk away.

Taut plots, brilliant writing and relentless pace; plus an unforgettable cast, including the ever-elusive Wyatt himself: these are the hallmarks of Garry Disher’s Wyatt series.  (Random House, Inc.)

Ranchero by Rick Gavin.

“Repo man Nick Reid had a seemingly simple job to do: talk to Percy Dwayne Dubois— pronounced “Dew-boys,” front-loaded and hick specific—about the payments he’s behind on for a flat screen TV, or repossess it. But Percy Dwayne wouldn’t give in. Nope, instead he saw fit to go all white-trash philosophical and decided that since the world was stacked against him anyway, he might as well fight it. He hit Nick over the head with a fireplace shovel, tied him up with a length of lamp cord, and stole the mint-condition calypso coral-colored 1969 Ranchero that Nick had borrowed from his landlady. And he took the TV with him on a rowdy ride across the Mississippi Delta.

Nick and his best friend Desmond, fellow repo man in Indianola, Mississippi, have no choice but to go after him. The fact that the trail eventually leads to Guy, a meth cooker recently set up in the Delta after the Feds ran him out of New Orleans, is of no consequence—Nick will do anything to get the Ranchero back. And it turns out he might have to.

An original and ballsy road-trip of a crime novel—most of it in Desmond’s ex-wife’s Geo—Ranchero is an unforgettable read and a fantastic series debut.” (McMillan Palgrave)

Sister: a novel by Rosamund Lupton.

“When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn’t be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics). But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand.

Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered. Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess’s apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister’s life–and all its secrets.

Though her family and the police see a grieving sister in denial, unwilling to accept the facts, Bee uncovers the affair Tess was having with a married man and the pregnancy that resulted, and her difficultly with a stalker who may have crossed the line when Tess refused his advances. Tess was also participating in an experimental medical trial that might have gone very wrong. As a determined Bee gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder–and an obsession that may cost Bee her own life.

A thrilling story of fierce love between siblings, Sister is a suspenseful and accomplished debut with a stunning twist.” (Random House, Inc.)

Click on a title and go straight to our catalog.  Editor

Views on American History and Politics

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The Second Amendment: A Biography by Michael Waldman.

“By the president of the prestigious Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the life story of the most controversial, volatile, misunderstood provision of the Bill of Rights. At a time of renewed debate over guns in America, what does the Second Amendment mean? This book looks at history to provide some surprising, illuminating answers. The Amendment was written to calm public fear that the new national government would crush the state militias made up of all (white) adult men–who were required to own a gun to serve. Waldman recounts the raucous public debate that has surrounded the amendment from its inception to the present. As the country spread to the Western frontier, violence spread too. But through it all, gun control was abundant. In the 20th century, with Prohibition and gangsterism, the first federal control laws were passed. In all four separate times the Supreme Court ruled against a constitutional right to own a gun. The present debate picked up in the 1970s–part of a backlash to the liberal 1960s and a resurgence of libertarianism. A newly radicalized NRA entered the campaign to oppose gun control and elevate the status of an obscure constitutional provision. In 2008, in a case that reached the Court after a focused drive by conservative lawyers, the US Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual right to gun ownership. Famous for his theory of “originalism,” Justice Antonin Scalia twisted it in this instance to base his argument on contemporary conditions. In The Second Amendment: A Biography, Michael Waldman shows that our view of the amendment is set, at each stage, not by a pristine constitutional text, but by the push and pull, the rough and tumble of political advocacy and public agitation”– Provided by publisher.

I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir by James Webb.

“James Webb, author of Fields of Fire, the classic novel of the Vietnam War–former U.S. Senator; Secretary of the Navy; recipient of the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart as a combat Marine; and a self-described “military brat”–has written an extraordinary memoir of his early years, “a love story–love of family, love of country, love of service,” in his words. Webb’s mother grew up in the poverty-stricken cotton fields of Eastern Arkansas. His father and life-time hero was the first of many generations of Webbs, whose roots are in Appalachia, to finish high school. He flew bombers in World War II, cargo planes in the Berlin Airlift, graduated from college in middle age, and became an expert in the nation’s most advanced weaponry. Webb’s account of his childhood is a tremendous American saga as the family endures the constant moves and challenges of the rarely examined Post-World War II military, with his stern but emotionally invested father, loving and resolute mother, a granite-like grandmother who held the family together during his father’s frequent deployments, and an assortment of invincible aunts, siblings, and cousins. His account of his four years at Annapolis are painfully honest but in the end triumphant. His description of Vietnam’s most brutal battlefields breaks new literary ground. One of the most highly decorated combat Marines of that war, he is a respected expert on the history and conduct of the war. Webb’s novelist’s eyes and ears invest this work with remarkable power, whether he is describing the resiliency that grew from constant relocations during his childhood, the longing for his absent father, his poignant goodbye to his parents as he leaves for Vietnam, his role as a 23-year-old lieutenant through months of constant combat, or his election to the Senate where he was known for his expertise in national defense, foreign policy, and economic fairness. This is a life that could only happen in America” — from publisher’s web site.

Editor

Memoirs You May Have Missed

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Click on a title to go straight to our catalog.

Stand Up Straight and Sing!: A Memoir by Jessye Norman.

“The opera star describes her childhood in the segregated South, the values that shaped her ambitions, her meteoric rise at the Berlin Opera, and the accomplishments that have established her as one of America’s most decorated singers.”

 

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung.

“From a childhood survivor of Cambodia’s brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit.

Until the age of five, Lounge Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker — that she stomped around like a thirsty cow — her beloved father knew Lounge was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive.

Because Lounge was resilient and determined, she was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia,destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited.

Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the vision of the others — and sustained be her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality — Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life.” (HarperCollins)

The Happiness Project: or why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun by Gretchen Rubin.

“A thoughtful and prescriptive work on happiness filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor.”

 

 

Just Kids by Patti Smith.

“In this memoir, singer-songwriter Patti Smith shares tales of New York City : the denizens of Max’s Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner’s, Brentano’s and Strand bookstores and her new life in Brooklyn with a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe–the man who changed her life with his love, friendship, and genius.”

 

A Pearl in the Storm: how I found my heart in the middle of the ocean by Tori Murden McClure.

“During June 1998, Tori McClure set out to row across the Atlantic Ocean by herself in a 23-foot plywood boat with no motor or sail. She lost communications, but nevertheless decided to keep going, without updates on the location of the Gulf Stream and the weather–in what became the North Atlantic’s worst hurricane season. When a series of violent storms nearly killed her, she had to signal for help and go home in what felt like complete disgrace. Back in Kentucky, however, Tori’s life began to change. At the age of 35, she embarked on a serious relationship for the first time, making her feel even more vulnerable than sitting alone in the middle of the Atlantic. But she knew she did not want to be known as the woman who “almost” rowed across the Atlantic Ocean.” (From publisher description)

A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

A Widow’s Story illuminates one woman’s struggle to comprehend a life without the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of “death-duties,” and the solace of friendship. She writes unflinchingly of the experience of grief—the almost unbearable suspense of the hospital vigil, the treacherous “pools” of memory that surround us, the vocabulary of illness, the absurdities of commercialized forms of mourning. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widow’s desperation—only gradually yielding to the recognition that “this is my life now.”

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of the acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.” (Blackwell Publishing)

Editor

 

 

Charles Wright New Poet Laureate

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Thursday, June 12, the Library of Congress named as the next poet laureate Charles Wright, whose work, the New York Times said, fuses “the legacy of European modernism with mystical evocations of the landscape of the American South.”

Wright is a retired professor at the University of Virginia and has won “just about every other honor in the poetry world, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.”

James Billington, the librarian of Congress, praised Wright for his “combination of literary elegance and genuine humility–it’s just the rare alchemy of a great poet.” Wright’s work offers, he said, “an infinite array of beautiful words reflected with constant freshness.”

Here are two of Wright’s works in our catalog:

Black Zodiac

Publishers Weekly review in our catalog:

“”Out of any two thoughts I have, one is devoted to death,” proclaims Wright in this ominous collection of new work. Perhaps because these poems were written around his 60th birthday or perhaps because an imperative moves all good Southern writers to flirt with dissolution, Wright has begun to consider the end that nears. On these pages he creates and explores an almost surreal present purgatory built from varying amounts of Zen Buddhism, memories, paradox and pastoral opulence. Gertrude Stein, Sappho, his physician and a golf buddy all cast their influence. The language is lilting and pacific even as its embedded imagery disturbs: “Honeysuckle and poison ivy jumbling out of the hedge,/ Magnolia beak and white tongue, landscape’s off-load, love’s lisp” (“Apologia pro Vita Sua, III”). Attachment to the things of the world tightens: “Swallows darting like fish through the alabaster air,/ Cleansing the cleanliness, feeding on seen and the unseen./ To come back as one of them!” (“Meditation on Song and Structure”). On the page, as always, Wright’s passages refuse to cohere into peaceful stanzas. Scattered and making a break for the right-hand margin, the lines add to the unease that haunts the book, magnifying a nagging sense of disorder and mortality amid an effort at resignation.” Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews.

Bye-and-bye: selected late poems

“Over the course of nineteen collections of poems, Charles Wright has built one of the truly distinctive bodies of poetry created in the second half of the twentieth century’”(David Young, Contemporary Poets). Bye-and-Bye, which brings together selections from Wright’s more recent work–including the entirety of Littlefoot, Wright’s moving, book-length meditation on mortality–showcases the themes and images that have defined his mature work: the true affinity between writer and subject, human and nature; the tenuous relationship between description and actuality; and the search for a truth that transcends change and death. Bye-and-Bye is a wonderful introduction to the late work of one of America’s finest and best-loved poets” (Provided by publisher).

Editor

Ideal Vacation Reads

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

Air Bound: a Sea Haven Novel by Christine Feehan.

“For as far back as she can remember, Airiana Ridell has always been aware of her extraordinary gift. She can intuit revealing and illuminating “patterns” in the air around her – whether in a spray of mist, in billowing clouds, or in the dense swirls of an impenetrable fog. Her abilities led to her placement in a secret government training facility when she was a child, but everything changed after her mother was murdered. Airiana fled the program, but she couldn?t outrun the desperate members of a shadowy cabal who want her, who need her, who will kill to get her. Kidnapped and held aboard a ship bound for dangerous seas, her only chance for rescue is Maxim Prakenskii. He has his reasons for helping her, but he isn’t about to reveal them to Airiana. Not yet. Not as the two are drawn together as moth to flame. Not when there are so many secrets yet untold that could shatter the quaint community of Sea Haven and all who reside there?”

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers—Beckett, Ryder, and Owen—as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish…

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last…” (Penguin Putnam)

Read the first chapter in our catalog.

The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag.

“Minneapolis investigators Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska find themselves in pursuit of a serial killer whose latest victim is a bullied adolescent who desperately sought a normal life.”

We also have the audiobook.

 

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead.

“In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America. Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills. When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.”

You may download the ebook.

Blood Red by Mercedes Lackey.

“Little Red Riding Hood’s real name is Gretchen Schwarzwald, and she is from the Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) in Germany. Ten years ago, she was orphaned by an evil Earth Master who wanted her parents’ land and killed them all with the werewolves he created. She was rescued by a Fire Master, a member of the Woodsman’s Lodge, and taught how to use her own Fire Powers. Now another werewolf pack is ravaging Exmoor, and she has come to help London’s White Lodge eradicate it and find and destroy the Elemental Master behind it” — From publisher’s website.

A Long Time Gone by Karen White.

“When Vivien Walker left her home in the Mississippi Delta, she swore never to go back, as generations of the women in her family had. But in the spring, nine years to the day since she’d left, that’s exactly what happens–Vivien returns, fleeing from a broken marriage and her lost dreams for children. What she hopes to find is solace with “Bootsie,” her dear grandmother who raised her, a Walker woman with a knack for making everything all right. But instead she finds that her grandmother has died and that her estranged mother is drifting further away from her memories. Now Vivien is forced into the unexpected role of caretaker, challenging her personal quest to find the girl she herself once was. But for Vivien things change in ways she cannot imagine when a violent storm reveals the remains of a long-dead woman buried near the Walker home, not far from the cypress swamp that is soon to give up its ghosts. Vivien knows there is now only one way to rediscover herself–by uncovering the secrets of her family and breaking the cycle of loss that has haunted her them for generations” (Provided by publisher)

Also check out the eaudiobook.

Editor

Watergate Book 40th Anniversary

Friday, June 13th, 2014

This Friday, June 13,  NPR’s Morning Edition featured Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, authors of All the President’s Men (find this book in our catalog).

“This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the Watergate scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver the stunning revelations and pieces in the Watergate puzzle that brought about Nixon’s shocking downfall. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post, toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters.

All the President’s Men is a riveting detective story, capturing the exhilarating rush of the biggest presidential scandal in U.S. history as it unfolded in real time. It is, as former New York Times managing editor Gene Roberts has called it, “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.”” (Simon and Schuster)

Editor

 

Teen Books with Adult Appeal

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The secret is out: Books for teens can be great reads for anyone, even readers over 30. Gathered here are new titles that span genres for readers of every stripe.

Panic by Lauren Oliver.

“Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game; he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for. For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.” (HarperCollins)

Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

“An aristocratic girl who is a member of a warmongering and enslaving empire purchases a slave, an act that sets in motion a rebellion that might overthrow her world as well as her heart.”

 

 

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford.

“Traumatized by grief and guilt after her younger brother dies during a family vacation, fifteen-year-old Shiv is sent away to an exclusive clinic that claims to “cure” people like her.”

 

 

Guy in Real Life by Steven Brezenoff.

“From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story in the vein of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don’t.

This is a story of the roles we all play—at school, at home, online, and with our friends—and the one person who might be able to show us who we are underneath it all.” (HarperCollins)

She is not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick.

“Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.”  (McMillan Palgrave)

Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn.

“As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile—but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.

Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by a Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.” (Houghton)

Editor

Maya Angelou’s Memorial Service to Be Livestreamed

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

A memorial service this Saturday, June 7, at 10 a.m. for poet, memoirist and activist Maya Angelou, who died May 28, will be livestreamed from the Wait Chapel of Wake Forest University, where she had been the Reynolds Professor of American Studies since 1982. “Due to limited seating capacity, the family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only,” with a livestream feed for the public, the university said. Angelou’s family is planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country.

Thursday, May 29,  I heard a rebroadcast of the NPR Diane Rehme Show featuring a conversation with Maya Angelou about her memoir, Mom & Me & Mom (Find this book in our catalog).  Angelou achieved fame with her 1969 memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” about growing up poor and black in the South. Her autobiographical writing established her as a leading voice for women and African Americans.

Mom & Me & Mom was published in 2013.  This is what it says in our catalog:

“The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.

For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.

Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.”

You may read an excerpt of the book in our catalog.

Editor

Library Reads Top 10 for June

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Click on a title to go straight to our catalog.

Elizabeth is Missing: a novel by Emma Healey.

“In this darkly riveting debut novel, a sophisticated psychological mystery, one woman will stop at nothing to find her best friend, who seems to have gone missing. . . .

Despite Maud’s growing anxiety about Elizabeth’s welfare, no one takes her concerns seriously—not her frustrated daughter, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son—because Maud suffers from dementia. But even as her memory disintegrates and she becomes increasingly dependent on the trail of handwritten notes she leaves for herself in her pockets and around her house, Maud cannot forget her best friend. Armed with only an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth—no matter what it takes.

As this singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present, the clues she uncovers lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: that of her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II. As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more than fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud’s search for Elizabeth develops a frantic momentum. Whom can she trust? Can she trust herself?

A page-turning novel of suspense, Elizabeth Is Missing also hauntingly reminds us that we are all at the mercy of our memory. Always compelling, often poignant, and at times even blackly witty, this is an absolutely unforgettable novel.”  (Flap cover text)

China Dolls: a novel by Lisa See.

“The New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls has garnered international acclaim for her great skill at rendering the intricate relationships of women and the complex meeting of history and fate. Now comes Lisa See’s highly anticipated new novel, China Dolls.

It’s 1938 in San Francisco: a world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition.

The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.”

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: a novel by Susan Jane Gilman.

“In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, “The Ice Cream Queen” — doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Lillian’s rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.” (Grand Central Pub)

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You: a novel by Courtney Maum.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette meets Beautiful Ruins in this reverse love story set in Paris and London about a failed monogamist’s attempts to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love?

Despite the success of his first solo show in Paris and the support of his brilliant French wife and young daughter, thirty-four-year-old British artist Richard Haddon is too busy mourning the loss of his American mistress to a famous cutlery designer to appreciate his fortune.

But after Richard discovers that a painting he originally made for his wife, Anne—when they were first married and deeply in love—has sold, it shocks him back to reality and he resolves to reinvest wholeheartedly in his family life . . . just in time for his wife to learn the extent of his affair. Rudderless and remorseful, Richard embarks on a series of misguided attempts to win Anne back while focusing his creative energy on a provocative art piece to prove that he’s still the man she once loved.

Skillfully balancing biting wit with a deep emotional undercurrent, debut novelist Courtney Maum has created the perfect portrait of an imperfect family—and a heartfelt exploration of marriage, love, and fidelity.” (Simon and Schuster)

The Matchmaker: a novel by Elin Hilderbrand.

“48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others – like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is clearly engaged to the wrong man – call it meddlesome, but there’s no arguing with her results: With 42 happy couples to her credit and all of them still together, Dabney has never been wrong about romance.

Never, that is, except in the case of herself and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed boy who took her heart with him long ago when he left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Now, after spending 27 years on the other side of the world, Clen is back on Nantucket, and Dabney has never felt so confused, or so alive.

But when tragedy threatens her own second chance, Dabney must face the choices she’s made and share painful secrets with her family. Determined to make use of her gift before it’s too late, she sets out to find perfect matches for those she loves most. The Matchmaker is a heartbreaking story about losing and finding love, even as you’re running out of time.” (Grand Central Pub)

Summer House With Swimming Pool: a novel byHerman Koch.

“When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can’t hide from the truth forever.

It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.” (Random House, Inc.)

The Lobster Kings: a novel by Alexi Zentner.

“From the internationally acclaimed author of Touch, praised as “breathtaking” (People) and “lovely…at once dreamy and riveting” (Washington Post), comes a powerful family saga steeped in the legends of the sea. Set in a lobster fishing village, The Lobster Kings introduces a fiery and unforgettable heroine, Cordelia Kings.The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, this blessing comes with a curse: the loss of every firstborn son. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island’s lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody’s three daughters, stands to inherit the crown. To do so, however, she must defend her island from meth dealers from the mainland while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman. Inspired by King Lear, The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.” (WW Norton)

The Hurricane Sisters: a novel by Dorothea Benton Frank.

“Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she’s dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz’s beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can’t talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz’s husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father’s love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who’s an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley’s precarious situation. Who’s in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.” (HarperCollins)

The Quick: a novel by Lauren Owen.

“For fans of Anne Rice, The Historian, and The Night Circus, an astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London.

1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.

In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.”

Rogues edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

“The latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire Ice and Fire saga. Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand in this rogues’ gallery of stories that will plunder your heart–and yet leave you all the richer for it.  (Provided by publisher)

Editor

If You Liked Gone Girl

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Here is a new You Tube book trailer for the thriller, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica , out this July.  (Place a hold on the book in our catalog)

This is what it says about The Good Girl in our catalog:

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

“Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems?.” (Harlequin)

Read more reviews in our catalog.

Editor