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Friday, December 20, 2013

January LibraryReads

LibraryReads has come out with their list for January. There are some real page turners here.

Number one on the list is Alan Bradley's next Flavia de Luce novel, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. The almost 12 year old detective, investigates mysteries about her own family.

Next, April Smith's A Star for Mrs. Blake, covers a group of mothers who travel to post WWI Europe to visit the graves of their son's.

Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake is next. Kate and her 8 year old daughter Devin return to Suley, Georgia and Lost Lake where Kate has good memories in hope to heal after the death of her husband.

Armistead Maupin takes us back to San Francisco with the next segment of Tales of the City in The Days of Anna Madrigal. At last, we get the true story of Anna Madrigal.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World : A Novel by Rachel Cantor. A debut novel that is quirky with interesting characters. Leonard doesn't want to leave his home and has a job answering complaint calls for Neetsa Pizza. Then he starts getting calls from Marco who says he is a 13th century explorer.

Brian Payton has a love story in The Wind Is Not a River. A reporter is stranded on the Aleutian Islands during World War II and his wife struggles to find him.

Orfeo by Richard Powers combines music and genetic engineering. Peter Els is trying to find new sources of music in his home microbiology lab when Homeland Security comes knocking on his door.

James Scott gives us The Kept. Another debut novel which takes place in the late 19th century in New York State in the winter. A mother returns home to find her children and husband slain. She and her only remaining child attempt to track down the killers.

Novelist Gary Shteyngart's memoir Little Failure writes of his American immigrant experience in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

Marina Mander's The First True Lie is, I believe, the one that will make you cry - or at least make me cry. Luca, a 10 year old boy, lives with his mother who suffers from severe depression and his cat, Blue.  One morning, Luca wakes up to find his mom dead. Afraid of being put in an orphanage without Blue, he decides not to tell anyone about her death.

All titles are available in the catalog if they interest you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Quick Review of Thrillers & Mysteries out in January

January is a big month for thrillers and mysteries. There are quite a few coming out and I want to get the list to you in case you would like to put your name on the list. It is going to be alphabetically by author.

Adler-Olsen, Jussi - The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel. New evidence has been unearthed in the case that sent Carl Morck to Department Q - the cold case team.

Bradley, Alan - The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Preadolescent sleuth Flavia de Luce is back and still looking for clues to her mother's disappearance.

Gardner, Lisa - Fear Nothing: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel. D.D. Warren is recuperating from a serious injury but still she is looking for the Rose Killer who leaves one single rose and a bottle of champagne.

Higgins, Jack - The Death Trade. Sean Dillon and Sara Gideon are back trying to rescue an Iranian scientist who doesn't want the current regime to get his research on a nuclear bomb.

Knott, Robert - Robert B. Parker's Bull River. Continuing the late Parker's Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series.

Krentz, Jayne Ann - River Road. Lucy Sheridan, a forensic genealogist, returns to Summer River for her aunt's funeral. 13 years before bad things had happened there.

Marcinko, Richard - Rogue Warrior: Curse of the Infidel. Continuing the series that fictionalizes Red Cell activities.

Todd, Charles - Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery.  Inspector Rutledge returns and this time investigates a murder that occurs at a wedding.

Woods, Stuart - Standup Guy: A Stone Barrington Novel. After giving legal advice to a gentleman, Stone discovers some unsavory types are unusually interested in his activities.

Wolf, Dick - The Execution. Wolf is the man behind Law & Order. 23 bodies are found marked with the distinctive mark of a known assassin and Detective Cecilia Garza is on the case.

Enjoy and prepare for a new year's reading.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New York Times Best Books of 2013

Every year the New York Times gives us a list of "100 Notable Books of 2XXX. This years list came out last week. I have been checking our catalog to see how many of them we have - and we have almost all of them. These book tend to be more literary than genre but there are some interesting choices here. They have also cut it down to the top 10 books of the year - 5 of which are fiction. Today I will cover those and next week, I will give you what I think are the highlights from the 50 fiction books they chose for the Notable List. The first two in this week's post are surprises for me. You can dip you foot in anywhere you choose and see what you think.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is Adichie's ( a Nigerian born author who splits her time between Nigeria and the US) third novel. Here she takes on American race relations from the perspective of a young Nigerian immigrant.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. This title is a coming of age story of Reno, an art student who comes to New York and ends up in Italy involved with the revolutionaries of the 1970.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. No surprise here. Tartt fans had been waiting for this one for years. A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker,  survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  The heroine who keeps dying, then being resurrected and sent off in different but entirely plausible directions.

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders. Stories written with power and empathy about class and justice.

After The Music Stopped : The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder. A book which describes the financial meltdown of 2008.

Days of Fire : Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Barker. Baker was the chief White House correspondent for The Times during the several crises of the Bush administration and he looks at who really lead.

Five Days at Memorial : Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. Fink describes the days after Hurricane Katrina. Many thoughtful questions arise with this one.

The Sleepwalkers : How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark. A highly readable survey of the events leading up to World War I.

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala.  A powerful memoir of a woman who lost her husband, her parents and two young sons to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. 

OK - those are the top 10 from fiction and nonfiction. Next, I will cover some of the ones that didn't make the top 10 but are pretty good options if you want to read a good story.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Library Journals List for Mysteries and Thrillers

The list for mysteries and thrillers is long. Once again, I will talk about some of them and just give you the titles and authors for others.

Suspect by Robert Crais. LA PD cop, Scott James, suffered both physical and emotional injury in the violence that killed his partner. Maggie, a German Shepherd former military dog, suffered tragedy of her own. Together, they hunt down the killers who caused Scott's injury. Crais is best for portraying damaged people and he does it well here.
Final Cut by Catherine Coulter.
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. I listened to this one in the car. If you like conspiracy theories, this is the one for you. Some days, I wanted to stay in my car. Luckily, I was on a trip so I had long distances where I could drive and listen. Beecher White, who appears in The Inner Circle, is back and this time - he is trying to connect the assassination attempts of the presidents and prevent another attempt from being successful.
Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell. This one was also on Publisher's Weekly's list . It might be worth a try. Thomas De Quincy was a real English essayist and the author of both On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts and the controversial Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Morrell's work supposes De Quincy was a major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. The killings seem to exactly match De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.
White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Cries of the Lost by Chris Knopf. This title just came out in Oct. When market researcher Arthur Cathcart emerged from a coma and set out to track down whoever murdered his wife, the results were far from pre-ordained. Wounded and alone, grief-stricken and hiding off the grid, he thought the only mystery was who killed Florencia, and why. But the quest for justice uncovered a host of fresh mysteries, just beginning with an elaborate scheme, complete with dummy corporations and off-shore numbered accounts. So in place of "who killed Florencia?" he was forced to ask "who was Florencia?"
Nightmare Range: The Collected George Sueno and Ernie Bascom Stories by Marin Limon.  Limon is a short story author and all of these are award winning.
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. What type of list would this be if it didn't have Penny's name and her recent Gamache novel on it. All I have to say is that some think this is one of her best.
Circle of Shadows: A Westerman-Crowther Mystery by Imogen Robertson. An historical mystery where the main detective, Mrs. Harriet Westerman, is female and the time is in the 1700's. When Mrs. Westerman's brother-in-law is suspected of murder in Germany, she rides to the rescue with her constant companion, the reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther.
Death on Demand by Paul Thomas. From one of New Zealand's best crime writers.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Library Journal Genre Fiction Lists of Best in 2013

Library Journal has come out with their best in 2013 list and they include lists for the best in various genre. Today, I will talk about some of the ones that they included in their Romance; Women's Fiction; Historical Fiction and African American Fiction lists. I am not going to talk about every title in the list although I will give you the titles and authors of all of them.

The Arrangement by Mary Balogh. A war-blinded nobleman escapes to the country village where he grew up and is rescued from a marriage trap by a resourceful young woman.
No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway
The Wanderer by Robyn Carr
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare - Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season—or any season—but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl. One reviewer has said this book oozes "humor, it’s filled with witty dialogue and the banter is ever flowing. It also has very sensual love scenes and offers a story that flows faultlessly from beginning to end. "
The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie
The Best Man by Kristan Higgins. Faith Holland avoided her hometown after fleeing to San Francisco. Having been jilted at the alter by the love of her life and he was outed by his best friend, she needed to be away from the pitying stares of her small hometown and running into her ex. But when she comes back to Blue Heron for a couple of months to work on a project at the family winery, she has to come face to face with the past and the man she felt ruined everything, Levi Cooper.
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean.  You may remember that MacLean's next book in this series, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, was just picked by librarians and the top book coming out in December.  In this title, Lady Philippa Marbury, the bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of a  cares more for books  and science than the fashion. Newly engaged , Pippa wants to explore the physical side of marriage before the big day. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross. 
Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster
Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak
The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

Women's Fiction
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. This is the debut novel for Graham - an actress in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed.  This work is based on a fictionalization of her experiences in the New York acting scene in the mid-1990s.
Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey
Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer.  Lorca is a fourteen-year-old whose entire life revolves around trying to get her totally self-absorbed mother to love her with a penchant for cutting. She forms a bond with an elderly widow who teaches middle eastern cooking.

Historical Fiction
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Longbourn by Jo Baker. A retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with the focus on the servants.
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally. Following the death of their mother, two Australian sisters volunteer as nurses during WWI.
The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale.  At the tail end of the cowboy days in East Texas, sixteen year old Jack Parker and his sister Lula have a helluva bad week. After their parents die in a smallpox epidemic, their grandfather is murdered by a gang of bank robbers who kidnap Lula. The only help that Jack can find is a grave digging black man named Eustace and the midget bounty hunter Shorty. Along with a giant hog, they set out to rescue Lula. Jack tries to hold to his Christian beliefs that the gang should be caught and tried, and he is horrified at Shorty and Eustace’s willingness to kill and ignore common decency in the name of a greater good, namely their own.  As they meet more victims of the gang along the trail and see how cruel they truly are, Jack starts to realize that there’s no way to get Lula back without getting blood on his hands and that his traveling companions may have a better understanding of the world than he  does.  It has been reviewed as " a rip-roaring adventure equal parts True Grit and Stand by Me".
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

African American Fiction
Sister Betty Says I Do by Pat G'Orge-Walker.
Losing to Win by Michele Grant. 15 years after her high school cheer leading days, Carissa Wayne is bribed into becoming a contestant on a weight-loss reality show. 
Rise of an American Gangstress Part 2 by Kim K. 
Dirty Rotten Liar : The Misadventures of Mink LaRue  by Noire.
The Man in 3B by Carl Weber. 

We still have Mystery, Thrillers, SciFi/Fantasy and Christian Fiction to cover - but that will have to wait.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Just a Quick Listing of Amazon's Top 10 Books of 2013

All are available at the library. See what you think about Amazon's Top 10 of 2013.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Pilgrim's Wilderness : A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia
Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
The Son by Philipp Meyer
A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Friday, November 15, 2013

LibraryReads for December is Out

LibraryReads list of librarians choice of the best books arriving in December came out yesterday. Keep in mind that December is not a gigantic publishing month so - while I might not choose some of these titles, there are many other librarians who did. See what you think of the list.

Number one among the titles was No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: The Third Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean. Obviously, the third in the series following A Rogue by Any Other Name andOne Good Earl Deserves a Lover has been met with romance readers acclaim. If you are into historical romances, this series could be for you. Mara Lowe mysteriously disappears on the eve of her wedding day. It is widely believed that Temple is responsible for her murder. 12 years later, Mara reappears and asks for his help. Will he help or seek his revenge?

Next is The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol. Pancol is a French contemporary author and this title is a translation of one of her more popular works. This one is one that I would define as 'chick lit' or a woman's story. When her husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Joséphine Cortès is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two attempts to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Joséphine’s sister Iris charms a famous publisher into offering her a lucrative deal for a twelfth-century romance, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Joséphine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris’s name. All is well—that is, until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.

Roland Merullo's Vatican Waltz is next. Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life with her elderly father just outside of Boston. When she loses her beloved grandmother as a child, her faith takes a turn for the devout, and she begins experiencing what she describes as "spells"-moments of such intense prayer that she loses herself. she develops a deep friendship with the parish priest, whose ideas are often seen as too provocative by his congregation but who encourages her to explore her "spells." When he dies in a suspicious hit-and-run accident, the "spells" intensify and their message begins to take shape: God is asking her to be the first female Catholic priest. She reaches out to other unreceptive officials within the Catholic establishment and is met with ridicule. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she leaves behind all that she knows, letting the power of her unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn't fully understand-and a turn of events that will rock the Church to its foundation. The writing in this has been praised for it's beauty.

From the religious to the occult in one sentence. Molly Harper's How to Run with a Naked Werewolf, the third in her Naked Werewolf series is a supernatural romance. Written with just the right mixture of romance and humor, this series has become increasingly popular. In this title, Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he’s really a werewolf. Lycanthropes don’t faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she’s known in years. The problem is—Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite- legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she’d like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Adriana Trigiani gives us The Supreme Macaroni Company. It is a portrait of a woman and the man she loves, her passion for craftsmanship, and the sacrifices it takes to build and sustain a family business while keeping love and laughter at the center of everything. It follows Valentine (of Very, Valentine and Brava, Valentine) of the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village in her attempts to handle business, a husband and then children.

Then we have Innocence by Dean Koontz. Its a gentle love story wrapped up with tragedy, mystery and a touch of supernatural spices. It is also said to be different from what you might expect and one of his best works. He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

Also making the list is Dangerous Women a book of short stories edited by George R.R. Martin. Among the authors represented are Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others. There are 21 stories that will take you all over this world and other worlds as well.

In the nonfiction realm, first there is The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, & a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey.In April of 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain's wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants' quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire. For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants - even the King's doctor - pleaded with him to come out, but he refused. After his death, his son and heir ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years. What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances? Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain's stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front.

Scott Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic has written an all-encompassing treatise on the condition of anxiety. My Age of Anxiety : Fear, hope, dread, and the search for peace of mind is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.

Lastly, Olivia Laing's The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking. Laing travels the US following the trails of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver and their relationship with drinking.

OK - all of these are in the catalog if you want to get your name on the list before they are published in December. See what YOU think.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Publisher's Weekly Best Mysteries of 2013

Well, to follow up PW's Best 10 Books of 2013 - I will give you some of their Best Mysteries of 2013. I don't know if I agree with them but take a look and see what you think.

First, Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton. Crompton was a BBC journalist. He had written a book about a Nairobi police detective investigating the death of a fellow Maasai tribe member. Nairobi does not have the facilities and technology that Britain and the United States do, so Detective Mollel uses the old fashioned way - physically tracking down clues. The title comes from the Maasai belief of two gods - Enkai Narok, the benign Black God and Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God of anger, vengeance, and death. His work is being compared to Ian Rankin and there is the possibility that this is the beginning of a series.

A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife is next. Harrison is a Canadian and this work was compared to Gone Girl as it is the story of a faltering marriage. The reviewers unanimously agreed that it wasn't at all like Gone Girl but most seemed to think it could stand on it's own. Todd is a perennial cheater and Jodi is in perennial denial. How far will Jodi go to keep what is hers? A true psychological thriller.

Next, David Morrell's Murder as a Fine Art. Thomas De Quincy was a real English essayist and the author of both On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts and the controversial Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Morrell's work supposes De Quincy was a major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. The killings seem to exactly match De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives. Morrell's truth in fiction with a Gothic mystery feel has been reviewed very strongly.

Of course, Louise Penny MUST have her work included. Really Penny's work is more than just a mystery - it is literature. How the Light Gets In is the ninth in her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Gamache begins investigating a murder of a once-famous celebrity who also was a friend of the bookstore owner in Three Pines. While he uncovers clue after clue, he also deals with enemies in his own Sûreté du Québec police department who are trying to destroy his career. He faces the wrenching realization that he may not be able to help his former colleague, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, defeat his personal demons. This one is said to be even better than her last award winning series entry.

Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, the authors of The Boy in the Suitcase, gives us the third in the Danish Nurse Nina Borg series, Death of a Nightingale. Borg bonds with a Ukrainian refugee accused of murder. The refugee is pursued by a powerful Ukraine as well as the police and Borg rushes to find the real killer. This series has social justice and morality at it's core.

The last entry I am going to cover is Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. Matthews spent 33 years as a CIA agent before writing this, his debut novel. It is a contemporary thriller, set in Putin's Russia but could just as easily taken place in cold war Russia. State Intelligence Officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow. Definitely expect more from this author.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Today I am going to talk about just one book. It has been creating alot of controversy in the library community and although we have it and it is in the catalog, it is not yet ready to go on the shelf. The title is S. The idea came from JJ Abrams, the director of Star Wars and the creator of the television series Lost and Alias. He apparently came up with the idea and drew Doug Dorst into the plan to create this book. I call it a book only in the technical sense. Lots of libraries around the country have decided not to put it on their shelves but just as many are excited about the concept and are willing to try. Why the fuss? Let me tell you.

S is the title and Abrams and Dorst are the authors. When we recieved the book, it was in a cardboard sleeve. 'Hmmm' we said and opened it up. Out came a book entitled 'Ship of Thesus by V.M Straka

What are libraries to do with this???? We do not usually check out items in cardboard boxes. But if we don't, the title on the book will not be the title OF the book.

In addition, Abrams and Dorst have included 22 loose items like postcards, letters, even a map on a paper napkin. Their aim (and according to reviewers they succeeded) was to make this a reading experience rather than just a good read. OK - here is another thing that makes this a complex thing to check out. So, some libraries have decided to return the items they ordered. We, however, don't want our community to lose a chance to experience this ..... well invigorating event. We will be checking this out as an adult kit.

Now to it's unique construction. Once opened, one discovers that Ship of Thesus is a stolen library book, with at least two distinct people writing in the margins. Tucked inside the various pages are mimeographs, postcards, and newspaper clippings within greeting cards. The two college students, Jennifer and Eric, are trying to decipher the mystery of the story, the author, and much more. It reawakens Plutarch's question about Thesus's ship and if it had been completely reconsturcted down to every board over time, was it still the same ship?

Here is what one reviewer said "The experience of reading this book was just really fun and different and I will be reading it again, and raving about how incredible the production of it is to everyone I know (you have been warned)."

We are excited to be able to offer this to our community and it will be ready sometime next week, after we complete its' processing as a kit.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The First Best Books of 2013 List

Publishers Weekly has come out with the first Best Books of 2013 list. Today, I will talk about the top 10 - 5 nonfiction and 5 fiction. I don't know whether I agree with their list but then I have not read all of them. Most are available at the library today although there are two of them that are on order and you will need to put your name on the list if you want to see if you agree with their opinion.

First is Sea of Hooks by Lindsay Hill - a one time banks and published poet. With an experimental narrative design, Hill portrays the troubled childhood of San Franciscan Christopher Westall and also, at the same time, his search for himself as an adult. Those who have read it, declare it the best book of the year. If you are a fan of literary fiction, then this might be your cup of tea.

The next novel is Hanya Yanagihara's The People in the Trees. The memoirs of Norton Perina who is currently in prison. Perina is a scientist who, after graduating from Harvard medical school in the 1940's, travels to a remote Pacific island chain where he might possibly have found the secret to immortality.This work has been particularly praised for it's world building but apparently, it is not for the faint of heart.

Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is next. This is Marra's debut novel and it has made quite an impact. It takes place in Chechnya where an 8 year old girl watches her father taken away and her home burned to the ground. A neighbor rescues her and takes her to what he thinks is a safe place, an abandoned hospital where a sole doctor remains to help the wounded. It is a study of what humanity remains in a war torn country.

The Silence and the Roar by Nihad Sirees is a translation of a work by a Syrian author. Sirees is currently living in the United States and as an outspoken opponent of the Syrian government, escape his country to live in Egypt. The hero in this novel is a banned author who is arrested after stopping to assist a student being beaten by police. His work has been compared to Kafka and Orwell.

Lastly in the fiction category is The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.It is the account of a slave boy who becomes involved with John Brown's antislavery group and must pass as a girl to survive. An adventure story for sure, where Brown is portrayed as a well intentioned lunatic, but also definite deeper truths are also present.

Nonfiction wise - most are defined by their title so I won't be doing much describing:

Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief

Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill exposes how the war on terror is actually conducted.

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward recounts the tragic deaths of five important men in her life.

Robert Kolker's Lost Girls : An Unsolved Mystery covers this tale of the five young escorts whose bodies were found on Long Island's Oak Beach.

Finally, Carla Kaplan's Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.

These are the top 10 for the editors of Publisher's Weekly. We will see how they match up with other publications of 'Best' lists - like the New York Times.

Friday, October 25, 2013

November and December Titles From Some Top Ranked Authors

Usually, between Thanksgiving and the end of December, there is not a lot of publishing activity. I think they believe we are all too busy with preparations to spend much time reading. This year, however, we do have some relatively big names who are coming out with titles in this time frame.

Edgar award winner novelist James W. Hall gives us the 13th in his Thorn series, Going Dark on December 3rd. Thorn jumps in to save his newly discovered son when his son unknowingly becomes involved with a radical organization that is planning to cause a radioactive catastrophe with the takeover of a nuclear plant.

Karen Robards comes out with Hunted on December 10th. A model cop turned renegade takes over an elite Christmas party in a lakefront mansion in New Orleans to try to find the truth about a police cover up. The hostage negotiator happens to be a woman who has had an emotional attachment to the cop since she was a teenager.

Michael Connelly has The Gods of Guilt which comes out on December 2nd. Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back in his fifth book (starting with "The Lincoln Lawyer"). A former client who Haller thought he had saved from a life of prostitution is found dead. Haller is hired to defend her pimp who is accused of her murder. Typical Connelly, which is to say, really really good.

Hazardous Duty by W.E.B. Giffin comes out on December 31st. Col. Charley Castillo is back, or at least the President wants him back after forcing him into retirement. There are Somali pirates and Mexican drug cartels to fight and some say that the President has gone crazy. Griffin's usual fare.

There are 3 more titles that I am just going to mention because they will probably only interest those who have read previously in the series.

Anne Perry comes out with her usual Christmas mystery in The Christmas Hope on November 12th.

Andriana Trigiani comes out with the third in her Valentine Roncalli series, The Supreme Macaroni Company on November 26th.

Finally, Fay Weldon gives us the third in her Love and Inheritance Trilogy, The New Countess on December 17th.

All are in the catalog if you want to get your name on the list.

Monday, October 21, 2013

November LibraryReads

Here is the list for books coming out in November that librarians countrywide think will be popular. I think there are several in here that will interest readers here in Georgia.

The top vote getter this time is Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. I blogged about this one before back when I was covering the books that come out Nov 5th. I said "If you liked The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, her new one after 7 years will be published. Bellman and Black is a dark Gothic mystery as was her first work. William as a young boy, kills a bird while playing with friends. The act is quickly forgotten but when we meet him as a successful family man later in life, we find things about to change." The reviewer called it beautifully written ....that will have you entwined in its arms until the end."

The other 9 titles are below:

Through the Evil Days: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming's series with the Reverend Clare and Police Chief Russ. Apparently, she introduces a dog into this mystery.

The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy. Conroy's look at his relationship with his father who had been the model for Conroy's novel - The Great Santini. Although their relationship had not always been close, this is said to be a lesson about how redemptive the powers of love and humor can be.

Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson. If you liked herGods in Alabama, you will need to read this funny and endearing Southern novel. A young single mother is rescued during a robbery and she decides she needs to find out about the mother of her brilliant 3 year old.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Any Tan novel is worth reading but one of the reviewers I really admire says this is a powerful story of love, family, courage and history.

Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson explores the course of a failed marriage.

The Cartographer of No Man's Land by P.S. Duffy.An artist takes up a naval career because of the expectations of his father. Suddenly he finds himself on the front lines in France during World War I.

The Raven's Eye: A Brock and Kolla Mystery by Barry Maitland. A really well written British police procedural for fans of Ruth Rendell and Deborah Crombie.

Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis. This is by the same authors that penned The Boy in the Suitcase. This one is for mystery lovers who like to explore social justice and morality.

Parasite by Mira Grant. Grant just finished up a medical based dystopian series. Now she starts on another one. This one involves a genetically engineered tapeworm that protect most of the human populace from illness, boost every one's immune system, and even secrete designer drugs. Unfortunately, it begins to change and wants out of human bodies they occupy.

All titles will be available at the library when they are published and all are currently available for holds now. Enjoy.

If you like Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride has spent the last month on the best sellers' list and has been very popular locally. If you like Sparks and want to read something similar while waiting for his next title, you might try one of the ones listed below.

Nicholas Sparks is a master of poignant love stories. In his novels there is no great love without some loss and his characters frequently are faced with a difficult challenge before proving they are worthy of true love. Sparks' characters are honorable and loyal, and they place a lot of importance on family and sometimes religious faith. The pace of his stories is leisurely, quickening for rapid action and dialogue.

Kristin Hannah also has sympathetic characters that she guides to romance. True Colors has a man coming in between two sisters and might be a good place to start.

Nicholas Evans' concentrates on the bittersweet and sometimes even the best intentions end badly but all also offer hope and redemption. His first and most popular title was The Horse Whisperer about a girl and a horse who have both suffered a horrible accident.

Richard Paul Evans also writes gentle love stories. Evans usually writes with a more spiritual emphasis than Sparks does, but many of his books match the storyline and tone of a Sparks novel. Try starting with Promise Me, in which a woman named Beth struggles with the aftermath of a bad marriage and the mysterious illness that plagues her daughter.

J. Lynne Hinton is another author Spark lovers might enjoy.Hinton's novels are full of folksy spirituality and funny tender moments. A good introduction is Friendship Cake, the first in a series. In this title, women come together to gather recipes for a church cookbook and learn each other's weaknesses.

Lastly, there is Luanne Rice. Not all of her characters find happily ever after but all do find inner strength and emotional growth. The prolific Rice has many novels that will appeal to Sparks' fans; perhaps start by meeting the three McCarthy sisters in The Silver Boat. When they reunite at Martha’s Vineyard, the discovery of some old letters sheds light on their current troubled relationships.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Anthony Award Winners

The Anthony Awards were announced a week or so ago at the Bouchercon Convention. I've been meaning to post the winners and some of the nominees and this is the time.

I'm surprised and yet I'm not surprised. Up for Best Novel were both Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which spent weeks on the bestseller lists and The Beautiful Mystery by perennial winner Louise Penny. I really thought that Flynn had a chance to unseat Penny who I believe has won several years in a row. She didn't. Perhaps Flynn's work was not quite enough of a mystery, I don't know. Penny's work is wonderful and I definitely read the Inspector Gamache series but really this makes the fourth time in a row. She must have a stack of them in her home. Penny has come out with another highly regarded mystery this year, How the Light Gets In, and I wonder if she will be going for a fifth win. If you haven't read Penny's series yet, the order is:
Still Life where she introduces the Canadian village of Three Pines - 2006
A Fatal Grace - from 2007
The Cruelest Month from 2008
A Rule Against Murder from 2009
The Brutal Telling from 2009 and her first Anthony Best Novel
Bury Your Dead from 2010 and her second Anthony
A Trick of Light from 2011 and the third Anthony
The Beautiful Mystery from 2012 which won the most recent Anthony
I have actually heard Louise Penny speak and she is humorous and delightful - her mysteries are quite complex though.

Best First Novel was not much of a surprise. A personal favorite of mine, Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman, did not win but the winner had been very strongly reviewed and was quite popular here, TheExpats by Chris Pavone. The story about an ex-CIA wife who follows her husband for a new job in Luxembourg and starts questioning her surroundings, their new friends and her husband.

Finally, the Best Paperback Original went to Big Maria by Johnny Shaw. Big Maria is a mine and three down and outers decide to go and find the lost gold that is hidden there. The problem is that Big Maria is right in the middle of a U.S. Army Artillery Range. Humor and suspense. I love that idea. Others that had been up for the award are listed below:
Whiplash River by Lou Berney
Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau
And She Was by Alison Gaylin
Blessed are the Dead by Malla Nunn

All are available at the library. Enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

November Titles (alot of them)

This month has rushed past and I have too many titles left to talk about. What to do....what to do.... Well, some could be left over for next month as December is sometimes a slow month in publishing. In this post, however, I will try to cover as many as possible.

Cookbooks - November is a popular month for cookbooks as everyone gets ready for the holidays. There are several which are coming out at the end of October - November that will be in demand.

Giada De Laurentiis gives us Giada's Feel Good Food on November 5th. This will probably give us recipes for those days in between the holidays since it's suppose to cover healthy recipes.

Ree Drummond comes out with The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Holidays! on October 29th.

Emeril Lagasse gives us Emeril's Cooking with Power on October 22nd. This one has a lot of slow cooker recipes.

On to a more religious series:

On November 12th, A Prayer Journal is being published. This is a recently discovered devotional journal by Flannery O'Connor. She kept this journal while she was at the Iowa Writers' Workshop from 1946-47.

On November 19th, Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, publishes Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions.. Keller's work has been popular in the past.

One more nonfiction work which has been getting a lot of interest is Wil S. Hylton's Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II. More than 56,000 men are still missing from WWII. I had no idea. This title highlights the search of the crew of one American bomber lost on September 1, 1944.

While we are on the subject of war, Anita Shreve's new title, Stella Bain, comes out on November 12th. An American woman is found shell-shocked in a garden and is taken in by a family. She had been a nurse's aide at the front but has no memory whatever of anything before being wounded.

Some perennial bestselling authors with titles coming in November are:

Mitch Albom with The First Phone Call From Heaven on November 12th. People in Coldwater Michigan are receiving calls from their dearly departed. Sully Harding who has been imprisoned for a crime he might not have committed is worried about his young son who starts carrying around a cellphone hoping his deceased mother will call.

David Baldacci with King and Maxwell on November 19th. The sixth book in the series that the television series is based on.

Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston with White Fire on November 12th. Confusing plot line for me but one of the noted things is it's literary references. Apparently, Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde meet up in the book and in contemporary times, a new Sherlock Holmes story has been discovered (this was written by Child and Preston.)

OK - I am going to save some of these for next week. Enjoy reading!!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Longlist for the National Book Award - Fiction

Yesterday, the National Book Award Committee posted the long list of nominees for the Fiction Book Award. All titles are or will be available at the library. Take a look and see if any of them appeal to you.

Thomas Pynchon's title Bleeding Edge. This takes place in the early 2000 in New York. After the bust and in the beginning of the Internet rush. In many ways you could call this a crime thriller. But then again, it is Thomas Pynchon.

George Saunders's The Tenth of December. This title has been out for a while. It is a series of short stories that the New York Times reviewer called "the best book you will read this year."

Jhunpa Lahiri's The Lowland. I've discussed this one the last two weeks. It seems to be making every award nomination list. She qualified for the Mann Booker because she was born in England but she moved to the USA when she was two years old so she qualifies for the National Book Award too. The story of two brothers born in India.

Alice McDermott's Someone. This one has also been out for a while. It is the story of a woman's life from childhood to old age. What McDermott does well is create the characterization of an entire life in vignettes.

James McBride's The Good Lord Bird. A more recent publication that follows the tale of a young male slave who leaves town with John Brown disguised as a girl.

Rachel Kushner's The Flame Throwers. This title has some exceptionally strong reviews and some not very good reviews. It follows 'Reno', a young female artist who goes to New York in the 1970's to demonstrate her combination of speed, motorcycles and art.

Elizabeth Graver's The End of the Point. A family saga that takes place in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts during the events of the 1970's.

Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. A very dark and beautifully written tale of the effects of war on Chechnya and the people who live there.

Joan Silver's Fools. These are interconnected tales relating to winners and losers and how everyone is foolish at some time.

Finally, Tom Drury's Pacific. The story of a brother and sister. One goes to Los Angels to live with the mother who abandoned them and the other stays in the Midwest. Both are restless and both fight their fears.

See if you can pick the winner.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

LibraryReads for October

It's that time of month again and the second LibraryReads list is out. There are actually only 2 or 3 titles on it this month that I am excited about but obviously, all librarians do not have the same taste. These are books that come out at the end of September or in October. All will be available at the library. The number one vote magnet this month is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. A brilliant scientist thinks the only way to find a woman is by having her fill out his six page, double sided questionnaire. A barmaid tries to get him to loosen up and the adventure begins. A real feel good story.

The remaining top 10 are listed below:

Longbourn by Jo Baker is a look at Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the servant's side of life. People who loved Pride and Prejudice have loved this and those who didn't love Pride and Prejudice have loved it too. It's romance and mystery and alot of hard work on the part of the major characters. You get a new vision of what life was like then.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. This was one of USA Today's Cool Books for fall also. This story of two brothers from India - one who comes to the United States and prospers and one who stays in India and becomes a revolutionary. Really well written and highly reviewed. Could become THE book for book clubs.

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois. This is the story of an American exchange student, Lily Hayes, studying in Buenos Aires. She becomes the prime suspect when her roommate, another American, ends up dead. The author lets us view Lily Hayes through the eyes of those who love her and the eyes of those who believe she is a murderer. Who is Lily Hayes?

Hawthorn&Child by Keith Ridgway. Even though this is a story of two London policeman, is is not a mystery. You are dropped in a series of events, no explanations, no big crime to solve. It is more a story of how people don't really understand themselves. Very very dark in spots.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb. Lamb is an Oprah favorite. This is the story of a middle aged artist, wife and mother who after 27 years of marriage decides to divorce and marry a female New York art dealer. It really delves into the reactions of her husband and children.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt also mentioned as one of USA Today's Cool Books for fall. A 13 year old boy survives abandonment by his dead mother and wandering father by submerging himself into art.

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennell. Tom Franklin wrote the very popular Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and Beth Ann Fennell is his wife and an award winning poet. This title is the story of murder and moonshine during the historic Mississippi River flood of 1927. With two such authors, how could this not be a great read.

Now, 2 nonfiction titles. One was a surprise for me.

The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis. The Stop is a community food center in Toronto, Ontario and Saul was it's director. This is the story about the effort to change his own neighborhood.

Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town by Mirta Ojito. A former NY Times reporter discusses the events that lead up to the 2008 murder of an undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant on Long Island by a group of teenagers.

Certainly there must be one or two that catch your interest in this months LibraryReads list.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

USA Today's Coolest Books for the Fall

At the end of the week, the USA Today came out with a list of the fall's 30 coolest books. Some were children's titles that I won't cover but most were ones that are going to be talked about by many. Some of these are the big names and I will just mention those, but others are ones you might not think to read unless you realized that the USA Today thought they were cool.

Big Names:
Lee Child's Never Go Back
Sue Grafton's W is for Wasted
Terry McMillan's Who Asked You
Stephen King's Doctor Sleep
Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus
Scott Turow's Identical
Wally Lamb's We Are Water
John Grisham's Sycamore Row
Pat Conroy's The Death of Santini - okay - so this one might be a surprise. It is a memoir of his relationship with his father who was the model for the character in the book "The Great Santini"
Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement.

Big Nonfiction Names:
A. Scott Berg's Wilson
Bill Bryson's One Summer
Malcolm Galdwell's David and Goliath
Nora Ephron's The Most of Nora Ephron
Ann Patchett's This Is A Story of A Happy Marriage
Doris Kearns Goodwin The Bully Pulpit

Now for some surprises:
Jamie Ford's Songs of Willow Frost - the story of a 12 year old Chinese boy living in an orphanage in Seattle who thinks he sees his mother in a movie. Ford is the author of the very popular Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Allan Gurganus's Local Souls - Gurganus has not come out with a novel in a decade. This popular author of The Oldest Living Confederate Wido returns to Falls, North Carolina to take a look at today's South.

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland- Lahir is perhaps the least known Pulitizer Prize winning author. Her newest book tells the story of 2 brothers born just 15 months apart and the very divergent paths. One remains in India and one comes to the U.S. One prospers and one is martyred.

Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things - Spanning much of 2 centuries, this is the story of the Whittaker family and especially Alma Whittaker - a botanist who falls in love with an artist. Peopled by extraordinary characters, places and times.

Lastly,of the ones I am going to cover is Donna Tartt. Anyone who has read herThe Secret History has been waiting for her next book for a very long time. In The Goldfinch a 13 year old boy in New York survives an accident that kills his mother. His father abandons him and leaves him in the care of a wealthy Park Ave. family. Theo withdraws from the real world into art. This title is also peopled with wonderful characters.

Enjoy these 'cool' titles.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Titles Coming Out on November 5, 2013

There are several fiction titles that are coming out on one day, November 5th. It made sense to me to group these together for you although they don't have much in common other than the date. Not sure if it makes sense to anyone other than me, but here they are.

Sebastian Faulks received permission from the estate of P.G. Wodehouse and is coming out with Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. Obviously, this series is one of Faulks' favorites. Wodehouse documented the lives of Bernie Wooster and his trusty butler, Jeeves for 40 years before his death. He was thought to be one of the greatest British comic authors. Faulk takes up his mantle with this tale of Wooster running away from heartbreak to assist a friend whose romance has hit a difficult patch. Anything that could go wrong, does and the complications keep piling up. Definitely for those who like to laugh.

Fannie Flagg uncovers a mother's secret past when her daughter, having married off her own children, starts to investigate the past. This comic mystery takes us all over the country and back in time to World War II. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is a delightful trip with Flagg's usual humor. Rumor has it she will be coming to Birmingham and Mobile when the book is published.

If you liked The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, her new one after 7 years will be published. Bellman and Black is a dark gothic mystery as was her first work. William as a young boy, kills a bird while playing with friends. The act is quickly forgotten but when we meet him as a successful family man later in life, we find things about to change.

I was lucky enough to hear Amy Tan earlier this year talk about her inspiration for her new book The Valley of Amazement. While researching a book, she came across a picture of a Chinese courtesan dressed exactly like Tan's grandmother in an old family picture. Tan started wondering if her grandmother might have been a courtesan and so started the plot behind this title. The storyline follows the life of Lucia, a young woman from San Francisco who followed a Chinese painter to his homeland and her daughter Violet. Lucia ran the most prestigious courtesan house in Shanghai but when revolution descends, the mother and daughter are separated. Lucia returns to the states thinking that Violet has died. Violet is forced to live as a courtesan in a country where no one think she belongs. A wonderful family story full of sense of place and time.

Clive Cussler gives us #9 in his Oregon Files series, Mirage. Rumors have linked the disappearance of a naval ship in 1943 to experiments dealing with Nikola Tesla's work. Captain Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon race to find the truth before the supposed results can be used against the US.

Lastly, Ruth Rendell publishes her newest Chief Inspector Wexford mystery - however, Chief Inspector Wexford is now retired so perhaps we should call it something else. No Man's Nightingale follows Wexford when he is called in to help his replacement after the body of a female vicar is found hanged. Sarah Hussein is of mixed race and a single mother so not particularly popular with the community. Rendell's usual police procedural except of course, Wexford isn't the police anymore so.....see what you think.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Thrillers in October

October is a big month for publishing. The fall season in general is one of the busier seasons. There are some more thrillers coming out by lesser known authors and one book that is getting particular attention.

The idea for S. was conceived by J.J. Abrams - the producer/director of Lost and Alias and the director of the next Star Wars movie. He commissioned Doug Dorst, who has been nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award AND the Shirley Jackson Award, to write the book. It is adventure, suspense and mystery all in one. It deals with a book of mysterious provenance with another story in the handwritten notes in it's margins. It sounds fascinating and comes to the shelf on October 29th.

The Ian Fleming Publications Ltd has asked William Boyd to follow Jeffery Deaver in writing the next James Bond title. Boyd has twice won the Costa/Whitbread Award which last year was won by Hilary Mantel so you know this one is going to be well written. Solo arrives on the shelf on October 8th. This will be your usual James Bond plot and we know the character so well, it will be interesting to see what Boyd adds to the series.

Those who read Robert Olen Butler's The Hot Country will be happy to see the return of the series hero, Christopher Marlowe Cobb, an American war correspondant and spy. The Star of Istanbul arrives on the shelf on October 7th. This time Cobb has been sent to follow a possible SS agent named Brauer onto the ship Lusitania. Also on the voyage is actress Selene Bourgani who seems to be working with Brauer. Following the U-Boat attack Cobb follows the duo into the streats of London and onto Istanbul. Historical thriller at it's best.

Jefferson Bass, who writes the Body Farm series, is actually two people - Jon Jefferson, the writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, a renowned forensic anthropologist. They have written 7 novels in the series that features the head of The Body Farm where human remains lie exposed to be studied for their secrets. OK - I admit this one comes out in September but by the time you get it - it will almost be October. Cut to the Bone is the long awaited prequel to the series and it hits the shelf on September 24th. Bass turns back the clock to the creation of the Body Farm and investigation into a serial killer that seems to be tormenting him.

Michael Sears gave us the character of Jason Stafford, a disgraced financier. He became a financial investigator when he got out of prison and reclaimed his severly autistic son in Black Fridays, an Edgar award nominee for best first novel last year. On October 1st, he gives us the second title in the series, Mortal Bonds. Jason is hired by the family of a deceased investor who was involved in running a Ponzi scheme. While he was sitting in prison, he committed suicide. His family would like to be able to find some of the missing money to improve the family name. Unfortunately, Jason isn't the only one looking and bad things start happening to people he talks to and then to him. While this is going on, his unstable ex-wife comes to town to 'supposedly' visit their son but he knows that there is something up her sleeve. Definitely worth reading this series if you haven't started it yet.

Lastly is a creepy mystery by Dan Simmons comes to the shelf on October 22nd, The Abominable. In 1926 a grieving mother funds three friends attempt to summit Mt. Everest. She wants them to bring her son, who fell to his death two years before, home alive. As they start their attempt, they run into other's seeking the boy's body. What is the reason? Could he have been carrying something valuable? A story that has been described as bone-chilling and pulse-pounding. Sounds like it will be a good read.

Next week, we will start on the November titles but I might throw one or two in from October. We will see.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Librarians nationwide are recommending titles soon to be published. The debut list of the top ten reviewed is below. It is called LibraryReads and will be coming out monthly. I did put in two entries but neither of them made this list. These books all come out in September and all will be coming to your local library. Put your name on the list!

Announcing the
September 2013
LibraryReads list!

September's LibraryReads Favorite is:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(9/10, St. Martin's Griffin)
"At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath's journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell's previous novel, Eleanor & Park."
Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

And now, the other fine books of the LibraryReads Top 10:

How The Light Gets In
by Louise Penny
"The latest novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is as amazing as ever. The internal conflict within the Québec police force that has been building in the series comes to a head, prompting Gamache to retreat to the small town of Three Pines. The combination of fascinating mystery puzzles, exquisitely crafted characters, and gorgeous, gorgeous writing is irresistible." --Megan McArdle, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, CA

The Returned
by Jason Mott
(8/27, Harlequin MIRA)
"Across the country and around the world, people are coming back from the dead and trying to reunite with their loved ones. In the tiny Southern town of Arcadia, Harold and Lucille Hargrave are astonished to have their son Jacob come back to them fifty years after he died. A global government agency at first works to reunite “The Returned” with their family members, then later confines them when problems arise as more and more people come back from the dead. A beautifully written exploration of love and family, community and responsibility, and a perfect book group selection." --Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, New Orleans, LA

Songs of Willow Frost
by Jamie Ford
"Fans of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet have been eagerly anticipating Ford's new book. Set in 1920s Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost tells the moving story of Liu Song, a young Chinese-American woman who becomes pregnant by her stepfather. With her stunning good looks and lovely voice, Liu supports herself through singing, but difficult circumstances force her to give up her son William for adoption. Flash forward several years, William spots a movie ad featuring the glamorous actress, Willow Frost. Convinced that Willow is his ah-ma, William escapes the orphanage, determined to find her. A memorable journey, and one well worth taking."
--Anne Lee, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Night Film
by Marisha Pessl
(Random House)
"Scott McGrath has it all--a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter--until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova's talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide--or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read that cuts across genres." --Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Library System, Long Island, NY

Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent
(Little, Brown)
"Kent has created a first-rate debut novel with beautiful, lyrical passages and characters true to their historical counterparts. The unforgettable story finds convicted killer Agnes Magnúsdóttir awaiting execution and seeking both a reprieve from her dreadful sentence and the possibility of redemption. An excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace." --Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA

Five Days at Memorial
by Sheri Fink
"Through exhaustive interviews and extensive research, Fink offers a spellbinding account of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster which held the staff, patients, and families of a New Orleans hospital captive and left thousands of others marooned by rising flood waters in the heart of city. Filled with unforgettable life-and-death stories, Fink’s fine work of investigative journalism reads like a novel. The book causes you to rethink your opinions about end-of-life decisions, do-not-resuscitate orders and medical ethics."
--Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI

Help for the Haunted
by John Searles
(William Morrow)
"Fourteen-year-old Sylvia slowly unravels deep family secrets after her demonologist parents are gunned down in a deserted church. Creepy, disturbing, and compelling, with gothic overtones and well-drawn characters, Help for the Haunted is definitely one of my favorite suspense novels of the year. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to older teens, and it would also make a terrific movie." --Robin Beerbower, Salem Public Library, Salem, OR

by Jillian Cantor
"Can you hide from your past and change who you are? If you try, what do you risk losing? This delicately written novel proposes an alternate fate for Margot Frank, who survives the war, moves to Philadelphia, finds work as a law secretary and assumes the identity 'Margie Franklin.' But when the movie version of The Diary of A Young Girl is released and the law firm takes on a case of a Holocaust survivor, Margot’s past and Margie’s carefully constructed present collide. This great book will appeal to reading groups and fans of alternative history, what-if novels and character-centered fiction." --Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

A House in the Sky
by Amanda Lindhout
& Sara Corbett
"Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unforgettable! This well-written memoir is a true testament to the strength of one woman's spirit and her will to survive in unimaginable circumstances. The family issues that led Amanda Lindhout from her home in Canada to a life of world travel and a career in journalism are as richly detailed and compelling as the brutal account of her fifteen-month-long captivity by Somali Islamist rebels in 2008. She tells her story with such vulnerability and honesty that it is a privilege to read it." --Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

Friday, August 9, 2013

More in October

There are two more big names coming with books in October and 3 other popular but not quite as big names. I will cover those big ones first.

Iris Johansen gives us Silencing Eve on October 1. This is the final title in the new trilogy of Eve Duncan, the forensic sculptor. The series starts with Taking Eve; continues with higher stakes in Hunting Eve and ends with this title. Will the secrets of Eve's past overtake her future and will she survive? Those who read this series will be waiting to find out.

Stuart Woods gives us another Stone Barrington title with Doing Hard Time on October 8. Typical Woods fare when Stone makes a business trip to Bel Air and finds himself involved with a case that had seemingly been resolved but has returned in full force—with lethal results.

On October 15, Scott Turow publishes Identical. This is a Kindle County Legal Thriller and is a story loosely based on the myth of Castor and Pollux. Paul and Cass Giannis are identical twins. In 2008, Paul is running for mayor while his twin, Cass is getting out of prison after killing his girlfriend 25 years before. An ex-FBI agent and a former homicide detective are investigating the old case for the victims family. A complex tale like only Turow can tell.

Next, let's talk about Raymond Khoury's latest. He is growing in popularity with each title and this one, Rasputin's Shadow might send him all the way. Khoury is definitely recommended for those who like Dan Brown. His novels have lots of twists and turns and generally have something to do with events that happened in the past. In this particular case, it was a in the early 1900's when miners in the Ural Mountains suddenly started attacking each other and the whole site was blown up to prevent discovery of the incident. If you have read Khoury in the past, FBI Agent Sean Reilly returns to investigate.

Lastly, Val McDermid, British mystery author, returns with Cross and Burn which comes out on October 22. Many who read McDermid, remember her most clearly for Wire in the Blood a dark suspenseful award winner. They also, perhaps thought that she was through with the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series with her last book Retribution which left the two series characters not speaking with each other. But with this title, murder victims who closely resemble Carol are turning up and suspicion is raised. Tony and Carol have to work together to find the solution and to protect themselves and each other.

If any of these attract your attention, get your name on the lists.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Big Names in October

October is a pretty popular month for publishing and there are quite a few 'big' names coming out with titles. So many in fact, that I may not be able to do this in one post. Some might have to wait till next week. I will do my best though.

First big name is John Grisham. Sycamore Row arrives on October 22nd. This is the continuing story from one of his first books, A Time to Kill. Jack Brigance is back trying to defend justice in a small Mississippi town. Often Grisham's name is enough to make this popular but going back to continue a story from one of his most popular titles might push this over the edge. There are already 18 requests on this title so if you haven't put your name on there yet, do it ASAP.

Ann Rice is coming out with the second of her Wolf Gift Chronicles. This series about werewolves isn't as popular as the vampire series but those who love her, love it. The Wolves of Midwinter comes out on October 15th. She continues the story of Reuben Golding, the Man Wolf, and the celebration of Midwinter or as we know it Christmas. Hmmmm - werewolves and Christmas don't go together in my mind but I guess they must in hers.

Sara Paretsky gives us another V.I. Warshawski novel which comes out on October 22nd. Critical Mass has Warshawski helping a Viennese born friend and end up investigating secrets dating back to the development of the atomic bomb. Another well plotted Paretsky thriller.

Robert B. Parker left behind an uncompleted manuscript when he died. His friend and agent, Helen Brann, completed the work. Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel comes out also on October 22nd. A young homeless boy named Slide asks Spencer to get involved when a shelter where Slide is staying is threaten with closure. Spencer finds that it isn't just a lack of money but the involvement of a drug lord that is the real threat.

Another extremely popular author, John Sandford, joins the October rush. Storm Front arrives on October 8th. Rather that the Prey series, this is from his Virgil Flowers series. An Israeli policewoman arrives on Flowers doorstep. She is chasing someone who escape with a valuable relic - a copper scroll that reveals unknown information about King Solomon. Not a Dan Brown read alike but better.

OK - one more to get ready for this week, Lisa Scottoline comes out with Accused: A Rosato and Associates Novel on October 29th. This teams the all female law firm with Allegra Gardner, a 13 year old genius and the sister of a murder victim. Allegra believes that the person found guilty of the crime is innocent and the Rosato Firm take her on as a client even though her parents do not want the case reopened. Really suspenseful and well written.

OK, enough for this week. Get your names on the reserve lists if any strike your fancy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finishing September New Titles

Next Saturday, I will start in on October's books but there are still several I want to let you know about before then.

On September 3rd, Oliver Potzsch comes out with The Ludwig Conspiracy. Maybe it's because I have lived in Germany that I am fascinated with this coming thriller. The tale about 'Mad' King Ludwig who built 3 beautiful fairy tale castles in Germany; was declared insane and deposed and then found dead one day later is fairly well known. In this tale, Steven Lukas, a rare book dealer, gets possession of an encoded diary by one of King Ludwig's confidants and discovers that people are willing to kill for it. He and Detective Sara Lengfeld begin a chase to King Ludwig's three castles looking for clues regarding his death. Potzsch is German and this title was originally published in Germany in 2011. It sounds like it might appeal to Dan Brown fans and all those familiar with the Ludwig mystery.

Carla Norton gives us The Edge of Normal also on the 3rd. This is her first novel, she wrote The Perfect Victim back in 1988, a nonfiction work about Colleen Stan who was kidnapped and kept in a box for 23 hours a day for 7 years. This novel is about a similar circumstance. Reeve LeClaire is living a somewhat normal life after escaping from her abductor until her therapists asks her to help a girl who had also been victimized. LeClaire agrees but discovered the girl needs more help than mentoring, she is still being stalked. Reviews say it is VERY suspenseful. John Searles, a very highly respected mystery author, is coming out with a similar book (Others of My King) in October.

Hank Phillipp Ryan gives us the second installment in a series with The Wrong Girl on September 10. She last book and the first in the series, The Other Woman, lifted her to a new level of popularity. This time, newspaper reporter Jane Ryland and Detective Jake Brogan, investigate an adoption agency that appears to be reuniting the birth parents with the wrong children. In addition, the murder of a young mother sends two toddlers to the foster care system but Brogan wonders why there is a cradle in the bedroom and where the baby is that should have been sleeping in it. Extremely well reviewed and from an award winning investigative reporter.

Lastly, Daniel Woodrell, an award winning author, comes out with The Maid's Version on September 3rd. Woodrell is a powerful author and this title is a 'literary historical' which means it is very well written and about something that happened in the past. I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader's copy of this title. The language is very clean and almost stark but in less than 170 pages presents life as it was in 1929 in Missouri and the characters who inhabited this place and time. Woodrell's work contains the story of a dancehall explosion that killed 42 people viewed from the eyes of a sister of one of those killed as she describes it to her grandson, over 30 years later. An affecting story by an authoritative author.