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Saturday, January 11, 2014

February LibraryReads Announced

I am back after a holiday break from the blog. This past week, LibraryReads announced the top 10 titles that librarians think are winners for February. All are in our catalog so you can place your holds if they strike you as something you would like to ready=.

Number 1 on the list is one that I have been looking forward to reading, Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Reviewers are calling better than The Hunger Games. This title is the first in a trilogy and it is dystopian to the max. Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations.  Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so. Doesn't that sound exciting? I will have to give this one a try.

The rest are - 
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick - the author of The Silver Linings Playbook. Quick has a knack for writing oddball characters that touch your heart. He continues in this title. One review calls it a "moving story, populated with his usual range of damaged, quirky, lovable characters, but containing a core of significant philosophical substance." Bartholomew Neil is 38, has always lived with his mother and never had a job. When his mother dies, he has to go about finding his new place. Give this one a try.

This Dark Road To Mercy by Wiley Cash. Cash's second novel also takes place in western North Carolina near the Appalachian Mountains. 2 young sisters are thrown into the foster care system when their mother unexpectedly dies. Just as they are settling in with their foster family, their shady father whom they have rarely seen appears and steals them away. 

The Martian by Andy Weir. A debut science fiction thriller. Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there. 
It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him-and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive-and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Are you waiting with bated breath?

Perennial favorite Laura Lippman's new title After I'm Gone has made the list.Bookie Felix Brewer mysteriously disappears just before being indicted leaving behind his wife, Bernadette and their three little girls. Though Bambi has no idea where her husband-or all of his money-might be, she suspects his devoted young mistress, Julie, does. Then Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she's left to join her old lover-until her remains are eventually found in a secluded wooded park.
Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto "Sandy" Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web of bitterness, jealously, resentment, greed, and longing stretching over three decades. 

Isabel Allende's newest, Ripper, is a suspenseful literary thriller. This title  is a fast-paced mystery involving a teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco when her mother disappears. Some Allende's biggest fans are not happy with her for writing in the mystery genre but other's love it. See what you think.

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin. This is another one that has interested me.I like historical novels and I love mysteries - this seems to combine those. In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.  While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste. HMMM - sounds good to me!

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon. A mystery based on the real life disappearance of New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater told through the voices of three woman.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is next. The small Vermont town of West Hall has been the scene of quite a few mysterious deaths. One was Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. Read it to find out the conclusion.

Lastly, a nonfiction work. E.E. Cummings : A Life by  the highly acclaimed Susan Cheever. Cummings had an idyllic childhood but turned into a dark young man and set out on a lifelong course of rebellion against conventional authority and the critical establishment. A book about the evolution of an artist.

OK - out of these 10 - certainly there must be something you would like to read. I have 6 of them on my list.

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