New Books at the Cuba Library
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This week’s book selection focuses on new nonfiction. We will start this section with two powerful autobiographies. First, be sure to check out My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. In the book Sotomayor details how she went from living in a Bronx housing project as a child to becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Overcoming nearly insurmountable obstacles such as juvenile diabetes and an alcoholic father, Sotomayor worked tirelessly to become valedictorian in high school, excelled in Princeton and Yale Law School. She also discusses those who influenced her such as her mother and grandmother. For an inspiring account of drive, self-reliance, and self-invention, My Beloved World is an excellent read. Maya Angelou’s newest autobiography Mom and Me and Mom discusses the turbulent relationship with her mother. At three years old, Angelou and her brother were sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas by her mother, Vivian Baxter, as her marriage was failing. After over a decade they were reunited and this reunion touched off the turbulent yet rewarding relationship between Angelou and her mother. Wrought with feelings of both abandonment and love, Angelou poignantly discusses the evolution of the relationship with this significant figure in her life.
For a heartbreaking yet inspiring animal story, From Baghdad With Love by Jay Kopleman and Melinda Roth is a must read. From Baghdad With Love chronicles the story of Iraq War veteran Jay Kopleman’s quest to bring a stray dog, Lava, home to the United States. Not only does it focus on the relationship between the soldiers and the dog, but also discusses the war. It does not fit into the stereotypical cozy animal rescue story, rather is provides a blunt, unflinching commentary on the war including the conditions of humans and animals in Iraq during the war, corruption, the military bureaucracy, and the morality surrounding practices in the war.
Continuing in the war nonfiction vein, be sure to check out A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander. The book chronicles the careers of two pilots on different sides of World War II. Second lieutenant Charlie Brown hails from West Virginia and is flying a B-17. Second lieutenant Franz Stigler, formerly a private pilot who wanted to avoid the war, is flying German Messerschmitt fighter. Their stories collide in the skies over Germany four days before Christmas. With Brown’s American bomber is massively damaged and most of the crew incapacitated, Stigler comes upon the plane in his fighter. What transpires between the pilots is truly moving. The encounter, kept secret for decades by both sides, is a moving story of humane interactions in a challenging – both morally and physically – situation. Moving further back in time is The Civil War in 50 Objects by Harold Holzer and the New York Historical Society. In time to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, The Civil War in 50 Objects photographs and narrates pieces of New York Historical Society’s Civil War collection. Rather than the traditional wide focus on the Civil War, large scale military campaigns and principles leading to the war, The Civil War in 50 Objects narrows the focus, highlighting a soldier’s small diary, a photograph of an ex-slave, and the surrender terms in Grant’s handwriting. It emphasizes the personal, human side of the war that has a tendency to be overlooked in some discussions of the war.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Nominated for four Oscars, the movie is set in the bayous of Louisiana and is portrayed through the imaginative eyes of Hushpuppy, a six year old girl. After an escalation in her father’s illness and a cataclysmic storm, Hushpuppy sets off to find her mother. Starring Quvenzhanѐ Wallis and Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a beautiful, artistic movie.
This week’s new books section features mysteries. Newest in the Home Repair is Homicide Mystery series by Sarah Graves is A Bat in the Belfry. The “fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes” and amateur crime solver Jacobia Tiptree, “Jake,” returns for another mystery. After the body of teenager Karen Hansen is found in the belfry of All Faith Chapel, Jake is determined to stay uninvolved until one of her friends is implicated in the murder. Enlisting her crime fighting friend Ellie, Jake begins the investigation. Further complicating matters is Mother Nature, throwing a nor’easter at the small Maine town and a odd stranger with seemingly too much knowledge about the killer, Lizzie Snow. Be sure to check out the latest Faith Fairchild Mystery, The Body in the Piazza by Katherine Hall Page. To celebrate their anniversary, Faith and Tom Fairchild jet off to Italy. In Rome, Faith stumbles onto a dying man with a knife in his chest. As the couple moves to Tuscany, they recognize faces from Rome and are sure trouble has followed them. Faith Fairchild works diligently to figure out what is going on.
For a well-crafted suspense novel, check out John Lescroart’s The Ophelia Cut. Shortly after twenty-three year-old Brittany McGuire is raped by ex-boyfriend Rick Jessup, Jessup is found murdered. Brittany’s father, Moses McGuire, is accused of the crime and calls in Dismas Hardy, a defense attorney and his brother-in-law to defend him. With all the evidence strongly against Moses, Dismas must work tirelessly to try to plant seeds of doubt in the jurors’ minds.
For the newest mystery surrounding Lucas Davenport, read book twenty-three in the Prey series by John Sandford, Silken Prey. While performing another investigation, Lucas stumbles across the disappearance of a “political fixer,” taken violently from his home. With implication of corruption in Minneapolis Police Department and a ruthless woman clouding matters, Lucas must struggle to unravel the status and whereabouts of the missing man. Dead, White, and Blue is book number twenty-three in Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand Bookstore series. Summer is an active, almost overwhelming season for the mystery bookshop, Death on Demand, run by Annie Darling. With the town gearing up for a big Independence Day dance there is a disappearance. Shell Hurst, a woman universally hated by all the wives in the town, is missing and no one, save a teenage girl, appears concerned or is looking for her. Residents are then forced to acknowledge the problem when someone else goes missing. Now it is up to Annie to put together the pieces of blackmail and adultery to figure out where the disappeared have gone.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight is on “Silver Linings Playbook.” The winner of an Oscar and starring big names like Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro, the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” is based on the book with the same title by Matthew Quick. Recently released from an eight month stay at a state mental institution, Pat Solatano is back to living with his parents and attempting to reconcile with his estranged wife. In this state, he meets mysterious Tiffany who continues to complicate his already tenuous situation. Be sure to check out “Silver Linings Playbook” for a good, award-winning movie.
This week’s section focuses on suspense novels. And what discussion of suspense would be complete without mentioning James Patterson? Newest in Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series is 12th of Never. Just one week after Lindsay Boxer’s new baby is born, she must go back to work. Once back at work, she is faced with two challenging and bizarre cases. In one case a young football player, a 49er, is accused of a disturbing murder. In the other, an odd English professor is having nightmares filled with horrific details of murder, nightmares he is convinced are real. When he calls in with details of a new nightmare and Boxer gets information about a case mirroring it in real life, she must act. For another page-turning suspense novel, check out the newest from Andrew Gross, No Way Back. As the lives of two women intersect on the night of a murder, one woman is wrongfully accused and the other is guarding a dangerous secret. The woman accused, “average mom” Wendy Gould, is the sole witness to the murder in the hotel room while Lauritzia Velez, a nanny, holds tightly to a secret about the crime. In order for both women to survive this ordeal, they must work together to stop the men framing Wendy.
Readers who enjoyed the works of Dick Francis will enjoy the works of his son, Felix Francis, who emulates his father’s style. The newest from Felix Francis is Dick Francis’s Bloodline. After jockey Clare Shillingford comes in second in a race she should have won, her brother Mark confronts her, accusing her of losing on purpose. Only hours later, she commits suicide by jumping off a balcony at a hotel. Riddled with guilt, Mark looks for answers as to why she committed suicide. But as he digs for answers, he begins to suspect that the fatal fall which caused his sister’s death might not have been self-inflicted.
With numerous attempts on U.S. presidents’ lives, only four assassins have succeeded. In Brad Meltzer’s The Fifth Assassin, Beecher White, a character from other Meltzer novels, faces a killer working in D.C. who is imitating the four successful presidential assassins. As the plot unfolds, White discovers a long standing conspiracy connecting the four assassins and is afraid that this would-be presidential assassin may become the fifth on the short, infamous list of president killers. For another complex suspense novel, check out Sleight of Hand by Phillip Margolin. Charles Benedict has planned and executed what could be the perfect crime. Along with being a hit man and illusionist, Benedict is also a defense attorney. The same defense attorney Horace Blair hires after he is charged with the murder of his wife Carrie, who is actually Benedict’s victim. Private Investigator Dana Cutler stumbles upon the case and must struggle to see through the illusion so masterfully cast by Benedict.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on “The Bible.” Recently aired on the History Channel, “The Bible” is a ten part miniseries which dramatizes sections of the Bible. Produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, “The Bible” portrays biblical stories in a fresh way. If you missed seeing the series on television, be sure to check out this spectacular series.
This week’s new book section contains a number of different subgenres within fiction. For a funny, lighthearted read, I would recommend the newest from Sophie Kinsella, Wedding Night. After Lottie’s boyfriend fails to propose, and her old boyfriend Ben calls and reminds her of their pact – the kind where they would marry each other if both happened to still be single at age thirty – Lottie impulsively decides to marry Ben. In the face of strong objections from both sides, Lottie and Ben tie the knot and take off for a honeymoon in Greece. Meanwhile, Lottie’s sister and Ben’s friend, not approving of the union, plot to sabotage the couple’s wedding night. Starting Now will thrill Debbie Macomber fans because it is the newest book in her Blossom Street series. Libby Morgan has sacrificed almost everything in her life, including relationships, for her career. Hoping to make partner at a prestigious law firm, her world is all but destroyed when her boss lets her go. Forced to rebuild her life, Libby begins frequenting A Good Yarn, a darling little yarn shop, and soon becomes close friends with the owner, Lydia, the owner’s daughter, and the daughter’s friend. After so many years of struggle and sacrifice for an ultimately doomed career, she is finally beginning to enjoy her life again.
Set in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The Guardian by Beverly Lewis is the third book in the “Home to Hickory Hollow” series, which fans of Christian fiction as well as fiction about the Amish will enjoy. During a morning jog, school teacher Jodi Winfield finds a young child crying and wandering alone. She tries to find out more about her, but the child is not claimed or declared missing by anyone, cannot speak English, and no one know anything about her. Jodi then finds herself going to Hickory Hollows, an Amish settlement, to try to find answers.
If you are looking for fiction that is a little bit darker, consider The Family Way, the newest installment, book twelve, in the Molly Murphy Mysteries series by Rhys Bowen. Set in 1905, summertime in New York City is nearly unbearable for the pregnant Molly Sullivan (formerly Murphy). Despite promising her husband to give up detective work, Molly is drawn to two cases. One is a missing Irish maid and the other is a series of missing children. As she digs to find the truth, there is a risk to herself, and her own baby. Be sure to check out The Family Way for an amazing historical mystery. If you interest lies more in family drama, fans of Jane Green should check out her newest work, Family Pictures. The story revolves around two women living on opposite ends of the country. The women are quite similar, each has children who are about to leave for college, each is about middle age, and each has a husband who travel frequently for work. As these two women’s lives collide, each must cope with the changes this brings.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight is on a documentary, “Forks over Knives.” Focused on two doctors, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the documentary follows the career of each doctor and their own personal work until their careers intersect with the shared theory that individuals would be healthier if they avoided a processed food and animal-product based diet and pursued a whole foods and plant-based diet. Discussing a number of studies surrounding diet, “diseases of affluence,” and health, the documentary puts forth a strong case for a more plant-based diet. Also available from these doctors is a book entitled Forks over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health and a corresponding cookbook.
This book section features a number of new fiction items. Kristin Hannah fans will be thrilled to hear about her newest, Fly Away. As Kate Ryan passes away, Tully Hart struggles to rebuild her life after her best friend for over thirty years leaves her. Tully especially struggles to fulfill Kate’s final request for Tully to look after her family. Particularly struck by Kate’s passing is her sixteen year old daughter, Marah. Grief has caused her to almost completely withdraw. With a beautiful focus on family and love, Fly Away promises to be a wonderful read.
If you enjoy political intrigue, be sure to check out David Baldacci’s newest, The Hit. The U.S. government has select people it calls upon to eliminate threats; Will Robie is an incredibly skilled assassin. Equally skilled, but supposedly gone rogue is Jessica Reel. Tasked with bringing her in, Robie finds more than he expected. Her actions reveal a serious threat that will rock the country. If you are looking for a book full of romance and action, you will enjoy Amanda Quick’s The Mystery Woman, the newest in the Ladies of Lantern Street series. Beatrice Lockwood is a fierce woman with a secret past. She crosses paths with Joshua Gage, a man who works secretly for the crown, as she is stepping in to stop a crime. Gage is interested in her because she was somehow involved with the death of Roland Fleming when he passed at the Academy of the Occult. Lockwood seems to be the only way for Gage to find the illusive “Bone Man.”
Trouble follows attorney Stone Barrington as he travels abroad to Europe in Stuart Wood’s newest, Unintended Consequences. Under its picturesque beauty and glamour, Europe has a seething underbelly. Intentionally drawn into a mystery by a series of invitations, Barrington sees the super rich and the dangerous corruption surrounding them. For a very different story about an attorney, check out Nora Robert’s newest, Whiskey Beach. After police investigation and public speculation about the murder of his nearly ex-wife, Boston attorney Eli Landon retreats to Bluff House, the house which has stood for hundreds of years overlooking Whiskey Beach. Here he meets Abra Walsh, “a woman of many talents” including housekeeping and instructing yoga. Abra tried to help Eli put his life back together and clear his name.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on “Life of Pi.” Adapted from the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the movie follows the story of Pi Patel as his family moves, along with the animals in their zoo, from India to Canada on a freight liner which is caught up in a storm. After a horrific crash, Pi winds up on a raft with various animals including a tiger drifting in the Pacific Ocean for 224 days as they struggle to survive. Winning four Oscars and a number of other awards, “Life of Pi” is a moving, beautiful adaptation of Yann Martel’s book.
This week’s section features our newest, most macabre fiction. A social worker makes a disturbing discovery in Tuesday is Gone by Nicci French. When an unsuspecting social worker visits her client, the client is found serving tea to a corpse. Unable to determine the corpse’s identity, authorities call in Frieda Klein – the main character in French’s previous book Blue Monday. Frieda fears for her own safety as the past seems bent on coming back to get her. For another English mystery, check out the newest Ruth Galloway mystery by Elly Griffiths, A Dying Fall. After the death of a former colleague, Ruth receives a letter written days before his death describing what he found on an archeological dig and saying that he was afraid for his life. Ruth travels out to the site which her late colleague claimed had something to do with King Arthur. Someone is very intent on keeping the secrets about the site buried.
Death of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton is the newest mystery surrounding Sergeant Hamish Macbeth set in the Scottish Highlands. Macbeth isn’t terribly concerned when a woman reports she can’t remember the night before, after all she had been drinking. But when her body turns up, Macbeth has no choice but to work on this case.
Jumping across the Atlantic to New Orleans, check out the newest Cafferty and Quinn mystery from Heather Graham Let the Dead Sleep. With Voodoo and spiritualism as a large part of the culture of New Orleans, Danni Cafferty encounters a strange book of secret writings about dispelling evil in her antiques shop. After a person shows up in the shop with a mysterious statue then is found dead, Danni thinks there may be a connection. She calls on private investigator Michael Quinn for help with this odd situation. Finally, be sure to check out Jamie Mason’s Three Graves Full for a dark, yet humorous read. Jason Getty killed someone and buried him in his yard. Now a year later, the police have excavated his yard and found two bodies – neither body is the one which Jason buried the year before. Chaos naturally ensues as everything that could go wrong does go wrong and Jason scrambles to hide his crime.
Multimedia Spotlight: For a subject as equally macabre as the book section, check out “Hitchcock.” Starring Anthony Hopkins portraying Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife, the movie focuses on Hitchcock’s quest to create his classic movie “Psycho.” Determined to see this movie created and produced, Hitchcock risks almost everything professionally and personally to see it come to fruition. Nominated for one Oscar, “Hitchcock” promises to be an interesting movie.
This week’s new books section features some of our new fiction. Serena Stone is a famous photojournalist working in some volatile places covering the conflict in the Middle East in Barbara Taylor Bradford’s newest novel, Secrets from the Past. After her father’s passing, he was also a renowned photojournalist, Serena leaves her high stress, high danger job to write his biography. While working on his biography, she beings to uncover long-hidden family secrets. Compelled to keep digging, she travels far and works tenaciously to bring these secrets to light. In Mary Higgins Clark’s Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, a dark family secret threatens Kate and Hannah Connelly. After the explosion of a family owned business, one man is killed and Kate is unconscious in the hospital. Questions abound about the nature of the explosion and why the two victims were there at the time of the explosion. Full of mystery and suspense, this novel promises to be a page turner by this well known author.
After losing her best friend, motivational speaker Cecilia Ross decides to changer her life by moving from a solitary suburban lifestyle to an old house in Saint Paul with three housemates in Elizabeth Berg’s newest, Tapestry of Fortunes. Along with her housemates Lise, Joni, and Renie, Cecilia tries to be a more fulfilling life for herself. For another story of loss and rebuilding, check out the newest from Lisa Scottoline, Don’t Go. Dr. Mike Scanlon realized the risks posed to his safety as he became an army doctor deployed to Afghanistan, but he hadn’t fully considered the possible danger facing his wife and newborn daughter. After his wife dies in a freak household accident, Mike must come home to deal with a crumbling practice and the fears of raising a newborn daughter.
For a romantic mystery, be sure to check out Elizabeth Lowell’s Dangerous Refuge. Following the death of his uncle, “big city cop” Tanner returns home to get the historic ranch and his uncle’s affairs in order. Also on the scene is Shaye Townsend, an environmental conservationist who is interested in preserving that ranch. When they find out that Tanner’s uncle death is suspicious, they begin working together to find the truth behind what happened.
This new books section features some of our new nonfiction. For an inspiring story about surviving loss, check out Becky Aikman’s Saturday Night Widows. After losing her husband to cancer in her early forties, Aikman struggles to rebuild her life. As part of the rebuilding process, she starts a monthly support group for young widows like herself. The book follows the stories of these six women with widely varied backgrounds as they bond together to overcome grief and loss as they rebuild their lives. Fans of Jeff Bridges and the movie "The Big Lebowski" will enjoy The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. The Dude and the Zen Master focuses on the close friendship between Bridges and his Buddhist teacher Glassman. Discussing a variety of topics in an open, “free wheeling” sort of way, the book mainly focuses on the importance and necessity of acting positively in the world.
Animal lovers, be sure to check out the two new additions by author John Katz. First, a collection of short stories, Dancing Dogs is a heartwarming collection about that special relationship between humans and their dogs. The short stories cover a variety of different animal/human life stories such as an outcast child befriending a beagle in a shelter, an ugly pug helping a new widow through grief, and “The Dog Who Kept Men Away” – a dog who was amazing at figuring out people’s character. The sadder side of pet ownership is discussed in Katz’s Going Home: Finding Peace When a Pet Dies. If you have experienced the loss of a beloved pet, you understand how difficult it is to say good bye. In this book, Katz speaks about how to grieve for your pet and celebrate their life. For a beautiful book about coping with the loss of a pet, be sure to check out this book.
With the weather (hopefully) improving, you may be more likely to work on outdoor projects. For some project ideas, check out some of your new wood working books. First, check out Easy-to-Build Outdoor Projects authored by the Popular Woodworking Magazine. Full of step-by-step instructions and only requiring simple tools, this book contains designs for outdoor pieces such as Adirondack chairs, swings, and bird houses. Another book by Popular Woodworking Magazine is I Can Do That! Intentionally written for people just starting the woodworking hobby, the book contains projects that won’t take long to complete and only require few tools. It also contains clear step-by-step instructions and a manual of how to use different tools. Finally, check out PlyDesign by Phillip Schmidt. Containing seventy-three designs for indoor furniture, this book again only requires basic tools, contains clear instructions, and materials lists supplemented with colorful photos. If you are interested in picking up a new hobby or improving your skills, be sure to check out our new shelf for some ideas.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight is on “Les Miserables.” If you are looking for a poignant musical, be sure to check out the newest adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic book. Set in France around the time of the French Revolution, “Les Miserables” follows the life of Jean Valjean as he struggles to build his life after being released from prison. With a cast of big name actors, the movie promises to be an extraordinary. While you are at the library, check out both the book and the movie.
This week’s new section focuses on science fiction and mystery. First, be sure to check out Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, the book on which the movie with the same name is based. R is a zombie. But unlike others of his kind, he has a desire to connect and find some sort of meaning out of ‘life’. Leaving his normal home in an airport with a group of zombies to hunt for brains in the city, R meets Julie, a human who R immediately connects with and who he is determined to protect. As R gets to know Julie, there are subtle changes in R’s ‘life.’ For another new science fiction book, one free of zombies, The Shadow Wars by Rod Rees will be an interesting read. The second book in “The Demi-Monde” series by Rees, this dystopian novel takes place in a futuristic world dominated by cyber blending with reality and dangerous villains. Full of action and suspense, The Shadow Wars promises to be a page turner.
Serving as a bridge between the science fiction and mystery sections of this article is James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell’s The Blood Gospel: The Order of the Sanguines. Dabbling both in mystery and science fiction, The Blood Gospel follows the story of three investigators with different skills as they search for a book supposedly written by Christ. However this quest is not a simple one as the group is faced with evil and danger at every turn. Be sure to check out this suspenseful novel written by these two enthralling writers.
Fans of Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone character will be thrilled with the release of Robert Parker’s Fool Me Twice by Michael Brandman. With a movie company beginning to film in Stone’s small town of Paradise, Massachusetts, Stone is faced with a whole new set of issues including a star with a dangerous, estranged husband. Stone must work hard to keep his reputation for a “defender of the law” intact as he is dealing with issues causing a public opinion whirlwind. Finally, be sure to check out the latest from Harlan Coben, Six Years. Six years ago Jake Fisher let the “love of his life” go, she married another man, and Jake was forced to rebuild his life after this heartbreaking, life-altering event. After seeing the obituary for the man his love married, Jake goes to the funeral, but the widow, who has been married to him for over a decade, is not the woman Jake was in love with. As Jake attempts to demystify the past, he begins to find out that his “reality” is not all it seems to be.
Multimedia Spotlight: Switching genres completely, this week’s spotlight is on “Call the Midwife.” Based upon Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, “Call the Midwife” is a BBC series following the work and personal lives of a small group of midwives working in the poor East End of London in the 1950’s. The characters struggle to adjust to new challenges and deal with hard situations as they provide medical to the impoverished mothers. Comprised of eight episodes, the first season is a beautiful, at times heartbreaking portrait of the midwife profession during this time period. Be sure to check out the first season as the second season will be airing on PBS in the end of March and through April.
This week’s new books section features mystery and thriller novels. Set in “the Country,” a neighborhood in Buffalo, Stephan Talty’s Black Irish focuses on homicide detective Absalom “Abbie” Kearney. Returning to her hometown after college and training, Abbie is meeting resistance from the people she is trying to protect. While investigating a brutal murder in a local church, Abbie is exposed more to the secrets kept in “the Country,” including information about her family’s past. For an engaging, page-turning thriller, be sure to check out Black Irish.
If you are interested in beginning a new mystery series, check out The Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini. Set in the 1890’s in San Francisco, detectives Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon working seemingly unrelated cases find their paths cross. With Carpenter chasing a pickpocket and Quincannon pursuing a home burglar, their cases strangely intersect. Fans of the Muller and Pronzini will enjoy the collaboration of these two authors. For the newest book focused on Joe Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation by Archer Mayor, be sure to check out Paradise City. Gunther and the Boston Police realize that they are both dealing with similar burglary crimes. Working together, they must find the thieves as their crimes have begun to escalate. For Clive Cussler fans, The Striker is the newest from this prolific writer. Set in 1902, Isaac Bell is recently graduated from an apprentice with a detective agency. He is now faced with the task of finding unionists who are sabotaging coal mines. With an incredibly short amount of time, Bell must get a case together in the face of strong and violent opposition.
For a historical thriller, be sure to read Jim Crace’s Harvest. It is the day after the harvest has finished in a small British village. Expecting a restful day, the villagers instead wake to see two plumes of smoke, one announcing a new person in the village and the other the remnants of a fire in one of the landowner’s buildings. The villagers distrust the visitor, seemingly with good reason as the visitor is taking notes about the area and creating maps.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on two new thriller DVDs. First, based on real events surrounding the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979, “Argo” depicts the effort to smuggle six Americans out of Tehran. After fifty-two hostages were taken, a small group of six managed to escape to the Canadian embassy where the CIA was called in to get them out before they can be discovered by the militants. Second, check out the 23rd movie in the James Bond series, “Skyfall.” Packed with classic Bond action and intrigue, “Skyfall” is not to be missed.
This week’s section focuses on the newest books in mystery and suspense series. Cozy mystery fans will be thrilled to hear about the newest from Joanne Fluke, Red Velvet Cupcake Murder. The beloved character of Fluke’s works, Hannah Swensen is back with another mystery and more delicious recipes. At the grand opening of the Albion Hotel, Hannah serves spectacular red velvet cupcakes and is present as one of the revelers falls off the top of the hotel. After another murder, Hannah finds herself at the center of the investigation. In the newest Eve Dallas novel, J.D. Robb’s Calculated in Death, Eve is presented with what looks like a murder which resulted from a botched mugging. Upon closer inspection, Eve finds that the murder was premeditated and may even be the work of a professional. As records are stolen from the murder victim’s office, Eve must find out who would want this woman dead.
For the newest in the Kincaid and James series by Deborah Crombie, check out The Sound of Broken Glass. Events from the past and present intermingle as Detective Inspector James investigates the murder of a lawyer. Rich in detail and mystery, The Sound of Broken Glass is an entrancing mystery novel not to be missed. Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow, the twentieth book featuring the character of Kate Shugak, centers around a tribal rivalry in Alaska. Two Alaskan tribes have been fighting for over 100 years, the Kushtaka and Kuskulana. When a member of the Kushtaka tribe is found dead, suspicions automatically flash to a member of the Kuskulana tribe. As another person is found murdered in what appears to be a retaliatory manner, Kate Shugak is invited into the investigation.
The newest from C.J. Box in the Joe Pickett series is Breaking Point. Joe Pickett thinks he knows Butch Roberson pretty well, he is a local business owner and his daughter is friends with Joe’s daughter. After bumping into him in the woods one day, Joe finds out that Butch is running away and is faced with a murder investigation. Two EPA agents are dead after they ruled that the property that Butch has purchased is considered wetlands and is therefore not able to be built upon. Joe intently looks into the story and finds there is more to it than meets the eye.
Multimedia Spotlight: Attention all Twilight fans! The library now has “Breaking Dawn Part 2.” With several new characters complementing the existing cast, "Breaking Dawn Part 2" concludes the movie rendition of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series. Picking up after Renesmee is born and Bella has been turned into a vampire, Bella’s life seems to be absolutely perfect. This calm is short lived as the Volturi plans to attack the Cullens after they are misinformed about Renesmee. The Cullens must scramble to gather supporters to help them save their family. Be sure to come in and check out both the book and the movie series.
This week’s book section features a number of new fiction books. First, I would like to highlight The Antagonist by Lynn Coady. After a book is published by a college friend that tells stories from his own life, Gordon Rankin Jr. “Rank” lashes out with a series of emails to the author. His entire life Rank has been considered a “goon and enforcer” by those around him in school, on his hockey team, and by his father. After being seen by others as an enforcer for so long, he has internalized this persona. The publication of this book forces him to reconsider his perception of himself and his life. Written in an epistolary style, this novel meaningfully discusses relationships and how other’s opinions shape our lives.
Finbar “Fin” Dolan’s life isn’t exactly going the way he wanted it to go in John Kenney’s The Truth in Advertising. Working for an advertising company in New York City, Fin is lonely and floundering, and his life is only about to get more difficult. He recently called off his wedding, his Christmas vacation is postponed because of a last minute work emergency, and his estranged, abusive father is not now ill and Fin’s siblings are refusing to see him. In the face of this series of difficult events, Fin is forced to look at his life and figure out how to change it to become more fulfilling. Fern Michael fans will be happy to know she has released a new novel in the Sisterhood series, Gotcha. The Sisterhood is working on a new case; Julie believes that her daughter-in-law had something to do with her son’s death and is desperately trying to protect her granddaughter. With the help of Myra, Anne and the rest of the Sisterhood, Julie begins digging to the bottom of the mystery. The newest from Danielle Steel, Until the End of Time focuses on the eternal nature of love. Following the lives and choices of two different couples separated by decades, Steel weaves an elaborate story showcasing the power of true love, destiny, and fate.
Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet Mystery” series introduced readers to Kinsey Millhone. In her newest book, Kinsey and Me, Grafton crafts a series of short Kinsey stories in the first half of the book, and then follows them with stories about how her own life influenced the character of Kinsey. This collection of short stories gives readers a deeper understanding of the character of Kinsey and the author who constructed this complex character.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on new juvenile movies. For a cute twist on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” story, check out Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie.” After his dog dies, young budding scientist Victor reanimates his dog, appropriately named Sparky. With a strong focus on the relationship between child and pet, the movie also questions people’s fear of science and the unknown, ethics surrounding scientific practices, and the fears of a small community. Another adorable, new animated film is “Hotel Transylvania.” In order to protect his daughter from the danger posed by humans, Dracula creates a hotel where all monsters can go to be themselves. After fiercely protecting her for 118 years, Mavis, his daughter, is considered grown and is desperate to see the world outside the hotel. For a heartwarming, hilarious story about a father-daughter relationship, be sure to check out “Hotel Translyvania.”
This week’s books column focuses on new mystery and suspense novels. Nora Hamilton’s life is irrevocably changed as she wakes up and realizes her husband has committed suicide in Jenny Milchman’s Cover of Snow. In a small town in the Adirondacks, Nora must come to terms with her husband’s death, leaving her behind without a note or any of the normal suicidal indicators. Trying to find answers, Nora begins asking tough questions and soon discovers conspiracy and secrets in this picturesque community. For another intense mystery novel be sure to check out The Bubble Gum Thief by Jeff Miller. Beginning with the petty theft of a pack of bubble gum and a note promising more grand crimes to come, the FBI labeled “Bubble Gum Thief” moves from theft to bloody murder and is continually escalating. Tasked to find the "Bubble Gum Thief" is Special Agent Dangy Gray. Dealing with her own demons including anorexia and depression which are threatening her career, Gray struggles to stay on the case and stop this warped, ever-escalating criminal.
Tessa Leoni is called out to investigate an abduction of a wealthy family in an elite Boston neighborhood in Lisa Gardner’s newest thriller, Tough and Go. With very little to go on, no ransom note or witnesses, and the only physical evidence being scuff marks and the material left over after the use of a Taser, Leoni must dig through the family’s seemingly perfect façade to try to find who would want to abduct this family. Ali Reynolds investigates two seemingly unrelated cases in Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance. The first case centers around the murder of a “gold digging” divorcee. The second case involves a teenager who discovered a body in the desert. Struggling to determine if the two cases are related and running into issues with the police department, Ali must try to stop the killer and prove the innocence of her clients.
A wedding hardly seems like a place for mystery and intrigue, but in Mary Jane Clark’s newest, Footprints in the Sand, an upcoming wedding appears to be a source of real mayhem. Piper Donovan, an actress/wedding cake maker is in Florida for her cousin’s wedding. Hoping for a warm and peaceful holiday, Piper’s wishes are shattered as a bridesmaid goes missing, someone is run off the road, an Amish teenager is threatened, and a body turns up on the beach. Piper struggles to sift through the seemingly long list of suspects before the killer can strike again.
Multimedia Spotlight: This week’s spotlight focuses on “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” This movie was released in early February and is based on the young adult novel with the same title written by Stephen Chbosky. The writer of the novel also directed the movie and wrote the screenplay, so the movie stays faithful to the tone, plot, and characters of the book. The movie begins with Charlie starting high school and follows his experiences during his freshman year. “Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a powerful movie about love, friendship, and growing up.
This week’s new books section focuses on fiction. In a small town on the west coast of Ireland, Chicky Starr decides to open an old mansion as a sort of retreat location for the winter holidays in A Week in Winter by Mauve Binchy. Assisted by handyman Rigger and Chicky’s niece Orla, Chicky makes the mansion habitable and inviting. Chicky then hosts a diverse group of individuals to this unique vacation spot. Full of humor and Binchy’s characteristic warmth, A Week in Winter is a charming read.
Fleeing from Georgia to Philadelphia at age fifteen, Hattie Shephard begins a difficult and dissatisfying life in The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. After entering a disappointing marriage, Hattie loses her first two children, twins, to illness. Prompted by this and her disillusioned outlook, Hattie has nine more children and resolves to raise them in a tough manner, to fully prepare them for an uncaring, chaotic world. With the story beginning in 1923, the novel not only captures the family drama and crises, but also the changes occurring in the nation. Stories of family drama transcend location and time periods. Set in North Dakota in 1988, Round House by Louise Erdrich follows the aftermath of a traumatic crime that leaves an Ojibwe family and community reeling. After Geraldine Coutts is attacked, she feels reluctant to discuss the event with the police, her husband, and their son. As Geraldine increasingly isolates herself, her husband, a tribal judge, and her thirteen-year-old son are forced to come to terms with the event in their own way. Round House is a National Book Award Winner and is a wonderful new piece of literary fiction from Louise Erdrich. For an amazing collection of short stories, check out Dear Life by Alice Munro. Predominately set in small Canadian towns near Lake Huron, Munro spins stories about diverse characters, twists of fate, and changes in perspective. Each story is masterfully crafted as a portrait or snapshot of a character’s unique situation.
Set in Al Tafar, Iraq Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers follows the story of two young soldiers struggle to survive when their platoon was sent into battle in the city. Together since basic training, Private Bartle and Private Murphy must rely on each other as they are faced with the physical and emotional trials of the war in Iraq. Be sure to check out this novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq.
Multimedia Spotlight: Do you have a long commute? Planning on driving a long distance to your favorite vacation spot? Would you like something interesting to listen to while doing housework or cooking? The library has a growing collection of audiobooks for you to choose from to help you pass time either in the car or at home. Some of our newest titles include “Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly, “Bones are Forever” by Kathy Reichs, “Low Pressure” by Sandra Brown, “Plague Ship” by Clive Cussler, and “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin.
This week’s new books section highlights our newest nonfiction. With an estimated third of the population falling into the psychological designation of “introvert,” Susan Cain explores this undervalued and underestimated group in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. As society seems to value individuals who are outspoken and assertive, introverts have a tendency to be overlooked. Cain explores the interactions of introverts in society as well as the power they possess in these interactions. With stories of real people who fall into this category, Cain asks readers to consider introverts and their role in society differently.
Everyone knows about the plot that succeeded in ending the life of President Lincoln, but Daniel Stashower explores the less know thwarted plot to kill him in The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War. It is February 1861, Lincoln is about to formally become president and he is traveling by train for his inauguration. Convinced of a murderous plot planned to occur during this trip, detective Allan Pinkerton and the first female private investigator Kate Warne work together to ensure that Lincoln does make it to his inauguration. With the tone and pace of a thriller, The Hour of Peril promises to be an enthralling, educational read. Another new historical nonfiction book discusses communism in Eastern Europe following WWII. The newest book from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum is The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945-1956. As the Soviet Union gained control over a large chunk of Eastern Europe after World War II, they forced these diverse countries into communism. Applebaum provides a detailed account, complete with interviews, personal accounts, and historical records, of the extreme change wrought by communism and the effects on the citizens of the countries forced to convert to this form of government. For an engaging collection of essays on a variety of topics, check out The Atlantic Ocean: Reports from Britain and America by Andrew O’Hagan. These essays cover topics effecting countries on both sides of the Atlantic – America and Britain. Among the topics discussed are the Beatles and their impact, Hurricane Katrina, Marilyn Monroe, the author’s Scottish, working-class upbringing, and two soldiers in the Iraq War. Be sure to check out this interesting essay collection.
Crafters will be excited to hear about a new crocheting book Connecting the Shapes Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman. With clear and step-by-step instructions, Eckman leads the crocheter through joining shapes. With multiple patterns and means of connecting them, the possibilities for creative crocheting projects are limitless. Learn how to accomplish three-dimensional effects as well as lacy styles, wheels and swirls. Full of colorful, easy to follow designs, this book is a must for all crocheters.
Multimedia Spotlight… well, sort of. For the month of February, come into the library to check out blind dating – library style. In order to introduce good books to interested patrons, we have devised a plan. The books are covered with newspaper so patrons can’t peek before getting them home. Discover a new author or genre you may not have considered before. With matching displays for adults and young adults, add some excitement to your reading life!
This week’s new book section has several fiction genres represented. For a hilarious novel about the quirks of the health insurance system, be sure to check out Haywood Smith’s Out of Warranty. After being diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis, realizing her insurance will not cover treatment, and staggering under the weight of huge medical bills, Cassie Jones decides its time to marry again (she is a widow), this time not for love but for better health insurance coverage. Cassie meets a one-legged hermit, Jack Wilson, as a lot of their doctor appointment times overlap. After failed attempts at eDating, Jack proposes a strictly business marriage. For a humorous look at love, marriage, and health insurance, Out of Warranty is not to be missed. Pinning her hopes to ‘save’ her adult brother from the perils of alcoholism, Ruby McGavin brings him back to the small town of Cardinal, California in Earlene Fowler’s The Road to Cardinal Valley. Ruby has a bittersweet history with the place. Her late husband is from the town and his brother, Lucas McGavin still lives there. Lucas loves Ruby and is struggling to get her to see this, especially given the less than traditional nature of their relationship – he is her late husband’s brother. Fraught with family drama and the power of love, The Road to Cardinal Valley is an enthralling, emotional novel.
For a cozy mystery, check out the newest from Mary Daheim, The Alpine Xanadu. Local newspaper editor Emma Lord and Sheriff Milo Dodge are a cute, recently engaged couple. But their road to marital bliss will be far from easy. Between impossible newspaper deadlines, the mysterious death of the ‘town fool,’ and an incoming rehab/mental health facility causing headaches in the small town, Emma and Milo have their work cut out for them as they struggle to get married, but more importantly bring peace back to their small mountain town of Alpine. For another mystery, be sure to look at the newest from Alan Bradley, Speaking from Among the Bones. The novel is centered around Flavia de Luce, the eleven year old chemist and detective. As her English town is preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of St. Tancred’s death by opening the tomb, festivities are disrupted as the small town church organist’s body is discovered wearing a grotesque mask. Intrigued by such a bizarre finding, Flavia works to find answers and solve the case.
For a police drama, be sure to check out the newest from Robert Crais. Suspect focuses on a new police partnership of equally battered officers. Scott James is an LAPD cop who recently lost his partner to and was seriously injured by an unknown attacker. Months after the attack he still feels its effects. His new k-9 partner, Maggie, is struggling with her own traumas. She survived three tours in Afghanistan as an explosives sniffer before losing her partner to an IED. Both struggling to overcome their own horrifically painful pasts, Scott and Maggie work together to find Scott’s late partner’s killer.
Multimedia Spotlight: ATTENTION “Downton Abbey” fans: We have season 3! If you missed the third season or any of the episodes on PBS, be sure to check out season 3 from the library. As the rich cast of characters immerge from the perils of WWI, they find the world an increasingly uncertain and changing place. Seasons one and two are also available if you would like to re-watch the previous season to refresh yourself or would like to begin watching this extraordinary TV series from the beginning.
There are a number of new historical fiction books available at the library. New from well known historical fiction author, Bernard Cornwell comes 1356, centered around the Battle of Poitiers. France is gearing up for the battle as the English Army prepares to invade lead by the Black Prince. As this is occurring, Thomas of Hookton is looking for a lost relic which could affect the outcome of the upcoming conflict, the lost sword of Saint Peter. Each side wants the sword and will do about anything to secure it. For an epic novel about lost relics and battles, be sure to check out Cornwell’s newest.
Moving from England to Ohio in 1850, Honor Bright is forced to adjust to an alien culture complete with the devastating effects of continued slavery in Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway. Being part of the Quaker faith, Honor adheres to the principles endorsing freedom, which are not always held by individuals in her new community. Honor is drawn into working with the Underground Railroad where she meets two powerful and defiant women and must decide how much she is willing to invest in the struggle to free slaves.
For a historical romance laced with mystery, check out Janet Evanovich’s The Husband List. Set in New York City in 1894, the story highlights the change and conflict between new money and Old World Society. Longing to adventure with her brother, Eddie, and his unconventional, Irish-American friend Jack Calhane, Caroline Maxwell is stuck at home attempting to protect her mother from inappropriate suitors. Her task is further complicated when Lord Bermerton arrives on the scene and is a front-runner for her mother’s hand. Set during the same period, but across the Atlantic, fans of the television shows “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” will enjoy Habits of the House written by Fay Weldon. Set in the same time period as “Downton Abbey” and highlighting the rapidly changing state of the world and class distinctions, Habits of the House focuses on Lord Robert and his estate. Gambling with a shaky stock market and dealing with his family issues, Lord Roberts hands are more than full. In order to bring some stability to his situation, Lord Robert’s new goal is to find a suitable bride for his son with the appropriate title and dowry.
Multimedia Spotlight: Following the historical nature of this week’s new books comes an equally historical multimedia spotlight. Two family names live inseparably linked in American history: the Hatfields and the McCoys. These two families and their bloody feud in the post-Civil War South are the focus of a new History Channel mini series “Hatfields & McCoys.” Starring Kevin Cosner and Bill Paxton as the feuding patriarchs, this mini series sweeps from the source of the feud, a Civil War desertion, to the ‘peace’ established between the families several decades later. Full of excitement, romance, heartbreak, and retaliatory violence, “Hatfields & McCoys” is an enthralling six-hour series.
This week’s new books section focuses on fiction. In a futuristic ‘former United States,’ Glenn Beck sets his dystopian, political thriller Agenda 21. One generation after the UN pushed through Agenda 21 which stripped all nations of their sovereignty and made all citizens part of government known as “the Republic,” the world is a very different looking place. The citizens of this single government are meant to serve two purposes: provide for the energy needs of the world and create more children. In this world lives Emmeline, a young woman who grew up in this regime and is fine with the status quo until it threatens her mother. Her eyes are opened to the problems inherent in the society and she begins to struggle against the oppressive government.
Lizette Henry wakes up one day and everything is different in Linda Howard’s Shadow Woman. Awakening with two years inexplicably missing, a new set of skills, and, most disturbing of all, not recognizing her own face, Lizette is thrust into a new world of secrecy, conspiracy, and intrigue. Into this sea of mystery comes Xavier, a stranger to Lizette who triggers dark memories. Will the truth of what has happened over the past couple years come to light? Is Lizette even prepared for the truth she desires to know?
If you are looking for fiction that dabbles more into the supernatural, check out Jayne Ann Krentz’s Dream Eyes. Gwen Frazier, a psychic counselor, returns to a small town in Oregon following the death of a dear friend and former colleague, Evelyn Ballinger. Ballinger’s death has occurred just two years after a killer stalked the members of Ballinger’s psychic research study, this can hardly be considered coincidence. Judson Coopersmith, a psychic investigator, is sent to aid Gwen. Together they must work to discover the truth about Ballinger’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. Along the same lines of psychic connections and the spirit world, consider John Connolly’s newest, The Wrath of Angels. After mysterious wreckage from an undeclared plane is discovered in the remote Maine woods, private investigator Charlie Parker joins the quest, and a growing number of vicious searchers, for the contents of the plane that crashed. There were no bodies found, and it is not money or lost possessions for which he is searching, rather it is a list names of people who have made deals with the devil. This list is crucial for the struggle of good and evil in the world and various groups want the list to fulfill their own ends.
Multimedia Spotlight: SUPERHEROES! Watch as a sundry group of superheroes join forces to fight an unearthly, evil force in “The Avengers”. Comprised of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow, and led by the enigmatic Nick Fury, the Avenger’s team is a nearly unstoppable force. Full of action and humor, “The Avengers” is an epic superhero tale. Be sure to also check out the individual superhero movies leading up to “The Avengers”, including “Iron Man I” and “Iron Man II”, “Thor”, and “Captain America”. If you are looking for a stand-alone superhero movie, check out “The Amazing Spider-man”. This is the latest remake in the Spider-man movie franchise. It completely overhauls the characters, actors, and story line from the Spider-man trilogy released in the early 2000s while still remaining within the established comic book framework created by Stan Lee. Finally, what discussion of superheroes would be complete without mentioning the newest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”? Be sure to check out the third installment in the series with Christian Bale cast as Batman. Joining the already well established cast of character in this movie is Robin, Cat Woman and the villain, Bane. Beat the winter blues with some superhero action!
This week’s new fiction focuses on the religious fiction books which have recently reached our shelves. For an engaging psychological thriller, be sure to check out Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins. Recently widowed and sole survivor of a fatal accident, Lisa Newberry is struggling with severe depression. Unable to find relief with traditional treatments, she decides to sign up for the human medical trials of a new method of treating depression: a small chip releasing electrical pulses which is implanted directly into the brain. After being accepted into the trial, she must come to terms with the possibilities which lie before her: Will she receive a placebo? What if it doesn't work?
It is nice to think that a family has absolutely no secrets, but many times this is not the case. In Lauraine Snelling’s newest, Reunion fifty-year-old mother Keria Johnson has endeavored to live life without secrets, but her perception of the world and her family is shattered when she finds out she was conceived outside of wedlock and the father who raised her was not her biological father. In conjunction with this fact coming to light, Keira finds out that her seventeen year old niece is pregnant. Family drama continues to grow as the family gathers for their reunion. For another novel centered around family secrets and reunions, Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury is a good choice. The Baxter family is making plans for an idyllic, summer celebration at a beautiful lakeside home. As plans are developed and the date of the reunion draws closer, a tragedy strikes the family. Secrets come to light and the family is forced to cope with their grief, secrets, and pain. Showcasing the power of familial love, Coming Home is a bittersweet portrayal of the realities of family life.
If you interest lies more in the historical fiction genre, set in post-Civil War Texas, Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson falls solidly within this category. Cassie Lowe is a young widow with a daughter who is moving in with her sister after a difficult marriage. Moving back she becomes reacquainted with Tyler Atherton – an individual with his own painful past. These two characters struggle to find love and happiness as they endeavor to overcome their own past.
After being a bridesmaid several times, twenty-seven year old Joanna Kurtz is hoping that it will finally be her turn to be the bride. Set in the Lancaster County Amish community, The Bridesmaid is the newest from Beverly Lewis, a writer who focused the majority of her work on the Amish community. Joanna is a closet writer with a strong desire, like any other writer, to be published, a desire which is out of the ordinary for someone in her community. She is also secretly courting a member of an Amish community in Indiana, Eben Troyer. With odds not exactly in their favor, will this young couple manage to be together? Moving from the Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to a beloved book shop, the Bridge, located in Franklin Tennessee, check out the newest from Karen Kingsbury, The Bridge. This book shop is an inviting little place, complete with shelves of books and a coffee shop. The Bridge is well loved by both customers and its owners who have managed it for over thirty years. After a severe flood, the book store is completely decimated, both financially and physically. Love thrives with multiple story lines surrounding this treasured book/coffee shop.
Multimedia Spotlight: “Sherlock,” a BBC television series, is this week’s multimedia spotlight. “Sherlock” is a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock characters and stories. Set in present-day London, each episode is full of mystery as well as quirky humor. With Benedict Cumberbatch playing a self-proclaimed “high-functioning sociopath” Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Sherlock’s recently retired military doctor counterpart Dr. Watson, this series is not one to be missed. Avid PBS viewers may have seen the series broadcast on Masterpiece Mystery! but if you missed any of the episodes, come check out the first two season of this entertaining series at the library.
Nonfiction is the genre of the week explored in this new books section. Danielle Steel is known almost exclusively for her fiction writing career which has spanned many decades and includes several notable titles. From this prolific fiction author comes a new nonfiction book, A Gift of Hope: Helping the Homeless. This memoir is about Steel’s extensive work with the homeless in San Francisco. After working anonymously with a small group for over a decade, Steel published a memoir about her experiences in order to raise awareness for the plight of the poor and homeless living in San Francisco. This socially-minded memoir is a must-read for fans of Danielle Steel and those concerned with the ever increasing problem of poverty and homelessness.
The newest from Stephen Colbert is another addition to our nonfiction section with America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t. American society and culture is dissected in true Stephen Colbert fashion. Full of photos, illustrations and colorful commentary, this book is almost guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Fans of Colbert should also check out I’m a Pole (And So Can You). This hilarious book is written in a children’s book style but is clearly meant to appeal more to an adult audience. Both Stephen Colbert books can be found in the new section. For an entertaining look back at history, check out Mary Thebald’s Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked. In this colorful book, Thebald looks at some well known myths and points out their fallacies. Collaborating with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Thebald delivers a book which is funny and enjoyable to read, and most importantly corrects widely held misconceptions about the past.
For a more serious historical book, check out Jon Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham analyzes the life and philosophy of Jefferson. In addition to looking to his professional accomplishments and ideals, the book also examines his personal life. Meacham’s book provides an in-depth discussion of this incredibly influential president.
Multimedia Spotlight: Did you receive an eReader for Christmas? Did you know that there is alternative to purchasing pricey electronic books? If you have a card from any library in the Southern Tier Library System, you are able to borrow eBooks in the same way that you can borrow traditional books and other library materials. You will be able to borrow materials for 10-14 days, and best of all – there are no late fees! To access our digital catalog go to www.stls.org and click on the “Digital Catalog.” You will need your library card and pin number. If you have any questions please contact the Cuba Library at 585-968-1668 or your home library.