Deception at Lyme; or, The Peril of Persuasion

Attention Austen fans!  The 6th entry in a mystery series featuring Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy and his new bride Elizabeth has just been released.  The Deception at Lyme; or, The Peril of Persuasion tells the story of a holiday gone terribly wrong.  Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy investigate the murder of a woman whose body was found at the base of Lyme's famous sea wall, as well as the prospect that Fitzwilliam's naval-lieutenant cousin may have also been murdered.  Each title in the series stands well alone, but newcomers may want to begin with the first book, Pride and Prescience; or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged.

"Good Christian Bitches" controversial debut novel

New author Kim Gatlin sure hasn't shied away from controversy with her debut novel, titled Good Christian Bitches.  In this new book, newly divorced Amanda Vaughn returns to her Texas hometown, where she is targeted by a malicious group of holier-than-thou Christian women who see the rich, single, and sweet-natured Amanda as a rival.  When the so-called Christians start attacking Amanda's children, the usually gentle Amanda has had enough.  Unsurprisingly, this book has already drawn fire from Christian watchdog groups, but the premise has at least one fan: television network ABC.  The book has already been optioned as a TV series pilot, and is rapidly becoming one of the most talked-about new releases this season.  Reserve it today!

Exciting Debut: Julia's Child

A well-intentioned mom bites off more than she can chew when she creates 'Julia's Child,' a line of organic food for toddlers inspired by her own desire to provide her child with simple, healthy meals.  Pouring all her time and resources into the new business, Julia's family life soon suffers.  According to the review in Booklist, author Sarah Pinneo "perfectly captures what it's like to risk it all to follow a dream," having herself given up a Wall Street career to become a food journalist.  Looking for additional stressed-out mom stories?  Try...

Western + steampunk + mystery = Alloy of Law

Looking for an action-packed read the defies easy classification?  Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson combines elements of Westerns, mysteries, and fantasy to create this unique new release.  Although the book is set in the same universe as Sanderson's earlier Mistborn trilogy, 300 years have passed since the events in those books, making Alloy of Law a solid stand-alone selection. As the Booklist reviewer puts it, Alloy of Law is "rife with philosophical ponderings, and plenty of crime-fighting action, [and it] fits nicely in any gun holster."   Of course, if you want to read this book, you'll have to get in line!

Imagining Thanksgiving 1962 in American Boy

Larry Watson's new book American Boy starts on Thanksgiving Day, 1962, when the shooting of a young woman sets off a chain of events in a small Minnesota town.  Booklist, which gave American Boy a starred review, describes the book as a modern-day Catcher in the Rye, and also recommends it as a crossover title for teenaged readers.  Happy Thanksgiving (and happy reading) from your Community Library.

What authors would you invite for Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow; if you could invite any author (living or dead) to join you, who would it be & why?  Here's one librarian's list:
  • Joanne Fluke (Devil's Food Cake Murder) - because she'd bring one heckuva dessert.
  • Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice) - because she died a spinster after having written some of the best love stories of all time, and I've always wanted to ask her about her own love life
  • Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings) - because he's just a great writer who will always be welcome at my dinner table

Obama on the Couch

Get inside of the mind of the President with Obama on the Couch, a practicing pyschoanalyist's take on the United States' Commander in Chief.  According to the publisher, Justin A. Frank's new book "analyzes Barack Obama's behavior to explain the apparent disconnect between his campaign promises and presidential choices, drawing on factors from his past to illuminate the role of unconscious thoughts on the administration of his policies."  If you enjoy reading pyschoanalyses of presidential behavior, you might also want to check out Bush on the Couch by the same author.

Grief and a mother's guilt in Didion's touching new memoir

Celebrated author Joan Didion has released a new memoir brimming with emotion. In Blue Nights, Didion "reflects on her grief about her daughter's death, her guilt about her choices as a mother, and her fear of mortality," according to Goodreads, which has named this book a "Mover and Shaker" for the month of November.  Didion's 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, won the the National Book Award in nonfiction and is also worth checking out.  Keep your tissues handy!

Announcing a new trilogy from Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts fans, take note: The Next Always, book one in a planned trilogy by this popular author, is due out soon.  This book, which received a starred review in Booklist, is a love story set around a historic hotel that has endured war and peace, and even rumored hauntings. In the story, the inn is getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett's social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there's another project he's got his eye on: the girl he's been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen...  Reserve your copy early to be sure you don't have long to wait!

Thrilling Series Starter: The Boy in the Suitcase

In this first installment of a newly-translated series of Danish thrillers, Red Cross nurse Nina Borg retrieves a suitcase from the Copenhagen train station, discovering to her shock that its contents is a drugged three-year-old boy.  Too scared to go to the police, Nina risks her life to protect the child in this high-adrenaline novel, which is on Goodreads' featured November "Movers and Shakers" list.   Fans of other Scandinavian crime writers such as Stieg Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Jo Nesbo (The Snowman), and Lars Kepler (The Hypnotist) will especially enjoy this latest series to cross the Atlantic.  Reserve Lene Kaaberbøl's The Boy in the Suitcase from your Community Library by clicking the link and entering your barcode information.

2011 National Book Award Winners Announced

Winners of the coveted 2011 National Book Award have just been announced!  Check one out from your Community Library!

Fiction - Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.
Non-Fiction - The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt - A humanities professor describes the impact had by the translation of the last remaining manuscript of "On the Nature of Things" by Roman philosopher Lucretius, which fueled the Renaissance and inspired artists, great thinkers, and scientists.

Can't get enough Amish Inspirational fiction?

Fans of big-name Amish inspirational writers like Wanda Brunstetter and Beverly Lewis might also want to try relative newcomer Jerry Eicher.  The third book in his Little Valley series, Ella Finds Love Again, has just been published.  Start with book 1, A Wedding Quilt for Ella, in which Ella copes with the loss of her fiancee Aden, and continue with book 2, Ella's Wish, in which Ella looks after motherless girls while dealing with two suitors.  Readers looking for other writers of Amish inspirational fiction might also want to try Marta Perry (Rachel's Garden) or Suzanne Woods Fisher (start with The Choice, Book 1 of Lancaster County Secrets).

New release from the master of horror

Attention Stephen King fans!  11/22/63, King's first full-length novel since 2009's Under the Dome, is coming soon to a library near you.  The book tells the story of Jake Epping, an English teacher who travels back in time to grant his friend's dying wish: to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy.  Unsurprisingly, not everything goes according to plan.  The review in Library Journal notes that "alternate-history buffs will especially enjoy the twist ending."  Reserve a copy from your Community Library today!

If you like Clive Cussler...

Are you one of Clive Cussler's many fans?  Novelist, your Community Library's readers' advisory tool, describes this prolific author as "the quintessential Adventure writer."  If you enjoy the fast-paced adventure stories that are the hallmark of Cussler's work, you might also like some of the titles currently on display downstairs in the fiction section.  Selections include:
  • The Six Sacred Stones - A sequel to Seven Deadly Wonders finds soldier Jack West, Jr., and his elite team working to counter the efforts of a dark cabal that has been steadily undermining their past efforts with the intent of staging a catastrophic attack.
  • The Exodus Quest - Archaeologist Daniel Knox must crack one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the ancient world if he is going to exonerate himself from suspicion of murder and save his partner, Gaille, who has been kidnapped from the crumbling set of Egyptian ruins. A sequel to The Alexander Cipher.
  • The Lucifer Code - Abducted during a visit to Turkey, Thomas Lourds is ordered by his murderous captors to translate a lost scroll attributed to the Book of Revelations' John that is being sought aggressively by dangerous, powerful groups for its potential capacity for triggering the Apocalypse.
  • The Devil Colony - After a mountainside massacre yields a grim message, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force, must join with Commander Grayson Pierce and an unlikely ally if he is going to get to the root of a conspiracy that stretches back to a lost prehistoric colony in America. By the best-selling author of The Doomsday Key.
  • Hawke - A modern-day swashbuckler and one of England's most decorated naval heroes, Lord Alexander Hawke heads for the Caribbean on a top-secret mission for the U.S. government, to locate an experimental stealth submarine, built by the Soviets just prior to the end of the Cold War, which has fallen into the hands of an unstable government planning a preemptive strike against the U.S. 

Disappointed with Patterson

Reader and library member E.L. shares her disappointment with James Patterson's Now You See Her.  Giving the book 2 out of 5 stars, the reviewer says "Not one of Patterson's best. Nina is living incognito with her daughter. Years ago she was someone else, married to a psychopath cop, and almost killed by a serial killer. She's able to escape, start a new life, however, it all catches up with her in the end."

Have you also been disappointed by Patterson's recent work?  Or have you been pleasantly surprised?  Has anyone read his newest Christmas Wedding yet?  Share your opinions by commenting or submitting your own reviews.

Pulitzer-winning author reveals Catherine the Great

From a minor German princess to empress of Russia, Catherine the Great's life provides great fodder for a biography, and Pulitzer-winning author Robert K. Massie has accomplished this task to rave critical reviews.  Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman talks about Catherine as an individual as well as a ruler, taking a behind-the-scenes look at the life of this great leader.  Click here or pick up a free copy of Bookpage at your Community Library to read an interview with this new biography's author.

Looking for another high-quality biography of a powerful woman?  Try Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, which made quite a splash when it came out in late 2010.

A Prodigal Son in Lost December

Richard Paul Evans (bestselling author of The Christmas Box) has released another heart-warming book just in time for Christmas; Lost December retells the Biblical story of the prodigal son in modern times.  When Luke Crisp graduates from business school, his wealthy father is ready to turn over the family business to his son.  But Luke scorns his father's offer, cashes out his trust fund, and lives a life of reckless indulgence.  When the money runs out, he secretly takes a low-level job at his father's Fortune 500 company, where he meets a struggling single mother and learns a valuable lesson about personal joy.

Not for the easily offended: Lightning Rods

How can sexual tension at the workplace be ended?  If you're Joe, the main character of the new book Lightning Rods, your solution is going to be rather unorthodox: hire 'lightning rod' women who service their coworkers in addition to doing regular office work.  Joe gets nervous when the FBI starts investigating his use of female employees as 'lightning rods,' only to find out that the government agency wants to implement his system, too.  Not for the easily offended, Lightning Rods is a darkly humorous social commentary that Library Journal describes as "a total hoot" for the right person.

Can't get enough Hunger Games?

With the Hunger Games movie coming soon, your Community Library can't keep the Hunger Games trilogy (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) on the shelves!  For those of you who hunger for additional high-quality dystopias, there are plenty of great choices out there.  Try, for example, The Handmaid's Tale, in which an ultra-religious fervor ushers in a new era of misogyny; The Passage, in which a military experiment goes chillingly wrong, and The Leftovers, in which a Rapture-like event mysteriously causes some people to disappear.  1Q84, whose storyline is a nod to Orwell's classic dystopia 1984, is a bestseller in its native Japan; its English translation is on track to earn similar success.  Share your favorite dystopias by commenting!

Concluding the Acacia trilogy

Fans of George R.R. Martin's epic "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series might have already discovered David Anthony Durham's "Acacia" books, starting with The War with the Mein.  Like the "Song of Ice and Fire," this series follows the children of a noble family torn apart by betrayal.  With epic world-building and intriguing political maneuvering, the first two "Acacia" books have garnered a large fan following in their own right.  Now, the trilogy finally comes to a climactic close with The Sacred Band.  Place your holds now!

Military fiction

Veterans' Day is in November, and your library is celebrating by showcasing Military Fiction at the base of the stairs in the adult fiction area.   Titles on display are from this list compiled by librarian Jessica O., and include The Officers' Club, a modern-day murder mystery in which the dead body of a female servicemember is found at the Mexican border, and Sword and Drum, a Western set during the Civil War in which a detachment finds themselves fighting the Apache.  Whether or not you're a vet, all Suffolk County library card holders are welcome to check them out!

Crichton's posthumous thriller Micro

When Michael Crichton died of cancer in 2008, he left behind a partial manuscript for a book titled Micro, in which a group of graduate students get more than they bargain for when they accept work with a mysterious biotech start-up in Hawaii.  Reuters reports that Richard Preston, author of the science thrillers The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event, was selected to complete the book by the Crichton estate and by publisher HarperCollins.  Now, the last work of the author who gave the world Jurassic Park is scheduled for release on November 22.  Reserve your copy today!

Stephenson's new cyberthriller Reamde

In Neal Stephenson's newest cyberthriller Reamde, criminals quietly launder money in the online fantasy world of T'Rain until teenaged Chinese hackers unleash a virus named Reamde.  Now, good guys and bad guys must fight for control of this virtual landscape, with real-world wealth and power at stake.  Fans of science fiction and spy novels alike will enjoy this new release.

Required Reading: The Influencing Machine

The Influencing Machine is a recently-published graphic novel examining the media.  The starred review in Library Journal compares the book's narrator to "a chatty but interesting poli-sci professor" who guides the reader "through media history, source accuracy (or not), journalist impartiality (or not), bias (seven kinds), dilemmas relating to war reporting, objectivity (or not), disclosure, tricks the mind plays on understanding news stories, and how the media mirror ourselves in all of our human diversity."  The review also recommends that the book "should be required reading for nearly everbody over age ten, media students, and plain ole citizens, especially."  Intrigued?  Pick it up at your Community Library!

England's highest literary honor goes to 'The Sense of an Ending'

Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker Prize for his new book The Sense of an Ending.  In addition to the prestige of England's highest literary honor, the prize also comes with £50,000 (about $78,000) in prize money.  This new award-winner "follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about--until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present."