The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly: Reader Review

Title: The Poison Tree
Author: Erin Kelly
Rating: 3 out of 5 (OK)

Review: In 1997, Karen is a straight laced university student. After meeting the bohemian Biba and becoming romantically involved with her brother, Rex, Karen spends the summer in the sibling's crumbling mansion fueled by sex and drugs. Her party comes to a shocking end when a complicated family history collides with violence. Ten years later, when Rex is released from prison, he comes home to live with Karen and their nine year old daughter. Their life is beginning to fall into place when old secrets come back to haunt Karen and threaten to destroy her family. Good story-semi cheesy application.

Reviewed by: Jessica O.

At long last an ending to Edwin Drood

Charles Dickens died before he was able to finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but soon fans will be able to experience one possible conclusion. BBC Television has just announced that is is writing and filming its own ending to Edwin Drood as part of its "Year of Books" initiative. The story is about Edwin Drood and his choirmaster uncle, who are both in love with Edwin's fiancee; Edwin disappears under mysterious circumstances that Dickens' death left unclarified. The original, unfinished novel is available to Mastics-Moriches-Shirley cardholders as an ebook or in print through loans with fellow "" libraries.

Coming Soon: February Premieres

Looking for something brand-new to read? Here's a list of selected books coming out this February.

Deep Black: Death Wave by Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith
When radical Islamic terrorists and a faction of the Chinese government plot an attack, Lia travels to Berlin to infiltrate a billionaire's operation while a bestselling author is assassinated.
After a cyber-philandering sociopath is murdered, Ali Reynolds risks her life to find the true killer when her good friend becomes the prime suspect.
The fictional memoir of a chimpanzee.
A volunteer in a Nepalese orphanage vows to help his young charges, most of whom were victims of human trafficking.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In a dystopian society, love is considered a mental illness.

"Full Dark No Stars" & Read-a-likes

Did you enjoy reading the new Stephen King book Full Dark, No Stars? If so, here are three similar books recommended by NoveList, a readers' advisory service you can access from anywhere with your library card.

The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates

The darkness of the human heart is the territory explored in The Museum of Dr. Moses and Full Dark, No Stars. Guilt, revenge, troubled marriages, and the family life of serial killers are some of the subjects in these story collections.

The Box (previous title: Button, Button) by Richard Matheson

Stephen King has cited Richard Matheson as a major influence on his writing, so Full Dark, No Stars readers might try Matheson's short story collection The Box. Matheson's stories are as inventive as King's, although less dark and violent.

Ghosts and Grisly Things by Ramsey Campbell

Ordinary people and atmospheres thick with menace characterize Ghosts and Grisly Things and Full Dark, No Stars. These stories range from the supernatural to the psychological thriller, exploring themes of revenge and murder, leavened with occasional dark humor.

The Way Back: Book to Movie Alert

Today is the release date for the new movie The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir. Colin Farrel, Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, and Jim Sturgess play escaped prisoners of war who undertake a perilous journey to freedom from Siberia to India. The movie is based on the 1997 book The Long Walk: The True Story of the Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz. The factuality of certain events in the book has been disputed, but both book and movie provide quite a dramatic story.

For more books about World War II-era prisoners of war, try Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (nonfiction; not for the squeamish), Given Up For Dead: American GIs in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga by Flint Whitlock (nonfiction), or The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (fiction).

Shake, Rattle & Read: 1950s in Fiction

It's that time of year again; sign up for the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library's adult winter reading club! For each book you read & review, you get a chance to win one of 8 different prize baskets, including a crockpot, yoga supplies, chocolate, tea, and a bingo set. Not sure what to read? Try "shake, rattle, and read"-ing one of these new books set in and inspired by the 1950s:

Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk
Life for white farmers in 1950s South Africa was full of promise — young and newly married, Milla raised a son and created her own farm out of a swathe of Cape mountainside. Forty years later her family has fallen apart, the country she knew is on the brink of huge change.
Elegy for April by Benjamin Black
Junior doctor April Latimer is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. When she disappears, her friend Phoebe suspects the worst and resolves to investigate.

Do you have a favorite book set in or inspired by the 1950s? Share your suggestion by commenting!

Need a book suggestion? Chat with a librarian

Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library is proud to announce the launch of its new online chat service today. Professional librarians will staff the Zopim-powered service during all hours that the library is open, and can help you with any of your library-related questions (including the question that this blog aims to answer: "what should I read next?"). The next time you're on any of the pages, feel free to chat with a friendly, professional librarian from your community library!

New at your library: Bestselling impulse checkouts

In a hurry? Just stopping in to pick up a hold? The next time you come to your community library, consider borrowing an impulse item, conveniently located in the check-out line. In this spot, your community library offers multiple copies of both magazines and bestselling books such as Stieg Larsson's Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Tom Clancy's Dead or Alive, Clive Cussler's Crescent Dawn, and David Baldacci's Hell's Corner. Additional bestsellers are located on the tops of the New Book section shelves,and include John Grisham's The Confession, Brandon Sanderson's Towers of Midnight, Sarah Palin's America by Heart, and the posthumously published Autobiography of Mark Twain.

The King's Speech & other stories of British royalty

If you've been to the movies recently, you might have seen or heard about The King's Speech, the blockbuster movie based on the nonfictional book by Mark Logue, which tells the story of how King Edward VI of England overcomes his speech impediment. For other non-fictional accounts of the British monarchy, you might also enjoy:

Share with a young person: New award-winners

Here are some new award-winning titles to share with a special young person in your life! This week, the American Library Association awarded the Newbery Medal (for children's literature) to Moon Over Manifest by debut author Clare Vanderpool, the Caldecott Medal (for illustration) to A Sick Day for Amos McGee written and illustrated by husband-wife team Philip and Erin Stead, and the Printz Award (for young adult literature) to Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Here's the full list of award winners from the American Library Association.

Award winning YA author Paolo Bacigalupi has also written books for the adult market, including the Locus Award-winning science fiction book The Wind-Up Girl about a bleak, food-scarce future where an enterprising main character teams up with a discarded female android.

Little Bee: Reader Review

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Rating: 5/5 (excellent)

Review: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again--the story starts there...My second favorite book of 2010 aside from "The Help". Little bee endures so much...from her sister's death, to being in detention and then running away, to finally meeting up with the English woman she met so briefly in Nigeria.

Reviewed by: EL

New discussion-worthy picks for book clubs

Are you starting a book club, or just interested in reading some discussion-worthy new books? If so, you may want to check out this list of 5 new books assembled by NPR. These picks will really inspire thought-provoking discussions (or maybe even some heated debate) within your circle.

A tale loosely inspired by the life of Alexis de Tocqueville is set in the early 19th century and follows an unlikely friendship between a French Revolution survivor and an itinerant English engraver's son.

Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Slave mistresses Lizzie, Reenie and Sweet travel to a resort in Ohio each year with their white masters, until Mawu shows up and encourages the three others to escape, forcing them to choose between freedom and leaving their friends and families--and the emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters.

Faithful Place by Tara French
Detective Frank Mackey finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind twenty-two years ago when the suitcase belonging to his first love, Rosie Daly, shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place. The hotly anticipated third novel of the Dublin murder squad.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
An "imperfect" crew of reporters and editors working for an international English language newspaper in Rome stumble toward an uncertain future as the era of print news gives way to the Internet age.

Sunset Park by Paul Auster
A group of troubled individuals is brought together by an enigmatic man in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse, including a fugitive who photographs the abandoned objects of evicted families, a celebrated actress preparing for a Broadway return, and a publisher struggling to save his marriage.

Cosmopolis: Book to Movie Alert

Another book will soon be joining the ranks of books-turned-into-movies: Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo. The story is about a hot-shot NYC stockbroker (played in the forthcoming movie by Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson) whose routine limo ride to a barber shop is interrupted by a presidential motorcade, a music idol's funeral, a movie set, and a violent political demonstration. As the movie's release date draws nearer, there's sure to be a rush on the book, so reserve your copy today!

Upcoming Performance: Anne of Green Gables

Attention parents, grandparents, caregivers of children, and children-at-heart! The Friends of the Arts at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library is proud to present a theatrical performance of the children's classic Anne of Green Gables. The program will be held on Saturday, January 15 at 2:00 pm; tickets are still available at the Children's Desk and cost only $2 for adults/$1 for students & seniors. Share your love of reading and literature with a special young person in your life! And if you find you can't get enough of Anne, try checking out the original book, watching the movie version, or reading similar classics featuring determined female orphans, such as Heidi, Pollyanna, or a hilarious parody of such children's classics, The Willoughbys.

Forensic Science: Check Out Our January Book Display

Fans of authors like Patricia Cornwell and TV shows like CSI will definitely want to take a look at our community library's new downstairs book display. Learn about the methods that forensic scientists use to solve the most baffling cases through non-fictional titles that read like thrillers.

Books on display include Cracking More Cases, Trail of Bones, The Real World of a Forensic Scientist, Beating the Devil's Game, Irrefutable Evidence, Tales from the Morgue, and Murderous Methods. Come check one out, or look at this librarian-compiled list for more suggestions.

True Grit & more thrilling Westerns...

The recently-released movie True Grit is bringing attention back to the 1968 western (and the first True Grit movie with John Wayne) that inspired this new film; as of this writing, all copies of the True Grit book and original movie at the Community Library have been checked out.

If True Grit has kindled your interest in Westerns, you may be interested to learn that you can find over 900 other titles in the genre at the Community Library. Search the using the subject term "Western stories;" searcg results include new books like Arkansas Ambush, The Black Muldoon, Blue-Eyed Devil, The Buntline Special, Canyon Diablo, Cheyenne Madonna, Iron Dust, The Owl Hunt, The Switchback Trail, and Texas Standoff, plus more than a few Wild West-themed love stories.

Witch and Wizard: Reader Review

Title: Witch and Wizard
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Rating: 1/5 (terrible)

Review: Sister and brother are torn from their family and don't know why. The New Order is getting rid of all witches and wizards...pass on this read.

Reviewed by: EL

Before I Fall: Reader Review

Title: Before I Fall
Genre: Adult Fiction
Author: Lauren Oliver
Rating: 3/5 (OK)

Review: Samantha relives the same day after dying in a car crash. She finally figures out how to save herself and what's important. I thought it was an okay book. I didn't care for reliving the day over and over except for the last few days. Teens, I'm sure would love it. I listened to the book - did like the reader.

Reviewed by: EL