New cozy mystery series debut: 'A Class on Murder'

Fans of cozy mysteries will not want to miss A Class on Murder, the first book by new author Karen Bush Gibson.  When half-Cherokee and half-Irish psychology professor Ronnie Raven finds herself accused of a colleague's murder, she resolves to solve the case herself, with a little help from her students, coworkers, and a love-smitten campus police officer.  Check out this charming debut mystery at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library! Looking for still more cozies in an academic setting?  Try the "Karen Pelletier" series by Joanne Dobson, starting with Quieter than Sleep.

3 Noteworthy Summer 2012 Debut Novels

Looking for fresh new voices in fiction this summer?  Try one of these three promising debut novels:

  • The Book of Summers - A "lovey and haunting" story about a scrapbook a woman receives from her estranged mother, chronicling childhood vacations in Hungary
  • We Only Know So Much - A family drama with "undeniable heart" that follows four generations living in one house
  • The Orphanmaster (no relation to The Orphan Master's Son) - In seventeenth-century New Amsterdam, a merchant and a British spy investigate the mysterious disappearance of orphan children.

Keira Knightley stars in a new film version of 'Anna Karenina'

Classic stories never go out of style, at least not in Hollywood.  After playing heroine Elizabeth Bennett in 2006's Pride and Prejudice (based on Jane Austen's classic novel), Keira Knightley stars again in a film adaptation of yet another classic story: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.  The story is about rebellious Anna and her ill-fated, adulterous romance with Count Vronsky amid the turmoil of nineteenth-century Russia.  Looking for another film adaptation of this classic?  Try the 1935 version that won Greta Garbo "Best Actress."  Here's the trailer for the forthcoming film with Keira Knightley (coming out in November 2012), and don't forget to stop by your Community Library to check out the book that inspired the movie!

What if JFK were FDR's spy?

What if JFK were FDR's spy?  That's the question posed by the new historical fiction novel Jack 1939.  Tapped by President Franklin Roosevelt to travel to Europe and learn what the Nazis are planning, twenty-two-year-old John F. Kennedy, son of the U.S. ambassador to Britain, joins the president's efforts to stop the flow of German money that is influencing the 1940 U.S. election.  Reserve the book at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library today!

Beat the rush for 'Cloud Atlas'

Film production of Liam Callanan's debut novel Cloud Atlas is now complete, with the movie scheduled for release on October 26, 2012.  That timetable gives readers exactly 4 months to beat the library rush, so hurry in!  The story is about Louis Belk, a young American bomb disposal sergeant during World War II, who is sent on a mission to Alaska to find and disarm balloon bombs launched by the Japanese.  The movie version's star-studded cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugh Grant.

Romance debut 'More than a Stranger'

Looking for a new voice in romance?  Try Erin Knightley, whose newly-published book More than a Stranger is the first in the planned "Sealed with a Kiss" series.  Unable to maintain a safe distance from Lady Evelyn Moore, his best friend's sister--and the woman he has been secretly corresponding with for years, Benedict Hastings finds their blossoming romance threatened by the dangers of his world, which threaten to destroy everything.  Stop by Mastics-Moriches-Community Library to browse even more new romances!

Reader review: 'Mr. Monk on Patrol'

Mr. Monk on Patrol by Lee Goldberg

Rating: 5 out of 5
Review: I enjoy watching Monk stumble through a mystery on TV and this was like reading one of the storylines.
Thanks to Laura B. for her review!  Remember, all Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library cardholders are welcome to submit reviews for this blog; just click the "send us your review" link at the top.

Inspiring new nonfiction

Looking for some new nonfiction that will inspire and uplift you?  Try:

  • Master Class: Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier - Drawing from the latest research in psychology as well as inspirational stories from active seniors, this guide shows how to build and maintain an enriching, happy lifestyle in the golden years of life.
  • A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation - A former homeless man featured in a viral YouTube video shares the complete story of how he lost his successful career to a crack addiction, tracing his journey through homelessness and crime before finding love and redemption.
  • How Much Is Enough? - Analyzes questions that arose from the 2008 financial crisis while assessing the predictions of John Maynard Keynes, sharing the authors' views of a positive life and how recent generations have traded morality for wealth.
  • Perfect Chaos - Recounts the co-author's descent into suicidal depression due to bipolar disorder and her family's efforts to secure treatments, a pursuit that required daily struggles to manage symptoms, understand the disorder, and rebuild trust.
Happy reading from Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library!

Highly-anticipated debut in 'Something Red'

The new debut novel Something Red, which earned a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, is described as a "haunting fantasy of love, murder, and sorcery set in one of the coldest winters of thirteenth-century England."  Characters range from shapeshifters to pilgrims to Irish battle queens and everyone in between.  If you enjoy atmospheric historical fiction with supernatural elements, don't miss the debut of this talented new novelist and award-winning poet Douglas Nicholas.

A boy hides out in 'Canada'

In the new novel Canada by Pulitzer-Prize-winning Richard Ford, fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons seeks refuge in the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan after his parents are arrested for their impulsive and ill-fated decision to rob a Montana bank.  Dell is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature.  Fans of historical fiction with strong character development will enjoy this atmospheric tale set in 1956 Canada.  Looking for other novels set in post-WWII prairie towns? You may also like A Life of Bright Ideas, set in 1970s Wisconsin.

June is Audiobook Month

Taking a long drive this summer? Celebrate Audiobook Month by listening to one of these great new audio-format books from Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library:

Audiophiles, add your favorite suggestions in the comments!

Can creativity be learned?

Is being creative something you're born with, or can creativity be learned?  Jonah Lehrer argues the latter in his New York Times bestselling book, Imagine.  Examining the new science of creativity, Lehrer challenges popular misconceptions to explain that creativity involves distinct thought processes that can be tapped by anyone, revealing the practices of successful companies and creative individuals while considering how to use scientific principles to make cities, businesses and cultures more creative.  Imagine that!

New in Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' series

Even though it's the 8th book he's written for the "Dark Tower" series, Stephen King refers to his latest book as 'book 4.5' because it comes between book 4, Wizard and Glass, and book 5, Wolves of the Calla.  Like J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was a series companion volume based on Harry Potter mythology, King's new book The Wind through the Keyhole is only loosely connected to the Dark Tower series.  In The Wind through the Keyhole, a teenage Roland Deschain takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to a murderous shape-shifter's most recent slaughter. Roland calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, "The Wind through the Keyhole."   Looking for the complete list of books in the "Dark Tower" series?  Here they are, in reading order:

1) The Gunslinger
2) The Drawing of the Three
3) The Waste Lands
4) Wizard and Glass
4.5) The Wind Through the Keyhole (Stephen King's newest book)
5) Wolves of the Calla
6) Song of Susannah
7) The Dark Tower (the final book in the Dark Tower series)

Happy reading from your Community Library!

Book to movie alert: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

Haven't yet read Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower?  Published in 1999, this book remains amazing popular thirteen years later, with 4 of the library's 6 copies checked out at the time of this writing.  Hollywood has picked up on this powerful story, in which teenage Charlie struggles to cope with the complex world of high school, including sex, love, drugs, and the pain of losing a close friend.  The movie version of this book, starring Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, and Emma Watson (best known for her childhood role as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies), is set to come out on September 14.  More details and a trailer are available here.

The man who almost killed Hitler

History buffs, WWII afficianados, and true crime readers will all appreciate The Lone Assassin: The Epic True Story of the Man Who Almost Killed Hitler, a 1993 German-language book available for the first time in English translation.  Georg Elsner was just an ordinary man living in 1939 Munich until he resolved to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Elsner's homemade bomb went off successfully, killing 8 people but not his intended target.  This book looks at the lead-up to one of the great "what-if" moments in history - check it out at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library!

Flag Day Book Display

Happy Flag Day!  In addition to the library's many great resources for children and young adults on the evolution of the United States flag, Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library also offers books and multimedia for adults, which are currently on display on the main floor near the copy machines.  Check out Betsy Ross and the Making of America, Flag: an American BiographyStars and Stripes Forever: The Making of Our Flag, or another great title currently on display, and don't forget to pick up a free hand-sized flag on your way out.

Try new authors in 'Hex Appeal'

Looking for paranormal romance with real sizzle?  Try the new short story collection Hex Appeal, which features famous authors like Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, P. N. Elrod, Simon R. Green, Lori Handeland, Erica Hayes, and Carrie Vaughn.  Spellbinding stories feature bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to sample the work of various "bewitching" authors and maybe even discover a new favorite!

New WWII spy novel: 'Mission to Paris'

Fans of spy novels will enjoy Alan Furst's suspenseful new book Mission to Paris, in which Hollywood star Frederic Stahl is unwittingly entangled in 1938 Europe's shifting political currents when he discovers that his latest film is linked to the destinies of fascists, German Nazis and Hollywood publicists.  Try David Downing's Lehrter Station for another new spy story set in World War II-era Europe, or try Mr. Churchill's Secretary if you like your intrigue seasoned with romance.  Got any other read-alike suggestions?  Please share them by commenting!

Can't get enough Janet Evanovich?

Looking for books like Janet Evanovich's?  While you're eagerly awaiting Janet Evanovich's newest publication, try one of these similar books that also offer up a blend of romance, suspense, and humor:

  • Bubbles in Trouble - When her friend fails to show up for her own wedding just before her uncle turns up dead, the Bubbles Yablonsky goes undercover in Whoopee, Pennsylvania, where she boards with a local Amish family.
  • First Grave on the Right - Using her ability to see ghosts in her work as a private investigator, Charley Davidson begins experiencing intense sensual dreams about a mysterious entity that has been following her throughout her life.  A debut novel.
  • Savannah Blues - Follows Eloise "Weezie" Foley, an antiques picker, as she deals with a huge estate sale, eccentric relatives, a sexy ex-boyfriend, and her ex-husband and his new girlfriend, unexpectedly discovering love is much better the second time around.
  • The Hearse Case Scenario - Undertaker-turned-sleuth Hitchcock Sewell finds himself in over his head with murder as he probes nefarious goings-on at a Baltimore nightclub populated by a host of bizarre characters
  • Princess Charming - An unexpected inheritance brings Gwyneth Barrie nothing but trouble when she discovers that Jason Radley, her former flame, will be the sole trustee of the money and that she has suddenly become the target of an unknown enemy who has been stalking her all over Regency London.
Check out these (and other) Janet Evanovich read-alikes, on display this month downstairs in the fiction section of Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library.

New film adaptation of 'Les Mis'

Few books have had as many film adaptations as Les Miserables, Victor Hugo's classic story of the unfortunate Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.  Mastics-Moriches Shirley Community Library has several already: click here for the 1935 and 1952 versions, or click here for the 1978 version.  Now a new generation is re-imagining this work of classic literature with a  movie starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and Russell Crowe currently in the works.  Take a look at the trailer on Entertainment Weekly's "Inside Movies" column here, and be sure to also check out the book that inspired these movies from your Community Library!

Responding to 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'

Eating organic, locally-grown food is popular nowadays, but in the new book The Locavore's Dilemma, author Pierre Desrochers defends the globalization of the food chain.  Each chapter debunks the arguments that are put forth in books like Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, for example that "locavorism nurtures social capital."  Whether or not you agree with these views, this new book definitely provides food for thought!  Reserve your copy today at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library.

Love at odds with feminism in 'A Bitter Veil'

Looking for an emotional work of historical fiction?  In the new book A Bitter Veil, Anna's 1978 love match with Nouri does not go as she hopes.  Initially, Anna is more than happy to leave Chicago and return with her new husband to his native Iran, where she is embraced by his wealthy family. But with the rise of the Islamic Republic, Anna must learn to exist in a transformed world where random arrests and torture have become the norm.  As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted…not even her husband.

Top 5 Funniest Science Fiction Books

These novels prove that "humorous science fiction" is not a contradiction in terms.  Fans of funny sci-fi, try these top 5 funniest science fiction books available from Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library:
  1. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitchhike through space.  This phenomenally popular book also has five humorous sequels, starting with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
  2. The Wizard of Karres - It just wasn't fair! Captain Pusart had foiled the deadliest of space pirates and eliminated the threat of the Worm World, yet his troubles kept piling up.  There was only one thing to do - run away and join the circus! An interstellar traveling circus, that is.
  3. Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain -  Bored after retirement, Emperor Mollusk--former super-villain, mad genius, and intergalactic menace--finds himself defending, rather than attacking, Earth when the planet is threatened by assassins and an up-and-coming megalomaniac.  Somewhat like the movie Megamind.
  4. Shades of Grey - (don't worry, no relation to 50 Shades of Grey) - Color Control Agency employee and House of Red member Eddie Russet experiences discontent with his limited vision when he meets Gray Nightseer Jane, who suggests that their color-blind world was brought about by a disaster that nobody is allowed to acknowledge
  5. The Android's Dream - (not to be confused with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which was the basis for the movie Blade Runner) - To avoid an interstellar incident, ex-cop and hacker Harry Creek searches for a rare type of sheep to be used in an alien race's coronation ceremony, following a trail that leads to pet store owner Robin Baker, whose genes contain traces of the sheep DNA.
Disagree with these rankings?  Please leave comments or suggestions!  For funny fantasy novels, try books by Terry Pratchett, Robert Asprin, or Christopher Moore.

New family drama: 'The Red House'

From the award-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes a dazzlingly inventive novel about the modern family.  Told from rotating viewpoints, The Red House traces seven days of bitterly comic family dynamics and confrontation when a wealthy doctor invites his estranged sister's family to join his newly blended one at a vacation home in the English countryside.  This book got a starred review in Library Journal; be sure to check it out from your Community Library.

Intrigue and espionage in 'The Blind Spy'

Spies, assassins, and covert agents - there are plenty of these in Alex Dryden's action-intensive new book The Blind Spy, which earned a starred review in Library Journal.  When Burt Miller of Cougar, the powerful private intelligence company that overshadows the CIA, discovers Russia's plans to destroy the Ukraine's independence, he calls upon Anna Resnikov to run interference.  Feel free to share your own recommended spy stories in the comments!

Debut novel wins prestigious Orange Prize

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller's debut novel, has won the prestigious Orange Prize.  (For a list of all this year's nominees, click here).  The book retells the legend of Achilles, following Patroclus and Achilles, the golden son of King Peleus, as they lay siege to Troy after Helen of Sparta is kidnapped.  This cause tests their friendship and forces them to make the ultimate sacrifice.  Interested?  Check it out from Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library!

Summer reading club sign up starts today!

Stop by Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library starting today to sign up for our annual Summer Reading Club!  For any book you read and review, you will be entered to win great prize baskets, starting in July.  Check the site often to get great book recommendations from your friends and neighbors, too.  Happy reading!