Amazon's Best Books of September

Amazon has released their Best Books of the Month list for September.  The list is surprisingly heavy with non fiction titles.  How many have you read?  The following titles rounded out the top three spots on the list:

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail but Some Don't by Nate Silver challenges myths about predictions in subjects ranging from financial markets and weather to sports and politics.

Mortality by Christopher Hitchens traces the noted author's losing battle with cancer while he continued to write columns for Vanity Fair and describes his views on life and death.

Junot Diaz's This Is How You Lose Her is a collection of short stories dealing with love and heartbreak as it is shaped by passion, betrayal and the echoes of intimacy.

Thrilling New Series Alert

Randy Wayne White, know for his 19 book Doc Ford series, is no stranger to complex and suspenseful plots.  With Gone, he introduces us to a new character, Hannah Smith.  Hannah, a fishing guide, is a gutsy Floridian woman known in her community as someone who will listen and take justice into her own hands.  When someone asks her to investigate a the disappearance of a young girl, Hannah accepts the challenge.  Soon her unorthodox methods leave some people feeling very unhappy and very violent. Gone is the first  book in what promises to be a thrilling new series.

Rock Memoirs

Rock history is littered with juicy memoirs.  Check out some of the best rock memoirs of all time available right here at your Community Library.

  • Late, Late At Night, Rick Springfield's autobiography, takes readers inside his successful life as a pop star and actor to reveal his battle with depression and insecurity.

  • Steven Tyler tells what it's like to be a living legend and the front man of one of the world's biggest bands including a look at the debauchery, the money, and the rehab that goes with it in the Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

  • For almost fifty years, Gregg Allman has been a rock legend and in My Cross to Bear, he does not hold back in describing his life from the Allman Brothers Band, to his life with Cher, to his struggles with drugs and alcohol.

Movie Alert: Shadow & Bone

DreamWorks, the production company that brought you the Harry Potter series, announced this week that it has acquired to movie rights to  the hit YA fantasy book, Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo.  With mesmerizing writing and delightful motifs that make it popular with adults as well, Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina, an orphan of the Border Wars, and her only friend Mal, as she is taken to become the protege of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite.  Ultimately a story about the power of one's hidden strength, the movie is sure to be a hit.  Make sure you can say you read the book first!

Uplifting Story of One Man's Dream

When it comes to pursuing your goals, the world can sometimes get in the way.  It was always Joe Moglia's dream to be a college football coach.  In 1983, he was the defensive coordinator for Dartmouth but with a family of four to feed, he left coaching for a career in business.  Years later, after turning around floundering brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, Moglia left the corporate world to return to college level football coaching.  4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream, tells Moglia's inspirational story and is sure to be a hit with football fans and believers in the American Dream.

Transformational Journey in Panorama City

Oppen Porter is not the smartest guy in the world.  Indeed, he's quite naive and it takes him a while to process things. In short time he experiences what to some would be years of experiences: love, heartbreak, religious awakening, spiritual founding, job promotion, switching careers, oppression., new friends, old, friends, losing friends, and death.  All of this is less than two tumultuous exciting months that he relays to his unborn child through tapes. Panorama City, Antoine Wilson's second novel, has been generating a lot of buzz as a witty read with a charming main character.  Pick up your copy today!

Guy Reads: Fire Flight

In amazing detail, John Nance presents a hair raising thriller that will leave readers breathless from cover to cover in Fire Flight.  Veteran pilot Clark thought his fire bombing days were behind him.  When his friend Jerry calls him during the height of fire season, Clark doesn't hesitate.  With wildfires raging and threatening to destroy Yellowstone and Grant Teton National Park, a mysterious string of accidents plagues those fighting the fires.  When Clark investigates, he stumbles upon a sinister cover up that may cost him his life.  Written with great accuracy by a former pilot, Fire Flight is full of heart pounding moments thrills.

Love, Murder, & Sorcery in Something Red

Douglas Nicholas' debut, Something Red, is an intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology.  Leading a troupe of companions across the mountains of 13th century England to find shelter from the coldest winter in memory, middle aged Irish woman Molly gradually realizes she is being followed a mysterious evil force that must be faced and defeated if they are to survive.  Full of mysterious characters including shapeshifters, warrior monks, and knights, this suspenseful story of a journey for survival is extraordinary.

Chilling Autumn Books

Today marks the official start of Autumn.  Get the season started right with these chilling books that have an autumn setting.

In Richard Laymon's Night in the Lonesome October, Ed, a heartbroken college student, finds his life forever changed when he encounters a vast array of creatures that lurk in the darkness, from seductive to downright dangerous when he goes for a walk in the middle of the night.

In Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, it's Halloween 1963.  Each year, October Boy rises from the cornfields, butcher knife in hand, and makes  his way toward town where teenage boys await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare.  Pete, knowing that killing October Boy is his chance to escape a dead end future, risks his life to discover the true terrifying secret of October Boy.

A 1950s Hollywood screenwriter receives an anonymous invitation that takes him to a graveyard where he find a frozen body in time, poised to climb from the city of the dead to the city of light in Ray Bradbury's A Graveyard for Lunatics.

Dark Underbelly of the Tudor Court

Cheating was often the right of kings with many known to have mistresses.  Rarely do we hear of Queens who cheated.  In The Unfaithful Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Fifth Wife, Carolly Erickson tells the story of Catherine Howard, the vivacious bride who neglected to inform her new husband of her three lovers.  This, along with her inability to bear a son, causes Henry to become disillusioned with her and sadly Catherine suffers the same fate as her cousin, Anne Boleyn.  Rich with details of Tudor life and bitter rivalries,  both Anglophiles and fans of historical fiction in general will find themselves drawn in to the story of the brief life and times of Catherine Howard.

Prequel to Trainspotting

With his new novel, Skagboys, Irvine Welsh returns to the darkly funny world he created in his 1993 novel, Trainspotting.  Welsh takes us back to the beginning (in this case the beginning being the early 1980s)  and charts the lives of Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie, and other memorable characters as they transform from upstanding citizens to addicts as heroin floods the community where they live. Filled with twists, turns, and heroin highs and lows, Scottish vernacular, and lots of laughs, this prequel is just as gritty as Trainspotting, the novel which made Irvine Welsh a household name.

New Thriller from Sandra Brown

Bestselling author Sandra Brown is back with Low Pressure, a new romantic thriller.  Bellamy was only 12 when her sister was killed on a stormy Memorial Day.   Eighteen years later, Bellamy writes a fictionalized account of the crime.  When a tabloid reporter exposes the book as fact, old wounds are opened and family secrets exposed.  Nothing and almost nobody is what or who it seems in this face paced novel that takes us from Texas to Atlanta to New York.  Both fans of Brown and readers who enjoy a good old fashioned thriller will find a winner in Low Pressure.

Winter of the World Out Today!

Winter of the World, the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, picks up where Fall of Giants left off.  The five families chronicled try to live out their destinies as the world is shaken by tyranny and war.  As a special tie in, readers can visit Ken Follett's Facebook page and tell their family's story and plot it on a special Winter of the World map.  Readers who enjoyed the first installment of the Century Trilogy are sure to be satisfied by this ambitious follow up.

New Stone Barrington Novel

Fans of Stone Barrington rejoice!  The outspoken attorney is back in Stuart Woods' latest book, Severe Clear.  The story finds Stone in Bel-Air overseeing an exclusive event attended by starlets, socialites, and billionaires.  The occasion also attracts a criminal group with sinister plans.  The hunt to find them leads Stone in a web of deceit and misdirection with  stakes higher than anybody could ever imagine

Warfare and the Human Spirit: The Yellow Birds

Highlighted in Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month” and labelled by The New York Times as a "classic of contemporary fiction", The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers is a powerful novel of the Iraq War.  At the age of 17, Powers joined the Army and served in Iraq during 2004 and 2005.  Drawing on these experiences, The Yellow Birds tells the story of two young men trying to stay alive on the battlefield.  Though it is a short novel, it is not an easy or light read as Powers delves into the futility of war and the nature of freedom and free will. 

Coming Of Age in the Israeli Army

Shani Boianjiu’s searing debut novel, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, tells the story of three young women coming of age in the military.  Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a small Israeli village.  When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways which influences both the women they become and the friendships they sustain.  Intense and full of caustic humor, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid offers a unique picture of military life in the Middle East.

Robert B Parker’s Fool Me Twice

Robert B. Parker may not be with us anymore but thankfully his Spenser detective series is.  Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel, the eleventh installment, finds Chief Jesse Stone witnessing a horrible accident caused by a distracted teenage driver.  The arrest of the driver causes Stone to fall out of favor with the DA and local politicians and with murder in the air, Stone’s reputation and life are on the line.  

Renaissance Intrigue in Malice of Fortune

The complex politics of 16th century Italy serve as the backdrop of an investigation into serial murders in The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis.  With women being brutally murdered by an unknown assailant, future author Niccolo Machiavelli seeks to apply “principles that govern the nature of men” to solve the killings while Leonardo Da Vinci takes a more scientific approach.  Fans of both historical fiction and thrillers will be enthralled.

An Eagerly Anticipated Epic From Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon fans rejoice!  The author's first novel in five years, Telegraph Avenue, has arrived.  Set in California in the summer of 2004, the book focuses on two families, Jewish and black, and two businesses — one a falling-down vinyl shop endangered by a huge chain store about to open, the other a midwife business that grew out of black culture now catering primarily to whites.  The characters, much like the setting, find themselves in a rough state of transition in this moving story about race and class, parenting and marriage.

New Joyce Carol Oates

Bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates's new collection of stories, Black Dahlia White Rose is being hailed in reviews as "superb".  Eleven previously unpublished stories delve into darkness as they explore the ways that menace can creep into even the safest of lives.  The stories range from real to surreal and are sure to resonate with readers who enjoy Oates's humor and observation.

Guy Reads: Drop Dead Healthy

Can one man go from a "python that ate a goat'"physique to perfect specimen?  

That's the question A.J. Jacobs tries to answer in Drop Dead Healthy.  Upon recovering from pneumonia, the 40 something Jacobs gave himself two years to get healthy or die writing about it.   This entertaining and inspiring book details dozens of diet and exercise regimens Jacobs followed during his quest; everything from paleo to colonics to expensive gyms.  In case you were wondering: Jacobs is still alive, in relatively good shape, and wrote the book standing on a treadmill.

Must Read Poetry

Lucille Clifton was undeniably a major African American poet whose career spanned over 40 years.  The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 combines all of her published collections with 69 previously unpublished poems.  Featuring a forward by Toni Morrison, this collection is a must read for all poetry lovers, past, present, and future.

Dark and Gory: Breed by Chase Novak

Forget vampires and zombies.  Chase Novak's new novel, Breed, unleashes a scarier type of creature.A couple obsessed with their infertility travels to Slovenia to have an unusual and painful procedure that results in horrible consequences they manage to hide until their twins, Adam and Alice, turn ten years old and start asking questions.  Ghoulish and shocking, Breed is a must read for horror fans.

Building Bridges in What Makes Love Last

One of the foremost relationship experts at work today, Dr. John Gottman, offers creative insight on building trust and avoiding betrayal, in What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal.  Gottman has spent decades observing the conversational patterns and biorhythms of thousands and thousands of couples in his famous “Love Lab.” Now he applies this research to fundamental questions about trust and betrayal. With a gift for translating complex scientific ideas into insightful and practical advice, Gottman explains how a couple can protect or recover their greatest gift—their love for one another.

Book Group Buzz: The Forgetting Tree

Tatjana Soli, author of acclaimed novel The Lotus Eaters, has just released her sophomore effort, The Forgetting Tree.  Claire marries into a notable California ranching family and quickly settles into life on a farm, but it’s not long before fate intervenes, followed closely by tragedy.  Claire finds herself disconnected from her family, her husband, and the life she’s come to know, and when she’s finally at her most vulnerable, tragedy strikes again.  Described in pre pub reviews as "beautiful and magical", The Forgetting Tree is already getting buzz as a popular choice for book clubs.

Easy Dinner Ideas

Back to school is officially here.  When you need ideas for delicious quick and easy meals for your busy family, look no further than the Community Library's cookbook collection.  Here's a sample of some of our cookbooks that feature fast dinner ideas your whole family will love!

New Zadie Smith

NW, the eagerly awaited new novel by Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth, is available now at the library.  It follows the story of four young people growing up in the 1970s who make it "out" of housing projects.  All's going well until a stranger shows up to throw a monkey wrench in.  Smith is one of the most acclaimed British novelists of her generation so this is one book you won't want to miss!

eBooks & Audiobooks 24/7 at the Community Library

Even when the library is closed you can access our great collection of free downloadable eBooks and audiobooks to use on your home computer, eReader, smartphone, Apple product, or other device.  To get started, visit the Community Library's downloads webpage which explains how the service works.  Have you always wanted to try an eReader but you don't want to commit to buying?  We have pre-loaded Nooks and Sony eReaders for loan.  Stop by or call us for more info!

New Rizzoli & Isles Novel

If you're a fan of the Rizzoli & Isles TV series and you're bummed because the third season is ending, don't be.  A new Rizzoli & Isles novel is here!  In Tess Gerritsen's The Last to Die, the students at Evensong, a school deep in the Maine wilderness, study science and investigative techniques to prepare for careers in crime fighting.  That's where medical examiner Maura Isles goes to visit 16 year old Rat Perkins, and that's where Det. Jane Rizzoli decides to hide Teddy when the rest of his foster family is murdered.  An unspeakable secret dooms the fate of the children at the school unless Jane and Maura can put an end to an obsessed killer's quest.  Suspense doesn't get any better than this.

Big Titles This Month

Fall is shaping up to be an exciting time for fiction.  Here's a preview of some of September's hottest titles.  Place your holds now!

  • Pulitzer winner Junot Diaz presents a collection of short stories the heartbreak and radiance of love in This is How You Lose Her.

  • The lives of three women on turn of the 20th century San Miguel are shaped by ambition and circumstance in T.C. Boyle's San Miguel

  • Lee Child is back with another Jack Reacher novel.  In A Wanted Man, Reacher finds himself unwittingly involved in a massive conspiracy that makes him a threat.

  • The Casual Vacancy is award winning Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults.  It follows the death of a small town councilman whose demise reveals deep seated conflicts in his seemingly idyllic community.