Amazon's Best Books of November

Each month, Amazon's editors choose their top picks of the month.  This month brings a little something for everyone.  Check out one of these fantastic titles at your Community Library.

  • Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks: An investigation into the types, sources, and cultural significance of hallucinations traces everything from sleep deprivation and intoxication to illness and injury.
  • Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan: Recruited into MI5 against the backdrop of war, Cambridge student Steven, a compulsive reader, is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising writer whose politics align against the government but his assignment is complicated when he falls in love with her.
  • Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach: A star quarterback and his sister try to discover who murdered their parents and uncover the involvement of a ballerina and her rock star husband who live across the street.

Coming to the Big Screen

This year, a number of book have made their way to the big screen with this trend continuing for the next month and a half.  One of them is Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law.  The nineteenth novel tells of a woman's bitter struggle to live outside of moral law after abandoning her husband for her lover.  The movie re-imagines Imperial Russia in remarkable detail with brilliant acting.  Will you be seeing the movie?

Kirkus Top 100 Fiction

Kirkus, one of the top American book review magazines, has released their picks for the top 100 fiction titles of 2012.  The titles encompass a number of genres including thrillers, romance, translations, science fiction, and historical fiction ensuring there's something every reader will find enjoyable.  Highlights include Billy Lynn's Long Half Time Walk by Ben Fountain and  Phillipe Claudel's The Investigation. You can see the whole list here.  How many have you read?

Out Today: New Dresden Files Novel

Cold Days, the fourteenth novel in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher is out today!  The Dresden Files is a contemporary fantasy/mystery series that follows private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden as he investigates supernatural occurrences in modern day Chicago.  In the novels, magic is real, along with vampires, werewolves, and other mythical creatures.   First published in 2000, the series is still going strong twelve years later with this long awaited installment.  If the Dresden Files series sounds interesting, start with book 1, Storm Front.  You won't be disappointed!

Get A Life: Football Edition

With football season in full swing, it's the perfect time to pick up a biography of a gridiron great!

Namath: In this autobiography, Joe Namath recounts his career on the field, his playboy lifestyle, and his accomplishments on the path to NFL stardom.

Sapp Attack: In this no-holds barred autobiography, football great and tv analyst Warren Sapp talks about the lesser known aspect of football and how the NFL system works in addition to his rise.

Go Long!: Legendary player Jerry Rice highlights the triumphs and disasters of his career in this entertaining autobiography.

RIP Larry Hagram

Larry Hagman, the actor best know for his portrayal of J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas passed away yesterday at the age of 81.  In his autobiography, Hello Darlin'  is a funny, easy going recounting of his life.  Born to a teenage mother in the 1930s, Hagman tells of his struggles growing up in Texas, getting married, and becoming an actor.  He is also candid about his struggles with drugs and alcohol which led to a liver transplant in 1994.  Filled with delightful memories and tales of Hollywood and friendship, Hello Darlin' is  a great read for anyone interested in learning about the life of  Larry Hagman.

Sound Reading

Books incorporating music and sound hold a deep and resonant attraction for many readers.  Check out these three aural centered works available at your Community Library.

  • The Universal Sense by Seth Horowitz explores how hearing sound manipulates how people think, sleep, consume, and feel.
  • Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young: Young, an iconic rock legend (he's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice) talks about his life and times in this long awaited memoir.
  • How Music Works by David Byrne: It's not surprising that the super intellectual front man of The Talking Heads chose to write a book about music.  Byrne explores how music is shaped by time and place and how advents in music technology have changed out relationship with performing and listening to music.

Amazing Fiction From An Author You've Never Heard Of

Looking for something new to read? Want thick twisty fiction with an edge?  Alan Heathcock's debut collection of short stories, Volt, focuses on the tumultuous life of one small rural town.  With feelings ranging from horror to compassion to grief to warmth, Heathcock's writing will stay with you long after you've put Volt down.  The amount of emotion Heathcock has managed to squeeze into a few pages is astonishing making him an author to watch in the coming years.

Read Even When The Library Is Closed

Happy Thanksgiving!  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!

Thanksgiving Reading: Giving Thanks

97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving by eating turkey.  Beyond that, the the menu is as varied as our nation's melting pot with each recipe telling a story.  Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie by noted food historian Kathleen Curtin explores the deliciously fascinating history of Thanksgiving complete with trivia and amazing archival photographs.  With over 80 recipes and dozens of feel good stories, this book is perfect Thanksgiving reading for everyone!

2013 Long Island Reads Selection Announced

The Long Island Reads Committee has announced J.R. Moehringer's Sutton as it's 2013 selection.  Written by a Manhasset native, Sutton is a fictionalized account of William Francis Sutton, a  real life bank robber often referred to as a modern day Robin Hood.  This colorful novel appeals to many readers young and old including fiction lovers and history buffs.  Though Long Island Reads events traditionally take place in April, it's not too early to start reading Sutton.  

Book to Movie Alert: World War Z

Check out this trailer for the film adaptation of Max Brooks' post apocalyptic novel, World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War starring Brad Pitt.  The book, written as a collection of individual first hand oral accounts, describes the ten year Zombie War and it's aftermath.  In the movie adaptation, said to be the most expensive zombie film of all time, Pitt stars as a United Nations family man who races around the globe in an attempt to determine the origins of the zombie pandemic.  The film comes out in summer 2013 giving you plenty of time to check out the book so you know before you go!

Mayflower Myths Dispelled

The story of the Pilgrims and their harvest feast has become an integral part of our history but how much do you really know?  Explore the history of the Pilgrim settlement in bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower.  The true story of the Pilgrims is a 55 year epic dominated by race, violence, and religion.  Learn about popular misconceptions including the nature of the European diseases suffered by the native tribes and the truth about the working relationship between the Pilgrims and Native Americans in this fresh and compelling portrait about the dawn of American history.

Guy Reads: The Bartender's Tale

12 year old Rusty and his single father Tom, a bartender, have a relationship built on acceptance and trust.  Tom works long hours in his bar and Rusty has a pretty solitary existence on his own.  All that changes in the summer of 1960 when Zoe, the new cafe owner's daughter, and Rusty become instant and profound friends. But Zoe's not the only one who comes into Rusty's life that summer.  Also making an appearance is Proxy, an unsavory friend from Tom's past who makes the claim that Tom is the father of her daughter.  Ivan Doig's The Bartender's Tale is a teenage boy's coming of age tale where life is not black and white.

National Book Award Winners

Congratulations to Louise Erdich and Katherine Boo, winners of The National Book Award.  Erdich was awarded the prize for fiction for her novel, The Round House, a coming of age story about an Indian teen who wants to avenge a savage attack on his mother on a North Dakota reservation.  Boo was awarded the prize for nonfiction for Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which chronicles three years in the life of a family in a Mumbai slum.  Both books are available at your Community Library.  See why these great books were awarded the nation's top book award!

Thanksgiving Cookbooks

With the main event a little over a week away, NOW is the time to stop by and grab a Thanksgiving cookbook.  Below you will find some of the most recent additions to our collection.  See see a complete list of our Thanksgiving cookbooks, click here.

Thanksgiving: how to cook it well by Sam Sifton: Sifton, one of food's most celebrated writers, has created a start to finish guide to making Thanksgiving the best meal of the year.

The Harvest Table from Gooseberry Patch includes delicious recipes made from seasonal ingredients and lots of helpful tips.

Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen delivers delicious recipes that will be enjoed by vegans and carnivores alike for Thanksgiving through New Years.

Pulitizer Winning Author Returns

Herman Wouk won the Pulitizer Prize for The Caine Mutiny in 1952.  60 years later at the age of 97, he's back with a new novel, The Lawgiver.  The book tells the story of a fictional group of people making a movie about Moses through letters, memos, email, journals, news articles, text messages, and Skype transcripts.  Infused with the wisdom of the 97 year old author, the characters contend with the forces of tradition, rebellion, and reunion. With The Lawgiver,Wouk, one of the most beloved authors of the 20th century transitions has created a remarkable 21st century novel.

Looking Back on Camelot

Visit a magical time as best selling author Kitty Kelly takes you on a journey in Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretick's Iconic Images of the Kennedys.  Best known for his pictures of President Kennedy relaxing with his children, photo journalist Stanley Tretnick actually took hundreds of photos of the Kennedy family beginning on the campaign trail in 1960.  200  of these photographs, including ones never seen before are showcased in this book with captions and commentary from Kelley.  Part historical keepsake, this book keeps the magic of Camelot alive.

The Book Behind Argo

Argo, starring Ben Affleck, is currently one of the hottest must see movies.  The movie is a dramatization of the real life 1980 joint secret operation between Canada and the CIA to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of Iran.  As source material, the movie credits The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio J. Menendez.  Written by the man masterminded the operation portrayed in the movie, the book is a thrilling in depth insight into the real life world of international espionage.  In addition to opening up about the 1980 operation, Menendez details his operations from all over the world including East Asia and Moscow.  Fans of the movie and of CIA history will want to check this one out!

Books for Veteran's Day

Honor those who served our country this Veteran's Day by reading accounts of bravery and battle in these related titles.

  • The Outpost by Jake Tapper: In this story of valor, ABC news correspondent Tapper tells the story of a remote U.S. military outpost in Afghanistan known as Combat Outpost Keating.  After the Taliban nearly destroyed in in 2009, the Pentagon concluded it "should not have been there in the first place".  
  • The Liberator by Alex Kershaw: WWII officer Felix Sparks and his men saw plenty of action from the invasion of Italy to the liberation of Dachau.  In depth interviews with Sparks and many of his men make the past come alive in this detailed account.
  • Commanding the Storm by John Richard Stevens: 12 key military leaders from the Confederate and Union side write about Civil war battles they participated in through letters and memoirs

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, James Patterson holds the record for  number one New York Times bestsellers.  The latest installment in his Alex Cross series, out on Monday, is a  satisfying thrill of a read.  In Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Alex is called away to figure out who's been robbing a church collection box on Christmas Eve.  Back at home with his family, he gets another call.  A horrific hostage situation is underway and deteriorating quickly.  Alex leaves his family to try and save another and he may not make it back on one of the most celebrated family days of the year.  Not only will Merry Christmas, Alex Cross become a bestseller, it will be a holiday classic for years to come.

Good Reads Choice Award Voting Is Now Open

Choose the best books of the year with three rounds of voting!  GoodReads has opened voting for it's 2012 Reader's Choice Awards.  If you're not familiar with GoodReads, it's a fantastic tool for keeping track of what you've read and finding book recommendations.  The site, which counts over 12 million members, has nominated 15 books in each genre category and users are invited to pick their favorites.  Authors selected include Junot Diaz, Barbara Kingsolver, Damien Echols, and Cheryl Strayed.  Who will you choose?

Happy Birthday Bram Stoker

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Bram Stoker born 165 years ago today.  Most celebrated for his 1897 novel, Dracula, which created the modern vampire, Stoker in fact authored five novels including The Lady of the Shroud and Lair of the White Worm.  Without Stoker to thank, we would likely not have fan favorite Dracula adaptations including Twilight, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries.  Celebrate his life by picking up one of his books today!

New Book Club Favorites

It's never to early to start scouting book selections for your book club.  Even if you don't belong to a book group, you will enjoy these popular selections that feature rich detail and characterization available now at your Community Library.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, is the character rich tale of a World War I veteran who takes refuge in a remote Australian lighthouse where is wife finds a baby, decides to keep her, and sets off a chain of irreversible consequences.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin is a lyrical story of an orchard man, the girl he saves, and the danger they face in the beautifully described Pacific Northwest.

Shine Shine Shine, Lydia Neltzer's debut novel, joins astounding writing and astounding characterization to tell about the most mundane and horrifying aspects of a woman's life.

New Street Lit

Street lit aka urban fiction is one of the hottest genres in libraries everywhere.  Check out these hot off the press titles available soon at your Community Library.

  • Real Wifeys: Hustle Hard by Meesha Mink: This installment in the Real Wifey series focuses on Suga Alvarez, who has a degree in finance and pulls in more than 50,000 grand a year.  A dark cloud looms over her life after her fiancee is arrested by the Feds.  Suga is determined to find out who set him up and take revenge.
  • Gangsta Divas by De'Nesha Diamond: A brutal war rages between two rival gangs and at the center of it all are two estranged sisters, Ta'Shara and LeShelle, who have vowed to kill one another on sight.  
  • Animal by Kwan: The latest in the Hood Rat series focuses on Animal, the rapper turned killer that everyone was sure was dead.  The streets are tense as the crews of King James and Shai Clark sense a major gang war is about to erupt.  Cruising on the perimeter is Animal who is waiting to take revenge on the shooter who targeted his woman, Gucci.  

Presidential Thrillers

If the anticipation of tomorrow night's elections isn't thrilling enough for you, check out one f these presidential thrillers guaranteed to make you heart race.

The First Patient by Michael Palmer: Dr. Gabe Singleton is concerned that his new patient might be going insane.  Treatment is complicated by the fact that his new patient happens to be the leader of the free world.

Ultimatum by Matthew Glass: Imagine taking the oath of office and then discovering the country you now lead teeters on the brink of climate disaster with hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires sweeping the land.  Will the new President be able to avoid total devastation?

The Run by Stuart Woods: The president's stroke and vice-president's Alzheimer's disease puts Senator Will Lee on the short list for the Oval Office...and a target on his back.

New Danielle Steel: The Sins of the Mother

Danielle Steel, often hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, is back with a new novel that captures the complexity of family dynamics.  Olivia is enormously successful in the corporate world but to get there she's had to miss many important family moments.  With her children now grown, Olivia tries to reconcile the past, balance the present, and continue to run her business empire.  Steel is at her best in The Sins of the Mother.  Journey across the world without having to leave your chair in this feelgood novel that will leave a smile on your face.

Book Trailer: Cold Light

Attention all fans of crime fiction!  Jenn Ashworth's Cold Light is a beautifully haunting psychological thriller with a darkly compelling story.  The author, who may liken to Tana French and Laura Lippman, made a buzz in the UK with her debut novel, and follows up with a great sophomore effort which focuses on two teenager girls in the English countryside and the secrets that are revealed when a dead body is found.

Big Titles This Month

2012 has been a great year for fiction and November keeps the trend going.  Check out these notable November reads coming soon to your Community Library.

  • Literary darling Alice Munro, winner of several awards including the International Man Booker Prize, pens Dear Life, a series of short stories set in towns and countryside around Lake Huron.
  • Author Whitney Otto is best known for her novel, How to Make an American Quilt.  After years on hiatus, she returns to the literary scene with Eight Girls Taking Pictures, the story of women photographers in cities around the world during the twentieth century.
  • Flight Behavior by bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver takes place in rural Tennessee and tells the story of a woman who discovers wonder in a valley, but when she tries to share it,discovers that she is at odds with her community.

Tis the Season For Holiday Fiction

With a chill in the air, the time is right to start reading joyous and whimsical holiday fiction.  Check out these new titles that are sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

  • She maybe thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the New Year...that is until a Christmas killer starts wringing necks.  Part love story, part social commentary, Rhys Bowen's Twelve Clues of Christmas is all fun.

  • Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy are back in Debbie Macomber's Angels at the Table.  With Will, an apprentice angel under their wings, they descend upon Times Square on New Year's Eve to enjoy the festivities.  When Will spots two lonely people in the crowd, he decides the time is right to make a heavenly match.

  • In The Christmas Garland by Anne Perry, the year is 1857, and India is in full scale rebellion.  When a prisoner escapes after a guard is murdered, British medical orderly John is arrested.  His trial is intended to be a show trial only but thanks to some detective work and a Christmas garland, John may receive a holiday miracle.