Why Things Catch On

What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?     Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.In Contagious, author Jonah Berger combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories to create a riveting non fiction read.  

New Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates has written enough books to know how to take a risk and her newest book, The Accursed, is just that.  This eerie tale of psychological horror revolves around the citizens of Princeton who fall under the influence of a supernatural power.  At the turn of the century, a young bride on the verge of the altar is abducted by a shape shifting European prince who just might be the devil.  When the bride's brother sets out to find her, his path crosses Princeton's most formidable people.  This thrilling and fresh historical novel marks new territory for the veteran writer.

ellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History Making Race Around the World

Americans have always loved a good race.  In his book Eighty Days, Matthew Goodman tells the story of two pioneering female journalists, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, who raced each other 28,000 miles around the globe in 1889. One woman went east. The other went west. For more than two months, readers followed the women as they battled storms, snow and delays until one got back to New York City.  Looking back on their journey today, it is remarkable how slowly the women traveled. Goodman’s book is more than a retelling of the around-the-globe dash. Readers also get a history lesson on topics from time zones to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Full of action, readers will race to the end to see who won the race!

Page Turning Crime Fiction

Denise Mina, winner of the Crime Novel of the Year award for her last book, The End of the Wasp Season, returns with a new novel featuring Detective Superintendent Alex Morrow.  In Gods and BeastsMorrow, who was heavily pregnant earlier, is now the exhausted mother of twins, and worries that parenthood is making her soft at work.  A Post Office becomes a scene of carnage as a grandfather is gunned down  in front of his  grandson just before Christmas.  Morrow heads the investigation, thrusting her into the  worlds of both politics and organized crime.  This is no simple piece of sleuthing though, as Mina uses all Glasgow as her canvas, painting a picture of collusion, corruption and grubby compromise.   This page turning police procedural solidifies Mina's place at the head of the crime writing pack.

New Jodi Picoult

This week will see the release of Jodi Picoult's latest novel, The Storyteller which takes on the Holocaust.  Sage befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach and they strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.What do you do when evil lives next door? Though the book will not be released until Tuesday, you can place your holds now!

Riveting True Crime

One hundred and thirty years ago, Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography.  He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience.  Yet artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer and his trial was one of the earliest instances of a media sensation.  His partner was railroad tycoon Leland Stanford.  Between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media.  Set in California during the frontier decades, The Inventor and The Tycoon by Edward Ball interweaves Muybridge's quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and a peculiar partnership to create a riveting story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.

New Installment in Midnight Breed Series

Lara Adrian is back with Edge of Dawn,  the 11th installment in her Midnight Breed series.  Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn—when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them—the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost. Fans of vampires and romance alike will delight in this new novel!

Nebula Award Nominees

The Nebula Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works published in the United States during the previous year.  Congratulations to the selection below that have been nominated for best novel.  Which one gets your vote?

The Drowing Girl by Caitlin Kiernan: Imp, a struggling schizophrenic, fights to determine whether or not the strange mythological creatures she meets are due to her condition or are from something else entirely in this new novel from the award-winning author of The Red Tree.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed: Three superheroes in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms bound together by a series of magical murders must work together in a race against time to prevent a sorcerer's plot from destroying the world.

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin: In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

Fascinating Exploration of Hearing Loss

When Katherine Bouton was 30 years old she suddenly lost the hearing in her left ear. and she suddenly found herself among the 48 million Americans, or 17 percent of the population, who have some degree of hearing loss.  In her new book, Shouting Won't Help: Why, I, and 50 Million Other Americans, Can't Hear You, Bouton chronicles in perspective her own difficult journey from getting diagnosed and fighting with insurance companies to dealing with the psychological effects of her disease.  Poignant and enlightening, this inspiring narrative is totally relatable to those who are facing hearing loss and the people who love them.

New Stories from Ron Rash

From bestselling author Ron Rash comes a new story collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay.  Set in Appalachia, these haunting stories range from Civil War era to modern day and feature people who have been touched by violence..   Although humor appears now and then, the stories for the most part are stoic and capture the characters at pivotal moments in their lives.  The 14 stories in this collection are stark and beautiful and truly capture the essence of the short story!

Book Trailer: Man In The Empty Suit

Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks Scotch with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be. 
The year he turns 39 the party takes a turn for the worse. Before he even makes it in for a drink he encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead. .As he follows clues that he may or may not have left for himself, he discovers paranoia and suspicion among his younger selves, and a frightening conspiracy among the Elders. Most complicated of all is a woman named Lily who turns up at the party this year, the first person besides himself he's ever seen at the party. For the first time, he has something to lose. Here's Sean Ferrell's debut, Man in the Empty Suit takes the idea of time travel and paradoxes to a whole new and exciting level!

Antihero Keller is Back!

When we last left Keller, Lawrence Block’s killer-for-hire antihero, he was on the run after being framed for a political assassination in Hit and Run. Now, five years later, in Hit Me, we find him living in New Orleans with a new identity. He’s got a charming new wife who knows about his past and daughter makes three. Instead of poisoning, strangling or shooting people, he’s making a living flipping houses. But the economy being what it is, there’s not much of a market for houses. So when his old murder broker gets in touch, he’s ready to get back into the game.  Full of twists and turns, this thriller is Lawrence Block at his best!

Heartbreaking Tale of Art, History, Love & Secrets

Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl, tells two stories: One is about a 17-year-old slave named Josephine in 1852 Virginia. The other is about a young woman lawyer named Lina in 2004 Manhattan. Their lives intersect over a modern class-action lawsuit involving reparations for the descendants of American slaves.   Independent booksellers have given The House Girl their stamp of approval, choosing it as their No. 1 "Indie Next Pick" for February. It's also getting rave early reviews so make sure you don't miss out!

The Return of Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones, heroine of both the page and screen, will be returning to a bookshelf near you this year.   Publisher Knopf officially announced that it will be releasing Harriet Fielding's new book this November.  Bridget Jones' Diary was first published in 1996 and launched the genre of chick lit.  A sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was released in 1999 followed by the super successful films starring Renee Zellweger.  Though few details have been announced, the latest Bridget Jones installment is sure to be super popular!

Remembering Whitney

One year after Whitney Houston's tragic death, her mother, Cissy has published a tell all memoir, Remembering Whitney. From Whitney's earliest days singing in the church choir to her rapid ascent to music stardom, from her string of number one hits to her topping the Hollywood box office, Cissy recounts her daughter's journey to becoming one of the most popular and successful artists of all time. Setting the record straight, Cissy also speaks candidly about Whitney's struggles in the limelight, revealing the truth about her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, her public attempts to regain her celebrated voice, and the battle with drugs that ultimately proved too much.  This poignant tribute from a caring mother is an intimate heartfelt portrayal of the great singer's life and legacy.

Neil Gaiman Teams Up With Blackberry

Every wish you could write a story with author Neil Gaiman?  Now's your chance!  Gaiman has teamed up with Blackberry to create a storytelling project called A Calendar of Tales.  Gaiman will write a new story each month drawing on inspiration from online fans.  The project aims to create a calendar showcasing fan illustrations aside Gaiman's original tales. You can get more information and participate here.

New Jackie Collins

Forget E.L James and her 50 Shades series. Jackie Collins is the original master of romantic scenes and she proves she's still got it in her new book, The Power Trip.  A Russian billionaire takes his beautiful supermodel girlfriend for a cruise on his new state of the art yacht.  Joining them for the ship's maiden voyage are five dynamic and famous power couples. Will this cruise be the trip of a lifetime or a trip from hell?  One thing is for sure, whatever happens on the high seas doesn't necessarily stay there.  Take a day or two off and enjoy The Power Trip. 

Blind Date With An eBook

Libraries all across the country are wrapping up books and encouraging patrons to have a blind date with a novel.  GalleyCat, a popular book publishing blog, is encouraging readers to take a blind date with a free eBook from Project Gutenberg.  For more details, head over to GalleyCat.  Happy reading!

Congratulation Lee Child!

Lee Child, author of the super popular Jack Reacher series, has been awarded the 2013 Crime Writer's Association Black Dagger Award.  Awarded annually, the Black Dagger is bestowed upon an author with an outstanding body of crime fiction work.  Most recently, Jack Reacher was portrayed on the silver screen by Tom Cruise.  If you haven't read any of Child's novels, start with Killing Floor, the first in the series.

Maeve Binchy's Last Novel

This Tuesday, beloved author Maeve Binchy's last novel, A Week In Winter, will be published posthumously.  The Sheedy sisters lived in Stone House for as long as anyone could remember. Set high on the cliffs of Ireland, it was falling into disrepair - until one woman, with a past she needed to forget, breathed new life into the place. Now a hotel, it provides a welcome few can resist. Winnie is generally able to make the best of things, until she finds herself on the holiday from hell. John arrived on an impulse after he missed a flight at Shannon. And then there's Henry and Nicola, burdened with a terrible secret, who are hoping the break at Stone House will help them find a way to face the future.  Full of Binchy's trademark warmth and humor, this book features lots of characters you will spend time savoring!

Book trailer: The Plum Tree

“Bloom where you’re planted,” is the advice Christine receives from her beloved Oma. But seventeen-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It’s a world she’s begun to glimpse through music, books—and through Isaac, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for.Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler’s regime and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job—and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo’s wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive—and finally, to speak out.  Set against the backdrop of the German home front, Ellen Wiseman's The Plum Tree is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake.

Compulsively Readable Mystery

Paris, 1897: France is bursting with Republican fervor. Enter Clarie, wife, mother and schoolteacher. Clarie considers herself fortunate because her husband supports her career teaching. But when one of the lycĂ©e's "charwomen", Francesca, asks Clarie to help find her two missing daughters, Clarie runs up against the limits of her husband's modern-mindedness.  Author Barbara Corrado Pope plots Clarie's search with precision, giving just enough detail to move the events along but never to the degree that the ending is obvious. The Missing Italian Girl will delight fans of both mystery and historical fiction.

Irresistible Debut Novel

Sometimes you just want a page turner.  When the urge strikes you, pick up Charles Dubow's debut novel, Indiscretion.   The plot follows the life of a seemingly perfect woman who is married to a National Book Award-winning author. They spend their summers in a lovely cottage in East Hampton; life is good. Early in the novel, they take a young woman, Claire, under their wings, and she comes to adore Harry and Maddy. Claire’s very sad when the summer is over, but that winter she comes back into their lives with a vengeance, and nothing is ever the same !  Prepub reviews compare this novel to The Great Gatsby making it one not to be missed!

New Pulse Pounding Thriller

Joseph lost his wife on his honeymoon and for ten years he’s been dead until the moment than he spied Daphne, assistant State’s Attorney. He watched her, quietly befriending her, and agreeing to a position that would allow him to be more in and around Baltimore. He did not, however, declare his feelings, ask her out or in any way convey to her that he was interested in her.  Now he believes that she is dating Baltimore private investigator, Clay Maynard. When Daphne’s son is kidnapped and a cop aka bodyguard is killed, Joseph gets to play hero to Daphne. During the investigation, his feelings for Daphne are revealed.  Karen Rose's fourteenth novel, Did You Miss Me?,  is a heart pounding thriller packed with twists and turns!

Book to Movie Alert: Child 44

Before it was even published, Ridley Scott purchased the movie rights to Tom Rob Smith's political thriller, Child 44.  Set in the 1950s, in Stalin's Soviet Union, the book tells the story of Leo Demidov, an idealistic security officer who defends this system. When a murderer kills at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled.  Word is that filming will begin soon with Tom Hardy from The Dark Knight Rises in a starring role.  When Child 44 first hit the scene in 2009, it was an instant hit making it a book you should definitely checkout out before it hits the big screen!

Big Titles This Month

The weather may be cold, but these titles are hot!  Place your holds now on these three books available soon from your Community Library!

This Is Running For Your Life by Michelle Orange: This debut collection of essays from the noted film critic is filled with whip-smart observations on the state of the world, the Facebook generation, and culture at large

The Dinner by Herman Koch: This dark Dutch novel, unfolds sneakily over a single meal, turns from a sugary satire to a psychological thriller as the courses come out. 

See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid: Kincaid’s first novel in a decade  is the deeply felt story of the breakdown of a marriage and the complex interior life of a woman and a mother living in Bennington, VT. 

Witty Historical Romance

With a sassy historical heroine and an excellent plot, Sarah MacLean's latest book, One Good Earl Deserves A Lover will delight romance fans!  Lady Philippa  is odd.  Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross. But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

Book Trailer: Here I Go Again

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn’t understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped…beloved…feared. Present day, not so much. She’s been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she’s struggling to start a business out of her parents’ garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom. Lissy finally realizes that her present is miserable because of her past. But it’s not like she can go back in time and change who she was…or can she?  Jen Lancaster's Here I Go Again is a whimsical twist on Back To The Future that makes for a hilariously great read!