New Maya Angelou Memoir

The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her bestselling autobiographies. But now the author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.  For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter.  When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from California to live with their grandmother in Arkansas. The feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.  Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, she explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.

New Series From Robyn Carr

Reserve your copy of The Wanderer, the first in an exciting new romance series for Robyn Carr, today!

Nautical Thriller

Primate behaviorist Dr. Pollard joins a small crew on the sailboat Black Anemone that plans to disrupt Japanese whaling in the Antarctic. Vessels called kill ships fire harpoons with exploding heads that leave their targets little chance of escape or survival. The hunters will not stop until there are no more whales to hunt, so Black Anemone sails with the promise: “We’re gonna do some good out there.” As they search for whales, they encounter turbulent waves, wind and icebergs—along with seemingly infinite solitude and unending sunlight. Everything seems hostile and deadly, with one exciting scene after another, as when a Japanese crewman jumps overboard into the frigid water and will die without immediate help, or when a woman tries to help a harpooned sperm whale. That whale keeps trailing them, apparently bent on vengeance against humans. Through every threat, Pollard and crew must worry about their fuel supply and their ability to stay afloat. Can Black Anemone make landfall in Australia, 4,000 miles away?  Author David Poyer spent many years at sea and it shows in this fascinating thriller, The Whiteness of the Whale.

New Theresa MacLean Mystery

Lisa Black spent the happiest five years of her life in a morgue as a forensic scientist.  Now an author, she's just released her fifth novel, Blunt Impact.  Forensic scientist Theresa MacLean is puzzled by the questionable death of a female construction worker at a Cleveland building site. A witness to the death a young girl nicknamed Ghost may be able to help. Ghost says the woman was pushed by someone she can only identify as the Shadow Man. Soon Theresa finds herself in a race against time to protect Ghost from an unknown killer before he is able to find the little girl and silence her for good.

Amazon Editor's Pick

Meet Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this trio. Dubbed “the Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora.   With wit and love, style and talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together four intertwined love stories, three devoted allies, and two sprightly earthbound spirits in, The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, a big-hearted debut novel.

Strange and Unsettling Memoir

A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the James Lasdun's strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student, a self-styled “verbal terrorist,” who began trying, in her words, to “ruin him.” Hate mail, online postings, and public accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct were her weapons of choice and, as with more conventional terrorist weapons, proved remarkably difficult to combat. The author's account, while terrifying, is told with compassion and humor, and brilliantly succeeds in turning a highly personal story into a profound meditation on subjects as varied as madness, race, Middle East politics, and the meaning of honor and reputation in the Internet age.

Just For Fun

As fans prepare for the March 31, 2013 premiere of Game of Throne‘s third season on HBO, one fan mashed up the  show with a classic kid’s book.  In the video embedded  fantasy series crossed with The Princess Bride by William Goldman. What do you think? Funny or sacrilegious?

Coming of Age Family Story

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob escaped from their Maine hometown  for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the  brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

Action Packed Debut Novel

Investigator Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist --- and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown insurgents with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists.   Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head.  Peter Higgins' debut, Wolfhound Century, is an original creation which combines mythology, steampunk, and spy stories.

Nineteen Days, 256 Miles, & One Renowned Poet

The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a humor all his own, has taken on Britain’s version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way. Walking “the backbone of England” by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different village in exchange for a bed. In Walking Home, Armitage reflects on the link between freedom and fear as well as the poet’s place in our bustling world. 

A Novel of the First Flapper

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at adance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame.   What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is  attention, success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time.  With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it in Z: A Novel Of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Turbo Charged Thriller

When Sophie Brinkmann—nurse, widow, single mother—meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful. She likes his quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family. She quickly learns, though, that his smooth fa├žade masks something much more sinister. Guzman is the head of a powerful international crime family with a reach into drugs and weapons that extends from Europe to South America. His interests are under siege by a ruthless German syndicate that will stop at nothing to stake its claim.  Imagine Quentin Tarantino meets The Godfather and you will have Alexander Soderbergh's The Andalucian Friend!

Character Driven Page Turner

In D.A. Mishani's The Missing File, Israeli detective Avraham Avraham must find a teenage boy gone missing from the suburbs of Tel Aviv.    Crimes in Avraham’s quiet suburb are generally not all that complex. But when a sixteen-year-old boy goes missing and a schoolteacher offers up a baffling complication, Avraham finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew about his life.   Told through alternating points of view, this first book in a new series is an emotionally wrought, character-driven page-turner with plenty of twists and turns. It’s a mystery that will leave readers questioning the notions of innocence and guilt, and the nebulous nature of truth.

Food Memoirs

"Foodoirs" (memoris about food) are very popular these days.  However, there is a special skill required to making food sound interesting on the pages of a book and that means you should pick your food memoirs carefully.  Check out these titles available at your community library!

Heat by Bill Buford: Buford, a writer at the New Yorker, goes to work in a major New York restaurant and literally suffers...including burns, cuts, extreme tiredness, and bullying, all in a high pressure environment.

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell: This memoir, in which the author attempted to recreate Julia Child's famous recipes iginited a new interested in Child and helped prove that sometimes, the French do it better.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain: First published in 2000, this gritty book helped put Bourdain on the map.  As much about life in professional kitchens as Bourdain's struggle with drugs and alcohol, this book shows Bourdain has genuine talent. 

Superior Stand Alone Novel from Jo Bannister

The town of Norbold is famous for its low crime rate, thanks to the zero-tolerance policy of Chief Superintendent Fountain. And Norbold's newest police recruit, Hazel, is happy to help keep it that way. But numbers never tell the whole story, do they?  Jerome  knew he was going to die. He also knew that it would be made to appear like an accident. He might not be able to prevent it, but Jerome was determined to make sure that someone knew what was going to happen - even if that someone was a man with a concussion lying with his dog in a jail cell next to him.  After Jerome is found beaten to death by a fellow inmate in another cell, Ash is unable to forget Jerome's last awkward words to him: "I had a dog once. Othello. That was its name. Othello." Certain there is a hidden message in these words, Ash is determined to discover the truth. But it won't be easy - no one believes his account of that night. And Hazel must decide whether pursuing the truth is worth her career.  Jo Bannister, known best for her series featuring private investigator Brodie Farrell, knocks it out of the park with this riveting stand alone novel, Deadly Virtues.

Compelling Family Dynamics

From New York Times bestseller Jane Green comes Family Pictures, a riveting new novel about two women whose lives intersect when a shocking secret is revealed.  Maggie and Sylvie are perfect strangers: two very different women, living very different lives on opposite coasts. But they share more in common than they could ever imagine.  Both women are wives and mothers to children who are about to leave the nest for school. They're both in their forties and have husbands who travel more than either of them would like. They are both feeling an emptiness neither had expected. But when a shocking secret is exposed, their lives are blown apart. As dark truths from the past reveal themselves, will these two women be able to learn to forgive, for the sake of their children, if not for themselves?

Sequel To The Lost Gate

In The Gate Thief, the  sequel to The Lost Gate, bestselling author Orson Scott Card continues his fantastic tale of the Mages of Westil who live in exile on Earth.  Here on Earth, Danny is still in school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of thirteen centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can't control him…and they can't control him. He is far too powerful.  And on Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless—he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he still must somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North.  Card delivers another satisfying fantasy novel that is sure to delight his fans!

Our Shared Humanity and The Search For Home

In Tokyo, Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.  Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.  Full of Ruth Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is an brilliantly inventive story.

Vote For The Great American Novel

Publishers Weekly wants to know who gets your vote for The Great American Novel.  Head on over to their blog to cast your vote.  To make this impossible question more possible to answer, they've limited each great writer to one book apiece.  Choose carefully, as you only get one vote!

Costco Connection Pick For March

Vanessa Diffenbach's novel, The Language of Flowers, has been chosen as pick of the month by Costco's book buyers.  This debut novel tells the story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.  Costco's buyers call the book "fresh and engaging".  See what all the hype is about. Pick up a copy at your Community Library today!  For the complete Costco Connection newsletter, click here.

Conclave Reading

Just in time for the Papal election process comes a new book from John Thavis, The Vatican Diaries.  Serving as the Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service for close to 30 years, Thavis provides an authoritative insiders account of the politics, doctrine, and power structure of the Vatican. Published just weeks ago, it is the most current book on the topic.  Full of revelations from what happened at the last conclave to what goes on aboard the papal jet, this book is a must read for all those interested in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

New Dark Legacy of Shannara Book

For the first time in his career, Terry Brooks will be publishing a book every six months from the start to the end of a series.  The Bloodfire Quest is book two in Brooks' The Dark Legacy of Shannara series.  Following on the heels of Wards of Faerie, this exciting new novel finds the barriers that keep dangerous creatures locked away eroding. War seems inevitable...unless a few brave souls can stem the tide. While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest-a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences. From riveting start to cliffhanger ending, this is an epic for the ages!

Lush Meditation on War

Jennifer Cody Epstein's new novel, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the story of several families, American and Japanese, and how they are all connected by one of the most devastating acts of war in human history. In this  epic novel, fifteen-year-old Yoshi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an  expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead and half the city in ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.

A Novel Of Operatic Beauty

William Gass' long awaited novel, Middle C, will be released this Tuesday.  It begins in Austria, 1938. Joseph father, pretending to be Jewish, leaves his country for England with his wife and two children to avoid any connection with the Nazis, who he foresees will soon take over his homeland. In London with his family for the duration of the war, he disappears under mysterious circumstances. The family is relocated to a small town in Ohio, where Joseph grows up, becomes a decent amateur piano player, in part to cope with the abandonment of his father, and creates a fantasy self—a professor with a fantasy goal: to establish the Inhumanity Museum and is transported by his music.  A dazzling and at times frustrating novel of human identity, Middle C is unlike any book slated to be released this year.  

Lively Debate Between Science and Religion

The debate between of man's origins has been going on for hundreds of years.  Between Man and Beast by Monte Reel tells the beguiling story of Paul Du Chaillu a French-American of dubious origins who went to Gabon in 1856 at the height of the Victorian era of exploration and returned with a mythic trophy -- the skins of equatorial gorillas. Chaillu's pelts turned him into a celebrity as the first non-African to confirm the existence of gorillas and an unwitting pawn of the naturalist and fierce critic of Charles Darwin, Richard Owen, who invited him to London and landed him at the center of the most explosive scientific issue of the age, the debate over the theory of evolution.  Grand in scope and compulsively readable, Between Man and Beast is an epic tale of mankind on the edge of transformation.

Apps for Bookworms

Let's face it.  Printing books takes a lot of resources.  With these green friendly apps, you don't have to be concerned about environmental resources while you enjoy your favorite pastime.

For cataloging your book collection:
The Book Catalogue

Anyone who loves to read knows the difficulty of keeping a collection in order. The Book Catalogue app makes it easy to organize and locate your eBooks. The app shows you the authors, titles, and covers of your books. You can organize them by title, author, or genre. Perhaps even cooler, though, is that the app lets you:
  • Read book reviews
  • Keep track of books you lend to your friends
  • Find libraries that have the books you want to borrow
Sharing your favorite books:

Goodreads originally became popular as a Facebook app. Now you can load it on your Android device. The Goodreads app has several features that book lovers will enjoy. Use it to:
  • Read reviews of over 12 million books written by more than 8.5 million members
  • Keep track of your reading list
  • Tell your friends what books you’re reading
  • Comment on reviews written by your friends
  • Scan your books so you can catalog your collection of printed books as well as eBooks
For listening to books:

Busy bookworms have to get their lit fix however they can. That often means listening to audiobooks in the car, during workouts, or while cleaning the house. The LibriVox app lets you listen to over 6,000 books for free.
LibriVox relies on volunteers who record and edit its audiobooks. It adds to its collection every day. Currently, the app gives you access to several genres, including:
  • history
  • fiction
  • classics
  • poetry
  • biography
  • short stories

Exciting sequel to The Crown

Calling all historical fiction lovers!  The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau, is an exciting new read!  In 1538, England is in the midst of bloody power struggles between crown and cross that threaten to tear the country apart. Joanna Stafford has seen what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment again, when she is caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting the King. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last. Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lays at the center of these deadly prophecies…

True Stories From The Supreme Court

From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land.  Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices who also served as trial judges traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury vs. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld,Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the Court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress.

The Return of Isaac Bell

The Striker, the sixth adventure featuring early 20th-century detective Isaac Bell might be the best yet in the series by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott.   It’s 1902, and one of the big issues at the time involves corporations trying to squash labor unions. Rumors of unionist saboteurs in the coal mines send Bell on a mission to keep the peace while maintaining the coal output. He soon discovers a foe that seems to know his every move — and every trick he’s learned from his apprenticeship at the detective agency.  How do you outwit someone who can anticipate your every action?  The history of the unions in early 20th-century America along with the hazardous working conditions of the coal mines is fascinating reading. Add a James Bond style flair with sabotage and villainy and the end result is a great action thriller!

The Yellow Birds Wins Hemingway/PEN Awards

Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds has been awarded the Hemingway/PEN award!  Awarded annually to an American author of a novel or short story collection who has not previously published a book of fiction, this prize is funded by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation.  The Yellow Birds, which made many 2012 best of lists, tells the story of two soldiers in the Iraq War, bound together since basic training,who do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger.  See what all the buzz is about.  Check out a copy at your Community Library today!

Clever and Fun New Cozy

In the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Sweet Tea Revenge,Theodosia  may always be a bridesmaid, never a bride, but this groom is never going to make it to the altar. Theodosia’s dear friend, Delaine, has asked her to be a bridesmaid. But when the big day arrives, the groom not only has cold feet—his whole body is cold. A murderer has crashed the wedding.  As Theodosia comforts a devastated Delaine, she needs to sort out the suspects on the groom’s side from the suspects on the bride’s side. One thing soon becomes apparent—revenge won’t be the only dish served cold at this wedding. And if Theodosia doesn’t watch her step, a cold-blooded killer may have a rude reception in store for her!  The 14th installment in Child's tea shop mystery series includes delicious recipes and tea time tips!

Big Titles This Month

This March, a spectacular line up of new books is coming to your Community Library.  Check out these three that are available for reserves now!

Astonished by Beverly Donofrio: A  brutally honest, emotionally tender and hopeful narrative of healing and learning to love life again by the author of Riding in Cars with Boys.

The Chance by Karen Kingsbury:  A heartwarming story about childhood friends, broken lives, and a long ago promise that just might offer the hope of love for today

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma: An inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globe.