Books About Reading

Everyone loves a book about books!  Here are three fantastic books available at your Community Library to get you started!

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks: Offered a coveted job to analyze and conserve a priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the volume's ancient binding that reveal its historically significant origins.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Haniff: An American writer forms an enduring relationship with a London bookseller which is carried on over 20 years and across two continents.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak: Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Caldecott Medal and Newbery Award Winners

Yesterday, the Caldecott Medal and Newberry Award winners were announced.  The Randoplh Caldecott medal, which is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children, was presented to John Klassen for This Is Not My Hat.  The imaginative story tells of a little fish who tries to get away with stealing the hat of a much larger fish.  The Newbery Award, which honors the author with the most distinguished contribution to children's literature was presented to Katherine Applegate for The One and Only Ivan, the fictional story of a real life gorilla who lived in a cage in a circus themed mall before being rescued in 1994.  Both books make excellent reads to share with a special child in your life and are available at your Community Library!

Out This Week: New Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel's latest novel, Until The End Of Time, uses two love stories to pose questions about the meaning of life and love.  The first story, set in 1975, is a romance between the son of wealthy  parents and a coal miner's daughter who has become a successful fashion consultant.  The second story, set in 2013, is about a young Amish woman who has always loved to read.  She writes her own novel and secretly sends it to a publisher in New York.  The publisher falls in love with the voice of the book and when after much difficulty the author and publisher finally meet, they feel as if fate has brought them together.  Prepub reviews call this a departure for Steel but fans of charming and uplifting stories everywhere are sure to enjoy!

Vintage George R.R. Martin

Originally published in 1986, look for a reprint of George R.R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging on bookshelves this week.  Written long before A Game of Thrones became an international bestseller, it tells the story of Haviland Tuf is an honest space-trader who likes cats. In fact, he has a reputation for being "the galaxy's only perfectly fair and honest businessman".  When he comes into the valuable seedship of the Ecological Engineering Corps from the Old Earth, many see him as right for the picking.  However, the people who set out to con Tuf end up on the wrong side of the deal.  Originally published as a collection of short stories and now put together in novel form, this is a must read for fans of Martin.

An Enchanting Tale of Love and Magic

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana.   Though her mind is sharp she has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic—the household objects that seem to move at her command, the bad luck that visits those who do her ill.  Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see Morgana married, and Cai, the widower who knows nothing of the rumors, seems the best choice. Morgana  soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the mountains that surround it.  It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village.  A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her.  Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything in The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston.

Book Trailer Friday

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.  R.S. Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot is interesting, polished, and entirely satisfying!

Learning To Live In The Moment With The Dude

In collaboration with his long time friend, Bernie Glassman, Jeff Bridges presents a whimsical new book with very little text, The Dude and the Zen Master.  Friends who have spent a lifetime discussing Buddhism together, Glassman and Bridges use The Dude, the main character in The Big Lebowski, to get at the essence of the Zen perspective.  A freewheeling dialogue about life and laughter, this book features life lessons for everyone.

Jude Deveraux's Moonlight Trilogy Continues

Jude Deveraux’s bestselling Moonlight trilogy set in Edilean continues with Moonlight Masquerade.  After being jilted, Sophie flees to the place her friend Kim calls heaven on earth. But Sophie’s first taste of Edilean is far from heavenly: after her car breaks down on a country road, she is nearly run over by a speeding car. A small act of revenge brings some satisfaction, and word quickly spreads that Sophie gave the driver, Reede , a dressing down.  But it isn’t the first time Sophie has gone too far for payback; a secret possession she carries with her could shatter her ex-boyfriend’s future. Reede has secrets, too, including a desire to get closer to Sophie. Under the night skies, their masquerade is magic–but will it turn to stardust by the light of day?  Find out by picking up this new romance at your Community Library!

Edgar Award Nominees

If Edgar Allen Poe was still alive, which book would he choose as to receive an Edgar award for best novel?  Here are this year's nominees.  Check one or all of them out at your Community Library!

Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman: Arthur is a has-been or perhaps never was college professor with log dead literary aspirations.  When his oldest friend, successful thriller writer William is lost at sea, Arthur is torn between grief and envy because William not only outshone Arthur professionally but married the woman Arthur loved.  Arthur's decision to reconnect with William's widow sets in motion a shadowy chain of intrigue where no one can be trusted.

The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye: Joining the newly formed NYPD in 1845, Timothy assumes duties near the notorious Five Points slum where in the middle of the night, he hears a little girl's claim of dozens of bodies buried in the forest.

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins: Newly elected Tibbehah County sheriff Quinn Colson investigates an old friend's gun sales when stolen rifles are found in the possession of a Mexican drug gang, a case that is complicated by his discovery of a black market baby adoption ring.

Book to Movie Alert: Warm Bodies

The film adaptation of Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion's funny twist on a classic love story, hits theaters on February 1st.  After a zombie epidemic, R., a highly unusual zombie, encounters Julie, a human survivor, and rescues her from a zombie attack.  Julie sees that R. is different from other zombies and as they struggle to survive, a romantic attraction between them begins to develop, often with comical results.  Will their love transform the other zombies and perhaps the whole lifeless world?  Read the book to find out before you head to the theaters next month!

Brad Meltzer Returns with an Entertaining Thriller

What if the assassination of all four U.S. Presidents who were killed in office was actually part of a large scale sinister conspiracy?  That's the premise of Brad Meltzer's newest book, The Fifth Assassin.  Beecher White, an archivist working at the National Archives who we first met in Meltzer's last novel, The Inner Circle, is back.  When a series of attacks on religious figures around Washington D.C. mirror parts of the previous four presidential assassinations, White must partner with some dangerous company in order to head off the person who could be the fifth assassin?  This clever plot is full of action and intrigue and is perfect for readers looking for a fast paced thriller!

Frat Bros Everywhere Rejoice

Total Frat Move, a leading comedy and entertainment website in the tradition of Tucker Max, has just released a book of the same name.  The book sets out to provide the country with an update on college fraternities with the claim that Greek life today makes "Animal House look like a Pixar movie". Current and former college students alike will find themselves smiling and laughing along with the antics depicted in the book.  This hilarious book will make you wish you were still in college, had done more while you were there, or want to go there right now.

Book Trailer Friday

Looking for a sweeping historical fiction novel?  Give The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas a try!  Set in 1941, it tells the story of newlywed Nerys. who accompanies her husband on a mission to the exotic lakeside city of Srinager, and is swept up in a liaison that completely changes her life.

Empowering Historical Fiction

For much of her life, Anne Morrow lived in the shadow of her ambassador father and vibrant older sister.  When she meets aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1927, she assumes he will pay no attention to her but she is very wrong.  They marry, and though Anne accomplishes many feats, she is always considered to be simply an aviator's wife.  When the initial promise of love and romance wear off, Anne must with deal with heartbreak and hardships.  Melanie Benjamin's The Aviator's Wife, spans the 20th century from the 1920s to the 1960s and includes cameo appearances from Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart. This richly imagined look into the Lindbergh's complicated marriage will delight fans of both historical and domestic fiction.

New Dan Brown Book Announced!

Yesterday Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, announced on the Today Show that his new book, tentatively titled Inferno, will be released on May 14.  The subject of the book, fittingly, is Dante.  Brown stated that the book is set in Europe, and since Dante lived in Florence, there's a good chance some of the story will take place there.  You'll be able to place holds on Brown's new book soon.  In the meantime, in the event you want to get a head start, check out Dante's Divine Comedy, which includes Inferno as well as Purgatorio and Paradiso.

Sonia Sotomayor's Triumph and Tragedy

The first Hispanic and third woman to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has become an American icon. In her new memoir, My Beloved World, she discusses her childhood, career, and the personal pain she has felt at times as well as the sacrifice of some of her dreams.  Perhaps the biggest battle Sotomayor has had to face is against diabetes which she details in depth.  Sotomayor has been a positive influence for years and this candid memoir is likely to make her even more so.

A Story of Remarkable Women

From author Jennifer Chiaverini, best know for her Elm Creek Quilts series, comes an epic historical fiction novel, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, that explores the relationship between the First Lady and a former slave turned seamstress.  The book is based on the true story of Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley who, despite being born into slavery, excelled at reading, writing, and sewing.  After being able to buy her freedom with proceeds from dressmaking, Keckley moved to Washington and became the dressmaker, dresser, hair stylist, and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln.  Their friendship lasted through the Civil War and almost until the end of Mrs. Lincoln's day.  Thoroughly researched with lots of authentic details, this novel brings together the extraordinary story of two remarkable women.

A Story of Friendship and Female Wisdom

As a single architect living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Joey has a life many women might envy. As the novel opens, Joey learns that she will travel to tEngland to oversee her dream project, the renovation of historic Stanway House where J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan. Once in England, life doesn’t seem as rosy. Although Joey reconnects with her oldest friens, she feels like an outsider.  Out for a run one afternoon, Joey stumbles upon the J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society, a group of elderly women who swim in the lake, even in January. This chance encounter opens Joey’s world to new friendships that will change her life.  Fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will especially enjoy Barbara Zitwer's debut novel!

Posthumous Maurice Sendak

A full fifty years after he wrote Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's final story My Brother's Book will be published.  Completed in the months before he died, this book is an elegy to Sendak's brother Jack, whom Sendak credited for his love of drawing. Pairing Sendak's trademark poetry with dramatic artwork, this book will redefine what adult readers expect from Sendak.  My Brother's Book  will be published in February but you can place your holds now!

New Modern Fabulist: The Miniature Wife

Manuel Gonzales is interested in both the most mundane aspects of life and the most fantastical.  His debut collection of stories, The Miniature Wife marries the fantastic with the non-fantastic and explores the places in between.  Gonzales explores themes like disproportionate guilt, the reinvention of self, and the urge to provide for loved ones.  Sad, funny, and strange all at once, this interesting book reads like a modern day fable collection.

Looper Readarounds

Did you love the film Looper?  Do you like your science fiction to kick butt and take names later?  If you answered yes to either question, give one of these books a try!

Neuromancer by William Gibson: This multiple award winner tells the story of Case, is a cyberspy, the best in the business who plays his games close to the edge and double-crosses the wrong people.

The City and the City by China Mielville: When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Borlu.  But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined. 

Romance in the American Gilded Age

The year is 1894.  The place New York City.  Caroline would like nothing more than to join her brother Eddie and his friend Jack on their adventures.  Instead, while they are off travelling around the globe, Caroline's stuck at home frightening off men from a list of potential husbands carefully curated by her mother.  Based on the family from Love in a Nutshell comes the latest from Janet Evanovich and Dorian Kelly, The Husband List.  In this cheerful regency romance, readers will find dresses by Worth, transcontinental voyages, lavish parties, intrigue, and lots and lots of love!

Book Trailer Tuesday

Ocean's Eleven meets Star Wars in Timothy Zahn's latest novel, Star Wars: Scoundrels.  The Death Star has just been destroyed and Han Solo still needs money to pay off the bounty on his head.  Now the perfect opportunity to make that money plus some in the form of a heist has walked into his life. Join Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian on an all new adventure!
The bestselling author of The Girl With The Pearl Earring, Tracey Chevalier, dives into the American past with her latest novel, The Last Runaway.  The year is 1850, and Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker, moves to Ohio only to find herself alienated and alone.  Drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, Honor befriends two women who embody the spirit of resistance.  Eventually Honor must decide whether she can act on what she believes is right no matter what the personal consequences may be.  Fans of historical fiction will love this powerful journey into an iconic part of America's history.

New James Patterson: Private Berlin

Tomorrow marks the release of James Patterson and coauthor Mark Sullivan's latest installment in the Private series, Private Berlin.  Private, the world's most respected investigation firm, has offices staffed with the most advanced agents and cutting edge technology all around the world.  At Private Berlin, Agent Schneider has disappeared after taking a secretive leave of absence.  Digging into Schneider's past, the Private agents discover a terrifying history which may indicate someone very disturbed and depraved is responsible for the disappearance.  This page turner has more twists and action than any of Patterson's previous books and may just be his best yet!

January Must Read: The Truth in Advertising

Finbar Dunley is a corporate ad man who wants his job to mean something but dosen't think it does.  He wants a connection with his family but finds himself estranged.  As you might guess, John Kenney's new novel, The Truth in Advertising, is about the ad world.  This spot-on satire is also a sweet family novel about a hapless guy who finally gets it together (maybe).   Kenney is being likened to Nick Hornby and Amazon has already picked The Truth in Advertising as one of its top picks for January.  Pick up this debut and see why.

How to Pass the Time until W is for Whatever

If you are a fan of Sue Grafton's alphabet series and you just can't stand the wait until the next installment W is for Whatever is released, then you are in luck!  Grafton has just released Kinsey and Me, a collection of short stories.  Fun, well crafted, and surprisingly complex despite their brevity, these stories take inside Kinsey Millhone's world.  What better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series and pass the time until the 23rd installment than picking up Kinsey and Me at your Community Library today?

Guy Reads: Global Weirdness

It's hard to understand global warming as anything other than a political issue but Climate Central makes it completely understandable in Global Weirdness: severe storms, deadly heat waves, relentless drought, rising seas, and the weather of the future.  Helpful and balanced, the book confirms global warming and cooling cycles have been going on for billions of years and the authors predict future climate patterns. This book is excellent for discussion groups, as a young adult title, and for reading while eating fried dumpling soup.

New Margaret Atwood

Inspired by Charles Dickens and other authors of the 19th century, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has decided to publish her new novel Positron, as an online serial.  The book imagines a future where society has solved a major problem, the absence of jobs, by making everyone a part time criminal.  Atwood is in the middle of writing Positron, with the third installment having been published last week.  Fan of Atwood don't have to be worried about her becoming an exclusive online author; she has a new print book in the works.  If you are interested in reading Positron, the book is available on Byliner, a new platform for writers.

Real Life Stories for New Year Inspiration

Honor's Voice by Douglas Wilson: Lincoln has been getting a lot of attention lately but not for his remarkable ability to change careers.  His journey from switch keeper to mill operator to lawyer to President is well documented here.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie: The founder of the company that makes the popular shoes TOMS, explains his One for One corporate mission: for every pair of shoes sold, another is packed and shipped to a child in need, making it one of the most successful philanthropic ventures in the world.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami: The celebrated author of The Windup Chronicle and other books is also an avid long distance runner. Here he outlines his training plan for the New York City Marathon in a memoir that untangles the ties between running and writing.