Book Review: 'In Paradise' by Peter Matthiessen

In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
From Peter Mattheissen, two-time National Book Award winning author of The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country, comes In Paradise, a powerful novel about American scholar and "Holocaust authority", Clements Olin, and his spiritual retreat at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Fully immersed in trying to make sense of the horrors that took place at the camp, while eating and sleeping in the Nazi officer's quarters, Olin begins researching his own past and has to deal with a long hidden secret his family has suppressed. 

In Paradise received a starred review from Booklist: "Matthiessen expertly raises the challenges and the difficulties inherent in addressing this subject matter, proving, as the muralist Malan says, that the creation of art "is the only path that might lead toward the apprehension of that ultimate evil . . . that the only way to understand such evil is to reimagine it.""

"This powerful, necessary novel is hard to take, yet impossible to turn away from. It doesn’t shy away from questioning the depths of human depravity, nor is it ashamed to admit that there are no real answers." - Book Page Reviews

After Five Years, Penn Cage Returns!

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
#1 New York Times bestselling author, Greg Iles, returns with his most anticipated novel yet (and his first in five years!)—Natchez Burning—the first installment in an epic trilogy that interweaves the past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage.

Natchez Burning received a starred review from Booklist: "it's been half a decade since Iles' last Penn Cage novel, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait! Penn, still getting his feet under him after being elected mayor of Natchez, Mississippi, is shocked to learn that his father, Dr. Tom Cage, is about to be charged with murder in the death of a local woman, a nurse who worked with Dr. Cage back in the 1960s. Stymied by his father's refusal to discuss the case, Penn digs into the past to uncover the truth and discovers long-buried secrets about his community and his own family."

Looking for more books featuring Southern lawyer, Penn Cage? They are listed below and are all available at the Community Library!

The Quiet Game by Greg Iles
1. The Quiet Game (1999) 

Turning Angel by Greg Iles
2. Turning Angel (2006)

The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles
3. Devil's Punchbowl (2009)

Book Review: New 'Gilded Newport Mystery' Series

Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell
The first book in Alyssa Maxwell's new Gilded Newport Mystery series, Murder at the Breakerstakes place in Newport, Rhode Island. The story begins at a lavish affair at the Vanderbilt's mansion, the Breakers. The party turns from lavish to gruesome when a dead body falls from a balcony. Determined to get to the bottom of the murder when her brother becomes a suspect, Emma Cross, half-Vanderbilt and half-commoner, tracks the killer among the rich and famous of Newport.

"Maxwell's portrait of Gilded Age mores, with a little leeway for romantic attachments, provides an opportunity for readers to consider how wealth and status can be as restrictive as it is empowering. This is a promising start to an engaging mystery series filled with smart observations." - Library Journal Reviews

100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime - Cast Your Vote Today!

Are you into mystery and thriller books? Itching for a good read with plenty of murder, espionage, and intrigue? New to the genre and want to start by reading the the best books? The editors at Amazon have complied a list of 100 Mysteries and Thrillers to read in a lifetime, and are asking readers to hop over to Goodreads and vote for the books that you would put at the top of your bucket list of books to read. Cast your vote today! 

In the meantime, while we wait for the winners to be announced, here are several new mysteries that you can find at the Community Library!

I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

Overwatch by Marc Guggenheim

Book Summaries (from left to right): 

I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark: TV producer and single mother, Laurie Moran, starts filming a new series in which four women involved in an unsolved murder reunite to recreate the scene. Unbeknownst to them another person involved shows up, the real killer. 

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline: After a horrific car accident, Jake Whitmore makes a quick decision that saves his son from criminal punishment, but spirals them both into a world of lies ans deception.

Overwatch by Marc Guggenheim: Young attorney, Alex Garnett becomes targeted in a series of dangerous events after his father helps him get a job at the CIA. Alex enlists a hacker to help him unearth a conspiracy that has been covered up for ages.

Book to Movie Alert: 'If I Stay' by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The critically acclaimed, best selling novel If I Stay by Gayle Forman (author of Where She Went, Just One Day and Just One Year) is being turned into a major motion picture!

Summary: Seventeen ­year-old Mia is facing the hardest decision of her life so far: whether she should pursue her musical dreams at Julliard or find a way to be with Adam, the love of her life. All of this becomes irrelevant as she watches her own body being taken from the wreck of a car accident that she was in with her family. Mia's family has died and she must make the ultimate decision, should she stay...or should she go. If I Stay is a moving story that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

Starring: ChloĆ« Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, and Jamie Blackley 

Anticipated Release Date: August 22, 2014

Check out the official movie trailer below and don't forget to read the book before you see the movie!

Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon

The Making of a Poem : A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms

A poem in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day...enjoy!

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving   
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing   
as a woman takes up her needles   
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   
Let the wind die down. Let the shed   
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   
in the oats, to air in the lung   
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t   
be afraid. God does not leave us   
comfortless, so let evening come.

Jane Kenyon, “Let Evening Come” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by the Estate of
Jane Kenyon. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota,

Source: Let Evening Come: Poems (Graywolf Press, 1990)

Click here for more information on Poem in Your Pocket Day. 

Visit the Community Library for more books on poetry!

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the air and that means it's time for gardening, barbecuing, outdoor picnics, golf and baseball! Check out the display on the main floor of the library for books on these great outdoor activities!

Pinstripe Empire by Marty Appel

Living in the Garden by P. Allen Smith

How to Play Better Golf

Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm

The New Grilling Book by Better Homes & Gardens

Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life

In Honor of Earth Day, Check Out Our Spotlight on Sustainability!

Today is Earth Day

Go green and check out the Community Library's books on Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability - below is just a sample of the many books we have available. 

Poison Spring by E.G. Vallianatos

Last Stand by Todd Wilkinson

A Climate of Crisis by Patrick Allitt

Toxin Toxout by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith

Book Summaries (from left to right):

Poison Spring by E.G. Vallianatos: this book gives an insider's account on how political pressure and corporate threats have weakened the Environmental Protection Agency, leading to devastating effects on public safety and the environment.

Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet by Todd Wilkinson: Ted Turner, entrepreneur and media mogul, has another interest that many may not know about: environmentalist. The Last Stand asks the reader to "consider another way of thinking about the environment, our obligations to help others in need, and the grave challenges threatening the survival of civilization." (Publishers Summary)

A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism by Patrick Allitt: Allitt aims to show, by going through the history of the environmental movement in America, that although our environment is far from perfect, we are not in as dire a situation as some would like us to believe.

Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith: Lourie and Smith, two of North America's leading environmental activists, give practical and sometimes surprising advice for removing toxic chemicals from our bodies and homes. 

Click here for more information on Earth Day 2014.

Calling All Aunt Dimity and Cozy Mystery Fans!

Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton
Aunt Dimity, cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth, is back in her nineteenth adventure - Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well.

Jack McBride, a handsome young Australian is in the village of Finch to tie up the loose ends of his late uncle's affairs. Lori has volunteered to help Jack clear out his uncle's overgrown garden, never expecting to find an old magical wishing well that actually grants wishes. Word spreads among the villagers and masses of people show up to make wishes of their own. But as more and more wishes are made, the village is thrown into chaos and its residents learn that someone's wish may also be another person's nightmare. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori resolves to find out what is really going on in Finch and maybe even more important, who is Jack Bride? Is he for real, or is he somehow tricking the people of Finch? 

Looking for more books in the Aunt Dimity series? Here they are, in chronological order from oldest to newest:

Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton
Released: Nov 1992

Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton
Released: Nov 1994

Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton
Released: Oct 1996

Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton
Released: Mar 1998

Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton
Released: Oct 1999

Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton
Released: Oct 2000

Aunt Dimity: Detective by Nancy Atherton
Released: Oct 2001

Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2003

Aunt Dimity, Snowbound by Nancy Atherton
Released: Jan 2004

Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin by Nancy Atherton
Released: Jan 2005

Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2006

Aunt Dimity Goes West by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2007

Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter by Nancy Atherton
Released: Jan 2008

Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2009

Aunt Dimity Down Under by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2010

Aunt Dimity and the Frozen Tree by Nancy Atherton
Released: Feb 2011

Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton
Released: April 2012

Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton
Released: April 2013

Book Review: 'The Midnight Witch' by Paula Brackston

The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston
"Midnight is the most bewitching hour of them all…
From Paula Brackston, the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter and The Winter Witch, comes a magical tale that is as dark as it is enchanting. Set in high society Edwardian England, The Midnight Witch is the story of a young witch who faces the choice between love and loyalty to her coven…" (Provided by Publisher)

Beautiful, young Lady Lilith Montgomery is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. When her father dies, her drug addict brother Freddie takes over the Duke title, but it is Lilith (who has been instructed in the art of necromancy) who takes on her father's role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven.

"Depicting a time of great social change allows Brackston (The Witch's Daughter) to create a pleasing character arc for Lilith, who seems of her time but still willing to defy convention to achieve happiness. There are balls and gowns as well as slums and opium dens, all painting a picture of a lost age, with just enough magic to keep things exciting for fantasy fans." (Library Journal Reviews)

Looking for Paula Brackston's earlier books? You can find them at the Community Library!

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

The follow-up to The Witch's Daughter finds Morgana, a mute fledgling witch married to a kind farmer,and living in the far off hills for her protection. Before long she is targeted by local townspeople who are being manipulated by a murderous dark force that compels Morgana to harness her powers.
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston

After witnessing her witch mother's death in the spring of 1628, Bess turns to secluded Warlock Gideon for protection. Her master teachers her formidable powers including immortality, skills she begins teaching to a new apprentice centuries later. When Warlock Gideon finds out, he insists on payment for saving her life.

(Wo)man's Best Friend

Decoding Your Dog edited by Debra F. Horwitz and John Ciribassi with Steve Dale
Most of us dog lovers consider our pet a member of the family. However, when our dogs don't get the guidance and direction they need, it can lead to uncontrollable bad behaviors that can make us feel that we have no choice but to drop the dog off at a shelter or rescue. Decoding Your Dog was written by a team of top researchers, scientists and veterinarians with the hope of explaining to the reader why our dogs do what they do.

Decoding Your Dog received a starred review from Booklist: "the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is an organization of veterinarians with advanced training and experience in the field of applied animal behavior. More than 90 percent of pet owners feel that their dog is part of the family so the need for good communication between dog and owner becomes obvious if that familial relationship is to be positive for both species. Behavior problems in pets can erode that relationship, and without successful training or treatment, the result may be the loss of the dog to a shelter or to euthanasia...libraries and dog owners may have found the holy grail with this title."

Celebrate Teen Literature Day!

Today is Celebrate Teen Literature Day!

As outlined on the American Library Association (ALA) website, Celebrate Teen Literature Day was first celebrated in 2007 by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, a division of ALA) under its original name, Support Teen Literature Day. The day is intended to raise awareness about the "vibrant" and "growing" young adult genre; these books are enjoyed not only by teens, but by many adults too! 

Celebrate this special day by checking out a teen book from the Community Library today!

This Star Won't Go Out by Easther Earl

Heart Beat by Elizabeth Scott

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

Book Summaries (from left to right)

Esther Grace Earl died of cancer in 2010, at age sixteen. This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl (with Lori and Wayne Earl) is a collection of her journals, letters and sketches. The book also includes photographs and essays by family and friends that help tell Esther's story.

Emma's stepfather is keeping her mother's body alive, even though she has passed away, because she is pregnant in Heart Beat by Elizabeth Scott. Emma find herself connecting with a juvenile delinquent, Caleb.

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock is narrated in turns by three separate voices - Claire and Max, two seventeen year old children, and a twenty-one-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, BarkleyClaire has a complicated home life and Max's parents are too busy with their own lives to take notice of his pain.

Click here for more information on Celebrate Teen Literature Day.

Book to Movie Alert - 'Heaven Is For Real'

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
The book Heaven is for Real: a little boy's astounding story of his trip to heaven and back by Todd Burpo is releasing as a major motion picture today, April 16th. 

Summary: Guaranteeing to change forever the way you think about eternity, Heaven is for Real is  the story of young Colton Burpo and how he survived an emergency appendectomy. Of course, Colton's family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival, however, they never expected the story that would emerge in the aftermath; the story that detailed their son's trip to heaven and back.  

Starring: Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly

View the official movie trailer below.

2014 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

The 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winners were announced yesterday (April 14, 2014) at Columbia University in NYC. The book winners in the fiction, history, poetry, biography and general nonfiction categories are listed below - congrats to all!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Internal Enemy by Alan Taylor

3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

Toms River by Dan Fagin

Category: Fiction
Title/Author: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Summary: "Young Theo survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, he lives with a friend's family in New York, where his obsession with a small painting that reminds him of his mother leads him to the art underworld." - Library Journal Reviews

Category: History
Summary: "Drawn from new sources, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian presents a gripping narrative that recreates the events that inspired hundreds of slaves to pressure British admirals into becoming liberators by using their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war." - Provided by Publisher

Category: Poetry
Title/Author: 3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri
Summary: "This new collection of poetry from the author of Wild Kingdom and The Long Meadow ponders the complex divisions of modern life - an errant history, an uncertain future and a present condition of wanting to outthink time."  Provided by Publisher

Category: Biography
Title/Author: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall
Summary: "This intimate portrait of Thoreau's editor and Emerson's friend, who was also a daring war correspondent and a crusader for women's rights brings to life this American heroine's passion for her life's work, which was eclipsed by tragedy and scandal after her death at the age of 40." Provided by Publisher

Category: General Nonfiction
Title/Author: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin
Summary: "Recounts the decades-long saga of the New Jersey seaside town plagued by childhood cancers caused by air and water pollution due to the indiscriminate dumping of toxic chemicals."  Provided by Publisher

Click here for more information on current and past Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as nominated finalists.