Join us for a Book Discussion

1984 by George Orwell
The library continues its year long salute to books that have been made into movies with this coming month's book discussion of George Orwell's classic futuristic novel 1984

Written in 1948, 1984 was Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities. War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery: Big Brother is Watching. Was Orwell's prophecy right? 

Read the book (or read it again) and join us at the library for a lively discussion on Monday, August 18th from 2pm - 4pm. To register, call 631-399-1511 ext 240 or simply click here to register yourself.

Note: there are still copies of 1984 available for check-out at the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the library.

If You Like Dystopian Fiction

Can't get enough of dystopian fiction like Veronica Roth's Divergent series or Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games? Try these action-packed novels featuring strong heroines and heroes resisting government control in a dystopian future:

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Pure by Julianna Baggott:
In a post-apocalyptic world, Pressia barely remembers life before the Detonations and at sixteen, the age when all are required to turn themselves over to the militia, she decides to run. Partridge is a "Pure"- one of the few who escaped the apocalypse unmarked and live safe inside the Dome. Believing that his mother is still alive outside the Dome, Partridge risks all by escaping. The day Pressia meets Partridge is the day their worlds begin to shatter all over again. This is the first in the completed Pure trilogy followed by Fuse and Burn.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown:
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet with Darrow (and Reds) nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Sacrificing everything to infiltrate the upper caste system, Darrow is forced to compete for his life and the future of civilization. This is the first installment in a planned trilogy.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta:
After global warming changes the world's geography and its politics, and wars are waged over water, 17-year-old Noria Kaitio becomes a tea master, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets, until her father's death forces her to chose between safety and fighting back.

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead:
Living in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims, Justin March, a man from a near-future world decimated by religious extremists, is invited to join an elite branch of the military by genetically enhanced soldier Mae, with whom he confronts formidable enemies to solve a string of ritual murders. This is the first book in the on-going series Age of X followed by the newly released The Immortal Crown.

2014 Romance Award Winners Announced

This past weekend, Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2014 RITA awards. Here are a few of the winners available at the library:

The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake
Best First Book
Claim Me by J. Kenner
Erotic Romance
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Paranormal Romance
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
Historical Romance
Best first book:
The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake
Summary: Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son died in a tragic accident--and everything fell apart. Divorced and saddled with a hill of bills and a failing ranch, Charla must now cowboy up to put her life back together. JB wants her back. But after so much history and heartbreak, can JB convince Charla to take a risk and give their love a second chance?

Erotic Romance Winner:
Claim Me by J. Kenner
Summary: Billionaire Damien Stark continues his obsessive relationship with Nikki Fairchild, as she tries to discover his darkest secrets and they both confront experiences from their troubled pasts. Second in the Stark trilogy that began with Release Me.

Paramornal Romance Winner:
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Summary: Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object's history and knows that it was named after the Firebrid—the mythical creature from an old Russian fable. Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

Historical Romance Winner:
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
Summary: When her brother gets deep in debt to Temple, a disgraced duke who now owns an exclusive casino, Mara Lowe agrees to come forward and clear Temple, who has been accused of her murder, if he will forgive what her brother owes him. Third in the Rules of Scoundrels series that begins with A Rogue by Any Other Name and One Good Earl Deserves a Lover.

To see the full list of 2014 RITA Award finalists and winners, click here.

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Beatrix Potter, beloved author and illustrator of the Peter Rabbit stories for children, was born today, July 28, 1866.

Beatrix Potter : A Life in Nature by Linda Lear
Peter Rabbit and many other Beatrix Potter characters remain in the hearts of millions. However few know the woman behind the illustrations. Her life, including a romantic relationship with her publisher, Norman Warne, and her significant achievements outside of children's literature remain largely unknown. 

In Linda Lear’s biography Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, we get the life story of this incredible, funny, and independent woman. 

As one of the first female naturalists in the world, Potter brought the beauty and importance of nature back into the imagination. Through her art she sought to encourage conservation and change the world. 

With never before seen illustrations and details, Lear goes beyond our fascination with Potter as a writer/illustrator, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman.

World War I Picks

In honor of this month's 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, we have put together a display on the main floor filled with books (and movies) about this monumental war including:

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War on 1914 by Christopher Clark
Nothing Less than War: a New History of America's Entry into World War I by Justus D. Doenecke
Line of Fire: Women Writers of World War I edited by Margaret R. Higonnet
To End All Wars: A Story of Layalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

The Fateful Alliance: France Russia and the Coming of the First World War by George F. Kennan
A Patriot's Handbook by Caroline Kennedy
A World Undone: the Story of the Great War 1914-1918 by G. J. Meyer
The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin

For more information and books about World War I, stop by the display on our main floor and speak to our reference librarians at the information desk.

Librarian's Picks

Want to read a book specifically recommended by our librarians? Stop by the Librarian's Picks display on the main floor of the library. This month you'll find:

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan: Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting in Oak Park, Illinois, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she grows up that she is not their child, a situation that causes her to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.

In Times of Fading Light by Eugene Ruge
In Times of Fading Light by Eugene Ruge: Visiting the Mexico region where his grandparents lived as exiles, a terminal cancer patient surveys his family's political history, from his grandparents' return to the GDR to help build a socialist state, to his father's decade spent in a gulag for criticizing the Soviet regime, to his son's desire to leave the political struggles of the 20th century in the past.

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer: Ten years after leaving high-power jobs to raise their children, four New York friends enter their forties while struggling with the differences between their past ideals and their present realities, a situation that becomes turbulent when one of them meets a successful working mother of three who seems to have it all.

Grab and Go

Looking for a book to read but only have a minute to spend at the library? Stop by our Impulse Display conveniently located at the entrance to the library right by the Circulation Desk. On display today:

Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke
For All Time by Jude Deveraux
The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

  • Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford: A tale spanning 16 years in Edwardian England finds the centuries-long relationship between the aristocratic Inghams and the Swann family who serves them tested by the outbreak of World War I.
  • Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke: A decade after taking a shot at Bonnie and Clyde during one of their notorious armed robberies, Weldon Holland escapes death during the Battle of the Bulge and marries a beautiful young woman with whom he seeks his fortune along the Texas-Louisiana oil coast.
  • For All Time by Jude Deveraux: When Graydon meets Toby at his brother's wedding, he becomes enthralled with her, despite his destiny to marry a noble woman, and asks her to help him hide on Nantucket away from his regal responsibilities.
  • The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg: FBI agent Kate O'Hare must once again covertly team up with brilliant con man Nicholas Fox to take down Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff who has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian.

Wedding By Design Series

Looking for breezy, fun-filled romance? Try the new Wedding by Design series by Janice Thompson:

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson
Book 1
The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson
Book 2
The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson
Book 3

  • Picture Perfect - (Book 1, 2013) Wedding photographer Hannah McDermott tries to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island's most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella's list of recommended photographers, but what Hannah doesn't count on is falling for the competition, Drew Kincaid.
  • The Icing on the Cake - (Book 2, 2013) Scarlet Lindsey is making a name for herself as the best wedding cake designer in Texas, but will a handsome guy with designs of his own derail her dreams?
  • The Dream Dress - (Book 3, 2014) A seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique in Texas, Gabi Delgado's dreams include becoming a wedding dress designer and meeting the man of her dreams, but the problem is, her prospects are slim in both places, until she meets Jordan Spencer, the editor of Texas Bride magazine.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
In New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell's Landline, Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply -- but that almost seems besides the point now. Maybe that was always besides the point.
Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her -- Neal is always a little upset with Georgie -- but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

True Military Intrigue

Chosen as a July "Pick of the Month" by the folks at Amazon, War of the Whales: a True Story by Joshua Horwitz recounts the true story of  two men who face off against an all-powerful navy—as the fate of the ocean’s most majestic creatures hangs in the balance.
War of the Whales: a True Story by Joshua Horwitz
Crusading attorney Joel Reynolds stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound—and drives whales onto beaches. As Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth.
When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.

Book to Movie Alert!

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in Erika Johansen's debut fantasy novel The Queen of the Tearling.
Coming out of exile to ascend her rightful throne, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, with a cadre of soldiers and the magical Tearling sapphire to protect her, makes a daring decision that evokes the wrath of the evil Red Witch, forcing her to embark on a quest to save her kingdom and fulfill her destiny.
"In an impressive start to a series, Johansen expertly incorporates magic necklaces, political intrigue, questions of honor, well-drawn characters, and a bit of mystery into a compelling and empowering story." (Booklist Reviews - Starred Review)
Variety reported last year that Warner Brothers has already purchased the rights to the movie adaptation of this book starring Emma Watson and produced by Harry Potter producer David Heyman. (Read the article here.)

Need Another Beach Read?

Looking for another beach read? Stop by our display on the lower level of the library for some quick picks including:

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: Two women from very different families become inseparable companions during summers on Martha's Vineyard during their coming-of-age years, forging the bonds of a lifelong friendship that weathers growing up, marriage, children, careers, and betrayal.

Something Borrowed by Emily Griffen
Something Borrowed by Emily Griffen: Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when, after too many drinks, she ends up in bed with her best friend's fiancé. Although determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel realizes she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the wedding nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness.

Ruby by Anne Hood
Ruby by Anne Hood: Following the tragic death of her husband, Olivia, a grieving New York City milliner, desperately struggles to rebuild her life, until she meets Ruby, a young, pregnant delinquent abandoned by her family, who takes up residence in Olivia's Rhode Island beach house. An unlikely friendship is forged as Olivia nurtures Ruby and her unborn child and experiences the daily challenges presented by a wayward teen, who may or may not teach Olivia how to live again.

Legal Historical Fiction

The Advocate by Randy Singer
The Advocate by Randy Singer: At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths, Roman crucifixion. Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Neros deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

"Veteran lawyer-author Singer (The Last Plea Bargain) uses the idea advanced elsewhere that the Bible books Luke and Acts were written as legal briefs to defend the Apostle Paul against the Roman emperor Nero. . .Cross James Michener's great historical fiction with a John Grisham legal thriller, and you've got this epic classic." (Publishers Weekly Reviews)

Summer Love

Check out these new romances available at the library:

The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley
The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelyn Foley:
Nick, Lord Forrester, has a reputation that is legendary. But when his rule-breaking ways land him in a Scottish dungeon, he's left there to rot, until a mysterious lady offers him a way out. All he must do is risk his neck on the mission she proposes—and obey her every command.  Virginia, Lady Burke, is well aware that the powerful ex-spy will try to take command of their quest, but it's her job to keep him under control. Yet how can she keep this untamable scoundrel under her thumb when all she really wants is to unleash the smoldering passion between them? (An Inferno Club novel)

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Kate Ganshert
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert:
As a model of ten years, Ivy Clark has learned a hard truth about the fashion industry—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving back home to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line. If only her future didn’t rest in the hands of photographer Davis Knight, who somehow sees through the façade Ivy works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth.

Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway
Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway:
A new and comical contemporary take on the perennial Jane Austen classic, Emma! The sudden death of her father brings Caroline Ashley back to home to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging estate. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of Brooks' family life and he is perfectly happy keeping Caroline as just a friend . . .until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back?

Wives of Los Alamos - Debut Novel not to be Missed

Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit
TaraShea Nesbit's The Wives of Los Alamos is an emotionally charged debut told in the collective voices of the wives of the team of scientists who created the atom bomb that traces their struggles to adapt and raise children in a rugged military town where everything their husbands are doing is an intense secret.

Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery.

The end of the war would bring even bigger challenges, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.

"That this novel about the lives of women whose husbands worked at Los Alamos during WWII achieves with no real plot and no real main character is astounding. . . Amazingly, the wives emerge with strong, individual personalities, and the reader feels immersed in a very real world. . ." (Booklist Review - Starred review)

New Series by Patrick Lee

Runner by Patrick LeeRunner, a first installment in a new series by Patrick Lee, finds retired Special Forces operative Sam Dryden saving the life of an 11-year-old girl with no memory of her past who possesses a dangerous skill that is highly sought by violent government forces.

Sam Dryden lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

"Thriller fans, especially those drawn to conspiracies and espionage, will enjoy the cutting-edge weapons development, the anxiety-ridden showdown between cunning and technology, and the compellingly connected characters." (Booklist Starred Review)

Don't Miss These New Legal Thrillers

The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison
Cried for No One by Hubert Crouch
Indefensible by Lee Goodman

The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison: 
When a girl with Down syndrome is sexually assaulted in a Lusaka slum, human rights lawyer Zoe Fleming and Zambian police officer Joseph Zabuta conduct an investigation that reveals a link between the victim and a powerful local family.

Cried for No One by Hubert Crouch
Alexis Stone, a stunningly beautiful University of Texas co-ed with a troubled past, is found dead in her apartment after a night of hard partying, the victim of a suspected drug overdose. Her body is buried at the Caring Oaks Cemetery in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, and later found beneath an inverted crucifix on the altar of a rural church desecrated by satanic markings. Alexis' distraught parents want revenge for what happened to their only daughter and turn to flamboyant Fort Worth trial lawyer, Cal Connors, to get it

Indefensible by Lee Goodman
When a birdwatcher stumbles on a crime in the woods, federal prosecutor Nick Davis uncovers a high-stakes plot involving small-time drug dealers, petty thieves, domestic abuse perpetrators, child pornographers and the highest offices of the legal system.

The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan
Tracy Brogan brings readers to Bell Harbor in her new contemporary romance novel The Best Medicine.

Everyone in Bell Harbor thinks career-minded plastic surgeon Evelyn Rhoades needs a husband. Everyone, that is, except for Evelyn…sort of. Even if she did want a husband (which she doesn’t…most of the time), she’d never let something as intangible as fate determine who she marries. No, if she’s going to find someone to spend her life with, she’ll do it scientifically: with a carefully crafted list of criteria and an Internet dating site.

But when intoxicated, law-breaking Tyler Connelly crashes into her life by way of a stolen Jet Ski, unruly emotions defy common sense. Sure, he’s sexy, charming, and determined to win Evelyn’s affection, but all evidence points to him being the worst possible choice. He’s too young for her. Too irresponsible. Too underemployed. And, oh yeah, he’s her patient.

But Tyler knows firsthand how the best-laid plans can crumble under the weight of destiny. Now all he needs to do is to teach Evelyn that, in matters of the heart, love often supersedes logic.

Spy Fiction

Looking for a thrilling spy or espionage story? Check out one of these new titles available at the library:

Night Heron by Adam Brooks
Jack of Spies by David Downing
Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst

  • Night Heron by Adam Brooks: Former British spy Peanut reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via crusading journalist Philip Mangan, offering military secrets in return for extraction from Beijing.
  • Jack of Spies by David Downing: Visiting the great cities of the world while secretly working as a spy, Scottish car salesman Jack McColl seeks to prove himself on the eve of World War I only to encounter deadly adversaries and a suffragette journalist whose Irish-American family is embroiled in a movement Jack's bosses are fighting.
  • Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst: Failing to secure American support for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War in 1938, a minor Spanish noble travels to Paris, where he promotes the Republic cause before undertaking a mission to infiltrate the Spanish government.

Family Life

Hailed as a "supreme storyteller" (Philadelphia Inquirer) for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction (New York Times), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice "as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky" (The Nation). In his highly anticipated second novel, Family Life, he delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision.

Family Life by Akhil Sharma
We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America.

America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them.

Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Ajay, the family’s younger son, prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family’s new life. Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.