Staff Choices

Posted by jfreier on 03/20/16
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 A casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry and a mysterious man named Jack A.K.A. the ghostman is called in to clean up the mess. Jack or who ever he really is must fulfill a favor from his handler due to a mess up in Kuala Lumpur 5 years earlier.
Jack uses his many skills to find out what happened and who set up who and using his ability to remain off the grid and virtually invisble cleans up the mess.
This is Roger Hobbs debut novel and is a great thriller and very different because of the Ghostman's skill set. he has a new book called Vanishing Games.
Posted by lsears on 03/19/16
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Zee and Doug are a married couple who move into Zee’s wealthy mother’s carriage house and must share quarters with Zee’s stepfather’s unemployed son, Case, and his wife, Miriam. Several things take place at the same time. Zee is angling to get her husband a job at the university where she works and tries to discredit one her colleagues. Doug is trying to write a monograph about his favorite poet who once visited this same property where Doug now lives when it was an artist’s colony decades ago but is secretly writing for a popular tween girls’ book series. Doug and Miriam plot to get into the attic of the main house. Unusual bad luck happens to Case and is it related to the backstory of the house being haunted by one of its original owners?
Working backward in time from 1999 to 1955 to 1929 to 1900, each time frame distinctly introduces us to new characters and a different tone to the story.  As the story goes back in time, the significance of the characters and seemingly mundane objects becomes clear. However, just like in real life, the people in the present never really know all that happened in the past. There are several ah-ha moments that I really enjoyed discovering, no spoilers here, even though I sometimes needed to reread certain sections to really understand what I had just read.
Be prepared to work hard to keep track of this story and the details will be revealed. The story contains elements of mystery, some lighthearted humor, has a complex way of building on the story and is richly detailed.

Rebecca Makkai is a local author who has written novels and short stories. She will visit the library on April 26 from 7-8:30pm for an author panel discussion.


Posted by MammarappallilBoys. on 03/12/16
Do you plan to shoot and edit a video, record music, or do some graphic design?
Stop by at the Tech Help Desk and ask for equipment newly available for checkout outside the library, such as the Green Screen, HD Camcorder, Zoom H4N Recorder, Wacom Tablet, Recording Kits and more...
Posted by bweiner on 02/14/16
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The Daughters by Adrienne Celt explores the complex dynamic between mothers and daughters in a dramatic, unflinching and uncompromising way. The maternal presence in this story is represented by four successive generations in one family, and their fierce love mixed with struggles for power is a familiar scenario.

Woven into the fabric of this story are bits of Polish mythology, and this influences the fates of the women involved. Lulu is an opera singer who has trouble with her voice following the difficult birth of her daughter, an event that has extracted a personal cost to her family. When a daughter is born, someone must be held accountable…

Adrienne Celt does a magnificent job creating mood and atmosphere in this story. You can feel the darkness descend and the moments of tension between the women are tangible. The passion of these mothers is transcendent, and to be in their inner circle is fascinating. As an added bonus, most of the action takes place in Chicago. This is a very interesting read, and a wonderful exploration of the powers of motherhood.
Posted by lsears on 02/09/16
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Lily and Ted meet in a London airport bar during a flight delay. Some small talk, an attraction, too many gin and tonics, too many personal details shared and the conversation takes a dark turn. Ted reveals that his wife is involved with another man so his emotions are highly charged and he is feeling vengeful. Lily seems reasonable in a cold, calculating way and encourages him to act on his wronged point of view. They make plans to meet in a few days’ time. If neither shows up, no harm was done. Except that they do meet and make a plan for murder.
These characters play by a different set of self-serving rules; morality is not a characteristic they possess. And yet I wanted to find out what happens next and enjoyed being surprised by the plot twists. Others may be able to anticipate them but I did not see them coming. Will they get away with murder? Will anyone be punished? What kind of person would dare to make a determination that someone is “the kind worth killing”?

The beginning of this story is reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and, in a nod to this author, Lily is reading one of her novels when she meets Ted. Readers who enjoy suspenseful novels with plenty of twists and turns might like to read Peter Swanson’s novel The Kind Worth Killing.

Posted by meyoung on 02/05/16
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Ever since I was young(er), I've loved suspense stories. I've loved the twisted, psychological thrill of basically anything from Criminal Minds to reading about the Stanford Prison Experiment (which is now a movie that I highly recommend). It's no surprise that Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Haeberlin, a book about a lone survivor of a serial killer caught my eye.
16-year-old Tessa Cartwright is found among the remains of other women. She has very little memory of how she got to be buried alive, let alone about the circumstances leading up to this finale. Tessa Cartwright is the sole survivor of the Black-Eyed Susans, rightly named due to the array of black-eyed susans around the grave. Her testimony is what lands a man in jail and sentenced to death.
Almost 20 years later, with the death clock looming, Tessa isn’t so sure the right man is sitting in the cell. After finding the infamous flowers planted beneath her bedroom window, she has her doubts. We soon see that Tessa has a lot more secrets than she's letting on.
Julia Haeberlin takes us through the psychological journey in two different timelines. We follow the therapy and development of young Tessa, as well as the adult Tessa. The slow-building tension is beautifully done and left me falling off the edge of my seat. While some may compare this to Gillian Flynn, Haeberlin is in a league of her own – excellently executed. Once you notice things don’t quite add up, this book is hard to put down.
Fiction, Suspense
Posted by bweiner on 01/27/16
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If you are looking for heaps of hilarity in your life, something guaranteed to make you chuckle, or even better, make you laugh till the tears come down, look no further. Check out the hysterical, frenetic world of bestselling author Jenny Lawson, as she describes in uproarious detail, her struggles with mental illness in 2015’s, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.

Whoa, wait, mental illness? Are we allowed to laugh at that? According to Jenny Lawson we are! She shares her struggles and permits herself to be gloriously and furiously happy, to ride the tide of joy when she can, knowing the darkness is not always that far behind.

This audiobook caught my eye because of its riotous cover, which Jenny will explain in detail. Her goofy voice, sincere delivery, captivating stories and fresh approach to living with mental illness make this a superb selection.
Posted by jfreier on 01/18/16
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The true story of Bill Browder and his rise to financial success and his eventual battle with Putin and the Russian oligarchs. Browder starts with his upbringing, his grandfather was twice a nominee for president of the American communist party and grew up in a very liberal family. Bill then went to boarding school in Colorado and began his his rebellious streak against his family by embracing capitalism.
Browder continues his education with a B.A. from U of Chicago and M.B.A. from Stanford and starts his career with a successful stint at Saloman Brothers bank being one of the first to invest in eastern Europe with some success. He then started
Hermitage Capital with help from billionaire Edmond Safra, they mad a fortune investing in oil after the fall of the Soviet Union and thought it would continue when Putin became president. Putin and the Russian oligarchs began seizing companies and the downfall of Hermitage began. Browder was expelled from Russia, had his assets seized and his lawyer arrested and beaten to death.
Browder then started a campaign against the Russian corruption that continues to this day. The book is fascinating and reads like a fiction thriller.
Posted by lsears on 01/16/16
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Author George Hodgman moved back home to tiny Paris, Missouri, in 2011 where he grew up as an only child to care for his 90-year-old widowed mother, Betty. He describes himself as an unlikely guardian, that his and Betty’s lives were lived on different planets.  Her independence is now at stake, her home. She struggles against needing assistance and George finds that he cannot bring himself to take her away from the house that his father built. So he stays.
So much goes on in any given day’s routine. Betty still plays bridge with her friends and plays the piano at church but irrational arguments erupt over shoes and forgetfulness becomes more frequent. George finds humor is often the best way to deal with this and the role reversal of a child now caring for a parent.
After graduating college, George lived a lifestyle that he knew his parents could not understand. His homosexuality was an issue they avoided because of the way they had been raised to think about people like him. In this story, there is a great deal of contemplation about life, memories, how events turned out, how people treat each other, and how you can trip yourself up and get into trouble – recovery hurts. Families are complex, living things that constantly change but if done right, one constant is love and that is what Betty gave him.
Many readers will be able to relate to the issues George and his mother face in this memoir written with kindness and candor. Other readers may find some of the topics eye-opening as told from George’s point of view.
Posted by bpardue on 01/06/16
Pianist Paul Bley, 83, passed away this week. He leaves behind a jazz legacy of boundless progression and experimentation. After a fairly straightforward start to his recording career in 1953, he soon headed a trio that featured up-and-coming free jazz pioneers Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. In the 1960s, he was one of the first jazz musicians to use synthesizers. Later, he would champion such new artists as Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny. By the end of his career, he had over 150 albums to his name. There are numerous Bley albums available on Hoopla Digital. 
Here is an NPR report on Bley from 1/6/16:
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