Staff Choices

Posted by jfreier on 08/15/11
cover image
Join Radar Hoverlander and his girlfriend Allie Quinn as they start their normal life in Santa Fe after a life as con artists. Radar and Allie along with their hapless friend Vic Mirplo try to begin a quiet life in Santa Fe after their last con net them over a million dollars. The idea of retiring from conning is easier than it sounds, when Radar is stalked by a large woman who turns out to be his Father a legendary grifter who was never there for him but now needs his help. Radar and Allie and Vic head to Las Vega s to save dear old Dad and the scams begin. A funny and wild ride, I think fans of "Carl Hiaasen", "Tim Dorsey" and "Elmore Leonard" would enjoy this book, I would read his first book "California Roll' first as this is a sequel.
Posted by mingh on 08/15/11
cover image
Dana Yarbro knows how to keep secrets. From the time she was born she was schooled by her Mother and Father that she is not to let people know about her homelife. She is the secret daughter of a married man. Even though her Mother made her Father cross the line into Alabama to marry her--they couldn't marry in Georgia because he was already married--Dana knew that she was illegitimate, no matter what her parents said. Even more troubling is that her Father has a daughter, Chaurisse, the same age as Dana.
The first half of the book is told from Dana's viewpoint up until her teens. Because they both live in the same part of Atlanta, the daughters apply to the same schools. But it is the legitimate daughter who gets all of the perks. For instance, Dana loves science and her teachers suggest she apply to the science magnet school to get the advanced instruction that will help her get into medical school when she grows up. But Chaurisse has also applied. So their Father asks Dana to withdraw her application. This continues to happen throughout Dana's life and it embitters her and her Mother.
The second half of the book is told from the viewpoint of Chaurisse, her Father's legitimate daughter, who is only a few months older than Dana. All of the lies that Dana's parents have told her force her into learning more about this other daughter. Her Mother has told her that Chaurisse is mentally a little slow, she is not attractive, and she will never do anything with her life. Dana needs to find out if that is true. But as Chaurisse tells her story, Dana learns its nothing like what she has been told both good and bad.
This is the story of family secrets and the ruinous effect on the children of having to keep these secrets. The story moves along at a fairly quick pace. The development of the characters, especially the daughters, is very good. You will know them and feel for the women they become.
Posted by cclapper on 08/14/11
cover image
The Outer Banks  -- 1813 and Almost Today:  Raging storm at sea; a ship misled by pirates and brigands founders in the islands off the Carolinas.  Crew and passengers ruthlessly murdered, all but one who seems touched by madness, clutching a portrait.  Condemned to life on the island, scrabbling to survive, she is secretly Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Aaron Burr and wife to the Governor of South Carolina.  Her life depends upon the help of others.   Forward through time- to the days of her great-great-great grandchildren struggling through their own isolated island lives.
Island atmosphere and the shadows of slavery, past lives, and personal tradition flow like wind through this tale.  Strong characters, unusual settings and actions: a good selection for a book discussion group or personal reading.  Recommended by Nancy Pearl, superstar Librarian and frequent NPR contributor.  I was struck by this story.  There are depths to consider here.  It's something to talk about with friends.
Posted by mingh on 08/13/11
cover image
Bed is the story of two brothers growing up in England. The oldest brother, Malcolm, takes to his bed at the age of 25 and allows himself to grow to morbidly obese proportions from being overfed by their mother. The youngest brother tells the story. It is hard not to focus on the oldest brother's decision. But Bed is really a story of what love means.
Late in the novel, Mal tells his brother that love is a continuum with a romantic giving end and an opposite end of destruction. The youngest brother is deeply in love with a woman, Lou, who can only think of Mal. She sees how her father is being destroyed by her mother's lack of love. Lou can't see how the youngest brother can help her.  The younger brother watches his family decline until he is finally able to escape to America with Lou. They leave as friends but soon become much closer.
 After many years, he returns to find that his brother has grown so large, 1300+ pounds, that his skin has become enmeshed with the linen of the mattress. Mal's body has become part bed and the bed a part of his body. He finds his mother happy to have someone to take care of and his father engaged in working on a contraption that will allow Mal to leave the house.
This book is dark and filled with depression although not in itself depressing. You will keep reading to find out if this growing horror of a situation will resolve itself. This book will make you think long after it is finished. What is love? And what does it mean to sacrifice?
British, Fiction
Posted by Auntie Anne. on 08/11/11
cover image
“War happens to people, one by one.  That is really all I have to say, and it seems to me I have been saying it forever.”   - Martha Gellhorn, The Face of War  
In war-torn Europe of 1940, Frankie Bard, an American broadcast reporter, delivers intense person commentary on the London blitz and the forced evacuation of the Jews elsewhere in Europe.  In Franklin, Mass., on Cape Cod, newlywed and newly pregnant Emma Trask anxiously awaits the return of her husband, a volunteer doctor stationed in London.  Iris James, the single, 40-year-old new postmistress of Franklin, feels an immense responsibility in holding the town’s secrets in her bags of mail.  Sarah Blake, the author of The Postmistress expertly weaves together the lives of these three very different women who live in two very different worlds.  Frankie’s world is one of devastation, destruction and violence.  For Emma and Iris, small-town America is home where its citizens go about their ordinary lives with their heads buried in the sand.  As the United States reluctantly edges closer to getting actively involved in this horrible war, the entire country listens to the accounts of Frankie in disbelief, trepidation and horror.  The United States at this time in history was trying hard to convince itself that the war in Europe would not touch them.  But through the eyes of Frankie, Emma and Iris, the reader sees the tragedies of war that indiscriminately touched the lives of everyone.

This is a very powerful book, written about a very difficult subject in a dreadful time in our nation’s history.  But I guarantee that once you pick it and start reading, you won’t be able to put it down!  You will care very deeply about the fates of these three women. 
Posted by Uncle Will on 08/08/11
cover image
Why is Sweden suddenly emerging as the forerunner in publishing suspense novels?  Is it the lack of a sufficient satellite signal sent to Swedish television sets?  Could it be that during the cold season, darkness dominates by mid afternoon?   
This dark first novel by husband and wife team, Lars Kepler, demands the international press that preceded it.  A family is sadistically slaughtered.  One of the victims, a teenage son, survives.  His older sister might be the perpetrator or possibly the next casualty.  A highly successful police investigator demands the case, and enlists the services of a doctor who at one time specialized in the use of  group hypnosis to clinically treat his patients. 
The hypnotist, Dr. Erik Maria Bark, promised, ten years in the past, never again to apply his craft, ever since a former patient unjustly accused him of malpractice.   Forced to return his grant money and expelled from his high class hospital role, Bark turns to swallowing synthetics to soothe his humiliation.   This drug addiction leads to a sour marriage.  His only son is born with a blood disorder that adds to the physician's guilt.
This book makes the late Stieg Larsson appear to have created his craft using crayons.  This book is suspenseful and sophisticated.   It examines the complexities of relationships in all types of groups, be it family, work or other.  It not only points to their pitfalls, but at the same time proves promise on the horizon.
Posted by Ultra Violet on 08/08/11
cover image
At her full adult height Lavinia Warren Bump was 2 feet, 8 inches tall, yet she was a proportional dwarf, meaning she was a "perfect woman in miniature". Melanie Benjamin was inspired by her appearance in the E. L. Doctorow masterwork, Ragtime, to write Lavinia's fictionalized autobiography.
The book traces her life from the Massachusetts farm where she lived a protected life with her family, to her achievement of becoming a school teacher, to her disheartening and sometimes shocking life on a Mississippi riverboat as a performer. Lavinia maintained her dignity and grace through it all. It was her most distinguishing characteristic. She returns home to find that she misses the lime-light, and approaches P. T. Barnum with a business offer. Barnum takes her into his troupe and Lavinia Warren becomes a household name. With a bit of manipulation from Barnum, Lavinia meets and marries the famous General Tom Thumb, who is only a few inches taller than her. The wedding of the tiny people was the event of the year. It even bumped the news of the Civil War off of the front page of the New York Times. They travelled the world together and amassed a fortune. Nonetheless, Lavinia had many hardships to endure.
Any reader interested in P. T. Barnum, or Gilded Age America will enjoy this historical treat. It is rich with detail about the period, including clothes, customs and lifestyles of the rich and famous, such as the Astors and Vanderbilts.
Posted by DavidO on 08/04/11
cover image
The novel opens with Christine waking up in a bed she does not remember, next to a man she does not recognize.  As she enters the bathroom and looks into the mirror it takes her a few moments to realize that the person looking back is a version of herself much older than she can remember going to sleep as.  She also cannot remember the various other moments of her life captured in the photographs taped all around the bathroom.
At the advice of her doctor, Christine has started a diary to keep track of the events that happen to her on a day by day basis in the hope that she will begin to remember her past.  The majority of this book is told as Christine reads through her former diary entries and tries to mentally piece her life back together.
As Christine starts to read these past diary entries, she begins to question herself and all the events that have happened to her since the accident.  She also begins to notice discrepancies between what she is being told and what she has already written in her diary about her past.  Should Christine trust her husband or her doctor, who is telling her the truth?
Before I Go to Sleep is at its core an amnesia story, but also does a good job of continually building suspense as Christine’s layers of old memories unravel.
Posted by Uncle Will on 08/01/11
cover image
What a cleverly conceived question for a mystery book premise:  "...Is it more difficult to think of the solution to a problem yourself or to ascertain if someone else's answer to the same problem is correct...?"
Yasuko is a divorced mother who is trying to piece together her life and her teenage daughter's after surviving an abusive marriage.  Constantly changing living locations and livelihoods couldn't stop her ex-husband from tracking them down.  The latest confrontation causes the daughter, Misato, to accidently aid in the killing of her father while she's defending her beaten mother. 
It seems that once again life has beaten down this pair.  In a panic they turn to a neighbor who has a secret crush on Yasuko.  He is a genius math teacher and lives in the apartment across the hall.  He views the murder as a mathematical  challenge.  He convinces the mother and daughter to follow his exact instructions and swears that they will not be implicated in the ex-husband's death.
Thus begins the mouse and cat game betwixt the math scholar formerly known as The Buddha and his long lost college friend, Dr. Yukawa, known affectionately as Detective Galileo by the homicide detectives he sometimes aids in their investigations. 
Higashino is one of the most widely known and bestselling novelists in Japan.  To date, he has at least five TV movies and three TV series to his credit.  His characters are all sympathetic.  This plot, based on a famous math premise, is similar to reading  the play-by-play of a chess game between two masters.
English majors need not hesitate from picking up this book even though math whizzes will be in undoubtedly cast into the calculus clouds.
Posted by mingh on 08/01/11
cover image
When Beatrice Hemmings learns that her younger sister has gone missing in London, she hurriedly returns to her home country to comfort and assist her mother and the investigation. Tess is found one week later in circumstances that suggest suicide. Beatrice is unbelieving and so begins her search for the truth in her sister's life.
Beatrice tells the reader the story of her life with and without her sister. As they grow, Tess becomes the bohemian artist and Beatrice the suited New York consultant. What drove them to the choices they made? Beatrice reflects on their life together and why she is so sure her sister would not commit suicide.
Beatrice begins to understand that there was so much about her sister's life that she never knew. When Beatrice learns that Tess was pregnant and undergoing experimental gene therapy for her cystic fibrosis fetus at the time she went missing, she tries to learn everything she can about the therapy and the major pharmacy company that is underwriting it.
But Tess has also complained about menacing phone calls in the days leading up to her disappearance. And who is the father and what is his role in the story? Although the police are sympathetic, unless Beatrice can find evidence of some wrong-doing, they are reluctant to investigate. So it is up to Beatrice to find out.
Sister is part mystery, psychological suspense novel, and medical thriller all rolled into one. There are twists and turns in this novel that keep it moving at a good pace. Book discussion groups that like mysteries that delve into family relationships are sure to like this one.
Want recommendations on what to read next? Email and we will be happy to assist you in finding a great book to read.
Browse our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks and learn how to use them with your eReader, tablet, or computer.

Additional Resources

If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy