Staff Choices

Posted by Uncle Will on 03/16/11
cover image
"...In Washington it's Us, the Us who are with Us, the Us that are not sure about Us, and the many Us-es who don't care.  The other team, our mortal enemies, are also Us, it's just that they happen to be the Us that is against Us; they are the other Us, and they have other Us-es that are against Us..."
The book pits the good Us against the other Us while it slowly draws us in.   
Ray Cruz is a Marine sniper on assignment in Afghanistan.   When his mission is compromised and his spotter executed, Ray goes on the run.  He is honor- bound to complete his mission and find the killers of his partner. 
The greatest sniper of all time, Bob Lee Swagger, is commissioned to track down Cruz.  Little does he know that a team of mercenaries is using him as bait to draw out Cruz so that they can fulfill their contract and kill him.
At the center of the story is a sleazy Afghan political leader known as the "Beheader."  He was the original target of Cruz' who now is being protected by the White House so that peace can be reached in that war torn country. 
At the offset this book was rather technical, which made it a hard read through the first several chapters.  It was like riding a roller-coaster that slowly makes its way up a tremulous track and then the ride down seems endless.  For avid followers of Hunter's Sniper series, there will be no disappointments and a stupendous new revelation to the Swagger lore.  
Posted by mingh on 03/15/11
cover image
Winston Churchill described his depression as a "black dog" that followed him around. So what should Esther, a House of Commons librarian, think when a big black dog asks to stay with her while he visits a friend. Yes, the dog asks to stay with her. The dog, who refers to himself as Mr. Chartwell (named after Churchill's residence), comes to visit Mr. Churchill in 1964 just as he is about to retire.
But why, Esther wonders, does he need to stay with her? Why not stay with Churchill? This whimsical and thoughtful piece has two people pitted against the big black dog of depression. One, Churchill, has lived with the black dog a long time and they are very familiar with each other. The other, Esther, is facing something new. The story is not all dark. There is a great deal of humor in the book. Mr. Chartwell comes to be a formidable friend (enemy?) in the lives of these two people. A daring and interesting book. 
Posted by mingh on 03/11/11
cover image
In The Hangman's Daughter, Oliver Potzsch uses the vocation of one of his ancestors, town executioner, to tell the story of possible witchcraft in a small town in Bavaria in 1659. Fifty years previous, the small town had burned 70 people as witches. They do not want to go through that again. But children are being killed and left with marks on their shoulders to indicate the sign of the witch. There are other strange happenings in the town including several citings of "the devil," as well as buildings mysteriously burning to the ground.
When one of the villagers points out that the children hang around a particular midwife, she is arrested and thrown into the town keep. In addition to executing people, the town executioner is also responsible for the torture of suspects. He has strong suspicions that none of this has to do with the midwife, who also brought his three children into the world. He has to do what the town council asks, but on his own time, he investigates the mysterious happenings in the hope that he can spare the midwife. There are many people who might want the buildings to burn and the midwife to die.
This is not a book for people who like fast-paced mysteries. Potzsch brings to life his character of Jakob Kuisl, the town executioner, and the sadness that that position brings. The idea of small town life in that time period and its restrictions, supervisions and fears come to life.  
Posted by mingh on 03/10/11
cover image
Moby-Duck : the true story of 28,800 bath toys lost at sea and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author, who went in search of them
One of the longest titles in years, but it really does describe what happens in the book, with some divergences along the way.  Is it possible for a bath toy to travel from south of the Aleutian Islands, through the Bering Strait, through the North Pole and over to the coast of Maine? An adventure that takes Hohn from one coast to the other and over the North Pole.
Hohn investigates the event that caused the bath toys to be dispersed into the sea in January 1992. But he also looks at what else humans leave in the sea from cruise ship trash to fishing boat debris and everything else that might wind up on shore. He investigates the North Pacific Convergence which has created an area known in marine world as the "garbage patch," south of the Hawaiian islands. In all of this reportage, Hohn also talks to the major players working to eradicate it, study it, or downplay its significance.
It was fascinating to learn how the oceans work, how some groups are doing good work to study and keep the oceans clean, and others are just making it worse. How the bath toys continued to be discovered as many as ten years later. And how it seems that whatever unnatural product we throw into the sea will rightfully come back to us on our own shores.
Posted by Uncle Will on 03/09/11
cover image
"...You know how to whistle now don't you Steve?  You just put your lips together and blow..."  These words were spoken by Lauren Bacall in "To Have and Have Not" to Humphrey Bogart.  Bogie's response was a whistle of wow. 
This new biography of one of the legends of Hollywood is a comprehensive look at the rise of man who would not quit.  In the Arts, it is often said that one must pay their dues.  Bogie bank account was tapped over 30 times while he appeared in "B" movies just waiting for that one break.
His break came in the role of Roy Earle in Raoul Walsh's 1941 film "High Sierra."  Bogart never looked back.
What sets this biography apart from most of those written about a film celebrity is the dissection of a body of work and  the discussion as to why there hasn't been an actor of Bogart's acclaim since his death and why there might never be.    This book has all the right ingredients for a tasty bio.  Bon Appetit!
Posted by mingh on 03/08/11
cover image
Swamplandia! is the name of a fictional theme park in the Florida Everglades. For many decades, the Bigtree family has run the park offering alligator wrestling and a spectacular finale with the Mother of the Bigtree family high diving into a pool of alligators. The whole family helps out running the concessions, the lights, the snack shop and the museum.
When the Mother dies, the family scrambles to keep together and to keep Swamplandia! from dying also. With no spectacular finale and an alternate theme park that just opened, the attendance has fallen to zero. The Father runs off to the mainland presumably to work on some investment deals for the park. The oldest brother, Kiwi, who has always dreamed of living and going to school on the mainland, also leaves to fulfill his dream and make money for the park. That leaves 13 year old Ava and her 17 year old sister Ossie at home to run everything. When Ossie falls in love with a ghost and runs off deeper into the Everglades, Ava sets off with a mysterious man to help find her and bring her back.
The book alternates chapters between the sisters story and the brother/father story. So much responsibility falls on little Ava. But a girl raised on surviving alligators has a lot of strength and that is what keeps the reader enthralled in this dark story of a girl trying to keep her family together.
Posted by jkadus on 03/08/11
cover image
Before retiring to bed one evening, an author looks out of her living room window and sees a line of people in her driveway. First in line is a young woman cradling a baby, behind her a fastidious man in his 40s, then a thin graying older woman, etc. These people are, she realizes, characters in her upcoming novels. She is awoken in the middle of the night by footsteps on the stairs leading to her bedroom. The door opens and the fastidious man from the driveway enters her room. He apologizes for intruding but feels compelled to ask her to write his story before the others. Eventually she agrees. His name will be Alvar Eide, he is 42, single, works for an art gallery and leads an orderly yet uneventful life. All of which suits Alvar perfectly until the author decides to introduce a young homeless female drug addict into his story. It all begins innocently enough when a young woman walks into the gallery on a brutal Norwegian winter day and Alvar offers her a cup of coffee to warm up. Soon she appears on his doorstep and becomes an integral yet potentially damaging aspect to his life. As the direction of his story shifts in an increasingly uncomfortable direction, Alvar “visits” the author and implores to alter the course of events.
Posted by cclapper on 03/02/11
cover image
Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne is a stand-up human being.  Ex-Army, well-liked and respected by everyone in his department and in the small community of Millers Kill, New York.  Clare Fergusson recently arrived in Millers Kill as a newly ordained Episcopal priest.  She has been given responsibility for the parish of St. Alban's, and she has a surprising background- she was a crack military helicopter pilot until she found her new calling.
Both feel a commitment to honor and duty.  But something is happening.  Since they first encountered each other (see Spencer-Fleming's In the Bleak Midwinter) a profound respect and strong affection has grown between them.  The problem: Russ is married.  Both Russ and Clare are struggling to control what they feel. 
Russ talks with his wife about what is happening- and she throws him out.
Could things get worse? 
What if Russ's wife is murdered - brutally?  What if Russ is the principle suspect?  What if suspicion falls across Clare as well?
This mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming is winning big awards.  Murder in a small town.  With good people and a community you will believe in. 
Give this a try.  Let me know what you think.
Posted by Uncle Will on 02/28/11
cover image
Milo worked in law enforcement for seven years before he was forced to retire.  With the skills sets that he had mastered there was only one logical choice for his next career move.  He partnered-up and became a thief. 
As most thieves will tell, getting pinched goes with the territory.  Milo is caught stealing an envelope from a victim who's killed during the commission of the crime.  Milo is able to hide the evidence before he is caught and put in the slammer.  Milo has gotten evolved in something that is way out of his league; because how many jailed suspects get a federally ordered, 24-hr. armed guard outside their holding cell?  Milo needs to get sprung.  He needs a good attorney.  But Milo's a dog.
Enter dog-lover and independently wealthy lawyer, Andy Carpenter.  As a favor to a friend of his on the police force, Andy reluctantly agrees to defend Milo and his jailed partner, Billy Zimmerman; another ex-lawman.  Someone is out to silence the two suspects. Andy slowly gets suckered-in by a highly intelligent German Shepherd and his war-hero master. 
What follows in this 8th book in the Andy Carpenter series.  It is a quick-paced, clever mystery.  Just the chapters about a lawyer arguing his defendant's bail hearing in open court to a judge is worth the read.    A terrorist bombing that happened in Iraq during the war is the focal point of this mystery.  Billy Zimmerman lost a leg because of it and soon might be framed for murder being sold as revenge.
All of Carpenter's sidekicks are back and the wisecracks are plentiful.  Rosenfelt, in a real-life, is a protector of Golden Retrievers.  His love of dogs is a recurring theme in many of his novels.  Animal and mystery book lovers will be thrilled reading his latest edition.
Posted by jkadus on 02/25/11
cover image

Five years ago, Allison Glenn committed an unspeakable crime.  A crime which destroyed her relationships with her family and friends, and quite possibly her future.  Five years later, she is released from prison to a halfway house in her hometown of Linden Falls.  As Allison struggles to rebuild her life, she is met with opposition and hostility from the town residents. Even her sister Brynn refuses all contact with her.  When Allison applies for a job at the local bookstore, owner Claire Kelby is sympathetic and hires her.  Claire knows only of Allison’s recent imprisonment but not of the crime of which she was accused.  Soon, details about past events surface which could permanently alter the lives of those around her. The choices one makes can ultimately affect oneself and others for a lifetime. Fans of Jodi Picoult might enjoy this.

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