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6/5: New at the library this week

Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on June 5, 2010

Movies:

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

(all movies are on dvd unless otherwise noted)

Books:

The wolf at the door / Jack Higgins
On Long Island, a trusted operative for the President nudges his boat up to a pier, when a man materializes out of the rain and shoots him. In London, General Charles Ferguson, adviser to the Prime Minister, approaches his car on a side street, when there is a flash, and the car explodes. In New York, a former British soldier, who is also a bit more than that, takes a short walk in Central Park to stretch his legs, when a man comes up fast behind him, a pistol in his hand.
And that is only the beginning. Someone is targeting the members of the elite intelligence unit known as “the Prime Minister’s private army” and all those who work with them, and whoever is doing it has a lot of resources at his command. Sean Dillon has an idea of who it may be, an old nemesis who has clearly gotten tired of their interference in his schemes. But proving it is going to be a difficult task. And surviving it the hardest task of all. . . . (Sean Dillon Series #17)

61 hours / Lee Child
A tour bus crashes in a savage snowstorm and lands Jack Reacher in the middle of a deadly confrontation. In nearby Bolton, South Dakota, one brave woman is standing up for justice in a small town threatened by sinister forces. If she’s going to live long enough to testify, she’ll need help. Because a killer is coming to Bolton, a coldly proficient assassin who never misses.
Reacher’s original plan was to keep on moving. But the next 61 hours will change everything. The secrets are deadlier and his enemies are stronger than he could have guessed—but so is the woman whose life he’ll risk his own to save. (Jack Reacher Series #14; read an excerpt)

Nomad : from Islam to America–a personal journey through the clash of civilizations / Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Hirsi Ali tells the stirring story of her search for a new life in America in this vivid philosophical memoir, picking up where INFIDEL left off.

House rules / Jodi Picoult
House rules is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel — and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. House rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t. (read an excerpt)

The 9th judgment / James Patterson, Max Paetro
Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a Jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.
A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood-red lipstick.
The same night, the wife of A–list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.
Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rich, and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her engagement and the Women’s Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line—but is it enough to save the city? (Women’s Murder Club Series #9)

Freedom’s challenge / Anne McCaffrey
When Kris Bjornson and her fellow slaves were left by the Catteni on an uninhabited planet in Freedom’s Landing, their survival seemed unlikely. Zainal, a Catteni outcast, helped them learn to fight the terrifying predators of the new world.
The colonists have learned to survive, and have begun to create a new civilization on the planet they call Botany. But as the colony grows, differences begin to divide the colonists. One faction believes that they should settle here, bearing children and populating their new home. But the other insists that they should return to Earth to help their compatriots fight off the Catteni oppressors.
For Kris Bjornson, who is in love with Zainal, the choice is particularly difficult. She wants more than anything to see Earth again. But this life — building a new home with Zainal, exploring a new world of their very own — is the best she has ever known. (Catteni Series #3)

Storm prey / John Sandford
And this time, there’s a storm brewing…. Very early, 4:45 on a bitterly cold Minnesota morning, three big men burst through the door of a hospital pharmacy, duct-tape the hands, feet, mouth and eyes of two pharmacy workers, and clean the place out. But then things swiftly go bad, one of the workers dies, and the robbers hustle out to their truck — and find themselves for just one second face to face with a blond woman who’s driven into the garage.
Weather Karkinnen, surgeon, wife of an investigator named Lucas Davenport.
Did she see enough? Can she identify them? Gnawing it over later, it seems to them there is only one thing they can do: Find out who she is, and eliminate the only possible witness…. (Lucas Davenport Series #20; read a sample chapter)

A reliable wife / Robert Goolrick
He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for “a reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving her a wealthy widow, able to take care of the one she truly loved.
What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own. And what neither anticipated was that they would fall so completely in love.

Tigana / Guy Gavriel Kay
Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered.

The quilter’s legacy / Jennifer Chiaverini
Resolving to locate her mother’s heirloom quilts after so many years, Sylvia Compson embarks on a cross-country investigation of antique shops, quilt museums, and other, more unexpected places, where offers of assistance are not always what they seem. And as Sylvia recovers some of the missing quilts and accepts others as lost forever, she reflects on the woman her mother was and mourns the woman she never knew. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #5; read a sample chapter)

The Christmas quilt / Jennifer Chiaverini
When Christmas Eve comes to Elm Creek Manor, the tenor of the holiday is far from certain. Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, the Master Quilter, has her own reasons for preferring a quiet, even subdued, Christmas. Her young friend Sarah McClure, however, takes the opposite view and decides to deck the halls brightly. As she explores the trunks packed with Bergstrom family decorations that haven’t been touched in more than fifty years, Sarah discovers a curious Christmas quilt. Begun in seasonal fabrics and patterns, the quilt remains unfinished.
Sylvia reveals that the handiwork spans several generations and a quartet of Bergstrom quilters — her great aunt, her mother, her sister, and herself. As she examines the array of quilt blocks each family member contributed but never completed, memories of Christmases past emerge.
At Elm Creek Manor, Christmas began as a celebration of simple virtues — joy and hope buoyed by the spirit of giving. As each successive generation of Bergstroms lived through its unique trials — the antebellum era, the Great Depression, World War II — tradition offered sustenance even during the most difficult times. For Sylvia, who is coping with the modern problem of family dispersed, estranged, or even forgotten, reconciliation with her personal history may prove as elusive as piecing the Christmas Quilt.
Elm Creek Manor is full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. Sylvia’s tales at first seem to inform her family legacy but ultimately illuminate far more, from the importance of women’s art to its place in commemorating our shared experience, at Christmastime and in everyseason. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #8; read an excerpt)

The lost quilter / Jennifer Chiaverini
Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson treasures an antique quilt called by three names — Birds in the Air, after its pattern; the Runaway Quilt, after the woman who sewed it; and the Elm Creek Quilt, after the place to which its maker longed to return. That quilter was Joanna, a fugitive slave who traveled by the Underground Railroad to reach safe haven in 1859 at Elm Creek Farm.
Though Joanna’s freedom proved short-lived — she was forcibly returned by slave catchers to Josiah Chester’s plantation in Virginia — she left the Bergstrom family a most precious gift, her son. Hans and Anneke Bergstrom, along with maiden aunt Gerda, raised the boy as their own, and the secret of his identity died with their generation. Now it falls to Sylvia — drawing upon Gerda’s diary and Joanna’s quilt — to connect Joanna’s past to present-day Elm Creek Manor.
Just as Joanna could not have foreseen that, generations later, her quilt would become the subject of so much speculation and wonder, Sylvia and her friends never could have imagined the events Joanna witnessed in her lifetime. Punished for her escape by being sold off to her master’s brother in Edisto Island, South Carolina, Joanna grieves over the loss of her son and resolves to run again, to reunite with him someday in the free North. Farther south than she has ever been, she nevertheless finds allies, friends, and even love in the slave quarter of Oak Grove, a cotton plantation where her skill with needle and thread soon becomes highly prized.
Through hardship and deprivation, Joanna dreams of freedom and returning to Elm Creek Farm. Determined to remember each landmark on the route north, Joanna pieces aquilt of scraps left over from the household sewing, concealing clues within the meticulous stitches. Later, in service as a seamstress to the new bride of a Confederate officer, Joanna moves on to Charleston, where secrets she keeps will affect the fate of a nation, and her abilities and courage enable her to aid the country and the people she loves most.
The knowledge that scraps can be pieced and sewn into simple lines — beautiful both in and of themselves and also for what they represent and what they can accomplish — carries Joanna through dark days. Sustaining herself and her family through ingenuity and art during the Civil War and into Reconstruction, Joanna leaves behind a remarkable artistic legacy that, at last, allows Sylvia to discover the fate of the long-lost quilter. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #14; read an excerpt)

The cross-country quilters / Jennifer Chiaverini
Julia, Megan, Donna, Grace, and Vinnie are cross-country friends who are about to begin work on a challenge quilt. A piece of fabric is divided among the women, with the understanding that the following year they will all meet at the Elm Creek Quilt Camp to sew the sections together into a single quilt. But the friends have set themselves a special challenge: no one can start working on her block until she has taken steps to solve her problems and achieve her personal goals.
Although they share a common creative objective, the Cross-Country Quilters find their friendship tested by the demands of everyday life. Yet despite differences in age, race, and background, the women’s love of quilting and affection for one another unite them. The quilt they create becomes a symbol of the threads that hold their lives together-a glorious patchwork of caring and loyalty that brings home an enduring truth: Friends may be separated by great distance, but the strength of their bond can transcend any obstacle. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #3; read a sample chapter)

The sugar camp quilt / Jennifer Chiaverini
Set in Creek’s Crossing, Pennsylvania, in the years leading up to the Civil War, the novel follows Dorothea Granger’s passage from innocence to wisdom against the harrowing backdrop of the American struggle over slavery. She discovers that a quilt she has stitched for her uncle Jacob with five unusual patterns of his own design contains hidden clues to guide runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad. The heroic journey she undertakes leads to revelations about her own courage and resourcefulness — newfound qualities that may win her the heart of the best man she has ever known. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #7; read a sample chapter)

The master quilter / Jennifer Chiaverini
The close-knit group can hardly believe that their own Sylvia Compson planned her holiday wedding to sweetheart Andrew in complete secrecy, without the help of even one of her friends. Eager to honor the newlyweds, the Elm Creek Quilters hasten to stitch a bridal quilt for their favorite Master Quilter. Until the time comes to unveil the surprise gift, they reason, Sylvia will be the one in the dark.
Such little white lies seem harmless enough, especially in the service of future happiness. Yet Elm Creek Manor, and the quilting retreat established there by the Elm Creek Quilters, thrives on the strength of women sharing their creativity, their challenges, and their dreams. Somehow, in the race to commemorate in Sylvia’s bridal quilt all that they hold dear about her wisdom, skill, and devotion, they forget to give honesty its pride of place.
As the quilt blocks accumulate, the Elm Creek Quilters celebrate the joy of new beginnings and the ongoing success of their business — until forces conspire to threaten their happiness and prosperity. Two among them falter in their personal relationships, yet they are too proud to share their pain. The financial problems of another leave the quilt project vulnerable to a malicious act that may prevent its completion. And as two others weigh the comfort of the present against dreams of a future far from Elm Creek Manor, closely guarded secrets strain the bonds of friendship with those who may be left behind. (Elm Creek Quilts Series #6; read an excerpt)

Martha Black : her story from the Dawson gold fields to the halls of Parliament / Martha Louise Black
Martha Black was an independent, adventurous 32-year-old when she headed for the Klondike in 1898. She endured the grueling Chilkoot Trail, traveled by boat down the Yukon River, and worked placer gold claims near Dawson City. This book covers the full life story of this fascinating woman, including her election to the Canadian Parliament at the age of 70.

Wesley the owl : the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl / Stacey O’Brien
Written with the same heartwarming sentiment that made the memoir Marley & Me a runaway bestseller, biologist and owl expert Stacey O’Brien chronicles her rescue of an adorable, abandoned baby barn owl—and their astonishing and unprecedented nineteen-year life together. (read an excerpt)

Black water rising / Attica Locke
Jay Porter is hardly the lawyer he set out to be. His most promising client is a low-rent call girl and he runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy strip mall. But he’s long since made peace with not living the American Dream and carefully tucked away his darkest sins: the guns, the FBI file, the trial that nearly destroyed him. Houston, Texas, 1981. It is here that Jay believes he can make a fresh start. That is, until the night in a boat out on the bayou when he impulsively saves a woman from drowning—and opens a Pandora’s box. Her secrets put Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him his practice, his family, and even his life. But before he can get to the bottom of a tangled mystery that reaches into the upper echelons of Houston’s corporate power… (read an excerpt)

Monkeewrench / P. J. Tracy
Haunted by a series of horrifying and violent episodes in their past, Grace McBride and the oddball crew of her software company, Monkeewrench, create a computer game where the killer is always caught, where the good guys always win. But their game becomes a nightmare when someone starts duplicating the fictional murders in real life, down to the last detail.
By the time the police realize what’s happening, three people are dead, and with seventeen more murder scenarios available online, there are seventeen more potential victims. While the authorities scramble to find the killer in a city paralyzed by fear, the Monkeewrench staff are playing their own game, analyzing victim profiles in a frantic attempt to discover the murderer’s next target. (Monkeewrench Series #1; read a sample chapter)

Game change : Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime / John Heilemann; Mark Halperin
In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton-and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama’s partner and America’s face to the world. The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told.
In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country’s leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, despite the thinness of his résumé, he could somehow beat the odds to become the nation’s first African American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape-and warp-Hillary’s supposedly unstoppable bid? What was behind her husband’s furious outbursts and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain make the novice governor of Alaska his running mate? And was Palin merely painfully out of her depth-or troubled in more serious ways?

The cat from Hué : a Vietnam war story / John Laurence
An evocative, vividly detailed memoir of the madness and miracles of the Vietnam War by an award-winning reporter whose experiences in combat—and whose relationship with a Vietnamese cat named Meo—have haunted and inspired him for more than twenty-five years

Winterkill / Craig Lesley
Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today’s northwestern reservations. (Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award)

Women’s diaries of the westward journey / Lillian Schlissel
More than a quarter of a million Americans crossed the continental United States between 1840 and 1870, going west in one of the greatest migrations of modern times. The frontiersmen have become an integral part of our history and folklore, but the Westering experiences of American women are equally central to an accurate picture of what life was like on the frontier.
Through the diaries, letters, and reminiscences of women who participated in this migration, Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey gives us primary source material on the lives of these women, who kept campfires burning with buffalo chips and dried weeds, gave birth to and cared for children along primitive and dangerous roads, drove teams of oxen, picked berries, milked cows, and cooked meals in the middle of a wilderness that was a far cry from the homes they had left back east. Still (and often under the disapproving eyes of their husbands) they found time to write brave letters home or to jot a few weary lines at night into the diaries that continue to enthrall us. (Table of contents)

Bella Tuscany : the sweet life in Italy / Frances Mayes
In this follow-up to her bestselling account of her love affair with Tuscany, Mayes carries forward the concerns and people of Under the Tuscan Sun, while exploring new themes: gardening, travel throughout Italy, deepening friendships with Italians, and primavera, a new season. Interweaving sections on language, art, food, and wine with her journeys in Italy, this [book] captures what Mayes has called “the voluptuousness of Italian life” in the lyrical, sensuous style that distinguishes her previous work. (read an excerpt)

Underworld / Don DeLillo
Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life; she is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.
Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep, clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. (read an excerpt; DeLillo was awarded the 1999 Jerusalem Prize for a writer whose work expresses the theme of freedom of the individual in society. )

Strike three, Marley! / Susan Hill
Marley can’t wait for his first trip to the ballpark. He is ready to cheer for the home team. But is the home team ready for Marley? (Age Range: 5 to 8)

Meet Marley / Natalie Engel
Meet Marley, the world’s most playful puppy! Marley likes to eat buttons off of jackets and to chew on pillows. He slobbers over everything. But his family loves him no matter what! (Age Range: 4 to 7)

Fancy Nancy: The 100th day of school / Jane O’Connor
The 100th day of school is coming up, and Nancy doesn’t know what to bring in for the class project. Will she be able to think of something imaginative in time for the big day? (Age Range: 3 to 8)

Fancy Nancy: Pajama Day / Jane O’Connor
Nancy is all set to wear something special for Pajama Day at school. But when Bree and Clara show up in matching outfits, Nancy feels left out. Will this Pajama Day be as much fun as she thought? (Age Range: 4 to 8)

Fancy Nancy and the sensational babysitter / Jane O’Connor
Nancy is tremendously excited about her new babysitter coming over. She has their whole evening planned out, from playing with Marabelle to dressing up in fancy ensembles. But things don’t turn out quite as Nancy had planned! (Age Range: 3 to 7)

Fancy Nancy and the late, late, late night / Jane O’Connor
Ooh la la!
Nancy is utterly fascinated by movie stars—and everybody knows that movie stars don’t go to bed early! (Age Range: 3 to 7)

My first words : Let’s get talking! / Dawn Sirett
With imaginative photographic designs, simple word labels, and stimulating questions, these are the perfect first word and counting board books for parents and toddlers to share. The books cover all the most popular preschool subjects-such as vehicles, animals, and colors-and each section is accessible by means of a helpful picture tab visible from anywhere in the book. (Age Range: For infants or children in preschool)

My first things that go : Let’s get moving! / Dawn Sirett
The My First Board Book series is DK’s beloved collection of first books for preschool children. Each title in the series is carefully chosen to promote early learning and encourage young readers to explore the world of words. (Age Range: For infants or children in preschool)

My father knows the names of things / Jane Yolen
Peter’s been invited to go on a safari. He’s brought:

  1. Uncle Nigel, who’s an explorer
  2. hiking shorts
  3. a canteen

But what he will need most is a bit of gumption. (Gumption: n. Courage; spunk; fortitude; resourcefulness; good sense.)
Oh, wait…there are crocodiles in the river? Then he might need a lot of it! (Age Range: 4 to 8)

Marley and the kittens / John Grogan
When a pair of adorable kittens joins the family, Marley is so excited to have two new friends to play with that he follows the felines everywhere. But Marley is no graceful kitten. By imitating their gentle behavior, he unintentionally makes a mess all over the house and gets into big trouble for it. What did I do this time? he wonders. Marley is afraid he may have lost his number-one status in the household . . . until an unlikely pair reminds him and his family that no one’s purrrrr-fect! (Age Range: 4 to 7)

Ladybug girl at the beach / David Soman
Lulu loves the beach. Well, she’s never been there before, but she knows she will love it. And then she sees the ocean and it is big and loud and rough. That’s okay—Lulu wanted to build sand castles and fly her kite with Bingo anyway. But while they are building their sand castle, the sneaky ocean comes in and tries to steal Lulu’s favorite pail. This is a job for Ladybug Girl! (Age Range: 3 to 7)

[Note: All synopses are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted and do not constitute reviews by the Seldovia Public Library.]

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