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12/20: New at the library this week

Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on December 20, 2010

Books

A game of thrones / George R. R. Martin
As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king’s powers are failing – his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne’s shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve…(read a sample chapter)

Virals / Kathy Reichs
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes” who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.
As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot—if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent. (Age Range: Young Adult)

Portobello / Ruth Rendell
.Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction—and his own good intentions—Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners—people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren’s life—and the life of his trusting fiancée—the consequences will change them all. (read an excerpt)

Yoga : the Iyengar way / Silva Mehta
A comprehensive, practical, and authoritative guide to the method developed by Iyengar. 100 key postures with detailed step-by-step instructions and photographs. (Table of contents)

The winter of her discontent / Kathryn Miller Haines
It’s tough shooting for stardom when there’s a war on. But Rosie’s got enough pluck for two: she’s willing to stumble around in a Broadway dance chorus that she has no right to be a part of, in a musical that’s got “flop” written all over it. And all the while, she’s worrying about her missing-in-action soldier boyfriend, who hasn’t written in months. Lately, she’s also been keeping bad company with her mob-muscle pal, Al, who’s dabbling in a host of shady money-making enterprises in this time of shortages and rationing. But despite his illicit line of work, Al’s no killer. When the cops finger him for his girlfriend’s murder, Rosie and Jayne, her close compatriot/fellow castmate, set out to clear big Al’s name, and plunge into an intricate backstage drama featuring a bevy of suspiciously well-dressed wannabe starlets. But the plot could soon be taking another lethal turn, bringing a final curtain down on Rosie, Jayne, and all their good intentions. (Rosie Winter Series #2)

Promises to keep / Susan Crandall
Molly Boudreau—the younger sister of Lilly from “The Road Home”—has finally become a doctor, but feels there’s a hole in her life. When she promises to help a young, frightened pregnant woman, Molly’s life completely changes. (read a sample chapter)

Back roads / Susan Crandall
Sensible, capable, and always in control, Leigh Mitchell is the sheriff of a sleepy southern Indiana county — a position which sets her apart in ways she hadn’t expected. On a moonlit night, driven by a desperate need for change, she indulges in an innocent flirtation with an intriguing stranger.
Against all of her well-laid plans, she falls for Will Scott, a man plagued by dangerous secrets. By turns passionate and tender, Will reveals little about his past and less about his future. Yet Leigh takes a leap of faith and allows him into her heart.
When a teenage girl goes missing from this tight-knit community, sucpicion immediately falls on Will. Although his very life depends upon remaining unknown and unseen, he lingers among the accusations and the whispers, because of Leigh.(read a sample chapter)

Lizzie’s war / Tim Farrington
Elizabeth O’Reilly, the wife of a career Marine Corps officer and mother of four children (with one on the way), finds herself at odds with just about everything in her life. Having seen her husband off to Vietnam, she’s left to contend with her own desires and yearnings —trying to care for her children while longing to pick up the theater career she abandoned for the demands of motherhood.
Liz finds solace in a friendship with Father Ezekiel Germaine, a war veteran and eccentric priest with an appreciation for irony, and in the wary camaraderie of Betty Simmons, another military housewife, whose cocktails help Liz take the edge off.
While Liz struggles with the vicissitudes of life on the home front, her husband, Captain Michael O’Reilly, commands an infantry company in Vietnam. Mike has no illusions about the glamour and glory of war; he is a man who understands the meaning of fighting for his country and has made his peace with it for better and for worse. (read a sample chapter)

A voice from old New York : a memoir of my youth / Louis Auchincloss
At the time of his death, Louis Auchincloss—enemy of bores, self-pity, and gossip less than fresh—had just finished taking on a subject he had long avoided: himself. His memoir confirms that, despite the spark of his fiction, Auchincloss himself was the most entertaining character he has created. No traitor to his class but occasionally its critic, he returns us to his Society which was, he maintains, less interesting than its members admitted. You may differ as he unfurls his life with dignity, summoning his family (particularly his father who suffered from depression and forgave him for hating sports) and intimates. Brooke Astor and her circle are here, along with glimpses of Jacqueline Onassis. Most memorable, though, is his way with those outside the salon: the cranky maid; the maiden aunt, perpetually out of place; the less-than-well-born boy who threw himself from a window over a woman and a man. Here is Auchincloss, an American master, being Auchincloss, a rare eye, a generous and lively spirit to the end.

Murder in the Marais / Cara Black
It is November 1993 and the French prime ministerial candidate is about to sign a treaty with Germany that will severely restrict immigration, reminiscent of the Vichy laws. Aime Leduc is approached by a rabbi to decipher a fifty-year-old encrypted photograph and place it in the hands of Lili Stein. When she arrives at Lili’s apartment in the Marais, the old Jewish quarter of Paris, she finds a corpse in whose forehead is carved a swastika. With the help of her partner, a dwarf with extraordinary computer hacking skills, Aime is determined to solve this horrendous crime. Then more murders follow. Her search for the killer leads her to a German war veteran involved in the 1940s with a Jewish girl he was supposed to send to her death. It takes Aime undercover inside a neo-Nazi group, where she must play a dangerous game of current politics and old war crimes. Many of the older Jews in the Marais are afraid and prefer to leave the past alone, but the horrible legacy of the death camps and the words “never forget” propel Aime to find out the true identities of the criminals past and present. (Aimee Leduc Series #1; read a sample chapter)

Conquering the impossible : my 12,000-mile journey around the Arctic Circle / Mike Horn
In August 2002, Mike Horn set out on a mission that bordered on the impossible: to travel 12,000 miles around the globe at the Arctic Circle–alone, against all prevailing winds and currents, and without motorized transportation.
Conquering the Impossible is the gripping account of Horn’s grueling twenty-seven-month expedition by foot, aki, mountain bike, kayak, catamaran, and monohull sailboat through extreme conditions that nearly cost him his life. Enduring temperatures colder than seventy-five degrees below zero Fahrenheit, Horn battled hazards including trekking on unstable ice that plunged him into frigid waters, encounters with polar bears so close he felt their breath on his face, severe frostbite in his fingers, and a fire that destroyed all of his equipment and nearly burned him alive.
From the hair-raising dangers that Horn faced alone in the vast tundra to his amusing and inspiring encounters with the hardy inhabitants of the remotest corners of the earth, this adrenaline-filled tale chronicles one man’s unrelenting desire to push the limits of what is humanly possible.(read a sample chapter)

Making a difference : stories of how our outdoor industry and individuals are working to preserve America’s natural places / Amy Irvine
This is a book about grassroots environmental organizations fighting to save the wilderness. (read an excerpt)

Killers of the dawn / Darren Shan
Outnumbered, outsmarted and desperate, the hunters are on the run, pursued by the vampaneze, the police, and an angry mob. With their enemies clamoring for blood, the vampires prepare for a deadly battle. Is this the end for Darren and his allies?(Cirque Du Freak Series , #9; Age Range: Young Adult; read a sample chapter)

The rivers of Zadaa / D. J. MacHale
In the territory of Zadaa, Saint Dane’s influence has fueled the fire of discontent between two warring tribes: the Rokador and the Batu. This is also the territory where the Traveler Loor lives as a member of the Batu. Together she and Bobby must work to thwart Saint Dane’s efforts to destroy Zadaa.
But as Bobby pursues Saint Dane, he begins to see this quest as more than a series of adventures. It has finally become clear to Bobby—the stakes are as high as it gets, all of Halla lies in Bobby’s hands. (Pendragon Series #6; Age Range: 12 and up; read an excerpt)

Stieg Larsson : our days in Stockholm : a memoir of a friendship / Kurdo Baksi
“He was both a dream and a nightmare to work with. He was not only involved in the struggle against intolerance, he was obsessed with it” are the words used to describe the now world-famous author Stieg Larsson by his friend and close colleague, Kurdo Baksi, who himself was a prominent character in The Millennium Trilogy. During Larsson’s career as a journalist he was a crucial figure in the battle against racism and for democracy in Sweden as one of the founders of the anti-fascist magazine Expo. Baksi first met Larsson in 1992, triggering an intense friendship and a fruitful but challenging working relationship.
In this candid memoir, Baksi answers the questions a multitude of Larsson’s fans have already asked about his childhood, the recurring death threats, his insomnia, his vices, and his feminism—so evident in his books—as well as his own personal dogma. What was he like as an individual and as an author? Who provided the inspiration for his now-immortal characters (Baksi is one of the few who appears in the trilogy as himself)—especially Lisbeth Salander?

The queene’s cure / Karen Harper
In late summer of 1562, with handsome Lord Robert Dudley by her side, Elizabeth Tudor leads her retinue to London’s Royal College of Physicians — to demand its help in the raging battle against disease and pestilence. But the stalwart queen is shaken when a frighteningly lifelike effigy of herself ravaged by pox turns up in her royal coach.
Elizabeth’s fear that the counterfeit corpse is a harbinger of tragedy comes to fruition when ever more terrifying transgressions penetrate the very heart of her royal precincts. With the help of her Privy Plot Council , Elizabeth resolves to unmask a murderer who wears a false face and is beset by the vilest humours of the soul. But when she herself falls ill, an entire realm is caught in the grip of a treasonous conspiracy…as the indomitable young monarch fights for her life, her realm, and her rightful crown. (read an excerpt)

Bones of betrayal / Jefferson Bass
Forged in the crucible of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was a top-secret military installation—the linchpin of the Manhattan Project. Brilliant careers were born and dark secrets buried in the desperate race to build the Bomb. Those secrets begin to emerge when the body of a renowned physicist is discovered . . .
Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton, founder of the Body Farm, is shocked when an autopsy reveals the cause of Dr. Leonard Novak’s death: a deadly radioactive pellet inside the elderly scientist’s body. Who would commit such a horrific crime? Is it related to Novak’s role in creating America’s deadliest weapon? The answers may lie with the victim’s aging ex-wife, Beatrice, a captivating, yet utterly unreliable storyteller. Careening between history and fantasy, dementia and lucidity, Beatrice draws Brockton into a maze of memories, leading him to darker truths than he could have imagined.

Outfoxed / Rita Mae Brown
As Master of the prestigious Jefferson Hunt Club, Jane Arnold, known as Sister, is the most revered citizen in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain town where a rigid code of social conduct and deep-seated tradition carry more weight than money. Nearing seventy, Sister now must select a joint master to ensure a smooth transition of leadership after her death. It is an honor of the highest order–and one that any serious social climber would covet like the Holy Grail.
Virginian to the bone with a solid foxhunting history, Fontaine Buruss is an obvious candidate, but his penchant for philandering and squandering money has earned him a less than sparkling reputation. And not even Sister knows about his latest tawdry scandal. Then there is Crawford Howard, a Yankee in a small town where Rebel bloodlines are sacred. Still, Crawford has money–lots of it–and as Sister is well aware, maintaining a first-class hunt club is far from cheap.
With the competition flaring up, Southern gentility flies out the window. Fontaine and Crawford will stop at nothing to discredit each other. Soon the entire town is pulled into a rivalry that is spiraling dangerously out of control. Even the animals have strong opinions, and only Sister isable to maintain objectivity. But when opening hunt day ends in murder, she, too, is stunned. (Foxhunting Series #1; read an excerpt)

Fatally flaky / Diane Mott Davidson
It’s been a long, rainy summer for Goldy Schulz, who is engaged in planning wedding receptions for what seems to be all of Aspen Meadow. It’s bad enough that Billie Attenborough, the bride from hell, wants to move the location to the Gold Gulch Spa just a scant two days before tying the knot to her doctor fiancé.
Then Doc Finn, best friend of Goldy’s godfather Jack, is killed when his car tumbles into a ravine. But Jack thinks Doc was murdered because of research he was doing at the spa – allegations that are confirmed when Jack himself is attacked.
So Goldy dons chef’s whites and goes undercover at the spa. Add in the obstreperous owner, who years ago tried to sabotage Goldy’s fledgling business, and she’s got her hands full. (Culinary Mystery Series #15; read an excerpt)

Burn out / Marcia Muller
Traumatized by a recent life-or-death investigation, Sharon McCone flees to her ranch in California’s high desert country to contemplate her future. Deep depression shadows her days and nights, and a chance encounter with a troubled, highly secretive Native American woman begins to haunt her dreams. Even though she is determined not to investigate anything during her stay, McCone is drawn into the plight of the young woman and her dysfunctional family. A murder and traces of violence at a deserted resort lead her across the desert and into Nevada, and finally to a remote and isolated ranch, where danger lies closer than she expects… (Sharon McCone Series #25)

[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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