4/25: New at the library this week
Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on April 25, 2011
Eat, pray, love : one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia / Elizabeth Gilbert
By the time she turned thirty, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern, educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house in the country, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love and the complete eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all of this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, left her loved ones behind and undertook a year-long journey around the world, all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the chronicle of that year. Gilbert’s aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature, set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Italy, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, where, with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise Texan, she embarked on four months of austere spiritual exploration. Finally, in Indonesia, she sought her ultimate goal: balance—namely, how to somehow build a life of equilibrium between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Looking for these answers on the island of Bali, she became the pupil of an elderly, ninth-generation medicine man and also fell in love in the very best way—unexpectedly. (read a sample chapter)
Bel canto / Ann Patchett
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots.
Without the demands of the world to shape their days, life on the inside becomes more beautiful than anything they had ever known before. At once riveting and impassioned, the narrative becomes a moving exploration of how people communicate when music is the only common language. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped. (read a sample chapter)
Queen of the night / Judith A. Jance
Every summer, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert—a sacred event commemorated throughout the Tohono O’odham Nation. But this year, one couple’s celebration is prematurely destroyed by gunfire . . . and the sole witness to the carnage is a little girl who has lost the only family she’s ever known.
Dr. Lani Walker recognizes the trauma of her own childhood reflected in her devastated young patient. Joining Dan Pardee—a member of the unorthodox Shadow Wolves border patrol—Lani vows to keep the child safe while tracking down a ruthless killer. Meanwhile, Lani’s adoptive father, retired homicide detective Brandon Walker, sees a break in his investigation of the long unsolved murder of an Arizona State University coed—while his wife, Diana Ladd, relives terrible memories of a man whose death haunts her still. (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #4)
Pegasus descending / James Lee Burke
Detective Dave Robicheaux is facing the most painful and dangerous case of his career. A troubled young woman breezes into his hometowns of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of Robicheaux’s onetime best friend – a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux’s life.
The twists begin when Trish Klein – the only offspring of Robicheaux’s Vietnam-era buddy – starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim’s child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And how does her behavior relate to the apparent suicide of another “good” girl, an ace student named Yvonne Darbonne, who apparently participated in a college fratorgy before her death?” Can Robicheaux make his peace with the demons that have haunted him since his friend’s murder so many years ago? Can he figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and deaths? Can Robicheaux’s life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy? (Dave Robicheaux Series #15; read a sample chapter)
Past due / William Lashner
A defense attorney who lives his life in shades of gray, Victor Carl fights all the right fights for all the wrong reasons. With a failing legal practice, a dead-end love life, a pile of unpaid traffic tickets, and a talent for mixing it up in tough working-class bars and sparring with obstinate cops, Victor skates on the razor’s edge of legal ethics in search of the easy buck. But the one absolute in Victor’s life is loyalty, especially to a client — even if he happens to be dead. Like Joey Cheaps, a no-account who takes a knife to the throat down on the waterfront, but not before he shares with his lawyer his part in a terrible crime.
With his client murdered, Victor must search for a killer. But solving the crime means investigating the darkest spot in Joey Cheaps’s misspent youth, sending Victor on a twisting journey that leads to a missing suitcase stuffed with money, photographs of a mysterious naked woman, and a Supreme Court justice with a secret to hide. And most dangerous of all, Victor steps into the crosshairs of a vengeful enemy with a past full of pain and a taste for blood. (Victor Carl Series #4; read a sample chapter)
Fall of giants / Ken Follett
The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families-American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh-as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…Billy’s sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London…
The physick book of Deliverance Dane / Katherine Howe
Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, she can’t refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key secreted within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest to find out who this woman was, and to unearth a rare colonial artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge of herbs and other, stranger things.
As the pieces of Deliverance’s harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem’s dark past then she could have ever imagined. (read a sample chapter)
Dreaming of the bones / Deborah Crombie
It is the call Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid never expected—and one he certainly doesn’t want. Victoria, his ex-wife, who walked out without an explanation more than a decade ago, asks him to look into the suicide of local poet, Lydia Brooke—a case that’s been officially closed for five years. The troubled young writer’s death, Victoria claims, might well have been murder.
No one is more surprised than Kincaid himself when he agrees to investigate—not even his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James. But it’s a second death that raises the stakes and plunges Kincaid and James into a labyrinth of dark lies and lethal secrets that stretches all the way back through the twentieth century—a death that most assuredly is murder, one that has altered Duncan Kincaid’s world forever. (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #5; read an excerpt)
Buried alive : the true story of the Chilean mining disaster and the extraordinary rescue at Camp Hope / Manuel Pino Toro
The inside story of the thirty-three Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet underground that captivated the world
Pitch black / Susan Crandall
Journalist Madison Wade decides to move to Philadelphia when one of her articles on violence in the city hits too close to home. Madison and her fourteen-year-old adopted son, Ethan, take refuge in Buckeye, a small town in eastern Tennessee where her father had grown up. Despite the tranquility, Madison and Ethan feel like outsiders. But Gabe Wyatt, the local sheriff, is determined to welcome them to the town. He immediately falls for this beautiful journalist from the city. Madison resists Gabe’s advances, but he’s persistent and unlike anyone she’s ever met before. As a romance develops between them, Madison becomes comfortable in the rural setting, and when Ethan becomes friends with Jordan, a fellow outsider at school, Buckeye begins to feel like home. But a tragic death changes everything for them. When Jordan’s father is murdered during a weekend camping trip, Ethan becomes the prime suspect. Gabe’s investigation of the murder causes a rift in his relationship with Madison. As small town gossip builds a damaging case against Ethan, Madison races to discover the truth. Heartbroken and lost, she struggles to find anyone who will believe in her and Ethan, despite their past.
Wicked witch murder / Leslie Meier
With planning the town’s annual Halloween Party, the drought wreaking havoc on her garden, and her brood of four children, Lucy Stone’s got her hands full this fall…
As the air turns crisp and the trees blaze red and gold in the tiny town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, a newcomer arrives who seems to suit the Halloween season. Diana Ravenscroft has just opened Solstice, a charming little shop featuring candles, crystals, jewelry, and psychic readings. But after an unnervingly accurate reading by Diana, Lucy starts to get more than a little spooked…
Then there’s the dead body Lucy finds, way up on one of the old logging roads behind her house. The deceased is identified as Malcolm Malebranche, a seemingly harmless magician who worked at children’s birthday parties.
When it turns out that Diana knew the murder victim, Ike Stoughton, a prominent local businessman, starts a campaign against Diana, blaming “the witch” for everything from the unseasonal dry spell to his wife’s illness and his pumpkins’ lack of plumpness. But Lucy’s not so sure that Ike himself is innocent. Still, as the town Halloween party approaches, Lucy’s more concerned about the costume competition, pin-the-nose-on-the-pumpkin, and baking three dozen orange cupcakes and Beastly Bug cookies. But as the October moon rises, a killer plans a lethal celebration of his own—and Lucy’s the guest of honor… (Lucy Stone Series #16; read a sample chapter)
Friend of the devil / Peter Robinson
Two murders…two towns…two determined cops…
One morning in March, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea, a woman named Karen Drew is found in her wheelchair with her throat slit. Back in Eastvale on that same morning, in a tangle of narrow alleys behind a market square, the body of Hayley Daniels is found raped and strangled.
On loan to a sister precinct, Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot draws the first case, but she turns up nothing in Karen Drew’s past that might have prompted someone to kill her. Meanwhile, in the Hayley Daniels murder, Chief Inspector Alan Banks has suspects galore.
Then a breakthrough spins Annie’s case in a shocking and surprising new direction, straight toward Banks. Together they must search for two killers who could strike again at any moment, with bloody fury. (Inspector Alan Banks Series #17; read an excerpt)
Piece of my heart / Peter Robinson
1969 . . . In an era of free love and rebellion, a dead body is discovered among the detritus of a recently concluded rock festival—a beautiful young woman stabbed so savagely through the chest that a piece of her heart was sliced off.
Now . . . A freelance journalist, a stranger to the region, is savagely bludgeoned to death in a shocking act of violence with no apparent motive.
Two murders separated by four decades are investigated by two very different but equally haunted investigators—one, a casualty of war unable to come to terms with a confusing new world; the other, a rogue policeman harboring ghosts of his own. But the truth behind a grisly present-day slaying may somehow be hidden in the amplified, drug-induced fog of a notorious past, propelling Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks into the darkest shadows of the peace, love, and rock ‘n’ roll generation. (Inspector Alan Banks Series #16; read a sample chapter)
The death pit / Tony Strong
Scholar Terry Williams has come to Scotland to study the life of Catherine McCulloch, a 17th-century woman accused of “congress with the devil” and burned at the stake as a witch. But at the moment Terry arrives in Inverness, another killing has been uncovered: the dismembered body of a beautiful young woman found at a nearby farm.
As police descend on the remote town, Terry digs into the past, uncovering a grim connection to Catherine McCulloch’s death three hundred years before. And when a local group of partner-swapping Wiccans is suspected of murder–and more–the two cases come crashing together. Suddenly, in this rural corner of Scotland, Terry finds herself making friends, lovers, and enemies–because of who she is, because of what she wants, because of what she knows about a killer’s twisted mind…. (read an excerpt)
One true sentence / Craig McDonald
Paris, 1924. A city teeming with would-be poets, writers, and painters. Hector Lassiter, fledgling author and best friend of Ernest Hemingway, is crossing the Pont Neuf when he hears a body fall into the icy Seine — the first in a string of brutal murders of literary magazine editors that throw a shroud over the City of Light.
Frantic to stop the killings, Gertrude Stein gathers the most prominent crime and mystery writers in the city, including Hector and the dark, mysterious crime novelist Brinke Devlin. Soon, Hector and Brinke are tangled not only under the sheets, but in a web of murders, each more grisly than the next.
As he is drawn deeper into the hunt, Hector finds himself torn between three women with hidden agendas and dark imaginations. When Hector learns that the murders may be the work of a strange cult of writers who are targeting the literary set, Hemingway, Hector, and Brinke must scramble to find the killer before they become the next victims. (Hector Lassiter Series #4)
Her royal spyness / Rhys Bowen
Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne, is flat broke. She’s bolted Scotland, her greedy brother, and her fish-faced betrothed for London. The place where she’ll experience freedom, learn life lessons aplenty, do a bit of spying for HRH—oh, and find a dead Frenchman in her tub. Now her new job is to clear her long family name. (Royal Spyness Series #1)
The cloud of unknowing / Thomas H. Cook
David Sears grew up in the shadow of his brilliant younger sister, Diana, convinced by their father that she would accomplish great things. Instead, she married and had a son, Jason, who-like David and Diana’s father-is schizophrenic. Her husband, Mark, a geneticist, never made peace with Jason’s condition. (read a sample chapter)
Wings of fire / Charles Todd
Inspector Ian Rutledge is quickly sent to investigate the sudden deaths of three members of the same eminent Cornwall family, but the World War I veteran soon realizes that nothing about this case is routine. Including the identity of one of the dead, a reclusive spinster unmasked as O. A. Manning, whose war poetry helped Rutledge retain his grasp on sanity in the trenches of France. Guided by the voice of Hamish, the Scot he unwillingly executed on the battlefield, Rutledge is driven to uncover the haunting truths of murder and madness rooted in a family crypt… (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #2)
Looking for a ship / John McPhee
This is an extraordinary tale of life aboard what may be one of the last American merchant ships. As the story begins, Andy Chase, who holds a license as a second mate is looking for a ship. In less than ten years, the United States Merchant Marine has shrunk from more than two thousand ships to fewer than four hundred, and Chase faces the scarcity of jobs from which all American merchant mariners have been suffering.
With John McPhee along, Chase finds a job as a second mate aboard the S.S. Stella Lykes, captained by the extraordinary Paul McHenry Washburn. The journey takes them on a forty-two day run down the Pacific coast of South America, with stops to unload and pick up freight at such ports as Cartagena, Valparaiso, Balboa, Lima, and Guayaquil—an area notorious for pirates. As the crew make their ocean voyage, they tell sea stories of other runs and other ships, tales of disaster, stupidity, greed, generosity, and courage. Through the journey itself and the tales told emerge the history and character of a fascinating calling.
[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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