8/15: New at the library this week
Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on August 15, 2011
Beatrice and Virgil / Yann Martel
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey—named Beatrice and Virgil—and the epic journey they undertake together.
The ballad of West Tenth Street / Marjorie Kernan
Once upon a time in Manhattan . . .
. . . there stood a pair of fine old brick townhouses on West Tenth Street. One had a blue door with a tarnished brass knocker in the shape of a dolphin. The other was empty. Behind the blue door lived Sadie, the widow of a famous British rocker who died of an overdose, and two of her children, Hamish and Deen.
The children manage to muddle along as best they can with a loving but distracted mother. But their whole world changes when the house next door gets a new owner—a mysterious Southerner who quickly endears himself to his new neighbors, taking them—and their friends—under his protective wing. In doing so, he transforms everything.
Red Hook Road / In the aftermath of a devastating wedding day, two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, find their lives unraveled by unthinkable loss. Over the course of the next four summers in Red Hook, Maine, they struggle to bridge differences of class and background to honor the memory of the couple, Becca and John. As Waldman explores the unique and personal ways in which each character responds to the tragedy—from the budding romance between the two surviving children, Ruthie and Matt, to the struggling marriage between Iris, a high strung professor in New York, and her husband Daniel—she creates a powerful family portrait and a beautiful reminder of the joys of life. Ayelet Waldman
The tall pine polka / Lorna Landvik
In the small town of Tall Pine, Minnesota, at the Cup O’Delight Cafe, the townsfolk gather for what they call the Tall Pine Polka, an event in which heavenly coffee, good food, and that feeling of being alive among friends inspires both body and soul to dance. There’s the cafe owner, the robust and beautiful Lee O’Leary, who escaped to the northwoods from an abusive husband; Miss Penk and Frau Katt, the town’s only lesbian couple (“Well, we’re za only ones who admit it.”); Pete, proprietor of the Shoe Shack, who spends nights crafting beautiful shoes to present to Lee, along with his declarations of love; Mary, whose bad poetry can clear out the cafe in seconds flat; and, most important of all, Lee’s best friend, Fenny Ness, a smart and sassy twenty-two-year-old going on eighty.
When Hollywood rolls into Tall Pine to shoot a movie, and a handsome musician known as Big Bill appears on the scene, Lee and Fenny find their friendship put to the test, as events push their hearts in unexplored directions—where endings can turn into new beginnings. . . . (read an excerpt)
Escape by night: a Civil War adventure / Laurie Myers
Ten-year-old Tommy and his sister Annie are intrigued by the new soldiers arriving in their Georgia town. Since the Civil War started, wounded men waiting to be treated at the local church-turned-hospital have been coming in by droves. When Tommy sees a soldier drop his notebook, he sends his dog, Samson, to fetch it. Tommy soon meets the soldier and is faced with the hardest decision he’s ever had to make: whether or not he should help a Yankee escape to freedom. (Age Range: 8 to 12; read an excerpt)
NERDS : National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society / Michael Buckley
A group of unpopular fifth graders run a spy network from inside their school. With the help of cutting-edge science, they transform their nerdy qualities into incredible abilities! Their enemies? An array of James Bond–style villains, each with an evil plan more diabolical and more ridiculous than the last. (Age Range: 9 to 12)
Calligraphy magic: how to create lettering, knotwork, coloring and more / Cari Buziak
With Calligraphy Magic you will learn the art of decorative lettering and dicover simplified calligraphy techniques. You will start with the basic pen & ink strokes that create each letter, building up to flourishes and embellishments for a variety of alphabet styles. Twelve step-by-step projects show you how to use color and gilding to ornament letters, how to paint classic Celtic knotwork designs, and how to use calligraphy to decorate items such as wedding invitations, fantasy artwork, logos and more. Ten complete and various alphabets give you even more options. A unique feature of this book is a complete chapter on using a computer to create your own lettering fonts.
Just like Mama / Leslea Newman
There are some things that no one can do as well as a mom. “With a pile of pancakes shaped like moons, and cocoa with a cloud of cream, no one can cook breakfast just like Mama.” Nor garden, host tea parties, cook supper, or tuck her child into bed. No one does it just like Mama can. And in the end, nobody loves Mama just like her little girl does. (Age Range: 4 to 7)
I wanna new room / Karen Kaufman Orloff
Ever since their baby sister came along, Alex has been forced to share a room with his little brother, Ethan, and it’s a nightmare. Ethan always breaks stuff, snores like a walrus, and sticks crayons up his nose. No hardworking, well-behaved, practically grown-up boy like Alex should have to put up with that!
Writing letters to his mom convinced her to let him get his pet iguana, so Alex puts pencil to paper again, this time determined to get his own room. Though all of his powers of persuasion can’t get his dad to expand the house, he does come through with a fun alternative-a tree house! (Age Range: 5 to 8)
Diapering the devil: how Alaska helped staunch befouling by mismanaged oil wealth : a lesson for other oil rich nations / Jay S. Hammond
Chenega diaries: Stories and voices of our past : Life and times in the Native village of Chenega, Alaska 1944-1948 / Donald R. Poling
Fiberglass boat repair manual / Allan H. Vaitses
Are there hairline cracks in your boat’s deck or topsides gelcoat? Have her color and luster faded over the years? Does she have deck leaks? Has she been holed? Is her hull oilcanning in a sea? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, this book is for you. This is the definitive guide for fiberglass boat repair and beautification, covering not just cosmetic dings and scratches, but also major repairs of structural damage to hull and decks. It will show you how to: replace deteriorated gelcoat, or repair the flaws in an existing gelcoat and recoat it with polyurethane or marine alkyd enamel paint; strengthen a weak and overly flexible hull or deck; tab in loose hull liners and joinerwork; make templates from the good side of a hull to reshape large shattered or missing areas on the other side; repair or replace water-saturated deck cores; repair keels, rudders, and centerboards; rebed and refasten underwater and on-deck hardware; rebed, refasten, and strengthen hull-to-deck joints;…
Boatowner’s mechanical and electrical manual: how to maintain, repair, and improve your boat’s essential systems / Nigel Calder
The boatowner’s foremost troubleshooting guide, now better than everIf it’s on a boat and it has screws, wires, or moving parts, it’s covered in Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual. When you leave the dock with this book aboard, you have at your fingertips the best and most comprehensive advice on: Battery technologies 12- and 24-volt DC systems Corrosion, bonding, and lightning protection Generators, inverters, and battery chargers Electric motors and electric lights Marine electronics, antennas, and RFI Diesel engines Transmissions, shaft brakes, and propellers Refrigeration and air-conditioning Tanks, plumbing, and through-hulls Pumps and watermakers Steering, autopilots, and wind vanes Stoves and heaters Winches, windlasses, and bow thrusters Spars, rigging, and roller reefing. (Table of contents)
The care & keeping of you: the body book for girls / Valorie Lee Schaefer
This “head-to-toe” guide answers all your questions, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between. With tips, how-to’s, letters from girls, and facts from the experts, here’s straightforward advice you can really use. (Age Range: 9 to 11)
The pirate coast: Thomas Jefferson, the first marines, and the secret mission of 1805 / Richard Zacks
In an attempt to stop the legendary Barbary Pirates of North Africa from hijacking American ships, William Eaton set out in 1805 on a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. The operation was sanctioned by President Thomas Jefferson, but at the last moment he grew wary of “intermeddling” in a foreign government, and Eaton set off without proper national support.
Short on supplies, given very little money and only a few men, Eaton and his mission seemed doomed from the start. But against all odds, he improbably triumphed, recruiting a band of European mercenaries in Alexandria, along with some Arab cavalry and Bedouin fighters, and leading them on a march across the Libyan Desert. Once in Tripoli, the ragtag army defeated the local troops and successfully captured Derne, laying the groundwork for the demise of the Barbary Pirates. The success of the event is immortalized in the Marines’ Hymn, but Jefferson never allowed Eaton the fame he craved. Now, Richard Zacks brings this important story from our nation’s history to life.
Picking bones from ash / Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Ghosts lurk in the bamboo forest outside the tiny northern Japanese town where Satomi lives with her elusive mother, Atsuko. A preternaturally gifted pianist, Satomi wrestles with inner demons. Her fall from grace is echoed in the life of her daughter, Rumi, who unleashes a ghost she must chase from foggy San Francisco to a Buddhist temple atop Japan’s icy Mount Doom.
The greater journey: Americans in Paris / David G. McCullough
The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.
After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture. None had any guarantee of success. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history.
Naked heat / Richard Castle
When New York’s most vicious gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne, is found dead, Heat uncovers a gallery of high-profile suspects, all with compelling motives for killing the most feared muckraker in Manhattan. But Heat’s murder investigation is complicated by her surprise reunion with superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook. In the wake of their recent breakup, Nikki would rather not deal with their raw emotional baggage. But the handsome, wise-cracking writer’s personal involvement in the case forces her to team up with Rook anyway. The residue of their unresolved romantic conflict and crackling sexual tension fills the air as Heat and Rook embark on the search for a killer among celebrities and mobsters, singers and hookers, pro athletes and shamed politicians. This new, explosive case brings on the heat in the glittery world of secrets, cover-ups, and scandals. (Nikki Heat Series #2; read a sample chapter)
Bringing down the house: the inside story of six MIT students who took Vegas for millions / Ben Mezrich
It’s Friday night and you’re on a red-eye to the city of sin. Strapped to your chest is half a million dollars; in your overnight bag is another twenty-five thousand in blackjack chips; and your wallet holds ten fake IDs. As soon as you land in Las Vegas, you are positive you are being investigated and followed. To top it all off, the IRS is auditing you, someone has been going through your mail — and you have a multivariable calculus exam on Monday morning. Welcome to the world of an exclusive group of audacious MIT math geniuses who legally took the casinos for over three million dollars — while still finding time for college keg parties, football games, and final exams. (read a sample chapter)
Every last cuckoo / Kate Maloy
At age seventy-five, Sarah Lucas imagined the rest of her days would be spent living peacefully in her rural Vermont home in the familiar, steadfast company of her husband. But when Charles succumbs to an injury he suffered in the woods, she is left suddenly and inconsolably alone.
As grief settles in, Sarah’s mind lingers on her past. She remembers the intense joys and tough rials of her fifty-year marriage to Charles and he challenge of raising three very different children, particularly a daughter whose needs she never quite understood. And she lovingly recalls her own childhood, when her parents generously opened their home to friends and relatives during the Great Depression.
Curiously, her past comes full circle when several displaced people seek shelter in Sarah’s big, empty home—breathing new spirit into a life she had thought was spent and done, and even offering the opportunity to mend the relationship that had troubled her the most.
Wilbur and Orville: a biography of the Wright brothers / Fred Howard
The Wrights’ longest flight in 1903 covered 852 feet and lasted 59 seconds. In 1905, Wilbur flew 24 miles in 38 minutes and the issue was no longer how to fly but how to cash in. Their effort to exploit their invention is a suspense story of the best kind; their voyage into flight and into American history is a gripping tale from takeoff to landing.
Cold climate clips: an Alaskan traveling trainer’s essays, observations, anecdotes, and childhood stories / Sharon Lattery
Cold Climate Clips is a book for folks who are keen on adventure; appreciate diversity, travel and enjoy humor! Readers will gain a valuable vision of Alaska’s rural villages and small communities through the eyes of a person infatuated with her job and the people she worked with for more than 30 years. The stories in Cold Climate Clips take place prior to the technology we have today before an issue could be settled with a facsimile, email or a call on a cellular phone. Enjoy the humorous and joyful adventures of the author s childhood as a precocious girl, growing up free in small, but busy Skagway. Alaska during the 40s and 50s. Cold Climate Clips is an adventure book. Be prepared for more than a chuckle! From beginning to end Cold Climate Clips speaks to the reader about a woman who worked affably and good naturedly with a blend of people and learned her best social skills growing up in small town Skagway, Alaska! It demonstrates strongly her love of Alaska and its people.
Blood rain / Michael Dibdin
This time Zen finds himself with an assignment he’d rather have avoided. After years of, shall we say, flirting with the enemy, he finds himself in the heart of hostile territory: Sicily, the ancient, beautiful island where blood has been known to flow like wine, if not water, and the distinction between the police and the criminals is a fine one. So when Zen’s adopted daughter, Carla, comes across some information that certain people wish to remain secret and develops a friendship with a magistrate on the Mafia’s most wanted list, the plot develops into one of Dibdin’s most enthralling inventions. (Aurelio Zen Series #7; read a sample chapter)
Bookends / Jane Green
Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend–the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. (read an excerpt)
The last girls / Lee Smith
The Last Girls centers around four middle-aged Southern women who, as students at an idyllic Blue Ridge women’s college thirty years before, were inspired by Huckleberry Finn to take their own raft trip down the Mississippi River. Now a tragedy brings them back together for a repeat voyage under very different circumstances–aboard a luxurious cruise steamboat. Through this framework, which can be seen as a modern-day rendition of Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Smith explores the nature of romance, the relationship between life and fiction, the relevance of the past to the present, and the unexpected course of women’s lives. (read an excerpt)
Three seconds / Anders Roslund
Piet Hoffman, a top secret operative for the Swedish police, is about to embark on his most dangerous assignment yet: after years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, he’s become a key player in their attempt to take over amphetamine distribution inside Sweden’s prisons. To stop them from succeeding, he will have to go deep cover, posing as a prisoner inside the country’s most notorious jail.
But when a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in a murder, the investigation is assigned to the brilliant but haunted Detective Inspector Ewert Grens–a man who never gives up until he’s cracked the case. Grens’s determination to find the killer not only threatens to expose Hoffman’s true identity-it may reveal even bigger crimes involving the highest levels of power. And there are people who will do anything to stop him from discovering the truth. (Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ 2009 award for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year; read an excerpt)
Henry James’ midnight song / Carol Hill
The Setting: Fin de siecle Vienna – a society of almost unprecedented vitality, enlivened by new movements in music, art, fashion, literature, psychology, and love. Yet Vienna is a society on the edge of chaos. Beneath the glittering surface it seethes with conflict and ethnic tension. Divided by anti-Semitism, racism, feminism, sex, and the denial of sex, it is a society remarkably similar to our own. The Plot: The women of Vienna are dying – some by murder, some by suicide. During Dr. Freud’s absence in Paris, a body is found in his study but disappears as quickly as it was discovered. Was there really a murder or was it merely hysteria on the part of Freud’s wife and sister-in-law? How does this body fit into the recent epidemic of women’s mysterious deaths in Vienna? Into the web of deceit, murder, and social upheaval step a variety of “real” characters, each with something to hide, who become suspects in the case: the distinguished novelist Edith Wharton, who comes to Vienna to engage in a passionate illicit affair; her friend and traveling companion Henry James, who has consulted Freud about his own secret trespasses; Freud’s colleagues Dr. Jung and Dr. Fliess; and Jung’s patient-lover, Sabina Spielrein.
What is the what: the autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng / Dave Eggers
In a heartrending and astonishing novel, Eggers illuminates the history of the civil war in Sudan through the eyes of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee now living in the United States. We follow his life as he’s driven from his home as a boy and walks, with thousands of orphans, to Ethiopia, where he finds safety—for a time. Valentino’s travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation—and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated. (read a sample chapter)
[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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