6/13: New at the library this week
Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on June 13, 2012
Sherlock (BBC): season 2 (Note that this already has a holds list: if you want to watch it, be sure to ask to be added to the list)
The goodwife: season 1
The boardwalk empire: season 1
The Tomas Crown affair
Complication / Isaac Adamson
A serial killer with a penchant for severed hands. A watch that runs backward and forward – at the same time. An Eastern European gangster known only as Rumplestiltskin. The Nazi invasion of Prague, Soviet-era Czech secret police, 16th century alchemy and black magic – mild-mannered American Lee Holloway never thought any of these would intrude upon his ordinary life.
But that was before he received a mysterious letter from a woman named Vera, a cryptic missive implying Lee’s estranged brother Paul, who disappeared years ago in Prague, was actually murdered in an attempt to steal The Rudolf Complication, a priceless watch commissioned by the eccentric Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, rumored to hold the power of eternal life. When Lee goes to Prague to investigate, his involvement with the enigmatic Vera, as well as the guidance offered from a mysterious travel book, triggers a series of violent and bizarre events that force Lee to confront disturbing truths about his brother as well as himself. Unless Lee can reconstruct the final hours of his brother’s life, and separate truth from myth in this haunted city, he might not get out of Prague alive.
Nutshell Library / Maurice Sendak
This 4-volume boxed set contains an alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Includes the titles Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, and Pierre. (Age Level: 3 and up)
Dog In Charge / K. L. Going
When the going gets tough, Dog . . . takes a nap
Dog can Sit.
He can Stay.
He can even Dance.
But when he’s in charge, can he keep the cats in line?
All one, two, three, four, five of them? (Age Level: 3 and up)
Canning For A New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors For The Modern Pantry / Liana Krissoff
This hip, modern handbook is filled with fresh and new ways to preserve nature’s bounty throughout the year. Organized by season and illustrated with beautiful photographs, it offers detailed instructions and recipes for making more than 150 canned, pickled, dried, and frozen foods, as well as 50 inventive recipes for dishes using these foods. Basic information on canning techniques and lively sidebars round out this refreshing take on a classic cooking tradition.
Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures In The World’s Most Polluted Places / Andrew Blackwell
For most of us, traveling means visiting the most beautiful places on Earth—Paris, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon. It’s rare to book a plane ticket to visit the lifeless moonscape of Canada’s oil sand strip mines, or to seek out the Chinese city of Linfen, legendary as the most polluted in the world. But in Visit Sunny Chernobyl, Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth.
From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it’s time to start appreciating our planet as it is—not as we wish it would be. Irreverent and reflective, the book is a love letter to our biosphere’s most tainted, most degraded ecosystems, and a measured consideration of what they mean for us.
Equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue’s gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer—and approaches a deeper understanding of what’s really happening to our planet in the process.
Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth / Jane O’Connor
Nancy Clancy is growing up and ready for a whole new adventure . . . in her chapter book debut!
Nancy and her best friend, Bree, have everything they need to solve a mystery, from their totally professional trench coats to their top-secret code.
But when crime strikes in their classroom, will these super sleuths be able to crack the case? (Age Level: 7 and up)
The Unsinkable Walker Bean / Aaron Renier
Walker Bean never wanted to be a high-seas pirate waging a pitched battle against the forces of the deep. It just worked out that way.
Mild, meek, and a little geeky, Walker is always happiest in his grandfather’s workshop, messing around with his inventions. But when his beloved grandfather is struck by an ancient curse, it falls on Walker to return an accursed pearl skull to the witches who created it—and his path will be strewn with pirates, magical machines, ancient lore, and deadly peril. (Age Level: 9 and up)
The Testament Of Jessie Lamb / Jane Rogers
A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake.
Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that human arrogance and destructiveness are reaping the punishment they deserve. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. She wants her life to make a difference. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead?
Letters From Burma / Aung San Suu Kyi
In these unforgettable letters, Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the world’s most inspiring figures, reaches out beyond Burma’s borders to paint a vivid and poignant picture of her native land. She celebrates the courageous army officers, academics, and everyday people who have supported the National League for Democracy, often at great risk to their own lives. She reveals how state oppression has adversely affected everything from the national diet to traditions of hospitality. She also evokes the beauty of the country’s seasons and scenery, customs and fetivities, which remain-after everything-so close to her heart.
That’s How I Roll / Andrew H. Vachss
Around here, even dying can be hard. Horribly hard. Only death itself comes easy. By easy, I mean frequent. Death happens so often that people regard it pretty much the same as the never-ending rain.
When life itself is hard, you have to be hard to live. Even a bitch will cull one of her own pups if she doesn’t think he’s going to be tough enough–she knows she’s only got but so much milk, and there’s none to waste.
Survival isn’t some skill we learned–it’s in all our genes. Nobody needed to be told to step aside when they saw the Beast coming. But not everyone stepped fast enough.
There’s rock slides. Floods, too. Those are natural phenomena. You live here, you expect them. But just because a man’s found under tons of rock, or floating in the river, doesn’t mean his death was due to natural causes.
Folks drink a lot. Wives get beaten something fierce. Some of those wives can shoot pretty good. And some of their husbands never think it can happen to them, even when they’re sleeping off a drunk.
There’s supposed to be good and bad in everyone. Probably is. But here, it’s the bad in you that’s more often the most useful.
Like the difference between climate and weather. Most folks around here don’t view a killing as good or bad–just something that happens, like a flood or a fire.
That’s why a whole lot of bodies never get viewed at all.
For a man like me, this is a good part of the country to do my work. I take pride in the quality of my work, but I never deceive myself that every death at my hands is justified, never mind righteous or noble.
I never saw myself as … much of anything, really. Just a crippled, cornered rat, trying to protect my little brother with whatever I can.
The Gift Of Rain / Twan Eng Tan
In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton-the half-Chinese, half-English youngest child of the head of one of Penang’s great trading families-feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island, and in return Endo teaches him about Japanese language and culture and trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. When the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor and sensei-to whom he owes absolute loyalty-is a Japanese spy. Young Philip has been an unwitting traitor, and must now work in secret to save as many lives as possible, even as his own family is brought to its knees
House Of Leaves / Mark Z. Danielewski
Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.
Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.
The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.
Oscar Wilde And The Vatican Murders / Gyles Daubeney Brandreth
Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders opens in 1892, as an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle retires to a spa in Germany with a suitcase full of fan mail. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries among the letters—a finger; a lock of hair; and, finally, an entire severed hand.
The trail leads the intrepid duo to Rome, and to a case that involves miracles as well as murder. Pope Pius IX has just died—these are uncertain times in the Eternal City. To uncover the mystery and discover why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Wilde and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church and expose the deadly secrets of the six men closest to the pope.
When Captain Flint Was Still A Good Man / Nick Dybek
Every fall, the men of Loyalty Island sail from the Olympic Peninsula up to the Bering Sea to spend the winter catching king crab. Their dangerous occupation keeps food on the table but constantly threatens to leave empty seats around it.
To Cal, Alaska remains as mythical and mysterious as Treasure Island, and the stories his father returns with are as mesmerizing as those he once invented about Captain Flint before he turned pirate. But while Cal is too young to accompany his father, he is old enough to know that everything depends on the fate of those few boats thousands of miles to the north. He is also old enough to feel the tension between his parents over whether he will follow in his father’s footsteps. And old enough to wonder about his mother’s relationship with John Gaunt, owner of the fleet.
Then Gaunt dies suddenly, leaving the business in the hands of his son, who seems intent on selling away the fishermen’s livelihood. Soon Cal stumbles on evidence that his father may have taken extreme measures to salvage their way of life. As winter comes on, his suspicions deepening and his moral compass shattered, he is forced to make a terrible choice.
Dinosaur Vs. The Potty / Bob Shea
Dinosaur doesn’t need to use the potty. Even when he’s making lemonade, running through the sprinkler, having a three juice box lunch, and splashing in rain puddles. See? He’s doing his victory dance. Wait . . . that’s not a victory dance, that looks like a POTTY DANCE! Run, Dinosaur, run! (Age Level: 2 and up)
Forgotten Country / Catherine Chung
On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah, to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe. As time passes, Janie hears more stories, while facts remain unspoken. Her father tells tales about numbers, and in his stories everything works out. In her mother’s stories, deer explode in fields, frogs bury their loved ones in the ocean, and girls jump from cliffs and fall like flowers into the sea. Within all these stories are warnings.
Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie embarks on a mission to find her sister and finally uncover the truth beneath her family’s silence. To do so, she must confront their history, the reason for her parents’ sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and ultimately her conflicted feelings toward her sister and her own role in the betrayal behind their estrangement.
Ashes To Dust / Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
In 1973, a volcanic eruption buried an entire Icelandic village in lava and ash. Now, hoping to make some cash, a crew is assembled to excavate the site and turn it into a tourist destination. Markús, who was a teenager when the volcano erupted, enlists the help of attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to try to prevent the excavation from going forward.
When the digging continues and three fresh bodies (and a spare head) turn up in the basement of Markús’ childhood home, Thóra begins to question Markús’ motives for wanting to stop the excavation. His explanation for the bodies is complicated, and the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up. As Markús’ story begins to unravel, Thóra finds herself with an impossible task, defending Markús while trying to solve a quadruple murder that may very well implicate her client.
Hourglass / Myra McEntire
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened? (Ages 12 and up)
American Gods / Neil Gaiman
Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.
I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga
What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could–from the criminal’s point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
The Professionals / Owen Laukkanen
Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it’s no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise-quick, efficient, low risk-works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man.
Now two groups they’ve very much wanted to avoid are after them-the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized-crime outfit looking for payback. As they all crisscross the country in deadly pursuit and a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The true professionals, cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice . . . everything.
What Doesn’t Kill You / Iris Johansen
Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang—a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now, she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with. When her old friend Hu Chang creates something so deadly, and completely untraceable, the chase is on to be the first to get it. With rogue operative John Gallo also on the hunt, Catherine finds herself pitted against a group so villainous and a man so evil that she may not survive the quest to protect those she cares about.
The New Republic / Lionel Shriver
Ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. A disgruntled New York corporate lawyer, he’s more than ready to leave his lucrative career for the excitement and uncertainty of journalism. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared larger-than-life reporter he’s been sent to replace, Barrington Saddler, as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate. Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about their beloved “Bear,” who is no longer lighting up their work lives.
Yet all is not as it appears. Os Soldados Ousados de Barba—”The Daring Soldiers of Barba”—have been blowing up the rest of the world for years in order to win independence for a province so dismal, backward, and windblown that you couldn’t give the rat hole away. So why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents claimed by the “SOB” suddenly dry up?
Ripper / Stefan Petrucha
You thought you knew him. You were dead wrong.
Carver Young dreams of becoming a detective, despite growing up in an orphanage with only crime novels to encourage him. But when he is adopted by Detective Hawking of the world famous Pinkerton Agency, Carver is given not only the chance to find his biological father, he finds himself smack in the middle of a real life investigation: tracking down a vicious serial killer who has thrown New York City into utter panic. When the case begins to unfold, however, it’s worse than he could have ever imagined, and his loyalty to Mr. Hawking and the Pinkertons comes into question. As the body count rises and the investigation becomes dire, Carver must decide where his true loyalty lies.
The Lion Is In / Delia Ephron
Tracee is a runaway bride and kleptomaniac. Lana’s an audacious beauty and a recovering alcoholic. Rita is a holy-roller minister’s wife, desperate to escape her marriage and discover whether she actually has a mind of her own.
One warm summer’s night, these three women go on the lam together. Their car breaks down on a rural highway in North Carolina and they’re forced to seek shelter in a seemingly abandoned nightclub. Which is where they meet Marcel. And soon everything changes.
Marcel, you see, is a lion, a retired circus performer stuck in a cage in this godforsaken roadhouse. And through admiration – one might even say love – for Marcel, our heroines find a way to confront their complicated pasts and fight for the strange, embracing relationships they’ve formed out in the middle of nowhere. They ultimately navigate their way back to their own hearts – and ours.
Opening days: A fly fisherman writes / Richard Chiappone
With this eclectic collection of essays, short stories, and poems, Richard Chiappone elongates the fishing-writing genre like a perfect backcast, suggesting that he finds almost anything a fisherman does interesting–anything but the actual fishing. He describes only one sport fish landed–a late season Alaskan steelhead too cold to put up a fuss about being hooked. In another piece, he never gets any farther than his own backyard, standing in a midwinter snow bank, casting to house cats. The essays, both funny and touching, reveal him as a writer of stark contradictions: a man who despises winter and loves living in Alaska, who thinks that the Clean Water Act ruined as much as it fixed. At the heart of these writings is one fisherman’s curiosity about how others might think and feel, and the real quarry Chiappone is casting about for is always empathy.
Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories / Melinda Moustakis
In her debut collection, Melinda Moustakis brings to life a rough-and-tumble family of Alaskan homesteaders through a series of linked stories. Born in Alaska herself to a family with a homesteading legacy, Moustakis examines the near-mythological accounts of the Alaskan wilderness that are her inheritance and probes the question of what it means to live up to larger-than-life expectations for toughness and survival.
The characters in Bear Down, Bear North are salt-tongued fishermen, fisherwomen, and hunters, scrappy storytellers who put themselves in the path of destruction—sometimes a harsh snowstorm, sometimes each other—and live to tell the tale. While backtrolling for kings on the Kenai River or filleting the catch of the Halibut Hellion with marvelous speed, these characters recount the gamble they took that didn’t pay off, or they expound on how not only does Uncle Too-Soon need a girlfriend, the whole state of Alaska needs a girlfriend. A story like “The Mannequin at Soldotna” takes snapshots: a doctor tends to an injured fisherman, a man covets another man’s green fishing lure, a girl is found in the river with a bullet in her head. Another story offers an easy moment with a difficult mother, when she reaches out to touch a breaching whale.
This is a book about taking a fishhook in the eye, about drinking cranberry lick and Jippers and smoking Big-Z cigars. This is a book about the one good joke, or the one night lit up with stars, that might get you through the winter.
Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life / Nancy Lord
Lord takes readers along as she journeys among salmon, sea lions, geese, moose, bears, glaciers, and indigenous languages and ultimately into a new understanding, beyond geographic borders, of our intricate and intimate connections to the natural world.
Vast and beautiful, and much more than a mere place, Alaska is nonetheless inescapably a land of natural extremes and exquisite subtleties. In Lord’s explorations, “the country” of Alaska evokes reflections on the importance of place and space in our lives; arguments over roads carved in the wilderness; musings on the role of location and landscape in the Dena’ina Athabascan language; accounts of sport fishing in the Russian Far East in the first days of perestroika and of climbing in the Arrigetch Peaks of Alaska’s Brooks Range; and considerations of the politics of whaling. In the tradition of naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs, Lord proves an excellent guide to the challenges and pleasures of making oneself at home on this Earth.
Low Town / Daniel Polansky
Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its champion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.
The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his discovery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . setting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investigated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psychotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.
The Pirate Captain’s Daughter / Eve Bunting
“I always knew my father was a pirate and I always knew I wanted to be one, too.”
At age fifteen, Catherine’s life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can’t stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure.
After she discovers her father’s secret life as captain of the pirate ship Reprisal, her only thoughts are to join him on the high seas. Catherine imagines a life of sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the wind whipping at her back. She’s heard tales of bloodshed and brutality but her father’s ship would never be like that.
Catherine convinces her father to let her join him, disguised as a boy. But once the Reprisal sets sail, she finds life aboard a pirate ship is not for the faint of heart. If her secret is uncovered, punishment will be swift and brutal.
Voyage Of The Sea Wolf / Eve Bunting
At the end of The Pirate Captain’s Daughter, Catherine and cabin boy William are marooned on Pox Island by the murderous crew of the pirate ship Reprisal. The young lovers see no hope of escape.
In Voyage of the Sea Wolf, the continuing saga of Catherine’s sea adventures, she and William are rescued from their island prison by the Sea Wolf, a pirate ship pursuing the Reprisal. Catherine worries that these new pirates will send her back to the island once they discover she’s a girl. But then, she meets the captain of the Sea Wolf. A woman! Surely, Catherine thinks, the bloodshed and brutality she and William experienced aboard the Reprisal can’t happen again, especially under the leadership of a female captain.
But just as things seem to be going their way, the captain takes a liking to William. Catherine is forbidden to see him.
If Catherine and William want to stay together, they must find a way to now escape from the Sea Wolf.
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie / C. Alan Bradley
It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.
For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” (Flavia de Luce Mysteries)
The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag / C. Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head? (Flavia de Luce Mysteries; Winner of the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel; Winner of the 2010 Barry Award for Best First Novel; Winner of the 2010 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery)
The Children’s Book / A. S. Byatt
When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends.
But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house—and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children—conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. As these lives—of adults and children alike—unfold, lies are revealed, hearts are broken, and the damaging truth about the Wellwoods slowly emerges. But their personal struggles, their hidden desires, will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces, as the tides turn across Europe and a golden era comes to an end. (Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; read an excerpt)
The Rook / Daniel O’Malley
“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.
She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.
An American Spy / Olen Steinhauer
With only a handful of “tourists”—CIA-trained assassins—left, Weaver would like to move on and use this as an opportunity to regain a normal life focused on his family. But his former boss, Alan Drummond, can’t let it go. When Alan uses one of Milo’s compromised aliases then disappears, calling all kinds of attention to himself , Milo must hunt him down.Worse still, it’s beginning to look as if the department’s enemies are gearing up for a final, fatal blow. (read an excerpt)
The Inquisitor / Mark Allen Smith
Geiger has a gift: he knows a lie the instant he hears it. And in his business—called “information retrieval” by its practitioners—that gift is invaluable, because truth is the hottest thing on the market.
Geiger’s clients count on him to extract the truth from even the most reluctant subjects. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood, but he does use a variety of techniques—some physical, many psychological—to push his subjects to a point where pain takes a backseat to fear. Because only then will they finally stop lying.
One of Geiger’s rules is that he never works with children. So when his partner, former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who demands that Geiger interrogate a twelve-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively. He rescues the boy from his captor, removes him to the safety of his New York City loft, and promises to protect him from further harm. But if Geiger and Harry cannot quickly discover why the client is so desperate to learn the boy’s secret, they themselves will become the victims of an utterly ruthless adversary. (read an excerpt)
Abdication / Juliet Nicolson
The year began with the death of a beloved king and the ascension of a charismatic young monarch, sympathetic to the needs of the working class, glamorous and single. By year’s end, the world would be stunned as it witnessed that new leader give up his throne in the name of love, just as the unrest and violence that would result in a Second World War were becoming impossible to ignore.
During the tumultuous intervening months, amidst the whirl of social and political upheaval, wise-beyond-her-nineteen-years May Thomas will take the first, faltering steps toward creating a new life for herself. Just disembarked at Liverpool after a long journey from her home on a struggling sugar plantation in Barbados, she secures a position as secretary and driver to Sir Philip Blunt, a job that will open her eyes to the activities of the uppermost echelons of British society, and her heart to a man seemingly beyond her reach.
Outwardly affable spinster Evangeline Nettlefold is a girlhood friend to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, a goddaughter to Lady Joan Blunt and a new arrival to London from Baltimore. She will be generously welcomed into society’s most glittering circles, where one’s daily worth is determined by one’s proximity to a certain H.R.H. and his married mistress. But as the resentment she feels toward Wallis grows in magnitude, so too does the likelihood of disastrous consequences.
Young, idealistic Julian Richardson’s Oxford degree and his close friendship with Rupert Blunt have catapulted him from excruciating hours in his mother’s middle-class parlor to long holidays spent at stately homes and luxurious dinners in the company of a king. But even as he enjoys his time in this privileged world, his head cannot forget the struggles of those who live outside its gilded gates, and his uneasy heart cannot put aside his undeclared affection for May. (read an excerpt)
Come Home / Lisa Scottoline
Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—-though it is stressful—-and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.
But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own. (read an excerpt)
Overseas / Beatriz. Williams
When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?
The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.
Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space. (read an excerpt)
The Dovekeepers / Alice Hoffman
Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. (read an excerpt)
Unlearning To Fly / Jennifer Brice
Unlearning to Fly is the memoir of a bookworm growing up in Alaska—among people whose resilience, restlessness, and energy find their highest expression in winter ascents of Mount McKinley or first descents of wild rivers. These are the flying stories of a fearful pilot, one who admires but does not emulate the more daring exploits of her father and her friends.
The Cloud Atlas / Liam Callanan
Drifting through the night, whisper-quiet, they were the most sublime manifestations of a desperate enemy: Japanese balloon bombs. Made of rice paper, at once ingenious and deadly, they sailed thousands of miles across the Pacific…and once they started landing, the U.S. scrambled teams to find and defuse them, and then keep them secret from an already anxious public. Eighteen-year-old Louis Belk was one of those men. Dispatched to the Alaskan frontier, young Sergeant Belk was better trained in bomb disposal than in keeping secrets. And the mysteries surrounding his mission only increased when he met his superior officer—a brutal veteran OSS spy hunter who knew all too well what the balloons could do—and Lily, a Yup’ik Eskimo woman who claimed she could see the future.
Louis’s superior ushers him into a world of dark secrets; Lily introduces Louis to an equally disorienting world of spirits—and desire. But the world that finally tests them all is Alaska, whose vastness cloaks mysteries that only become more frightening as they unravel. Chasing after the ghostly floating weapons, Louis embarks upon an adventure that will lead him deep into the tundra. There, on the edge of the endless wilderness, he will make a discovery and a choice that will change the course of his life. (read a sample chapter)
The Time In Between / María Dueñas
Between Youth and Adulthood . . .
At age twelve, Sira Quiroga sweeps the atelier floors where her single mother works as a seamstress. At fourteen, she quietly begins her own apprenticeship. By her early twenties she has learned the ropes of the business and is engaged to a modest government clerk. But everything changes when two charismatic men burst unexpectedly into her neatly mapped-out life: an attractive salesman and the father she never knew.
Between War and Peace . . .
With the Spanish Civil War brewing in Madrid, Sira leaves her mother and her fiancé, impetuously following her handsome lover to Morocco. However, she soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken in an exotic land. Among the odd collection of European expatriates trapped there by the worsening political situation back on the Continent, Sira reinvents herself by turning to the one skill that can save her: her gift for creating beautiful clothes.
Between Love and Duty . . .
As England, Germany, and the other great powers launch into the dire conflict of World War II, Sira is persuaded to return to Madrid, where she takes on a new identity to embark upon the most dangerous undertaking of her career. As the preeminent couturier for an eager clientele of Nazi officers’ wives, Sira becomes embroiled in the half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal. (read an excerpt)
The Mysterious Howling / Maryrose Wood
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische? (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place#1; Age range: 8 – 12 Years; read an sample chapter)
The Hidden Gallery / Maryrose Wood
Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, “They must have been raised by wolves.”
The Incorrigible children actually were.
Thanks to the efforts of Miss Penelope Lumley, their plucky governess, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are much more like children than wolf pups now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees.
Despite Penelope’s civilizing influence, the Incorrigibles still managed to ruin Lady Constance’s Christmas ball, nearly destroying the grand house. So while Ashton Place is being restored, Penelope, the Ashtons, and the children take up residence in London. Penelope is thrilled, as London offers so many opportunities to further the education of her unique students. But the city presents challenges, too, in the form of the palace guards’ bearskin hats, which drive the children wild—not to mention the abundance of pigeons the Incorrigibles love to hunt. As they explore London, however, they discover more about themselves as clues about the children’s—and Penelope’s—mysterious past crop up in the most unexpected ways. (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place#2; Age range: 8 – 12 Years; read an sample chapter)
The Unseen Guest / Maryrose Wood
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.
But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick’s long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral’s prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles’ skills to find her.
The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all? (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place# 3; Age range: 8 – 12 Years)
Another Faust / Daniel Nayeri
On a single night, five children suddenly vanish from their homes in Paris, Glasgow, Rome, and London. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers make an impressive entrance at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and intrigue follow the Faust children to the elite Manhattan Marlowe School, where their very presence brings unexplainable misfortune.
Using “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, these mysterious teenagers rise to suspicious heights at Marlowe. Though at first their abilities seem almost childlike in their simplicity, they soon learn that their newfound talents for cheating, stealing, hiding, and lying are far more potent than they had ever imagined — and far more addictive.
Ignoring the side effects of pursuing their individual obsessions, bargaining with the very devil in their midst as they claw their way to the top, these five ambitious teens draw ever nearer to their goals . . . until two of them uncover a secret even more shocking than their own most unforgivable sins. Dialing up the ancient dilemma of indulgence versus redemption, this modern-day retelling of the Faustian bargain story, set in twenty-first-century Manhattan, provides a look into the cutthroat world of high-school competition that is both bitingly funny and scorchingly wicked. (Age range: 14 – 17 Years)
Another Pan / Daniel Nayeri
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality. (Age range: 14 – 17 Years)
Another Jekyll, Another Hyde / Daniel Nayeri
When his billionaire father marries French governess Nicola Vileroy, high society is all abuzz — but Thomas, the most popular student at Marlowe, is just plain high. Ever since his girlfriend Belle dumped him, he’s been spending less time with old friends and more time getting wasted at clubs. But after someone slips him a designer drug one night — and his stepmother seems to know way too much about his private life — things really start to get scary. As Thomas’s blackouts give way to a sinister voice inside his head, and as news of a vicious hate crime has students on edge, Thomas comes to the sickening realization that Madame Vileroy has involved him in a horrifying supernatural plan. How can he muster the strength and will to stop it? The pulse-quickening climax revisits Jekyll and Hyde as a current-day cautionary tale laced with a heady dose of paranormal intrigue. (Age range: 14 – 17 Years)
Amanda Miranda / Richard Peck
This updated edition of the popular Richard Peck novel, available in time to commemorate the anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful voyage in 1912, starts with a chilling prophecy. When Miranda begins her position as maid-servant to the glamorous and selfish Amanda Whitwell, Amanda wastes no time in using Miranda to suit her own cruel purposes. Miranda becomes the lynchpin to a plot that Amanda devises to marry an American who can maintain her lavish lifestyle, but also keeps the rogue she loves close at hand. However, destiny intervenes, and they board the ill-fated Titanic. This story has all of the romance, glamour, intrigue, and tragedy of the Titanic but ends, satisfyingly, with redemption and forgiveness.
In 1911 in England, eighteen-year-old Mary Cooke is hired as personal maid to the willful and arrogant Amanda Whitwell and is astonished to find that her new employer is her near-double, a coincidence that has lasting consequences for Mary, especially when she accompanies Amanda on the Titanic’s fateful voyage. (Age range: 14 – 17 Years)
The Storm / Clive Cussler
In the middle of the Indian Ocean, a NUMA research vessel is taking water samples at sunset, when a crew member spots a sheen of black oil ahead of them. But it is not oil. Like a horde of army ants, a swarm of black particles suddenly attacks the ship, killing everyone aboard, while the ship itself goes up in flames.
A few hours later, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are on their way to the Indian Ocean. What they will find there on the smoldering hulk of the ship will eventually lead them to the discovery of the most audacious scheme they have ever known: a plan to permanently alter the weather on a global scale. It will kill millions . . . and it has already begun. (read an excerpt)
When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, And Bugs Began To Swarm: A Cartoon Prehistory Of Life Long Before Dinosaurs / Hannah Bonner
Take a fun, fact-filled trip back to Earth as it was 430 million years ago. Then, watch as continents drift and oceans take shape. Watch out (!) as fish get toothier, plants stretch skywards and bugs get bigger. Soon fish get feet and four-legged creatures stalk the planet. Here’s the story of Earth in conversational text, informative illustrations, and humorous cartoons. Complete with time line, pronunciation guide, glossary and index. (Age range: 10 years)
Painting Acrylics / Vicki Lord
So you want to try acrylics, but have little (or no) painting experience? No problem! Not with this book by your side!Inside, you’ll find everything you need to get off to a strong start—from what supplies to buy to how to make the most of acrylic’s bright colors. Easy-to-follow exercises show you how to paint flowers, trees, bricks, skies, fur and other simple subjects, while teaching you a variety of application techniques.Step-by-step demonstrations help you apply what you’ve learned to make your first paintings good ones. You’ll get plenty of specific instructions—color suggestions, what size brush to use, even which direction to make your stroke.
Realistic Watercolor Portraits: How To Paint A Variety Of Ages & Skin Tones / Suzanna Winton
Portraits have the power to capture a likeness that touches the soul. You can learn to paint realistic portraits with artistry following the guidance in this inspirational book.
Nine complete step-by-step demonstrations show you how to use watercolors to build portraits that come to life with realism and personality. Each demonstration features a different person—so you can explore a range of ages, skin tones, facial features, hair tones and textures—mastering each detail at your own pace.
Handpainted Tiles For Your Home / Diane Trierweiler
Painting on tiles is an easy way to add warmth and color to your home. This book shows you how with over 20 fabulous projects, from art-display tiles and trivets to designs suitable as backsplashes, from French country style to old-fashioned romance
Getting Started: Watercolor For The Fun Of It / John Lovett
Clear-cut guidelines help readers select their first brushes, paints and palette. Detailed instruction makes mastering basic techniques easy.
Zoltan Szabo’s 70 Favorite Water Color Techniques / Zoltan Szabo
Avoid problems, create better paintings and take leaps forward in your art. Learn how from Zoltan Szabo, one of the most revered watercolor teachers in America. Using the same ease of approach that made his workshops so popular, this book makes watercolor painting simple, straightforward and fun.
Secrets To Drawing Realistic Children / Carrie Parks; Rick Parks
Maybe you can’t stop your favorite child from growing up, but you can create timeless memories with pencil, paper and some simple drawing skills. Now you can capture your most cherished moments in a way no ordinary photograph can.Here to show you how are Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks, professional composite artists and drawing instructors. In their friendly and foolproof teaching style, the Parks cover everything you need to know to create incredibly true-to-life pencil portraits of the children you love. Complete with step-by-step demonstrations and countless expert tips for striking results, this book will help you create drawings that capture the one-of-a-kind essence of a child, preserving forever that lovable, clownish, whimsical or impish nature that makes children so very special.
Step-by-step Guide To Drawing The Figure / John Raynes
Artists of all abilities will appreciate this easy-to-follow manual to figure rendering. With more than 400 color illustrations, this book details literally every component of drawing the figure—from choosing the right materials to creating a setting. Drawing exercises accompany the description of each technique.
The Brushstroke Handbook: The Ultimate Guide To Decorative Painting Brushstrokes / Maureen McNaughton
From very basics to in-depth guidance, this book offers what you need to have fun and paint successfully!
Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced painter—to master every stroke and explore a range of possibilities.
Outside Your Window: A First Book Of Nature / Nicola Davies
The buzz of bees in summertime. The tracks of a bird in the winter snow. This beautiful book captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature, from planting acorns or biting into crisp apples to studying tide pools or lying back and watching the birds overhead. No matter what’s outside their windows — city streets or country meadows — kids will be inspired to explore the world around them. (Age range: 3 years)
Tempest / Julie Cross
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him. (Age range: 14 – 18 Years)
Radiant Days / Elizabeth Hand
She is a painter. He is a poet. Their art bridges time.
It is 1978. Merle is in her first year at the Corcoran School of Art, catapulted from her impoverished Appalachian upbringing into a sophisticated, dissipated art scene. It is also 1870. The teenage poet Arthur Rimbaud is on the verge of breaking through to the images and voice that will make his name. The meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past – and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other’s worlds. (Age range: 14 years)
Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. (read an excerpt)
The Book Of Blood And Shadow / Robin Wasserman
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life. (Age range: 12 – 17 Years; read an excerpt)
[Note: All synopses are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted and do not constitute reviews by the Seldovia Public Library.]
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.