The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

Friday, December 2, 2011
Deborah Blum
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age N

Blum is a Pulitzer Prize winner who makes chemistry real and fascinating in her tale of the careers of two important people in the field of forensic toxicology, Dr. Charles Norris, and Alexander Gettler.  The book follows the events in New York in the early 20th century.  Each chapter is named after a poison, and contains the unsettling real-life cases in which these two men devised methods to solve the crimes and detect the poisons.  Some parts are a little gruesome, and a little heavy on the chemistry, but a good read nonetheless.  Check our catalog for the audio book  or Check MelCat for the book

Margaret, Reference


Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Chris Fabry

Is Will obsessed with a life that can never be? After all he is an ex-con, hated in his hometown, and Karin, the woman he loves, is married to a minister and has three small children. As the story unfolds, we're given glimpses of how intertwined their lives are but are not truly prepared for all the revelations. Each of the four narrators add to the drama.  Check our catalog for the audiobook or check our catalog for the book

Doris, Reference

The Memory of Running (audiobook)

Friday, July 29, 2011
Ron McLarty
The Memory of Running (audiobook)
Smithson Ide, now in his forties, is the lonely slob his sister warned him he might become. He drinks heavily, smokes heavily, and works a boring job. But within the span of a few days his life begins to change. His parents die from an automobile accident, and then he opens a letter that says his missing sister's remains are in Los Angeles. When he sees his old bicycle hanging in the garage, he takes it down and begins what his former neighbor calls a quest. Along the way, we learn about Smithy's baseball playing father, mentally afflicted sister, determined neighbor who has loved him despite his flaws, and other characters. Also we are with him as he encounters people who are too quick to judge. This book reminds me of Forrest Gump; but, for me, the story is more believable and touching.
Doris M., Reference

The Sherlock Files-The Hundred Year Old Secret (audiobook)

Friday, July 22, 2011
Tracy Barrett
My Husband and I are great fans of Sherlock Holmes so while on vacation this week we listened to this audio book in the car. It was just long enough to get us up north! The book is recommended for listeners (or readers) ages to 9 to 12 but we really enjoyed it. Xena and Xander Holmes, siblings from the U.S., are moving to London with their parents. They discover they are related to the famous Sherlock Holmes and they inherit his unsolved casebook. The siblings go about trying to solve the cases that their famous ancestor couldn't. This first book deals with a missing famous painting-and yes they do solve the mystery!
Jan K., Youth Services

Revolution (YA Book on CD)

Friday, June 17, 2011
Jennifer Donnelly

The novel written with a teen adult protagonist will also appeal to adults. Andi Alpers is failing her classes in her last year at a prestigious private school in Brooklyn, NY. She is angry at her father for leaving, anxious for her mother who is not coping well and deeply saddened by the death of her younger brother. She accompanies her father, a famous scientist, to Paris for winter break to work on her graduation thesis. There she discovers the diary of Alexandrine Paradis who lived two centuries earlier during the French Revolution. Alexandrine’s words tell a story that transcends time and, at one point, become terrifyingly real.

Kathleen Z., Director

Hot, Flat and Crowded: why we need a green revolution-- and how it can renew America (Book on CD)

Friday, June 17, 2011
Thomas L. Friedman

The Pulitzer Prize winning author of TheWorld is Flat, Friedman makes a case for the U.S. to embrace a “green revolution” to revive America and lead the world in new and sustainable ways to live.  I confess that I skimmed the last quarter of the book because it is a tome of facts, history and opinion about economics, cultures of the world, weather, politics and more.  His research is impressive and his writing is great.  Even if you don’t agree with his opinions, he gives much food for thought and offers inspiration to tackle complicated issues that can lead to transformation.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet (Book on CD)

Monday, November 8, 2010
David Mitchell

In 1799 Japan allowed a few foreigners to stay only on the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Otherwise foreigners are blocked from entering Japan and Japanese citizens are prevented from leaving. As a young man, Jacob De Zoet arrives to help his employer, the Dutch East Indies Company, clean house. His goal is to make his fortune and reunite with his fiancé in Holland. Fate hands him a very different story. He falls in love with a Japanese woman even though he is only allowed to see her on Dejima in the presence of her Japanese colleagues in very public settings. If he in any way reveals his attraction to her, it could be deadly for both of them. Local and world events intervene to take them both on very different paths that include trust and betrayal and the challenges of historical racial and gender boundaries. Mitchell’s painstakingly detailed style of developing characters and settings and sweeping adventures reminds me of James Michener’s historical fiction.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series Book #1 (Audiobook)

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Alexander McCall Smith

Mma "Precious" Ramotswe is a character I'd heard of, but never knew much about until a few summers ago when I checked out the audiobook of  first book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

What's really wonderful about this audiobook besides Alexander McCall Smith's sweet storytelling is narrator Lisette Lecat's voice. The South African-born Lecat navigates the Botswana landscape capturing the rhythms and lyrical sound of Mma Ramotswe's voice and the rich language of the country.

My son and I enjoyed listening to this CD during leisurely breakfasts a few years ago. With the summer heat and Lecat's voice it was like being on safari.

Cyndi L., Reference

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A Beautiful Place to Die (Audio Book on CD)

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Malla Nunn

A great “who dun it” murder mystery set in South Africa 1953. The historical setting in a deeply divided society is what gives this story it’s twists and turns because the protocols differ for people of differing status mostly based on skin color or family lineage.  The main characters are well developed which sucks the reader in to see the story to its end.  Warning: it is quite violent.  The narrator, Saul Reichlin, is very good.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted (Audio Book on CD)

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Elizabeth Berg

I took this CD on a trip because I was intrigued by the title.  The first chapter was really very funny and made me want to stop at all the fast food restaurants on the way.   The sub title is "Every now and then, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a woman rebels, kidks up her heels, and commits a small act of liberation"  And that describes the book.  Several of the chapters were good and others were not, one was even offensive and I fast forwarded it.  I didn't get through all of the 7 discs but did enjoy the parts I listened to.

Sue N., Youth Services

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