Fiction

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Michael Punke
The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

I was intrigued when people started talking about the movie The Revenant. Their opinions were that the movie was very gruesome. The movie is based on the book The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke. It is a pioneer story of sorts that takes place during fur trading and struggles with Native Americans. The “gruesome” incident was a man getting attacked by a bear. The fur trader’s back, head, and throat were raked by the bear’s claws. To me, the movie didn’t really show this graphic scene. When reading the book, I felt the injuries that he suffered and how a member of his company tried stitching up his raw skin to cover at least his throat so that he could breathe easier. Two men were assigned to wait until he was dead and bury him so that the rest of the company could complete their mission. The bear-injured man survived after the men deserted him, so thus he wanted revenge for them not helping him. They even took all his weapons. His will to survive compelled him to drag his body until it was healed enough to find sustenance and a way to travel to find the men who deserted him. He was even helped by Native Americans. I loved the survival skills that were mentioned in the book about finding ways to get food without weapons. I preferred the encounter of revenge that took place in the book rather than the movie version.

Check our catalog for this book, the audiobook, the Blu-ray and DVD movie version of it.

 

Geralyn B., Technical Services

 

The Lost Wife

Friday, June 17, 2016
Alyson Richman
The Lost Wife

This story captures the sacrifices people made throughout World War II to keep their families and loved ones alive. Newlyweds Josef and Lenka are torn apart during the war and each face great difficulties on their own. Josef is by himself in a whole new country and Lenka is with her family at a concentration camp trying her hardest to survive. All they want to do is find each other again. Richman’s story puts true love to the test. This book is great for teens and older who love historical fiction or a great love story.

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Miranda M., Circulation

Before We Met

Monday, June 6, 2016
Lucie Whitehouse
Before We Met

Hannah meets a fellow Brit in NYC where she has a good career. She quickly marries him and gives up her job and moves to London with him where he has started an up-and-coming business. He travels a lot to the U.S. and when she plans to meet him at Heathrow Airport one day, he does not appear. She has a few text messages from him and when she tries to locate him, she cannot. Using great sleuthing methods, she discovers that he has closed out all her accounts and left her penniless. So she did not really know the person she married. It is a psychological suspense book which was very hard to put down. I strongly recommend it.

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Sue N., Youth Services

Hollow Man

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Mark Pryor
Hollow Man

“Dominic is a prosecutor, a musician, and an Englishman living in Texas. He is also a psychopath.” And he is having a really bad day. He gets a call from England that his parents have died and the estate is in debt, he is demoted at work, and he is accused of stealing another musician’s song. So timing is everything when he is presented with the opportunity to commit a robbery that should be easy to pull off. He enlists his computer geek roommate and a down-and-out former cop to help him out. But of course, the plan goes all wrong and two people are accidently killed. His partners naturally begin to freak out – but as a prosecutor, Dominic knows what evidence the detectives will be looking for, what behaviors they will expect from the suspects, and as a psychopath – Dominic knows how to lie.

I enjoyed this book right down to the twisty little end, slightly reminiscent of Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train. Englishman Mark Pryor lives in Austin, Texas and is also the author of the excellent Hugo Marsten mysteries -  about a Texan living in Paris. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

The Girl in the Red Coat

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Kate Hamer
The Girl in the Red Coat

This is the engrossing story of 8-year-old Carmel who disappears into the fog while at a storytelling festival with her single mother, Beth. Carmel is a bit of a mystery to Beth – a distracted wanderer who just acts downright strange sometimes – but this time Carmel has been abducted by a group of “spiritual healers” posing as her grandparents. They convince Carmel that her mother has died and they are now her appointed guardians. The story unfolds in alternating chapters between Carmel and Beth’s different perspectives, which I particularly enjoy. I was worried at first that perhaps Carmel would be physically or sexually abused by her captors. Not so – so if that is something you cannot bear to read (as I can’t) there is none of it here. The “spiritual healers” appear to be more interested in lining their own pockets using Carmel’s particular gift, and occasionally trying to save their own souls. I loved this book. It was original, thought-provoking and definitely worth reading.

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Kathleen M., Administration   

Stargirl

Monday, May 2, 2016
Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl

I have middle school boys. The pressure to conform is enormous. We used to live in a subdivision that had a list of approved house colors and pages of rules regarding when and where you could do things. The rules are written and unwritten, but make no mistake--we are surrounded by the message to conform.

In Spinelli’s book, Stargirl arrives at the high school and seems unaware that there even are these expectations of conformity. What freedom! It becomes contagious within the school until a line is crossed.

This is a wonderful story that will challenge every reader to be just a little bit truer to the self they are when they first wake up.

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Cindy A., Circulation

Red Queen

Friday, April 22, 2016
Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen

Set in a society separated by the color of blood (silver or red), Mare Barrow rattles the way of life for everyone when she is suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Mare’s newfound abilities land her a spot in a castle full of secrets and in the perfect place to start a revolution. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard will capture the attention of any reader that also fell in love with The Hunger Games or Divergent trilogies. This book held my attention the entire time with its perfect balance of action and romance. Mare’s story is very easy to relate to and I think will inspire any reader to discover who they are and find the power within themselves to do the impossible. The second book in the series is already out and a third will be coming as well! I would recommend this book for anyone in 6th grade and up. Red Queen has definitely made my top ten favorite books!

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Miranda M., Circulation

Beautiful Ruins

Thursday, April 7, 2016
Jess Walters
Beautiful Ruins

This well-written novel is a behind-the-scenes story of the Hollywood movie industry that begins in 1962 and then jumps forward to the present day and back several times. It begins on the Italian coast with Pasquale, an innkeeper who longs to improve his hotel to attract more guests. An American actress, Dee Moray, arrives and things are forever changed for Pasquale. Dee has been in Rome filming the movie Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who is colorfully depicted as a charismatic boozer. The story jumps forward to the present day with a would-be screenwriter, Shane Wheeler,  pitching a movie to the producer Michael Deane. This same Michael Deane had worked on Cleopatra fifty years ago, and was a large part of the storyline with Richard Burton. Subsequently, Pasquale shows up in the present day looking for Dee, after not having seen her for 50 years. There are several interlocking stories that the author skillfully weaves together. Including the real-life actors of Taylor and Burton in this fictional tale makes it all the more interesting.

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Pat P., Technical Services

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Monday, March 28, 2016
Maria Semple
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A delightful, funny tale of modern life. Bernadette so hates to deal with people she has a personal assistant--who happens to be in India. Her husband is devoted to Microsoft and her daughter Bee attends a middle school that is “a place where compassion, academics and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet.”

When Bernadette disappears two days before Christmas, her daughter is determined to find her. Using emails, letters, FBI documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist, and even an emergency-room bill, she finds out about the school fundraiser, the blackberry bushes, and a scandal, all of which have driven Bernadette to take action.

The author wrote for the television shows Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development, and has brought that same lively sense of whimsy to her fiction.

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Sue A2, Reference

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Richard C. Morais
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

The book is quite different from the movie. The first half, where the characters are well-developed, is engaging and fun. The second half, which covers Hassan Haji’s experience as a chef and then restaurant owner in Paris, bogs down. The characters in the Paris part of the story are two-dimensional and never really develop. I think the movie with Helen Mirren is a better story.

Check our catalog for the print book. Check MeLCat for the audiobook.

 

Kathleen Z., Administration

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