Fiction

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.

Check our catalog for this book.

 

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

Outlander (Audiobook)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Diana Gabaldon
Outlander (Audiobook)

I listened to the audiobook version of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is a gripping tale which keeps the reader actively engaged. It is loaded with romance, action, and intrigue. It’s hard to classify this book into just one genre, as it contains historical fiction, romance, time travel, fantasy, action, and military history. The author is very detailed with her description of life in the Scottish Highlands in the 1740s. It’s a carefully written book with three-dimensional characters inhabiting a complex, believable world. Now that Starz is turning the books into a television series, the books are increasing even more in popularity. Due to some of the graphic content in the book, I would recommend it for adult readers.

 

Claire Randall is a British combat nurse who is reunited with her husband after World War II. They take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands to reconnect and to research her husband’s ancestors. While there, Claire visits an ancient stone circle known as Craigh na Dun, and upon touching the stones she is transported back in time. She suddenly finds herself in war-torn Scotland in the year 1743. She is discovered by a Scottish clan, and, although suspicious of her, they take her in. Her healing skills become valuable to the clan, and she finds safety in the arms of Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. Now she finds herself torn between two worlds and two very different men.   

 

Check our catalog for this audiobook, the print book, and the TV show.

 

Marybeth K., Circulation/Reference

 

The Book of Lost and Found

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Lucy Foley
The Book of Lost and Found

Kate Darling is grieving the loss of her beloved mother June, a world class ballerina, who was killed in a recent plane crash when she receives startling information from her grandmother Evie. She had always known that her mother was adopted but June had always believed that her birth mother had never tried to find her. As Evie herself nears death, she gives Kate a letter and an artist’s drawing of a woman that bears an amazing resemblance to June. Kate is compelled to embark on a journey to discover the identity of the woman she believes to be her grandmother; a journey that travels through time as well as place, as she is led from London, to Corsica, to Paris and New York to find the answers to family secrets and love, both lost and found. Even though slow at times, I enjoyed this debut novel by author Foley and look forward to more from her in the future.

Check the catalog for this book.

Sue A., Reference

Fallen Land: A Novel

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Taylor Brown
Fallen Land: A Novel

I really was drawn into this atmospheric and compelling book. In the last years of the Civil War, Callum, at 15, is an orphan who has fallen in with a band of marauders who are pillaging the countryside. He rescues a girl, Ava, who is the only survivor in her family. As they make their way through the South, trying to find a place of safety, the only things they can count on are each other and their beautiful, stately horse, Revier. Highly recommended.

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Margaret B., Reference

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