Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 5/31/11

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Centuries of June by Keith Donohue
City of the Snakes by Darren Shan
Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
The Five by Robert McCammon
The Girl That Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Mama Ruby by Mary Monroe
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young
A Simple Act of Violence by R.J. Ellroy
Trader of Secrets by Steve Martini

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bone Cold by Erica Spindler

Erica Spindler is one of my new favorite authors (sorry for bumping you, Linwood Barclay)! Sympathetic characters, steamy sex, and a wild plot make for compelling reading.

In Bone Cold, as a child of a Hollywood actress, Harlow Grail was abducted, had her pinkie severed, and held for ransom, but managed to escape. Her captor was never found. Harlow now lives as suspense author Anna North in New Orleans where she also works at The Perfect Rose florist shop with her two best friends, couple Bill and Dalton.

Although the nightmares of Kurt coming back to finish the job have never gone away, no one knows Anna's true identity which has allowed her to live somewhat of a normal life. That is, until her and all her friends receive a message directing them to watch an E! special on unsolved Hollywood mysteries that reveals who Harlow is and where she lives now. With her privacy exposed, Kurt will now be able to easily find her.

While a rash of murders plague the city, Anna North is introduced to sexy detective Quentin Malone who vows to protect her from her tormentor, but Anna isn't the only one in trouble. Jaye, Anna's "little sister," is missing. Has Kurt returned to repeat history and seek his revenge on Anna for botching his plans?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) by Betty White

If you've watched even a little bit of television lately, you cannot fail to have seen Betty White. She appears regularly on the show Hot in Cleveland, recently hosted Saturday Night Live, and takes a dive into the mud (well, at least her stunt double does) on a hilarious Snickers commercial. Her most recent book is a collection of observations and remembrances on a variety of topics (including aging, her work for animal welfare, and her career in Hollywood) drawn primarily from the last 15 years.

This book is a quick read, divided into chapters of just a few pages each. Some are poignant, many are humorous, and there are a few surprises thrown into the mix. For example, who knew that Betty has a long-standing crush on Robert Redford or that she has an entire room in each of her two homes devoted to her stuffed animal collection?

Throughout it all, her deep love for her late husband, game show host Allen Ludden, and her passion for animals shine through. Her reflections on encounters with Koko, a gorilla trained in sign language, and with Beethoven, a beluga whale at the Atlanta aquarium, are terrifically engaging.

There's nothing terribly profound here, but you couldn't do better than this for a light, breezy read that (like a Snickers bar) really satisfies.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 5/24/11

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez
Children and Fire by Ursula Hegi
Conviction by Aaron Allston
The Devil She Knows by Bill Loehfelm
Kiss Her Goodbye by Max Allan Collins
The Land at the End of the World by Antonio Lobo Antunes
Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

"I didn't know any better. I didn't know that once you've proven yourself useful to the wrong people, you'll never be free again."

At eighteen years old, this is a lesson that Michael learns the hard way. Ten years ago, a traumatic event left Michael mute, and his parents dead. Taken in by his bachelor uncle, he has lived an unconventional and challenging life. Just for fun, he plays around with locks, taking them apart to see how they work, and if he can get them to open. Padlocks, door locks, you name it, he can open them all without a key.

When his "special talent" is discovered by the wrong people, Michael is thrust into a life of crime, and it may just cost him his everything. Seeing a chance to escape, he takes the biggest risk of his young life, hoping that it will bring him home again, back to the girl he loves.

Be prepared to stay up late reading this one! This is one roller coaster ride of a thriller, so strap in and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce

After waiting 5 years for this book to come out, it was worth the wait. Francesca Cahill is finally marrying the man she loves, Calder Hart. But nothing every goes smoothly for Francesca. The morning of her wedding, she receives a note to come to a gallery for a private viewing. Immediately Francesca knows it is the painting of her that was stolen. She has time before the wedding and figures she will make it to the church with a hour to spare. She was wrong. When she arrives at the gallery, she sees her nude painting. Trying to get it off the wall is impossible. And then she hears a noise. Someone has locked her in.

By the time Francesca gets out, the church is empty. Calder assumes he has been jilted. Never believing he was good enough for Francesca he freezes her out when she tries to explain what happened. Now more determined then ever to find the painting and the thief, Francesca will use all her resources; Joel, her young sidekick, Bragg, the police commisioner and even Hart. And more than anything she will make Hart understand that she loves him and will do anything to marry him.

The Deadly series featuring Francesca Cahill is amazing. I love this series. It is 1902 and Francesca has discovered she has a knack for sluething. Discovering the love of her life and solving crimes is what this series is all about! I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 5/17/11

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Ambition by Lee Strobel
Conflict of Interest by Adam Mitzner
Embassytown by China Mieville
The Final Storm by Jeff Shaara
Graveminder by Melissa Mar
The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry
The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin
Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee
Valclav & Lena by Haley Tenner

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford

Starting where he left off in Jane Bites Back, Ford brings us back to current day Brakesville, New York where Jane Austen (yes, that Jane Austen), who now goes by Jane Fairfax, is undead, well, and still owns the bookstore. Despite the recent success of her first (as far as anyone knows) novel, Constance, life couldn't be any more complicated and chaotic.

For starters, her boyfriend's mother and snippy three-legged Chihuahua are coming to town to meet Jane for the first time and already dislike her because she isn't Jewish. Walter's little lie that she is converting will hopefully help, but that opens up a new can of worms.

In addition, Jane can barely go home with Beverly Shrop's bus tour invading the privacy of local authors that not only includes Jane, but also Tavish Osborn (who is really Lord Byron). What's more is a film crew is in town shooting scenes for the movie version of Constance, and Jane's editor won't cut her any slack about the overdue deadline of her next book, the book in which is hasn't even finished a chapter yet. How long will Jane be able to juggle keeping her secrets hidden before it destroys her relationship with Walter and her career? Does Miriam, Walter's mother, know the truth about Jane, and if so, will she destroy her?

Okay, I understand this novel doesn't sound like it would be everyone's cup of tea, but it really is very enjoyable, and I would be surprised to learn of anyone who doesn't love this lighthearted series. Ford makes Jane so relatable that it is not hard to imagine her living in present day as a vampire. There is a third book in the works, Jane Vows Vengeance, but we don't have a publication date yet. I sure hope it won't be long!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Perfect Peace by Daniel Black

Perfect Peace is eight years old when her mother tells her that she's not going to be a girl anymore, and hands her a pair of boys overalls to replace her pretty dress. From now on, she'll be a boy, because that's what she was born as.

The time is 1940. The place is Swamp Creek, Arkansas. Emma Jean has already given birth to 6 boys. All she wants in the world is for this seventh child to be a girl. So, when the child is born, Emma Jean names her Perfect, and so begins hiding a secret so big that it almost tears apart the Peace family, and that has consequences that no one could foresee.

This book is pitch perfect in every way. Unlike some family sagas that can get bogged down, this one keeps moving at a rapid pace, while giving you enough character development that you really begin to bond with each of them.

Mr. Black handles some extremely sensitive issues with compassion. If this book doesn't become a book club favorite, I'll be surprised. It's certainly a new favorite of mine.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 5/10/11

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

2030 by Albert Brooks
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
Blood Trust by Eric Lustbader
Buried Prey by John Sandford
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
Faith by Jennifer Haigh
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle
Just Wanna Testify by Pearl Cleage
Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Queen of Kings by Maria Headley
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith
A Time for Patriots by Dale Brown
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
The White Devil by Justin Evans

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Obsession by Karen Robards

When Katharine Lawrence awakes in the hospital, the last thing she remembers is trying to escape out her back door after the intruders who shot her best friend, Lisa, had tied them up and demanded the location of the safe, a safe she knows nothing about. At her bedside is Dan, her next door neighbor, who heard her screams the night before. Katharine knows that she knows Dan, but can't remember how.

Ed, the owner of her town home and a CIA operative who not only is Katharine's boss, but also her boyfriend, is furious about the intruders and is sending two of his men to guard her. Katharine feels that she can't trust Ed, escapes out of the hospital in the nick of time, and runs into Dan again. Katharine eventually agrees to allow Dan to take her to his cabin to hide out for a while.

Even though Katharine realizes who she is, nothing feels quite right. Ever since the attack, when she looks in the mirror, she doesn't even recognize the face that is staring back at her. When pieces of her memory come back in and out, she has to question if Dan really is who he says he is. She will have to tread carefully and suspect everyone because if she doesn't she might just end up dead.

Katharine is mostly confused and unsure of herself throughout this novel but relies on her gut to help guide her. After understanding how confusing things are for Katharine, imagine what it was like for the reader. Not knowing entirely what was going on, though, added to the surprise and suspense. Karen Robard's Obsession is fast-paced and loaded with many twists and turns. I would definitely read another one of her books.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

This beautifully written book is a fascinating combination of culinary musings and memoir. Written by the chef/owner of the New York restaurant Prune, it carries the reader from Hamilton's childhood to the troubled state of her marriage, with many stops along the way.

Hamilton grew up as one of five children in a family headed by an artist father and a French ex-ballerina mother who used every morsel of food ("from nose to tail") to feed her large brood. Her idyllic childhood came to an abrupt and unexpected end when her parents divorced and largely abandoned the family for a period of time. Gabrielle needed money for food and other items, so she talked her way into a restaurant job, thus beginning what was to become her professional journey.

Hamilton writes with unflinching honesty about her work with catering companies, her pursuit of a Master's degree in creative writing, her green card-inspired marriage to an Italian doctor and the challenges of opening and running her small restaurant. Throughout it all, the reader is struck by the ways in which food is the vehicle for forging a connection and a bond with others. Particularly moving are the passages about a summer vacation with her husband's family at their fading seaside villa in Italy.

The open examination of Hamilton's life does have a few jarring lapses. The reader is given little explanation for the continuing rift with her mother, for example, and what became of her father and most of her siblings after the divorce is barely mentioned. Nevertheless, this is a wonderfully written book which will interest foodies and non-foodies alike.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 5/3/11

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

10th Anniversary by James Patterson
Among the Departed by Vicki Delany
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
The Delta Solution by Patrick Robinson
Devil's Light by Richard North Patterson
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
The Informant by Thomas Perry
The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore
The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
Prophecy by S.J. Parris
Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets
Sixkill by Robert B. Parker
Spider Web by Earlene Fowler
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
The Wedding Shawl by Sally Goldenbaum
The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson