Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Celia Bowen was given to her father after her mother committed suicide. Not really interested in the child, Hector Bowen aka Prospero the Enchanter, doesn't want the bother. But then he discover she has magic just like him and he decides to train her. But just as the training begins a man in a grey suit shows up. They decide to make a challenge. Celia versus an opponent of the grey suit man's choosing and a venue created by Chandresh Christophe Lefevre. Celia is given a silver ring which binds her to the challenge.

Marco Alisdair is found in an orphanage by the man in the grey suit. He is trained by the man in the grey suit to win the challenge. He is given a gold ring that binds him. However neither Marco nor Celia know who their opponent is.

Le Cirque des Reves or the Circus of Dreams is created. And in this circus is a magical world. The circus just shows up and leaves without warning and is only open at night. But within a duel is happening that no one knows about except Celia and Marco. But what they don't know is that the only way to win is for one of them to die.

With an array of characters The Night Circus is one magical read. There is magic, romance, and intrigue. My review is not doing this excellent book justice. All I can say is read it!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Accident by Linwood Barclay

I discovered Barclay a few years ago when I read Never Look Away, and I loved it so much that I had to go back and read all of his other books, naturally. The Accident is another winner with not one but two unsuspecting turn of events at the end. This book would be an easy transition for fans of Kate White's Bailey Wiggins mysteries.

Barclay's protagonist, Glen Garber, is reeling at the shocking death of his wife Sheila. When she didn't return home from her night class, she was eventually found drunk and behind the wheel of her car which she parked on a freeway exit ramp. Besides killing herself, the two people in the car that hit her also died. Sheila never had a drinking problem, so he can't understand how she could do this, especially since she left behind Kelly, their eight-year-old daughter.

When Kelly spends the night at her friend's house shortly after Sheila's death, she not only overhears but also inadvertently records a phone conversation her friend's mom has in which she tells someone they will get a bullet to their head. When Ann discovers her hiding in the closet, she tells Kelly she can't talk about the conversation. Glenn feels something isn't quite right here, especially since Ann's husband has been trying to talk to Kelly about the conversation his wife had.

Besides Ann's Slocum's odd behavior at the sleepover, it comes to light that she may be involved with some very shady characters who provide the knock-off purses she sells for extra income, and that somehow Sheila might be connected to this illegal business. The more Glen digs, the more he finds their circle of friends are all involved with the knock-off sales that make him question if Sheila's death was really an "accident."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Fiction for 10/25/11

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.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
A Christmas Homecoming by Anne Perry
The Christmas Note by Donna Vanliere
Christmas in Sugarcreek by Shelley Shepard Gray
A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander
The Litigators by John Grisham
The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts
Ranchero by Rick Gavin
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Tides of War by Stella Tillyard

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Living on the Edge by Shannon K. Butcher

Sloane Gideon must get to Columbia and rescue her friend Gina. But first she has to finish her bodyguard job. Guarding a businessman at a party, Sloane is counting down the minutes. Things start getting interesting when she is approached by a strange man and then gunfire erupts. Next thing she knows, the man is trying to stop her from going to Columbia. But Sloane outsmarts him and makes it to her plane.

Lucas Ramsey is just trying to do a favor for the General. But the General didn't warn him that the woman he was supposed to prevent from going to Columbia is a mercenary for a company called Edge. Now Lucas is in Columbia trying to track her down. The General also forget to mention Sloane was his daughter and Sloane wasn't too fond of the General. When Lucas finally catches up with Sloane he does everything he can to convince her that they should team up to get Gina. Reluctantly she agrees. Now they must navigate a jungle and there feelings for each other to reach Gina in time.

This is the first book in the Edge series. Really enjoyed it and cannot wait for the next one to come out in November!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Bestselling author Sparks follows his usual formula of love and tragedy in his newest book, The Best of Me. Fans of Spark will know what to except, but newcomers might be disappointed if they are looking for a feel good ending.

Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole (not Leery, although there is a creek) have your typical Romeo and Juliet love affair. They meet in high school in Oriental, North Carolina, where Amanda comes from a well-to-do family while Dawson, on the other hand, comes from a family who has a long history of violence, drugs, and prison. Dawson is unlike the other Coles, and despite threats from his family, he goes out on his own by moving in with Tuck, a local man who owns the garage where Dawson works.

Neither family approves of their relationship, and Amanda's parents refuse to send her to college unless she ends her romance with Dawson. Although it tears him apart, he makes the selfless decision to let Amanda go.

Fast forward twenty years, and Amanda is a married woman with three children. Dawson never loved another woman again and now works on oil rig off the Gulf Coast. Tuck has just passed away, and Dawson and Amanda are going to be reunited again when they are asked to follow through with the instructions of Tuck's will.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Fiction for 10/18/11

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.

Bonnie by Iris Johansen
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
Double Dexter by Jeffry P. Lindsay
Ed King by David Guterson
The Infernals by John Connolly
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
The Maid by Kimberly Cutter
Najing Requiem by Ha Jin
Power and Beauty by T.I. Harris
Scenes From Village Life by Amos Oz
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams

This is an entertaining suspense debut and first in a new series from novelist Williams, especially if you like Evanovich's Stephanie Plum character and can handle a little bit more edge.

Recovering alcoholic Keye Street has been fired from her position as an FBI criminologist and now owns her own PI/bail bonds/corporate security business. Working along side her is expert hacker and frequent stoner Neil. In addition to clients, Keye and Neil receive visits from her friend and Atlantic PD cop Aaron Rauser and Charlie, a handicapped bike courier who always brings presents.

Although reluctant, Keye eventually relents and agrees to help Aaron work up a profile for a killer whose victims are sexually mutilated, raped, and stabbed. Because the killer, who the media has dubbed Wishbone, leaves no forensic evidence behind, Rauser suspects he has a special knowledge of how the authorities process crime scenes. The crimes will start getting personal when Keye receives the next letter from the killer bragging about his latest conquest.

Even behind all gruesome murders, you may find yourself chuckling at Street and the situations she gets into from time to time. I also really liked the first person narration that allowed the reader to understand the story through Keye's eyes. Readers can also look forward to a twist at the end as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Defnitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

If you are a Jane Austen fan and looking for a light, fun read, check out Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos. Chloe Parker is a single mom with a failing business and loves Jane Austen and the Regency era. She applies for a British television show about Jane, hoping to win the $100,000 prize through trivia contests. However, when she arrives, she learns that she will be living as if it is 1812 and competing to win the heart of handsome Mr. Wrightman. It's The Bachelor meets Survivor meets Jane Austen!

So Chloe needs to live without cell phones, email, indoor plumbing, hot baths and deodorant and perfect her Regency era skills of bonnet trimming, archery, tea parties, and playing the pianoforte all while camera crews film her every move. To win the prize money, she also needs to compete for Mr. Wrightman's attention and earn a marriage proposal from him. Not easy to do with a chaperone always present!

Chloe is determined to earn the prize money, but doesn't think she is ready to fall in love again. Her journey is full of laughs and frustration, and the competition is tough!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Fiction for 10/11/11

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.

As the Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton
Bad Moon by Todd Ritter
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge
The Dark at thed End by F. Paul Wilson
Harbor by John Lindqvist
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Snuff by Terry Pratchett
The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Close Enough to Kill by Beverly Barton

Prolific romance author Beverly Barton, who sadly passed away earlier this year, has a solid and intriguing story in Close Enough to Kill. Jim Norton recently accepted a position as police captain in the small town of Adam's Landing, Alabama to be closer to his son Kevin.

When a young, pretty, and popular brunette's body is discovered naked and posed, sheriff Bernie Granger is shocked that a violent crime could penetrate the safe walls of her idyllic town, and she is leaning on the help of Jim, as captain, to catch this killer. But even Jim, who has experience with violent crimes from his time in Memphis, can't outsmart this guy before a body of another pretty Brunette is turns up again.

Their killer takes his time stalking his victims by sending them jewelry and love notes. The women are flattered that they have a secret admirer until the correspondence gets more vicious, at which point the she is abducted, raped, tortured and killed. It is soon revealed that the victims had known their killer and willingly left with him, but which resident of Adams Landing could do this?

As the case heats up with more and more women missing, so does the heat between the nurturing Bernie and Jim, who craves the love of a women he can trust after having his heart broken by his ex-wife.

Barton really keeps you guessing by not revealing the killer' identity until the very end. The romantic elements between Bernie and Jim as well as a a page-turning plot made for a very enjoyable read, and I am sad that we won't hear more from this talented author.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

Even if you are not a fan of Simon Pegg, chances are you've seen in him in one of his movies - Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Run Fatboy, Run and, most recently, Paul. As a particular fan of his work, I was super-excited to see that he had written an auto-biography, but hesitant because the vast majority of biographies that I have read usually turn me off of that person. Happily, this is not one of those. Pegg has written a poignant, sweet, and funny tale of his life thus far.

Born into a middle-class family in western England, Pegg's mother was an amateur actress and his father a musician, so his creative apple didn't fall far from the tree. Growing up in the 1970's and 80's, he details his triumphs and tragedies, first loves and bromances, and throughout it all his adoration of science fiction and other nerdy pursuits. He even includes the autobiography he WISHED he could write, interspersed with the factual accounts, detailing his superhero-like prowess, rugged handsomeness and robotic sidekick.

I don't believe this book will broaden Pegg's appeal beyond those who are already fans - but if you are interested in reading more about him and his background, give this bio a try.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Fiction for 10/4/11

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 Ares Decision by Kyle Mills
Cain by Jose Saramago
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Changes by Mercedes Lackey
The Chocolate Castle Clue by Joanna Carl
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Down These Strange Streets by George R.R. Martin
Falling Together by Marisa De Los Santos
The Great Leader by Jim Harrison
Headstone by Ken Bruen
Lionheart by Sharon Penman
The Lost Angel by Javier Sierra
Murder Unleashed by Rita Mae Brown
Neverwinter by R.A. Salvatore
The Night Strangers by Christopher Bohjalian
The Sandburg Connection by Mark De Castrique
Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
Shock Wave by John Sandford
Stolen Souls by Stuart Neville
The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff
The Visible Man by Check Klosterman
Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inside by Brenda Novak

Inside, the first in the Bulletproof Trilogy, was just OKAY. There weren't a lot of twist and turns, but a focus on prison gangs made for a compelling read nonetheless.

Peyton Adams, Chief Deputy Warden of Pelican Bay, has made her concerns known, but the director of the California Corrections and Rehabilitation, Rick Wallace, will put Virgil Skinner's life in danger to get what he wants whether she approves or not.

Skinner, an ex-con who was exonerated after being incarcerated for fourteen years for the murder of his stepfather, made a deal with the Feds that he would go undercover to get the proof Wallace needs to convict the Hells Fury gang for ordering a hit on Judge Garcia. In return, the Feds will protect his sister and her two kids from his ex-gang, The Crew. Peyton knows that putting Skinner inside is a huge risk, and she will do whatever it takes to protect a man that she knows is dangerous, but that she just can't resist.

I didn't know a lot about prison gangs beforehand, so I felt that this made for a refreshing read, and the romantic elements between Skinner and Peyton helped to propel the story. Fans of the television series Prison Break will definitely like this one.