Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Knockoff by Jo Piazza and Lucy Sykes

Imogen Tate loves her job as Editor in Chief of Glossy.  Eager to return after months away on medical leave, Imogen shocked to find her carefully crafted, beautiful magazine is being reduced to an app.  And the mastermind behind the “revolution?” Her former assistant Eve.

Fresh out of Harvard Business School, Eve Morton has a plan to catapult Glossy into a new age.  Paper is out, coding is in.  And Imogen is left hanging out to dry - a reluctant Facebooker on the best of days who can barely use her iPhone, she finds herself at loss for how to keep up with the marathon web design sessions and omnipresent mandate to tweet, stream, and post every time she turns around.  But Imogen Tate isn’t ready to give up on her beloved Glossy.  Not without a fight.

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “fun” (though, really, I need far more than that!).  This is a summer read I devoured in record time. Piazza and Sykes do a wonderful job of bringing to life a world at the corner of high fashion and technology.

The descriptions of the cloths, the characters, and the problems/perks of ever-present devices are honest, entertaining, and witty.  It’s not a love letter to technology, nor is it a judgement of the millennials that love it.  Which, really, is what made it such an engrossing read.  Perfect for weekends when you’d like nothing more than to lose yourself in a book.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Masseuse by Sierra Kincade

Anna Rossi needs money. To supplement her income working as a masseuse at a spa, Anna takes jobs at client's homes. Her newest client is Maxim Stein. Usually she vets new clients but he is offering double what Anna usually makes. When Anna arrives at his mansion, she has a run in with a very hot stranger. He is Alec Flynn, Max's bodyguard.

Anna and Alec start a hot and heavy affair. Anna is falling for him, which scares her since she never gets attached or stays in one place for very long. But Alec is very secretive and that worries Anna. Before too long Anna is the victim of a stalker. But is Alec the one she should turn to for help?

This was a great first book in the Body Work trilogy. I really liked the characters and the story. The Distraction and The Confession are books two and three and conclude the story nicely. And after you read all three, don't worry, there will be another book with Amy and Mike's story!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Fiction 8/25/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

X Is For by Sue Grafton
Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr
Keeper's Reach by Carla Neggers
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Point Blank by Fern Michaels
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
Last Ragged Breath by Julia Keller
Iron Wolf by Dale Brown
Grand Opening by Carl Weber
Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Raised in colonial Kenya on her father’s ranch, deserted by her mother as a child, Beryl Markham has grown up like the land around her - strong, beautiful, and indomitable.  Seeking freedom from a loveless marriage, Beryl thrusts herself headfirst into horse training, finding a natural ability with the animals that soon defines her as not only the first female trainer in Kenya, but as a success.

As her fame (and infamy) spreads throughout the country she calls home, Beryl strains against the conventions of the European expat society - the Happy Valley set of the 1920’s and 1930’s - finding herself both desperate to find a place to belong and yet unwavering in her need for independence.  Until she meets Denys Finch Hatton, the rugged safari hunter who would be her life’s great love, and Karen Blixen, the future writer of Out of Africa, who would become both rival and friend.

In this extraordinary piece of historical fiction, McLain weaves a tale of three people whose lives were inextricably intertwined.  The story of Beryl Markham, who would later make history as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, is nuanced and authentic.  At it’s heart, it’s a story of survival and identity as much as it is about love.  The setting, which played such a prominent role in Markham’s story, fairly jumps off the page, with vivid details that perfectly set the scene.  Fans of The Paris Wife will surely enjoy this title, as will anyone in search of an engrossing read, or a piece of history from a lesser known point of view.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pursued by the Devil by Carole Mortimer

Attorney Lindsay Carlisle is rattled to find the wealthy and panty-melting Russian, Mikhail Lysenko, waiting for her in her office. He is the man trying to purchase her client’s company, and his presence unaccompanied by his attorney is inappropriate at best.

But his reasons for being there have nothing to do with business; he is there for pure pleasure and makes it clear he wants Lindsay to be his. While deep down his presence alone sends thrills to her very core, she spurns his advances for professional reasons. However, Mikhail doesn’t relent until he gets what he wants.

Now that someone is leaving black roses at her doorstep, his attention and protection is exactly what Lindsay needs. Lindsay allows Mikhail to keep her safe until they can identify and stop her tormentor, even though she is risking her heart with someone who is emotionally dangerous.

Billed as romantic suspense, Mortimer’s (Alpha series) attempt at thrills is contrived and they fall flat, devaluing the hot romance between Mikhail and Lindsay; this is perfunctory reading that entertains but isn’t particularly memorable.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | August 28, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Fiction 8/18/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.
Last Words by Michael Koryta
Gone Cold by Douglas Corleone
The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong
Friction by Sandra Brown

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

From his floating bookshop on the Seine, Jean Perdu dispenses remedies in the form of literature: books for heartache, books for sadness, books for life.  He knows instinctively what book a reader needs to solve their woes.  Except for his own.

Still reeling from a devastating loss in decades past, Perdu is content to live a solitary life.  He spends his days shuttling between his sparse, utilitarian apartment and his "literary apothecary," and avoiding the unopened letter in his kitchen draw - the only remnant of his great love, Manon.  Until the day he is tempted to open it, and begins to realize the lifetime of hurt that has seemingly defined him is not at all as it appears.

Hoping to make peace with a past he's only now discovered, Perdu pulls up anchor and navigates his book barge to the South of France in search of answers.  What he intends to be a solo trip soon has company, as a bestselling and wallowing novelist and lovesick Italian chef soon join him on his journey, each in hope of discovery and, perhaps, in finding something in themselves along the way.

This book is beautifully written - the lyrical prose will pull you in from the start.  Each of the characters in George's book is delightfully idiosyncratic and unique.  The scenic details are lush and engrossing, with Paris and the French countryside coming alive in wonderful detail.  At it's heart, it's a story of an internal and physical journey, not just for Perdu, but for many of the people he encounters.  It's the type of book that will run you through an emotional gauntlet, but in the best possible way.  Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a story that will fully transport you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

After sitting in prison for over a decade for the murder of her mother, young socialite and media darling Jane Jenkins is being released because of the mishandling of evidence by the LAPD. It was well known how much Jane disdained her mother, and she was the only suspect the ever considered.

Even Jane herself isn't entirely sure she is innocent, since she has no memories of the night Marion was killed. The only thing she remembers from that night brings her to the gold mining town of Ardelle, South Dakota. Staying at the local inn under the guise of a historian doing research during their annual festival, she hopes to find out the importance of this place and the connection to her mother.

In Ardelle, she meets a cop named Leo who has something to hide. Even the inn owner and local town figure Cora and her friends might know more than they are letting on. But one thing is clear, her mother had no friends here and digging into her mother's checkered past will be the only way to find the real killer and clear her name so she can come out of hiding and move on with her life.

This debut thriller grabbed me at first but sort of fizzled out later on. She did keep you guessing until the end, but I didn't feel Jane was a sympathetic character or really very likable at all, so I didn't really care by the end if the killer was ever found. Additionally, I am not sure if the author was trying to create a secondary subplot surrounding a potential romance between Jane and her attorney Noah, but this didn't help.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Fiction 8/11/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Patriarch by Martin Walker
Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron
Silver Linings by Debbie Macomber
Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb
Trap by Robert Tananbaum
The State We're In by Ann Beattie
Devil's Bridge by Linda Fairstein
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
Power Surge by Ben Bova
Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

Saturday, August 8, 2015

What If? by Randall Munroe

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the world stopped spinning?  If you tried to collect all the elements from the periodic table?  If the “glass half empty” glass was literally half empty?  Then reading What If? Serious Scientific Answer to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is sure to satisfy you need for answers to some truly ridiculous (and thoroughly entertaining) questions. 

Munroe, a former NASA roboticist and the author of the hugely popular webcomic xkcd, delves into the science behind readers’ fantastically farfetched scientific queries.  His analysis is comprehensive, combing through every facet and eventuality in hilarious detail - complete with illustrations to demonstrate just how impossible most of these situations are.

The best part about this book (and there are a lot of great parts) is the fact that he makes science approachable, even for those with little scientific acumen to speak of (like myself).  Be prepared to laugh, because as you’d imagine, the answer to most of these questions will be an emphatic “NO” - the fun is the explanation why.  If you’re an audiobook fan, What If? is masterfully narrated by Wil Wheaton.  Recommended to anyone with a love of science, humor, or a perfect combination of both.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The First Wife by Erica Spindler

Bailey Browne has just lost her mom and is on a much needed vacation. Much to her surprise she is swept off her feet by Logan Abbott. He is everything she has ever wanted. After a whirlwind courtship, they get married and soon they are on there way to Logan's horse farm in Louisiana.

Once there everything isn't as it seems. Bailey finds out about Logan's first wife and how she supposedly left him. But soon she is being told other stories like she might be dead and Logan killed her. Bailey wants to believe in Logan but the evidence points to him being a killer. And then another woman goes missing.

I wanted to love this book because the premise reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier but I didn't. I liked it but I wasn't a fan of Bailey's. I recommend reading it if you didn't read or watch Rebecca first!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Fiction 8/4/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Last Time I Saw Her by Karen Robards
The Sword of the South by David Weber
The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum
The Asset by John Burdett
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
Woman With a Secret by Sophie Hannah
Ultima by Stephen Baxter
Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen
Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Coming of Age at the End of Days by Alice LaPlante
The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron
Deadly Assets by W.E.B Griffin
Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

For Simon Watson, life is about books.  Book and the sea. His family home, holding on to tragic history and childhood memories alike, is inching ever closer into the Long Island Sound where his mother drowned years earlier. His job at the library, a job he loves, is hanging on by a thread. But even so, he can’t bring himself to leave - because Simon is the one who stays.

Until one day, when he receives a book - a family artifact from a mysterious bookseller. It holds the story of a carnival, a fortune teller, a wild man with no voice, and a mermaid with secrets she can’t speak.  Suddenly, the tragic events of Simon’s family past don’t seem so random. The book has stories to tell. And Simon needs the answers before it’s too late.

Swyler creates a story that is rich and engrossing, switching between the characters and time periods seamlessly. It’s the kind of story that starts slow, but picks up intensity quickly - you feel Simon’s fear and frustration in trying to find the answers that will potentially save his sister (or himself).

By the end, you won’t be able to sleep either, until you know the truth.  With careful attention to detail and settings that practically jump off the page, The Book of Speculation is a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a book with the ever enticing draw of unraveling a family mystery.