Wednesday, August 31, 2011

spooky mystery

Author Carol Goodman delivers yet another suspenseful mystery with The Ghost Orchid. Deep within the mountains is Boscoe, a famed and highly-exclusive artists colony. Here, writer Ellis Brooks is working on a novel about the 1893 disappearance of the notorious medium Cornith Blackwell and her supposed connection to the Boscoe Estate. As the artists of Boscoe delve deeper into their individual projects, strange and unexplainable things start to happen--things that mirror the events of that fateful summer over 100 years ago. Is this coincidence? Or is it the work of a restless and vengeful spirit? Soon Ellis and the other artists are plunged into a century-old mystery involving murder and kidnapping. None will be at peace at Boscoe until the mystery is solved. And none of them could predict the outcome.

The Ghost Orchid is a creepy and atmospheric story that's impossible to put down. Also, check out the author's other novels. AJL

Friday, August 26, 2011

Strength and Survival

When a dying father of three loses his wife unexpectedly, life becomes chaotic. The children are sent to live with relatives and he is left to die, alone. His mysterious recovery prompts him to reunite the family and begin again. A surprise inheritance takes them to South Carolina, to live in an old seaside home with an obsolete light house. The property needs a lot of repair work, but so do they… One Summer by David Baldacci examines a young family working to overcome loss and find love. An uplifting read!DB

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dressmaker of Khair Khana

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a true story about a young girl who struggled to help her family when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. Kamila Sidiqi started a sewing business to support her family but it soon turned into a way to help many women in her community. After the Taliban took control of Kabul women were not allowed to attend school, work outside of the home or leave the house without a male escort. The men were forced to flee from the military and the women were soon struggling to feed themselves. With Kamila’s help they were able to learn a skill and earn enough money to support themselves. This is an inspiring story reminiscent of Three Cups of Tea. SG

Love,doubt and faith.

It's the spring of 2002 and in Boston the reputation of the Catholic Church is in ruins. For one devout family whose revered member is a priest, the consequences are devastating. In Faith, we meet Sheila McGann, although long estranged from her difficult family has remained close to her brother Art, a popular priest. When he is accused of child molestation along with many other priests, she goes to support him. As the scandal bring long denied family secrets and feelings to light, all seek the truth. A deep exploration of family,loyalty,doubt and faith, this novel written by Jennifer Haigh is intelligent and well written M.L.

a desperate swim

When she witnesses a child falling into Lake Champlain,Troy Chance doesn't even think as she dives into the icy waters off a ferry. As the ferry disappears she retrieves the little boy and faces a cold mile-long swim to shore. So starts the novel Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry. Who is this child who only speaks French? Why is there no press about a missing boy? Her discovery of the child's identity and why he was almost killed is the chilling mystery explored in this novel. Interesting characters and a fast-moving plot make this an exciting read. M.L.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fairytales & Family Secrets

If you're a parent or a teacher, the name "Jane Yolen" probably brings to mind the author's prodigous body of children's literature and picture books. But Yolen has written a few novels for adults too, among them the haunting story of Briar Rose. Inspired by the Chelmno concentration camp, which was housed inside of a castle, Yolen crafts her story of the Holocaust around the fairytale of "The Sleeping Beauty." After the death of her beloved grandmother, Becca begins to delve into her family's past and uncovers a hidden message in her grandmother's favorite story, "Briar Rose." Her discovery takes her back to the terrifying days of World War II, half a world away. Suitable for both Adult and Young Adult readers. HM

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shea Stadium Remembered

The Last Play at Shea is a documentary film featuring performances by Billy Joel, among others. This film gives the history of Shea Stadium in New York City and charts the life and career of Long Island native Billy Joel. Interspersed with interviews from baseball players and musicians who have played at Shea is live concert footage of the 'last play' by Joel. Other performers in this final concert include Garth Brooks, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney and John Mayer. It's a nostalgic look at the 60s through current times with great historic concert footage of such well known bands as the Beatles, The Who and The Police. It is a pleasure to watch. Highly recommended! SG

Friday, August 19, 2011

How Sweet It Is!

Flavia de Luce is the eleven year old star of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. A dead bird with a postage stamp stuck on it's beak and a dead body on Flavia's doorstep (an old English manor) creates an irrisistable mystery to the incorrigible Flavia. If you enjoyed Louise Fitzhugh's character Harriet the Spy you will enjoy 11-year-old Flavia, who has the curiosity and the brains to get to the bottom of this mystery. A charming book! SG

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eternal Flame

In Ghost Light, Joseph O'Connor explores what remains after a great romance has come to an end. Based on the real-life relationship between Irish playwright John Synge and his teen-aged muse, actress Molly Allgood, readers are taken on a journey through 1900s Dublin and 1950s London. Only a few years into their secret courtship, Synge dies, leaving young Molly alone to contemplate their love affair in the decades that follow. Through Molly's narration, we are told that a ghost light is the single luminescent left to burn in the theatre, always avoiding complete darkness. Synge's memory is Molly's ghost light and her constant companion during her downward spiral to alcoholism and destitution, but Molly herself is also a ghost light, the only flame left from a time gone by. O'Connor's prose makes for a very quick and engaging read, leading readers down the rabbit hole within his heroine's mind. HM

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Shall We Three Meet Again?

To be and have a sister is to understand the strange and intriguing relationship between main characters Rose, Bean, and Cordy. Rose is the quintessential oldest-- reliable, discerning, and always ready to advise and to judge. Bean and Cordy are less dependable-- more likely to follow their own whims than they are to follow directions. However, when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, all three sisters find themselves home again, each harboring a unique secret.

Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters is thus named due to the family's obsession with Shakespeare, and the first person plural narration underlines this in a clever way. The novel's biggest success, however, lies in the realistic nature of the characters and their relationships with each other. OEO

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out of this World

The meteoroid which impacts off the Maine Coast in Douglas Preston's novel Impact starts this story off with a bang. NASA and government agencies soon become involved when it turns out that this meteoroid is much more than it seems and appears to be tied to radioactive gemstones found in Cambodia. Abby Straw, a college dropout and astronomist wannabe, who searches for the meteoroid to sell it on ebay, also becomes embroiled in the craziness to come. This novel isn't the best writing by Preston, who is well known for his novels Relic and The Codex and for the many books he has co-authored with Lincoln Child, but it is a solid page turner that keeps you going. Look for Preston & Child's new book Cold Vengeance out this month. SG

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Twenty-two years ago, Detective Frank Mackey was just a teenager with big dreams who planned to elope with his girlfriend, Rosie Daly. Their tickets were bought, their bags packed, and their lives in the Dublin slums were set to change forever. Unfortunately, while Frank waited anxiously under a streetlight on the night of their supposed escape, Rosie decided to stand him up and head to London alone. At least that's what he had always assumed. Then Rosie's battered and moldy suitcase is discovered behind a fireplace in a derelict house in Faithful Place and Detective Mackey is called back by his estranged, dysfunctional family to find out what actually happened to Rosie Daly two decades ago. Faithful Place is the third book in Tana French's loosely connected Dublin Murder Squad series and can be read independently of the previous titles, In the Woods and The Likeness.

For more international crime thrillers, check out our current display and reading list next time you're in the library. HM

Friday, August 5, 2011

Which Way to Go?

What would you do if you lost everything that mattered to you? The answer is not clear to Alan Christofferson, whose life changes with a tragic accident. He begins to walk from Seattle to the southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West. The hope that time and daily encounters will be healing keeps him going. The goodness of the ordinary people he meets is inspiring. His story is told in five books, the first is The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. DB

Monday, August 1, 2011

Man's Best Friends

The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle is a must-read for animal lovers and advocates. Pacelle is the president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and brings his wealth of experience dealing with animal rights issues to this engaging read. Through the book, Pacelle describes the innate kinship we have with animals, how that bond has been broken, and what we can do to reconnect. In a few especially gripping sections he details his jailhouse interview with Michael Vick, the bison hunt nipping at the borders of Yellowstone National Park, and the selfless acts of compassion and love shown by volunteers to the animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Bond is a truly thought-provoking look into how we as a society interact with the creatures around us, and the sometimes steep price of that relationship.

For more info, check out Wayne Pacelle at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday, August 6th. HM