Weekly Top Picks

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of February 20, 2017

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Norse Mythology

Neil Gaiman

Call Number: FIC GAIMAN

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki--son of a giant--blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor's hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman--difficult with his beard and huge appetite--to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir--the most sagacious of gods--is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.Through Gaiman's deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

 


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Walking Lions

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Call Number: FIC GUNDAR-GOSHEN

After one night's deadly mistake, a man will go to any lengths to save his family and his reputation. 

Neurosurgeon Eitan Green has the perfect life--married to a beautiful police officer and father of two young boys. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road after an exhausting hospital shift, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene.

When the victim's widow knocks at Eitan's door the next day, holding his wallet and divulging that she knows what happened, Eitan discovers that her price for silence is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan's safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies he could never have anticipated.

WAKING LIONS is a gripping, suspenseful, and morally devastating drama of guilt and survival, shame and desire from a remarkable young author on the rise.

 

 

 

 

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of February 13, 2017

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Born of Vengeance

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Call Number: FIC KENYON

A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won't rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman-- the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn't come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.

Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn't just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn't ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.

 


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Cruel Mercy

David Mark

Call Number: FIC MARK

In the New York Police Department's 7th Precinct on the Lower East Side, Detective Ronny Alto is investigating a crime that's left one man dead and the other in a medically induced coma after surviving a shot to the head. One hope is that Brishen Ayres, a boxing coach and legend in the gypsy community in England, will wake up and reveal the person--or people--responsible. Another hope is Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy.

Far away from his home in the U.K., from his familiar Hull, and from the guidance of his boss Trish Pharaoh, McAvoy is flown in to assist with the case, but he has his own motives for the trip: find a man named Valentine Teague--another amateur boxer, a rival of the Helden family, and, perhaps most important, his brother-in-law. But every step toward locating Valentine is a step deeper into a sinister underground network of misguided loyalty, faith, and honor that pulses beneath the streets of New York.

 

 

 

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of February 6, 2017

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I Amost Forgot About You

Terry McMillan

Call Number: FIC MCMILLAN

In I Almost Forgot About You , Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia's bravery reminds us that it's never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.

 


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Charcoal Joe

Walter Mosley

Call Number: FIC MOSLEY

Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins finds his life in transition. He's ready--finally--to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he's taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford "Whisper" Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy's friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man's dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.


Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.

 


Adult Non-Fiction - Best Pick of the Week

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Hidden Figures

Margot Lee Shetterly

Call Number: 510.9252 LEE

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space--a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African-American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of January 30, 2017

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In the Shadow of Lakecrest

Elizabeth Blackwell

Call Number: FIC BLACKWELL

The year is 1928. Kate Moore is looking for a way out of the poverty and violence of her childhood. When a chance encounter on a transatlantic ocean liner brings her face-to-face with the handsome heir to a Chicago fortune, she thinks she may have found her escape--as long as she can keep her past concealed.

After exchanging wedding vows, Kate quickly discovers that something isn't quite right with her husband--or her new family. As Mrs. Matthew Lemont, she must contend with her husband's disturbing past, his domineering mother, and his overly close sister. Isolated at Lakecrest, the sprawling, secluded Lemont estate, she searches desperately for clues to Matthew's terrors, which she suspects stem from the mysterious disappearance of his aunt years before. As Kate stumbles deeper into a maze of family secrets, she begins to question everyone's sanity--especially her own. But just how far will she go to break free of this family's twisted past?

 


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Bertrand Court

Michelle Brafman

Call Number: FIC BRAFMAN

Bertrand Court is a captivating novel told in story form, intertwining seventeen luminous narratives about the secrets of a cast of politicos, filmmakers, and housewives, all tied to a suburban Washington, DC, cul-de-sac. Linked through bloodlines and grocery lines, they respond to life's bruises by grabbing power, sex, or the family silver. As they atone and forgive, they unmask the love and truth that hop white picket fences.

Michelle Brafman is the author of the novel Washing the Dead . Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Slate , Tablet , the Washington Post , Lilith , the the minnesota review , and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program and lives with her family in Glen Echo, Maryland.

 


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On Second Thought

Kristan Higgins

Call Number: FIC HIGGINS

Ainsley O'Leary is so ready to get married--she's even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn't anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog...which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who's struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate's always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed--and a widow--in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that's always separated them, Ainsley's and Kate's heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family--and the possibility of one day finding love again.

 


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The Patriots

Sana Krasikov

Call Number: FIC KRASIKOV

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow--and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can't escape. Many years later, Florence's son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence's KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.

The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence's and Julian's perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations , The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of January 23, 2017

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Power Game

Christine Feehan

Call Number: FIC FEEHAN

"#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan is "one of the best storytellers around" (RT Book Reviews). Find out why as two lovers surrounded by greed and corruption discover there's no telling whom you can trust--or who will come out on top... When members of a United Nations joint security force are taken hostage by radical terrorists in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a supersoldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better and run faster than the enemy, disappear when necessary and hunt along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that... A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn't want to control her or kill her. But Zeke is different. His gaze, his touch--they awaken feelings inside her that she never thought possible. He's the kind of man she could settle down with--if she can keep him alive.."--

 


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The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Heather O'Neill

Call Number: FIC ONEILL

With echoes of The Night Circus , a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans - in love with each other since they can remember - whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one's origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. 

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes - after years of searching and desperate poverty - the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O'Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of January 16, 2017

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Always Happy Hour 

Mary Miller

Call Number: FIC MILLER

Combining hard-edged prose and savage Southern charm, Mary Miller showcases biting contemporary talent at its best. Fast on the heels of her "terrific" (New York Times Book Review) debut novel, The Last Days of California, she now reaches new heights with this collection of shockingly relatable, ill-fated love stories.Acerbic and ruefully funny, Always Happy Hour weaves tales of young women--deeply flawed and intensely real--who struggle to get out of their own way. They love to drink and have sex; they make bad decisions with men who either love them too much or too little; and they haunt a Southern terrain of gas stations, public pools, and dive bars. Though each character shoulders the weight of her own baggage--whether it's a string of horrible exes, a boyfriend with an annoying child, or an inability to be genuinely happy for a best friend--they are united in their unrelenting suspicion that they deserve better.These women seek understanding in the most unlikely places: a dilapidated foster home where love is a liability in "Big Bad Love," a trailer park littered with a string of bad decisions in "Uphill," and the unfamiliar corners of a dream home purchased with the winnings of a bitter divorce settlement in "Charts." Taking a microscope to delicate patterns of love and intimacy, Miller evokes the reticent love among the misunderstood, the gritty comfort in bad habits that can't be broken, and the beat-by-beat minutiae of fated relationships.Like an evening of drinking, Always Happy Hour is a comforting burn, warm and intoxicating in its brutal honesty. In an unforgettable style that distinguishes her within her generation, Miller once again captures womanhood in "a raw...and heartbreaking way" (Los Angeles Review of Books) and solidifies her essential role in American fiction.


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The Midnight Cool

Lydia Peelle

Call Number: FIC PEELLE

The Whiting Award--winning author of the story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing delivers her enchanting debut novel, set in 1916 Tennessee: a rich and rewarding tale of two flawed yet endearing grifters who pursue women, wealth, and a surprisingly valuable commodity for the troops in Europe--mules.

A middle-aged Irish immigrant, Billy has a gift for illusion--making damaged objects look new. His companion, Charles, the smooth-tongued teenage son of a prostitute, is a natural salesman, just like the mythical father he's never met. Longtime horse traders and partners, they've recently turned their talents to trading mules. But in the summer of 1916, these seasoned grifters skilled in the art of the underhanded deal have just been swindled themselves. They're saddled with the one thing they may not be able to unload: a gorgeous, murderous black mare named The Midnight Cool.

Charles should have listened to Catherine, the beautiful, rebellious daughter of Leland Hatcher, the richest man in Richfield, Tennessee, and the former owner of The Midnight Cool. The horse would be worth a fortune--if she weren't a verified man-killer who attacks on sight. Charles and Billy are rooted in this muggy town until they can miraculously retrain their recalcitrant mare, and in the shadow of the growing inevitability of war, their bond begins to fray. Falling in love with Catherine--and under the spell of the deceitful, wealthy Leland, the vision of himself he'd like to be--Charles pulls away from the older man.

Despite their growing distance, Billy and Charles find their business thriving when the war in Europe pushes the demand for mules sky-high and the United States enters the fight. But when a trade goes terribly wrong, Charles is forced to reevaluate his allegiance to his country, the moral implications of his lifestyle, his relationship with Catherine, and, ultimately, his mysterious and surprisingly deep connection to Billy.

Populated by spirited, memorable characters, The Midnight Cool is a startlingly profound tale of aspiration, loyalty, and love--and the eternal search for something lasting in a transitory world.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of January 9, 2017

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Huck Out West

Robert Coover

Call Number: FIC COOVER

At the end of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, on the eve of the Civil War, Huck and Tom Sawyer decide to escape "sivilization" and "light out for the Territory." In Robert Coover's Huck Out West, also "wrote by Huck," the boys do just that, riding for the famous but short-lived Pony Express, then working as scouts for both sides in the war.They are suddenly separated when Tom decides he'd rather own civilization than leave it, returning east with his new wife, Becky Thatcher, to learn the law from her father. Huck, abandoned and "dreadful lonely," hires himself out to "whosoever." He rides shotgun on coaches, wrangles horses on a Chisholm Trail cattle drive, joins a gang of bandits, guides wagon trains, gets dragged into U.S. Army massacres, suffers a series of romantic and barroom misadventures.He is eventually drawn into a Lakota tribe by a young brave, Eeteh, an inventive teller of Coyote tales who "was having about the same kind of trouble with his tribe as I was having with mine." There is an army colonel who wants to hang Huck and destroy Eeteh's tribe, so they're both on the run, finding themselves ultimately in the Black Hills just ahead of the 1876 Gold Rush.This period, from the middle of the Civil War to the centennial year of 1876, is probably the most formative era of the nation's history. In the West, it is a time of grand adventure, but also one of greed, religious insanity, mass slaughter, virulent hatreds, widespread poverty and ignorance, ruthless military and civilian leadership, huge disparities of wealth. Only Huck's sympathetic and gently comical voice can make it somehow bearable.

 


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The Red Sphinx

Alexander Dumas

Call Number: FIC DUMAS

In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After, that resumed the adventures of his swashbuckling heroes.Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins, not twenty years later, but a mere twenty days afterward. The Red Sphinx picks up right where the The Three Musketeers left off, continuing the stories of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII--and introducing a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the period. A young cavalier newly arrived in Paris, Moret is an illegitimate son of the former king, and thus half-brother to King Louis. The French Court seethes with intrigue as king, queen, and cardinal all vie for power, and young Moret soon finds himself up to his handsome neck in conspiracy, danger--and passionate romance!Dumas wrote seventy-five chapters of The Red Sphinx, all for serial publication, but he never quite finished it, and so the novel languished for almost a century before its first book publication in France in 1946. While Dumas never completed the book, he had earlier written a separate novella, The Dove, that recounted the final adventures of Moret and Cardinal Richelieu.Now for the first time, in one cohesive narrative, The Red Sphinx and The Dove make a complete and satisfying storyline--a rip-roaring novel of historical adventure, heretofore unknown to English-language readers, by the great Alexandre Dumas, king of the swashbucklers.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of January 2, 2017

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History of Wolves

Emily Fridlund

Call Number: FIC FRIDLUND

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn't understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do--and fail to do--for the people they love.

 


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The Chemist

Stephenie Meyer

Call Number: FIC MEYER

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

 


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