Weekly Top Picks

***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of November 20, 2017

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The Revolution of Marina M.

Janet Fitch

Call Number: FIC FITCH

Marina Makarova is a woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life. Swept up on the tides of the Russian Revolution, Marina joins the marches for workers' rights, falls in love with a radical young poet, and betrays everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn. As her country goes through tremendous upheaval, Marina's own coming-of-age unfolds, marked by deep passion, devastating loss, and the private heroism of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary times.

 


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Written in Blood

Layton Green

Call Number: FIC GREEN

 
"Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered amental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children. No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina--a bohemian community near Chapel Hill--than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Withthe help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer's community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed. And one or both of them may be his next target"--

 

 


KINCHELOE.jpgThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk

Jennifer Kincheloe

Call Number: MYS KINCHELOE

"Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former boyfriend, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. Her lover has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna plan to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret. So does good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent Chinese leader who has mixed feelings about helping the LAPD and about Anna. Meanwhile, the Hop Sing tong has kidnapped two slave girls from the Bing Kong tong, fuelling existing tensions. They are poised on the verge of a bloody tong war that would put all Chinatown residents in danger. Joe orders Anna out of Chinatown to keep her safe, but to atone for her own family's sins, Anna must stay to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes"--

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of November 13, 2017

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Unleased

Eileen Brady

Call Number: MYS BRADY

Dr. Kate Turner is happy with her new life in Oak Falls, upstate New York. Working as a relief veterinarian at a small house-call practice, she truly enjoys helping her patients. All that changes when client Claire Birnham is found dead, an apparent suicide. A talented artist, Claire had everything to live for: new job, Manhattan apartment, her Cairn terrier Toto. As feisty as the Wizard of Oz Toto, he and Claire were devoted. Kate can't imagine Claire simply abandoning her pet. Was her death murder? Questions end in the police arresting young kennel helper Eugene. The fragile friendship between Kate and police officer Luke Gianetti frays as she ignores his advice and keeps asking questions. House calls provide gossip and clues, some helpful, some not so much, as she treats her animal patients. Did Claire's recent insurance windfall prove too tempting for her hard working and hard drinking mother? What does trouble in the art gallery where Claire worked signal? How huge a grudge did heavy metal rocker A.J. hold against high-school sweetheart Claire after she dumped him? Was Claire a threat to AJ's rich new girl?Dr. Kate mixes real medicine with murder as she risks her life over Claire's death, aided by insights from a former fire investigator, aka her Gramps. Unleashed is as irresistible as Muzzled.

 


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The Long, Long Trail

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Call Number: FIC EAGLES

In 1917 the Great War rages on, and for the Hunters, their friends and their servants the war is where they live now. 

David has returned from the Front a shadow of his former self; his sister Diana, newly married, copes with pregnancy alone, her husband at the Front. Aunt Laura, eager for challenge, goes to France with an ambulance; while Beattie struggles to manage war work and household, while racked with her secret guilt and a new threat of exposure.

U-boat attacks face Britain with starvation, and with the worsening privation comes a new horror as Germany begins a lethal bombing campaign. But even in the darkest hours of war, new life and new hope can burgeon, with the promise that the future might still hold happiness for them all.

The Long, Long Trail is the fourth book in the War at Home series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, author of the much-loved Morland Dynasty novels. Set against the real events of 1917, at home and on the front, this is a vivid and rich family drama featuring the Hunter family and their servants.

 

 


LANG.jpgBeasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Ruth Emmie Lang

Call Number: FIC LANG

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn't like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn't like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn's unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn't care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she's known that a relationship with him isn't without its risks, but as anyone who's met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you'll wish he'd never leave.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of November 6, 2017

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The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Call Number: FIC BURNET

Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adele Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. One day, she simply vanishes into thin air and Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl's disappearance. He sets his sights on Manfred.


As Manfred cowers beneath Gorski's watchful eye, the murderous secrets of his past begin to catch up with him and his carefully crafted veneer of normalcy falters. His booze-soaked unraveling carries him from Saint-Louis to the back alleys of Strasbourg. Graeme Macrae Burnet's masterful play on literary form featuring an unreliable narrator makes for a grimly entertaining psychological thriller that questions if it is possible, or even desirable, to know another man's mind.

 


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A Boy in Winter

Rachel Seiffert

Call Number: FIC SEIFFERT

Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. This new novel from the award-winning author of the Booker Prize short-listed The Dark Room tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process.

Penned in with his fellow Jews, under threat of deportation, Ephraim anxiously awaits word of his two sons, missing since daybreak.

Come in search of her lover, to fetch him home again, away from the invaders, Yasia must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her.

Here to avoid a war he considers criminal, German engineer Otto Pohl is faced with an even greater crime unfolding behind the lines, and no one but himself to turn to.

And in the midst of it all is Yankel, a boy determined to survive this. But to do so, he must throw in his lot with strangers.

As their stories mesh, each of Rachel Seiffert's characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.

 

 


upsomn.jpgNine Lessons

Nicola Upson

Call Number: MYS UPSON

Called to the peaceful wooded churchyard of St-John's-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious and unusual murders of his career. The body of the church's organist is found in an opened grave, together with a photograph of a manor house and a cryptic note. The image leads Archie to Cambridge, where the crisp autumn air has brought with it bustling life to the ancient university and town.

Mystery author Josephine Tey and Archie's lover Bridget Foley have each recently settled in Cambridge, though both women are not equally happy to see him. One has concealed an important secret from Archie which now threatens to come to light. Meanwhile, the change of seasons has also brought with it a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear and suspicion through the community.

Soon, another body is revealed, and in the shadow of King's College Chapel, Archie uncovers a connection twenty-five years old which haunted both victims--as well as some of their living companions. As Archie and Josephine each grapple with savage malefactors intent on making their victims pay, they must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of October 30, 2017

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Misadventures of a Backup Bride

Shayla Black

Call Number: FIC BLACK

An Overnight Billionaire...When Carson Frost inherits a confectionary that rakes in billions but is too cash-strapped to last another sixty days, he agrees to take a loan from his late father's rival. There are two catches: Carson has to sign over a permanent stake in the company, and marry the man's daughter.

Concocts a Fake Bride...Two weeks before the wedding, he gets cold feet and claims he's in love with someone else. The investor says he'll still hand over the cash if Carson takes a stroll down the aisle--with the woman who owns his heart. Since he isn't even dating anyone, Carson panics. Where is he going to find a bride willing to jilt him at the altar on such short notice?

And Whips Up a Little Love. Ella Hope is an actress happy for any paying gig, but jilting a hottie in public isn't what she had in mind. Still, she needs rent, and he's in a bind. How hard can it be? While playing at matrimony, suddenly their intimacy isn't so fake. Ella can't help but fantasize that Carson is her groom and they will live happily ever after. But once his company is safe, will he want her anymore?

 


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Nights of the Living Dead

Edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A. Romero

Call Number: FIC NIGHTS

In 1968, the world experienced a brand-new kind of terror with the debut of George A. Romero's landmark movie Night of the Living Dead . The newly dead rose to attack the living. Not as vampires or werewolves. This was something new . . . and terrifying. Since then, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture.

But it all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse. . . .

Nights of the Living Dead returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the living dead himself, George A. Romero, to present a collection of all-new tales set during the forty-eight hours of that legendary outbreak.

Nights of the Living Dead includes stories by some of today's most important writers: Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Craig E. Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Isaac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe R. Lansdale, John A. Russo, John Skipp, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal and Brenda Shusterman, and Ryan Brown. Plus original stories by Romero and Maberry!
 

 


STEYN.jpgDark Traces

Martin Steyn

Call Number: FIC STEYN

They find her body in the veld near Cape Town, South Africa. A teenager. She's not the first. Recently widowed Detective Jan Magson has to look mothers and fathers in the eye. Has to answer their questions. He can't. He can't even answer his estranged son's questions about how his wife died. Alone with his pistol at night, a good man faces his inner darkness.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of October 23, 2017

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The Safe House

Christophe Boltanski

Call Number: FIC BOLTANSKI

When the Nazis came, Étienne Boltanski divorced his wife and walked out the front door, never to be seen again during the war. So far as the outside world knew, the Jewish doctor had fled. The truth was that he had sneaked back to hide in a secret crawl space at the heart of the house. There he lived for the duration of the war. With the Liberation, Étienne finally emerged, but he and his family were changed forever—anxious, reclusive, yet proudly eccentric. Their lives were spent, amid Bohemian disarray and lingering wartime fears, in the mansion’s recesses or packed comically into the protective cocoon of a Fiat.
 
That house (and its vehicular appendage) are at the heart of Christophe Boltanski’s ingeniously structured, lightly fictionalized account of his grandparents and their extended family. The novel unfolds room by room—each chapter opening with a floorplan— introducing us to the characters who occupy each room, including the narrator’s grandmother--a woman of “savage appetites”--and his uncle Christian, whose haunted artworks would one day make him famous. “The house was a palace,” Boltanski writes, “and they lived like hobos.” Rejecting convention as they’d rejected the outside world, the family never celebrated birthdays, or even marked the passage of time, living instead in permanent stasis, ever more closely bonded to the house itself.

 


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Here in Berlin

Cristina Garcia

Call Number: FIC GARCIA

An unnamed Visitor travels to Berlin with a camera looking for reckonings of her own. The city itself is a character--vibrant and postapocalyptic, flat and featureless except for its rivers, its lakes, its legions of bicyclists. Here in Berlin she encounters a people's history: the Cuban teen taken as a POW on a German submarine only to return home to a family who doesn't believe him; the young Jewish scholar hidden in a sarcophagus until safe passage to England is found; the female lawyer haunted by a childhood of deprivation in the bombed-out suburbs of Berlin who still defends those accused of war crimes; a young nurse with a checkered past who joins the Reich at a medical facility more intent to dispense with the wounded than to heal them; and the son of a zookeeper at the Berlin Zoo, fighting to keep the animals safe from both war and an increasingly starving populace.

 


HOLLENBECK.jpgThe Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Bethany Turner

Call Number: FIC HOLLENBECK

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of October 16, 2017

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Sleeping Beauties

Stephen King and Owen King

Call Number: FIC KING

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare. One woman, the mysterious "Eve Black," is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.

 


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Fairytale

Danielle Steel

Call Number: FIC STEEL

Camille Lammenais has grown up in the beauty of the Napa Valley, surrounded by acres of her family's vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades of marriage, have built a renowned winery and chateau modeled after Christophe's ancient family estate in his native Bordeaux. Camille has had a perfect childhood, safe in her parents' love. After graduating from Stanford, she returns to help manage Chateau Joy, her lifetime goal. But their fairytale ends suddenly with her mother's death from cancer.

Six months after losing his wife, the devastated Christophe is easy prey for a mysterious, charming Frenchwoman visiting the valley. The Countess de Pantin is the essence of Parisian seductiveness and sophistication. Within weeks they are a clandestine couple, making love like teenagers, glowing with their secret. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked by the news that her father intends to remarry. Then she begins to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes, and elegant manners of the countess, while her innocent father is trapped in her web.

When tragedy strikes again, Camille is at her stepmother's mercy, and that of the two evil stepbrothers who appear. Camille needs to fight--first for her legacy, and then for her very life. But as she grapples with the plots being carried out against her, the countess's elderly, kind, clever mother becomes her only ally, and a childhood friend emerges as a prince worthy of any fairytale.

 


vonnegut-complete.jpgComplete Stories

Kurt Vonnegut

Call Number: FIC VONNEGUT

Here for the first time is the complete short fiction of one of the twentieth century's foremost imaginative geniuses. More than half of Vonnegut's output was short fiction, and never before has the world had occasion to wrestle with it all together. Organized thematically--"War," "Women," "Science," "Romance," "Work Ethic versus Fame and Fortune," "Behavior," "The Band Director" (those stories featuring Lincoln High's band director and nice guy George Hemholtz), and "Futuristic"--these ninety-eight stories were written from 1941 to 2007, and include those Vonnegut published in magazines and collected in Welcome to the Monkey House , Bagombo Snuff Box , and other books; here for the first time five previously unpublished stories; as well as a handful of others that were published online and read by few. During his lifetime Vonnegut published fewer than half of the stories he wrote, his agent telling him in 1958 upon the rejection of a particularly strong story, "Save it for the collection of your works which will be published someday when you become famous. Which may take a little time."

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of October 9, 2017

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The Power

Naomi Alderman

Call Number: FIC ALDERMAN

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

 


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Hide and Seek

M.J. Arlidge

Call Number: FIC ARLIDGE

"Caught in a wicked game of cat and mouse, Helen Grace finds herself trapped among the hunted in the darkest thriller yet from the international bestselling author of Little Boy Blue and Eeny Meeny. Framed for a murder she didn't commit... As one of HM Prison Holloway's most high-profile new inmates, Helen Grace has a target on her back and nowhere to hide. She has made a long list of enemies over the course of her career--some are incarcerated within these very walls. When one of Helen's fellow prisonersis found mutilated and murdered in her own locked cell, it's clear that the killer is someone on the inside. But time is running out for Helen as she races to expose the person who framed her, and the body count in the prison starts to climb. Helen willneed to draw on all her investigative skills and instincts to catch the serial killer behind these murders and discover the truth--unless the killer finds her first"--

 


balson.jpgThe Trust

Ronald H. Balson

Call Number: FIC BALSON

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral--a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he'd anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland's bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus's estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of October 2, 2017

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The Witches' Tree

M.C. Beaton

Call Number: MYS BEATON

Cotswolds inhabitants are used to inclement weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They strain to see the road ahead--and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster, has been murdered--and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime. Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books). But Sumpton Harcourt is a small and private village, she finds--a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation--and even her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn't make her feel any better...

 


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Origin

Dan Brown

Call Number: FIC BROWN

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement--the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon's first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.


As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch's precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.


Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.


egan.jpgManhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

Call Number: FIC EGAN

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Banned Books Week Edition

Week of September 28, 2017

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The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

Call Number: FIC ATWOOD

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.... Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force. 

 

According to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (Nov. 2013, pp. 244–45) this novel was challenged in Grimsley High School in Guilford County, N.C. (2012) because the book was “sexually explicit, violently graphic and morally corrupt.”

 


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The Pillers of the Earth

Ken Follett

Call Number: FIC FOLLETT

The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time--the twelfth century; the place--feudal England and the subject--the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters--into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge Jack, the artist in story and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

 

According to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (Nov. 2013, pp. 219–20) this novel was pulled from English calles in a Pennsylvania School District in 2013 due to parental challenges. 

 


bluest-eye.jpgThe Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison

Call Number: FIC MORRISON

It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove -- a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others -- who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

 

According to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (Nov. 2013, pp. 219) this novel was challenged by a Columbus, Ohio high-school in 2013 for having “an underlying socialistcommunist agenda.”

 

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of September 18, 2017

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Risking It All

Nina Darnton

Call Number: FIC DARNTON

When Marcia, a driven, successful editor in New York with a loving husband, finds she can't conceive a child, it rips the heart out of her seemingly-perfect life. Her desire to be a mother has become her obsession, and after trying and failing to become pregnant by every known method, she focuses all of her energy on her one remaining option: surrogacy. Her husband resists, and tries to convince her that they can be happy without a child; but faced with her unyielding determination, he relents, and reluctantly goes along with the idea. Everything looks good...until an unexpected tragedy occurs that changes their plans, their marriage, and their lives forever.

 


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The Child Finder

Rene Denfeld

Call Number: FIC DENFELD

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now--if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison's disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

 


stewart.jpgMiss Kopp's Midnight Confessions

Amy Stewart

Call Number: FIC STEWART

Deputy sheriff Constance Kopp is outraged to see young women brought into the Hackensack jail over dubious charges of waywardness, incorrigibility, and moral depravity. The strong-willed, patriotic Edna Heustis, who left home to work in a munitions factory, certainly doesn't belong behind bars. And sixteen-year-old runaway Minnie Davis, with few prospects and fewer friends, shouldn't be publicly shamed and packed off to a state-run reformatory. But such were the laws--andmorals--of 1916.

Constance uses her authority as deputy sheriff, and occasionally exceeds it, to investigate and defend these women when no one else will. But it's her sister Fleurette who puts Constance's beliefs to the test and forces her to reckon with her own ideas of how a young woman should and shouldn't behave.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of September 11, 2017

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A Column of Fire

Ken Follett

Call Number: FIC FOLLETT

In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. 

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else--no matter what the cost.

 


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The Store

James Patterson

Call Number: FIC PATTERSON

THE STORE IS WATCHING YOU. 

Jacob and Megan Brandeis have gotten jobs with the mega-successful, ultra-secretive Store. Seems perfect. Seems safe. But their lives are about to become anything but perfect, anything but safe.
ALWAYS WATCHING. 

Especially since Jacob and Megan have a dark secret of their own. They're writing a book that will expose the Store--a forbidden book, a dangerous book.
ALWAYS. 

And if the Store finds out, there's only one thing Jacob, Megan and their kids can do--run for their bloody lives. Which is probably impossible, because--
THE STORE IS ALWAYS WATCHING. 

 


STEEL.jpgThe Right Time

Danielle Steel

Call Number: FIC STEEL

Abandoned by her mother at age seven, Alexandra Winslow takes solace in the mysteries she reads with her devoted father--and soon she is writing them herself, slowly graduating to dark, complex crime stories that reflect skill, imagination, and talent far beyond her years. After her father's untimely death, at fourteen Alex is taken in by the nuns of a local convent, where she finds twenty-six mothers to take the place of the one she lost, and the time and encouragement to pursue her gift.

Alex writes in every spare moment, gripped by the plots and themes and characters that fill her mind. Midway through college, she has finished a novel--and manages to find a seasoned agent, then a publisher. But as she climbs the ladder of publishing success, she resolutely adheres to her father's admonition: Men read crime thrillers by men only--and so Alexandra Winslow publishes under the pseudonym Alexander Green, her true identity known only to those closest to her, creating a double life that isolates her.

Her secret life as the mysterious and brilliantly successful Alexander Green--and her own life as a talented young woman--expose her to the envious, the arrogant, and Hollywood players who have no idea who she really is. Always, the right time to open up seems just out of reach, and would cost her dearly. Once her double life and fame are established, the price of the truth is always too high.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of September 4, 2017

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The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye

David Lagercrantz

Call Number: FIC LAGERCRANTZ

Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others--even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium . And she will let nothing stop her--not the Islamists she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the prison gang leader who passes a death sentence on her; not the deadly reach of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry . Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, together, are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the most insidious problems facing the world at this very moment.

 


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The Proving

Beverly Lewis

Call Number: FIC LEWIS

Amanda Dienner hasn't seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice What's more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.

Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she's determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess

The inn isn't Mandy's sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn't ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.

Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

 


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Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward

Call Number: FIC WARD

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones , this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi's past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie's children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

 


novelis.gifLooking for more great reads? Check out NoveList and discover books by your favorite authors and book suggestions and read-alike lists for your favorite books. Go to Online Resources and click on EBSCO to get started. You will need your Verona Public Library card number to login.

 


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