Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recently Added Fiction

Check out these titles that we have recently added to our collection!

Against the Rules by Linda Howard
At seventeen Cathryn Ashe had fought Rule Jackson and lost her innocence, then fled to the anonymity of the city. At twenty-five she was back, sure of herself and her newfound independence and ready to challenge him again.


Boomerang by Noelle August
Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up.

Chance Developments by Alexander McCall Smith
It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them.

Death of an Outsider by M. C. Beaton
Dreary Cnothan's most hated man is dumped into a tank filled with lobsters then eaten in Britain's best restaurants. Exiled there with his dog Towser, Hamish Macbeth misses his beloved Highland village Lochdubh, Priscilla, and easy lazy days. His superiors want the business hushed up, a dark-haired lass wants his body, and a killer is out for more blood. On TV show.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.


Kilt at the Highland Games by Kaitlyn Dunnett
It's July in Moosetookalook, Maine, and Scottish Emporium proprietress Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin is prepping her wares for the annual Celtic heritage festival. But as a sinister crime wave washes over the quiet town, this year's celebration might prove a wee bit more eventful--and deadly--than tartan and bagpipes . . .

The Last Time I Saw Paris by Elizabeth Adler
May 1940. Fleeing a glamorous Manhattan life built on lies, Claire Harris arrives in Paris with a romantic vision of starting anew. But she didn't anticipate the sight of Nazi soldiers marching under the Arc de Triomphe. Her plans smashed by the German occupation, the once- privileged socialite's only option is to take a job in a flower shop under the tutelage of a sophisticated Parisian florist.

Naughtier Than Nice by Eric Jerome Dickey
Readers first met the McBroom sisters in Eric Jerome Dickey’s New York Times bestseller Naughty or Nice. In the highly anticipated sequel, Naughtier than Nice, we find out what happens on the other side of the fairy tale.

Other People We Married by Emma Straub
In this vibrant debut collection, Emma Straub creates characters as recognizable as a best friend, and follows them through moments of triumph and transformation with hilarity, vulnerability, and quietly dazzling insight.

Presumed Puzzled by Parnell Hall
The Puzzle Lady gets more than she bargained for when she’s hired to track down Paula Martindale’s straying husband. She finds him, all right—hacked to pieces on his living room rug, while his blood-drenched wife haunts the crime scene clutching a butcher knife.

Red-Hot Texas Nights by Kimberly Raye
Bestselling author Kimberly Raye's rousing new series continues. Get ready for squabbling kin, steamy nights, and mouth-watering romance...

Sun Kissed by JoAnn Ross
Lani Breslin has had it with the mainland rat race. A free spirit in an eccentric family, she’s returned to her Orchid Island home to live an idyllic life. And if her brother happens to send along a yummy hunk to seduce her? That’s just fine with Lani. 

Time of the Twins (Dragonlance series) by Margaret Weis
The War of the Lance has ended. The darkness has passed. Or has it? One man, the powerful archmage Raistlin, intends that the darkness return.

Vendetta by Lisa Harris
No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

Web of Deceit by Susan Sleeman 
When FBI Agent Kaitlyn Knight discovers her brother-in-law is Vyper—the notorious cyber-criminal and murderer wanted by the FBI—Kait doesn’t question her duty to arrest him. But when he murders her sister in front of her, leaving her infant niece motherless, Kait vows to hunt him down and bring him to justice while raising the baby.

(All descriptions are from Goodreads.)  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Memoirs

Sometimes, the best escapism isn't reading happy-go-lucky romances or fantastic adventures. Rather, it's taking a peek into someone else's real life and the challenges they've faced.

If you're looking for a great memoir, try one of these that we've recently added to our collection. They reflect a variety of experiences and points of view, and they are guaranteed to broaden your horizons.

 All synopses used are from Goodreads.


 Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.

When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 


 
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.

 
Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West
Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.



Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.

Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Recently-Added Fiction

Feel like you've read everything in the library? Looking for a new book to get yourself out of a reading slump? Try one of these recently-added books!

Backlands: A Novel of the American West by Michael McGarrity

The second installment of the Kerney Family Trilogy tells a story of strife and survival during the Great Depression.

The Beginning by Catherine Coulter
Two fast-paced FBI thrillers in one! Special Agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock solve high-pressure cases as their relationship heats up.

Behind His Blue Eyes by Kaki Warner
 The first in a brand-new Western romance trilogy from the author of Pieces of Sky!

Brides of Alaska: Three Romances Set in America's Last Frontier by Tracie Peterson
Three inspirational romances set in America's 49th state.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
A young woman leaves her native Ireland for a new life in New York in this historical novel, set in the 1950s.

A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd
Seventh in Todd's ongoing mystery series about a Scotland Yard inspector.

Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West
A sleuth goes on vacation to a dude ranch, but foul play follows. The second in Aggie Mundeen Mystery series.

Deception by Amanda Quick
Lost pirate gold and legendary love bring excitement to Olympia Wingfield's life in this novel from a beloved author of historical romance.

Escape by Linda Howard
Two novels of romantic suspense in one!

A False Mirror by Charles Todd
Rutledge must prove the innocence of a man he neither likes nor trusts.

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey
This prequel to the Elementary Masters series takes place in 1905. Magic, betrayal, and an earthquake!
 
Hell or High Water: A Deep Six Novel by Julie Ann Walker
Former Navy SEALs, a CIA agent, and sunken treasure add up to an electrifying novel of romantic suspense.

Hide Yourself Away by Mary Jane Clark
A high-profile murder case provides a career opportunity for a single mom and KEY News intern. The seventh in the KEY News series.

The Kill Switch by James Rollins
A former Army Ranger and his service dog team up to prevent the outbreak of a new and terrifying biological weapon. The first in a series.

Last Diner Standing: A Rose Strickland Mystery by Terri L. Austin
A blue Christmas turns into a tangled investigation in Austin's second Rose Strickland mystery. 

Last Man Standing by David Baldacci
The only survivor of an ambushed FBI Hostage Negotiation Team finds himself under suspicion.

Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick
A would-be romantic getaway is foiled when a stunning woman from the past resurfaces. The third in the Lake & March trilogy.

Legacy of the Dead: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd
A murder case leads Ian Rutledge to Scotland, where his suspect is a woman to whom he owes a debt. He must tread carefully in this, the fourth in Todd's series.

The Lost Wagon Train: A Western Story by Zane Grey
A shamed and broken Civil War veteran attempts to uphold the values of the Confederacy in the West with the help of a cutthroat band of thieving misfits.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A solitary man finds his reclusive peace disturbed when a young family moves in next door.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Wait! What!? WHAT!? Harry Potter is coming back? 
If you are like me, this is big news. BIG NEWS. It's true, though! Harry is back! We are getting another book to read and obsess over!! 

Here is a little bit of background on how this book has come into existence. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was, first, written as a play by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Rowling has been actively helping with the play/casting, as well as the book. Now some clarification is needed...The book is, actually, the official script of the play and not an adaptation or rework into a story form. Regardless, we are all awaiting this book's arrival with anticipation!!
















But, what is it about? Here is an excerpt from Pottermore:
"It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."




I am excited about the book, but I do hope a play is in America's future. Until then I will enjoy spending time with my favorite triplet of friends via the book! If you want to see the play in London or have questions about the play, here is a link to help. Ticket and play info

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

9 Books to Read if You're Obsessed with Hamilton



It happened so quickly: One day, I decided to listen to Hamilton, a musical that I had heard a lot
about, because a friend of mine recommended it. By the next, I had already started memorizing verses from the songs and was officially obsessed. I listened non-stop as though I could never be satisfied. Now I've downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes, and I'm helpless not to queue it up on my phone every time I get in my car.

My experience is not unique. Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical about the life and times of founding father Alexander Hamilton has taken Broadway, the Internet, our hearts, and the Tony Awards like a hurricane and has blown away star-studded audiences. If you're one of the scores of people who have tried with varying levels of success to rap "Guns and Ships," you might be asking yourself "What comes next?" as you burn with curiosity about the real people and events that inspired the show.
 
(And if you haven't listened to the original cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical, do yourself a favor and check it out right now. It will change the way you look at the American Revolution and the $10 bill forever. You don't want to say no to this.)



Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Of course this will be your first stop. The Hamiltome is a gorgeous book full of pictures, essays, and footnotes on every song. It has been very popular and even sold out on Amazon! (Who even knew that was possible?) If it's checked out, don't throw away your shot; put it on hold and wait for it!

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 
This is the 800-page biography of Hamilton that Lin-Manuel picked up as a "beach read" (for real) and started the whole thing. The length might seem daunting, but Chernow's vivid and engaging writing helps intimidated readers stay alive through the whole thing.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
Hamilton was his right-hand man, and he set the precedent for Presidential term limits when he said his second would be one last time. Learn more about the General in this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography.



The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H. W. Brands
Intrigued by Aaron Burr, sir? Lin-Manuel has cited this slender historical narrative of Burr's life post-duel as the deciding factor that helped him "unlock" Burr as a character. Brands relies heavily on Burr's personal correspondence, so if you want more "Dear Theodosia" moments, this is the book to read.

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
This is yet another book that Lin-Manuel drew from when composing Hamilton. Ellis examines six crucial events that took place during the early days of the United States, including important instances that made it into Hamilton. Wondering what went on in the room where it happened? Ellis discusses the secretive dinner party that decided the location of the nation's capital.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
Everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman! In addition to examining Lafayette's impact on the revolutionary effort in America, Vowell tells the story of his return to the United States in 1824. Vowell is known for her ability to bring out the humor in historiography, so this is a good pick if you want a read that feels lighter without skimping on substance.



The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. EllisFocusing on both big names (such as, oh I don't know, Alexander Hamilton) and lesser-known ones, Ellis examines the struggle to get the fledgling United States on its feet and establish it as a nation after winning independence. Because as we all know: Winning is easy, young man. Governing's harder.

Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation by John E. Ferling
Because let's be honest, the cabinet battles are some of the most satisfying moments in the whole play, largely because they pit two brilliant minds against each other. Ferling examines Jefferson and Hamilton's real-life clashes over policy and politics and the lasting effects that their work continues to have on our country.

American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People by T. H. BreenFor me, listening to Hamilton raised a lot of questions not just about the Founding Fathers whose names made it into history books, but about the people whose names we have forgotten but without whom the Revolution wouldn't have happened. Breen looks at what the "middling sorts" were doing during the fight for independence, and in some cases it's pretty eye-opening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Celebrating Dads Everywhere!

Happy Father's Day!

This blog post is dedicated to every father, father figure, mentor, grandfather, and uncle (young and old) who: participate in tea parties, coach the little league team, love unconditionally, protect and cloak children with safety, provide hours of endless laughter, teach us how to be strong and confident, and who are always there with a listening ear. Thank you for being the awesome father or father figure you are. You have impacted many lives so today (with this post) we would like to celebrate all of the awesome fathers out there! Here are special fatherly moments from the staff.


Kayla: I would spend every summer, growing up, with my dad. Even though he wasn't a fan, each year he would go out and buy the newest Harry Potter novel and set it by my bed for me to wake up to the day it came out.







Jerome:
My dad was never a reader. He's always been more of a hands- on sort of person, spending hours of his time tinkering. But for a big chunk of my middle-school years, I have an image fixed in my mind of him sitting in a recliner with a large volume in his hands. It was Jane Porter's The Scottish Chiefs and it may still be the only book he's read completely through. He told me once (alright, more than once) that is was assigned in high school and that he really enjoyed it. He has dyslexia, though, and he couldn't read quickly enough before testing. So, as an adult, he picked up a copy (with a blue dust jacket and illustrations by N.C. Wyeth) and was determined to make it through. He did, at least a year later, and the book stood on the shelf with my mother's novels for years. Today, it is part of a display along with a VHS set of Braveheart and a replica of William Wallace's sword, that he proudly keeps on his basement wall. 



Donna: Dad and I loved to watch and talk about sports together. I grew up in northern Indiana right below Chicago and Dad was a big Chicago Cubs fan. I remember as a child waiting for Dad to come home from work so we could watch the game on TV with Jack Brickhouse broadcasting it play by play. Dad taught me the concepts of baseball, the names of the players and their field positions (Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Don Kessinger, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, Fergie Jenkins). When someone hit a home run, we would join in with Jack Brickhouse and shout his famous, "Hey, Hey!" After baseball season ended, we would pick up with football and watch the Chicago Bears, all the bowl games, and end with the Super Bowl. My dad loved basketball too and we would watch the Chicago Bulls, but being from Kentucky he was a true-blue Kentucky Wild Cats fan. I loved watching the Sweet Sixteen playoffs with him and getting all worked up over the games. Dad didn't read much, but his evening ritual was reading the local sports page front to back before calling it a night. We also enjoyed watching the boxing matches of Mohammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Even after I moved to Minnesota, Dad and I would talk on the phone and catch up with what was going on with  our favorite teams. After Dad became ill with brain cancer, he didn't pay a lot of attention to the TV, but we made sure we had the Cubs games on for him to watch and I would give him updates when he would doze off. Dad taught me how to fish and took me fishing with my grandfather and my brother many times. He also taught me how to skeet shoot with his shotgun. If I wasn't an animal lover, he would have taught me how to hunt as well. I was always a "daddy's girl." Dad could always make me laugh, but out enjoyment of sports together made our relationship even more special. To this day, I truly enjoy watching a variety of sports and always remember, "watching a game with Dad."


Lisa Ramsay: One weekend afternoon in early 1968, my Mom was busy working as a Tupperware Home Parties dealer, more commonly known as a Tupperware lady. So, my Dad decided to take his four kids (ages 5, 7, 8, and 10) to a matinee showing of the Walt Disney film, The Jungle Book. We went to a theater somewhere in Nashville thought it's far been too long ago for me to recall exactly where. Since then, that movie has been one of my favorites. Just the mention of it, brings a warmth to my heart and puts a song in my head...

"Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities..." Yeah, man.





Carol: Turn My Mourning Into Dancing: Moving Through Hard Time with Hope
Why would a Southern Baptist father read books by a Catholic priest? Because my father, Tom Brown, who died on May 14, was a man who was open-minded and liked to read, not just from those who were just like him but sometimes even more from those who weren't. Just weeks before his death Dad asked me to find a book by Nouwen that he knew was still in his library at home. I had to remind him that all of his books had been given away to friends or the Friends of Linebaugh, of which he was a long-time member. However, I did check out several Nouwen books for him from the library. for which he was grateful.

Many times we get stuck reading one author or genre, but my father was not one of those. He read widely in multiple areas and always loved sharing what he gained with his family and friends. Happy Father's Day, Dad. I'll miss you this year.

  
Lauren: My sister and I were those lucky kids whose parents read to them every night. We would cuddle up before bed with our parents and one or both would read to us. My favorite was my Dad reading Shel Silverstein's poems. We had every one of his books; my parents really liked his poems and the songs he wrote for Dr. Hook. I still get a huge grin when I read one of Silverstein's poems thanks to those memories. I remember one poem about not sticking your finger too far up your nose or a snail would bite it off; my Dad would always demonstrate this for us. There's nothing like a good laugh caused by your Dad jamming his finger up his nose to give you good dreams and encourage a love of reading silly things! Where the Sidewalk Ends


Jessica: I was raised in a household full of music and instruments. While, I may not play an instrument well, I do sing and love to do it; loudly proudly, and while dancing. Of course, the car is the best place for all of these things to happen. My dad has a lot to do with my love for all things music and movies. Both have been quoted in my household since I was a wee tot. It wasn't enough to just quote these things in the home. No, I was raised to incorporate it into dialogue, as a response to someone. I have carried this blessing (some call it a curse) with me into adulthood and into my own family. From tv shows to songs, the quotes are a part of my daily routine. It is habitual. 

That being said...There are 3 things I can thank my dad for:

1. My ability to quote and sound like Madeline Kahn, from the movie Clue. I watched that movie over and over and over again as a child. I could not get enough of it. It was a family ritual to watch it at least once a year and a sin to not quote it 5 times a day. The movie now holds a spot on my list of Top 5 Favorite Movies of All Time.

2. My love for Elton John. My musical education consisted of whatever my parents were listening to (Dire Straits, Rod Stewart, Queen, The Eagles, Ozzy, Clapton, CCR, and ELO to name a few) in the car. I went through phases of really liking their tastes to trying to do my own thing like being obsessed with Tears for Fears. But as I have gotten older I have gone back to my roots. I have realized how awesome and thankful I am to love these legends and know their music by heart. Sir Elton is one of those legends who will always hold a special place in my heart. My Dad catered to my love of this man and (not once but twice) took me to see him preform live. I got to hear "Tiny Dancer", which my Dad sang to be as a baby, live with my Dad. There are not enough words on the planet to begin to describe how awesome that experience was. 

3. Beetlejuice. The movie marks the beginnings of my love for anything Tim Burton would ever write. I thank my Dad for this because we quote this movie even now.  We even sing the songs. My claim to fame, though, was my 11 year old self being able to quote Beetlejuice's resume, by heart. It was quite possibly my one parlor trick I was able to "preform" for family and friends.

Thank you, Dad for introducing me to all the musical and theatrical things I love. Happy Father's Day!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Crossing Genres: Mystery and Western

Have you seen Justified?  If you have, then you already know Elmore Leonard's character U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens.  Although his novels and short stories base him in Florida and Kentucky, he has a decidedly Western attitude, swagger, and style.  Read more about Raylan in Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Raylan.

If you're interested in the Native American aspect of the Western genre, or you like Tony Hillerman mysteries, you should check out Death Along the Spirit Road by C.M. Wendelboe.  His main character is a former tribal cop turned FBI Special Agent who returns to the reservation to find out who killed a Native land developer.

If a series set in modern day feels like too much like a departure at first, try Bill Brooks's John Henry Cole series. It seems to be set in the late mid 1800's (I've yet to find a specific date, though, so don't quote me on that.  Wyoming was still a territory, though.)  In the series starter, Blood Storm, Cole is a detective in the Ike Kelly Detective Agency in Cheyenne.  He's tasked with tracking down a
murderer who is killing women in Deadwood.  Cole's writing style will appeal to traditional Western readers as well as fans of Hemingway and Hammett.

Most of you already know C.J. Box's Joe Pickett and Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire, but there's also Frank Hayes' Virgil Dalton.  He's the sheriff in the same small Southwestern town he's lived in all his life.  Hayes' books are police procedurals at their cores, but his writing style, crisp dialogue  and the rugged Western landscape will make you think you're in 1860.

When we talk about Western authors, you usually don't see many female names in the mix.  I usually recommend Nevada Barr to folks who like both Westerns and Tricia Fields.  Her Texan police chief protagonist, Josie Gray shares those traits with Anna as she fights to maintain peace and law near the border.  If you haven't tried her yet, you're missing out!
Mysteries.  Her main character, Anna Pigeon, is a park ranger.  She's prickly, independent, and as tough as they come.  There's also

And finally, there's Ethan J. Wolfe's Regulator series.  If you're a N.C.I.S. fan, particularly of Gibbs, you will find Murphy extremely compelling.  His family was murdered while he was away fighting in the Civil War.  After tracking down and taking out their killers, he went into the Secret Service.  In The Regulator, he is deployed to track down a serial killer in New Mexico.  Wolfe combines a little western, a little mystery, and a little forensics in his deftly written new series.