“Dark Witch” by Nora Roberts – “With the support of her maternal grandmother, Iona Sheehan arrives in County Mayo intent on finding out more about her family’s history and legacy of magic. She has more than her share of the luck of the Irish when she meets her cousins Branna and Connor O’Dwyer on her first day. Not only do they welcome Iona into the family fold, they also don’t think she’s crazy when she tells them that she’s had dreams about an evil sorcerer named Cabhan. More than 800 years earlier their ancestress, Sorcha, the original Dark Witch, thwarted Cabhan’s plan to steal her powers, and he has been plotting his revenge ever since. After moving in with Branna and Connor and taking a job working for cranky but incredibly sexy stable owner, Boyle McGrath, Iona begins putting down roots in Ireland. But her newfound happiness may be short-lived unless she and her cousins can find a way to harness their powers and defeat Cabhan. Best-seller-extraordinaire Roberts works her own brand of literary magic as she begins a new trilogy featuring the cousins O’Dwyer.” — Charles, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.
“Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy” by Ken Follett – “Those eagerly awaiting volume three of Follett’s ambitious Century Trilogy will not be disappointed. … Spanning the globe and the latter third of twentieth century, this saga continues to follow the lives and loves of the members of five global families, as they struggle against a backdrop of tumultuous international events. As the years roll by, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, the assassination of JFK, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the crumbling of communism are intimately viewed through the eyes and emotions of a representative array of witnesses to history. Follett does an outstanding job of interweaving and personalizing complicated narratives set on a multicultural stage. ” — Flanagan, Margaret. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Gray Mountain” by John Grisham – “…When Wall Street law associate Samantha Kofer loses her job in the 2008 financial meltdown, her mega-firm offers her the prospect of a return to long hours and dull work after a year’s furlough as an unpaid intern for a nonprofit organization. Despite the volunteer nature of such work, Samantha discovers competition for the slots available fierce, and seizes the chance, after numerous rejections, to work at the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic in Brady, Va., population 2,200. In the Appalachian coal town, Samantha finds herself a fish out of water in more senses than one. She needs to adjust to living in a community with fewer residents than her old office building, as well as dealing with real people’s problems rather than document review. Grisham movingly portrays the evils of Big Coal and the lives it has ruined, and most readers will rapidly turn the pages, but the subtlety and full-blooded characters that mark the author’s best work are sadly absent.” — Agent: David Gernert, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
“Havana Storm” by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler – “In 1898, in Havana Harbor, someone removes a crate containing a valuable artifact from the deck of the sinking American battleship the USS Maine. In the present day, Dirk Pitt, National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) director and star of Cussler’s long-running series of adventure novels, is looking into a series of “dead zones,” areas where no organic life can survive, in the Caribbean Sea. Meanwhile, Dirk’s daughter, Summer, and his son, also named Dirk, are searching for an Aztec artifact that could point the way to an ancient treasure. Their investigation–and their father’s–takes them to Cuba, just as the political upheaval that has spread in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death threatens to get seriously bloody. The Pitt series achieved formulaic efficiency many books ago, and new entries keep going by way of accumulated momentum and familiar characters, but at least it’s a formula readers can count on to deliver the goods. You know what to expect going into a Dirk Pitt novel, and you’re never disappointed.” — Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“The Headmaster’s Wife” by Thomas Christopher Greene – “A man found running naked in Central Park is unusual, even by jaded New York City standards. But when that man turns out to be Arthur Winthrop, respected headmaster of Vermont’s venerable Lancaster private boarding school, the event becomes noteworthy. It morphs into the surreal when Arthur eagerly confesses to police interrogators that he has just murdered one of his students, Betsy Pappas, with whom he had been conducting a torrid, if unrequited, affair. The problem with Arthur’s story, however, is that his victim is very much alive. She no longer goes by the name Betsy Pappas, having relinquished it when she married Arthur soon after their college graduation. Arthur’s unreliable memories of their life together fuel the sordid tale he unveils, though Elizabeth’s recollection of their doomed marriage sheds an equally unflattering light on a relationship defined by jealousy, deception, and regret. Greene’s genre-bending novel of madness and despair evokes both the predatory lasciviousness of Nabokov’s classic, Lolita, and the anxious ambiguity of Gillian Flynn’s contemporary thriller, Gone Girl (2012).” — Haggas, Carol. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“I Am Pilgrim” by Terry Hayes – “Soul-weary Scott Murdoch (aka the Pilgrim) has retired from the top echelon of ultrasecret espionage, but duty and faith in the human spirit call him back into service. A lone-wolf Middle Eastern native whom the Pilgrim code names “the Saracen” has a sure-fire bioterrorist plot to destroy the United States. In the cinematic chase that ensues, the action traverses the globe, from the Oval Office to the dusty trails of Afghanistan, each scene fleshed out in the smallest resonating detail (e.g., a Down syndrome child’s laughter, the mendless nausea of waterboarding). Like many pilgrimages, this one is painfully long and packed with unexpected menace, its glimpses of the goal fitful and far between, but readers will agree that this journey of body and soul is well worth the effort.” — Agent: Jay Mandel, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014
“In Bed with Anne Boleyn” by Lacey Baldwin Smith – “Anne Boleyn possesses only two attributes that help her secure a crown – extraordinary perseverance and almost indecent ambition. Her other qualities – her nagging determination to have her own way, her cruelty and her dangerous lack of decorum – all spell disaster that no amount of sex appeal can avoid. The very steps she takes to save herself from her inability to supply the king with a male heir seal her fate. This is historical fiction wedded to historical reality at its best.” — back cover
“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom – “This is a poignant book that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace. Bloom is a great writer who keeps stepping into new territory, entirely unafraid. She is one of America’s unique and most gifted literary voices.” — Colum McCann
“Malice” by Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O. Smith – “This smart and original mystery is a true page-turner… will baffle, surprise, and draw out suspicion until the final few pages. With each book, Higashino continues to elevate the modern mystery as an intense and inventive literary form.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Museum of the Americas” by Gary Lee Miller – “Each of these stories ushers us into a new, fully imagined world, as redolent of elsewhere as the soil samples in the Museum of the Americas, and Miller evokes those elsewheres with sharp observation and colloquial ease. A tour of the motley assemblage…might be just the right gateway to the author’s museum of American misfits, oddities and dreams. With this collection, he opens his cabinet of curiosities to us.” –Margot Harrison, Seven Days
“One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes – “Jess Thomas works hard to support her ten-year-old, math-genius daughter and bullied teenage stepson, but it never seems to be enough. With two part-time jobs and no child support from her estranged husband, Jess is desperate to change her fortune. Ed Nicholls suddenly finds his world crashing down as he comes under investigation for insider trading. Facing the loss of his business, his oldest friend, and likely his freedom, he flees to his vacation home in the south of England. Jess discovers just how far she will go for the sake of her family when an opportunity to send her daughter to an elite school presents itself, even if that means a road trip to Scotland with the kids, their enormous dog, and a near stranger, Ed. Without fail, everything goes wrong. But in the end, this amazing novel is about more than a road trip; it is about trust, dignity, desperation, and, ultimately, love. ” — Jennifer Beach,LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
“The Peripheral” by William Gibson – “As a favor to her brother Burton, Flynne Fisher fills in on a mysterious job beta testing a new game. She’s glad for the work, as money is tight with her mother needing constant medical care and Burton having financial troubles since he left the marines. Remotely flying a copter around a high-rise building, Flynne is tasked with simply keeping the paparazzi drones away from one of the apartments, but after she witnesses a murder, everything in her life is going to change. VERDICT Gibson leaves his one-step-into-the-future thrillers (his “Bigend” trilogy wrapped up with 2010’s Zero History) behind for something a little more complicated and shows he can still stun readers with his ability to take a trenchant look at the present and give a striking vision of the future. Just as he did with his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, the author weds exciting action with an endless stream of big ideas that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.” — Megan M. McArdle. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
“Queens Never Make Bargains” by Nancy Means Wright – “In Queens Never Make Bargains, Nancy Means Wright has created a compelling multi-generational drama worthy, in breadth of historical and social setting of a Masterpiece Theatre. The gallery of sympathetically drawn characters will stay with readers long after the final moving page, as certainly will the tales of the three passionate and resolute Scottish-American women who, each in her own way and in keeping with the calamities and constraints of her own generation, staunchly refuses to ‘bargain’ away the integrity of her innermost self.” — Alison Kirk, author of True to Herself: One Vermont Writer’s Lifetime of Making Good Things from Bad
“Redeployment” by Phil Klay – “Redeployment is a stunning, upsetting, urgently necessary book about the impact of the Iraq war on both soldiers and civilians. Klay’s writing is searing and powerful, unsparing of its characters and its readers, art made from a soldier’s fearless commitment to confront their losses that can’t be tallied in statistics….” — Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
“The Slow Regard of Silent Things” by Patrick Rothfuss – “Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world. — Inside cover
“Somewhere Safe with Someone Good” by Jan Karon – “Loyal fans of Karon’s Mitford novels and Father Tim will be delighted once again to spend time in this quintessential American village with its leading citizen and his colorful coterie of friends, family, and dependent souls.”
“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel – “Mandel’s .. novel examines the collapse of civilization after a deadly flu wipes out most of the world’s population. Moving gracefully from the first days of the plague to years before it and decades after, Mandel anchors the story to Arthur Leander, a famous actor who dies of a heart attack while playing King Lear on stage. We see glimpses of Arthur’s life years before his passing: his doomed relationship with his first wife, the exploitation of an old friendship, his failings as a father. And then we follow characters whose lives Arthur touched in some way: the paramedic who tried to save him, his second ex-wife and their damaged son, the child actress who joins a traveling theater troupe-cum-orchestra. In this postpandemic time, people live in gas stations and motels, curate museums filled with cell phones and car engines, and treasure tabloids and comic books. One comic book gives the novel its title and encapsulates the longing felt by the survivors for the world they have lost.Mandel’s vision is not only achingly beautiful but also startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit.” — Huntley, Kristine. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz – “There is an exquisite but excruciating irony in the fact that Grace’s marriage is imploding. The successful Manhattan couples therapist is just about to start the PR blitz for her first book, one that examines the tell-tale, “he’s not right for you” signs that, caught early enough, can prevent shaky relationships from becoming emotional earthquakes. Mired in the media whirlwind while working on a fundraiser for her son’s tony private school, Grace is only peripherally aware that her husband, charismatic pediatric oncologist Jonathan, is characteristically but frustratingly incommunicado. Then when one of her committee associates is found brutally murdered the same time Jonathan drops off the radar screen, Grace slowly learns that everything she thought she knew about the man she married is blatantly false. Like peeling back the layers of an onion, Korelitz’s stinging deconstruction of this marital facade simultaneously reveals the inexorable lies about Grace’s supposedly ideal mate. Sensitively delving into the intricacies of self-deception, Korelitz (The White Rose, 2005) delivers a smart and unsettling psychological drama.” — Haggas, Carol. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Bones Never Lie” by Kathy Reichs – ” …Temperance Brennan …the forensic anthropologist attends a meeting at the Law Enforcement Center in Charlotte, N.C., at which Vermont detective Umparo Rodas presents DNA evidence linking the unsolved murder of an 11-year-old Charlotte girl to Canadian serial killer Anique Pomerleau, who managed to elude Brennan and her superior, lead detective Andrew Ryan, in 2004’s Monday Mourning. Brennan first has to find Ryan, who has withdrawn from the world, and persuade him to return to find Pomerleau. Tie-ins with other old cases, signs that the killer is targeting Brennan’s own neighborhood, and Brennan’s skill at interpreting confusing, potentially misleading forensic evidence build the suspense. Brennan’s strained relations with Ryan, the antics of crass detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, and the uncanny aid provided by Brennan’s mother, Daisy, provide grist for series fans when Brennan finally unmasks a surprising killer.” — Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
“The Burning Room” by Michael Connelly – “An autopsy opens Edgar-winner Connelly’s superb 19th Harry Bosch mystery (after 2012’s The Black Box). Orlando Merced, a mariachi musician, was transformed into a symbol for urban violence by an opportunistic mayoral candidate when he was wounded a decade earlier, a random victim of a drive-by shooting. Merced’s death prompts a reexamination of the case, and Bosch and his young new partner, Lucia Soto, get to work. With his usual deftness, Connelly links the Merced shooting to an act of arson–an apartment fire that killed nine on the same day–and returns to his perennial themes: local politics, the media, the LAPD’s internecine warfare, and, of course, Los Angeles itself, from the wealthy enclaves of Mulholland Drive to the barrios of East L.A. Bosch is very much of the old school in this high-tech world, but his hands-on tenacity serves him and the case well–just as Connelly serves his readers well with his encyclopedic knowledge and gifts as a storyteller.” — Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
“Deadline” by John Sandford “Clancy Conley’s journalism career has fallen victim to his methamphetamine addiction, and he’s bounced to the bottom of the career ladder, writing part-time for a weekly paper in rural Trippton, Missouri. And that’s where his story ends. Clancy is inexplicably gunned down while jogging, and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (Storm Front, 2013), already in town helping his friend Johnson Johnson track down a serial dognapper, is just curious enough to pull rank and investigate. Clancy told his friend Wendy, Trippton’s lady of the evening, that he was working on an explosive story that would revive his career. But his editor denies knowing about any such story, and Clancy’s computer is suspiciously missing. Undeterred, Virgil hits the jackpot when he finds Clancy’s photo card. It seems Clancy had been looking into some sort of budgetary shenanigans and the dark deeds of some of Trippton’s most upstanding citizens. Sanford balances straight-talking Virgil Flowers’ often hilariously folksy tone and Trippton’s dark core of methamphetamine manufacturers and sociopaths; the result is pure reading pleasure for thriller fans.” — Tran, Christine. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe” by Alexander McCall Smith — “As usual, the problems that Precious Ramotswe tackles in Smith enjoyable 15th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel …are more the province of a therapist/counselor than of a cop. Mma Ramotswe’s longtime assistant, Grace Makutsi, now a partner in their detective agency, hopes her good fortune will transfer to a new business venture, a restaurant whose name is the book’s title. In the main plot line, the owner of a Botswana office supplies company retains the detective agency to help ascertain the identity of an amnesiac woman, whose uncertain status puts her at risk for deportation. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe’s husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, must make a difficult business decision, but that only provides his wife with yet another chance to display her sympathy for almost every living creature. Series fans will be moved by a supporting character’s growth, and newcomers will be charmed by the gentle humor.” — Robin Straus, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014
“Wait for Signs” Twelve Longmire Stories” by Craig Johnson – “Every year, Johnson e-mails friends and fans a brand-new short story on Christmas Eve. …Given the success of the Walt Longmire series and the Longmire TV show, it’s welcome, if unsurprising, to see these 12 tales–… While some of them have a heartwarming holiday feel, Johnson also takes the opportunity to visit the ghosts of his folksy but erudite sheriff’s Christmases past and explore events outside the chronology of the 10 full-length novels. “Old Indian Trick,” “Fire Bird,” and “High Holidays” are funny mini-whodunits; “Ministerial Aid” and “Slick-Tongued Devil” show Walt drinking hard and grieving his late wife; “Several Stations” delivers an act of Christmas cheer; and “Divorce Horse” and “Messenger” offer a bit more meat at longer lengths.” — Graff, Keir. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Breaking In: The Rise of Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice” by Joan Biskupic – “This is a remarkable book about an extraordinary woman in very challenging times. Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir is not complete without Breaking In. Joan Biskupic has done a wonderful and insightful job writing about the most influential Latina ever. She puts together three incredibly complex elements: Sotomayor’s life of struggle, the rise of the Latino community, and the intricacies of the Supreme Court. The result is superb. Sotomayor’s mission — that a single person can make a difference in the cause of justice– is transforming our country.” — Jorge Ramos, anchor, Univision/Fusion
“Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee” by Michael Korda – “…One hundred and forty-four years after his death, Lee is still widely revered in both North and South for his tactical military brilliance and his personal qualities of courage, honor, and kindness. Korda, … has no intention of knocking Lee off his pedestal in this excellent and generally laudatory biography. Korda stresses Lee’s accomplishments even before the Civil War as a brilliant, visionary engineer and an expert at military maneuvers. His personal characteristics endeared him to his subordinates, both officers and those of lesser ranks. Despite a hot temper, he exercised patience, courtesy, and honesty. Yet Korda does not shrink from noting Lee’s flaws and failures. His orders to his officers during the Civil War were often vague and open to misinterpretation, especially during the Gettysburg campaign. Despite his tactical brilliance, he lacked an overall, effective strategic vision for victory once he faced a relentless opponent in Grant. Still, this masterful and comprehensive single-volume biography is a worthy tribute to an icon whose greatness still shines brightly.” — Freeman, Jay. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend” by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin – “Vivid…Lively.. A tale of lies, trickery, and brutal slaughter…In telling the story of Red Cloud, Messers. Drury and Clavin appropriately bring a number of the larger-than-life figures from that time onstage…[and] chronicle in considerable detail the shameful treatment of the Indians across the plains and the destruction of their ancient way of life.” — The Wall Street Journal
“So, Anyway” by John Cleese – “Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.” — Amazon.com
“Vermont Way” by Jim Douglas – There is nothing that is wrong with the Republican Party that can’t be fixed by an outstanding leader who puts service first. That’s what Douglas of Vermont teaches us. Read this book, and learn about a model for our future.” — Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey
“The Wild Truth” by Carine McCandless – “Carine McCandless, Chris’s sister, witnessed firsthand the violent dynamic that set the stage for Chris’s willingness to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled household, Carine finally reveals the deeper reality about life in the McCandless family. Carine McCandless says, ‘In The Wild Truth I share the real story of my family. More than just the truth behind the McCandless legend, it is the story of a quiet wilderness-of a dysfunctional family, decades of abuse, and how eight siblings came together to break the cycle for their own children. In the decades since Chris’s death, my half-siblings and I have come together to find our own truth and build our own beauty in his absence. In each other, we’ve found absolution, as I believe Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.'” — Publisher’s Annotations
“The 40’s” The Story of a Decade” by The New Yorker Magazine and Henry Finder – “…it is the record of an exceptional magazine fully coming into its own under the editorship of Harold Ross during a crucial decade, constituting a history of a pivotal, war-torn period told through its (artfully selected) pages, an absolutely breathtaking assemblage of some of America’s finest and most lasting writing. … This is magnificent stuff, a cornucopia of truly distinguished literature, a near-perfect gift to give and an entirely ideal one to receive. –Mark Levine, Booklist
“Blame it on Fast Foods” by B. J. T. Pepin – ““Blame it on fast foods” takes a satirical look at fast food’s impact on the Western world. It discusses fast food’s impact on all areas of our lives, including: Business and Work; Finances; Sports; Entertainment; Travel and Vacations; Education; Law and Politics; Religion; Health; “The Self”; Relationships; Communication; Romance and Sex; and Parenting and Socialization. The author’s primary goal in this book is to emphasize our ability to choose our own fate and prevent external influences from dictating how we live our lives.” — back cover
“The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide” by Gary J. Bass – “This magnificent history provides the first full account of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’ secret support for Pakistan in 1971 as it committed shocking atrocities in Bangladesh….
Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and his own extensive investigative reporting, Gary Bass uncovers an astonishing unknown story of superpower brinkmanship, war, scandal, and conscience. Revelatory, authoritative, and compulsively readable, The Blood Telegram is a thrilling chronicle of a pivotal chapter in American foreign policy.
“Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II” by Vicki Constantine Croke – “I have to confess—my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read Elephant Company, I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . [Vicki] Croke is a natural storyteller. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review
“The Insurgents: David Petraus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War” by Fred Kaplan – “One of the very best books ever written about the American military in the era of small wars…Fred Kaplan brings a formidable talent for writing intellectual history” — Thomas Powers, New York Review of Books
“Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” by Katha Pollitt – “.. Pollitt (The Mind-Body Problem, 2009), the well-known feminist, poet, and award-winning columnist for the Nation, expertly lays out why she supports a woman’s right to decide whether to end a pregnancy. To argue her case “that it’s good for everyone if women only have the children they want and can raise well,” she employs the personal (her own mom had an abortion); the political (“The anti-abortion movement is a crucial chunk of the base of the Republican Party”); the practical (deaths decrease when termination is legal); the surprising (most women who have abortions are already mothers); and the statistical (half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are accidental; by menopause, 3 in 10 U.S. women will have terminated at least one pregnancy). Pollitt urges Americans to discuss why so many pregnancies are unplanned and why it’s such a big deal to ask men to wear a condom. She also states, “We need to talk about . . . the extraordinary, contradictory demands we make upon young girls to be simultaneously sexually alluring and withholding.” She notes that about half of all fertilized eggs naturally wash out of women’s bodies during menstruation. Finally, Pollitt writes that abortions will continue “because life will always be complicated, there is no perfect contraception, and there are no perfect people, either.””. Springen, Karen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living” by Todd McLellan – ” A geeky adoration of design, disassembly, and tinkering, this collection of photographs and brief es-says draws attention to the aesthetic and practical value of taking objects apart. McLellan’s process is straightforward–50 familiar objects are presented in their disassembled states, both arranged in an artful splay that highlights every component of the design, then more chaotically staged in a “drop,” falling in front of the camera frame in groups before being digitally layered into one image. …The accompanying essays offer glancing (if occasionally trite) praise of disassembly, both for the childlike joy of mechanical experimentation and for the prac-tical environmental and material worth inherent in more accessible design. While a few clear argu-ments are made in favor of Active Disassembly technology and against disposable culture, the book as a whole functions as a celebration rather than a polemic, the photographic project of disassembly able to draw out a sense of wonder from within objects otherwise made familiar and artless by everyday use.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.
“Tom’s River: Story of Science and Salvation” by Dan Fagin – Tom’s Rive is an epic tale for our chemical age. Dan Fagin has combined deep reporting with masterful storytelling to recount an extraordinary battle over cancer and pollution in a New Jersey town. Along the way — as we meet chemists, businessmen, doctors, criminals, and outraged citizens — we see how Toms Rive is actually a microcosm of a world that has come to depend on chemicals without quite comprehending what they might do to our health.” — Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses and Parasite Rex
“World Order” by Henry Kissinger – ““It is vintage Kissinger, with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for connecting headlines to trend lines — very long trend lines in this case. He ranges from the Peace of Westphalia to the pace of microprocessing, from Sun Tzu to Talleyrand to Twitter… A real national dialogue is the only way we’re going to rebuild a political consensus to take on the perils and the promise of the 21st century. Henry Kissinger’s book makes a compelling case for why we have to do it and how we can succeed.” — Hilary Clinton, The Washington Post
ADULT AUDIO BOOK
“The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
“The Fault in Our Stars”
“Game of Thrones: Season 1”
“Game of Thrones: Season 3”
“The Gruffalo’s Child”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Million Dollar Arm”
“The Roosevelt’s: An Intimate History” (volumes 1 & 2)
“True Blood Season The Complete Seventh Season”
“Tyler Perry’s A Medea Christmas”
“Are You a Cow?” by Sandra Boynton
“Ten Tiny Toes” by Caroline Jayne Church
“Toot” by Leslie Patricelli
“Bear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
“Book with No Pictures” by B. J. Novak
“The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery” by Graeme Base
“Emily and Daisy” by Elsa Beskow
“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland
“Father’s Chinese Opera” by Rich Lo
“Fiona’s Lace” by Patricia Polacco
“Gaston” by Kelly DiPucchio
“Here Comes Santa Cat” by Deborah Underwood
“Hug Machine” by Scott Campbell
“Ish” by Peter H. Reynolds
“Julia’s House for Lost Creatures” by Ben Hatke
“A Library Book for Bear” by Bonny Becker
“Little Elliot: Big City” by Mike Curato
“Maple & Willow Together” by Lori Nichols
“The Monster at the End of this Book” by Jon Stone
“Mix It Up!” by Herve Tullet
“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress” by Christine Baldacchino
“My Map Book” by Sara Fanelli
“Nana in the City” by Lauren Castillo
“Once Upon an Alphabet” by Oliver Jeffers
“One Big Pair of Underwear” by Laura Gehl & Tom Lichtenheld
“A Perfectly Messed-Up Story” by Patrick McDonnell
“Press Here” by Hervě Tullet
“Race from A to Z” by Jon Scieszka
“Sam & Dave Dig a Hole” by Mac Barnett
“Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914” by John Hendrix
“Song for Papa Crow” by Marit Menzin
“Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco
“Thimbleberry Stories” by Cynthia Rylant
“TipTop Cat” by C. Roger Mader
“When Lightning Comes in a Jar” by Patricia Polacco
JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK
“Wild Born” by Brandon Mull
“Catherine de Medici: The Black Queen” by Janie Havemeyer – “Whoa! Catherine De’ Medici … was a very bad lady. She did, however, have quite an exciting life. As a child, she was held hostage after her family was forced from power in Italy. By 14, she was married to the eventual king of France, whom she loved very much; he loved his mistress, but grew to respect Catherine, especially after she gave him children. After Henry II died, Catherine spent her time trying to keep her family on the throne and was not above poisoning people to make sure that happened. Perhaps her most horrendous crime occurred when she murdered a number of Huguenots staying at her castle and delivered the head of one to the pope. That said . . . well, she also invented side-saddle riding and pantaloons. The breathless but never sensational text will certainly hold readers, and the artwork is a satisfying mix of reproduced paintings and artifacts.” — Ilene Cooper. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.
“Capture: Guardians of Ga’hoole” by Kathryn Lasky – “Soren, a barn owl still weeks away from fledging, is knocked from his otherwise loving family’s nest by his nasty older brother. He is swooped up from the forest floor by a pair of nefarious owls who hold him–along with many other owlets of diverse species–captive in a kind of owl social reformatory. Lasky portrays an owl world that has more in common with George Orwell than with Brian Jacques, offering readers big questions about human social psychology and politics along with real owl science. Broad themes related to the nature of personal choice, the need for fellowship based on love and trust, and sharing knowledge with one’s peers are presented compellingly and with swift grafting to the animal adventure story. Developmentally linked celebrations (such as ‘First Fur’ and ‘First Meat’), methods devised for brain-washing (including the regimental marching of sleepy owls by moonlight), and the diverse landscapes in which owls makes their homes come to life here as Soren rebels against his captors, makes a friend, and executes the first stage of his planned liberation and family reconciliation. Readers will look forward to upcoming installments.” – Francisca Goldsmith; AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2003.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” by Jeff Kinney – “School’s out for the summer, but Greg Heffley’s dreams of air conditioning and video games vanish in the first page of this latest installment in the iconic series. This time, Greg’s overexcited mother shepherds Greg, his reluctant father, and his two brothers into an overstuffed minivan for the road trip to end all road trips. What starts as picture-perfect family fun soon turns into a comedy of errors involving, among other things, car trouble, rival road-trippers, and a pig. Long-suffering Greg has plenty of new material with this Choose Your Own Adventure style of vacation (“The problem is, I never seem to make the choices that get me to a happy ending”), and, as always, his angst will be easily relatable to his audience. Once again, the dry, deprecating tone of the text and the cartoonish illustrations will provide endless entertainment for newcomers and devoted series fans alike. ” — Reagan, Maggie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle” by George Hagen – “Gabriel’s father has long been missing, much to Gabriel’s sorrow. When his aunt gives him Dad’s old notebooks, Gabriel dives in to figure out the mysterious connection between ravens and his father and uncle (also missing) and to find out what has become of both men. He soon learns of a complex tale dating back hundreds of years involving valravens (avian zombies, who can be spotted by their absolute lack of a sense of humor), an evil magical necklace, and his own family’s rare ability to connect with ravens and form a magical bond. Luckily, Gabriel has a couple of good friends, two girls who are staunch allies, as he tries to determine his place in the raven-centered world, even while he is being threatened at every turn. The birds, some tormenters and others friends, are surprisingly engaging; like the humans that surround them, they easily emerge as memorable characters, particularly the flesh-eating but ultimately not really villainous valravens. Puzzle and riddle fans will delight in the genuine attention paid to these elements-there are plenty sprinkled throughout in ways that actually move the story toward the (for now) conclusion.” — AS. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2014.
“Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection” – “Minecraft–the indie sandbox video game that took the world by storm–has been hailed as one of the greatest phenomena amongst gamers and educators for both its simplicity and its brilliance. Allowing players to build, explore, create, collaborate, and even survive, Minecraft has created a brave new world of gameplay. ….includes the Essential Handbook, Redstone Handbook, Combat Handbook, and Construction Handbook. Each handbook contains helpful tips and information from the creators themselves, all of which will prove vital to your survival and creativity as you learn to mine, craft, and build in a world that you control. — Amazon.com
“Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” by Rick Riordan – “Deities, humans, and creatures from Greek mythology appear throughout the Heroes of Olympus series and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Here, demigod Percy takes time out from his exciting, but surely exhausting, adventures to present a more organized introduction to Greek mythology–and 12 major gods and goddesses, in particular. The age-old stories are endlessly strong, resonant, and surprising, while the telling here is fresh, irreverent, and amusing. Percy’s voice, along with the many pop-culture references, may make this a better fit for the fiction shelves than the library’s mythology section, but readers will still come away with new knowledge about the deities. John Rocco,… illustrates the myths with drama, verve, and clarity. ” — Phelan, Carolyn. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Rain Reign” by Ann M. Martin – “Rose, a fifth-grader who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, is often teased at school about her obsession with homonyms and her steadfast conviction that everyone should follow the rules at all times. Rose lives with her harsh, troubled father, but it’s Uncle Weldon who cares for her in the ways that matter most. Still, her father did give her Rain, a stray dog that comforts and protects Rose. After Rain is lost in a storm and recovered, Rose learns that her dog has an identification microchip. Though she fully grasps what that means, Rose is driven by the unwavering belief that she must follow the rules, find Rain’s former owners, and give the dog back to them. Simplicity, clarity, and emotional resonance are hallmarks of Rose’s first-person narrative, which offers an unflinching view of her world from her perspective. Her outlook may be unconventional, but her approach is matter-of-fact and her observations are insightful. Readers will be moved by the raw portrayal of Rose’s difficult home life, her separation from other kids at school, and her loss of the dog that has loved her and provided a buffer from painful experiences. A strong story told in a nuanced, highly accessible way.” — Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Threatened” by Eliot Schrefer – “Schrefer’s …turns to Gabon, chimpanzees, and the plight of orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS. Luc lives with other young orphan boys under the roof of Monsieur Tatagani, an unscrupulous man who exploits his charges. Professor Abdul Mohammad, a prosperous-looking Arab, meets Luc and hires him as his assistant, taking him deep into the jungle to study chimpanzees. Luc discovers he has an interest and aptitude for the work, and he thrives under Prof’s tutelage. All too soon, though, Prof disappears under mysterious circumstances, and Luc must survive on his own. With only Prof’s tiny pet vervet for company, Luc watches and learns from the chimps. When humans again appear, it’s clear we as a species are far less civilized than the chimps. Of special note is the tender, nonjudgmental portrait of Prof, a closeted gay man who lies about most things, but provides the first caring home Luc has known in years. Schrefer’s landscape descriptions are rich and evocative, and his characters, both human and chimpanzee, are complex and fascinating.” — Carton, Debbie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Adventures of TinTin Volume 2 – The Broken Ear, The Black Island, King Ottoktar’s Sceptre” by Herg
“Animalium” by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom – “Designed to mimic the experience of visiting a natural history museum, this elegant, eye-catching volume (first in a planned series) explores the animal kingdom through gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that resemble vintage taxonomical plates. Each “gallery” is devoted to a different class of animal: invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Within, Broom and Scott highlight individual species, which are succinctly described: the tomato frog of Madagascar “is nocturnal, burying itself in the moist earth during the day and emerging to hunt at night.” It’s easy to imagine these exquisite images hanging in the gilded hallways of a museum, but unlike a museum, readers can take this experience along with them.” — (Sept.). 112p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
“D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri & Edgar Parin D’Aulaire’s – “For any child fortunate enough to have this generous book…the kings and heroes of ancient legend will remain forever matter-of-fact; the pictures interpret the text literally and are full of detail and witty observation.”–Horn Book.
“Inside Volcanoes” by Melissa Stewart – “Inside Volcanoes literally looks inside different types of volcanic mountains as well as comparing major eruptions and their effects. Each volume concludes with strong back matter. Excellent books for browsing or science reports.” — Carolyn Phelan. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.
“Ocean: A Photicular Book” by Dan Kainen – “Showcasing stunning photographic images that ripple with movement, Dan Kainen fully immerses readers in a captivating underwater realm. Carol Kaufmann introduces each animal with tidbits about physical characteristics, behavior, and conservation. Delightful and engrossing, the text sparkles with evocative details, effervescent descriptions, and eyewitness immediacy.” — – School Library Journal Curriculum Connections
“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the FIght for Civil Rights” by Steve Sheinkin – “…Sheinkin takes on the Port Chicago 50, a group of African American sailors who were court-martialed and convicted of mutiny when they refused to continue loading ammunition after experiencing a terrifying accidental explosion that destroyed the entire port. Tracing the history of racial discrimination in the U.S. armed forces, Sheinkin describes the U.S. Navy’s long-standing policy of restricting duties for African American servicemen, the unfair treatment the divisions received at the segregated Port Chicago facility, and the dangerous working conditions facing the sailors there, including a lack of training on how to properly handle explosives, and competitions that encouraged reckless practices. Sheinkin’s narrative shines as he recounts the frustrating court-martial trial that resulted in a guilty verdict for all 50 men, which still stands today despite repeated attempts to exonerate the sailors. Photos, reproductions of primary documents, and direct quotes from the sailors themselves flesh-out this account of a little-known piece of civil rights history.” — Hunter, Sarah. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“A Young People’s History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror” by Howard Zinn, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff – ““Zinn’s work exemplifies an approach to history that is radical, regardless of its subject or geographical location. He tells us the untold story, the story of the world’s poor, the world’s workers, the world’s homeless, the world’s oppressed, the people who don’t really qualify as real people in official histories. Howard Zinn painstakingly unearths the details that the powerful seek to airbrush away. He brings official secrets and forgotten histories out into the light, and in doing so, changes the official narrative that the powerful have constructed for us. He strips the grinning mask off the myth of the benign American Empire.To not read Howard Zinn, is to do a disservice to yourself.”— Arundhati Roy
“Belzhar” by Meg Wolitzer – “When 10th grader Jam Gallahue meets British exchange student Reeve Maxfield, she feels like she finally understands love, and when she loses him, she can’t get over it. Her grief eventually lands her at the Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent” teenagers. There, she’s selected for Special Topics in English, a legendary class whose eccentric teacher handpicks her students and gives out journals that, Jam learns, seem to have the ability to take students back to their lives before the disasters that changed them. Making her YA debut, acclaimed author Wolitzer writes crisply and sometimes humorously about sadness, guilt, and anger–Jam’s fellow students each have lines that divide their lives into before and after, and all of them need to move forward. Jam’s class is studying Sylvia Plath, and Wolitzer weaves her life and work into the story with a light hand. Some of this lightness is missing at the end, when Jam reflects how the journals saved her and her classmates, but this is otherwise a strong, original book.” — Agent: Suzanne Gluck, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
“Tabula Rasa” by Kristen Lippert-Martin – “She doesn’t know what to call herself: Sarah or Angel. In the facility where she is a test rat, she is Sarah, and the nurses keep a watchful eye on her, wondering if her memories–and her abilities–will come flooding back. Before her memories were extracted, she was known as Angel. Now, a mysterious corporation is hunting her for reasons she can’t–and may not want to–remember, and she must find her way through the facility’s bland halls to figure out why she is there, what she has done to deserve the pursuit of armed mercenaries, and, ultimately, how to survive. This never skips a beat of action or suspense, and while it is highly reminiscent of both the Hunger Games and Graceling books in its central conflict of a heroine versus a corrupt institution, it still pulses with vivid, original details, engrossing readers and leaving them begging for a sequel.” — Lynch, Caroline. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher – “When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he’s surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He’s one of 13 people who receive Hannah’s story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah’s voice (italicized) and Clay’s thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. Give this to fans of Gail Giles psychological thrillers.” — Cindy Dobrez. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2007