Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What We're Reading: Brenda

Fragile by Lisa Unger

Fragile is a mystery set in a small town called The Hollows within commuting distance to New York City. It's a place where everybody knows one another and it's hard to keep secrets. Maggie, a psychologist, and her husband Jones, a detective with the local police force, have both grown up in the Hollows and lived there most of their lives. When Charlene, the girlfriend of their teenage son, goes missing it brings back memories of another girl who went missing years ago when Maggie and Jones were teens. Soon Jones is acting strangely, even going as far as to suspect his own son. The investigation into Charlene's disappearance ultimately leads to the uncovering of a long-buried town secret that threatens to destroy everything Maggie and Jones hold dear. This is a fast paced novel with a lot of twists which will keep you guessing almost to the end. The author does an excellent job of creating believable characters and relationships. I will definitely be checking out Lisa Unger's earlier works!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What We're Reading: Edward

Fitzgerald Ruse
by Mark De Castrique
Former military policeman, Sam Blackman, is still recovering from the loss of a leg in Iraq. In this second adventure, after Blackman's Coffin, Sam is setting up a detective agency. He and his partner, Nakayla, get their first case. An elderly woman wants them to recover a secret box. They find the box easily, but it is stolen out of their new office. The mystery deepens when they find out that the woman has been murdered. Did the box contain a lost manuscript by F. Scott Fitzgerald? Sam and Nakayla realize that they are being followed. Sam is involved in a shootout at the Grove Park Inn, Ashville's second most famous structure. With two dead bodies, Sam and Nakayla wonder if they are involved in more than one case. Was Sam's injury the result of the winds of war or an attempted murder by rogue security agents? Either way they lay a trap for the bad guys. But Sam and Nakayla seem to have fallen into a trap themselves! Great descriptions of Ashville , it's history and residents!

What We're Reading: Tracy

The Secret Circus, by Johanna Wright.

Most circus stories tend to be rambunctious reads, filled with all the noise and action of the real thing. The Secret Circus, by puppeteer and painter Johanna Wright, is quite astonishingly different. The simple story, of mice who know the way to a tiny hidden circus, is told in a quiet, gentle cadence accompanied by soft pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations.

"Somewhere, deep in the city of Paris,
there is a circus that is so small,
and so secret...
only the mice
know how to find it.
Only the mice know when to go there.
Only the mice know what to wear."

Take The Secret Circus home tonight, follow the mice, and enjoy this unusual outing, a perfect bedtime story.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What We're Watching: Jan

Everlasting Moments
Directed by Jan Troell. Starring Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, and Jesper Christensen.

This film, set in early twentieth century Sweden, depicts how art can enhance (and sometimes save) one's life. The subjects are a working class family that includes Maria, the wife and mother who is devoted to her family and to providing for them. Her husband, Sigge, loves his family but is a reckless womanizer who is brutish when he drinks. Consequences arise when Maria tries to pawn a camera that she has won to buy food. The photography shop owner shows her the wonder that can be captured on film and encourages Maria to pursue what he sees as her creative eye. It opens up a new world to her - looking for beauty in everyday things, self-confidence that she has never known and a sense of purpose as she uses her skills to help her family survive. The "miracle" of the camera leads to many changes in the life of Maria and that of her family. The film is based on real people and has many twists and turns and much emotion. It was filmed in the Swedish language and has English subtitles.

What We're Watching: Laurie

Mad Men created by Matthew Weiner.

Set in New York City in 1960, Mad Men tells the colorful story of the highly competitive art of advertising. The men and women of Madison Avenue are cunning and ruthless in the world of moving commodities where everything can be bought and sold. Don Draper is at the top of his game in dealing with the business of huge egos and high stakes, and always gets what he wants. Interesting storylines and great writing make the characters of this series seem larger than life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What We're Reading : Edward

First Rule

by Robert Crais

The Elvis Cole series of novels by Crais are very popular. But his readers clamored for novels featuring Elvis's sidekick, Joe Pike. In this the second Joe Pike novel, Pike learns that one of his men, from their time as mercenaries, is dead along with his whole family. It appears to just be one of a series of murders of bad guys. Pike can not believe that one of his men was dirty. Pike investigates to clear the name of his compatriot. Also killed was the family baby sitter. Was she the real target for the murderers? Was her baby taken from the house? Was she connected to an European crime family? Pike tracks down the murderers, but he finds some of them already dead. Pike has to sort through all the lies that he hears to get to the truth. In a turnaround, he gets help from Elvis Cole. The ending is a big surprise and will make you clamor for the next Joe Pike novel!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What We're Reading: Cathy

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

Meet Freddy de la Hay. He's an ex-sniffer dog for Heathrow Airport. He is also the newest resident at Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico, London. He joins a group of typical (odd?) Londoners who live in the flats . There is William, the wine merchant, who is trying to make his awful son Eddie move out. He's so desperate that he gets a dog (Freddy) and another roommate - a woman - to force the issue. The middle flat is occupied by 4 young women: Jenny who is secretary to the loathsome MP Oedipus Snark; Caroline, an art student; Dee, who works in a vitamin store; and Jo, who works at a wine bar. The bottom floor is occupied by the rather mysterious Mr. Wickramsinghe, an accountant. We bounce from one person to the next, following them through events both big (a near fatal accident) and small (a chewed up shoe). This book follows in the tradition of Mr. McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What We're Reading Now: Cathy

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer

The story opens at America's entry into WWII. Life photographer Claire Shipley is doing a story on penicillin research. The magazine decides not to run the story, which frustrates Claire. Then the US government steps in to speed up the research and production of the new wonder drug and all of the development becomes top secret. The development of this drug is personal to Claire - she lost her daughter to blood poisoning - and so she begs to be allowed to follow the story even though it can't be published until after the war is over. Her love affair with Dr. James Stanton who is in charge of the research is rocky as he is sent all over the country and overseas to test the drug on the troops. In the midst of all this, Dr. Stanton's sister, Tia, a penicillin researcher, is murdered. Was she killed by German or Japanese spies or for a more personal reason? The world without penicillin, without anti-bacterial drugs, is a very different one from ours today. Men died from a cut on the knee and the death rate of the troops from infections was appalling. Lauren Belfer brings this era to life.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What We're Reading: Edward

Money to Burn: a novel of suspense

by James Grippando

In a novel torn from today's headlines, Michael Cantella is a Wall Street powerhouse who has it all. He celebrates his 35th birthday with a trophy second wife, the job of his dreams, and millions in the bank. After the party, he logs into his bank account and finds a ZERO balance. All of his accounts have been emptied! Was Michael the victim of identity theft? The way his accounts were emptied puts his job and his Wall Street firm in jeopardy. Soon the FBI is interviewing Michael. Then the local police question him about the murder of a reporter, who blasted Michael's innocence. Michael also seems to have a hired killer following him just waiting to take him out. Michael finds spy ware on his computer and begins to untangle the web of corruption. Was his dead first wife responsible for all this? Is she really alive? Michale must race to save her and himself! Great Beach Read!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What We're Reading: Laurie

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Naomi and Ely are best friends. They live in the same apartment building and are attending NYU together. Naomi has always been in love with Ely, and has fantasized about their wedding day, but Ely doesn't love her the way she hopes he will. They create a "no kiss list" of people they can't kiss so as not to hurt one another, but Ely crosses the line and things change drastically between them. Will this be the end of Naomi and Ely's life long friendship? Fans of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist will enjoy this teen read.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Star Wars Day Lightsaber Effect Photos

Thanks to the volunteers of the 501st Legion's Great Lakes Garrison and the Rebel Legion's Great Lakes Base, we now have photos from our June 19 Star Wars Day enhanced with cool lightsaber effects. Attendees can download their photos from the library's Photobucket account at http://s463.photobucket.com/albums/qq356/SterlingHeightsLibrary.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What We're Reading: Edward

Wild Penance (Jamaica Wild Mysteries)
by Sandi Ault
Jamaica Wild works for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management in Taos. She is a range rider in the mountains above Taos. While out running one morning, she sees a cross with a man attached being dropped from a bridge into the Rio Grande. Jamaica is familiar with the local Penitentes, an old tradition in the Catholic Church. The Penitentes believe in scourging themselves, carrying crosses and other acts of penitence, especially around Easter. Jamaica has sketched some of their decaying meeting places up in the mountains. Her sketch book is stolen and someone seems to be trying to kill her. Jamaica is warned by an old crone that she is in danger but that she has an angel guarding her. Will her guardian angel be able to prevent her death? Jamaica even gets a love interest in this her fourth adventure. For Tony Hillerman fans.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What We're Reading: Laurie

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year of high school as a social outcast. She was at a party over the summer and called the police to break it up. Everyone at school despises her because of the incident and no one knows why she did it. Melinda becomes very withdrawn, refuses to speak to anyone including her parents or teachers, and her grades are rapidly slipping. What happened to Melinda? Will life change for her? Will she ever find her voice? This gripping story will have you cheering for Melinda as she tries to find her way out of the darkness and solitude that is holding her prisoner.

What We're Reading: Edward

True Blue

by David Baldacci

This is the start of a new series for Baldacci. Mace Perry is a policewoman who bleeds blue. Her father was a policeman and her sister is the head of the Washington D.C. police force. Mace is infamous for her part in a series of armed robberies. She maintains that she was drugged and framed for the crimes. But she was convicted and sent to prison. Now that she is out of prison, she is out to clear her name and get back on the police force by solving a big case. The murder of a United States Attorney may be the ticket to get her life back. Then a respected lawyer is killed. The two victims had dinner together just before they were murdered. Are the two cases linked? Mace's investigation is stonewalled by powerful forces. Are they the same people who got her sent to prison? Mace races to solve the cases with the help of her sister and a friendly attorney. Good start to what will hopefully be a long series.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What We're Reading: Cathy

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

The body of a young woman is found stabbed in a cemetery in London. The "persons of interest" include a paranoid schizophrenic, a thatcher, and a bartender/ice skating instructor. The investigation includes London and Hampshire and the New Forest which has its own special rules. Acting Superintendent Isabelle Ardery (hoping for the permanent position) persuades DI Thomas Lynley to help out in the investigation even though he is still on leave, grieving for his murdered wife. Behind the whole case is the question of how should children who commit a horrendous crime who have themselves been victims of child abuse, be treated. Where does the circle end?