It was a wonderful, energizing, and inspiring evening!
If you missed it, we hope you'll come in, peruse his eleven novels, the DVDs of movies based on his novels, and the audio books, and catch up!
A big thank you to Joseph Finder for his witty, insightful, and all-around terrific presentation last night. We appreciate that he took time out of his busy schedule and the work on his upcoming novel to spend time with us.
It was a wonderful, energizing, and inspiring evening!
If you missed it, we hope you'll come in, peruse his eleven novels, the DVDs of movies based on his novels, and the audio books, and catch up!
Thrillerfest is the conference for thriller enthusiasts. This year's took place in New York, in mid-July.
Led by ThrillerMaster Scott Turow, the following books were recognized:
Best Hardcover Novel:
The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Best Paperback Original:
THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND by Jennifer McMahon
Best First Novel:
RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews
Best E-book original:
THE WORLD BENEATH by Rebecca Cantrell
On our shelves, we have Scott Turow's latest release, IDENTICAL (from 2013). We own RED SPARROW, but, at the time of this posting, it's checked out (so go ahead and put a hold on it).
THE DEMONOLOGIST and THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND will be included in the next book order, and THE WORLD BENEATH will shortly be available on our Kindles.
Congrats to these talented writers -- the library is delighted to share their work, and encourages our patrons to read them.
If you're interested in more information on ThrillerFest, or in attending next year's conference, the link to Thrillerfest is http://www.thrillerfest.com
If you look at the left side of the page at the links, you'll see we've added a page for the various book clubs. This page will be updated regularly with the information on upcoming meetings, the books and stories chosen, and any autho
There are three books that are in processing, and will be on the shelves shortly that I'm excited about. Well, I'm excited about LOTS of books in the library, but these three, I was lucky enough to read in ARC before I was ever hired to work in a library, and I liked them enough to order them.
THE ART OF ADAPTING by Cassandra Dunn is one of those novels that stays with you for a long time after you finish it. It seems pretty straightforward -- Lana's husband has left her, she caring for her two teen children, and for her brother Matt, who has Asperger's syndrome. His need for routine is in sharp contrast to the household's current tumult. The characters kept surprising me, and I rooted for them more with each page. It's a very experiential novel, which means that actually reading it is wonderful and satisfying and moving and exhilarating in a way that reading ABOUT it can't be. I hope many of you will read this novel and enjoy it as much as I have.
THE HUNDRED YEAR HOUSE by Rebecca Makkai is one of the most uniquely structured novels I've ever read. The plot unfolds as the story moves backwards. It's set in a family home turned artists' colony, one with a history on par with Yaddo. Doug, married to Zoe, whose legacy is the house/colony property, is trying to unravel the mystery surrounding one of its long-term resident poets. He needs to land a book deal/university position and this is his last hope -- (as he makes a few bucks writing-for-hire a teen series). Meanwhile Zoe goes to great lengths to make sure her husband gets a position, taking some surprising and shocking actions that redefine her life. The book deals with that tightrope between those in the arts and those who condescend to artists in a completely unique way.
OWEN'S DAUGHTER by Jo-Ann Mapson surprised me for all the right reasons, too. Skye is freshly out of rehab, and wants to re-establish a relationship with her daughter (who has disappeared with her husband). The husband doesn't show to pick her up -- but her estranged father does, on horseback. This odd reunion sets the stage for a series of discoveries as Skye and Owen look for Skye's daughter, and Owen reconnects with a former love.
These books will be on the shelves in a few days; I hope you'll either order them or come in and look through them in person. I sincerely hope you enjoy them.
I've spent several of the past few posts talking about genre fiction, such as urban fantasy, cozy mystery, fantasy. However, I've also got some other terrific titles in circulation that I hope you'll enjoy.
THE ILLUSIONISTS by Rosie Thomas
An artist's model teams up with a showman called the Devil, a dwarf whose also a talented magician/illusionist, and a gentle, talented artist. Set in 1870s London, it combines history, imagination, danger,
and deep heart.
At the start of The Illusionists, we meet Eliza, a young, beautiful woman of limited means. Eliza is modern before her time. Not for her the stifling if respectable conventionality of marriage, children, domestic drudgery. She longs for more. Through her work as an artist’s model, she meets the magnetic and irascible Devil—a born showman whose dream is to run his own theater company.
Devil’s right-hand man is the improbably-named Carlo Bonomi, an ill-tempered dwarf with an enormous talent for all things magic and illusion. Carlo and Devil clash at every opportunity and it constantly falls upon Eliza to broker an uneasy peace between them. And then there is Jasper Button. Mild-mannered, and a family man at heart, it is his gift as an artist that makes him the unlikely final member of the motley crew.
Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: the fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. And as Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life, which is soon thrown into peril.
THE TRANSCRIPTIONIST by Amy Rowland
Lena, the transcriptionist, sits alone in a room far away from the newsroom that is the heart of The Record, the behemoth NYC newspaper. She is the last of her kind, each day transcribing the newsworthy stories of the world, the tragic, the mundane, and all the while watching her work be edited down, pared – key pieces of material trimmed to fit the printed page.
For years she has remained loyal and unquestioning, until one day she reads an article in The Record about a blind, unidentified Jane Doe who climbed into a lions’ den at the Bronx Zoo and was mauled to death. Lena suddenly remembers this woman, whom she met a few days before on a city bus. Obsessed with identifying her and understanding what caused her to commit such a desperate act, Lena begins a search for the truth that will change her life and shake The Record to its very foundation.
THE ACTRESS by Amy Sohn
When Hollywood heartthrob Steven Weller pulls Maddy Freed out of obscurity for a starring part in his newest, Oscar-worthy film, she feels her career roaring onto the express track. Steven’s professional attention soon turns personal as they are thrown together amid Europe’s Old World charm, and Maddy allows herself to tumble headlong into a fairytale romance with the world’s most eligible bachelor. She knows there’s no truth to the gay rumors that have followed him for years.
Yet what is it that Steven sees in Maddy that he has not seen in his string of past girlfriends? Steven tells her he is drawn to her stunning gift as an actress—her ability to inhabit a character so seamlessly, so convincingly, that it is nearly impossible to tell she is playing a role—a compliment that becomes more ominous as their marriage progresses. Ultimately, as Maddy’s own happiness and success grow intertwined with her new husband’s, she cannot afford to ask too many questions about Steven’s complicated past. But can she ignore her inner voice, and her instincts about her own worth?
Set in a tantalizing world of glamour and scandal, of red carpets and ruthless competition, of scheming agents and the prying eye of the press, The Actress is a romantic, sophisticated page-turner about the price of ambition, the treachery of love, and the roles we all play.
And, if you want something a little on the lighter side, try
ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner
Allison Weiss got her happy ending--a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you?
The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
I hope you enjoy these new releases, and, as always, feel free to drop a comment and let me know whether or not you liked them!
I'm having one of those lovely moments of synchronicity. I'm processing some new-to-us audio books (Kim Edwards's THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER, Steve Berry's THE VENETIAN BETRAYAL, Jennifer Crusie's DON'T LOOK DOWN) -- and I'm preparing a copy of Mary Higgins Clark's THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE.
I see the name of the person reading -- Jan Maxwell. I worked with her off-Broadway years ago, and am a fan of her work ON Broadway, too. And now we have a CD she reads in the library!
I'm delighted, and I hope you will enjoy these new-to-us audio books, too. We will be adding some new-release audio books, too, in the coming weeks. I'll let you know as they are ready.
Have a fantastic holiday weekend!
I've put some fun new titles on the cozy mystery shelf, and on the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy shelf. Apologies for not having the bookcovers for them:
END ME A TENOR by Joelle Charbonneau
Your teens probably know her for the best-selling dystopian YA trilogy starting with THE TESTING. But she also has two cozy mystery series -- one at a roller rink, and The Glee Club Mysteries. END ME A TENOR is a fun romp of murder, mayhem, song, and a bit of romance.
SECONDHAND SPIRITS by Juliet Blackwell
This is the first Lily Ivory Wishcraft Mystery. I'm a big fan of this series, and, indeed, of all Juliet's work. The newest in this series, A VISION IN VELVET releases next week - -if you like this book and want me to order more in the series, let me know. Lily Ivory is an hereditary witch, used to roaming, whose found a home in San Francisco. She has a familiar named Oscar who is -- well, you'll have to read the book! Lily owns a vintage clothing store -- she can tell a lot about past through the clothes. Juliet also writes the Haunted House Renovation Mysteries. She and her sister wrote as Hailey Lind, and had a series of Art Forger mysteries several years ago.
A POTION TO DIE FOR by Heather Blake
This is the first book in Heather's new series, featuring Carly Bell Hartwell, whose specialty is Love Potions, and looks like a lot of fun. Carly goes from in-demand to suspect when a dead man is found in her shop, clutching a potion bottle. Heather also writes the Wishcraft mysteries (we have the first one in that series, IT TAKES A WITCH, in our stacks.
GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS by Cate Price
Another "first" in a new series, Daisy Buchanan (named for the GATSBY character), runs a small, unique shop in PA. She gets dragged in to the murder when her friend, an auctioneer, is accused of murder.
In the fantasy/sci-fi/urban fantasy category, we've added:
SOMETHING FROM THE NIGHTSIDE by Simon R. Green
This is a science fiction/urban fantasy/detective series set in London, featuring John Taylor, whose special gift is finding what's lost -- something he' shad since he was a child of the Nightside. Now, a case takes him back there, where it's always 3 AM, chasing a runaway teenage girl. I've heard wonderful things about Green's writing, and this is on my list!
TEMPEST RISING by Nicole Peeler.
Jane True is a selkie -- part human, part seal, living in Maine, not fitting in. When she discovers her true self, and that she's an important part of a bigger plan, she finds friends and lovers in the most unusual places. This series has six books in it, and I'm a big fan. If you like it and want more, let me know. Nicole's new series, featuring a djinn, debuts this autumn.
THE GRENDEL AFFAIR by Lisa Shearin
This is the first of a series called the SPI files, featuring ex-journalist and current seer/agent Makenna Fraser. Her current case has to do with a murderer in NYC's subway tunnels -- who just happens to be a descendent of Grendel. This is a mix of action and humor and urban fantasy -- sounds like a great summer cocktail to me.
THE SORCERY CODE by Dima Zales
This is the first of a fantasy trilogy about sorcery, creation, and control The web of intrigue reaches far beyond what any of the characters could imagine.
This book is still in processing, and I expect it will be on the shelves towards the end of next week.
I hope you enjoy them, and please drop a comment to let me know which ones you like best, and which authors you'd like to see about more.
We're expanding our collection of fantasy, science fiction, and urban fantasy titles. We have Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses Series, which is one of my favorite series. We have the first three books in Kevin Hearne's The Iron Druid Chronicles, along with his latest release, SHATTERED, which just came out in hardcover. We have some fun Terry Pratchett works -- HOGFATHER, MORT, WYRD SISTERS -- and George R.R. Martin's first two books in the series that triggered the GAME OF THRONES television series.
In addition, I'm just about to set out the following:
Illona Andrews is the husband-and wife team who writes the Kate Daniels series and the The Edge series. CLEAN SWEEP is the first of a new series featuring Dina Demille, running a Victorian bed-and-breakfast in a small Texas town, whose broom is a weapon.
I recently binge-read both the Kate Daniels and The Edge books, and I'm looking forward to this one.
The there's TRIO OF SORCERY by Mercedes Lackey:
Unfortunately, I couldn't download and post the cover.
This book has three novellas, two of which contain some of my favorite fictional characters.
I was a huge fan of the Diana Tregarde books in the mid-1990s, and "Arcanum 101" has an early Diana story, when she was still studying at Harvard -- relevant to our location.
In "Drums", Jennifer Talldeer, another of my favorites, has to fight off an angry Osage ghost.
"Ghost in the Machine" was my introduction to Ellen McBride, who is a techno-shaman. Don't know what that is? Read this terrific collection to find out!
If you want something a little farther down the odd spectrum, try a collection of short stories: CARNIEPUNK.
(photo credit: Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles)
This is a terrific collection by some of the best urban fantasy authors out there, including some of my favorite authors: Kevin Hearne, Nicole Peeler, Allison Pang, Jackie Kessler, and Jaye Wells. In addition, it was a great introduction to some new-to-me authors. I particularly liked Rob Thurman's story "Painted Love" which opens the collection, and Seanan McGuire's "The Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Lovely, Open Sea." Check out the book and get an introduction to some terrific authors -- let me know who you liked best, and maybe we'll add their other books to the collection, too.
DRAGON'S TEETH by Mercedes Lackey:
Another cover I couldn't download. This volume contains a collection of short stories, FIDDLER FAIR (running the gamut from urban fantasy to Bardic fantasy to sci-fi to horror) and WEREHUNTER, a novella set in Lackey's Heralds of Voldemar world.
It's a great example of her depth and range.
I hope you come in and enjoy these books. Let me know which you liked best!
Are you familiar with the new genre, New Adult?
The New Adult category falls between the Young Adult and the (chronologically, anyway) fully adult. The characters are anywhere from 18 to 25 years old, college-aged and slightly above, and are working to find their places in the world.
The first New Adult titles focused mostly on romance and were mostly from the female protagonist's point of view. As the genre evolves, so are the characters -- we now have books with male POVs, and a wide variety of mystery, urban fantasy, backgrounds of combat veterans or characters who are in the world of mixed martial arts.
They do contain explicit sex, which keeps them off the YA shelves (and therefore in my purview in this library). But, for female characters, the trend seems to be more about finding herself than the guy being the reward.
This is a genre that came out of readers in this age group wanting more characters that related specifically to THEM, and not an older character "remembering" the coming of age, in traditional literary fiction, or a younger character acting older than her age without a good reason. Publishers, agents, authors have responded to this - -many YA authors are crossing over, as are adult authors, and meeting in the New Adult genre.
Most New Adult fiction is told in first person POV, something I love as a reader. The one drawback, for me, is that they are also usually written in present tense. A personal peeve of mine is that I loathe novels written in the present tense. I can sometimes put up with a short story, but unless I'm being paid to read a novel in present tense, such as for an article or a review, I put it down.
Present tense in a novel, to me, feels like the author is being pretentious and saying, "look at ME" as an author, pushing me out of the story, whereas past tense seamlessly slides me right into the piece and lets me live it.
Why not try a few and see for yourself?
I've put the following on the shelves, which, to me, sound interesting, in spite of being in the present tense. Once you read them, I'd love to hear what you think, and whether you want more. I'm using the back cover blurbs for descriptions:
THE ELEPHANT TREE by RD Ronald:
Mark Fallon is an overworked detective investigation a spate of attacks at a string of high profile city centre nightclubs. Scott is a dejected 34-year-old, struggling to make ends meet working for his brother and supplementing his income with a small-scale drug dealing operation. Angela is an attractive 23-year-old, raised by her father, a career criminal and a small time drug dealer who supplies Scott with cannabis. This is a chilling tale spanning a few months in the lives of Scott and Angela, where realizations about the present combine with shocking revelations from the past leading to an apocalyptic climax where they no longer know whom they can trust.
VIOLET MIDNIGHT (Violet Night Trilogy 1) by Lynn Rush:
Pursuing a normal existence by attending college proves difficult for vampire hunter, Emma Martin, considering the mystical tattoo on her wrist glows when Vamps are near. And after three months of silence, the glow is back with a vengeance. Jake Cunningham witnesses Emma using her powers and reveals a few of his own. Finally, after three years of searching, he realizes his newfound abilities must mean he's a hunter like Emma. Thankful not to be alone in the fight against the Vamps, Emma finds hope and comfort in Jake's arms. As she learns more about her new love's family and its dark heritage, she may be forced not only to hunt them, but also to sacrifice her live to save Jake's soul.
BEAUTIFUL BASTARD by Christina Lauren
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate--and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative--completely infuriating--creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules -- or outright smash them -- if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for each other increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win.
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Dollar
After Travis returns home from serving in Afghanistan, adjusting to his former life is anything but easy. Especially since his brother sole his girlfriend (and his car). Then he runs into Harper -- a girl he wronged who wants nothing to do with him. But there's something different about her now. She's beautiful, smart, strong and funny . . .and she might be the only one who can show Travis that there's more to his future than just his past.
THE EDGE OF NEVER by J.A. Redmerski
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone--including herself--when she decides to leave the only life she's ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish. Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together--or destroy them forever?
TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry
"I close my eyes and suck in air.
West is not hot.
He's a FIGHTER. He's TROUBLE.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the associated heartache."
I've put some exciting new books on the shelves, and I'm delighted to share them with you.
One of the is THE LARAMIE PROJECT/THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER. Matthew Shepard's brutal murder inspired this theatre piece, created from more than 200 interviews with the citizen of Laramie, Wyoming, where this occurred. THE LARAMIE PROJECT was (and is) a piece of ground-breaking theatre. Ten years later, the creators returned to the town, and the result is the second play in the collection.
These plays are a tribute to how art is created out of tragedy, and how even the reprehensible human behavior can inspire something that can change the world for the better.
Matthew Shepard should never have been murdered. These plays are a moving tribute to his memory, and a reminder that it is up to each of us, as individuals, to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
Taking a completely different collection, I'm delighted to announce that we now have all three books of THE GRAPHIC CANNON -- which is a collection of the World's Great Literature as graphic novels. They're edited by Russ Kick. Volume i covers THE EPIC OF GIGLAMESH TO SHAKESPEARE TO DANGEROUS LIAISONS. Volume II contains from KUBLA KHAN to THE BRONTE SISTERS to THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. Volume III has HEART OF DARKNESS TO HEMINGWAY TO INFINITE JEST.
These are big volumes, and can