Friday, January 4, 2013



"Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice, Book 5) by George R. R. Martin - "... the much- anticipated companion to the 2005 A Feast for Crows, covering different characters and locations within the same time frame. Tyrion Lannister, the fugitive kinslayer, travels from Pentos to Meereen on the fringes of others' quests to rule Westeros, his astonishing adaptability evident as he goes from captive to conspirator to slave to mercenary without losing his tactical influence. Jon Snow, commander of the Night's Watch, courts betrayal in his attempts to balance his duties to the Wall, to Stannis Baratheon, and to the wildlings. Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, is faced with a difficult quandary: return to Westeros to pursue her claim to the throne or stabilize conquered Meereen before it buckles under insurrection. Integral appearances by Bran Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Quentyn Martell, and numerous others show Martin gathering and tightening the myriad threads connecting his characters. This volume doesn't tie up many loose ends, but it delivers the tension, political intrigue, emotional impact, and moral ambiguousness that fans expect, and the sinister conclusion foretells a bloody return." -- Krista Hutley. 1,040pg. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.
"The Forgotten" by David Baldacci - " Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.

A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.

What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed." --

"The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer - "In September 1937, Andras Levi leaves Budapest for Paris, where he will study at the Ecole Speciale on a scholarship. Before he leaves, he encounters Elza Hasz, who asks him to carry a letter to Paris addressed to C. Morgenstern. Andras posts the letter and begins his studies, getting help from a Hungarian professor, a desperately needed job from a theater director he met on the train, and an introduction to some friends from an actress at the theater. The daughter is sullen and disinterested, but the mother turns out to be Claire Morgenstern, recipient of the mysterious letter, and it is with Claire that Andras launches a tumultuous affair. Soon, a painful secret about Claire's past emerges--and then war comes to sweep everything aside. VERDICT With historic detail, a complex cast of characters, and much coincidental crossing, this book has a big, sagalike feel. Unfortunately, it also has a paint-by-the-numbers feel, as if the author were working too hard to get through every point of the story she's envisioned. The result is some plain writing, not the luminous moments we remember from her story collection, How To Breathe Underwater. Nevertheless, this should appeal to those who like big reads with historic significance." --Barbara Hoffert,  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2010.

"The Last Man: A Novel" by Vince Flynn - "An invaluable CIA asset has gone missing, and with him, secrets that in the wrong hands could prove disastrous. The only question is: Can Mitch Rapp find him first?

Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards executed in cold blood. But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him wonder if something even more sinister isn’t afoot. Irene Kennedy, director of the CIA, has dispatched him to Afghanistan to find Rickman at all costs.

Rapp, however, isn’t the only one looking for Rickman. The FBI is too, and it quickly becomes apparent that they’re less concerned with finding Rickman than placing the blame on Rapp.
With CIA operations in crisis, Rapp must be as ruthless and deceitful as his enemies if he has any hope of finding Rickman and completing his mission. But with elements within his own government working against both him and American interests, will Rapp be stopped dead before he can succeed?" --

"NYPD Red" by James Patterson - "It's the start of Hollywood on Hudson, and New York City is swept up in the glamour. Every night, the red carpet rolls out for movie stars arriving at premieres in limos; the most exclusive restaurants close for private parties for wealthy producers and preeminent directors; and thousands of fans gather with the paparazzi, hoping to catch a glimpse of the most famous and beautiful faces in the world. With this many celebrities in town, special task force NYPD Red is on high alert-and they can't afford to make a single mistake.

Then a world-renowned producer fatally collapses at his power breakfast, and top NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan is the first one on the scene. Zach works with his beautiful new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald-who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend-to discover who the murderer might be. But this is only the beginning: the most brutal, public, and horrifyingly spectacular crimes they've ever encountered are about to send all of New York into chaos, putting NYPD Red on the ropes.

Zach and Kylie know there's no way of telling what a killer this deranged will do next. With the whole world watching, they have to find a way to stop a psychopath who has scripted his finale down to the last explosive detail. With larger-than-life action, relentless speed, and white-knuckle twists, NYPD Red is the next mega-blockbuster from "The Man Who Can't Miss." (TIME)" --

"Panther" by Nelson DeMille - "Former NYPD detective John Corey brought down Libyan terrorist Asad Khalil, aka The Lion, in 2010's The Lion, and now he's hunting another big cat: Yemeni-American Bulus ibn al-Darwish al Numair, aka The Panther, one of the Al Qaeda masterminds behind the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in 2000. After being baited by their boss, Special Agent in Charge Tom Walsh, Corey and his FBI agent wife, Kate Mayfield, volunteer for the dangerous mission in Yemen, and they soon find themselves at the top of Al Qaeda's assassination list. A corrupt and ineffective government barely controls the cities, tribal chiefs rule the hinterlands, and U.S. operatives fear that Al Qaeda is growing stronger. Plus, Corey doesn't even trust other members of the U.S. team. Essentially chosen to serve as panther bait, Corey and Mayfield are equally dangerous predators and DeMille puts them through the wringer as attacks come from all sides when they head into the Badlands with a daring plot to trap their target. Tricks and twists abound in this fast moving thriller where everyone has their own agenda and survival is the ultimate goal." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"Poseidon's Arrow" by Clive Cussler - "The fifth Dirk Pitt novel from bestseller Cussler and son Dirk (after 2010's Crescent Dawn) features expanded roles for Pitt's two grown kids. Both Summer and Dirk Jr. help their dad try to corral ruthless Austrian entrepreneur Edward Bolcke, who runs a slavery compound in Central America where kidnapped sailors are forced into servitude to assist in his many criminal enterprises. In particular, Bolcke has managed to steal a crucial component of the U.S. Navy's latest submarine technology--and he has found a way to hijack the world's supply of rare earth minerals. The three Pitts, along with longstanding sidekick Al Giordino, use their usual mix of brains and brawn to see that justice is served. While some readers may have a problem with sluggish action sequences and a surfeit of story lines, ardent followers of the Pitt clan and their nautical escapades will appreciate the family dynamics and camaraderie." Agent: Peter Lampack, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"The Sins of the Mother" by Danielle Steel -  " As a way of making up to them for time lost, Olivia spends months every year planning a lavish holiday that everyone in her family will enjoy. This summer she has arranged a dream trip in the Mediterranean on a luxurious yacht, which she hopes will be the most memorable vacation of all. Her lavish gesture every year expresses her love for them, and regret at all the important times she missed during her children’s younger years. Her younger daughter, Cassie, a hip London music producer, refuses the invitation altogether, as she does every year. Her older daughter, Liz, lives in her mother’s shadow, with a terror of failure as she tries to recapture her dream of being a writer. And her sons, John and Phillip, work for Olivia, for better or worse, with wives who wish they didn’t. In the splendor of the Riviera, this should be a summer to remember, with Olivia’s children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law on board. But as with any family gathering, there are always surprises, and no matter how glamorous the setting things don’t always turn out as ones hopes.

Family dynamics are complicated, old disappointments die hard, and as forgiveness and surprising revelations enter into it, new bonds are formed, and the future takes on a brighter hue. And one by one, with life’s irony, Olivia’s children find themselves committing the same “sins” for which they blamed their mother for so many years. It is a summer of compassion, important lessons, and truth.

The Sins of the Mother captures the many sides of family love: complex, challenging, funny, passionate, and hopefully enduring. Along the way, we are enthralled by an unforgettable heroine, a mother strong enough to take more than her fair share of the blame, wise enough to respect her children for who they really are, and forgiving enough to love them unconditionally." --

"Sweet Tooth" by Ian McEwan -  "How easily we are fooled, and how easily we fool ourselves. That's the sense we get when reading this latest from Booker Prize winner McEwan (Solar), set in the Cold War 1970s. Rather gorgeous Serena Frome ("rhymes with plume") attends Cambridge to study mathematics, though she'd rather be reading, because she's persuaded that women must prove themselves adept with numbers. She scrapes by with a third, meanwhile having an affair with a married history professor who secretly grooms her for the intelligence service and then dumps her. Drafted by MI5, she's on the lowest rung when she's asked to participate in a mission, codenamed Sweet Tooth, aimed at secretly funding writers whose views align with the government. Serena's target is Tom Haley, with whom she foolishly falls in love. Then he writes the grimmest, darkest postapocalyptic novel imaginable. VERDICT The writing is creamy smooth, the ultimate trap-within-a-trap pure gold, and the whole absolutely engrossing, but poor Serena. She's such a doof, and she's a bit condensed too (by both characters and author), which leaves a bitter taste no matter how good the novel. [See Prepub Alert, 5/4/12.]"--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal. 304p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2012.


"Bent Road" by Lori Roy - " After a self-imposed exile, Arthur Scott moves his wife and children from the tumult of 1960s Detroit to the wind-swept plains of his hometown in Kansas. A secret is lurking in this small village, and it has something to do with the Scott family. Years ago, Arthur's beautiful older sister died mysteriously. Now, another young girl disappears without a trace. There are also rumors of an escaped convict on the loose. Meanwhile, Arthur's only living sister is beaten by her abusive husband and must seek refuge. Celia, Arthur's wife, watches as events unfold around her, all the time questioning whether they are somehow related. In her debut mystery, Roy excels at creating the kind of ominous mood that is unique to the novel's small-town setting, in which the church holds sway, and family secrets are locked-up tight. Terrifying and touching, the novel is captivating from beginning to end."-- Heather Paulson. 368pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

"Black Box: A Novel" by Michael Connelly - "At his core, Harry Bosch is a cop with a mission--to tip the scales of justice toward the side of murder victims and their survivors....As usual, Bosch faces not only the seeming impossibility of reconstructing a crime that has been cold for two decades but also the roadblocks imposed by the bureaucrats at the top of the LAPD. But Bosch has never met a roadblock he wasn't compelled to either barge through or cannily avoid. Harry is such a compelling character largely due to his fundamentally antiestablishment personality, which leads to chaos as often as to triumph, but also because his unswerving work ethic reflects not simply duty but also respect for the task before him. Harry does it right, even--or especially--when his bosses want something else entirely. That's the case this time--How would it look if a white cop made headlines by solving the riot-related murder of a white woman? Better to let it slide. In real life, we all let things slide, but in life according to Bosch, nothing slides. We like Harry, as we like many other fictional crime solvers, because he never stops, but we love him because he has the scars to prove that never sliding is no easy thing." -- Ott, Bill. 416p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

 "Delusion in Death" by J.D. Robb - "Happy hour in a Manhattan bar becomes a scene of carnage when a potent hallucinogenic-drug mixture, released into the air, causes everyone inside to attack everyone else. While members of the NYPD unit headed by Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon identify the drugs, they can't stop another incident days later at a nearby cafe. With a total of 127 dead and the looming threat of another incident, Dallas and her colleagues (with Dallas' billionaire husband, Roarke, who owns the bar, serving as a consultant) race to check out victims, including the few who survived the attack, as they search for connections and motives, with an unexpected assist from the historical knowledge of Roarke's live-in butler. Although sleepless for days, Dallas remains at the top of her game in this thirty-fifth entry in this suspense series by the prolific Robb (aka Nora Roberts); and even with the help of modern technology, it's still dogged police work and keen intuition that solve crimes. With its final twist, this is a compelling addition to a best-selling series." -- Leber, Michele. 400p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

"The Marseille Caper" by Peter Mayle - "Mayle ...sends readers on a breezy excursion to southern France's least appreciated city in this entertaining crime novel filled with amiable digressions into the history, cuisine, and local culture of Marseille. Los Angelino sleuth Sam Levitt returns for his second foray into the dark side of finance and real estate development in Provence's scruffy metropolis, offering breezy opinions on bouillabaisse, the countryside, and the region's centuries-old distrust of Parisians, amid talk of fine wines and underhanded deals. Sam and his girlfriend, Elena, insinuate themselves into a scheme to give their billionaire client, Francois Reboul, familiar to fans of Mayle's The Vintage Caper, a leg up in the proposed waterfront development, sidestepping the decades-long enmity of Jerome Patrimonio, head of the selection committee and Reboul's bitter rival. It's a genial, lighthearted piece of skullduggery that wends its way forward with appealing, authentic local color, until the main competitor for the development, the brutish, one-dimensional British tycoon, Lord Wapping, ups the stakes with a bit of heavy-handed kidnapping. Mayle's cast of fondly crafted characters mobilize the capering elements of the title as the adventure comes to a satisfactory conclusion. 100,000 announced first printing."-- Agent: Ernest Chapman. 224p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich - "After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton's premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it's on Stephanie to track down the con man. The problem is, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumorsare stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape, or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff's lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it is hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Plum is forced into working side by side with Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case. Solving the case is harder than she imagined and to make sure the rent is paid she takes on a second job, protecting her mentor Ranger from a deadly special forces adversary." -- Baker & Taylor

"A Simple Murder" by Eleanor Kuhns - "Set in 1795, Kuhns's quiet, well-crafted debut, the winner of the MWA/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel competition, poignantly captures the Shaker ethos of the period. When widowed weaver Will Rees returns home to Maine from a long trip, he learns that his 13-year-old son, David, whom he left in the care of relatives, has run away. Hearing that a local Shaker community has taken David in, Rees goes there in search of his son. In order to stay near David and work on their strained relationship, Rees, who gained a reputation for crime solving while serving in the Continental Army, agrees to look into the murder of an attractive young woman, Sister Chastity, and later the disappearance of two male Shakers years before. Rees forms an appealing bond with sleuthing sidekick Lydia Jane Farrell, a former Shaker living near the settlement. Their unresolved relationship will fuel reader hopes for a sequel. Only some anachronistic language jars." -- (May). 336p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.


"The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom" by Marcus Redicker - "Historian Rediker (The Slave Ship) focuses on the individual captives in this ambitious retelling of the famous 1839 Amistad uprising. He relies on numerous articles about and interviews with rebellion leader Cinque and his fellow captives to detail their abduction, voyage, and stateside imprisonment. Their trial brings out prominent legislators, including Roger S. Baldwin and former president John Quincy Adams, as well as political activists like Lewis Tappan, turning the already sensational upheaval aboard the slave ship Amistad into a national spectacle of antebellum America. Rediker renders the struggle of progressive newspapers to portray, in both word and image, the refugees as romantic heroes, while proslavery outlets labeled them "beastly" pirates. He also describes the Africans' and Americans' mutual attempts to understand one another's language and customs, in order to better communicate throughout the hearings. As the Supreme Court solidified its position on the captives' fate, the reader feels America further split in its own attitudes on slavery. Following the verdict, Rediker trails the freed captives as they tour the country and return to their native homelands, while the effects of the court's landmark ruling reverberate throughout the nation. Spectacularly researched and fluidly composed, this latest study offers some much needed perspective on a critical yet oft-overlooked event in America's history."-- Agent: Sandra Dijkstra. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"The Price of Politics" by Bob Woodward -  "A reconstruction of how Republican brinkmanship threatened to bring down the global economy by forcing a U.S. debt default. ...Woodward chronicles how Republicans used a previously routine vote on increasing the debt ceiling to blackmail President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Emboldened by their midterm victory in 2010, the Republicans aimed to force the president to accept major cuts to the budget and entitlements while holding the line on taxes. In explaining this display of brinkmanship, Woodward explains that for the U.S. president, default was not an option and could in fact bring down the entire global economy. The action takes place in the summer of 2011, beginning with a failed attempt by the White House to craft a workable deal in negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner. When these negotiations collapsed, the entire political leadership of both parties was brought in, leading to recriminations on all sides. The debt ceiling was raised but at the cost of a January fiscal cliffhanger. Although the author faults both Boehner and the president for their "fixed partisan convictions and dogmas," his main purpose appears to be to discredit Obama. He compares him unfavorably to former Presidents Reagan and Clinton, both of whom handled similar crises. Although admitting that "Obama was handed a miserable, faltering economy and faced a recalcitrant Republican opposition," Woodward faults him for being both arrogant and inept at building political consensus. An occasionally intriguing look into political grappling at the highest level but mostly an exercise in excruciating detail, most of which boils down to trivial political gossip."-- KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2012.


"The Last Lion: Winston Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965" by William Manchester & Paul Reid -  ".. Opening with a character sketch of Churchill in his multifaceted guises of sentimentality, egotistical insensitivity, and brilliance, Reid dives into Churchill's war leadership in 1940 that is the cynosure of his place in history. Reid's got the research right, down to the day, down to the minute. He shows Churchill defying Hitler and appeasers--the French leadership and figures in the British government--who even in 1940 thought peace could be arranged with the triumphant Nazis. As Reid chronicles Churchill's public speeches, communications, and strategy sessions, he affords regular glimpses at Churchill's private aspects--his wittiness, sybaritic consumption of scotch and cigars, and moods bordering on depression. If reading Churchill's life after 1945 entails an unavoidably anticlimactic quality, Reid nevertheless ably chronicles its main events of writing his WWII memoirs and assuming his second premiership of 1951-55. Manchester was one of the best Churchill biographers, and this capstone to his magnum opus ought not be missed." Taylor, Gilbert. 1,232p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

"Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham - "Pulitzer Prize-winner Meacham claims that previous Jefferson scholars have not grasped the authentic Jefferson. Meacham unmasks a power-hungry, masterful, pragmatic leader who was not above being manipulative to achieve his goal: an enduring, democratic republic defined by him. A brilliant philosopher whose lofty principles were sometimes sidelined for more realistic goals, Meacham's Jefferson, neither idol nor rogue, is a complex mortal with serious flaws and contradictions. Despite his dedication to human liberty, he would not impose practical measures to end slavery. Here, Jefferson's political instincts trumped his moral and philosophical beliefs, and he lived uncomfortably with that contradiction, believing that slavery would eventually end but unable to create a balance between human freedom and political unity. Meacham believes that what some recent writers have viewed as hypocrisy was actually genius. Failing to solve the conundrum of slavery, Jefferson creatively and successfully applied power, flexibility, and compromise in an imperfect world. VERDICT General and academic readers will find a balanced, engaging, and realistic treatment of the forces motivating the third President, the subject of unending fascination and debate." --Margaret Kappanadze, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY. 800pg. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2012.

 "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail" by Cheryl Strayed - "In the mid-1990s as her world collapsed, both from within and without, Strayed (Torch) decided that walking the Pacific Crest Trail would be a way forward. Devastated by the death of her mother and the subsequent undoing of her family and marriage, Strayed saw the 2,663-mile route through desert, mountains, and raw wilderness as something of an ideal-offering promise, salvation, a path toward the way (though she had no idea what any of those things would look like, if they could be found). The decision to walk an 1100-mile segment of the trail was as impulsive and self-isolating a choice as any she had made during her free fall following her mother's death. Detailing everything from the landscape, to the toll hiking took on her body, to the exquisite joy to be found in Snapple after a long day, to the bevy of people washing in and out of her life on the trail, she tells her story in an intimate voice, as if to a wise and accepting friend-one smart enough to stay silent and just nod encouragingly as her story spills out. Strayed's tale of self-destruction and self-reconciliation is an addictive one-an insightful, literary, and powerful combination of the inwardness of memoir and the fast pace of adventure quest." -- LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2012.


"Arthur's Perfect Christmas"
"The Dark Knight Rises"
"Homeland: The Complete First Season"
"Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season"


"Close to Famous" by Joan Bauer - "Gr. 5-8. Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother leave Memphis in the middle of the night, fleeing the mother's abusive boyfriend. Foster has a severe learning disability, a pillowcase full of mementos of her dead father, and a real gift for baking. When she and her singer mother relocate to a tiny, rural West Virginia town, they discover a friendly and welcoming population of delightfully quirky characters. Foster finally learns to read from a reclusive, retired movie star; markets her baked goods at Angry Wayne's Bar and Grill; helps tiny but determined Macon with his documentary; and encourages her mother to become a headliner rather than a backup singer, all the while perfecting her baking technique for the time when she gets her own cooking show like her TV idol, Sonny Kroll. Bauer gently and effortlessly incorporates race (Foster's mother is black; her father was white), religion, social justice, and class issues into a guaranteed feel-good story that dodges sentimentality with humor. Readers who want contemporary fiction with a happy ending will find it here." -- Debbie Carton. 240pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011. 

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever" by Jeff Kinney - "The timing of the release of the sixth book in Kinney's bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is pretty much perfect, given that it's set in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (Diehard fans, though, will have burned through it long before Thanksgiving dinner is served.) Kinney keeps to the formula that has worked so well for him, as Greg Heffley recounts, in diary entries and cartoons, his episodic misadventures at home and at school, mixing the timely (bullying, energy drink addiction, a creepy Elf on the Shelf-style doll called 'Santa's Scout') with the timeless (school fundraisers, get-rich moneymaking schemes, sibling rivalry). Readers expecting an overarching focus on a snowed-in Heffley clan, based on the book's concept, will have to wait a bit: the big storm doesn't hit until pretty late in the game. But it's unlikely that anyone will mind--Greg is as entertainingly self-serving as ever, and Kinney continues to excel at finding the innate humor in broadly relatable situations, from the futility of junk-food crackdowns to a toddler's ability to exert control over an entire family."-- (Nov.). 224pg. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2011.

 "The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman" by Meg Wolitzer - "Gr. 5-8. Duncan Dorfman is adjusting to life in a new Michigan town with his struggling single mom, who lands a job at a local big-box store run by a rarely-seen millionaire. After moving, Duncan finds that he can discern letters with the fingertips of his left hand, which helps him choose needed tiles after he joins the school Scrabble club. Eventually, Duncan's skills bring him to the national Scrabble tournament in Florida, where he meets two other young Scrabble players: a boy from New York City, who has a fraught relationship with his father, and a girl who tries to prove her worth in a family of athletes. As the kids get to know each other, they take a side trip to a crumbling, sinister amusement park, which launches them into an unexpected adventure. At the novel's end, the focus returns back to Duncan, who discovers a surprise about a family secret. The overpacked plot drags a bit, but readers who stick with it will be rewarded with portraits of winning, well-drawn kids struggling to succeed in a complicated world." -- Todd Morning. 256pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

"Revenge of the Witch" by Joseph Delaney - "Gr 5-8. When 12-year-old Thomas, seventh son of a seventh son, is apprenticed to the local Spook, whose job is to fight evil spirits and witches, he expects a life of danger. However, the boy doesn't realize just how soon he'll face a powerful enemy alone, as Mother Malkin escapes her confinement while the Spook is away. Thomas is forced to use his wits, and the help of his enigmatic new friend, Alice, to fight the evil witch. And defeating her is only the start of the boy's problems. Delaney's characters are clearly presented and have realistic depth, and Thomas's mother and Alice stand out for their strong words and actions. The protagonist's voice is clear, and his conflicts over his actions ring true. This first entry in a proposed series is an excellent choice for readers who are looking for a more sophisticated alternative to R. L. Stine's 'Goosebumps' books (Scholastic), and the pacing and edgy illustrations at the start of each chapter will appeal to reluctant readers. Delaney's rural, quasi-medieval world is populated by a variety of magic creatures, and readers will look forward to discovering more of them, along with Thomas, as the series continues. A solid choice, particularly for middle school boys." --Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI. 343pg. CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2005.

"The Man Who Lived Alone" by Donald Hall & Mary Azarian -  "This is a story about a man who lives alone because he chooses to. In his cabin in the New England woods, he lives with his collection of old newspapers and carefully saved nails, his mule and his owl. His much loved cousin, Nan, is just close enough to him to visit now and then. The man who lives alone leads a solitary life: quiet and content.

In simple, lyrical prose, Donald Hall creates a moving and believable portrait of this affectionate, eccentric man, from childhood to old age. We understand why he is the way he is, the names and pictures of his days, and, finally, how those days will end. It's a story about self-sufficiency and about solitude, about the difference between loneliness and being alone, about living and about dying." --

"Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney - "Ages 8-12. Seven books into the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Kinney isn't messing with a good thing, and he continues to mine middle-school life for comedic gold. He doesn't appear to be in danger of running out of material, either, covering everything from school elections and chocolate bar fundraisers (" lot of families like mine had to write a check to the school just to cover the cost of the candy bars their children ate," Greg says. "It's possible that nobody sold a single candy bar") to the traumas of "family-style" restaurants and Bring Your Child to Work Day. Greg even gives readers a glimpse of his (much) younger years, including his memories of life in the womb ("fter being hit by the cold air the blinding lights of the delivery room, I wish I'd just stayed put"). Fans will continue to enjoy Greg's ongoing efforts to come out on top, whether trying to secure a private bathroom stall at school or a date for the Valentine's Day dance." Agent: Sylvie Rabineau, RWSG Agency. (Nov.). 224p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"True Colors" by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock - "Grades 4-6. Left as a tiny baby outside 63-year-old Hannah's farmhouse door for her to name, love, and raise as her own, Blue has never known the identity of her parents, but it never seemed to matter until her tenth summer. Her best friend, having family troubles, seems like a stranger. Her familiar, loosely knit community is suddenly full of surprises. And her new project with the local newspaper leads her in unexpected directions. Meanwhile, Blue learns that every family has secrets, and hers is no exception. Set in 1952, this well-constructed novel features a number of distinctive, believable characters moving in their own circles, which occasionally and sometimes unexpectedly intersect those of others. Meanwhile, the words and deeds of even minor players resonate through the story, as Blue sets out to solve the mystery of her parentage and, in the end, discovers where her heart lies." -- Phelan, Carolyn. 256p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.


"Boston Tea Party" by Russell Freedman -  "Freedman tackles the Boston Tea Party with his characteristic energy and rigor and provides a gripping account of the nation-defining episode. He starts with a lucid, two-page introduction offering historical context--not stopping to get bogged down in the details of the Stamp Tax and its ilk--before he vaults into his story with a promising opening that mixes fact and suspense. From that page forward, he weaves together meticulously sourced quotations and information with engaging personal details to effectively enliven the tense, silent act of rebellion. Along with the usual heroes of the Revolution--Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, etc.--Freedman presents the actions of young men such as a rope-maker's apprentice who snuck out a window to join the mob and the mason-in-training who detoured to the protest on his way to a date. These charming and enlightening particulars, including many direct quotes, lend immediacy and emotional weight to the account, told in an effective but surprisingly casual tone. Freedman's absorbing and informative story is somewhat underserved by Malone's illustrations. A rich, earthy palette and period details, even with an occasional spark of humor, can't quite overcome the static feeling of the pictures, which resemble watercolor renditions of an American history diorama with their stiff-armed figures and blank faces. Fortunately, Freedman's text proves lively enough for both. Back matter includes a note on the importance of tea in colonial American life." --Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY. 40p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2012.

"Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brothers Baseball Team" by Audrey Vernick - "In a 1930s New Jersey town, one family liked baseball so much that they made their own team. It wasn't that difficult. The Acerras had 16 children—12 of them boys. For 22 years straight, an Acerra played baseball in the local high school. In 1938, the oldest nine formed their own semipro team. With an age range of more than 20 years among the boys, there was always another Acerra coming up. Vernick, who interviewed the surviving members of the family, incorporates their remembrances into this very special exhibition of family loyalty and love of sports. The narrative takes them through their time on the field, the dissolution of the team when six of the guys went off to WWII (and all came home safely), and a team resurgence after the war. With plenty of highs (winning seasons) and a couple of lows (one brother lost an eye when a bunt went bad), the story rolls along easily. Best of all, though, is Salerno's fantastic art. Using a retro style that combines the look of 1950s TV advertising (think Speedy Alka Seltzer) and the exuberance of comic-book art, Salerno's pictures brim with vitality. The author's and illustrator's endnotes provide interesting context for this story of brotherly—and baseball—love." -- Cooper, Ilene. 40pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

"Forget-Me-Not: Poems to Learn By Heart" by Mary Ann Hoberman - "For those who lament that young people are no longer taught to memorize poetry, here's a handsome compendium of verse well suited to that purpose and chosen with children in mind. The Children's Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010, Hoberman chose 123 poems that are memorable in both senses of the word. They're "easy to remember" (though she concedes that the longer ones will take more time) and "worth remembering." In an appended section, she discusses an approach to learning poems by heart, making the process a game with a specific prize: owning the chosen poem and keeping it for a lifetime. The selection of verse is broad, representing 57 poets, including Alarcon, Belloc, de la Mare, Esbensen, Frost, Greenfield, Grimes, Hoberman, Lear, McCord, Milne, Sandburg, Silverstein, Stevenson, Tolkien, and Worth. Created using pencil, watercolors, and pastels, Emberley's appealing illustrations brighten every page of this large-format book. A handsome anthology of poems that children can learn by heart." Phelan, Carolyn. 144pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

"Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World" by Laurie Lawlor - "This book's bold title is hard to dispute: Carson's Silent Spring (1962) did, in fact, change the world, awakening people globally to the environmental threats posed by industrial chemicals. Lawlor attributes Carson's interest in nature to a childhood spent largely alone, during which her mother introduced her to "the haunting melody of a wood thrush." A rare chance at college followed, where Carson made up with academic curiosity what she lacked in social popularity. After WWII, her writing broke through, and much of Silent Spring was written while she battled breast cancer. Lawlor's prose is nonrhyming but possessed with a noble rhythm ("she lost her heart to a world of restless water and sky"). Beingessner's soft tempera paintings are pleasingly two-dimensional and alternate pastels and earth tones to bring home the highs and lows of Carson's too-short life. Though Carson never got to see the changes brought on by her work, readers can use this fine book, as well as the informative back matter, to learn all that happened next." Kraus, Daniel. 32pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.


"Feelings Book" by Todd Parr
"Llama, Llama Zippety Zoom" by Anna Dewdney


"Apples A to Z" by Margaret McNamara
"The Bear in the Book" by Kate Banks
"Big Bad Bunny" by Franny Billingsley
"Black Dog" by Levi Pinfold
"The Case of the Incapacitated Capitals" by Roben Pulver
"Charley's First Night" by Amy Hest
"Curious George Takes a Job" by H.A. Rey
"The Day Louis Got Eaten" by John Fardell
"Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl" by Ted Arnold
"Good Night Owl" by Pat Hutchins
"Horsefly and Honeybee" by Randy Cecil
"I'm Bored" by Michael Ian Black
"King Arthur's Very Great Grandson" by Kenneth Kraegel
"Moo Who?" by Margie Palatini
"Mousetronaut" by Mark Kelly
"Poodle and Hound" by Kathryn Lasky
"Shadow" by Suzy Lee
"Wicked Big Toddlah" by Kevin Hawkes


 "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson - "After Amy's father dies in a car crash, everything that this California girl took for granted changes overnight. Her twin brother Charlie is shipped off to rehab in North Carolina. Her mother accepts a teaching position in Connecticut, leaving Amy home alone to finish her junior year of high school. Then her mom arranges to get Amy to Connecticut via a cross-country drive with a family friend, 19-year-old Roger. The pair quickly ditches the pre-planned itinerary in favor of more spontaneous detours to Yosemite, Colorado, and Graceland. Amy's mother is predictably furious and cuts off her credit card, leaving the teens on a shoestring budget. Along the way Amy gradually opens up to Roger about her father's accident and her repressed feelings about it. During a stop in Louisville, Roger finds closure with the girl who recently dumped him, leaving him available for a relationship with Amy. The theme of her emotional journey meshes well with the realistically rendered physical journey across the U.S. Playlists, pages from a travel scrapbook, well-drawn supporting characters, and unique regional details enhance the narrative. Flashback chapters shed light on Amy's life before her father's death, without breaking the steady pacing. One sexual situation is discreetly described. Overall, this is an emotionally rewarding road novel with a satisfying, if not totally surprising, conclusion. It's similar in theme and tone to Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever (Viking, 2004)." --Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA. 343pg. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2010

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth - "In the future, you are born into one of five factions, each of which has its strength and focus: Abnegation (service), Candor (truth), Erudite (intellect), Amity (friendship), or Dauntless (fearlessness). But on your sixteenth birthday, you can choose a new faction if you are so compelled, and that's what happens to Tris, who shocks everyone by exchanging the drab gray robes of Abnegation for the piercing and tattoo stylings of Dauntless. What follows is a contest, where only the top 10 initiates are accepted into the final group. This framework of elimination provides the book with a built-in tension, as Tris and her new friends--and new enemies--go through a series of emotional and physical challenges akin to joining the marines. Roth is wisely merciless with her characters, though her larger world building is left fuzzy. (Is there a world beyond this dystopian version of Chicago?) The simplistic, color-coded world stretches credibility on occasion, but there is no doubt readers will respond to the gutsy action and romance of this umpteenth spin on Brave New World." -- Daniel Kraus. 496pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

Monday, November 12, 2012



"Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver - "Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world." -- inside front cover

"Italian Shoes" by Henning Mankell - "From the bestselling author of the Kurt Wallander series comes a touching and intimate story about an embattled man’s unexpected chance at redemption.  

Many years ago a devastating mistake drove Fredrik Welkin into a life as far as possible from his former position as a surgeon, where he mistakenly amputated the wrong arm of one of his patients. Now he lives in a frozen landscape. Each morning he dips his body into the freezing lake surrounding his home to remind himself he’s alive. However, Welkins’s icy existence begins to thaw when he receives a visit from a guest who helps him embark on a journey to acceptance and understanding. Full of the graceful prose and deft characterization that have been the hallmarks of Mankell’s prose, Italian Shoes shows a modern master at the height of his powers, effortlessly delivering a remarkable novel about the most rewarding theme of all: hope." - back cover   

"The Renegades" by Tom Young - "The Renegades is a novel of constant surprise and suspense, a book, in the words of The Dallas Morning News about The Mullah's Storm, "that's got authenticity stamped on every scene and a narrative drive that won't let you go. A terrific addition to contemporary war fiction." -- inside front cover

"This is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz -  "An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose...Decisively establishes [Diaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." -- The New York Times

"Panhead" by Bill Schubart - "Panhead, like Bill Schubart's previous books -- The Lamoille Stories and Fat People -- is suffused with humor, humanity, and most of all insight. Schubart has taken his native Vermont and transformed it into a meditation on the human condition." -- Ernest Hebert, author of I Love u, and Never Back Down

"The Round House" by Louise Erdrich - "Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today."--inside front cover

"The Twelve" by Justin Cronin - "A heart-stopping thriller rendered with masterful literary skill, The Twelve is a grand and gripping tale of sacrifice and survival." -- inside front cover

"The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers - "Kevin Powers has delivered an exceptional novel from the war in Iraq, written in clean, evocative prose, lyric and graphic, in assured rhythms, a story for today and tomorrow and the next." -- Daniel Woodrell

 "Winter of the World" by Ken Follett - "picks up right where the first book (Fall of Giants) left off, as its five interrelated families--American, German, Russian, English, Welch--enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity." -- inside front cover


"The Beautiful Mystery" by Louise Penny - "Louise Penny has crafted an almost perfect crime - haunting, puzzling, brilliant, and indeed a most beautiful mystery. Chief Inspector Gamache is one of my favorite characters in fiction...This is a tour de force for Penny, and a thrilling, intelligent read." -- Linda Fairstein

"Big Breasts & Wide Hips" by Mo Yan - "This stunning novel, peopled with dozens of unforgettable characters, is a searing uncompromising vision of twentieth-century China, as seen through the eyes of China's preeminent--and exceptionally courageous--novelist." -- back cover

"Gone" by Mo Hayder - "A brilliantly plotted mystery that keeps you guessing not only who that villain is, but what exactly he's after ... First-rate mystery that takes full advantage of the wintry, moonlit West Country and the unusual skills of its lady diver."--Kirkus Reviews

"Live by Night" -by Dennis Lehane - "At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era ('the 20's) when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue." -- inside front cover

"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn - "Gone Girl is one of the best and most frightening portraits of psychopathy I've ever read. Nick and Amy manipulate each other with savage, merciless, and often darkly witty dexterity. This is a wonderful and terrifying book about how the happy surface normality and the underlying darkness can become too closely interwoven to separate." -- Tana French

"Paradise City" by Archer Mayor - "Mayor's solid 23rd Joe Gunther novel ... focuses on a tri-cornered interstate case involving multiple thefts. One night on Boston's exclusive Beacon Hill, three burglars break into the house of 89-year-old Wilhelmina "Billie" Hawthorn, who makes the fatal mistake of catching them in the act. Det. Jimmy McAuliffe gets the case and the unwelcome help of Billie's 26-year-old granddaughter, Mina Carson. In Tucker Peak, Vt., a wealthy ski resort, burglary and arson get the attention of Vermont Bureau of Investigation chief Gunther and his crew. Clues in both investigations point to a buyer of stolen goods in Northampton, Mass., completing the jurisdictional triangle. Another thread follows illegal immigrant Li Anming, a skilled jewel smith who becomes a virtual slave in an unusual sweatshop. Stings, surveillance, and interrogations all play a part in the effort to uncover a sophisticated, ruthless criminal operation. Fans of this first-rate procedural series will be satisfied." --   PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.

"The Racketeer" by John Grisham - "The masterful opening introduces disgraced Virginia lawyer Malcolm Bannister, who has served half of a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering after getting caught up in a federal net aimed at a sleazy influence peddler. Bannisteras conviction has, naturally, destroyed his life, but he thinks he can use the murder of federal judge Raymond Fawcett to his advantage. Fawcett, who presided over a landmark mining rights case, and his attractive secretary, with whom he was having an affair, were both found shot in the head in his cabin in southwest Virginia. Near the bodies was an empty open safe. When the high-profile investigation stalls, Bannister tells the feds that he can identify the killer for them in exchange for a release from jail and the means to start a new life. The surprises all work, and the action builds to a satisfying resolution." -- Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Company. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.


"Kingdom's Bounty: A Sustainable, Eclectic, Edible Guide to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom" by Bethany M. Dunbar - These remarkable images tell an even more remarkable story - the way that the most rural region of the most rural state in the union is leading a revolution in American agriculture." -- Bill McKibben

"The New Moosewood Cookbook" by Mollie Katzen - "Since the original publication of the MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK in 1977, author Mollie Katzen has been leading the revolution in American eating habits... With her sophisticated, easy-to-prepare vegetarian recipes, charming drawings, and hand lettering, Mollie introduced millions to a more healthful, natural way of cooking." -- back cover

"Park Songs" by David Budbill - "Park Songs is set during a single day in a down-and-out Midwestern city park where people from all walks of life gather. In this small green space amidst a great gray city, the park provides a refuge for its caretaker (and resident poet), street preachers, retirees, moms, hustlers, and teenagers. Interspersed with blues songs, the community speaks through poetic monologues and conversations, while the homeless provide the introductory chorus—and all of their voices become one great epic tale of comedy and tragedy.

Full of unexpected humor, hard-won wisdom, righteous (but sometimes misplaced) anger, and sly tenderness, their stories show us how people learn to live with mistakes and make connections in an antisocial world. As the poem/play engages us in their pain and joy—and the goofy delight of being human—it makes a quietly soulful statement about acceptance and community in our lives." --

"Plutocrats: the Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else" by Chrystia Freeland - "Chrystia Freeland has written a fascinating account of perhaps the most important economic and political development of our era: the rise of a new plutocracy. She explains that today's wealthy are different from their predecessors: more skilled and more global; and more often employees than owners, notably so in finance and high technology. By putting together stories of individuals with reading of the scholarly evidence, she gives us a clear view of what many will view as a not so brave new world." -- Martin Wolf, chief economic commentator for the Financial Times


"The Great Northern Express: A Writer's Journey Home" by Howard Frank Mosher -

From bestselling, nationally celebrated author Howard Frank Mosher, a wildly funny and deeply personal account of his three-month, 20,000-mile sojourn to discover what he loved enough to live for. 

"Joseph Anton" by Salman Rushdie - A harrowing, deeply felt and revealing document: an autobiographical mirror of the big, philosophical preoccupations that have animated Mr. Rushdie’s work throughout his career.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden" by Mark Owen -"Owen was already a SEAL at the time of the 9/11 attacks; the book begins shortly thereafter, as he is qualifying for the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (otherwise known as the famed SEAL Team Six), and follows him through various missions, culminating with a detailed account of the planning and execution of the assault on bin Laden's compound. His version of events has already sparked some controversy...but it doesn't feel as though Owen intended to add fuel to the fire. ...No Easy Day doesn't merely tell war stories--it also explores the culture of war and what it means to be a soldier. " -- Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012


"Downton Abbey Season 2"
"A Film Unfinished" 
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"The Lucky One"
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
"Mad Men Season Two"
"Mugabe and the White African"


"Duet II" by Tony Bennett


"Kindred Souls" by Patricia MacLachlan - "From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about what we do for the ones we love, and how the bonds that hold us together also allow us to let each other go." -- inside front cover

"The Magic Escapes" by Tony Abbott - "When Eric chased Lord Sparr up the Dark Stair and out of Droon, he knew they were heading for the real world. But he didn't realize just how much was about to change. With them, Eric and Sparr carry the secrets and the magic of Droon. And with magic on the loose. nothing in our world will ever be the same...." -- back cover

"Nate the Great and the Sticky Case" by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat - "A stegosaurus stamp belonging to Nate's friend Claude disappears, and the indomitable Nate the Great is called in on the case. At first, even Nate is stumped -- the stamp has just vanished without a trace! But with clues from the weather and his ever-faithful dog, Sludge, Nate is soon on his way to wrapping up his stickiest case yet." --

"The Penderwicks on Gardam Street" by Jeanne Birdsall -  "The Penderwick sisters...return in another warm family story. An opening chapter, ...tells how the girls' mother died right after Batty's birth. Now, some four years later, Aunt Claire presents the girls' father with a letter from his late wife, telling him it's time to start dating. Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty beg to differ and come up with a harebrained scheme to thwart Mr. Penderwick. But the girls aren't just focused on their father. Rosalind has her own romantic entangelments; and Skye and Jane write compositions for each other, which leads to myriad problems. Meanwhile, little Batty has become enamored of the widow and her baby son who live next door. There's never much suspense about where all this is going, but things happen in such touching ways that the story is hard to resist." -- Ilene Cooper AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2008.

"Wonder" by R. J. Palacio - "Wonder is essentially...a wonder. It's well written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. " -- Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, A Walk to Remember and Message in a Bottle

"Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures" by Brian Selznick - "Rich, complex, affecting and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary." -- inside front cover


"I, Galileo" by Bonnie Christensen - "In this biography, Bonnie Christensen lets Galileo himself tell the tale--and his genial narration makes this giant of science feel more real and accessible than ever before. Lavishly illustrated in rich jewel tones, this is a perfect introduction to a most remarkable man." -- inside front cover

"Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words" by Leda Schubert -"Marcel Marceau, the world's most famous mime, enthralled audiences around the world for more than fifty years. When he waved his hand or lifted his eyebrow he was able to speak volumes without ever saying a word. But few know the story of the man behind those gestures . . .
Distinguished author Leda Schubert and award-winning artist Gerard DuBois bring their own artistry to this gorgeously written and illustrated picture book biography." -- inside front cover

"When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death" by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown - "A comprehensive, sensitive guide for families dealing with loss of loved ones, When Dinosaurs Die helps readers understand what death means, and how to best cope with their feelings." -- back cover



"And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" by Dr. Seuss
"Froggy Gets Dressed" by Jonathan London
"Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs" by Mo Willems
"I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie" by Alison Jackson
"Llama, llama Time to Share" by Anna Dewdney
"Mossy" by Jan Brett
"Nate the Great and the Sticky Case" by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
"Nightime Ninja" by Barbara DaCosta
"Oh, No!" by Candace Fleming & Eric Rohmann
"Olivia and the Fairy Princesses" by Ian Falconer
"Pecan Pie Baby" by Jacqueline Woodson

"Z is for Moose" by Kelly Bingham & Paul O. Zelinsky


 "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To" by D. C. Pierson - "Charmingly honest and honestly funny. Nails what it's like to be a geeky teenage mail, right down to the Agrtranian Berserkers." -- Max Barry, author of Company

"Chomp" by Carl Hiaasen - "Hiaasen extends his brand of Florida eco-adventures with this loopy foray into reality TV. Derek Badger, star of Expedition Survival!, arrives to film an Everglades episode, enlisting the services of animal wrangler Mickey Cray, a sort of Dr. Doolittle who specializes in snakes and keeps a 12-foot-long gator named Alice as a pet. Mickey holds his nose but takes the job, assisted by his son, Wahoo, a goodhearted teenager who's able to handle his father as well as his father handles pythons. Badger, naturally, is a complete fraud, who choppers off to a hotel each evening while mosquitoes dine on his crew. After filming starts, Badger gets lost in the swamp with only his (dim) wits to help him survive. There are no cute owls or endangered panthers to save—tension derives from wondering whether Badger will get himself killed before Mickey does it for him, and a subplot about Wahoo's friend Tuna, who's on the run from her abusive father." -- Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM., PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012. 

"Graceling" by Kristi Cashore - "With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, Kristen Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more." -- back cover

Thursday, September 13, 2012



"Fallen Angel" by Daniel Silva - "Art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon is glad to be back in Rome, cleaning up a Caravaggio. Then he gets a call from erstwhile friend Monsignor Luigi Donati, the pope's private secretary, who's found the body of a beautiful woman lying shattered beneath the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. No, Allon does not see this as a suicide. Digging deeper, he uncovers a ring of antiquities smugglers with revenge on their minds. And that's just the beginning" -- Library Journal 

"Fifty Shades Darker" by E. L. James - "Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey move into a deeper, more
committed relationship, impacting her fledgling publishing career and placing them both in physical and emotional danger. Following the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey (2011), Ana and Christian reconcile after their breakup. ... Fifty Shades Darker continues the saga of Ana and Christian, the zeitgeist erotic romance that's hit a chord with women everywhere, with the same universally appealing themes and the same writing weaknesses. A fun summer read--not the best thing you've ever read, not the worst, but not to be taken too seriously." --  KIRKUS MEDIA

"Fifty Shades Freed" by E. L. James - "Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.
Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality." -- back cover

"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

"HHhH" by Laurent Binet - " Seemingly effortless blend of historical truth, personal memory, and remarkable imagination, a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing, a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history." -- inside front cover

"The Paris Wife" by Paula McLaine- "A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadly." -- inside front cover

 "Sandcastle Girls" by Chris Bohjalian - "This spellbinding tale travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012--a sweeping historical live story steeped in the author's Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date." -- inside front cover

"The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce - "Spontaneity has never been Harold Fry’s strong suit, especially once he retired. Just ask his long-suffering wife, Maureen. So imagine her surprise when Harold abruptly decides to walk 500 miles to the north of England in a naive attempt to save a dying woman, a colleague he once knew briefly but to whom he hadn’t spoken in 20 years....  Accomplished BBC playwright Joyce’s debut novel is a gentle and genteel charmer, brimming with British quirkiness yet quietly haunting in its poignant and wise examination of love and devotion. Sure to become a book-club favorite."—Carol Haggas, Booklist
"The Watch" by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharyna - "We watch as the resistance of an isolated American garrison in Afghanistan is ground down, not by force of arms but by the will of a single unarmed woman, holding inflexibly to an idea of what is just and right." -- J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize Recipient for Literature.

"Where We Belong" by Emily Griffin - "Giffin again uses her great wit and gift of storytelling to weave a tale that's nuanced, empathetic, and, at times, heartbreaking. Matters of the heart are always complicated, and Giffin deftly shows you why." -- Associated Press


"Back Fire" by Catherine Coulter - "Bestseller Coulter's overwrought 16th thriller featuring husband-and-wife FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock (after 2011s Split Second) pits the couple against a ruthless killer with an agenda that starts with the nonfatal shooting of Judge Ramsey Hunt outside his waterfront San Francisco house....Coulter mixes romance, strong family ties, narrow misses, and narrower escapes as well as some twists that strain credulity to the breaking point. Series fans will applaud the strong female leads and the nifty teamwork of Savich and Sherlock."--Publisher's Weekly

"The Body in the Boudoir" by Katherine Hall Page - The award-winning Page adds a creative twist to her long-running Faith Fairchild series by having the narrative travel back in time to when Faith met her husband. ...This fun yet intelligent and layered look at the story behind a favorite series will be devoured by fans and attract new readers" -- Amy Alessio, American Library Association 

"Broken Harbor" by Tana French - "Broken Harbour is a complex, well crafted psychological thriller as well as an exemplary dissection of the plight of the disappointed and desperate human wreckage washed up in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. As always, French's carefully wrought prose is a delight ... A hugely impressive and intelligent book, with writing to savour. It confirms French as the First Lady of Irish Crime." -- Irish Independent.

" Creole Belle" by James Lee Burke - "Creole Belle is a resurrection story for the ages, with James Lee Burke at the peak of his masterful career and Dave Robicheaux facing his most intense and personal battle yet, against the known and unknown forces that corrupt and destroy even the best of men.

"Dorchester Terrace" by Anne Perry - “An intricate plot about a murder at the palace [with] an irresistibly appealing Upstairs, Downstairs perspective . . . a fine introduction to Perry’s alluring world of Victorian crime and intrigue.”—The New York Times Book Review
"Garments of Shadows" by Laurie R. King - "Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today's most acclaimed adventure series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds." -- inside front cover

"The Fallen Angel" by Daniel Silva -  “Daniel Silva’s The Fallen Angel soars with authenticity….The Fallen Angel delivers the goods….Riveting espionage adventures that have timely, real-world relevance.” -- Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"I, Michael Bennett" by James Patterson -  "Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous Mexican crime lord in a deadly chase that leaves Bennett's lifelong friend Hughie McDonough dead. From jail, the prisoner vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City-and to get revenge on Michael Bennett.

To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, on a much-needed vacation to his family's cabin near Newburgh, New York. But instead of the calm and happy town he remembers from growing up, they step into a nightmare worse than they could have ever imagined. Newburgh is an inferno of warring gangs, and there's little the police-or Bennett-can do to keep the children safe.

As violence overwhelms the state, Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. A partner in his investigations, federal prosecutor Tara McLellan, brings him new weapons for the battle-and an attraction that endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine. A no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-floor, action-packed novel, I, Michael Bennett is James Patterson at his most personal and most thrilling best." --

"The Strange Fate of Kitty Eastman" by Elizabeth Speller - "This whopping whodunit, which also manages to create a poignant portrait of soldiers' lives in the aftermath of World War I, presents a devastated, grayed-down England suffering under the profound loss that overwhelms survivors." -- Boston Globe 

"Robert B. Parker's Lullaby" by Ace Atkins - "Is there a more promising opening in contemporary crime fiction than Boston PI Spenser opening his office door to a new client? Instantly we get Spenser's clear-eyed view of the client, what his or her dress and stature have to say, and the rat-a-tat of Spenser's wise guy answers to the client's queries...A series of unflagging excellence."-- Booklist

"The Return of Captain John Emmett" by Elizabeth Speller - A complex and gripping novel of post-World War I England still devastated by violence and loss, Elizabeth Speller's The Return of Captain John Emmett re-creates a bygone era of great innocence and incomprehensible depravity through richly imagined narrative and characters." -- Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic's Daughter and The Wolves of Andover

"Three-Day Town" by Margaret Maron - "Bestseller Maron's charming 17th Deborah Knott mystery ... takes the North Carolina judge and her husband of one year, Dwight Bryant, to New York City for a belated honeymoon. They bear an unusual gift, a small bronze sculpture, for photojournalist Anne Lattimore Harald from Anne's dying mother, wealthy Jane Lattimore, who's a distant cousin of Deborah's. Deborah arranges to meet Anne's daughter, NYPD Lt. Sigrid Harald, who will pick up the gift, at a large party next door to the Manhattan apartment that an absent friend is letting the couple use. When Sigrid and Deborah return to the borrowed apartment, the sculpture is missing from the kitchen counter; worse, the dead body of the building's super is lying on the balcony. Could someone from the party be responsible for the theft and the murder? Deborah, with her inveterate curiosity, assists Sigrid, last seen in her own series in 1995's Fugitive Colors, in the official investigation. This is a strong addition to a series that's won Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards." -- Publisher's Weekly

"Wicked Business" by Janet Evanovich - "Her novels, hailed by GQ as “among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction,” deliver rollicking adventure with crackling wit and hilarious mayhem. And, now, one of the hottest writers today returns with dynamic duo Lizzy and Diesel to prove that when hunting down bad guys, the real fun is in the chase.

When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.

Janet Evanovich does it again and gives us another exciting un-put-down-able read that is striking a chord with readers everywhere!" --


"Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall - "One of the most entertaining running books  ever...A wonderful, rollicking tale...McDougall does a masterful job as a suspense writer, slowly, slowly, slowly building history, anthropology, personalities, and running science until the tension is almost exquisite...Once you've gotten into it, you can't put it down until you find out how it ends. And who wins." -- Amby Burfoot,

"Breakout Nations" by Ruchir Sharma - "Ruchir Sharma has written a fascinating and important book -- nothing less than a new guide to the global economy. In lucid prose he overturns conventional wisdom, highlights new trends, and discovers new sources of growth. Breakout Nations is the most interesting book on the new economic landscape that I have read in years." -- Farreed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World

"Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power" by David E. Sanger - "A revealing and news-breaking account of Obama's aggressive use of innovative weapons and new tools of American power to manage a rapidly shifting world of global threats and challenges." -- inside front cover

"Losing It: in which an Aging Professor Laments his Shrinking Brain.." by William Ian Miller - "Miller takes target at the inevitable aging process, and finds much more humor than might be expected . . . His leisurely pace and straight talk brings topics that are not always openly discussed into the realm of everyday conversation . . . Readers may turn to the book for contemplation or a much-needed laugh as they themselves continue the unavoidable journey."—Publishers Weekly

"Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion" by Elizabeth L. Cline -  "Yet just as many readers would be fascinated (in the worst way) by the industry itself and the waste that our clothing habits engender. Journalist Cline chronicles the excesses from every angle... She probes previously under reported segments of fashion, ... Most important is her discovery and adoption of ethical fashion, in which quality pieces triumph through the patronage of local designers, by a return to sewing and hand-embellished garments, and by the decidedly unfashionable notion of wearing clothes unique enough to not care about trendiness." -- AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

"Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget" by David Wessel - "I wish every voter would read this book. It spells out in a clear, nonpartisan way the realities of the deficit, how we got here, and the hard choices that lie ahead. The message is painful, but the book is not--it is engaging, thoughtful, and a pleasure to read." -- Christina D. Romer, professor, University of California, Berkeley; former chair, Council of Economic Advisers

"Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President" by Candice Millard - "James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president: born into poverty, he rose to become a scholar, a war hero, and a renowned reformist congressman. Then, after four months in office, he was shot in the back by a deranged office seeker. But the shot didn't kill him. The ensuing drama is a powerful story of a nation in turmoil as the wounded president became the object of a behind-the-scenes struggle for power -- over his administration, over the nation's future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care." -- back cover


"Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President"  by Candace Millard - "The extraordinary New York Times-bestselling account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard." --

"Paris: A Love Story" by Kati Marton - "Katie Marton has written movingly about her love, loss, and the healing power of an elegant city. She takes readers on a journey, as she writes, to find a place where there is joy in remembered joy." -- Diane Sawyer



"Hatfields & Mccoys"
"Hot Coffee"

"Wallace Stegner: A Biographical Film Portrait"
"We Need to Talk About Kevin"


"The Hunger Games" 


" Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall"


"Animal Family" by Randall Jarrell  - "This is the story of how, one by one, a man found himself a family. Almost nowhere in fiction is there a stranger, dearer, or funnier family--and the life that the members of The Animal Family live together, there in the wilderness beside the sea, is as extraordinary and as enchanting as the family itself." -- inside front cover

"A Dog's Way Home" by Robbie Pyron - "It takes a special kind of storyteller to speak from a dog's point of view with authenticity, as well as from a child's true voice. Beautifully written, this is an important story that speaks to the special kinship between child and dog. I simply LOVE this book!" -- Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall

 "R My Name is Rachel" by Patricia Reilly Giff - "In this heartfelt novel, beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff brings the endearing Rachel, her family, and their days during the Great Depression to vivid life for today's readers." -- inside front cover

"The Silver Bowl" by Diane Stanley - "A versatile and inventive raconteur, Stanley (Bella at Midnight) nimbly weaves intrigue and fantasy into this richly layered story set in medieval times. Sent to work as a scullery maid at the castle, high-spirited Molly bids farewell to her mother, who tells Molly that she has inherited her ability to see visions predicting the future. She also gives her daughter a necklace that Molly's silversmith grandfather had 'put some good magic into,' which she predicts Molly might need. Polishing an intricately patterned silver hand basin belonging to the king, Molly hears a voice urging her to 'Listen!' and she sees in the bowl scenes from the past, including one depicting the bowl's creation by her grandfather, who was forced to bestow on it curses that have plagued the royal family. With crisp pacing and enticing end-of-chapter teasers, Stanley gradually reveals the intriguing story of the curse, which Molly must break in order to save a kind prince who's the sole surviving direct heir to the throne. That task and the Molly's rescue of the prince are relayed with suspense and some unanticipated plot spirals."-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2011.

"Storm Warning" by Linda Sue Park -"In Nest, Amy and Dan learn some unpleasant truths about their family's lineage while trying to evade the Holts in South Africa (among other places). Code finds the sibs dramatically separated in China. Warning takes them to the Caribbean--and a showdown with the man in black. The series continues to spit out compulsively readable, if slight, tales of adventure." -- THE HORN BOOK, c2010.

"Storm Runners" by Roland Smith - "Chase Masters and his father roam the country tracking hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe weather; they're also trying to fill the void left by the death of Chase's mother and sister. They end up in Florida, separated and fighting for their own lives during a hurricane. The story's nonstop action and break-neck pacing keep pages turning; a cliffhanger ending promises another installment." -- THE HORN BOOK


"Heart and Soul" by Kadir Nelson - "Kadir Nelson, one of this generation’s most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an “Everywoman,” an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation" -- inside front cover

"The Real Benedict Arnold" by Jim Murphy - "Using Arnold's surviving military journals and political documents, Murphy carefully contrasts popular myth with historical fact; one of the greatest strengths of the book is that Murphy never goes beyond his documentation to speculate. As far as possible, he meticulously traces Arnold's life, revealing a complex man who was actually as much admired as he was loathed. ... Especially fascinating is the description of a civil and military leadership--incompetent, ambitious, and greedy--that consistently undervalued and undermined Arnold. The chapters dealing with Arnold's treason are taut and suspenseful, and reveal much about how he is regarded today. Perhaps we can never know the real Arnold, but this splendid biography brings us close." --  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2007.

"Step Gently Out" by Helen Frost- "Captivating photography gives readers a closeup view of the world of insects, as described by a gently contemplative poem. Lieder captures the small miracles of a bumblebee in mid-flight, a spider dangling from a dewy branch, and a firefly's flash, while Frost urges readers to be mindful of events that seem insignificant: "A spider spins a silken thread/ to step across the air./ A praying mantis looks at you--/ do you know she's there?" Working in concert, the words and images achieve a Zenlike calm that also hints at the complicated web of life unfolding all around. Endnotes discuss the 11 featured insects in greater detail.+ -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched and & Peterosaurs Took Flight" by Hannah Bonner - "this book discusses all the exciting developments of the Triassic Age, from the recovery of the planet from the most deadly mass extinction ever, to the first appearance of the dinosaurs. We also get to meet the first mammals, the first pterosaurs (flying reptiles), the first frogs, a host of predatory marine reptiles, early turtles, and the first coral reefs.  With the books' signature blend of humor and clearly presented information, cartoon illustrations help keep the fact-filled material extra fun." --


"Let's Have a Tea Party"  by Ilanit Oliver
"Spot Goes to the Library" by Eric Hill


"Andy and the Lion" by James Daugherty

"Arthur's Back to School Day" By Lillian Hoban
"Bear Feels Scared" by Karma Wilson
"Big Fat Hen" by Keith Baker
"Bumble-Ardy" by Maurice Sendak
"A Bus Called Heaven" by Bob Graham
"Dragons Love Tacos" by Adam Rubin
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" by William Joyce
"Here Comes Gosling!" by Sandy Asher
"Hide and Seek" by Il Sung Nan
"Machines Go To Work in the City" by William Low
"The Money We'll Save" by Brock Cole
"Penney and Her Song" by Kevin Henkes
"Rocket Writes a Story" by Tad Hills
"Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always" by Tao Nyeu
"Tyler Makes Pancakes!" by Tyler Florence


"Suite Scarlett" by Maureen Johnson- "Gr. 7-12. The Hopewell Hotel, 75 years ago a stylish Upper East Side haunt, has fallen on hard times. Its proprietors, the Martin family, have let the last remaining employee go, and now it's up to the four children, Spencer, Lola, Scarlett, and Marlene, to keep things afloat. Enter one Mrs. Amy Amberson, a flamboyant, mysterious guest, back in New York after a long absence, with some clandestine motives. Mrs. Amberson is to occupy the Empire Suite, just today entrusted to Scarlett as a 'present' on her fifteenth birthday (a family tradition), for the entire summer, and keeping her happy will test Scarlett's ingenious mettle. What follows is some utterly winning, madcap Manhattan farce, crafted with a winking, urbane narrative and tight, wry dialogue. Beneath the silvered surface, Johnson delivers a complex sibling relationship. Like the Hilary McKay's Casson quartet, first introduced in Saffy's Angel (2002), these siblings are bound by tender, poignant connections, all the more real for the absurdity of their circumstances. We can only hope that they, too, return for more intrepid adventures." --  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION