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Archive for May, 2014

New: Audiobooks, Fantasy, and Sci-fi

Every Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

New: Audiobooks

The Everything Store book cover

Autobiography book cover

The Humans book cover

  — The Everything Store by Brad Stone

  — Autobiography by Morrissey

  — The Humans by Matt Haig

  — Stronger by Jeff Bauman

  — Jump the Gun by Zoe Burke

  — Second-Chance Dog by Jon Katz

  — A Wanted Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey

  — Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

New: Fantasy and Sci-fi

Irenicon book cover

Heaven's Queen book cover

Archetype book cover 

  — Irenicon by Aidan Harte

  — Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach

  — Archetype by M.D. Waters

  — Steadfast by Jack Campbell

  — Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

  — City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte

  — The Wicked by Douglas Nicholas

  — Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

By MPPL on May 16, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, New Arrivals

Music: The Only Place by Best Coast

The Only Place album coverIf the seemingly interminable polar vortex and belated start of spring has you pining for sunshine and summer tunes, check out The Only Place, the second album by neo-surf rock duo Best Coast. The entire thing is a love song to California, to beaches and babes, and to the beauty of young love and heartache. Sing along with Beth Cosentino as she declares “we wake up with the sun in our eyes…” to help jump start your own magical summer.

By MPPL on May 15, 2014 Categories: Music

Book Discussion Questions: Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf book cover

SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points, if you have not read the book.

 

Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Jodi Picoult
Page Count: 421
Genre: Contemporary, Issue-driven, Relational
Tone: Bittersweet, Thought-provoking, Moving

 

1.  At the core of Lone Wolf is Luke, a character who is revealed solely through flashbacks and others’ recollections. How would you describe him? Are we as readers supposed to admire him? Did your opinion of him change throughout the story?

2.  One reviewer stated that “understanding [Luke] is the key to accepting the story.” Do you agree this is true? Was the author successful in helping you understand Luke?

3.  What would motivate a man to live in the wild with a wolf pack for a year? Do you know of any true-life examples of this?

4.  What did you learn about wolves from the book? How did this enhance the story? Were there any experiences that you found especially fascinating?

5.  What is the distinction between a lone wolf and pack wolves? Why is this important?

6.  In what ways do the lessons about wolf life mirror the circumstances and issues of the human family?

7.  Early in the book, Luke complains that some people tend to attribute human emotions and motivations to animals. How is his explanation of wolf behavior different?

8.  Picoult’s trademark style involves multiple first-person narrators contending with a difficult ethical issue. What are the advantages of this approach? Do all sides receive fair play, or do you think one or more viewpoints weren’t given as much weight? Is the author’s personal bias evident?

9. With which of the characters did you most easily empathize? Is this different from the character(s) you liked best?

10.  Are there characters with whom you had trouble empathizing, even when you were hearing their own thoughts and feelings?

11.  Were there any twists or developments that took you by surprise?

12. Throughout the book we’re given hints that more happened at the accident than we know. When the truth is revealed, does this help explain Cara’s actions? Would you have wanted to know this earlier in the story?

13.  Is Edward’s sexuality important to the story? For much of the book, the reader (and most of the characters) believe that his coming out to his father was the reason he left the family. Does using this as a red herring undermine the importance of the topic?

14.  The issue of medical advocacy is examined in several facets. Even though she was only 17, should Cara have been named her father’s proxy? How much weight should the handwritten document from years ago have carried?

15. What was your prediction when Luke opened his eyes and watched Cara move around the bed? How might this have impacted the story?

16.  In your opinion, who really had Luke’s best interests at heart? Is it possible to make these decisions without our own baggage getting in the way?

17.  What do you think Luke would have wanted?

18.  What other issues related to quality of life were raised? Should more time have been taken before a decision was made? Should the fact that his organs were candidates for donation affect the decision?

19.  How well did Picoult depict a family struggling with loss?

20.  During the debate, contrasting arguments were made based first on Luke’s animal activism and later on the secret abortion. Do these actions have relevance to the decisions being made about his life? How might you weight them?

21.  Georgie’s loyalties seem to change from one point in the story to another. Is this believable? Did you agree with her actions?

22.  Were you surprised by Joe’s involvement? What did you think of his role?

23.  How does Picoult portray her male characters as opposed to her female characters? Is this intentional? Have you noticed this in her other work?

24.  Often Picoult’s books are described as page-turners, ones that are hard to put down and that are accessible due to the short chapters and different perspectives. Would you say this is true for Lone Wolf?

25. Are animals portrayed as equal to–or even superior to—people? In this story or in general?

26.  Regardless of whether you had a strong reaction one way or the other, did it make you think? Is that a goal for which writers should strive?

 

Other Resources
Simon & Schuster reading group guide
author website resource page for Lone Wolf
The Huffington Post interview with Jodi Picoult
video interview with author
Discovery Channel documentary
NPR:  “Why Are Wolf Scientists Howling at Jodi Picoult?”
The Washington Post review

 

If you liked Lone Wolf, try…
The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
The Man Who Lives with Wolves by Shaun Ellis
While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

Promise of Stardust book cover    Man Who Lives with Wolves book coverWhile My Sister Sleeps book cover

 

 

 

 

 

By Readers' Advisor on May 14, 2014 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books

Staff Pick: Sweet Smell of Success

John staff picks photoSweet Smell of Success features gorgeously stark black-and-white cinematography, a crackling Elmer Bernstein jazz score rife with jumpy energy, and muscular dialogue in a memorably hard-boiled style. Add two intensely powerful performances by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, and you’ve got a masterful ode to blackhearted American ambition.

By MPPL on May 13, 2014 Categories: Movies and Television, Picks by John, Staff Picks

Fiction: The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

Thorn and the Blossom book coverWhat a beautiful book! Physically, The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss is a gorgeous volume. It comes in a flowered slipcase and when you pull the book out – how unusual it is. It has an accordion-fold binding. If you read the novel from one direction, it is Evelyn’s story. If you read it from the other direction, it is Brendan’s story. Evelyn went into a bookstore while on vacation and came out of it with Brendan, a new friend. But both Brendan and Evelyn feel as if their burgeoning friendship is deeper than normal. Perhaps it could be that they’ve known each other in another life…

By Readers' Advisor on May 12, 2014 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Romance

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

New: Historical Fiction Books

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 book cover

Girl on the Golden Coin book cover

Hyde book cover

 

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose

Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson

Hyde by Daniel Levine

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot

Wake by Anna Hope

Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow

Long Man by Amy Greene

Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell

My Name is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner

New: Romance Books

Bad Boy Seduction book cover

Half Moon Harbo book cover

Princess Ever After book cover

Bad Boy Seduction by Zuri Day

Half Moon Harbor by Donna Kauffman

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

Reaper’s Legacy: Reaper’s Motorcycle Club by Joanna Wylde

The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

Kiss the Bride by Lucy Kevin

By MPPL on May 9, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Audiobook: The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

The Other Typist book coverCorruption, speakeasies, and flappers–oh, my! Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist, performed here by the charming actress Gretchen Mol, introduces us to an original narrator: a female transcriptionist in a police precinct during the Prohibition era. Rose is plain and punctilious, a woman in a man’s environment, and privy to the sordid stories and scandals of criminals. Enter Odalie, the gorgeous new “other typist,” a femme-fatale type who brings excitement into the office and Rose’s otherwise mundane life. Mystery surrounds Odalie, and as she and Rose become friends, we find neither woman is quite who she seems. Fun for fans of Jazz Age settings, strong female voices, and plots full of twists and turns.

By MPPL on May 8, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Historical Fiction

Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2014

The winners of the 2014 Edgar Awards have been announced, and thrills and chills fill these top picks from the Mystery Writers of America, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2013.

Ordinary Grace book cover

Red Sparrow book cover

Wicked Girls book cover    

Best NovelOrdinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Best First Novel by an American AuthorRed Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Best Paperback Original:  The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Hour of Peril book coverOne Came Home book coverKetchup Clouds book cover


Best Fact Crime: 
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
Best Juvenile:  One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Best Young Adult: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

   The Fall DVD cover

Cover of Snow book cover

Best Television Episode Teleplay:  The Fall, “Episode 1” – teleplay by Allan Cubitt
Simon & Schuster – Mary Higgins Clark Award:  Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

By Readers' Advisor on May 7, 2014 Categories: Awards, Books, Movies and Television, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction

Staff Pick: Enon by Paul Harding

Donna S. staff picks photoPaul Harding has written another book about the Crosby family. They first appeared in Tinkers, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Enon tells the story of grandson Charlie, who is grieving the sudden death of his only child, Kate. Now he must learn to live without her.

By MPPL on May 6, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Picks by Donna, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go Bernadette book coverDonna C. of Research Services recommends Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple:

Where would you go if you wanted to get away from it all? If a chance to truly leave it all behind opened up, would you take it? Where’d You Go, Bernadette asks a simple question, but Maria Semple’s book skillfully reveals why the answer is so hard to ascertain. Who really knows Bernadette? Her daughter? Her husband? Reading this book, you find yourself quickly wrapped up in the messy and all-too-familiar life of a suburban mom doing her best to toe the line while the vines of her creative, disjointed past threaten to strangle and uproot the present. While this book would make a great beach read, it may also satiate your own desire to escape. Semple draws a beautiful picture of the lush and high-tech city of Seattle, peeking into the lives of Microsoft employees, eccentric architects, and precocious students in the search for our missing heroine.

By Readers' Advisor on May 5, 2014 Categories: Books, Staff Picks