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New: Audiobooks, Fantasy, and Sci-fi

Every Friday the Library will bring you two 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.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Audiobooks

Careful What you Wish for book coverGeek's Guide to Dating book cover

Orange is the new black book cover

•    Be Careful What you Wish for by Jeffrey Archer

•    Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton

•    Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann

•    Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown

•    Orange is the new Black by Piper Kerman

•    Someone by Alice McDermott

•    Private L.A. by James Patterson

•    Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

•    The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

•    Brooklyn by Colm Tolbin

 

New: Fantasy and Sci-fi

Shadow Ops: Breach Zone book cover

Influx book cover

Annihilation book cover

•    Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

•    Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole

•    Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs

•    Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon

•    Red Delicious by Kathleen Tierney

•    Arcanum by Simon Morden

•    To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

•    Influx by Daniel Suarez

•    Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

•    The Vanishing by Wendy Webb

By Readers' Advisor on February 21, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Horror, New Arrivals

Fiction: The Big Crowd by Kevin Baker

The Big Crowd book coverIf you want historical fiction set in New York, Kevin Baker is the author for you. His latest novel, The Big Crowd, explores the life of Charlie O’Kane – a real immigrant who came to NYC and worked his way up from beat cop to district attorney to mayor. Tom, Charlie’s younger brother, sees Charlie as everything good in a city that’s gone bad. The brothers live the high life…until Charlie is accused of murder and Tom sets out to clear his name. A sprawling family saga intertwined with a mob mystery, The Big Crowd is a great read for those who like dramatic historical fiction, The Godfather, or chronicles of New York.

By Readers' Advisor on February 20, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction

Staff Pick: Family Tree

Barb-BIf you’re a fan of Christopher Guest movies (like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show), you’ll love his TV series, Family Tree. Tom Chadwick plays an Englishman who inherits a mysterious box from a great-aunt he has never met. This begins a splendid, funny adventure to find his roots.

By Readers' Advisor on February 18, 2014 Categories: All Staff Picks, Movies and Television, Picks by Barb

Audiobook: Malavita by Tonino Benacquista

Malavita audiobook coverBadfellas was the original English title, and that alone gives a tease of what Malavita has on tap. When a Mafia kingpin testifies in exchange for witness protection, Giovanni Manzoni becomes Fred Blake, and he and his family find themselves living in Normandy, France. They mostly follow the rules, but old habits are hard to break. It only takes one slip before old friends who’ve become new enemies come calling all the way from Alcatraz. A film adaptation, The Family, stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, but you can’t miss the story in audio. Sopranos actor and 2013 Audie Award winner for Best Solo Narration, Edoardo Ballerini deliciously balances the menace, the dark comedy, and the Italian sensibilities of Tonino Benacquista’s international crime caper.

By Readers' Advisor on February 17, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Humor

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every Friday the Library will bring you two 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.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Historical Fiction Books

Mrs. Lincoln's Rival book cover

The Pagan Lord book cover

An Officer and a Spy book cover

•    Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival by Jenniver Chiaverini

•    The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell

•    An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

•    Motherland by Maria Hummel

•    The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

•    The Ghost of Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin

•    I Shall be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

•    Nostalgia by Dennis McFarland

•    The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn

•    The Kept by James Scott

New: Romance Books

Hope Flames book cover

How to Master your Marquis book cover

Sweetest Mistake book cover

•    The Scandal in Kissing an Heir by Sophie Barnes

•    Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

•    Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan

•    How to Master Your Marquis by Juliana Gray

•    Sugar by Jenna Jameson

•    The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell

•    Wuthering Nights by I.J. Miller

•    First Love by James Patterson

•    Sweetest Mistake by Candis Terry

•    What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

By Readers' Advisor on February 14, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Music: Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love by Frank Sinatra

Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love album coverIt’s February, and love is in the air – or, maybe you just need a bit of heat to get rid of the winter chill. Turn up the temperature with Sinatra Love Songs, a gathering of Blue Eyes’ best tunes to Romeo and Juliet to. But there’s more! If you can’t get enough of Sinatra crooning at your heart’s door, try Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love, too. Good ol’ Frank will sing of how it’s “Witchcraft” that he’s a “Prisoner of Love”. Then, if you still need more ideas of who to soundtrack your heart to, check out the Library’s Music for Lovers list!

By Readers' Advisor on February 13, 2014 Categories: Lists, Music, Romance

Book Discussion Questions: Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow

Homer and Langley book cover

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

 

Title: Homer and Langley
Author: E.L. Doctorow
Page Count: 208
Genre: Historical fiction, Biographical novels
Tone: Lyrical, dark, complex

 

1. In an interview on NPR, E.L. Doctorow said that the first line of this book was pivotal for him; he could not have done this book without this 1st sentence. It implies the texture of the entire text. Does anyone remember the 1st line? What is its importance to the reader?

2. Given this opening, how do you think Homer emotionally and physically handled his blindness? Do you think it was a “normal” reaction?

3. Homer went blind in his last 14 years of life from a stroke, not in his earlier years. Does this change your opinion of him?

4. Do you remember the description of their house? Do you think of the house as a character as well as the setting?

5. Do you think the house’s condition reflects the brothers’ own physical and mental conditions?

6. How would you describe Homer at the beginning of the story? What about Langley? What were their parents like?

7. What events happen in Homer and Langley’s lives that change everything?

8. What was Homer’s reaction to his parents’ death?

9. What effect did the WWI have on Langley? Did it change him? How would the brothers’ lives have been different if there had been no war?

10. What was Langley’s “Theory of Replacements”? Does the theory have any merit?

11. Langley is obsessive in his quest to create one universal newspaper of “seminal events”. What categories were used by Langley so that the newspaper would be “eternally current”? Why was this project so important to him?

12. There was an eclectic assortment of people who came into Homer and Langley’s lives. Do you feel that the brothers collected people the way that Langley collected objects? Did these people have anything in common?

13. Besides Homer and Langley, who are the most memorable character for you and why?

14. At one point, the Collyer brothers host tea dances in their home and charge their neighbors for the opportunity to drink and dance. Are the tea dances connected to Homer and Langley later becoming reclusive? Were they ever raided? If so, what happened after they were raided?

15. When WWII begins, the Hoshiyama’s, American born people of Japanese descent, are persecuted. What happens to them? Why? Is this based on history? What was your reaction to their persecution?

16. After the Hoshiyama’s were sent to an internment camp Langley said, “…We are not free if at someone else’s sufferance…” What did he mean by that?

17. After Harold Robileaux is killed in Africa, Grandmamma goes to New Orleans to be with his wife and baby. “Grandmamma had been the last connection to our past. I had understood her as some referent moral authority to whom we paid no heed, but by whose judgments we measured our waywardness.” Do you think things would still have gotten so bad is she had not left the brothers?

18. What did you think of the gas masks Langley bought? Why did he buy them?

19. Do you think the Collyer brothers tried to be completely self-reliant? What were their tactics? Were they successful?

20. Do you think the brothers were any crazier than the people around them?

21. Why do you think the press became so interested in their predicament?

22. What is the importance of Jacqueline? Did she remind you of anybody of that era? Do you think Jacqueline actually existed?

23. Do you think it was a sacrifice for either brother to stay in the house?

24. As is often the case in historical fiction, the author took liberties with known facts about the Collyer brothers. Why do you think E.L. Doctorow made these changes and how does it affect the dynamics between the two brothers? Do you think these changes made the characters more sympathetic?

25. How heavily did the hoarding take up your attention as a reader? Do you think hoarding is an unsettling disorder to observe? Why or why not?

 

Other Resources

E.L. Doctorow’s website
Lit Lovers book discussion questions
Cornell University book guide
Weber State University book discussion
WNYC radio interview
Inside the Collyer home
Collyer brothers Wikipedia

 

If you liked Homer and Langley, try…

Spooner by Pete Dexter
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee

Spooner cover     Keepsake coverStuff book cover

By Readers' Advisor on February 12, 2014 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books, Historical Fiction

Staff Pick: Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan

Patty staff picks photoScott goes to live with his hilariously awkward and selfish Grandma Ruby and helps take care of his Uncle Nathan who has cerebral palsy. Crapalachia is a dark, lyrical portrait of a warts-and-all coming of age in modern day West Virginia. Loved. This. Book.

By Readers' Advisor on February 11, 2014 Categories: All Staff Picks, Books, Picks by Patty

Movies and TV: Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station poster On January 1, 2009, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot in the back while being held down on the ground in the custody of transit officers. Several witnesses captured video footage on their cell phones, and soon the incendiary images were widely viewed across the nation. In the award-winning drama Fruitvale Station, we are given a new picture — that of a complex young man trying to make better choices than he had in the past so that he could provide both a present and a future for his young daughter. Lead actor Michael B. Jordan reaches deep to reveal the humanity of a name consigned to tragic headlines, and knowing the facts of that day in no way lessens the impact of watching them play out.

By Readers' Advisor on February 10, 2014 Categories: Movies and Television

New: Fiction and Nonfiction

Every Friday the Library will bring you two 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.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Fiction Books

Redhead Plays her Hand book cover

Under the Wide and Starry Sky book cover

Crane Wife book cover

1. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

2. The Redhead Plays her Hand by Alice Chayton

3. Amor and Psycho: Stories by Carolyn Cooke

4. Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

5. The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

6. House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty

7. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

8. Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill

9. The Well-tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker

10. The Empty Chair: Two Novellas by Bruce Wagner

New: Nonfiction Books

Duty: A Secretary at War book cover

Wild Tales book cover

American Mirror book cover

1. Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding by Lynn Darling

2. Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist by Jim Elledge

3. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates

4. What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of a 90-something Track Star and What she can Teach us About Living Longer, Happier Lives by Bruce Grierson

5. I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March up Freedom’s Highway by Greg Kot

6. My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

7. Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life by Graham Nash

8. The Last Cowboy: A Life of Tom Landry by Mark Ribowsky

9. Company Man: 39 Years of Controversy and Crisis in the C.I.A. by John Anthony Rizzo

10. American Mirror: The Life and Art of Normal Rockwell by Deborah Solomon

By Readers' Advisor on February 7, 2014 Categories: Books, New Arrivals, Nonfiction