Jack Sharpe is an investigative television news reporter. Congressman Anthony Bravo is a decorated Iraq War veteran and a Democratic candidate for president. In the fast-paced political thriller The Wingman by David Pepper, these two characters become embroiled in a high-stakes world entangled in dark money, deep pockets and scandal at every turn.
Check It Out Category: Books
In celebration of Native American Heritage month this November, treat yourself to one of these wonderful books written by Native American authors.
Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon
Cash and Wheaton—a strange partnership. He pulled her from her mother’s wrecked car when she was three. Northern Minnesota, cold Indian Country. Wheaton kept an eye out. So there they are, staring at the unidentified dead Indian. Cash said he was Red Lake. Dreamed his cheap house on the reservation, mother and kids waiting. That’s the place to start looking.
There There by Tommy Orange
Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything.
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
The Man Who Heard the Land by Diane Glancy
An unnamed man driving a lonely Minnesota highway hears the voice of the land–but he can’t make out what it has said. The man is a professor who teaches a ‘Literature and the Environment’ course, but he soon realizes that there is much he must still learn about the land, his past, and his home state. What follows is a kind of odyssey of self-discovery. He submerges himself into the history of the region, trying to piece together geology, Native folklore, and early explorer literature, all in an effort to decipher what the land has said.
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When Louise’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. Long-held prejudices are being laid bar. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult.
As if road trips through difficult weather weren’t already minefields, the slim-but-potent Listen to Me employs the perceptions – and baggage – of an isolated couple to craft delicious strain in the narrative. Even more impressive is how author Hannah Pittard calls upon the reader’s preconceptions to coil additional tension in a masterpiece of character-driven suspense.
As the leaves fall and the air chills, All Hallows’ Eve brings with it a turn toward the sinister and dark. For those looking for a spine-tingling, hair-raising accompaniment to your Halloween weekend, look no further than these recent tales…
if you dare.
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are aware that after the first 48 hours the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. Despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for his cousin and best friend. And there was that boy, Max Larsen…found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. The awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
A collection of four short, chilling novels.”Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories. In “rain” a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado erupts with a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. In “Aloft” s young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud. In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting, but under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel.
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Jeremy works at the Video Hut. It’s good enough for Jeremy: it’s a job, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck. But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return a tape, she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it.” Two days later, a different customer returns a tape and says “There’s another movie on this tape.” Jeremy brings the movies home to take a look. The middle of each movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting and have been shot just outside of town.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men? In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.
The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now, an ancient darkness is gathering there. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew, including a twelve-year-old who has been fitted with a high-tech visual prosthetic to combat her blindness; a technophobic journalist; a one-time child evangelist with an arsenal in his basement; and a hacker who believes himself a soldier of the Internet. Set in present-day Portland, this is a cracked-mirror version of the digital nightmare we already live in.
Title: The Woman in Cabin Ten
Author: Ruth Ware
Page Count: 340 pages
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Tone: Menacing, Uncertain, Tense
Summary: An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, makes it difficult to know what to believe.
SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.
The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement: 2018 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.
1. The book starts with a prologue, “In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls in the cold, sunless depth of the North Sea. Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water; her pale skin was wrinkled; her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.” How did this set the tone of the book for you?
- 2. The story dives right in. Chapter 1, as we are introduced to the books’ protagonist, Lo Blacklock; we are immediately thrust into a home invasion. It was a short chapter but a lot happens. How did this opening feel to you?
3. Did you have any initial opinions of Lo?
4. We go from Lo’s apartment being broken into, to the scene in Jude’s flat where Lo accidentally knocks out Jude’s tooth. Let’s talk about this and their relationship?
5. What were your initial impressions of Jude?
6. Lo goes on the cruise. Do you think she should have gone? What did you think of the ship?
7. Lo wakes up at 3am. “Something had woken me up. Something that left me jumpy and strung out as a meth addict. Why did I keep thinking of a scream?” She picked up her book and then heard something else, “something that barely registered above the sound of the engine and the slap of the waves, a sound so soft that the scrap of a paper against paper almost drowned it out. It was the noise of the veranda door in the next cabin sliding gently open.” She believed that she heard the splash made by a body hitting water. What did you think?
8. What did you think about Lo’s interaction with the ships security Johann Nilsson?
9. We start to see emails/texts from Jude wondering if anyone has heard from Lo. How did this affect the story for you?
10. The morning after “the murder,” Lo checks out the entire staff of the ship looking for the woman she saw in Cabin 10. She told the staff that she heard a scream and then felt the mention of the scream had been a mistake; she felt “the staff had closed ranks.” What do you think of that? Did you think the staff was hiding something?
11. No staff seemed to be missing, no passengers were missing, and Lo’s career could be on the line. Why do you think she pursued her line of inquiry? Would you?
12. As the story continues, it is clear that Nillsen seemed to doubt Lo’s suspicions of foul play. Thoughts?
13. Lo approached Lord Richard Bullmer about her belief of a possible murder. Did you think this was a good idea? Let’s talk about their interaction.
14. Ben Howard, Lo’s ex-boyfriend, becomes an important character in the book. What did you think about him?
15. In the middle of the book, the prologue comes into play. Lo goes to the spa and gets a mud wrap, as she goes into the shower, she sees written across the steam mirror the words “stop digging” and on the very next page, we read that Lo’s body was found by a Danish Fisherman. Where did the story go for you at this point?
16. Lo asked Karla (her cabin attendant) if she knew anything. Karla said she felt sorry for Lo and that Nillson thinks she is paranoid. Karla proceeds to tell Lo that the staff all needed their jobs and that she (Karla) has a son. “Just because perhaps someone let a friend use an empty cabin, that doesn’t mean she was killed, you know” and Lo shouldn’t “make trouble if nothing happened.” What did you think about this conversation?
17. Ernst Solberg was an investor who was supposed to be in Cabin 10, we find out that he was not on the cruise because his home was burglarized & his passport was stolen. Was this related to Lo’s break in?
18. There is an online “Whodunit” thread discussing Lo’s disappearance. What did you think about that?
19. Lo sees the girl from Cabin 10 outside her door and goes after her. Lo is then “kidnapped.” By this time, did you have your list of suspects? Who did you think was the Woman in Cabin 10?
20. Lo starts pumping her kidnapper for information. The kidnapper said, “You’re digging your grave, do you get that?” What did you think of Lo at this point?
21. What was your opinion of Carrie?
22. By the end of the book, what did you think of Lo?
23. Lo is home with Judah. They are in bed and she starts crying. Lo says “I can’t stop thinking of her, I can’t accept it, it’s all wrong.” Let’s talk about this.
24. Why do you think Lo had such a hard time accepting what happened to Lord Bullmer?
25. Why do you think Lo had a change of heart at the end of the novel and decided to move to New York?
- 26. What did you think of the last page of the novel, a deposit of 40,000 Swiss Franc went into Lo’s account with the reference “Tigger’s Bounce?”
- 27. Were there unanswered questions in the plot? If so, what wasn’t covered or finalized in the ending?
- 28. How effective were the email messages and articles in moving the story forward?
29. What did you think of Ruth Ware’s writing style? Were there any passages that struck you?
- 30. How would you describe the book?
- 31. What do you think of the following statement?: “We mostly don’t believe women, especially angry women.” (A 2015 study from Arizona State University that focused on jury reactions showed how angry men gain influence while angry women lose it.)
32. Would this have been a different read if it had been a male protagonist?
Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!
I See You
by Clare Mackintosh
The Couple Next Door
by Shari Lapena
Every Last Lie
by Mary Kubica
When the maid-of-honor’s body is found floating in the waters off Nantucket Island, an investigation reveals that all the wedding guests have secrets. Elin Hilderbrand’s 21st novel, The Perfect Couple, has twists and turns until the very end of the story.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month we spotlight some of the best newer books by Latinx authors, both up-and-coming and familiar favorites.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
1980, New York City. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must tend to their house alone. She recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life.
Lost Empress by Sergio de la Pava
A shockingly hilarious novel that tackles both America’s most popular sport and its criminal justice system. From Paterson, New Jersey to Rikers Island to the streets of New York City, a cast of characters is assembled unlike any other in modern fiction: dreamers and exiles, immigrants and night-shift workers, lonely pastors and others at the fringes of society–each with their own impact on the fragile universe they navigate. At the story’s center is Nina Gill, daughter of the aging owner of the Dallas Cowboys. When her brother inherits the team and she is left with the Paterson Pork, New Jersey’s only Indoor Football League franchise, Nina vows to take on the NFL and make the Paterson Pork pigskin kings of America.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest.
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
If you are a short story reader you won’t want to miss The Short of It, our upcoming discussion on Monday, September 17 at 7:00pm. Enjoy a compelling discussion and engage with other literature lovers! Join retired high school teacher Ron Crowley-Koch for a discussion revolving around the following three short stories freely available online and linked below. Please read the stories twice to glean their true beauty.
“Revelation” by Flannery O’Connor
“Haircut” by Ring Lardner
“The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield.
The Labor Day Weekend is upon us, which just might offer you the opportunity to sit back and enjoy that book you’ve been meaning to start. If you haven’t already found that perfect book, take a look at the following celebrity recommended reads.
Recommended by Barack Obama
In 1945, just after World War II, siblings stay in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth.
Recommended by Mindy Kaling
Lahiri’s meditation on the process of learning to express herself in the Italian language.
Recommended by Selma Blair
Recommended by John McCain
After studying in Heidelberg, and a brief spell in Paris, Philip settles in London to train as a doctor where he meets Mildred, the waitress with whom he plunges into a tortured affair.
Recommended by Emma Watson
A powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest.
Books are universal, and as global readers we have translators to thank for bringing great books to us from around the world. August is Women in Translation month, and as such here are some of our favorite authors who have had their words translated into English.
LaDivine by Marie NDiaye (French)
Clarisse Riviere’s life is shaped by a refusal to admit to her husband Richard and to her daughter Ladivine that her mother is a poor black housekeeper. Instead, weighed down by guilt, she pretends to be an orphan, visiting her mother in secret and telling no-one of her real identity as Malinka, daughter of Ladivine Sylla. In time, her lies turn against her.
In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (Spanish)
Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Japanese)
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis―but will it be for the better?
The Almond Picker by Simonetta Hornby (Italian)
The child of poor farmers, La Mennulara became a maid for a well-to-do local family when she was only a girl; by dint of hard work and intelligence, she became the indispensable administrator of the family’s affairs. Still, she was a mere servant, and now (as this story begins) she is dead. As the details unfold about this mysterious woman, The Almond Picker assumes the witty suspense of a thriller, the emotional power of a love story, and the evocative atmosphere of a historical novel.
S., A Novel About the Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic (Serbo-Croatian)
Set in 1992, during the height of the Bosnian war, S. reveals one of the most horrifying aspects of any war: the rape and torture of civilian women by occupying forces. S. is the story of a Bosnian woman in exile who has just given birth to an unwanted child—one without a country, a name, a father, or a language. The birth only reminds her of an even more grueling experience: being repeatedly raped by Serbian soldiers in the “women’s room” of a prison camp. Through a series of flashbacks, S. relives the unspeakable crimes she has endured, and in telling her story—timely, strangely compelling, and ultimately about survival—depicts the darkest side of human nature during wartime.
Beyond Illusions by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnamese)
A brilliantly spun tale of a young woman who marries her professor because she so admires his idealism. When he sells out everything he believes in order to support her, her love goes. Only when they are both beyond illusions can they try again for a real relationship. Deeply lyrical and wholly believable, this novel is illuminated by the haunting language and unflinching honesty.