Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mysteries, Laughs, Parisians, and Little House on the Prairie

Strange Images of Death by Barbara Cleverly
Set in 1926, Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands is on leave, wending his way through France to the Riviera. En route, he stops off at a chateau in the Luberon, where his passenger--his niece--is to join her father for a season as one of a group of artists, the guests of a generous yet enigmatic host. But arriving at the chateau, they notice a distinct lack of 'dance, Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth.' A troubling crime committed just days earlier has left a sense of panic among the guests.

The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival by Ken Wheaton
Father Steve Sibille has come home to the bayou to take charge of St. Pete's church. Among his challenges are teenybopper altar girls, insomnia-curing confessions, and alarmingly alluring congregant Vicky Carrier. Then there's Miss Rita, an irrepressible centenarian with a taste of whiskey, cracklins, and sticking her nose in other people's business. When an outsider threatens to poach Father Steve's flock, Miss Rita suggests he fight back by staging an event that will keep St. Pete's parishioners loyal forever.

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb
This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten.

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Anderson
When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bees, Wives, Moms, and Baking

Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
Raised in a sepulchral house where ghosts dwell in mirrors, Meridia grows up lonely and miserable. But at age sixteen, she has a chance at happiness when she falls in love with Daniel. Soon they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her husband's family, unaware that they harbor dark secrets of their own. As Meridia struggles to keep her life and marriage together, she discovers long-buried secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that inexorably push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink.

My Wife's Affair by Nancy Woodruff
Georgie Connolly seems to have it all -- a husband she loves, and three boys she adores. When her husband, Peter, is offered a promotion in London, the family gladly packs up their suburban home and moves overseas. Georgie flourishes in London, and the dormant acting career she left behind when she had children is revived. She lands the role of a lifetime, that of Dora Jordan, a true-life figure. Narrated by Georgie's husband, this novel is a look at two extraordinary women born two hundred years apart and sharing the same struggles, who pay the ultimate price for passion.

Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps by Dave Isay
Through conversations between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings and friends, the life of the American mother unfolds. In stories that take us from the woods of New Hampshire to urban Detroit and beyond, we meet mothers and children from all walks of life. StoryCorps has created a tribute to mothers that honors the wealth of our national experience. An appreciation of the wisdow and generosity passed between mother and children, this generation to the next, Mom offers powerful lessons in the meaning of family and the expansiveness of the human heart.

The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book: The Essential Recipe Collection for Today's Home Baker
Nothing evokes the comforts of home better than freshly baked treats straight from the oven. But too many home cooks believe they don't have the time to bake except for the occasional special dessert. If you are one of them, this comprehensive baking collection, with nearly 400 recipes for everything from homespun favorites and bake-shop sweets to popular restaurant-style desserts, is guaranteed to change your mind.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whales, Diamonds, Baseball, and Italy

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
From his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale to his adult encounters with the living animals in the Atlantic Ocean, writer Philip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. Journeying through human and natural history, The Whale is the result of his voyage of discovery into the heart of this obsession and the book that inspired it: Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell
The Antwerp Diamond Center was one of the most secure buildings in the world. With hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of diamonds stored in its subterranean vault, it had to be. Located in the heart of Belgium's ultra-secure Diamond District, it benefited from two police stations, armed patrols, extensive video surveillance, and vehicle barriers securing an area where 80 percent of the world's diamonds traded hands. But on February 15, 2003, a band of skilled Italian thieves... subverted every one of the Diamond Center's defenses and made off with a record amount of loot.

The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, & Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's pastime by Jason Turbow
Everyone knows that baseball is a game of intricate regulations, but it turns out to be even more complicated than we realize. What truly governs the Major League game is a set of unwritten rules, some of which are openly discussed (don't steal a base with a big lead late in the game), and some of which only a minority of players are even aware of (don't cross between the catcher and the pitcher on the way to the batter's box). In this book. old-timers and all-time greats share their insights into the game's most hallowed and least known traditions.

Keeping the Feast: One Couple's Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy by Paula Butturini
When the author's husband, New York Times reporter John Tagliabue, was shot and nearly killed twenty-three days after their midlife wedding, it marked the abrupt end of what the couple had known together, and the beginning of a phase of life neither had planned for. The couple responded by doing the only thing that felt right. They returned to the place where they had met and fallen in love, hoping that Rome's natural splendor, simple bounty, and happy memories would hasten John's recovery.

All summaries were taken from the descriptions on the actual books.
Images were found on publisher's websites.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Books Blog


New Books Blog: A weekly blog listing new books that just hit the library shelves. You'll get the titles, the reviews, and even some readalikes -- everything you need to discover What to Read Next!

This blog is linked with the Ventress Memorial Library (the public library of Marshfield, MA). Check out the library's website at
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