Friday, December 28, 2012

Oprah's Newest Pick!

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 picked this book earlier in the month as her new pick. In a statement, Ms. Winfrey likened Ms. Mathis’s book to the fiction of Toni Morrison.  

 In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Finale

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately mean destroying the fallen angels--destroying Patch. Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan; lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated. As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friends, Family, and Movies based on books

The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan
Clover, Addison, Mia, and Jane were roommates at Harvard until their graduation in 1989. Clover, home-schooled on a commune by mixed-race parents, felt woefully out of place. Addison yearned to shed the burden of her Mayflower heritage. Mia mined the depths of her suburban ennui to enact brilliant performances on the Harvard stage. Jane, an adopted Vietnamese war orphan, made sense of her fractured world through words. Twenty years later, their lives are in free fall. Like all Harvard grads, they've kept abreast of one another via the red book, a class report published every five years, containing brief autobiographical essays by fellow alumni. But there's the story we tell the world, and then there's the real story, as these former classmates will learn during their twentieth reunion weekend, when they arrive with their families, their histories, their dashed dreams, and their secret yearnings to a relationship-changing, score-settling, unforgettable weekend.

Finding Casey by Jo-Ann Mapson
Glory Vigil, newly married and unexpectedly pregnant at forty-one, is nesting in the home she and her husband, Joseph, have just moved into in Santa Fe, a house--that unknown to them--is rumored to have a resident ghost. Their adopted daughter, Juniper, is home from college for Thanksgiving and in love for the very first time, quickly learning how a relationship changes everything. But Juniper has a tiny arrow lodged in her heart, a left-over shard from the day eight years earlier when her sister, Casey, disappeared--in a time before she ever met Glory and Joseph. When a fieldwork course takes Juniper to a pueblo only a few hours away, she finds herself right back in the past she thought she'd finally buried.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick. The result is a brillantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time likes clouds across the sky.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Hidden

Hidden: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

At last Zoey has what she wanted, the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side--but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all. With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together--but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Lost Manuscripts, "Authorities," and Attack Submarines

The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr
Some years ago, a remarkable manuscript long rumored to exist was discovered: The Legend of Broken. It tells of a prosperous fortress city where order reigns at the point of a sword--even as scheming factions secretly vie for control of the surrounding kingdom. Meanwhile, outside the city's granite walls, an industrious tribe of exiles known as the Bane forages for sustenance in the wilds of Davon Wood.

Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck
Just a generation ago, this place was called America. Now, after the worldwide implementation of a UN-led program called Agenda 21, it's simply known as "the Republic." There is no president. There is no Congress. No Supreme Court. No freedom. There are only the Authorities. Citizens who have two primary goals in the new Republic: to create clean energy and to create new human life. Those who cannot do either are of no use to society. This bleak and barren existence is all that eighteen-year-old Emmeline has ever known. She dutifully walks her energy board daily and accepts all male pairings assigned to her by the Authorities. Like most citizens, she keeps her head down and her eyes closed. Until the day they come for her mother.

Poseidon's Arrow by Clive Cussler
It is the greatest advance in American defense technology in decades--an attack submarine capable of incredible underwater speeds. Nothing else in any other nation's naval arsenal even comes close. There is only one problem: A key element of the prototype is missing--and the man who developed it is dead. At the same time, ships have started vanishing mid-ocean, usually never to be found again, but when they are, sometimes bodies are found aboard...burned to a crisp. It is up to NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his team, aided by a beautiful NCIS agent and by Pitt's children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, to go on a desperate international chase to find the truth. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Burned

Burned: A Pretty Little Liars Novel by Sara Shepard

It's spring break, and the pretty little liars are trading in Rosewood for a cruise vacation. They want nothing more than to sail into the tropical sunset and leave their troubles behind for one blissful week. But where Emily, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna go, A goes, too. From scuba diving to tanning on the upper deck, A is there, soaking up their new secrets. Emily is smooching a stowaway. Aria's treasure-hunting partner is a little too interested in her booty. Spencer's going overboard trying to land a new boy. And a blast--or rather, a crash--from Hanna's past could mean rough waters ahead for everyone.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

NY Times Bestseller this Week: Janet Evanovich

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich is the #1 NY Times Bestseller this week!

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. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are 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’s 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, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. .

Teen Pick of the Week: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My name is Greg Gaines. I am seventeen. I am the one who wrote the book. My physical appearance is unsatisfactory, and there is probably a fungus eating my brain. I'm not even sure I'm a human. Earl Jackson is the only person who is even sort of my friend. We make mediocre films together. Werner Herzog is our biggest influence. Earl is generally filled with violent rage. During my senior year, my mom forced me to become friends with a girl who had cancer. This brought about the destruction of my entire life.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Horror Pick of the Week: Fifty Year Sword

The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Danielewski
One Halloween night, at a party held at an East Texas ranch house, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself thrown into the role of chaperone for five rambunctious orphans. Not surprisingly, the children's energies prove barely containable, even with promises of cake and a storyteller. The storyteller, however, is not what anyone expects. Looking and cloaked in dark, he entertains the orphans with a tale twisted out of vengeance and violence. He does not come empty-handed, either. At their feet he sets a long, narrow box sealed with five latches. "I am a bad man with a very black heart," he warns them. And it was only that badness and blackness which forced me to seek out what I have carried now for many years and brought this night for you. An unsettling thing to say to anyone, especially to children. But as Chintana soon discover, this is just the beginning. Her concerns only mount as the storyteller offers more and more menacing details about what consequences lie hidden within that long, narrow box. To make matters worse, the orphans one by one, lean forward and lift the latches...

Teen Pick of the Week: Tilt

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
Witnessing the fallout from the poor choices their parents make and the lies adults tell themselves, three teens are clinging to the last remnants of the secure and familiar world in which they've grown up. But the ground is shifting. What was once clear is now confused. Everything is tilting. Mikayla is sure she's found the love her parents seem to have lost, but is suddenly weighing nearly impossible choices in the wake of dashed expectations. Shane has come out, unwilling to lie anymore about who he is, but finds himself struggling to keep it all under control in the face of first love and a horrific loss. Harley, a good girl just seeking new experiences, never expects to hurtle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Family Secrets

The Summer House by Marcia Willett
Matt has always felt that there was something missing in his life. His mother kept all his childhood memories in a small inlaid wooden box, along with many photos of Matt as a child. But something about these photos has always puzzled Matt. Why doesn't he remember those clothes? The toys? And where, in the photos, is his sister Imogen? Meanwhile, Imogen is living with her husband and their baby in a rented cottage. Ever since she was a child, she has loved the Summer House, a charming cottage on the grounds of a beautiful and ancient house in Exmoor. When she has a chance to buy, but her husband refuses to move, Imogen begins to question the seemingly picturesque life she has built for herself. Eventually, the Summer House provides the key to the strange and tragic secret that has affected everyone involved.

You Are the Love of My Life by Susan Richards Shreve
It is 1973 and the scandal of Watergate is on everyone's lips. Lucy Painter, children's book writer and single mother of two, is leaving New York and the married father of her children to return to the house in the tightly knit Washington, DC, neighborhood where she grew up and where she discovered her father's suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of the circumstances surrounding her father's death or the identity of their own father. And as new neighbors enter their insular lives, the safety and stability of her family are in jeopardy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Nevermore

Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure by James Patterson
In the beginning, there was Maximum Ride. A girl. A fighter. A leader. A superhuman with a mission to save the world. She's gone to the ends of the earth seeking her destiny. And now the end isn't near... It's Here.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Art & Books

One for the Books by Joe Queenan
Since Gutenberg first began moving type around five centuries ago, the book--one of the great achievements of human culture--has been subjected to any number of indignities, from being banned to being burned to being turned into a breathtaking quantity of unspeakably appalling movies. It has managed to survive all of these, only to find itself at the dawn of the twenty-first century facing the most radical challenge to its existence from the digital tsunami that has already left the tattered remains of the music business in its wake. As bookstores disappear and readers, apparently, along with them, alarmed bibliophiles everywhere can't help but wonder: Whither the book?

The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel that Defined the Renaissance by Jonathan Jones
This is the galvanizing story of a sixteenth-century clash of titans, the two greatest minds of the Renaissance, working side by side in the same room in a fierce competition: the master Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by the Florentine Republic to paint a narrative fresco depicting a famous military victory on a wall of the newly built Great Council Hall in the Palazzo Vecchio, and his implacable young rival, the thirty-year-old Michelangelo.

The Art of the Epigraph: How Great Books Begin by Rosemary Ahern
For many book lovers, there is no more pleasing start to a book than a well-chosen epitaph. These intriguing quotations, sayings, and snippets of songs and poems do more than set the tone for the experience ahead: the epigraph informs us about the author's sensibility. Are we in the hands of a literalist or a wit? A cynic or a romantic? A writer of great ambition or a miniaturist? The epigraph hints at hidden stories and frequently comes with one of its own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a story about what it's like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school, the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fiction Pick of the Week: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Book Two of the All Souls trilogy plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night. The mission is to locate a witch to tutor Diana and to find traces of Ashmole 782, but as the net of Matthew's past tightens around them they embark on a very different journey, one that takes them into the heart of the fifteen-hundred-year-old vampire's shadowed history and secrets. For Matthew Clairmont, time travel is no simple matter; nor is Diana's search for the key to understanding her legacy.

Read the first in the series, if you haven't already:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Over You

Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
When seventeen-year-old Max Scott got her heart broken she didn't just sit at home sobbing into her ice cream and obsessing over her ex, Hugo's, latest Facebook postings. Well, actually she did. But she also decided that no girl should have to be tortured like that, so she through all the psych books, Oprah transcripts, and historical precedents she could get her hands on and came up with a foolproof program to get over being dumped. These days, Max is the go-to guru for heart-broken high school girls all over NYC. But when Hugo shows up in her neighborhood, suddenly Max is so busy trying to avoid her own ex that she isn't able to help anyone else with theirs. As Hugo invades her life all over again, Max's carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients' hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over her ex once and for all.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Murder, Mystery, and Oddities

Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham
When pretty and popular teenagers Piper Hadley and Tash McBain disappear one Sunday morning, the search for them captivates a nation, but the girls are never found. Three years later, during the worst blizzard in a century, a husband and wife are brutally killed in the farmhouse where Tash once lived. A suspect is in custody--a troubled young man who hears voices and claims that on the night of the disappearance he saw a girl being chased by a snowman. Convinced that Piper and Tash might still be alive, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-cop Vincent Ruiz persuade the police to reopen the investigation. But they are racing against time to save the girls from someone with an evil, twisted, and calculating mind.

Rapture by J.R. Ward
Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion too.

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey
The Midwestern resort town Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload--not to mention faeries, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess. To Daisy Johanssen, who was fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it's home. And as Hel's enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, she has to ensure the relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly. But when a young man from a nearby college drowns--and signs point to eldritch involvement--the town's booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime--and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she's ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

Teen Pick of the Week: Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fiction Pick of the Week: Trouble & Triumph

Trouble & Triumph by Tip "T.I." Harris with David Ritz
When his mother, Charlotte, was killed, Paul "Power" Clay and his closest friend, Tanya "Beauty" Long, fell under the spell of a savvy and ruthless Atlanta businessman named Slim, who promised to protect them. Wise beyond her years, Beauty always knew that the only person she could rely on was herself. It didn't take long for the levelheaded young woman to recognize the simmering violence beneath Slim's street charm. But getting away from him wasn't easy, and it came at a heartbreaking price: turning her back on Power. Escaping to the glamorous catwalks of the Big Apple, she's worked her breathtaking good looks and quick wit to build a thriving fashion business. Despite her success, she's still haunted by the pain of leaving Power behind. Money and new men cannot erase the memory of the true love she denied. To Power, Slim's world held everything he thought he wanted: women, wealth, power, authority. He discovered too late that Slim Simmons isn't just a businessman--he's a ruthless killer who will turn on anyone he thinks is getting in his way. He is the monster who murdered Charlotte. Now he controls the fate of her only son.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: The Edge of Nowhere

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Becca King is on the run. Her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--has put her at risk from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she's discovered. When she arrives on Whidbey Island, beautiful, wilds, and a world apart, she embarks on a life very different from her old one, with new friends that include Seth, a kindhearted dropout turned gypsy jazz musician; Derric, a Ugandan boy adopted by a local family; Diana, with whom she shares psychic powers; and Debbie, who makes a habit of helping runaways.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Mysteries and Horror!

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
The bookworld's leading enforcement officer, Thursday Next, has been forced into semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. When Thursday's former SpecOps division is reinstated, she assumes the obvious choice to lead the Literary Detectives. But our banged-up heroine is no spring chicken, and her old boss has a cushier job in mind for her: chief librarian of the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat at Fatso's Drink Not Included Library. But where Thursday goes, trouble follows, and pretty soon impressively engineered synthetic Thursdays called Day Players are not only waking up in the stacks, they're downloading her very consciousness.

Dick Francis's Bloodline by Felix Francis
When race-caller and television presenter Mark Shillingford calls a race in which his twin sister, Clare, an accomplished and successful jockey, comes in second when she could have won, he believes the worst: that she lost on purpose, that the race was fixed. That night, he confronts Clare with his suspicions, she storms off after an explosive argument--and it's the last time he sees her alive. Hours later, she jumps to her death from the balcony  of a London hotel...or so it seems.

Red Rain by R.L. Stine
Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction through the island and Lea barely escapes with her life. In the storm's aftermath, she discovers two orphaned boys--twins. Filled with a desire to do something to help, to make something good of all she witnessed, Lea impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea's family back on Long Island--husband Mark, a child psychologist, and their two children, Ira and Elena--aren't quite so pleased. But even they can't anticipate the twins' true nature--or predict that, within a few weeks time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Wish

Wish by Joseph Monninger
Bee's brother, Tommy, knows everything there is to know about sharks. He also knows that his life will be cut short by cystic fibrosis. And so does Bee. That's why when a wish foundation sends him on a trip to swim with great white sharks, Bee vows to make it an unforgettable memory. But wishes don't always come true. At least, not as expected. Only when Bee takes Tommy to meet a famous shark attack survivor and hard-core surfer does Tommy have the chance to live one day to the fullest. And in the sun-kissed ocean off a California beach, Bee discovers that she has a few secret wishes of her own...

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Garlock, Thor, and McCarthy

By Starlight by Dorothy Garlock
Struggling through the Depression, Maddy Aldridge agrees to run an illegal speakeasy in order to save her family's mercantile store. Keeping her dangerous new business partner at arm's length is no easy task, but her bravery faces its biggest test when Jack Rucker unexpectedly comes home. He left town seven years ago, breaking his promise--and her heart--when he didn't return so they could get married and start a family. Now Jack is willing to do anything to earn her forgiveness...anything except reveal one important truth: that he's a Prohibition agent on an undercover mission.

Full Black by Brad Thor
Born in the shadows and kept from heads of state, some missions are so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. When one such mission goes horribly wrong, only former Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned covert counter-terrorism operative Scot Harvath can carry out an audacious plan to prevent one of the biggest terrorist threats the United States has ever faced: complete and total collapse. But as the identities of the perpetrators are laid stunningly bare, Harvath will be left with only one means to save America.

The Other Half of Me by Morgan McCarthy
Growing up in their family's ancestral home in Wales, Jonathan Anthony and his little sister, Theo, are inseparable. Together they explore the wild acres of Everdon, inventing magical worlds and buttressing each other against the loneliness of life with their alcoholic mother, Alicia, and a shifting cast of gossiping cooks and maids. When a family tragedy brings their glamorous grandmother, Eve, home from America, Jonathan and Theo are initially elated by the attention she lavishes on them. But soon it becomes clear that there is more to the Anthony family history than either Eve or Alicia will acknowledge, trapping Jonathan and Theo in a web of dark secrets that have haunted Everdon for generations.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be-dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, and he's a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

London, Al Tafar, and NYC

Beautiful Lies by Clare Cook
London 1887. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the beautiful bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year to make something of yourself. A self-proclaimed Chilean heiress educated in Paris, she is torn between poetry and the new art of photography. But it is soon plain that Maribel's choices are not so simple. As her husband's career hangs by a thread, her real past, and the family she abandoned, come back to haunt them both: When the notorious newspaper editor Alfred Webster begins to take an uncommon interest in Maribel, she fears he will not only destroy Edward's career but both of their reputations.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year-old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him, and Bartle takes actions he could have never imagined.

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen. Then he sees something that anyone else might have noticed--but has not--in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Boy 21

Boy 21 by Matthew Quirk
Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of somehow getting out, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay. Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number. As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, "Boy21" may turn out to be the answer they both need.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Treasure Island, H.G. Wells, and Tammyland

Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion
It's almost forty years after the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Jim Hawkins now runs an inn called Hispaniola on the English coast with his son, Jim, and Long John Silver has returned to England to live in obscurity with his daughter, Natty. Their lives are quiet and unremarkable; their adventures have seemingly ended. But for Jim and Natty, the adventure is just beginning. One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind so many years before.

The Map of the Sky by Felix Palma
1898. New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry well-to-do Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the Martian invasion featured in H.G. Well's popular novel The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile in London, Wells is unexpectedly made privy to certain objects, apparently of extraterrestrial origin, that were discovered decades earlier on an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. On that same expedition was an American crew member named Edgar Allan Poe, whose inexplicable experiences in the frozen wasteland would ultimately inspire him to create one of his most enduring works of literature. When eerie, alien-looking cylinders begin appearing on the outskirts of London, Wells is certain it is all part of an elaborate hoax. But soon, to his great horror, he realizes that a true invasion of the earth has indeed begun.

Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault
Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland--a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a "honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love." But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone library steps. It is a tragic accident and no suspects foul play, certainly not Gretchen's best friend from college, Jamie, who's been named the late author's literary executor. But there's an unfinished manuscript Gretchen left behind that is much darker than Tammyland: a book ostensibly about male country musicians yet centered on a murder in Gretchen's family that haunted her childhood. In its pages, Gretchen seems to be speaking to Jamie from beyond the grave--suggesting her death was no accident and that Jamie must piece together the story someone would kill to keep untold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: The Serpent's Shadow

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
When young magicians Carter and Sadie Kane learned how to follow the path of the Ancient Egyptian gods, they knew they would have to play an important role in restoring Ma'at--order--to the world. What they didn't know is how chaotic the world would become. The Chaos snake Apophis is loose and threatening to destroy the earth in three days' time. The magicians are divided. The gods are disappearing, and those who remain are weak. Walt, one of Carter and Sadie's most gifted initiates, is doomed and can already feel his life force ebbing. Zia is too busy babysitting the senile sun god, Ra, to be of much help. What are a couple of teenagers and a handful of young trainees to do?

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Ruby Red

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with extended--and rather eccentric--family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking uncontrolled leaps into the past. She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any century.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Love and Loneliness

Every Day Every Hour by Natasa Dragnic
In a small seaside town in Croatia, on the first day of kindergarten, shy Luka faints and bold Dora wakes him with a kiss. The two become inseparable, wandering the beach, lying on their special rock, and watching clouds. But when Dora and her parents move to Paris, the two lose touch. Luka grows up into a lonely painter, prey to the needs of his family and a local woman with whom he is not in love but who loves him. Dora blossoms in Paris, where she becomes an actress and ingenue. Now adults, the two meet by chance when Luka comes to Paris for his art show and they fall in love again. But fate conspires to keep them apart, and the novel weaves back and forth in time over the next few decades as these star-crossed lovers must confront unlucky timing and the reality of love in the face of everyday obligations.

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
You don't have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit-wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can't quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter, Casey, has just confiding in him that she's pregnant--because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down. So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Dark Eyes

Dark Eyes by William Richter
Wallis Stoneman was born in Russia and adopted by a wealthy family in New York City. Beautiful and rebellious, she trades a life of privilege for the gritty streets of Manhattan. She knows nothing of her childhood in Russia. Those years are lost forever. Now Wally is sixteen and hardened, and she has just stumbled across a harrowing secret that will changer her life forever: Wally's roots are deadly. She's the daughter of the Klesko, a notorious Russian gangster who's just broken out of prison. Klesko is searching for the fortune Wally's mother stole from him long ago, and he'll stop at nothing to find it. Can Wally find--and save--her mother before Klesko kills them both?

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Young Adult this week!

Virals by Kathy Reichs
Adventure has always been in fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she is the niece of the world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. So when she moves to middle of nowhere Morris Island, South Carolina, to live with a marine biologist she's never known, Tory does the best she can to adjust to her new life. There she meets a group of local kids who are just as "Sci-Phile" as she is--science geeks who've grown up exploring the backwoods marshlands of nearby Loggerhead Island. But there's something strange going on at the Loggerhead Research Institute...maybe even something deadly. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them--and their DNA--forever.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Fire by Kristin Cashore
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. Young King Nash clings to the throne, while rebel lords, in the north and south, build armies to unseat him. War is coming. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose startling appearance is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Everyone...except Prince Brigan.