Book Discussion Kits OCT 2014

September 22, 2014

The book discussion kit collection is going strong with several new editions.  Thanks to the Sno-Isle Foundation for its committed support to the program!  I don’t believe I got Going Clear onto the last announcement. My apologies.

 

Broken HarborFrench, Tana.  Broken Harbor.

In the aftermath of a brutal attack that left a woman in intensive care and her husband and young children dead, brash cop Scorcher Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, struggle with perplexing clues and Scorcher’s haunting memories of a shattering incident from his childhood.

 

 

 

 

 

The fault in our stars

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars.

Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

 

 

 

 

 

Going clear : Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief

Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear.  [Already in reservation system]

Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists–both famous and less well known–and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard”–From publisher description.

 

 

 

 

Lexicon

Barry, Max.  Lexicon.

Emily Ruff belongs to a secretive, influential organization whose “poets” can break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. Then she makes a catastrophic mistake and falls in love with Wil Jamieson who holds the key to a secret war between rival factions of “poets.” In order to survive, Wil must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, as the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless.

 

 

 

 

Love is a canoe

Schrank, Ben. Love Is a Canoe.

Peter Herman is something of a folk hero. Marriage Is a Canoe , his legendary, decades-old book on love and relationships, has won the hearts of hope­ful romantics and desperate cynics alike. He and his beloved wife lived a relatively peaceful life in upstate New York. But now it’s 2010, and Peter’s wife has just died. Completely lost, he passes the time with a woman he admires but doesn’t love–and he begins to look back through the pages of his book and question hom­ilies such as: A good marriage is a canoe–it needs care and isn’t meant to hold too much–no more than two adults and a few kids. It’s advice he has famously doled out for decades. But what is it worth? Then Peter receives a call from Stella Petrovic, an ambitious young editor who wants to celebrate the fif­tieth anniversary of Marriage Is a Canoe with a contest for struggling couples. The prize? An afternoon with Peter and a chance to save their relationship.

 

 

 

Stuff : compulsive hoarding and the meaning of things

Frost, Randy. Stuff.

With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarder,Frost and Steketee explain the causes and outline the often ineffective treatments for the disorder while illuminating the pull that possessions exert on all of us.

 

 

 

 

 

A tale for the time beingOzeki, Ruth.  A Tale for the Time Being.

A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace–and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox–possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

The Thing About DecemberRyan, Donal.  The Thing About December.

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Following the deaths first of his father and then his mother, Johnsey inherits the family farm, and a healthy bank account, both of which he proves incapable of managing on his own. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns. Though companionship, and the promise of love, enter his life as a result of a hospital stay following a brutal beating, Johnsey remains a lonely man struggling to keep up with a world that moves faster than he does. Set over the course of one year of Johnsey Cunliffe’s life, The Thing About December breathes with Johnsey’s bewilderment, humor and agonizing self-doubt. Readers will fall in love with Johnsey in a bittersweet tale that serves as a poignant reminder that we are surrounded in life by simple souls who are nonetheless more insightful and wise than we realize, or can even imagine.

 

 

 

The tilted worldFranklin, Tom.  The Tilted World.

In 1927, as the Mississippi River threatens to burst its banks and engulf all in its path, two federal revenue agents investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents on the trail of a local bootlegger.

 

 

 

 

 

We need to talk about Kevin

Shriver, Lionel.  We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother¿and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin¿s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

 

 

October Library Reads

September 18, 2014

 

Here is the link to the list and full descriptions.

 

The Favorite : A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

“When a bA sudden light : a noveloy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain. In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel–who is flickering in and out of dementia–to a graduated living facility, sell offthe house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after. But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company.The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future. A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein‘s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and hisrare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all”– Provided by publisher.

Other Selections:

Leaving Time    As you wish : inconceivable tales from the making of The princess bride   Not my father's son : a memoir  Some Luck  The Boy Who Drew Monsters  The life we bury  Reunion  Malice  Murder at the Brightwell : a mystery

ARC: Jonathan/Jesse Kellerman

September 4, 2014

Sno-Isle employees – comment and claim – thanks!

 

Kellerman, Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. The Golem of Hollywood. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

An extraThe Golem of Hollywoodordinary work of detection, suspense, and supernatural mystery. I spent three days totally lost in the world Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman have created. This is brilliant, page-turning fiction with mythic underpinnings that give it a special resonance; a rare collaboration where the sum is truly greater than the parts. The book is like nothing I’ve ever read before. It sort of took my breath away.” – Stephen King From Jonathan Kellerman, the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of psychological suspense, and Jesse Kellerman, the international #1 bestselling author of The Genius , comes one of the most remarkable novels of the year. nbsp; A burned-out L.A. detective . . . a woman of mystery who is far more than she seems . . . a grotesque, ancient monster bent on a mission of retribution. When these three collide, a new standard of suspense is born. The legend of the Golem of Prague has endured through the ages, a creature fashioned by a sixteenth-century rabbi to protect his congregation, now lying dormant in the garret of a synagogue. But the Golem is dormant no longer. Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He seems to have picked up a beautiful woman in a bar the night before, but he can’t remember anything about the encounter, and before he knows it, she has gone. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene far up in the hills of Hollywood Division. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice . Detective Lev is about to embark on an odyssey through Los Angeles, through many parts of the United States, through London and Prague, but most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended and not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.

 

 

 

 

Some Luck is Jane Smiley’s first novel of a planned trilogy that when fully realized will follow an Iowa farm family from 1920 to 2020.  This first, to be published in October, reaches the early 1950’s.  As the earliest it also features rich historical detail and atmospherics.  The old dark humor joke about the farmer who has an incredible windfall and plans to “just keep farming till the money’s gone” is probably anachronistic (I’m thinking it’s from the 1980’s and referred to the lottery), but a fun example of how in touch Smiley is with her characters and their concerns and hopes.

This queue is already building.  Comment to claim.  Note: I can only give these to Sno-Isle employees – apologies.

 

Some Luck

Publisher Summary: From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize : a powerful, engrossing new novel–the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart. Each chapter in Some Luck covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers like Walter return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change. As the Langdons branch out from Iowa to both coasts of America, the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis; later still, a girl you’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own, and you discover that your laughter and your admiration for all these lives are mixing with tears. Some Luck delivers on everything we look for in a work of fiction. Taking us through cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, among characters we come to know inside and out, it is a tour de force that stands wholly on its own. But it is also the first part of a dazzling epic trilogy–a literary adventure that will span a century in America: an astonishing feat of storytelling by a beloved writer at the height of her powers.

Hugos Announced

August 25, 2014

The official list for all categories is here.

The Winner for Best Novel 

Ancillary justice

Leckie, Ann.  Ancillary Justice.

Winner of the Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards, nominated for the Hugo and Philip K. Dick Awards. On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

 

 

 

 

Other Nominees for Best Novel 

Neptune's brood : a space opera

Stross, Charles. Neptune’s Brood.

The year is AD 7000. The human species is extinct for the fourth time due to its fragile nature. nbsp; Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. She’s on a journey to the water-world of Shin-Tethys to find her sister Ana. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Their leader, the enigmatic Count Rudi, suspects that there’s more to Krina’s search than meets the eye. He’s correct: Krina and Ana each possess half of the fabled Atlantis Carnet, a lost financial instrument of unbelievable value capable of bringing down entire civilizations. Krina doesn’t know that Count Rudi suspects her motives, so she accepts his offer to get her to Shin-Tethys in exchange for an introduction to Ana. nbsp; And what neither of them suspects is that a ruthless body-double assassin has stalked Krina across the galaxy, ready to take the Carnet once it is whole and leave no witnesses alive to tell the tale.

 

 

 

Parasite

Grant, Mira. Parasite.

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease. We owe our good health to a humble parasite — a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system — even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them. But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.

 

 

 

 

Robert Jordan's The wheel of time. Volume one, The eye of the world

Jordan, Robert and Brandon Sanderson.   The Wheel of Time (Series).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correia, LWarboundarry. Warbound.

New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. Gritty urban fantasy set in an alternate noir 1930s. A tough P.I. battles an interdimensional monster that wants to suck magic power out of the world. Sequel to Hard Magic and Spellbound. Book Three in the Grimnoir Chronicles. Gritty urban fantasy adventure set in an alternate noir 1930s, Book Three in the Grimnoir chronicles. Only a handful of people in the world know that mankind’s magic comes from a living creature, and it is a refugee from another universe. The Power showed up here in the 1850s because it was running from something. Now it is 1933, and the Power’s hiding place has been discovered by a killer. It is a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. Earth is next. Former private eye, Jake Sullivan, knows the score. The problem is hardly anyone believes him. The world’s most capable Active, Faye Vierra, could back him up, but she is hiding from the forces that think she is too dangerous to let live. So Jake has put together a ragtag crew of airship pirates and Grimnoir knights, and set out on a suicide mission to stop the predator before it is too late. About the Urban Fantasy of Larry Correia: “[A] no-holds-barred all-out page turner that is part science fiction, part horror, and an absolute blast to read.”- Bookreporter.com “If you love monsters and action, you’ll love this book. If you love guns, you’ll love this book. If you love fantasy, and especially horror fantasy, you’ll love this book.”- Knotclan.com “A gun person who likes science fiction-or, heck, anyone who likes science fiction-will enjoy [these books]…The plotting is excellent, and Correia makes you care about the characters…I read both books without putting them down except for work…so whaddaya waitin’ for? Go and buy some…for yourself and for stocking stuffers.”-Massad Ayoob “This lighthearted, testosterone-soaked sequel to 2009’s Monster Hunter International will delight fans of action horror with elaborate weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, disgusting monsters, and an endless stream of blood and body parts.”- Publishers Weekly on Monster Hunter Vendetta

 

September LibraryReads Out

August 11, 2014

This batch has interesting choices and annotations with helpful insight on reader appeal.  (I do still have a Station Eleven ARC, btw, if this piques interest).  In print we have all on order or soon will (Horrorstör), and we’ll get several in audiobook as well.

The Favorite 

Most peopleSmoke gets in your eyes : and other lessons from the crematory want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty–a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre–took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?  Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

 

 

 

 

Station eleven : a novel  The secret place  Rooms  The Children Act  The Distance : A Thriller  Product DetailsThe witch with no name  The paying guests

This is the latest by Australian novelist Flanagan, right now considered one of if not their best.  His latest The Narrow Road to the Deep North, has just been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  This is the first year the longlist includes, controversially, four Americans as well. The winner’s announcement should be interesting.  Narrow Road is being published next week and already has 12 holds. The title derives from a haiku by Basho and is related to the book’s themes rather than location. Would someone care for the ARC?

 

“A novel of lovThe narrow road to the deep north : a novele and war that traces the life of one man–an Australian surgeon–from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway during World War II, up to the present”– Provided by publisher.

Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever. Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost. [Summary]

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