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Sep 23, 2015

The invaders - Karolina Waclawiak

The invaders - Waclawiak, Karolina

Summary: Over the course of a summer in a wealthy Connecticut community, a forty-something woman and her college-age stepson's lives fall apart in a series of violent shocks. Cheryl has never been the right kind of country-club wife. She's always felt like an outsider, and now, in her mid-forties--facing the harsh realities of aging while her marriage disintegrates and her troubled stepson, Teddy, is kicked out of college--she feels cast adrift by the sparkling seaside community of Little Neck Cove, Connecticut. So when Teddy shows up at home just as a storm brewing off the coast threatens to destroy the precarious safe haven of the cove, she joins him in an epic downward spiral.

Booklist Reviews
Those tony beach communities that dot the flaunted real estate along the Connecticut and Long Island coasts have long been the source of wonder and desire. Inside their gates, however, things are hardly the stuff of such lust-filled dreams. Petty rivalries escalate between neighbors, paranoia over outsiders' access to "their" beachfront vistas fuel violent turf wars, and those old stand-bys drugs, alcohol, and sex destroy marriages and livelihoods. Told from the alternating points-of-view of Cheryl, a down-market trophy wife, and Teddy, her dissolute stepson, Waclawiak's novel exposes the underpinnings of Little Neck Cove for what they are: paltry, superficial facades that poorly mask any semblance of charity, tolerance, or humanity. As Cheryl's marriage dissolves and Teddy's addiction causes a life-changing accident, an impending hurricane destined to hit the community pales in comparison to the inner storms already brewing. With its spot-on characterizations, droll dialogue, and staccato pacing, Waclawiak's dark satire is a trenchant indictment of the country club set tempered by compassionately rendered portraits of two of its not entirely unwitting victims. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels - Ann Martin

Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels - Martin, Ann

Summary: Based on Ann M. Martin's bestselling series, America's favorite baby-sitters are back -- this time, in a heart-warming and hilarious graphic novel.

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The judge (DVD)

The judge (DVD)

Summary: Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

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Boyhood (DVD)

Boyhood (DVD)

Summary: A groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason, who ages from six to eighteen years old on screen.

Video Librarian Reviews
Director Richard Linklater filmed this extraordinary coming-of-age saga over 12 consecutive years, following his star—6-year-old Ellar Coltrane—to the age of 18. Mason (Coltrane) is first seen in East Texas, playing with neighborhood kids and squabbling with his older sister, Samantha (Linklater's daughter Lorelei). At the end of this segment, the family moves to Houston, which means a new home, new school, and new friends. Mason's dad (Ethan Hawke) and mom (Patricia Arquette) are divorced, but Mason hopes they will reunite. However, that's not going to happen, and their lovers come and go. Problem is: whenever mom finds a new man, she marries him—and one (Marco Perella) turns out to be an abusive alcoholic. By age 15, Coltrane the actor has become less stiff on-camera, delivering a wryly humorous and far more self-assured performance, as we watch him literally mature before our eyes. Linklater continues to epitomize the independent American filmmaker (regardless of his more mainstream entries such as School of Rock): from Dazed and Confused to his amazing Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight), he has consistently marched to his own drumbeat. Presented in a linear fashion, Boyhood is an episodic, naturalistic film, somewhat reminiscent of the groundbreaking Up documentary series from director Michael Apted, who has made eight films recording the lives of a group of Brits from the age of 7 to 56. Already picking up festival and film critics association awards for Best Picture, Boyhood has also been nominated for five Golden Globes and will very likely be a major Oscar contender. Highly recommended. Editor's Choice. (S. Granger) Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2015.

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Drawn & Quarterly

Drawn & Quarterly

Summary: North America's pioneering comics publisher celebrates its quarter-century with new and rare archival comics; essays from Jonathan Lethem, Margaret Atwood, and more.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Drawn & Quarterly has stood at the vanguard of art comics for a quarter-century now, and this massive tome celebrates the Canadian publisher and its beloved chief, Chris Oliveros, who conceived of "a comic company with literary and artistic aspirations." Oliveros, staff, and cartoonists are featured in essays, interviews, and photographs as well as appreciations by such literary luminaries as Margaret Atwood and Jonathan Lethem. For readers with no interest in any of that, though, it also brims with new and collected comics. The cartoonist list reads like a who's who of artists who have made independent comics what they are now and are defining where they're going: Beaton, Barry, Brown, Clowes, DeForge, Gauld, Hernandez, Spiegelman, Tomine, Ware . . . though that list barely scratches the surface. This is a magnificent monument to the diversity of aesthetic philosophies and personal styles, and if there's a prevalent theme, it's everyday indignities and how real people face them, even if these real people are occasionally zombies or superheroes. Even skipping the prose, this is a tall mountain to scale in one climb, but sampling and returning to it again and again affords an incomparable journey through comics' state of the art. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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You are not special - David McCullough Jr.

You are not special - McCullough, David Jr.

Summary: Elaborating on his famous commencement speech, the author takes the pressure off of students to be extraordinary achievers and encourages them to do something useful with their advantages. - (Baker & Taylor)




BookPage Reviews
WISDOM FOR THE AGES
Listen up, class! Remember the high school graduation oration that David McCullough Jr. delivered in 2012? The talk that went viral on YouTube? That’s right—the “You Are Not Special” speech that the English teacher gave to Wellesley High School grads. Well, you can get your very own copy of that mind-‚ √£expanding address, along with some of the best real-world advice contained between two covers, if you pick up McCullough’s new book, You Are (Not) Special. In it, he explains all the stuff that teens stress over—how to deal with parents, pick the right college, handle peer pressure, choose a career. It’s great, because McCullough really gets where kids are coming from—he understands them on a level that’s, like, micro.

Seriously, though. When it comes to closing the gap that exists between teens and adults, McCullough proves an expert bridge builder. In his book, he uses his now-famous speech as a jumping-off point, encouraging young people to cultivate intellectual curiosity, compassion and self-reliance. He also demystifies parental behavior—an undertaking for which he’s overqualified as a father of four. Smart but not condescending, knowing but never a know-it-all, McCullough—a longtime high school teacher—issues small admonishments to teens (text less, read more) in a tone that’s exceedingly collegial. “The sweetest joys in life . . . come only with the recognition that you’re not special,” he told the 2012 grads. Those who can, teach.

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Range of ghosts - Elizabeth Bear

Range of ghosts - Bear, Elizabeth

Summary: Going into exile after barely escaping a war waged by his cousin and brother, Temur, the grandson and heir of the Great Khan, teams up against an enemy cult with former princess Samarkar, who after a series of bitter betrayals has pursued a life of magical study.


Kirkus Reviews
Beginning of a new historical-fantasy trilogy, set in the same Mongol Khanate–style universe as the short novel Bone and Jewel Creatures (2010). Along the Celadon Highway, the empire of the Great Khagan is embroiled in civil war. A grandson, Temur, supported his defeated elder brother in terrible battles against his usurping uncle Qori Buqa. In the country of the Eternal Sky, a moon sails in the heavens for each of Mongke Khagan's sons and grandsons. Once there were over a hundred, now less than a third remain, Temur's Iron Moon among them. Though badly wounded, Temur survives, attaches himself to one of the wandering clans of the steppes and takes Edene as his woman. Meanwhile Qori Buqa allies himself with al-Sepehr, an ambitious renegade blood-sorcerer cultist of the Uthman Caliphate. Al-Sepehr raises an army of ghosts to kill Temur, but fails; instead the sorcerer snatches Edene and brings her to his stronghold of Al-Din. Meanwhile, Samarkar, a wizard of Tsarepheth in the Rasan Empire, where another, less bloody, power struggle is going on, learns of sorcerous doings in the city Qeshqer and travels to investigate. Here she meets Temur, who's searching for Edene. They will be joined by Hrahima, a huge human-tiger Cho-tse, who has traveled from Ctesifon with more bad news. The Khagan Empire is Temur's to claim--if he can survive the plots of Qori Buqa. This lean, sinewy, visceral narrative, set forth in extraordinarily vivid prose full of telling detail, conveys a remarkable sense of time and place, where the characters belong to the landscape and whose personalities derive naturally from it. Though the book is not self-contained, Bear provides this opener with enough of a resolution to satisfy while whetting the appetite for more. Gripping, perfectly balanced and highly recommended. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Sep 17, 2015

The dog who wouldn't be - Farley Mowat

The dog who wouldn't be - Mowat, Farley

Summary: Farley Mowat's best loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies. Mutt's pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable. He climbed trees and ladders, rode passenger in an open car wearing goggles and displaying hunting skills that bordered on sheer genius. He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up a raw, untamed wilderness. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Words without music: a memoir - Philip Glass

Words without music: a memoir - Glass, Philip

Summary: The composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores examines his own life and career.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* No matter your opinion of Glass' music, you will like Glass the man. In a straightforward yet often moving voice, he details his early years at the University of Chicago; his move to New York and Juilliard (despite his mother's warning that, as a musician, he would be living in hotels and traveling for the rest of his life); his studies in Paris and, later, in India; his unbending dedication to being an artist; and, in large part, the men and women from all walks of life who would influence him as he developed "the habit of attention" necessary to compose in genres ranging from high-school band music to symphonies, quartets, concertos, and such operas as Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha. Glass would support his family working odd jobs part-time for years, finally becoming a full-time composer at age 41. Even so, he has lived the life, immersing himself in theater, art, literature, and music, and he relates here how the arts changed over time, the cultural loss AIDS wrought, and the evolution of his sometimes disparaged minimalist, tonalist compositions (as he posits, "I'm a theater composer"). Aspiring musicians and artists will learn much from Glass, as will general readers, musical or not, who will discover an artistic life exceptionally well lived. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Sep 14, 2015

Orient - Christopher Bollen

Orient - Bollen, Christopher

Summary: Suspenseful and haunting, Bollen's thrilling novel Orient is a provocative take on the troubled American dream, in the vein of Lionel Shriver or AM Homes. At the eastern edge of Long Island, far from the hustle of New York City, stands Orient, a village that has been home to a few families for hundreds of years and is now - reluctantly - opening up to wealthy weekenders and artists from the city. On the last day of summer, a young man with a hazy past appears, and not long after comes a series of events that shatters the peace in this isolated community. A strange, twisted creature washes ashore on the Sound and then a human corpse is found floating in the water. A woman dies in bizarre circumstances and a house fire erupts out of nowhere. Fear and suspicion mount until everyone's secrets threaten to be exposed. But who is Mills Chevern? What is his real name and why is he here? As all eyes shift towards the orphan drifter, Mills elicits the support of Beth Shepherd, an Orient native who is hiding a secret of her own.

Kirkus Reviews
Art, money, and ill intent collide in Interview magazine editor Bollen's (Lightning People, 2011) sophomore novel. Mills Chevern ("You know by now that Mills Chevern isn't my real name") arrives in Orient, on the North Fork of Long Island, as an adolescent drifter. He leaves a somewhat more established figure in the community, both suspect and savior. What happens in between is the subject of all kinds of speculation in Bollen's leisurely yarn, for his arrival coincides with a rash of murders in the placid community, a haven for the well-to-do and a slew of real estate agents, developers, and artists ("the sex was miserable, but they were artists who craved misery") who depend on those richies for their livelihoods. One, Beth, a native of the place with an intimate knowledge of where all the previous bodies are buried, so to speak, takes Mills in, courting the bad temper of a memorable Romanian artist who serves as a kind of Greek chorus to the later proceedings, growling and grumping. As the bodies mount, the huge pool of suspects begins to dwindle somewhat, for everyone, it seems, has a reason to kill; as Mills laments, "How can that detective suspect me when all these people had a motive?" Given all the possibilities, the identity of the real killer, in a nicely paced tale that unfolds deliberately over the course of 600 pages, is a nice surprise. Bollen could have chosen to sneer, scold, and satirize, for, he lets us know, at least some of the victims had it coming. But he mostly plays it straight—except, that is, for the moments of perilous same-sex entanglement, reminiscent of the best of Patricia Highsmith. And no one emerges unscathed from the gossipy tale, full of crossed storylines and small-town malice; Bollen has a real talent for summarizing character with zingers that nicely punctuate the story: "‘I love you too,' she said, chain-rolling and chain-smoking her cigarettes, a one-woman factory, her mouth a purple waste-man a gement vent." Skillfully written, with delightful malice aforethought. Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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The valley - John Renehan

The valley - Renehan, John

Summary: "A former Army Captain's gripping portrait of a fighting division holding a remote outpost in Afghanistan reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, The Yellow Birds, and Matterhorn There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. Black didn't even know its proper name. But he knew about the Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst. It lay deeper and higher in the mountains than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Stories circulated periodically, tales of land claimed and fought for, or lost and overrun, new attempts made or turned back, outposts abandoned and reclaimed. They were impossible to verify. Everything about the Valley was myth and rumor. The strung-out platoon Black finds after traveling deep into the heart of the Valley, and the illumination of the dark secrets accumulated during month after month fighting and dying in defense of an indefensible piece of land, provide a shattering portrait of men at war"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
Renehan borrows the plotline from Heart of Darkness, in which a naive young man is dispatched to throw light upon unspeakable horror. Lieutenant Black is shuffling papers on FOB Omaha, in Afghanistan, when he's assigned to investigate an incident at a firebase near the Pakistan border. Warning shots were fired in the nearby village, but no harm was done, and the investigation should be routine. But as Black interviews enlisted men (the commander, another lieutenant, is mysteriously absent), the plot sprawls. After Black commits what seems to be a boneheaded error with the village chief, the firebase is fiercely attacked. Amid the chaos, Black at last deduces the horror, though he's wounded in the process, and the firebase is almost overrun. The long firefight is exciting, but Renehan works so hard at suspense that it almost parodies itself, and he leaves behind so many red herrings he has to spend 20 pages explaining what happened. Still, a novel about the war in Afghanistan is welcome indeed, and Renehan, who served as an artillery officer in Iraq, certainly knows what he's talking about. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Sep 10, 2015

The emperor of maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee

The emperor of maladies: a biography of cancer - Mukherjee, Siddhartha

Summary: A "biography" of cancer from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it. A combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms the listener's understanding of cancer and much of the world around them. The author provides a glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and offers a bold new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers, and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.

Booklist Reviews
"*Starred Review* Apparently researching, treating, and teaching about cancer isn't enough of a challenge for Columbia University cancer specialist Mukherjee. He was also moved to write a biography of a disease whose name, for millennia, could not be uttered. The eminently readable result is a weighty tale of an enigma that has remained outside the grasp of both the people who endeavored to know it and those who would prefer never to have become acquainted with it. An unauthorized biography told through the voices of people who have lived, toiled, and, yes, died under cancer's inexorable watch. Mukherjee recounts cancer's first known literary reference—hence its birth, so to speak—in the teachings of the Egyptian physician Imhotep in the twenty-fifth century BCE, in which it is clear that Imhotep possessed no tools with which to treat what appears to be breast cancer. His cryptic note under "Therapy:" "There is none." Throughout cancer's subsequent years, many more physicians and scientists with names both familiar and obscure attempted and occasionally succeeded in deciphering or unlocking keys to many of the disease's mysteries. Alas, this is not a posthumous biography, but it is nonetheless a surprisingly accessible and encouraging narrative." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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The comfort trap - Judith Sills

The comfort trap, or, what if you're riding a dead horse - Sills, Judith

Summary: Explains how to escape from the comfort zones that trap us and introduces a seven-step program designed to help achieve a happier, more meaningful, and more fulfilling life. - (Baker & Taylor)

BookPage Reviews

Getting outside yourself and back into the world

Languishing in a cynical "poor me" mode and unable to move forward after a painful relationship meltdown, I was looking forward to my latest book review assignment: self-help books for the new year. When a package from BookPage arrived on my doorstep, I had to laugh when I pulled the first book out of the box and read its title: If the Horse Is Dead, Get Off! This just might be the jump-start I needed.

I soon discovered that Judith Sills' new book, If the Horse is Dead, Get Off!: Creating Change When You're Stuck in Your Comfort Zone is a must-have motivational tool for anyone striving for personal change. As Sills points out, your comfort zone may be anything but comfortable, but because it is so familiar, even if it contains negative or destructive elements, it feels safe and secure and is therefore difficult to move beyond. Sills identifies seven steps that are necessary to "stretch across your fear" and "reach your desire": Face What Hurts, Create a Vision, Make a Decision, Identify Your Pattern, Let Go, Face Your Fear and Take Action.

Chapters detail how to take these important steps, and there is plenty of additional sage advice on topics like ambivalence and eliminating blame.

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Sep 9, 2015

Funny girl - Nick Hornby

Funny girl - Hornby, Nick

Summary: "From the bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down comes a highly anticipated new novel. Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process."-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
Barbara Parker is crowned Miss Blackpool in 1964 and promptly returns the tiara. She doesn't want to be a beauty queen; she wants to be Britain's answer to Lucille Ball. In short order, she moves to London and auditions for a BBC television program, where she meets a creative, witty production team. Taken with her good lucks and impeccable comic timing, they fashion the program around her, and Barbara (and Jim) becomes a huge hit, emblematic of the shifting mores of a more modern Britain as the titular couple bicker about politics, class distinctions, and sex. In his seventh novel (and the first in five years), Hornby pens a homage to light entertainment, sending up the stodgier side of the BBC via snobby critic Vernon Whitfield. He also delivers a winning example of the form, crafting fast-paced, witty dialogue and lovable characters set against a time of creative breakthroughs, both in the culture and in the media. And the final chapters, in which the team must deal with the infirmities of age and illness, highlight Hornby's great gift for effortlessly moving from humor to heartbreak. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Undercurrents - Martha Manning


Undercurrents - Manning, Martha

Summary: Recording the irony of being both doctor and patient battling with depression, a therapist chronicles her mounting symptoms--contemplation of suicide, exhaustive drug therapy, and controversial electroconvulsive therapy - (Baker & Taylor)

Kirkus Reviews
~ It is strange to find small joys in a book about depression, but there are many in Manning's tale of her descent into hell. Among a spate of recent memoirs about depression, what defines Manning's first book is her own experience as a psychotherapist: She highlights the strange and humiliating duality of being able to heal others but not herself. Yet Manning's narrative is never clinical; the writing is simple and moving and laced with a sly, self-deprecating wit (she describes herself as a ``professional voyeur''). Depression creeps up on Manning little by little, disguised as laziness and sloth, and blindsides her, throwing her overcommitted life (as therapist, teacher, wife and mother, church- choir member) into disarry; finally, thoughts of suicide become inescapable. A sympathetic therapist of her own, an empathetic psychiatrist, and a silver tray full of antidepressants (her daughter, Keara, cleans out the medicine chest before a party) fail to end ``the slow erosion of the self, as insidious as any cancer. And, like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door.'' She finally successfully undergoes electroconvulsive therapy, disturbed to find herself on a psychiatric ward with a crazy young woman she had spied in a restaurant a while back. Manning's road back to health is as long and tortuous as the path that led away from it, requiring reconciliation with both herself and God, who she believed had abandoned her. Despite its focus on herself, Manning's narrative is never claustrophobic; it is full of vibrantly depicted family and friends who bring love and strife: a depressed grandmother, an alcoholic sister, a psychotherapist husband who cannot bear his wife's pain, and independent, spirited Keara (``Mints? Nuts? Antidepressants?'' she asks, holding out her tray of drugs). Admirably honest, beautifully written. Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Goodbye stranger - Rebecca Stead

Goodbye stranger - Stead, Rebecca

Summary: As Bridge makes her way through seventh grade on Manhattan's Upper West Side with her best friends, curvacious Em, crusader Tab, and a curious new friend--or more than friend--Sherm, she finds the answer she has been seeking since she barely survived an accident at age eight: "What is my purpose?"

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Starting seventh grade means lots of changes for Bridge and her best friends Em and Tabitha. The most obvious is Em's sudden curves, which grab the attention of pretty much everyone. Other changes are more subtle, like the way Bridge starts looking forward to seeing her classmate Sherman Russo, or Tabitha's growing interest in feminism and social justice. With diverging interests and gently simmering jealousies among the threesome, it would be easy for Stead to tell an all-too-familiar tale of a crumbling tween-girl trio. But she doesn't: rather, she offers a refreshing story of three girls whose loving friendship survives fights, accepts odd habits, and offers ample forgiveness. Unfolding over a series of vignettes that alternate among Bridge, an unnamed high-school girl worried about the consequences of her betrayal of a friend, and letters Sherm writes to his absent grandfather, Stead's latest gradually teases out the nuanced feelings and motivations that guide her characters' sometimes unwise—but never disastrous—actions. Bridge and her friends are all experiencing a quietly momentous shift toward adulthood, and Stead gracefully, frankly, and humorously captures that change. Though that change is often scary, Stead shows how strongly love of all kinds can smooth the juddering path toward adulthood. Winsome, bighearted, and altogether rewarding. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The release of any new book by Newbery medalist Stead is a publishing event to circle on your calendar. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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I married you for happiness - Lily Tuck

I married you for happiness - Tuck, Lily

Summary: The tale unfolds over a single night as Nina sits at the bedside of her husband, Philip, whose sudden and unexpected death is the reason for her lonely vigil. Still too shocked to grieve, she lets herself remember the defining moments of their long union, beginning with their meeting in Paris. She is an artist, he a highly accomplished mathematician--a collision of two different worlds that merged to form an intricate and passionate love. As we move through select memories, real and imagined, the author reveals the most private intimacies, dark secrets, and overwhelming joys that defined Nina and Philip's life together.

Booklist Reviews
This short, affecting, original novel, by the author of the National Book Award–winning The News from Paraguay (2004), which was also an effective and unique novel (about a nineteenth-century South American dictator), takes readers of literary fiction to a place that could have afforded a macabre experience but is saved by the sensitivity of the author. The premise is not complicated. Late-middle-aged Nina discovers that her husband, Philip, who appears to be napping, has actually died in his sleep, and she sits by his bedside for a whole night. Of course, Nina's thoughts are going to be centered on their life together, but, naturally, they do not follow in any logical order. These mental perambulations through their marriage form the substance of the novel. Tuck thoroughly understands why a wife would desire to do this and, as a consequence, makes the act a sweet one, rich in sentiment, poignancy, and honesty. The result is that the reader imagines that this kind of personal tribute to a now-deceased loved one is absolutely appropriate. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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The memory painter - Gwendolyn Womack

The memory painter - Womack, Gwendolyn

Summary: Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to his success: every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills--like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he's wondered if his dreams are recollections--if he's re-experiencing other people's lives. Linz Jacobs is a neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she's confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan's shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan's most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer's, died in a lab explosion decades ago.

Booklist Reviews
When neurogeneticist Linz Jacobs spots a painting depicting a scene from her lifelong recurring nightmare, she unknowingly awakens danger hidden in her past. Bryan Pierce, the enigmatic artist who created the painting, reveals that his works are scenes from past lives relived through dreams and that he awakens gifted with the knowledge and skills revealed in the vision. Although it's impossible to reconcile with Linz's scientific training, she senses an otherworldly connection to Bryan and can't convince herself to dismiss his claims. Then Bryan recalls a more recent life as a neuroscientist who, like Linz, pioneered research to cure memory disorders and was killed with his wife when their lab exploded in 1982. Suddenly, the pair find themselves in a dangerous race to discover the secrets buried in their past lives before a malevolent killer can stop them. Well-drawn historical flashbacks, engaging characters, and a twisty ending make this thrilling blend of neuroscience, romance, and ancient worlds good bets for Da Vinci Code and Outlander fans. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Sep 8, 2015

The lost fleet of Guadalcanal (DVD)

The lost fleet of Guadalcanal (DVD)

Summary: Retracing the events at Guadalcanal that changed the course of World War II, Dr. Robert Ballard leads a joint National Geographic Society/U.S. Navy expedition to discover ships unseen for fifty years and to share the memories of those who fought and survived. - (Baker & Taylor)

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Inside Mecca (DVD)

Inside Mecca (DVD)

Summary: One of the most intimate and three-dimensional documentations of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. "Inside Mecca" follows three Muslims from very different backgrounds as they embark on an epic five-day reaffirmation of faith and quest for salvation. Witness the personal stories of the pilgrims and the mental preparation, physical strain and spiritual ecstasy they encounter on their pilgrimage of faith.

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How to retire the cheapskate way - Jeff Yeager

How to retire the cheapskate way - Yeager, Jeff

Summary:The popular blogger outlines strategies for retiring earlier and enjoying a more fulfilling retirement, demonstrating frugal spending practices while providing coverage of topics ranging from health care to travel.

Kirkus Reviews
Retirement may be a long way off for many, but according to Yeager (The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches, 2007, etc.), there is never a better time to start thinking and preparing for that moment than the present. Full of practical advice and numerous stories of "cheapskates" who have retired early, this book prompts readers to reexamine how they spend their money. Believing that it's not how much money you make, but how you spend what you do have that makes the difference between an early retirement, free of debt, or a later one, full of money woes, the author gives simple and sound advice on how to live frugally. Covering topics such as health insurance, Medicaid and investing, Yeager hammers home the need to spend less and save more, whether by packing a bag lunch or forgoing that new car. On Social Security, he writes that readers should "NEVER PLAN to retire on your Social Security benefit alone--it's only designed to replace 30-40 percent of most people's preretirement income." Checklists help determine what makes a person happy, whether items can be sold or donated to charity, and what health risks older people encounter and how to prevent them. For those who want to continue to work past retirement, Yeager offers a long inventory of self-employment ideas. The ultimate goal is to determine what a person "really, really wants" out of life and then work toward that goal without faltering. Much of this information is not new, but by gathering it in one place, the author makes it much easier to step down from work debt-free. Useful information on frugality and retirement. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway - Woolf, Virginia

Summary: A poignant portrayal of the thoughts and events that comprise one day in a woman's life.

"Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since.
"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century."
--Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
- (Houghton)

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The bone clocks - David Mitchell

The bone clocks - Mitchell, David

Summary: "A vast, intricate novel that weaves six narratives and spans from 1984 to the 2030s about a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and a small group of vigilantes called the Night Shift who try to take them down. An up-all-night story that fluently mixes the super-natural, sci-fi, horror, social satire, and hearbreaking realism"-- Provided by publisher.

LJ Express Reviews
In his breathtaking, audacious, stampedingly beautiful latest, Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) uses the battle between evil soul decanters and good Horologists, who are masterminded by the wise, powerful, body-shifting Marinus, to tell a much larger story. It's a story that embraces the life of Holly Sykes, from a bad boyfriend moment in the Talking Heads era, discovering that her brother has gone missing, running from home, witnessing the first bloody clash between good and evil when people who take her in are murdered, then recognizing her psychic powers and continuing the run to a snowbound resort in the Alps. There, she encounters sly Hugo, an amoral lout aspiring to the upper crust who redeems himself somewhat by discovering that he loves her. Holly goes on to marry war reporter Ed, who refuses to acknowledge Holly's connection to the beyond; wins fame writing a book about her experiences, leading to some wonderfully rendered satire about the writer's world; and finally plays her part in the final battle between the ethereal forces that have been tracking her all along. (Then the narrative moves to war and ecological crash in the 2040s; bad stuff never stops.) This really isn't a book about Holly, though, but about the variety of fantastically rendered worlds we move through as her story unfolds—which is to say our world, past, present, and looming future, brought to us through a fantasy underpinning that juices up the narrative but isn't its heart. Mitchell's not doing genre but asking us ever-ticking bone clocks to stop being so comfortable with how we measure ourselves and our world: "Beware of asking people to question what's real and what isn't. They may reach conclusions you didn't see coming." Verdict Quite a lot of book and not for easy-reading fans, but it's brilliant. [See Prepub Alert, 5/19/14.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Red notice - Bill Browder

Red notice - Browder, Bill

Summary: "A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin's corruption"--Amazon.com.
A reaHife political thriller about an American-born financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the people responsible in the Kremlin. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune. Along the way he exposed corruption, and barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer wasn't so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime hand has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of this, he became Putin's number one enemy. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world.--From publisher description.

Booklist Reviews
Browder was a successful businessman, a pioneering investor in the emerging market that was Russia after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In the 1990s, savvy investors were seeking out his hedge fund as a way to get in on astonishingly undervalued, newly privatized businesses in Russia. But along with privatization came the oligarchs, powerful Russians who took control of previously government-operated entities. After operating successfully for years, Browder ran afoul of the oligarchs and the government. He was suddenly persona non grata, expelled from Russia, leaving his company at the mercy of a tax scam—$230 million in fraud committed by Russian government officials. From London he fought back, with help from Russian colleagues, including an attorney who uncovered the criminal enterprise and was eventually murdered. Browder offers a harrowing tale of corrupt business and political tactics, traceable all the way to President Putin, and the long struggle for justice that could have cost him his life. This is a revealing thriller of Russian financial and political corruption. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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I'm trying to love spiders (it isn't easy) - Bethany Barton

I'm trying to love spiders (it isn't easy) - Barton, Bethany

Summary: "This fresh and very funny non-fiction picture book shares lots of fascinating facts about spiders in an entirely captivating way. If I'm Trying to Love Spiders doesn't cure your spider phobia, it'll at least make you appreciate how amazing they are...and laugh a lot as you learn about them."-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Publishers Weekly Reviews
Here's a guide to spiders that acknowledges that arachnids can be difficult to cozy up to. In the attempt to study them closely, Barton (This Monster Cannot Wait!) admits, bad things may happen. Sometimes the narrator's fear gets the better of her: "Oh my gosh! There's a spider stuck on there! Smash it! Squish it! Get it right now!" The next page reveals a black blot in the center of an otherwise spotless page. "We're not very good at loving spiders just yet," Barton concedes. She hikes through the landscape of spider facts, covering the bad news honestly (the "totally gross" extended arachnid family of ticks and scorpions, the way spiders liquefy their food) while also praising spiders' more impressive attributes, such as silk they spin into webs. "That's like you and me building a house with our hair," she gushes. "And then catching food on it." Big, black brushstrokes give the illustrations and text the impact of still-wet pages, as if they'd just been completed. The skillful juggling of scientific fact and emotional truth make this a winner. Ages 4–8. Agent Stephen Barr, Writers House. (July)

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Sep 3, 2015

Single, carefree, mellow: stories - Katherine Heiny

Single, carefree, mellow: stories - Heiny, Katherine

Summary: A collection of ten stories is filled with unwelcome house guests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, betrayal, jealousy, and flirtatious older men, and takes readers on a guided tour of the human heart.

Booklist Reviews
Adultery abounds in Heiny's engaging debut collection, in which various female characters dissect their longings in the midst of everyday reality. In "The Dive Bar," New Yorker Sasha agrees to a sit-down with her boyfriend's wife but becomes increasingly agitated in advance of their meeting. Set in suburbia, "Blue Heron Bridge" follows housewife Nina as her extramarital affair with a personal trainer unravels owing, in part, to her own insecurities. In the astute "Cranberry Relish," the married Josie finds herself passed over by a former lover, whom she met on Facebook, for his newfound Twitter companion. Several stories follow librarian and web designer Maya, who begins to question the boundaries of her long-term relationship with her quirky boyfriend, Rhodes. The standout title tale juxtaposes their relationship against the terminal decline of Maya's beloved dog. In "Dark Matter," the bond between the two is further put to the test when Maya strikes up an affair with her boss. Heiny's 11 stories are heightened by her depictions of her characters' internal struggles as they candidly confront their infidelities and other desires. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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What we do in the shadows (DVD)

What we do in the shadows (DVD)

Summary: Vulvus, Viago, and Deacon are vampires who live here, among us. They are real vampires; undead, immortal creatures who stalk the night and search for human blood, preferably virgins. Witness the many horrid, abominable aspects of vampire life, such as hunting and feeding, vampire rivalry and fighting with werewolves, as well as normal night to night aspects that make them not so different from us like keeping the flat clean, jobs, shopping, meeting people and trying to fit in.

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Wait - Antoinette Portis

Wait - Portis, Antoinette

Summary: "A ... picture book about the joys of waiting and taking in what is around you"-- Provided by publisher.


Horn Book Magazine Reviews
A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She says "Hurry!" looking at her watch or checking her phone, and he says "Wait," stopping to wave at a construction worker, feed a duck, or discover a butterfly in a bush. Soon rain begins to fall, and the rush gets quicker. But just as the doors of their train begin to close, he insists on one last pause. The pair stops to see a brilliant rainbow stretching over the city. "Yes. / Wait." Portis fills her friendly, accessible images with predictive details. Observant children will notice slickers, umbrellas, and other clues of things to come throughout the pages (is that a rainbow pop he points to on the ice-cream truck?), adding richness to this sweet story about appreciating life's simple pleasures. thom barthelmes Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

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Sep 2, 2015

Hanna (DVD)

Hanna (DVD)

Summary: A 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Video Librarian Reviews
"Father knows best" takes on new meaning when a wily teenage warrior—played by ethereal-looking Saoirse Ronan—ventures out into the cold, cruel world. Spending her isolated childhood in a cabin located in the forests of northern Finland, Hanna has been trained as an assassin/spy by her rogue-CIA-agent father Erik (Eric Bana). Now 16, Hanna has strength, stamina, and determination, so father and daughter part ways, planning to meet up later in Germany. Both, however, are sought by ruthlessly malevolent CIA operative Marissa (Cate Blanchett), leading to Hanna's capture and interrogation in a bunker beneath the Moroccan desert. "Did she turn out as you'd hoped?" inquires one of Marissa's henchmen. "Better," she replies. Outwitting her abductors, Hanna escapes, joining a British hippie family on vacation while cleverly eluding all pursuers. In the meantime, much is revealed about Hanna's mysterious origin and lineage, culminating in an action-packed chase through a decaying Grimm Brothers–themed amusement park and a violent confrontation with menacing Marissa. Directed by Joe Wright, this is a humorless—albeit often gripping—pursuit thriller, backed by a striking score from the Chemical Brothers. Recommended, overall.

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