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Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 4

January 18, 2017 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Here are a few more reading suggestions from library staff members who were asked to choose the best book they read in 2016.  

Donna:

Woefield poultry collective Republic of dirt

The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Republic of Dirt: Return to Woefield by Susan Juby
eBook

OMG, they are SO funny. This series has quite a lot of swearing and "adult" situations, so maybe not good for the younger set. (Republic of Dirt won the 2016 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour)

Mabel:

 Kay's lucky coin variety

Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y.K. Choi
eBook

A must read! A coming-of-age story about a Korean-Canadian girl living with her family in Toronto in the 1980s. This story shows the struggles and sacrifices that Mary’s family goes through to make it as an immigrant family. A unique novel that illustrates the importance of family and friendship.

Winona:

Clothes clothes clothes All the broken things

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
eBook

Episodes in the life of Viv Albertine, former guitarist for the Slits, current singer-songwriter, eternal punk icon. I loved this book because it is fearless, raw, confessional, uncompromising, contradictory, female and funny. One of the most punk and most feminist things I think I've ever read.

All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Novel set in 1980s Toronto about 14-year-old Bo, a refugee from Vietnam, his four-year-old sister Orange, severely disfigured from the effects of chemical weapons, and Bear, a cub learning to work the bear-wrestling circuit. I loved this book because it blurs the boundaries between the real and the magical, the human being and the animal being, and the hierarchies of difference that we construct through looking. Also because I am a sucker for heartache.

Andrea:

Gathering of shadows Children of earth and sky Fellside

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
eAudiobook
eBook

The second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy takes us back to a fantastic alternative London where sorcerers bend elements and walk between worlds. Lots of fun to be had: pirates, disguises, magical duels and the delicious threat of an ancient evil come back to life! The third book is expected to be published this year, and the cover art looks just as amazing as the previous two books.

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
eBook

Kay is a master architect of imaginary worlds inspired by real historical settings, and his stories all have a certain sense of beautiful melancholy. Here we have characters at the crossroads of a place much like Renaissance Europe, and as in most of Kay's books, their lives are shaped for better or worse by the movement of empires. There are plenty of callbacks to his duology, Sarantine Mosaic, but it can also be read as a standalone novel.

Fellside by M.R. Carey
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Orange is the New Black with ghosts! Also a deep dive into guilt, atonement and the shifting nature of dreams and memory. Overall, the story was not as powerful as The Girl with All the Gifts, but the writing was still hauntingly atmospheric.

Christie:

 Waiting for first light

Waiting For First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD by Roméo Dallaire with Jessica Dee Humphreys
eBook

A gut-wrenching and raw memoir from Lt. Gen Roméo Dallaire detailing the trauma of witnessing first-hand the Rwandan Genocide, to his being discharged from the army for his PTSD, and how he learned to cope, and set about doing what he could to raise awareness about genocides and the use of child soldiers in warfare.

This memoir brings a variety of emotions: from anger, to sadness, to inspiration. It envelops you and causes you to re-think the stigma surrounding PTSD.

Another list will appear on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

More Recommendations:

Hamilton: Not the Musical

January 13, 2017 | Lynn | Comments (1)

The newest book from the mind of Ian Hamilton will be released this upcoming week, entitled The Couturier of Milan. This is the tenth book in the wildly popular series written by Ian Hamilton, a Canadian author hailing from Burlington, Ontario. This series follows the highly adventurous and dangerous life of Ava Lee, a forensic accountant who seeks to retrieve massive debts that might not otherwise be paid. According to the Oxford Living Dictionary website the definition of a forensic account is someone who uses accounting skills with investigative skills to look into fraud or embezzlement and analyze that information for legal proceedings. Sort of a P.I. with a calculator. Here are Ian Hamilton's books.

 

The water rat of wanchai         The disciple of Las Vegas         The wild beasts of Wuhan

The Water Rat of Wanchai

Ava Lee is a Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant who specializes in recovering massive debts, like the $5 million owed to her current client by a seafood company. On a journey that takes her from Toronto to Seattle to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guyana, and the British Virgin Islands, Ava encounters everything from the Thai katoey culture to corrupt but helpful law enforcers, but it’s in Guyana where she meets her match: Captain Robbins, a huge hulk of a man and godfather-like figure who controls the police, politicians, and criminals alike. 

The Disciple of Las Vegas

In The Disciple of Las Vegas, forensic accountant Ava Lee is hired by the richest man in the Philippines to recover $50 million from a Canadian land swindle. With the billionaire's reputation on the line, she follows the money from Vancouver to Las Vegas, to the Costa Rican accounts of the Moneida, a First Nations band that owns The River, a poker web site. 

The Wild Beasts of Wuhan

Uncle and Ava are summoned by Wong Changxing, one of the most powerful men in China, when he discovers that the Fauvist paintings he has recently acquired are forgeries. Ava uncovers a ring of fraudulent art dealers, but her investigation is complicated by Wong's second wife, the cunning and seductive May Ling. Will Ava find the perpetrators and get Wong's money back, or will May Ling get to them first?

 

  The red pole of Macau         The Scottish banker of Surabaya         The dragon head of Hong Kong

 

The Red Pole of Macau

Ava Lee's half-brother Michael is desperate to pull out of a multi-million-dollar real estate deal in Macau, while the developers are threatening to halt construction unless there’s another $80 million, the bank is looking for repayment on their loan; and her father is prepared to sell everything to protect his son.

The Scottish Banker of Surabaya

Ava begins an investigation into what she thinks is a Ponzi scheme. The trail leads her to a bank in Indonesia that is run by a Scot, but in actuality is a front for an elaborate money-laundering operation for Italian mobsters. The relationship between Ava and the Scotsman turns nasty and personal. Meanwhile, Uncle’s health problems become apparent.

The Dragon Head of Hong Kong

The prequel to the wildly popular Ava Lee series. Young Ava Lee is a forensic accountant who has just opened her own private firm. One of her clients, Hedrick Lo, has been swindled of more than a million dollars by a Chinese importer named Johnny Kung. Desperate, Lo persuades Ava to find and retrieve the monies owed. Ava goes to Hong Kong, where she plunges into the dangerous underground collection business and meets a man who will forever change her life.

 

The two sisters of Borneo         The king of Shanghai: the triad years          The princeling of Nanjing: the Triad Years


The Two Sisters of Borneo

Ava has been in Hong Kong looking after her Uncle. She has also set up an investment company with May Ling Wong and her sister-in-law, Amanda Yee. One of their first investments — a furniture company owned by two sisters in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo — runs into immediate problems with a Dutch customer.

The King of Shanghai: the Triad Years

Ava steps into her new business with May Ling Wong and her sister-in-law, Amanda. On a trip to Shanghai, Ava meets with Xu, a young man Uncle had been mentoring and who is also the head of the Triad in Shanghai. Xu makes an audacious business proposal that she and May are compelled to consider.

The Princeling of Nanjing: the Triad Years

Ava is in Shanghai for the launch of the PÖ clothing line. She has invited Xu, and over the course of the glitzy event and a late-night dinner, she detects a certain hesitancy in him. He confides that the Tsai family, headed by Tsai Lian, the governor of Jiangsu Province and a “princeling” — he is the son of a general who was on the Long March with Mao and a member of China’s power elite — is trying to force him and his Triad organization back into the drug business.

 

The Couturier of Milan

 

The Couturier of Milan

Ava attends London Fashion Week for the launch of the P#65533; fashion line, one of the major investments she and her partners in the Three Sisters -- May Ling Wong and Amanda Yee -- have made during the last year. With the exponential expansion of the luxury-brand market in China, Ava and her partners are determined to see a young Chinese designer break out in Europe and North America and they go full out in London.

 

Finally, if you want to see what goes into forensic accounting like Ava Lee check out this book:

 

Forensic Accounting for Dummies

Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 3

January 11, 2017 | Book Buzz | Comments (1)

This is the third in our annual series of staff members' favourite books of the past year. This entry features fiction old and new, plus Trevor Noah's autobiography. 

Natalie:

Christodora

Christodora by Tim Murphy
eAudiobook
eBook

Tim Murphy's Christodora was amazing! The book follows New York City through the lives of one couple and their neighbours from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a true response to the AIDS epidemic, to a NYC of the future. One of the most compelling books of the year!

Reagan:


Sellout

The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Man Booker winner)!
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Marie:

Sinner man

Sinner Man by Lawrence Block
eBook

Lawrence Block's recently republished first novel about an amoral novel about a man who kills his wife in a drunken argument, and ends up with a new identity in Buffalo's seamy underbelly of organized crime. About identity, decisions and moral judgements. Block's trademark lyrical prose and dialogue pops off the page. Situations and characters preclude the cinematic sensibilities of Scorsese and Tarantino.

Elsa:

Translation of love Born a crime

Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake
eAudiobook
eBook

Born a Crime: Stories from an African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

 Jim:

The nix Perfume river

The Nix by Nathan Hill
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

A great book.

Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
A story about two brothers who struggle to make peace with their past and the continuing impact the Vietnam War has on families. The book has some Toronto content as well.

More Recommendations:

 

Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 2

January 4, 2017 | Book Buzz | Comments (8)

Each year library staff members select their personal favourite books of the year. These are not necessarily books that were published in 2016, but they reflect the best reading experiences we had in 2016. 

Mike:

The nix

The Nix by Nathan Hill
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

A wonderful debut novel that shows how our personal lives are affected by the political world, presented through the lens of a son that was abandoned by his mother.

Susan:

How to set a fire and why

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
eAudiobook
eBook

Donna:

Major pettigrew's last stand Virgin cure

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The main character Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) lives alone in the small Sussex village of Edgecombe St. Mary some years after the death of his wife. A witty old bachelor attached to the quiet society of the village in which he lives, he loves shooting, civility and a well-brewed cup of tea.

As he finds himself drifting into a closer and closer friendship with a fellow villager, Mrs. Jasmina Ali, who runs the village shop, he brushes up against the censure of his neighbours for his “inappropriate liaison”.

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Set in New York city in 1871, the book follows the life of a young girl named Moth who lives in poverty with her mother on Chrystie Street, a poor area without sewers where people live in squalor as they can, and die when they can no longer hold the tatters of their lives together.

Wendy:

 Mycophilia

Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms by Eugenia Bone
ebook
A food writer becomes obsessed with wild morels and plunges headlong into the insular, colourful world of mushroom hunters. Funny, nerdy, fascinating.

More Recommendations:

 

Paris in The Belle Époque

December 30, 2016 | Kelli | Comments (0)

Through the Loan Stars program, I read the recently published novel To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. It is one of several novels that I have come across in the last little while set in Paris during the period of The Belle Époque. The period of French history from the Franco-Prussian War to World War One is often called The Belle Époque. It was a time of rapid technological and social change and included many important events, such as the building of the Eiffel Tower and the rise of the Impressionist movement in art. This important and fascinating period of history has been an inspiration for many authors. 

To capture what we cannot keepIn February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Emile Nouguier meet while taking a hot air balloon ride in Paris. Caitriona is an impoverished Scottish widow, who is working as a chaperone for the wealthy Arrol siblings, Alice and Jamie. Emile Nouguier is an engineer working on Gustave Eiffel's Tower. Emile is also dealing with significant pressure from his mother to marry someone who can help improve his family's financial situation. Although Alice Arrol would be a suitable match, Emile cannot help being drawn to Caitriona. As their attraction grows, both Cait and Emile are torn between passion and honour. 

Gustave Eiffel and his Tower are also a significant part of this story, as Eiffel is Emile's employer and mentor. The iconic Tower was both an engineering marvel and a very controversial subject at the time.  
eBook
eAudiobook


Here are a few other novels set during The Belle Époque:  

Girl in the Afternoon  I always loved you Officer and a spy Painted Girls Paris winter

Girl in the Afternoon: A Novel of Paris by Serena Burdick 
The Savarays are important members of the art world and supporters of the Impressionist movement. Living a life of luxury, surrounded by their friends and fellow artists, their lives change dramatically when their beloved adopted son Henri, a burgeoning artist himself, disappears early one morning. His sister, Aimee Savaray, seeks consolation from this loss by pursuing her own art. Years later, while she is mentored by Edouard Manet, she unwittingly finds Henri again. After so many years, their eventual reunion reveal the secrets that once held the family together.
eBook

I Always Loved You: A Story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas by Robin Oliveira
After the end of the Civil War in the United States, the young Mary Cassatt moved to Paris to become an artist. While she never thought it was going to be easy, even her fierce determination wavers when her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected. With her father begging her to return to Philadelphia, Mary begins to doubt her talent and her future in Paris. Then a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life is changed forever.   
Large Print
eBook
eAudiobook

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
This fascinating novel was inspired by the events of the Dreyfus Affair, a scandal that engulfed Europe in the late 19th century. Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, is convicted of treason and sentenced to a lifetime of hard labour on Devil's Island off the coast of South America. Colonel Georges Picquart, ordered to investigate the case on behalf of the French military's new counter-espionage force, uncovers evidence of anti-Semitism and a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government. 
Large Print
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Following their father's sudden death, Marie and Antoinette van Goethem find their lives drastically changed. Marie is sent to the Paris Opéra, where is trained to enter the famous Ballet. She soon becomes a model in the studio of renowned artist Edgar Degas, who will immortalize her image forever. Meanwhile, Antoinette, working as an extra on the stage, must make the choice between a life of honest labour and the more profitable, but significantly less respectable, work available to a young woman.
Large Print
Audiobook
eBook
eAudiobook
Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

The Paris Winter  by Imogen Robertson
It took all Maud Heighton's courage to escape constraints of her small English town and travel to Paris to enroll in a famous art school. But life in Paris is very expensive, so Maud takes a job as a companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, she learns their secrets, including Sylvie's addiction to opium. Soon, an even greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.

Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 1

December 28, 2016 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Every December, staff members share their favourite books of the year. Although not all the books were published in 2016, these were the best reading experiences we had. 

Janice:

Mandibles Hagseed Sapiens Purity

The Mandibles: a Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Life in the United States breaks down and builds up all over again in the near future, as the economic system implodes and money loses its value.

Hagseed: The Tempest Retold by Margaret Atwood
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A take on Shakespeare's The Tempest. The director of a Stratford, Ontario-esque Shakespeare Festival gets his revenge on the people who ousted him. Funny, moving and incisive, as usual.

Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A huge hit this year. It's a survey of the history of humanity, with all its quirks. Harari describes the development of cities, religions, economic systems and more. Unsentimental, fascinating, amusing and as page-turning as the best whodunit.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Franzen gathers a cast of brilliant characters who struggle to live moral lives in the morass of modern life. It's a very thick book (daunting for book clubs) but it held my interest all the way through.

Linda:

Shoe dog
Shoe Dog: a Memoir by the Founder of Nike by Phil Knight
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A fascinating story of vision, team building and persistence. Find out how the swoosh was invented and learn about the mad scientist behind the Air.

Margaret:

March 3 Every heart a doorway Crosstalk

March: Book 3 written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, art by Nate Powell
Before John Lewis was a Congressman, he was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. This is the final volume in his graphic memoir documenting those tumultuous years. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. (Winner of 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature)

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
The first book I read this year and one of the best. It's about a boarding school for children who have lived in fantasy worlds like Wonderland or Narnia but are unable to cope after they are "rescued" and returned to the "real" world. Truly a wonderful, heartbreaking book.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis
eBook
This is a bit lighter than the other books on my list. A young woman working in a tech company becomes excited when her boyfriend suggests they get implants that will help them sense each other's emotions on a psychic level. Surely this will lead to marriage! Unfortunately, when she wakes up from the surgery, she's horrified to learn that she's "connected" to a weird coworker instead. Every one of Willis' books is a gem and I wish she write faster.

More Recommendations:

 

Taste Canada Award Winners

December 27, 2016 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Each year Taste Canada celebrates the breadth and quality of culinary writing in Canada with its Food Writing Awards. 

There are 5 categories for books. In each category, gold and silver medalists are selected.

General Cookbooks

Awarded to the best cookbook that covers a broad spectrum of subjects.

Ultimate cookbook Seven spoons

Gold:
Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook by Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Silver:
Seven Spoons: My Favourite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O'Brady
eBook

Single-Subject Cookbook

Cookbooks in this category focus on a single element of cooking. It may be a single ingredient, method of cooking, specific meal or designated towards a specific audience, college students, for example.

Ocean wise Field guide to canadian cocktails

Gold:
The Ocean Wise Cookbook 2: More Seafood Recipes that are Good for the Planet edited by Jane Mundy

Silver:
A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Scott McCallum and Victoria Walsh
eBook

Regional/Cultural Cookbooks

Cookbooks devoted to a specific region in Canada or to the culinary traditions and/or practices of a specific ethnic group (race, religion, nationality) anywhere in the world.

Taste of haida gwaii Spicy touch

Gold:
A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World by Susan Musgrave

Silver:
A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji's Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson

Culinary Narratives

In short, these books tell stories that are connected to food or beverage in some way. They may discuss history, politics or social aspects of food or may be traditional food-based memoirs or biographies.

Sir john's table Chicken in the mango tree

Gold:
Sir John's Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada's First Prime Minister by Lindy Mechefske
eBook

Chicken in the Mango Tree: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village by Jeffery Alford
eBook

When you're looking for something new to cook, remember the huge variety in cookbooks from Canadian authors. 

Need a Good Read? December Loan Stars Picks

December 19, 2016 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Loan Stars is a readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favourite forthcoming titles. Library staff nominate and vote for the books they are most excited about and a top ten list of the most popular picks is distributed each month.

December Loan Stars Top Ten:

  1. Books for Living by Will Schwalbe Books for living
    eAudiobook
    eBook
    Large Print

    Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape from reality? For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions.

  2. Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel Small admissions
    eBook

    After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” Kate Pearson abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews. Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

  3. The Twilight Wife by A.J. BannerTwilight wife
    eAudiobook
    eBook

    Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob. But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions — or are they memories? — of a rocky marriage, broken promises and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends. As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare.

  4. Kill the Next One by Federico Axat Kill the next one
    eBook

    An audacious psychological thriller where nothing is what it seems. Ted McKay had it all: a beautiful wife, two daughters, a high-paying job. But after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor he finds himself with a gun to his temple, ready to pull the trigger. Then the doorbell rings. A stranger makes him a proposition: why not kill two deserving men before dying? The first target is a criminal, and the second is a man with terminal cancer who, like Ted, wants to die. After executing these kills, Ted will become someone else's next target, like a kind of suicidal daisy chain. Ted understands the stranger's logic: it's easier for a victim's family to deal with a murder than with a suicide. However, as Ted commits the murders, the crime scenes strike him as odd. The targets know him by name and possess familiar mementos. Even more bizarrely, Ted recognizes locations and men he shouldn't know. As Ted's mind begins to crack, dark secrets from his past seep through the fissures.

  5. In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper edited by Lawrence Block In sunlight or in shadow
    eAudiobook
    eBook

    "Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within." So says Lawrence Block, who has invited 17 outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy. Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child and Lawrence Block himself.

  6. The Gardens of Consolation by Parisa Reza Gardens of consolation
    eBook

    In the early 1920s, in the remote village of Ghamsar, Talla and Sardar, two teenagers dreaming of a better life, fall in love and marry. Sardar brings his young bride with him across the mountains to the suburbs of Tehran, where the couple settles down and builds a home. From the outskirts of the capital city, they will watch as the Qajar dynasty falls and Reza Khan rises to power as Reza Shah Pahlavi. Into this family of illiterate shepherds is born Bahram, a boy whose brilliance and intellectual promise are apparent from a very young age. Through his education, Bahram will become a fervent follower of reformer Mohammad Mosaddegh and will participate first-hand in his country's political and social upheavals. Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Iran, Parisa Reza has written a powerful love story filled with scenes of hope and heartbreak.

  7. The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe Ice beneath her
    eAudiobook
    eBook

    Winter’s chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home — a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there’s a suspect: the charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.

    Police begin a hunt for Orre, aided by a once-legendary profiler. Meanwhile one of Orre's spurned lovers is also looking for him motivated by a desire for answers — and possibly revenge.

  8. The Feast of All Souls by Simon Bestwick Feast of all souls
    • Currently only available as an eBook

    Alice’s house stands at a gateway between worlds. 378 Collarmill Road looks like an ordinary house. But sometimes, the world outside the windows isn’t the one you expect to see. And sometimes you’ll turn around and find that you’re not alone.

    The suburb of Crawbeck, on a hill outside the English city of Manchester, overlooks the woodlands of Browton Vale. Alice Collier was happy here, once, but following the end of her marriage and loss of her daughter, she’s come back to pick up the threads of her life.

    Now something has awoken on the other side — and she's in its way...

  9. Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson Last year
    eAudiobook
    eBook

    Two events made September 1st a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant. It's the near future, and the technology exists to open doorways into the past — but not our past, not exactly. Each "past" is effectively an alternative world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given "past" can only be reached once. After a passageway is open, it's the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can't be reopened. A passageway has been opened to a version of late 19th-century Ohio. It's been in operation for most of a decade, but it's no secret, on either side of time. A small city has grown up around it to entertain visitors from our time, and many locals earn a good living catering to them. But like all such operations, it has a shelf life; as the "natives" become more sophisticated, their version of the "past" grows less attractive as a destination. Jesse Cullum is a native. And he knows the passageway will be closing soon. He's fallen in love with a woman from our time, and he means to follow her back — no matter whose secrets he has to expose in order to do it.

  10. Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
    Out of bounds

    When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from 22 years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Meanwhile, detective Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. The bombing has until now been presumed to be a Republican attack even though no group claimed responsibility, because the pilot of the small plane was a former Northern Ireland government minister. But Karen comes at the incident from another angle and the kaleidoscope shifts.

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

December 16, 2016 | Andrea | Comments (2)

It is blisteringly icy outside, which means 'tis the season to curl up with a hot drink and a book. Looking for a different type of chills and shivers than the ones offered by the wintry weather? Alternatively, would you like to be warmed by the unexpected domestic comfort of a charming memoir? Shirley Jackson is just the ticket!

Best known as the author of the short story "The Lottery" and the classic haunted house spookfest The Haunting of Hill House, Jackson was a prolific writer and icon of gothic fiction who influenced novelists such as Donna Tartt, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. Her work has been experiencing a well-deserved revival, with her grandson Miles Hyman adapting "The Lottery" into a new graphic novel, following on the heels of a biography published in October. This week marked the centenary of Jackson's birth — she was born in San Francisco on December 14, 1916 — and renewed reader interest promises to continue next year with an upcoming movie adaptation of We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson - A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin   The Lottery - The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Take Jackson's oeuvre with you into hibernation during the winter!

The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson   Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson   The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson   The Road Through the Wall by Shirley Jackson

The Sundial by Shirley Jackson   We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson   Come Along with Me by Shirley Jackson   Just An Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson

Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson   The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson   Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson   Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

Before The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil, there was Elizabeth Richmond and her different identities.

Hangsaman

A surreal and sinister coming-of-age tale. 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 

A group of paranormal investigators decide to spend their summer in a haunted house. What could go wrong?

The Road Through the Wall

Jackson's first novel explored the ignorance and evil festering in suburbia.

 

The Sundial

A family reunion at a funeral is interrupted by an impending apocalypse.

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Two sisters who reside in a mansion with their sick uncle find their isolated world upset by the sudden arrival of cousin Charles. 

 

Anthologies:

Come Along with Me

Just An Ordinary Day

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings

The Lottery and Other Stories

 

Non-fiction:

Life Among the Savages

Raising Demons

Jackson was a master of creeping horror, but she also brought small-town domestic drama to life with warmth and humour. Her memoirs are one hilarious escapade after another, featuring her adventures in parenting four children.

The Space Race: The Hidden Contributors

December 9, 2016 | Lynn | Comments (0)

This past September, a book was published that highlighted the contributions of three African American women in the NASA Space Program during the height of the space race. These human computers used pencils, slide rulers and paper (this is before our phones had apps to do math for us) to figure out how to put John Glenn and Neil Armstrong into space. In January, a movie is being released based on the book, so snap up the book now to see what you expect from Hollywood. In a time when women were regulated to be secretaries or nurses, these women broke the barrier, but did so from the background, as women were starting to demand change. This book and upcoming movie laud these women with the accolades they deserve. Here are some books to inspire our future world leaders who hopefully won't have to work in the background.

 

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

Book  |  eBook  |  Large Print  |  Young Reader's Edition   

Read about the human computers at NASA who helped put men in space while Jim Crow laws were in full effect in the southern United States and the Civil Rights movement was in full swing.

 

In the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists and entrepreneurs

In the Company of Women

Book  |  eBook

If you are more of an entrepreneur and are seeking advice on how to turn your little side hobby into a business, this book will highlight goals to keep in mind. It was full of inspirational advice from women who have been there and done that.

   The comeback

The Comeback: Seven Stories of Women Who Went from Career to Family and Back Again

If you have previously worked professionally, but have since started a family, this book will show you how seven women returned to the workforce after having children and how you can create the balance.

 

Sharing the work

Sharing the Work: What My Family and Career Taught Me about Breaking Through (and holding the door open for others)

This memoir chronicles the struggles of women trying to balance academia and home life and the importance of equal economic benefits for both sexes. The author became interested in this field when her own mother was frustrated at only being allowed to be a secretary.

   No higher honor

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

Book  |  eBook

As the former Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice held one of the toughest jobs in Washington DC. This academic navigated the halls of power and was an inspiration to all girls, showing that women could hold important positions in politics.

 in their shoes extraordinary women describe their amazing careers

In Their Shoes: Extraordinary Women Describe Their Amazing Careers

Book  |  eBook

This book is a great introductions to a number of different careers as described by successful women in their respective industries. This is an excellent book for people seeking inspiration on their future paths or who wish to change their paths.

 

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