Monday, October 20, 2014

New Science Fiction

For all the Sci-Fi enthusiasts, here are a few new books to keep you enthralled for weeks to come. Cold weather and rainy days seems endless, so why not come on over to our library and grab a couple books to take your mind off the weather and the woes of the world. Heat up some hot chocolate, get your blanket and settle down to a day of fantasy galore.

Lock In, by John Scalzi is a novel of the near future, but with new viruses popping up very recently, I’m wondering if this book isn’t a novel about the present. A new highly contagious virus makes it way around the globe and this virus doesn’t care if you are old, rich, poor, black, white, Asian or green. Trim your fingernails before cuddling up with this book, otherwise you will chew them down to the bone.

Want to step into new worlds? Try The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.  These two great authors team up yet again to create an intriguing sci-fi novel that will keep you in your seat. What better place to be as you travel with these authors to worlds unknown in space.

Light and darkness, evil versus good, royalty, a queen uncertain, protected by her loyal servants, kingdoms
needing to be ruled and saved, battles and betrayals, what more could you ask for? The book, The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen, will grab your attention to the point that you will feel like you are in the middle of all that’s happening. You will want to grab your sword and jump in to save the queen.

Now this book will take you to times of muskets and magic, fantasies galore in a setting reminiscent of the early Victorian period, with bayonets, blood and secrets. It will keep you curled up next to the fire for several days. The Shadow Throne, Book Two of the Shadow Campaigns, by Django Wexler is a novel of an epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict.

Diabolical lobsters from outer space? Who will save us? Why Uncle Wonder of course! The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow captivates your imagination in this hilarious novel. As you know, James Morrow is a brilliant author and has written many books and this one manages to juggle the absurd, which is far more entertaining than many other novels you may have been reading.

New York Times Bestselling author, Anne Bishop has created, Written in Red, a novel of the Others, will have you coming back for more. This is a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities, shape shifters and vampires to mention a few, who rule the earth and prey on humans. Fitting subject since Halloween is just around the corner. I’d keep the light on after reading this.

David Weber’s, Like a Might Army is full of battles.  A complex political and military tapestry, past and future technologies all come together in this magnificent saga. The characters come alive and focus on the people who embody the strengths and weaknesses of an imperfect but always hopeful humanity.

--N.M. Information Technology Department

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3D Detective series: book, audio, video

Some of your favorite detective series are now three dimensional – books in print for reading, books on CD for listening, and DVD for a total storytelling experience, often featuring well-known movie stars.  They’re all available on the main floor of the library. Don’t miss a single one!

Inspector Lynley Mysteries by Elizabeth George are set in contemporary England - the New Scotland Yard.  Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, also the 8th Earl of Asherton, teams up with Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers to form an unlikely, but effective partnership of detectives who solve some very complex crimes. Although the stories revolve around the crime-fighting duo of the aristocratic Lynley and working-class Havers, there’s a large cast of characters who are connected to each other in the most interesting ways.  Elizabeth George thoroughly explores their relationships and motivations in each book.  The newest in the series is titled, Just One Evil Act. The DVD series, originally part of Masterpiece Mysteries from PBS, narrows down the storyline to the two main characters and the crimes themselves in order to fit the story into a 90 minute time frame. PWPL has all six seasons.

Craig Johnson is the author of ten novels featuring Walt Longmire, a Wyoming sheriff who solves crime in a big way.  Johnson combines the mystery genre with the elements of a western and updates the stories to fit contemporary themes and current newspaper headlines.  Longmire leads a team of deputies with distinct personalities and, at the same time, explores his own relationship with his grown daughter, an attorney who asks a lot of questions and keeps him on his toes. The stories also include Longmire’s childhood friend and unofficial assistant, Henry Standing Bear, who is his link to the Cheyenne community and customs. The newest title, Any Other Name, was published in May 2014.  The TV series, available in the DVD section, features two full seasons of Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire and Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear.

Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell, has written Kurt Wallander  mysteries for the past twenty years.   He often stumbles onto very ominous criminals such as those associated with government corruption and international organized crime, creating some seriously suspenseful story lines  The author guides readers through some of the best crime stories ever written, while portraying the main character as a troubled man with amazing detective skills.  In fact, book # 10 in the Wallander series was titled, A Troubled Man.  The newest title, An Event in Autumn, was just released last month. These novels were made into three seasons of British TV, starring Kenneth Branagh as Wallander; also available in the DVD section.
The novels are set in Sweden and northern Europe, following the life and career of Inspector Wallander who often has difficulties with family relationships and obedience to his superiors in the police force.

The Jesse Stone mystery series was created by Robert B. Parker who wrote nine books before his death in 2010.  Lucky for us, the series was continued by Michael Brandman under the new titles,  Killing the BluesFool Me Twice, and  Damned if You Do.  The latest in the series,  Blind Spot, once again features the Massachusetts police chief, Jesse Stone and is written by a third author, Reed Farrell Coleman.  The Jesse Stone character, a depressed alcoholic with authority issues and a bloodhound’s nose for solving crimes, has several supporting characters in his books that take on storylines of their own.  The original eight books have been adapted to film, featuring Tom Selleck in the lead role as Jesse Stone.

Lynette Suckow, Reference Desk

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Non-fiction

The Peter White Public Library offers these new non-fiction titles.

Factory man : how one furniture maker battled offshoring, stayed local-- and helped save an American town.
By Beth Macy
Between 2001 and 2012 63,300 US factories closed, at a cost of 5 million jobs. The Bassett Furniture Company fell down the slippery slope of outsourcing production to China, until John Bassett III attempted to reel the production back in. Provides insights on international trade, the economy, the manufacturing business, and how Bassett was able to bring hundreds of jobs back home.
New adult nonfiction 338.755 MA

Johnny Cash : the life.
By Robert Hilburn
Acclaimed by Rolling Stone as “the ultimate Johnny Cash biography”. Author Robert Hilburn has spent decades as a music industry insider, and wrote with authorization from Cash’s children. Likely to become the definitive biography of Johnny Cash.
New adult nonfiction 921 Cash

The brothers : John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and their secret world war.
Joint biography of the Dulles brothers, whose policies during the first half of the cold war helped create the world we live in today. John was the US Secretary of State, and Allen director of the CIA. Early in the cold war, a “secret world war” was waged together by the brothers to influence the American psyche. They were also instrumental in numerous political coups abroad which shaped US foreign policy.
By Stephen Kinzer
New adult nonfiction 327.1273 KI

American gun : a history of the U.S. in ten firearms.
Kyle (author of American Sniper) examines ten guns that helped shape US history, from the Revolution to present day. Stories of militia, soldiers, cowboys, gangsters, and heroes.
By Chris Kyle
New adult nonfiction 344.73 KY

Unruly places : lost spaces, secret cities, and other inscrutable geographies.
A collection of stories about obscure places around the world. Some you may have heard of, like “Sealand”, the WWII anti-aircraft station off the coast of England run by eccentrics who have asserted the platform is an independent nation since the 1960s. Some you may not have heard of, like Agdam, Armenia. Following the collapse of the USSR, control of the town was disputed, and led to its abandonment. Deeper still, an examination of how people interact, creating the uniqueness of these places. 
By Alastair Bonnett
New adult nonfiction 910 BO

Android phones for dummies (2nd edition - 2014).
The Android operating system has become the most popular mobile platform for phones and other portable devices. This guide will show you how to get the most out of Android, in language you can understand.
By Dan Gookin
New adult nonfiction 004.167 GO

The gentle art of preserving .
A book to help you preserve the tastes of summer, and enjoy them when it’s 10 below zero. A modern look at preserving, but using time-tested techniques. Over 200 recipes and photographs.
By Katie Caldesi
New adult nonfiction 641.4 CA

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fantasy for all ages

The Ever Afters by Shelby Bach (Middle-School, High School)
This on-going series, while written for middle-school, can easily be enjoyed by older teens as well. And for
Harry Potter and Rick Riordan fans looking for something new, this series hits the spot! In book 1, “Of Giants and Ice”, Rory Landon, the daughter of a very famous couple, starts a new after-school program. And no-one knows who she is. If that weren’t strange enough, by the end of the first day, she has found herself face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon. At Ever After School, Rory learns that the stories she grew up thinking were just fairy tales are actually tales that have been secretly playing out over and over again throughout time, by kids destined to be characters. And Rory has her own tale to fulfill—that is, if she can make it through her friends’ tales first!
Bach has created a unique world, where fairy tale characters are very real and where adventure and magic abounds. But what really pulls you in and refuses to let go are the amazing cast of characters, going through the normal trials of kids growing up, dealing with family issues, and learning who their friends are-only with swords, crazy inventions, and some truly spectacular adventures thrown in the mix.

Half Upon a Time by James Riley (Middle-School)
This retelling of Jack and the Bean Stalk gets an interesting twist when Jack (not the Jack from Jack and the Bean Stalk, that was his father-who’s still missing by the way) has to rescue a princess. Not a regular princess though-this one fell from the sky, wears a weird shirt that says “punk princess” and denies that she actually is a princess at all. May doesn’t believe that magic exists-but she does need help because a hunter is chasing her. And Jack thinks that she might be the granddaughter of the long lost heroine, Snow White. What follows is a funny adventure that combines giants, scary horses, defiant royalty, broken mirrors -and the discovery that not everyone is who they might seem to be.
Fables  by Bill Willingham (Adults and mature Teens)
Fables is a long-running comics series that has been released into bound graphic novels. If you are a fan of the TV show “Once Upon a Time” then you will love this series.  The first of the bound graphic novels is titled “Legends in Exile”-which is the basis of the entire series. All those famous fairy tale characters, such as Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella, Charming, Pinocchio, etc, were chased out of their homelands and forced into exile by the Adversary. The land they wound up in? Modern-day New York, hiding in plain sight within-in a section of the city called Fabletown. But things may not be as peaceful as they seem when Snow White’s sister Rose Red is murdered and the sheriff (none other than the reformed Big Bad Wolf) has to determine who killed her. Thought you knew who the good guys and the bad guys are in those fairy tales? Well think again-you won’t see most of these twists coming!
Goldi Rocks and the 3 Bears by Corey Schwartz (Easy Picture Book)
In this adorable musical retelling of Goldilocks, the 3 bears like to rock out with their band. But they don’t
get a very big audience-so they decide to get a singer. When they hold auditions though, no one seems just right. Enter a yellow haired girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard (after testing out all their musical equipment) and you have a very entertaining and imaginative musical cast that might be just right!

Princess by Jessica George Day (Teens and Middle -School)
Jessica George Day re-imagines the tale of the 12 dancing princesses in this enchanting and well-written series. Rose and her 11 sisters disappear each night, and return with their slippers worn through. Galen, a soldier returning from war, and Rose must fight to free the sisters from a curse that is slowly killing them. With an invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with silver needles and true love they should have a fighting chance. But dark forces are working against them-The King Under Stone is as determined to keep the sisters as they are to free themselves. With a delightful cast of characters, and a very interesting twist on an old story, this is not a series to miss!
500 Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey (Adults and Teens)
In her 500 Kingdoms series, fantasy and science fiction writer Mercedes Lackey produces some truly fantastic variations on many well-known fairy tale characters from the Fairy Godmother, to the Snow Queen and the Little Mermaid.  In book 1, “The Fairy Godmother” Lackey introduces a world where The Tradition rules the outcome of the lives of every person, from the lowest sheepherder to the highest king, uncaring of how many die as long as Tales are played out. Elena, mistreated by her stepmother, finds herself in training to be the kingdom’s next fairy godmother. She battles with The Tradition, trying to keep those it forces into Tales, such as questers, alive. When she comes across a particularly headstrong and unforgiving quester-well let’s just say the punishment matches the man, with hilarious results. With strong world-building, engaging and flawed characters and interesting plot twists, this book is the beginning of a series you shouldn’t miss!
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (Middle-School)
This series revolves around some other well-known characters from the Grimm Brothers-Hansel and Gretel. In this clever series, Hansel and Gretel manage to walk out of their own tale and straight into some other characters’ tales. The must rely on themselves and each other, and learn the true story behind the gingerbread house and weird witches. They also must learn their own strengths if they want to write their own destiny into a new story.

Wide Awake Princess by E.D. Baker (Middle-School)
E.D. Baker re-imagines Sleeping Beauty in this delightful and charming middle-school series. Princess Annie is the younger, less graceful and less perfect sister of Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. In a kingdom where magic reigns supreme, used to alter undesirable physical characteristics, Annie is cursed (or possibly blessed?) with immunity to magic. Her family ostracizes her, as her presence causes their own magical alterations to wane.  But when Gwen pricks her finger, causing the castle to fall asleep, Annie is left awake-and determined to rescue her family. What follows is a fantastic adventure as our young heroine discovers her own strength. And if you like the “Wide Awake Princess” make sure to check out E.D. Baker’s other series, also retelling classic fairy tales: “Tales of the Frog Princess” and the origins of the evil (or perhaps not) witch Baba Yaga in her book “A Question of Magic”.
 --S.R. Youth Services