Thursday, October 29, 2015


It’s hard to believe fall is here again. The time is perfect for hot apple cider, a warm slice of pie, Halloween candy and a great book. To get into the holiday spirit, here are some great books to get you in the spooky mood.

Severed, by Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, and Attila Futaki

At the turn of the century, young Jack Garron runs away from home to find his father, a wayward minstrel. While riding the rails, he meets a charming traveling salesman whose smile hides a secret. Under the fake veneer, a mouth full of shape teeth hunger for human flesh. What will Jack do? Will anyone be able to save him? From comic book legend Scott Snyder, Eisner Award winning author of Batman and American Vampire, author Scott Tuft, and Hungarian artist Attila Futaki, of the Percy Jackson graphic novels, Severed is sure to keep you up at night.

The Haunted Season, by G. M. Malliet

If you’re in the mood for a spooky mystery, G. M. Malliet’s newest novel in the Max Tudor series, The Haunted Season, is the perfect fit. Max Tudor, a handsome cleric and former MI5 agent, lives and works in the sleepy English village of Nether Monkslip. When Lord and Lady Baaden-Boomethistle take up residence at Totleigh Hall, they hope to return their title and the manor to their former glory, bestowing good tidings on the village and its residents.  However, after a suspicious death on the grounds, it is up to Max Tudor to solve the mystery. From Agatha Award winning G. M. Malliet, this cozy mystery is great for readers who enjoy Louise Penny, Martha Grimes and Agatha Christie.

No One Gets Out Alive, by Adam Nevill

Seasoned English author Adam Nevill’s new horror story No One Gets Out Alive follows a young woman named Stephanie as she moves out on her own and rents a room in the Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, England.  She doesn’t quite understand why the room she rented is called “The Cell,” the ceilings are high, the room is spacious, and the windows are large. However, the longer she stays in “the Cell,” the more bizarre her experience becomes. She begins to hear noises in the night, and objects in her room will move without warning. With a mischievous landlord and little financial resources, it is up to Stephanie to discover who haunts her room and how to rid herself of the terror.

A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay

Fans of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist are sure to enjoy the latest novel from acclaimed author Paul Tremblay, A Head Full of Ghosts. On the outside, the Barretts seem like every other family in their New England community. However, when 14-year old Marjorie begins to act strangely, the family quickly believes it is demonic possession. Because of their financial situation, Marjorie’s parents agree to host a reality show documenting the everyday struggles and hunt for a cure to Marjorie’s possession. But is the possession real, or just the overactive imagination of a teenaged girl? Told from the perspective of a reporter recounting the events from Marjorie’s younger sister Merry, the narrative is unique and engaging.

Ghostly: A collection of ghost stories, edited by Audrey Niffenegger

There is no better way to get into the ghostly spirit than reading some great short stories. In Ghostly: A collection of ghost stories, Audrey Niffenegger, of The Time Traveler’s Wife fame, brings together contemporary and classical ghost stories. From Edgar Allen Poe to Neil Gaiman, Edith Wharton to Ray Bradburry, Ghostly is sure to have a story just for you. What is unique about this anthology is its historical retrospective, selecting stories from the beginning of the horror genre in the eighteenth century, to modern, techno-horror. The inclusion of original artwork by Niffenegger and an original story titled A Secret Life With Cats makes this a charming read.

American Ghost: A family’s haunted past in the Desert Southwest, by Hannah Nordhaus

In this personal search to uncover the truth behind a family legend, noted journalist Hannah Nordhaus investigates the alleged hauntings at La Posada, a grand hotel in Santa Fe. In the 1970s, odd, paranormal events started happening; fireplaces would turn on and off by themselves, vases would move on their own and in one room in particular, the bed would be ripped of its sheets, mysterious lights would appear, and the room would change temperatures without notice. The ghost allegedly haunting La Posada is Nordhaus’ great-great-grandmother, Julia Schuster Staab, who appears as a translucent figure in a black gown and dark eyes. Join the author in the spine-chilling book about family history, ghost hunters and lore. Available in print and as a CD Book.

--Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian

Monday, October 26, 2015

More Supplementary Reading for One Book One Community

A few more books about books to prolong your enjoyment of the current community read.            

The 2015 One Book One Community program began October 1. Programming continues through October 20. Our 10th anniversary selection is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Print and audio copies of this book can be checked out of your library, inter-loaned from other libraries or purchased at local bookstores.

The beautifully illustrated History of the Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad traces book technology from Egyptian times to the e-book. Readers discover that the history of the book and the printed word has undergone constant change since the first inscriptions made on cave walls. The author and visual artist have chosen 100 works from around the world to explain the role each has played in the development of books and writing and the expansion of literacy and knowledge. They start with cave paintings from 16,000 BCE, move through Apicus, "the earliest serious cookbook surviving," that was transcribed in Germany in 830 CE, and conclude with e-books (which are thought, by many, to have been prototyped by a school teacher in Spain in 1949), manga, and crowd- (and cloud-) sourced fiction.

Sitting on a milk crate in her grandfather’s butcher shop, reading voraciously, Cara Nicoletti realized how good books and good food make people happy. In Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks her way Through Great Books, readers are introduced to Nicoletti and her family, her reflections on a number of classic works and fifty recipes inspired by her favorite stories. Try brown butter crepes (Gone Girl) for breakfast, clam chowder (Moby-Dick, of course) for lunch, and gingerbread cake with blood orange syrup for an evening snack (Hansel and Gretel). All are charmingly presented by this essayist who is also a butcher and a cook.

Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie is so enthralling that my husband and I listened to it during two car trips downstate this summer. The characters, the demanding efforts of the printers, and 15th-century Mainz society are so well depicted in this work of historical fiction that we felt we were in Gutenberg’s workshop, watching eagerly as a font was designed, molded and poured, as lines and pages of text were meticulously laid out, as page after page of Gutenberg’s Bible was finished in a race against church greed, jealous guilds, Elder politics, superstition, plague and the fall of Constantinople. (It’s a long book.) The story is anchored by Peter Schoeffer whose foster father, Johann Fust, apprenticed the young Paris scribe to the demanding Gutenberg to be his eyes in the workshop which he supported financially and to hurry along the evolving technology which Fust believed would revolutionize the publishing world.

Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair is a fun, jumbled, comic, fantasy, mystery tied in with time travel and romance. Set in a 1985 alternative England where people take their literature very seriously, Special Operative literary agent Thursday Next sets out to thwart the evil schemes of Acheron Hades, the world’s third most wanted villain. Hades steals a prose portal device that allows people to enter works of literature and begins kidnapping characters from their books. After Jane Eyre is taken, Thursday is assisted by Mr. Rochester in recovering Jane, catching Hades, destroying the portal and providing a satisfying end to the story.

Simon Watson is a librarian who lives alone in the family’s crumbling house above Long Island Sound. An antiquarian bookseller finds Simon’s grandmother’s name inside an old log kept by the owner of an 18th-century traveling circus and sends him the diary. Inside the log may be the clues Simon needs to solve the family curse. The women in his family, including his mother, were excellent swimmers and circus mermaids who all drown on July 24. Simon fears for his sister Enola, who returns home in June after running away to join a traveling show. Simon’s story alternates with those of the members of the 18th-centry troupe in Erika Swyler’s Book of Speculation.

Moored on the Seine, we discover Monsieur Perdu, the literary apothecary who runs a floating bookstore on a barge in Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop. Perdu dispenses books that mend the hearts and souls of his customers. Perdu’s own heart, however, remains broken ever since Manon, the love of his life, abruptly disappeared 21 years ago. Perdu has steadfastly refused to read the letter Manon mailed shortly after her departure.  When empty-handed Catherine moves into his apartment building she finds the letter in the drawer of a table Perdu gives her. At Catherine’s urging Perdu reads Manon’s letter then pulls up anchor to travel upriver to the south of France hoping to find forgiveness and healing.  Perdu is joined on his journey by Max, a young author running away from his fame, a woman they save when she falls in to the stormy river, and an Italian chef searching for his long-lost love.

New to the Reference shelves is Magill’s Literary Annual with essay-reviews of 200 outstanding books published in the United States during the previous year. Our subscription also provides free 24-hour online access to thousands of reviews which are helpful to students, book group participants and general readers. You may access this resource on our website,, under the Research tab. Happy reading whether it be in-person or remote, on paper, audio or digital.  

--Cathy Seblonka, Collection Development/Reference Librarian

Monday, October 12, 2015

New adult fiction

Here’s what’s new in Adult Fiction at Peter White Public Library

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
This debut novel from author Bill Clegg is an emotional story of people connected through tragedy, coping with loss. The night before her daughter’s wedding, June Reid loses everyone she loves in a tragic accident; her daughter, her daughter’s fiancĂ©, her ex-husband, and her lover Luke all perish in the blink of an eye. Left with only the memories of her family and completely unsure of her final destination, June gets in her car and leaves her life in Connecticut behind. As more characters are introduced we discover they have also been touched by the same tragedy. Told from multiple points of view, Clegg does a fantastic job of demonstrating how terribly complex human relationships are while exposing the truths about the lives of June and the many people she encounters on her road to a new life.

Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
His stories have girt, they’re a little bit filthy, and they always have you questioning your sanity half-way through. If you’re a fan of Chuck Palahniuk you’ll likely be a fan of Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, a collection of 21 of his most poignant short fictions. Be warned however, these really are stories that you can’t unread and there may even be one or two you won’t be able to finish.

The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil
The Great Glass Sea is a wild, dystopian epic of brotherly love set in an alternative future-Russia. After the Death of their father, twins Yarik and Dima, are sent to live on the farm of their uncle. As young men, the brothers find themselves working on Oranzheria, a large acres-wide sea of glass – the largest greenhouse in the world whose relentless growth is destroying the surrounding countryside and all that it represents.
Though it is not easy, life for the brothers is mostly good and uncomplicated, until a chance encounter with the reigning oligarch turns everything sideways. The twins’ deep, fraternal love is increasingly at odds with the unnerving forces of conformity and development, and each must choose where their loyalties lie.

Holy Cow by David Duchovny
Holy Cow is a smart and irreverent allegory about friendship, religion and humanity as seen through the eyes of a cow named Elsie Q. After learning what an industrial meat farm is, Elsie realizes that if she doesn’t escape soon she’ll be turned into ground beef patties just like her mother. So what’s her plan? Obviously her only viable solution is to travel to India, where cows are worshiped rather than slaughtered. Several other animals on the farm – Joe the pig, who refers to himself as Shalom, and a anorexic turkey called Tom - find out about Elsie's plan and decide to join her pilgrimage to escape their equally terrifying fates on the farm. These absurd animals don human disguises, practice walking on two legs and make their way to the airport.  
A sidesplitting piece of writing, this story pokes fun at just about everything and stretches the imagination to it’ silliest limits, making it a fun read for just about anyone.

The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant
The Jaguar’s Children is tense from beginning to end, likely due to the constant feeling of claustrophobia you’ll experience while reading. John Vaillant’s latest suspense novel focuses on the tremendous dangers of illegally crossing the border between the United States and Mexico. Hector and his friend Caesar, along with 13 other illegal immigrants from Oaxaca, are hidden in an empty water truck, risking their lives for their chance at freedom. But when the truck breaks down, the 'coyotes' seemingly abandon the group sealed in the tank for four days with little food and water. Using the cellphone of his unconscious friend, Hector attempts to reach the American number he finds in the phone but he has no way of knowing if his messages are getting through as the situation inside the tank becomes more desperate.

By Dominic M. Davis, Administrative Assistant