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The War to End All Wars

100th Anniversary of the Great War

Today, July 28, marks the beginning of the global hostilities that would come to be known jointhearmyas World War I.  After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, the powerful countries of the world drew up sides and shots were finally fired on this day 100 years ago.  The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is responsible for planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial in this country. According to the website,"The United States reluctantly entered Europe's "Great War" and tipped the balance to Allied victory.... Two million Americans volunteered for the army, and nearly three million were drafted. More than 350,000 African Americans served, in segregated units. For the first time, women were in the ranks, nearly 13,000 in the navy as Yeoman (F) (for female) and in the marines. More than 20,000 women served in the Army and Navy Nurse Corps."

tothelastmanJeff Shaara, a novelist whose books have chronicled the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, writes of the American experience in World War I in To the Last Man. As the conflict stretches into its third year, a neutral America reluctantly enters the war, its  president, Woodrow Wilson, finally accepting the repeated challenges to his stance of nonalignment. Yet the Americans are woefully unprepared and ill equipped to enter a war that has become worldwide in scope. The responsibility is placed on the shoulders of General John "Blackjack" Pershing, and by mid-1917 the first wave of the American Expeditionary Force arrives in Europe. Encouraged by the bold spirit and strength of the untested Americans, the world waits to see if the tide of war can finally be turned.

Colbert Bump

Colbert Champions Another Debut Author

sweetness9Stephen Colbert has fired another shot at Amazon for its hard-line negotiating tactics with the publisher Hachette Book Group and the authors Hachette represents. Colbert has been urging his "Nation" to pre-order books by new authors from independent booksellers instead of Amazon, and his influence has already borne fruit. Edan Lepucki's book, California, received a huge sales boost, becoming the most pre-ordered book in Hachette's history. Last Monday, she appeared on the Colbert Report where Colbert asked her to name another Hachette debut novelist for the "Nation's" consideration. Lepucki chose Stephen Eirick Clark. His book, Sweetness #9, which will be released on August 19. Clark's novel is about the creator of an artificial sweetener who begins to suspect that his product causes strange side effects, like anxiety, muteness and "a general dissatisfaction with life." So can the Colbert literary lightning strike again? By Tuesday morning, Sweetness #9 was in the top 300 at Barnes and Noble and moving up the lists at independent book stores.  


August Faves

August 2014 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites -books librarians loved and want to share.



OneKick-202x300#1 for August 2014: One Kick: a Novel by Chelsea Cain
Kick Lannigan is a 21 year-old with a  complicated past and a very special skill set. Famously kidnapped at age six, Kick captured America's hearts when she was rescued five years later.  Trained as a marksman, lock picker, escape artist and bomb maker by her abductor, Kick could not return to the life of the average young girl after her release. So, in lieu of therapy, she mastered martial arts, boxing, and knife throwing; learned how to escape from the trunk of a car, jimmy a pair of handcuffs, and walk without making a sound - all before she was thirteen. Kick has trained herself to be safe. But when two children go missing in three weeks, an enigmatic and wealthy former weapons dealer approaches her with a proposition. Not only is he convinced Kick can help recover the two children - he won't take no for an answer. "...this is an edge-of-the-chair thriller and Cain, (author of the bestselling Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers) negotiates the twists and turns with finesse while keeping her foot firmly on the gas pedal." (Booklist).


2014 Adult Summer Reading

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On vacation? Finally reading for fun?

The Adult Summer Reading Program runs until August 11. 


Grab/print a Bingo sheet and begin  - or - click here to log your reading selections.     

Its that easy - 5 boxes on a Bingo sheet or 5 books in your online log.                    

Prizes include Penn Theatre tickets and gift certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants.

New this year - a  drawing for two $25 gift certificates All participants who submit a completed Bingo sheet or log 5 books online are eligible.

Master the Literary Elements!

New Christie Mystery

Return of Hercule Poirot

monogrammurdersFans of Agatha Christie's famous mustached detective, Hercule Poirot, will be happy to learn that Christie's estate has authorized a new novel about Poirot's exploits, written by crime author Sophie Hannah. The book is the first work about one of Christie's characters not written by Christie since her death in 1976. Christie's grandson, Matthew Prichard, believes it's important for a new generation to appreciate her work and he has great faith in Hannah's ability to meet the high expectations fans have for this mystery series. In the last novel featuring Poirot, Curtain, which Christie published in 1975, the detective was killed off by a heart attack. Presumably this new adventure occurs before that terminal point. Hannah hopes she's crafted "a puzzle that will confound and frustrate the incomparable Hercule Poirot for at least a good few chapters." The Monogram Murders will be released in September.


Thrillerfest IX


The International Thriller Writers held their annual conference in New York last weekend to celebrate thriller books, the authors who write them and the fans who read them. Dubbed "Thrillerfest IX" (really, the Best Name for a literary conference. Ever.)
the conference ran for five days with the usual author panels, speeches and presentations.

During the banquet on Saturday night, they announced the demonologistwinners of the coveted Thriller Awards, which are given every year for the best thriller books in hardcover, paperback original, debut, and other categories. As several well known authors were nominated in the Best Hardcover Novel category (Stephen King, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Lisa Gardner),  the winner, Andrew Pyper was surprised that his novel, The Demonologist, won the prize. The Best First Novel Prize went to Jason Matthews for Red Sparrow, which also won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel earlier this year. Jennifer McMahon's The One I Left Behind was named Best Paperback Original.


Nobel Prize Winner and Apartheid Foe

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)

julyspeopleProminent South African writer, Nadine Gordimer, passed away Sunday, July 13, at the age of 90. Her novels, which explored all aspects of South African life, especially conditions under the rule of apartheid, earned her the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991. Three of her books were banned by the South African government during the apartheid era (1948-1994) for their vivid depictions of the injustices and cruelties imposed on black citizens by the country's policies of racial division. Although she was not raised in a political family, she became a secret member of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress party, which was illegal until the apartheid laws were repealed in 1991, and actively participated in apartheid resistance by passing messages and hiding fugitives. She later stated that no one could live in South Africa at that time and remain isolated from politics. Gordimer remained politically involved after the demise of apartheid, turning her attention to the fight against AIDS and the struggle for unlimited freedom of expression in South Africa.


Books to Movies/TV

Coming soon...

A-Long-Way-DownA Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. Failing in their pursuit of solitary deaths, they form a pact to delay their suicides until Valentine's Day. A strange bond forms as the four become media sensations and they delay their plans again and again, helping each other find reasons to live.  The film, to be released  July 11, stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots.


strainThe Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Vampires have always been here. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come. A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All communication channels have gone quiet. An alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold: a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.  FX has ordered a thirteen episode series based on this horror trilogy, with the first to air on July 13. The first episode, Night Zero, was written by Hogan and del Toro; del Toro directed.


most wanted manA Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre
A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night with an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck.  He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, is determined to save him from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career or safety. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she contacts Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old heir of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg and source of the mysterious money. Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the "War on Terror," the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents. In theaters on July 25, the movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last roles before his death.


Hachette v. Amazon

Lucky Lepucki

californiaFor the past several weeks people in book circles have been following the increasingly unfriendly negotiations between Amazon and the publisher Hachette Book Group over the pricing and marketing of Hachette books and authors on Amazon. As part of the spat, Hachette claims that Amazon has discouraged customers from buying titles by Hachette authors like Stephen Colbert and James Patterson by delaying shipping two or three weeks. Colbert has entered the fray, encouraging his "Nation" to buy books from independent book sellers. He asserts that the situation is hardest on younger, newer authors who are being published for the first time, and is therefore championing Edan Lepucki's new post-apocalyptic debut novel California as a case in point. His influence has made all the difference - California, which will be released Tuesday, is now one of the most pre-ordered debut titles in Hachette history. Lepucki's agent is negotiating film rights for the book and the initial print run has been increased. As the New York Times put it , Lepucki "won the literary Lotto."

Adult Summer Reading 2014

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Summer is in full swing...                                                                         atom

Working on your Library Bingo? Logging your books online?

NO? That's ok - there's plenty of summer left and you have until August 11 to earn your prize.

Grab/print a Bingo sheet and begin  - or - click here to log your reading selections.

Its that easy - 5 boxes on a Bingo sheet or 5 books in your online log.

Prizes include Penn Theatre tickets and gift certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants.

New this year - a  drawing for two $25 gift certificates. All participants who submit a completed Bingo sheet or log 5 books online are eligible. Master the Literary Elements!


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