Adult Book News
Based on the Book...
Curious about the promos for a new ABC show starting on Sunday, March 9?
Resurrection is the story of the people in a small town in Missouri whose deceased loved ones start returning from the dead, unchanged since their deaths. Its is based on the novel, The Returned by Jason Mott, which centers on eight year-old Jacob Langston who tragically drowned at his own birthday party thirty-two years ago. That is, until he is found alive in China and returned to his incredulous parents. And he is not alone: all over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, is it a miracle or a sign of the end? "Mott brings a singularly eloquent voice to this elegiac novel, which not only fearlessly tackles larger questions about mortality but also insightfully captures life's simpler moments, as when a father and son earnestly discuss the finer points of how to tell a good joke. A beautiful meditation on what it means to be human." (Booklist)
Aimee Thurlo (1950-2014)
Cuban-born author, Aimee Thurlo, who wrote three separate mystery series with her husband, David, passed away this week from cancer. The couple, working together and individually, published more than 70 novels in a variety of genres. All three mystery series are set in the American Southwest and feature three very different sleuths: Ella Clah, a special investigator for the Navajo Police Department; a nun, Sister Agatha, who was an investigative reporter before joining a monastery in New Mexico; and New Mexico police officer and Navajo vampire Lee Nez who works with FBI agent Diane Lopez. The couple's last novel, Eagle's Last Stand, is due out later this year.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Can't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras?
March 4 is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French, the traditional time for feasting and partying in New Orleans prior to the beginning of the Lenten season.
Immerse yourself in the charm and spice of New Orleans with these titles:
French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia by Joshua Clark
Anchored in the picturesque New Orleans neighborhood, 37 short stories are collected here for the first time. These works branch across every genre from mystery and romance to surrealism and prose poetry, forming an eclectic mix of some of the most exciting modern fiction found anywhere.
That Old Black Magic by Mary Jane Clark
Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery Boulangerie Bertrand when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city. Intrigued by the case, Piper can't help but look for the "Hoodoo Killer" among the faces around her.
Tiger Rag by Nicholas Christopher
In 1900 New Orleans the virtuoso cornet player Charles "Buddy" Bolden invents jazz, but after a life consumed by tragedy, the groundbreaking sound of his horn vanishes with him. Rumors persist, though, that Bolden recorded a phonograph cylinder, and over the course of a century it evolves into the elusive holy grail of jazz.
A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Kelly, glamorous at 49, checks into a room she knows intimately at the Olivier House, a discreet, classy hotel in New Orleans and a place of great significance in her long marriage to reticent attorney Michael. He is staying at a restored plantation with a woman half his age. Kelly was supposed to finalize their divorce that very day, but she has not. The story of Kelly and Michael's marriage is told in flashbacks, starting with their meeting during Mardi Gras so many years before.
History is Herstory, too.
March is Women's History Month
Women's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as "Women's History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress designated the month of March as "Women's History Month" in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women. This year's theme is "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment."
(Historical content and image courtesy of the National Women's History Project and the Library of Congress.)
A few of "Herstories" :
Revolutionary by Alex Myers
In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation's most valiant soldiers was, secretly, a woman. When Deborah Samson disguised herself as a man and joined the Continental Army, she wasn't just fighting for America's independence-she was fighting for her own. After years as an indentured servant in a sleepy Massachusetts town, chafing under the oppressive norms of colonial America, Deborah couldn't contain her discontent any longer. When a sudden crisis forced her hand, she decided to finally make her escape. Embracing the peril and promise of the unknown, she cut her hair, bound her chest, and rechristened herself Robert Shurtliff. "A vividly detailed fictionalization of the true story of Massachusetts-born Deborah Sampson." (Boston Globe)
Mrs. Lincoln's Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini
Kate Chase Sprague was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of a devout but ambitious lawyer. Her father, Salmon P. Chase, rose to prominence in the antebellum years and was appointed secretary of the treasury in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Beautiful, intelligent, regal, and entrancing, young Kate Chase stepped into the role of establishing her thrice-widowed father in Washington society. Her efforts were successful enough that The Washington Star declared her 'the most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her. 'None, that is, but Mary Todd Lincoln. Though Mrs. Lincoln and her young rival held much in common, they could never be friends, for the success of one could come only at the expense of the other. When Kate Chase married William Sprague, the wealthy young governor of Rhode Island, it was widely regarded as the pinnacle of Washington society weddings. President Lincoln was in attendance. The First Lady was not.
The Wives of Los Alamos by Tarashea Nesbit
Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago--and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn't exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together. And while the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually transformed from an abandoned school on a hill into a real community. "This well-researched and fast-paced novel gives a panoramic view of the lives of ordinary women whose husbands worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. Recommended both for its important subject matter and for the author's vivid storytelling." (Library Journal)
New Librarian Faves for March
This 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.
#1 for March: The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls--the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't save--and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri's death. What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills. "This is an outstanding first novel, replete with suspense, crisp dialogue, and vivid Ozarks color and atmosphere."(Publishers Weekly)
Til death do us part?
According to an article in The Daily Beast/Book Beast, "marriage thrillers" have become a publishing phenomenon of late. These novels depict a dangerous and darker side of marriage with treacherous spouses, hidden secrets, betrayals, and even death. Books like Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, S. J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, and A. S. A Harrison's The Silent Wife are psychological page-turners that demonstrate that happily-ever-after isn't all its cracked up to be. And more are on the way. Lucie Whitehouse's Before We Met and Jean Hanff Korelitz's You Should Have Known will be released shortly. Is this trend a new one? Not really, traditional gothic stories like Rebecca (1936) and Jane Eyre (1847) often showcased relationships founded on secrets and lies. What may be different now is how these newer novels capture a more modern ambivalence about marriage itself and the resulting loss of independence that some partners experience. Cautionary tales indeed!
Two of the Best
Celebrate Presidents' Day!
In 1971, as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Congress designated the third Monday of February as the day to honor two of our most illustrious presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both of whom were born in the month of February. Although much is known about both men and their presidencies, consider reading some fiction to enhance your appreciation for their accomplishments.
Valley Forge: George Washington and the Crucible of Victory by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen
Chronicles the unique crucible of time and place where Washington and his Continental Army, against all odds, were forged into a fighting force that would win a revolution and found the United States of America.
I am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War by Jerome Charyn
A novel written in Lincoln's voice, a combination of majestic prose and rural humor, about the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln's tempestuous relationship with Mary Todd.
New Movies from Older Books
Now (or soon) Playing:
Endless Love by Scott Spencer
Young David Axelrod is desperately in love with pretty and rich Jade Butterfield - in fact, they are consumed with each other. And when Jade's father banishes David from their home, he fantasizes the forgiveness his rescue of the family will bring, and he sets a "perfectly safe" fire in their house. What unfolds is a nightmare, a dark world in which David's love is a crime and a disease, a world of anonymous phone calls and crazy letters in the pursuit of the one thing that remains most real to him: his endless love for Jade and her family. The 1979 novel was first adapted for film in 1981 with Brooke Shields.
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
One evening, in a mythical Belle Epoque New York, Peter Lake, orphan, master mechanic, and master second-story man, attempts to rob a fortresslike mansion in the Upper West Side. Although he believes the house to be empty, it is not. Beverly Penn, terminally ill daughter of the owner, is home. Thus begins a love affair between the middle-aged Irish burgler and the fatally-ill heiress. It is a love so powerful that Peter, a simple and uneducated man, will be driven to stop time and bring back the dead. Helprin's book was pubished in 1983 and this movie is its first film adaptation.
In Secret (Based on: Thérèse Raquin) by Émile Zola
In a dingy apartment on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, Therese Raquin is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. The numbing tedium of her life is suddenly shattered when she embarks on a turbulent affair with her husband’s earthy friend Laurent, but their passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them forever. Therese caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and has been filmed numerous times in many languages.
"Love has no age, no limit; and no death."
It's Almost Valentine's Day!
Get your heart racing with a love story -
First Love by James Patterson
Axi Moore is a "good girl": She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn't tell anyone that all she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson—who she also happens to be madly in love with. When Axi spontaneously invites Robinson to come with her on an impulsive cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life.
Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She's finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father. She's got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger. Shandi doesn't know that her blond god has his own baggage.
Loving Lord Ash by Sally Mackenzie
Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, is in a sticky wicket. He married young and for love--how naïve. Now he is saddled with a wife he's reluctant to trust. And however much evidence he gathers against faithless Jess, he can't seem to prove her guilt to the final judge--his foolish heart. Jessica knows she's bobbled her marriage, however innocently. A fairytale wedding makes no difference if she hasn't got the marquis charmed to show for it. Well, she's had enough of accidental encounters with naked gentlemen and near misses explaining things to her husband. It's time to buck up and go win her man back.
Romantic, dramatic fiction set during World War II. In a foxhole in Bastogne, Belgium, the innocent yet charmingly clever protagonist, Corporal Tom Cole, is injured, sending him to London to convalesce and fall in love for the first time. But who is the lovely Danish girl he meets at a cafe? Anna says she's a monitor at the War Office, scanning radio waves for incoming German planes. But is she? When Cole goes to the War Office one day to surprise his new lover, she's nowhere to be found. So begins Cole's quest to find and save the woman he loves.
Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite and the widow of a famous, slightly older man. Her husband, Charlie, was a renowned sexologist and writer, until he was struck dead one day on the sidewalk by a falling sculpture. After his death, Claire must reinvent herself. Over the course of a year, she sees a shrink (or two), visits an oracle, hires a "botanomanist," enjoys an erotic interlude (or ten), eats too little, drinks too much, dates a hockey player, a billionaire, and even an actor. As she grieves for Charlie and searches for herself, she comes to realize that she has an opportunity to find something bigger than she had before--possibly, love.
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress"*
February is African-American History Month
Initially started in 1926 as Negro History Week, the commemoration of the struggles and achievements of African Americans in America was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since has proclaimed February as African American History Month in order to honor the importance of contributions made by African American citizens to our society.
Explore the African American experience in these books:
The Wedding by Dorothy West
An unforgettable history of the rise of the black middle class, set on the island of Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s. The proud, insular community known as the Oval is made up of the best and brightest of New York's and Boston's black bourgeoisie. Dr. Clark Coles and his wife Corinne, pillars of this community, are mortified that their youngest daughter Shelby is set on marrying Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. Equally alarmed is Lute McNeil, a successful black furniture maker from Boston who is new to Oak Bluffs and desperate for social acceptance. Lute has fallen in love with Shelby Coles, or at least the way of life she represents. As the day of the wedding approaches, the tension builds, climaxing in a single tragic act that will forever change the lives of three families.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
An award winning literary classic that was the subject of a school ban in September 2013, Ellison's novel adresses many of the issues faced by African Americans in the 20th century. The nameless narrator describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and then retreating to his basement after violence breaks out in order to write about his experience, his identity and his place in American society.
A Deeper Love Inside by Sister Souljah
An unforgettable coming-of-age story in the words of Porsche Santiaga, a young girl separated from her parents by the authorities. Sharp-tongued, quick-witted Porsche is cut from the same cloth as her father, Ricky Santiaga: she is a natural-born hustler. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, she refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention as she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her wealthy, loving family.The stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever.
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, the novel tells the story of Henry Shackleford, a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857 - the region a battlefield between anti and pro slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an arguement between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes Henry is a girl. Over the next months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. He finds himeself with Brown at the historic raid on Harper's Ferry, one of the catalysts for the Civil War.
* Frederick Douglass