NEW IN THE LIBRARY * * * * * * * 27 JANUARY 2016

The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman

 

The chaos of the newsroom becomes a stage for characters unified by a common thread of circumstance, with each chapter presenting an affecting look into the life of a different player. This cacophony of emotion blends into a single voice, as the depiction of a paper deemed a "daily report on the idiocy and the brilliance of the species" becomes more about the disillusion in everyday life than the dissolution of an industry. (Amazon.com)

Gray Mountain, John Grisham

 

Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she is downsized. Samantha, though, is offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay. Her new job takes her into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack. (Amazon.com)

Rue for Repentance, Felicity Pulman

 

After her mother dies and her home is burned to the ground, Janna is forced to flee for her life. She is given shelter at a manor farm, but all is not as it seems. A child goes missing and Janna puts her life on the line to find him, but who can she turn to for help?(Amazon.com)

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, Jody Gehrman

 

Geena can't wait to spend summer vacation with her two best girls.  All three are working at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shop together, but they hate each other on sight.. But all is not what it seems, and in a story of mistaken identities, crazy summer high jinks, and enough romance to make Shakespeare proud, Geena and her friends learn that when Bettys unite, they can take on the most powerful force in their world: a hot guy. (Amazon.com)

It started with a Dare, Lindsay Faith Rech

 

Self-proclaimed nobody CG Silverman sees her move to an upscale new school as her chance to be somebody different. Her devil-may-care attitude attracts the in-clique, and before CG realizes it, a routine game of truth or dare launches her to iconic status.

 

CG is on a collision course with disaster. Will she be able to keep up the façade? Or will the whole world find out she’s a fraud?(Amazon.com)

India Dark, Kristy Murray

 

This book is based on a true story about two girls' journey from Melbourne to Madras. caught up in a scandal that will change their lives forever. Singing and dancing across a hundred stages in a troupe of child performers, they travel by steam-train into the heart of India. But as one disaster follows another, money runs short and tempers fray, what must the girls do to protect themselves, and how many lives will be ruined if they try to break free? (Amazon.com)

Left Behind:  Earth’s Last Days, Tim LaHaye

 

When the trumpet sounds, where will you be? Passengers in an airborne Boeing 747 find out s. Without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun. (Amazon.com)

Kayak Trips in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, Randel Washburne

 

Observe seabirds nesting on Protection Island off the Olympic Peninsula, circumnavigate Shaw Island in the San Juans, or view intertidal life in Canada's Gulf Islands.  The intercoastal waters of the Pacific Northwest offers some of the most stunning scenery and marine life available to paddlers.  From the protected coves and estuaries of south Puget Sound to the swift currents of Deception Pass and the bustling harbor of Victoria, this book offers detailed paddling information for kayakers, canoeists, stand up paddlers, and anyone with a small human powered craft.  (Amazon.com)

Roadside Geology of Washington, David Alt

 

The geology of Washington is a story of islands--micro-continents--coming in from the sea. Two hundred million years ago most of Washington consisted of two large islands, each one a scrap of continent, lying somewhere in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. One after the other they docked onto the North American continent, each adding its distinctive bit to the complex geologic and geographic mosaic of western North America. (Amazon.com)

 

 

NEW IN THE LIBRARY *** 10 January 2016

The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch (realistic fiction)  

“Miles O'Malley, 13-year-old insomniac, naturalist, worshipper of Rachel Carson, and dweller on the mud flats of Skookumchuck Bay, at the South end of Puget Sound near Olympia, Washington, is the irresistible center of The Highest Tide. He says, "People usually take decades to sort out their view of the universe, if they bother to sort at all. I did my sorting during one freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame and suggestions of the divine." (Amazon.com)

Far From You, Lisa Schroeder (realistic fiction, written in verse/song)

“Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.   Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.  As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.Perhaps she's not so alone after all…” (Amazon.com)

The Seeing Stone, Kevin Crossley-Holland (historical fiction/fantasy)

“Arthur narrates his everyday life in the Marchland in 100 clipped chapters of crisp, melodic prose. But his destiny entwined with that other, ancient Arthur is revealed only in snatches, after he receives (courtesy of our old friend Merlin) a piece of obsidian, a seeing stone, through which a well-woven story within a story unfolds.But rather than fantasy, Kevin Crossley-Holland offers a convincing and meticulously researched account of what life might have actually been like for a curious, capable, earnest young man in this peculiar time and place, with all its customs, rituals, and regimented routine and social structure.” (Amazon.com)

Folly, Laurie R. King (mystery)

“An acclaimed master of suspense creates a heroine you will never forget in this superbly chilling novel of a woman who begins a desperate undertaking that may transform her life--or end it.  Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has moved to an island at the far reaches of the continent to restore the house of an equally haunted figure, her mysterious great-uncle; but as her life begins to rebuild itself along with the house, his story starts to wrap around hers. Powerful forces are stirring, but Rae cannot see where her reality leaves off and his fate begins.” (Amazon.com)

Stuck in the 70s, D.L Garfinkle (science fiction/romance)

“A spoiled, rich, seventeen-year-old girl is mysteriously transported from 2006 Los Angeles back to 1978, where she meets Tyler, a super-smart high school senior who promises help her return her to 2006 if she will give him some lessons on how to be popular.” (Amazon.com)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz (realistic fiction)

“This Printz Honor Book distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.   Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.”(Amazon.com)

Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold (science fiction)

This book is part of the Vorkosigan Saga, but can be read as a stand alone.  “This is a comedy of terrors...A rich Komarran merchant fleet has been impounded at Graf Station after a bloody incident on the station docks involving a security officer from the convoy's Barrayaran military escort. Lord Miles Vorkosigan of Barrayar and his wife, Lady Ekaterin, have other things on their minds, but when duty calls in the voice of Barrayar's Emperor, Miles has no choice but to answer. The downside of being a troubleshooter comes when trouble starts shooting back.” (Amazon.com)

Tim, Defender of the Earth, Sam Enthoven (YA science fiction and dinosaurs)

“Tim, Defender of the Earth, is a rock’em, sock‘em thriller filled with smoke, spectacle, and big-time adventure. TIM, aka Tyrannosaurus: Improved Model, is the product of a top-secret government military experiment, and he couldn’t be more loveable. Sure, he’s an enormous monster to most, but at heart he’s just a big, awkward, thirteen-yearold who realizes he could be all that stands between the earth and total destruction. Now TIM must form an unlikely alliance with fifteen-year-olds Chris and Anna in order to save humanity from the greatest threat it has ever known.” (Amazon.com)

Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose (non fiction history that reads like fiction)

“From the bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.  High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.”  (Amazon.com)

 

NEW IN THE LIBRARY *** 7 OCTOBER 2015

FICTION

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline “Willie Wonka meets The Matrix” - USA Today 

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. (Amazon.com)

Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie One of the Modern Library’s 100 best books of all time 

Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence.. .Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.  This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time. (Amazon.com)

The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie 

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written,The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times. (Amazon.com)

The Once and Future King, T.H. White 

This book was the basis for both the Broadway musical ‘Camelot’ and the Disney movie ‘The Sword in the Stone.’  T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.  (Amazon.com)

NON FICTION

The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav 

Gary Zukav’s timeless, humorous, New York Times bestselling masterpiece, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, is arguably the most widely acclaimed introduction to quantum physics ever written. Scientific American raves: “Zukav is such a skilled expositor, with such an amiable style, that it is hard to imagine a layman who would not find his book enjoyable and informative.” Accessible, edifying, and endlessly entertaining, The Dancing Wu Li Masters is back in a beautiful new edition—and the doors to the fascinating, dazzling, remarkable world of quantum physics are opened to all once again, no previous mathematical or technical expertise required. (Amazon.com)

The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman 

In this brilliant new book, the award-winning New York Timescolumnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists.

NEW IN THE LIBRARY****1 SEPTEMBER 2015

FICTION

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry:  

“A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.  Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic,Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember (Amazon.com).”

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Boasting some of Sherlock Holmes's finest adventures, this classic 1894 collection was originally written in serial form. Eleven of the most popular tales of the immortal sleuth include "Silver Blaze," concerning the "curious incident of the dog in the night-time"; "The Greek Interpreter," starring Holmes's even more formidable brother, Mycroft; and "The Final Problem," the detective's notorious confrontation with arch-criminal Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls (Amazon.com)

Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut

“Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all (Amazon.com).”

O, Pioneers!  Willa Cather

“Set on the Nebraska prairie where Willa Cather grew up, this powerful early novel tells the story of the young Alexandra Bergson, whose dying father leaves her in charge of the family and of the lands they have struggled to farm.  Evoking the harsh grandeur of the prairie, this landmark of American fiction unfurls a saga of love, greed, murder, failed dreams, and hard-won triumph. In the fateful interaction of her characters, Willa Cather compares with keen insight the experiences of Swedish, French, and Bohemian immigrants in the United States (Amazon.com).”

NON FICTION

The Demon Haunted World, Dr. Carl Sagan

“Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhood experiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories, and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudoscience. Along the way he debunks alien abduction, faith-healing, and channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues (Amazon.com).”

The Backyard Astronomer, Dr. Alan E Nourse

“The casual stargazer does not need years of training or complex instruments to learn about the fascinating world of astronomy from his own backyard. Dr. Nourse offers here a complete do-it-yourself guide to observing the heavens. Using the naked eye, sometimes a pair of binoculars,, one can learn to identify the major constellations, trace the motion of the plants, become familiar with the moon’s terrain, observe solar and lunar eclipses and share in the sense of wonder that has stirred human imagination since time immemorial (book jacket)”

NEW IN THE LIBRARY**** 24 APRIL 2015

A Game of Thrones/A Clash of Kings/A Storm of Swords/A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin

The story takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. Three main stories interweave: a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros; the rising threat of the supernatural Others beyond Westeros' northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king's exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.  The books received favorable critiques  for diverse portrayal of  women and religion and praise for favoring realism over magic. An assortment of disparate, subjective and sometimes inaccurate points of view confront the reader, and the reader may not safely presume that a favorite character will prevail, or even survive.

Perelandra, C.S. Lewis

The second novel in Lewis's science fiction trilogy tells of Dr Ransom's voyage to the planet of Perelandra (Venus). In the second novel in C.S. Lewis's classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus, which turns out to be a beautiful Eden-like world. He is horrified to find that his old enemy, Dr Weston, has also arrived and is putting him in grave peril once more. As the mad Weston's body is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom engages in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of Perelandra

NEW NON FICTION

Broca’s Brain:  Reflections on the Romance of Science, Carl Sagan.  

Carl Sagan, writer and scientist, returns from the frontier to tell us about how the world works. In his delightfully down-to-earth style, he explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots, extraterrestrial life and its consquences, and other provocative, fascinating quandries of the future that we want to see today.

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism, Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.

A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.

Savage Love:  Straight Answers from America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist,  Dan Savage

Welcome to the hot new wave of writing about sex: Savage Love. Columnist Dan Savage has hand-picked over 300 letters from six years worth of "Savage Love," a no-holds-barred syndicated sex-advice column which runs in 16 papers in the United States and Canada, including The Village Voice and the San Francisco Weekly. An original and funny thinker, thrashing around in the playground of human sexuality, Savage advises on a wide range of topics.

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Richard Feynman

This book is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman—from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science-a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the world of ideas.

Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama

Thirteen years before the presidential campaign and nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego. A searching meditation on the meaning of identity in America, Dreams from My Father might be the most revealing portrait we have of a major American leader—a man who is playing, and will play, an increasingly prominent role in healing a fractious and fragmented nation.

NEW IN THE LIBRARY             16 MARCH 2015


The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama

In the fall of 2006, this second book writted by then Senator Barack Obama became number one on both the New York Times and Amazon.com bestsellers lists. In the book, Obama expounds on many of the subjects that became part of his 2008 campaign for the presidency.

Wild, Cheryl Strayed

The novel that spawned the movie.  Echoing the ever-popular search for wilderness salvation by Chris McCandless (Back to the Wild, 2011) and every other modern-day disciple of Thoreau, Strayed tells the story of her emotional devastation after the death of her mother and the weeks she spent hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Woefully unprepared (she fails to read about the trail, buy boots that fit, or pack practically), she relies on the kindness and assistance of those she meets along the way, much as McCandless did.  --Colleen Mondor

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

 Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee. D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world," and "the greatest book of the sea ever written." Moby-Dick is considered a Great American Novel and an outstanding work of the Romantic period in America and the American Renaissance

 The Black Flower, Howard Bahr

The Black Flower is the gripping story of a young Confederate rifleman from Mississippi named Bushrod Carter, who serves in General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee during the Civil War battle that takes place in Franklin, Tennessee, in November 1864. Written with reverent attention to historical accuracy, the book vividly documents the fear, suffering, and intense friendships that are all present on the eve of the battle and during its aftermath.

 A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Norman Maclean

From its first magnificent sentence, "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing", to the last, "I am haunted by waters", A River Runs Through It is an American classic.

Based on Norman Maclean's childhood experiences, the title novella has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana's Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.

Stupid Sock Creatures:  Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-Off Socks, John Murphy

Suitable for people who are indifferent to patterns, are novice sewers*, like to improvise, like to recycle, or just like their soft toys weird. Great for experienced sewers who really don't want another bleeping monkey. There are patterns for a half-dozen or more creatures, and then the reader is encouraged to design her own, thanks to the inclusion of a nice gallery section of Mr Murphy's other creations, and suggestions for leftover parts. And there's a comic.

New in the Library 2 March 2015

Anathem, Neal Stephenson

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Anathem is perhaps the most brilliant literary invention to date from the incomparable Neal Stephenson, who rocked the world with Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and The Baroque Cycle. Now he imagines an alternate universe where scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians live in seclusion behind ancient monastery walls until they are called back into the world to deal with a crisis of astronomical proportions.

True Grit, Charles Portis

True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory. True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself. From a writer of true status, this is an American classic through and through.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his bestselling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

Pattern Recognition, William Gibson

Pattern Recognition is a masterful snapshot of modern consumer culture and hipster esoterica. Set in London, Tokyo, and Moscow, Pattern Recognition takes the reader on a tour of a global village inhabited by power-hungry marketeers, industrial saboteurs, high-end hackers, Russian mob bosses, Internet fanboys, techno archeologists, washed-out spies, cultural documentarians, and our heroine Cayce Pollard--a soothsaying "cool hunter" with an allergy to brand names

The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.

The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice

After over a half century underground, Lestat awakens in the 1980s to the cacophony of electronic sounds and images that characterizes the MTV generation. Determined both to achieve international fame and end the centuries of self-imposed vampire silence, Lestat pens his own autobiography. The remainder of the novel purports to be that autobiography: the vampire traces his mortal youth as the son of a marquis in pre-Revolutionary France, his initiation into vampirism at the hands of Magnus, and his quest for the ultimate origins of his undead species.The character of Lestat is one of Rice's most complex and popular literary alter egos, and his Faustian strivings have a mythopoeic resonance that links the novel to a grand tradition of spiritual and supernatural fiction.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire's chilling, wonderful retelling of Cinderella is a study in contrasts. Love and hate, beauty and ugliness, cruelty and charity--each idea is stripped of its ethical trappings, smashed up against its opposite number, and laid bare for our examination. But beyond these familiar elements, Maguire's second novel becomes something else altogether--a morality play, a psychological study, a feminist manifesto, or perhaps a plain explanation of what it is to be human. Villains turn out to be heroes, and heroes disappoint. The story's narrator wryly observes, "In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings. When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats.

The Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus

Critics and readers alike fell in love with the voice of ninety-nine-year-old Lucy Marsden, one of the most entertaining and loquacious heroines in American literature.  Lucy married at the turn of the last century, when she was fifteen and her husband was fifty. If Colonel William Marsden was a veteran of the "War for Southern Independence", Lucy became a "veteran of the veteran" with a unique perspective on Southern history and Southern manhood. Her story encompasses everything from the tragic death of a Confederate boy soldier to the feisty narrator's daily battles in the Home--complete with visits from a mohawk-coiffed candy-striper. The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All is proof that brilliant, emotional storytelling remains at the heart of great fiction.

The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman

Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is a masterwork of storytelling and suspense, critically acclaimed and hailed as a modern fantasy classic.

The Crystal Cave (#1) The Wicked Day (#3) and The Last Enchantment (#4), Mary Stewart

The mysterious sorcerer of Arthurian Mythology, has found new life. The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day now stand united in Book one of the Legacy series -- the finest work of Mary Stewart's distinguished career.  In all of literature there has never been a more compelling look into this mysterious figure. Merlin, is most known as the keeper of King Arthur. In this Legacy series, we discover the true history of one of the most enigmatic figures in history. We'll follow Merlin as he discovers the secrets to the mystical arts and becomes the biggest name in folklore.

 

NEW IN THE LIBRARY FEBRUARY 2015

WICKED, Gregory Maquire (1995)

This is the book that started it all! The basis for the smash hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Gregory Maguire's breathtaking New York Times bestseller Wicked views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker and greener (not rosier) lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers us a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, as Maguire tells us, wasn’t nearly as Wicked as we imagined.

ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE, Robert Pirsig (1974)

One of the most important and influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live . . . and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better. Here is the book that transformed a generation: an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest...that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions, this uniquely exhilarating modern classic is both touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence . . . and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.

THE CRYSTAL CAVE, Mary Stewart (1970)

This is the ‘original’ modern retelling of the story of Merlin, drawn directly from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and Parsifal and Camelot.  A richly imagined, poetic look at Merlin as a child and young man, before the Arthurian legends begin, this book draws heavily from myth, legend and the real history of post-Roman England.

GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Stieg Larsson (2005)

This is Stieg Larsson's #1 bestselling mystery featuring Lisbeth Salander.  The first volume in the Millennium Trilogy, and an international publishing sensation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

RINGWORLD, Larry Niven (1970)

Welcome to Ringworld, an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. The gravitational force created by a rotation on its axis of 770 miles per second means no need for a roof. Walls 1,000 miles high at each rim will let in the sun and prevent much air from escaping. Larry Niven's novel, Ringworld, is the winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmars, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

THE YEAR OF JUBILO, Howard Bahr (2000)

On a spring day in 1865 Gawain Harper trudges toward his home in Cumberland, Mississippi, where three years earlier he had boarded a train carrying the latest enlistees in the Mississippi Infantry. Unmoved by the cause that motivated so many others, he had joined up only when Morgan Rhea’s father told Gawain that he would never wed his beloved Morgan unless he did his part in the war effort. Upon his return, he discovers post-war life is far from what he expected. Morgan has indeed waited for him, but before they can marry there are scores to be settled.