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July 2014

 

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Funeral for a Dog - Thomas Pletzinger; Ross Benjamin (Translator)
Call Number: PT 2716 .L47B4713 2011
Publication Date: 2011-03-28

"When we first meet Daniel Mandelkern, an ethnologist moonlighting as a journalist for his newspaper editor wife, it's through a series of postcards that the reader will spend the rest of this vibrant, intricate novel untangling. Dispatched to profile children's book author Dirk Svensson, who reportedly lives with his three-legged dog near Milan, Mandelkern is nonplussed with his assignment but anxious to escape his wife. What unfolds, through flashbacks, Mandelkern's observations, and excerpts from Svensson's unpublished memoir, is a complex story about how people deal with love and loss-though it doesn't hurt to remember what Svensson's old friend and lover, says: "[S]stories are one third truth, one third fiction and one third the attempt to glue the other two with words." Pletzinger does an admirable job of revealing intriguing characters without being heavy-handed or coy, and the story he tells is smart and well paced, no small feat considering the large scope and the messiness of the lives chronicled. It's a smart and rewarding debut marked by accomplished writing, a slick translation, and intelligent takes on the absurdities of contemporary life." &Mdash; Publishers Weekly

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Ordinary Grace - William Kent Krueger
Call Number: PS 3561 .R766O73 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-04

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

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The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets - Heidi Hermanson (Editor); Sarah Mason (Editor); Liz Kay (Editor); Jennifer Lambert (Editor)
Call Number: PS 589 .U58 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-01

The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets takes its readers through the lush alphabet of Nebraska poetry—from Adkins to Zumpfe—with selections of poetry by nearly 90 native-born or transplanted Nebraska writers who write and live fearlessly and with great skill. Their topics range from the beginnings of life to the end-family relationships, loss, misunderstandings, work, trust, betrayal, love and hate, bereavement. Through those lives—because of them—these poems emerged, an indelible record of the triumph of the human spirit.

The four editors of The Untidy Season, each an accomplished poet in her own right, searched for poems of clarity, honesty, passion, and brilliance. One of the editors wrote: 'We were drawn to work that both celebrated and subverted the 'typical' Nebraska experience, the 'typical' experience of motherhood, the 'typical' experience of womanhood. I suppose my own aesthetic leads me to be drawn to work that challenges 'typical,' but much of the work we experienced over that year of reading submissions forced me to engage with my own stereotypes and see inside them."

You will agree they found what they looked for when you read these marvelously bracing, gritty, and wise poems.

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The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon
Call Number: PR 6119 .H365B66 2013
Publication Date: 2013-08-20

"Shannon offers up a richly imagined debut, opening a projected seven-book series about clairvoyants used as catspaws in the year 2059, two centuries after mysterious events changed the world. Paige Mahoney possesses the illegal and extremely rare power of dreamwalking, using it to serve a criminal syndicate in a London controlled by the organization known as Scion. She's captured and sent to Sheol I, a hidden penal colony established in Oxford and maintained by the extradimensional Rephaim. Claimed by the enigmatic Warden Arcturus, she's trained to be a weapon, all the while dreaming of rebellion and escape. When Paige is drawn into schemes both political and far-reaching, she must fight for her life. The internal mythology is complex and intriguing, the emotional struggle is captivating, and the pace rarely falters as Paige unravels the mysteries and dangers of her new home. This extremely strong beginning will have readers eager to see whether Shannon can maintain her stride for a lengthy series." — Publishers Weekly

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Doctor Sleep - Stephen King
Call Number: PS 3561 .I483D63 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-17

"Since The Shining was published in 1977, it has become an American classic, thanks not only to the book itself but also to the Stanley Kubrick film that it spawned, and King has become one of the most successful horror writers of all time. His latest novel, a highly anticipated sequel to The Shining, marks a return to form for the old master, who reunites loyal readers with Danny (now Dan) Torrance. Decades after the events at the Overlook Hotel, Dan is wrestling with his own demons and putting his psychic abilities to work at a series of nursing homes where he provides comfort to dying patients. When he finally finds a home-and sobriety-in a cozy New Hampshire town, Dan meets a young girl with a shining even stronger than his own. Together, he and young Abra Stone must take on a tribe of people called the True Knot, whose innocent, RV-driving appearance belies their true nature. This is vintage King, a classic good-vs.-evil tale that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. His many fans won't be disappointed." — Library Journal

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The First of July - Elizabeth Speller
Call Number: PR 6119 .P39F57 2013
Publication Date: 2013-11-14

"Utterly gripping and completely immersing, Speller's historical novel of WWI captures the experience of four very different young men during the war's early years, leading up to one of the grimmest campaigns, the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916. Elegant writing steeped in atmospheric realism describes a journey undertaken by men with a mistrustful reluctance. The moody, melancholy tone of the novel is signature for Speller. Here we go to war with Jean-Baptiste, a working-class French country boy with a penchant for fishing and a mother unlucky in love; Frank, a working-class Londoner and wartime bicycle messenger; Benedict, whose love of Theo drives his selfless heroism; and Harry, a successful New York businessman with a hidden pedigree. As the war progresses, their stories converge in a pointillist portrait of the trench-riddled landscape and those upon whose frail shoulders the battle depends. Gritty, disturbing, moody, and intensely real, the novel asks readers to consider war's high costs." — Booklist

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The Hour of Peril - Daniel Stashower
Call Number: E 457.4 .S85 2013
Publication Date: 2013-01-29

"The first known attempt to murder Abraham Lincoln occurred in February 1861 during his railway journey from Springfield, IL, to Washington, DC, for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) details how Allan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, managed to stop a band of rebels bent on killing the president-elect in Baltimore. Stashower describes a campaign-weary, nonchalant, and somewhat incautious Abraham Lincoln, traveling east toward the presidency. The author records him arriving safely in DC after stealing through Maryland's darkened countryside and Baltimore's precincts as 'a thief in the night'—at Pinkerton's behest, but in the process forfeiting a measure of political stature to his detractors, who questioned his courage and fitness for office. The tale builds methodically before shifting into dramatic mode as Pinkerton, in fewer than two weeks, uncovers and quashes the would-be assassins' designs, assisted by agent Kate Warne, the leader of Pinkerton's female undercover unit. Stashower's character-driven narrative and lively writing style reveal the finely honed skills of an accomplished mystery writer." — Library Journal

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Brown Dog: Novellas - Jim Harrison
Call Number: PS 3558 .A67B76 2013
Publication Date: 2013-12-03

New York Times best-selling author Jim Harrison is one of America’s most beloved writers, and of all his creations, Brown Dog, a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian, has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance. For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never-published one, into one volume—the ideal introduction (or reintroduction) to Harrison’s irresistible Everyman.

In these novellas, BD rescues the preserved body of an Indian from Lake Superior’s cold waters; overindulges in food, drink, and women while just scraping by in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; wanders Los Angeles in search of an ersatz Native activist who stole his bearskin; adopts two Native children; and flees the authorities, then returns across the Canadian border aboard an Indian rock band’s tour bus. The collection culminates with "He Dog," never before published, which finds BD marginally employed and still looking for love (or sometimes just a few beers and a roll in the hay), as he goes on a road trip from Michigan to Montana and back, arriving home to the prospect of family stability and, perhaps, a chance at redemption.

Brown Dog underscores Harrison’s place as one of America’s most irrepressible writers, and one of the finest practitioners of the novella form.

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The Headmaster's Wife - Thomas Christopher Greene
Call Number: PS 3607 .R453H43 2014
Publication Date: 2014-02-25

"A man found running naked in Central Park is unusual, even by jaded New York City standards. But when that man turns out to be Arthur Winthrop, respected headmaster of Vermont's venerable Lancaster private boarding school, the event becomes noteworthy. It morphs into the surreal when Arthur eagerly confesses to police interrogators that he has just murdered one of his students, Betsy Pappas, with whom he had been conducting a torrid, if unrequited, affair. The problem with Arthur's story, however, is that his victim is very much alive. She no longer goes by the name Betsy Pappas, having relinquished it when she married Arthur soon after their college graduation. Arthur's unreliable memories of their life together fuel the sordid tale he unveils, though Elizabeth's recollection of their doomed marriage sheds an equally unflattering light on a relationship defined by jealousy, deception, and regret. Greene's genre-bending novel of madness and despair evokes both the predatory lasciviousness of Nabokov's classic, Lolita, and the anxious ambiguity of Gillian Flynn's contemporary thriller, Gone Girl." — Booklist

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Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor
Call Number: Juv PZ 7 .T214826Dr 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-08

"In Taylor's third and final installment in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, Karou and Akiva's dream of peace and a life together comes tantalizingly close, only to be repeatedly thwarted by their peoples' separate and conflicting histories, both mystical and real. Joined by angels and chimaera, Karou and Akiva lead their armies and fight side by side to prevent the apocalypse by banishing Jael, captain of the Dominion of Seraphim, from the earth he is determined to destroy. New revelations, characters, multiple love stories, and constant plot twists and suspense will not disappoint Taylor's many fans, who will also appreciate the novel's subtle philosophical undercurrents about racial harmony and the profound difficulty of making choices that reconcile duty, the greater good, and personal happiness." — Booklist

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The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book - Peter Finn; Petra Couvée
Call Number: PG 3476 .P27D6837 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-17

"In brisk and thrilling fashion, Washington Post national security editor Finn and Saint Petersburg State University instructor Couvee take readers into the world of Soviet intelligentsia and shadowy Cold War politics to study how Boris Pasternak came to write and publish Doctor Zhivago (which first appeared in Italy in 1957). The authors use rich archival research, including previously classified CIA files, to depict the oppressive political conditions that gave rise to Pasternak's masterpiece, and the international firestorm that occurred when the novel was banned in the Soviet Union. The book offers nuanced depictions of the people in Pasternak's life, including his lover, Olga Ivinskaya, who championed his work and shared his torment at the hands of the KGB. The torturous ideological policing by the Soviets is discussed to great effect; for indeed, the tale of Doctor Zhivago itself is very much about the long psychic scar left by Russian Revolution. It's a story expertly told by Finn and Couvee, who unsparingly present the role played by the Kremlin in persecuting Pasternak and his loved ones, as well as the role of the CIA in using his masterpiece in a game of ideological warfare—overall, a triumphant reminder that truth is sometimes gloriously stranger than fiction." — Publishers Weekly

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What Ends - Andrew Ladd
Call Number: PR 6112 .A34W53 2014
Publication Date: 2014-01-20

In 1980 the McCloud family welcomes Trevor, their third child and the last to be born on Eilean Fìor, a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Life there, on the eve of Trevor's birth, is grim: the population, once in the hundreds, now hovers around thirty; his parents stubbornly maintain the family business, a guesthouse, despite their increasing trouble turning a profit; and a plague of rats threatens to wipe out the island's last remaining hopes. Against this backdrop, and through a series of interlocking narratives spanning from Trevor's birth to the present day, What Ends follows each of the McClouds as they navigate their ever-more fragile lives.

Andrew Ladd's masterful novel begins with the birth of Trevor McCloud—the last child to be born on the Scottish island of Eilean For—and ends over twenty years later when, as the island's last inhabitant, Trevor collects the dying culture and a diminished family. Through his collection he attempts to piece together the island's past and the story of his own declining family, to community, and to the land itself. This is the rare debut by a writer whose work you know and you'll be reading for many years.

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Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
Call Number: PS 3612 .E3353A83 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-01

"An ill-fated encounter has forced Breq, the artificial intelligence commanding the Radchaai troop carrier Justice of Toren, to take up residence in a single commandeered human body, impressive but mortal and no more powerful than any other person. Now this sorry wanderer searches the galaxy for a legendary weapon that may be able to do the impossible: grant Breq revenge on Anaander Mianaai, the many-bodied, immortal ruler of the brutal Radch. A double-threaded narrative proves seductive, drawing the reader into the naive but determined protagonist's efforts to transform an unjust universe. Leckie uses familiar set pieces-an expansionist galaxy-spanning empire, a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice-to transcend space-opera conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Breq a protagonist readers will invest in, and establishes Leckie as a talent to watch closely." — Publishers Weekly

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Fly Away - Kristin Hannah
Call Number: PS 3558 .A4763F59 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-25

As teenagers in the seventies, Tully Hart and Kate Mularky were inseparable. Tully, with her make-up and her halter tops, was the coolest girl in school. Kate, with her glasses and her high water jeans, was the geeky outsider. But chance and circumstance brought them together and through the decades they were devoted to each other. This was the story of Tully and Kate which began on a quiet street called Firefly Lane. Best friends forever.

But sometimes stories end, and we have to find a way to begin again.

Now, years later, Tully is a woman trying to deal with the loss of her best friend. She wants to fulfill her promise to Kate—to be there for Kate's children—but it's a promise she has no idea how to carry out. What does brash, lonely, ambitious Tully know about being part of a family?

Kate's daughter, sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan, is as lost in her grief as Tully is...until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.

Tully's mother, Dorothy Hart, is an unstable woman who abandoned her child too many times in the past and ultimately broke her heart. Now, when Tully is in danger of losing everything and is more vulnerable and alone than she's been since she put those rough childhood years behind her, Dorothy returns once more, desperate for another chance to be a good mother. But can she be trusted this time? To help her daughter, Dorothy must face her darkest fears and reveal the terrible secret in her past—only then can she become the mother her wounded daughter needs.

Tragedy will bring these three women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way and they will need each other—and maybe a miracle—to transform their lives.

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The Blood of Heaven - Kent Wascom
Call Number: PS 3623 .A86685B56 2013
Publication Date: 2014-06-10

"Fueled by whiskey, vengeance, warped religiosity, and wild revolutionary zeal, a golden-haired ruffian and his two adopted brothers aim to fight their way to nation-building glory. Wascom's language, gorgeous, expressive, and raw, flawlessly matches his vision of the unruly southern frontier before it latched onto the U.S. The son of a Baptist preacher from Upper Louisiana, Angel Woolsack inherits his father's biblical eloquence and violent tendencies and not only wields them with equal dexterity but liberally intertwines them. From Mississippi River flatboats to a Natchez whorehouse, his picaresque travels shape his mind-set and introduce him to Samuel and Reuben Kemper, his partners in crime. His wife, Red Kate, a young woman carved from the same mold, is a similarly powerful presence. For Angel, the West Florida territory, nominally ruled by the Spanish, is an opportunity to be grabbed, as are Aaron Burr's dreams of forming an independent country. Seeing early nineteenth-century America through the eyes of an ambitious, trigger-happy renegade makes for an exhilarating yet brutal ride. Wascom imbues this underexplored era with visceral authenticity." — Booklist

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Whistling Past the Graveyard - Susan Crandall
Call Number: PS 3603 .R375W48 2014
Publication Date: 2014-02-04

"Crandall's latest novel features the tender tale of a plucky nine-year-old narrator in 1963 Mississippi. While Starla Claudelle's teenage mother is pursuing the ghosts of fame and fortune in Nashville with her boyfriend of the week, Starla's father keeps in touch through a monthly check and occasional visits. Every time she misbehaves, her caretaker grandmother warns Starla that she will become like her 'no account' mother. Fearing that her grandmother will make good on her threats of reform school, Starla heads for Nashville to bring her family back together. Along the way, she meets Eula, an African American woman who suffers many heartaches at the hands of her abusive husband. On the journey to Nashville, Eula and Starla realize the true meaning of family, the strength we carry within ourselves, and the power of love to transform a life." — Library Journal

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Woke up Lonely - Fiona Maazel
Call Number: PS 3613 .A18W65 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01

"Set in the grim near future, this dystopian novel from the author of Last Last Chance features Thurlow Dan, who is the founder and leader of the Helix, an international Scientology-like cult with headquarters in an underground city beneath Cincinnati. His ex-wife, Esme, is a covert spy with a penchant for disguises. The intricate plot culminates in a botched kidnapping and a siege of Helix House. North Korea figures prominently, too. But at the heart of the story is something more simple: Thurlow's loneliness and longing for Esme and their young daughter, Ida. This ambitious, wide-ranging novel should appeal to those who enjoy complex, edgy, and ironic literary fiction." — Library Journal

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
Call Number: PS 3619 .L6278M77 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-24

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.

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Boxers - Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien
Call Number: PN 6727 .Y36B68 2013
ISBN: 9781596433595
Publication Date: 2013-09-10

China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of "secondary devils"—Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.

Boxers & Saints is an innovative new graphic novel in two volumes—the parallel stories of two young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his clear-eyed storytelling and trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion and lays bare the foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.

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Saints - Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien
Call Number: PN 6727 .Y36S25 2013
ISBN: 9781596436893
Publication Date: 2013-09-10

China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity.

But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie . . . and whether she is willing to die for her faith.

Boxers & Saints is a groundbreaking graphic novel in two volumes. This innovative format presents two parallel tales about young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion, and lays bare the universal foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.

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Child of Vengeance - David Kirk
Call Number: PR 6111 .I74C48 2013
Publication Date: 2013-12-03

"Kirk proves himself a worthy samurai novelist with this brutal account of real-life 17th-century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto, who grew from a pockmarked village outcast to Japan's best warrior, due to his legendary samurai treatise, The Book of the Five Rings. The novel opens as lonely 13-year-old Bennosuke polishes the armor of his revered father, the samurai Munisai, who has spent the previous eight years in exile following the death of Bennosuke's mother. Bennosuke's uncle, the monk Dorinbo, has been raising the boy, encouraging him to seek a quiet life in the temple, while Bennosuke wants nothing more than to start samurai training. Munisai finally returns home, wounded and discouraged, but willing to share his mastery of the warrior's way with Bennosuke, leading to the revelation of the family's darkest secret. After learning all he can from Munisai, Bennosuke sets out on his own, ending up at the Battle of Sekigahara, where, still a teenager, he escapes from the defeated army well versed in bloodshed, treachery, and chaos, having taken the name he will soon make famous. Kirk, who lives in Japan, positively seethes with energy when depicting bloody violence-from great battlefields to intimate ritual suicide—showing feudal Japan as a complex culture in which cunning and poetry are indispensable, and death and vengeance unavoidable." — Publishers Weekly

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Instructions for a Heatwave - Maggie O'Farrell
Call Number: PR 6065 .F36I57 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-06

"It is July 1976, and London is in the grip of an intense heatwave. All over the city, people are coming unhinged, and the Riordans are no exception. Retired banker Robert has left to buy a newspaper and never returns. His wife, Gretta, calls their three children, who converge on the family homestead for the first time in years. Michael Francis, full of regrets for the decisions he has made, is worried sick that his marriage is over; uptight Monica, trapped in a second marriage with two stepchildren who hate her, is not speaking to the younger sister she practically raised; and Aoife, who has taken herself off to Manhattan but cannot outrun the dyslexia that has made her working life a virtual hell. As the siblings seek out clues to the whereabouts of their father, O'Farrell, in her sixth novel, draws a beautiful portrait of family life." — Booklist

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A Deniable Death - Gerald Seymour
Call Number: PR 6069 .E734D46 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01

"Veteran thriller writer Seymour's outstanding 26th novel chronicles a British 'interdiction' mission in contemporary Iraq and Iran. MI6 agent Len Gibbons assembles a team charged with the 'deniable' assassination of 'the Engineer,' an Iranian bomb maker whose handiwork ('improvised explosive devices' and 'explosive force devices') is killing U.S. and British soldiers on the Iraqi border. That team includes covert operatives Joe 'Foxy' Foulkes and Danny 'Badger' Baxter, who undergo an excruciating ordeal in a covert hideout near the Engineer's home. Seymour (Harry's Game) is strong on the details of surveillance and spycraft, but on even surer ground with his characters as he focuses on Gibbons's stoic dedication, Badger's ruthless single-mindedness, and Foxy's prideful professionalism. Even the Engineer comes across as a human being, thanks to a complex subplot about getting his wife to the West for cancer treatment. Once the narrative gains momentum, it's hard to put this one down." — Publishers Weekly

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East of Denver - Gregory Hill
Call Number: PS 3068 .I4293E27 2013
Publication Date: 2013-06-25

Winner of the 2013 Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction—a poignant, darkly comic debut novel about a father and son finding their way together as their livelihood inexorably disappears.

When Stacey "Shakespeare" Williams returns to the family farm in eastern Colorado to bury his dead cat, he finds his widowed father, Emmett, living in squalor. There's no money, the land is fallow, and a local banker has cheated the senile Emmett out of the majority of the farm equipment and his beloved Cessna.

Unemployed and without prospects, Shakespeare settles in as caretaker to both his dad and the farm while simultaneously getting drawn into an unlikely clique of former classmates. Threatened with the farm's foreclosure, Shakespeare, Emmett, and his misfit friends hatch a half-serious plot to rob the very bank that stole their future.

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Songs of Willow Frost - Jamie Ford
Call Number: PS 3606 .O737S66 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-11

"Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) tells another dual-thread story in his second novel. William Eng, a 12-year-old resident of the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Depression-era Seattle, has vivid memories of his ah-ma, whom he hasn't seen since he was placed in the sisters' care five years ago. On a rare school trip, William is sure he recognizes his mother in a film advertisement as the ingenue Willow Frost, and he vows to find her to make sense of his abandonment. Willow's backstory then unfolds in dated chapters before William's birth. The newly orphaned, American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants learns quickly that her family's tradition is tragic, both as performers on the stage and as second-class citizens at sea between the culture they've defied by leaving and the one in which they live, rapidly changing yet not fully accepting. As characters, Willow and William are amalgamations who allow for deep discussions of forgotten taboos, and Ford's research, sparing no despairing detail, lends a vivid sense of time and place." — Booklist

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The Quick - Lauren Owen
Call Number: PR 6115 .W463Q85 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-17

"Charlotte and James Norbury, abandoned to the servants' care by their father after their mother's death, grow up relying on each other on the decaying estate of Aiskew in Yorkshire. James, an aspiring poet, moves to London in 1892 and finds his only real friend in young aristocrat Christopher Paige. But then James vanishes suddenly, compelling Charlotte to search for her brother in an unfamiliar city. She soon uncovers a frightening connection between her brother's disappearance and the Aegolius Club, a mysterious, exclusive society whose members are not only elite and powerful but also extremely dangerous. Owen's debut is an intriguing blend of historical, gothic, and supernatural fiction. Readers will be especially engaged by the author's memorable characters, particularly Adeline, a tightrope walker-turned-avenger, and her partner Shadwell. Owen's wonderful atmospheric writing is evocative of Victorian London." — Library Journal

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Carthage - Joyce Carol Oates
Call Number: PS 3565 .A8C37 2014
Publication Date: 2014-01-21

Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover the unlikeliest of suspects—a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever.

Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young corporal haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.

Dark and riveting, Carthage is a powerful addition to the Joyce Carol Oates canon, one that explores the human capacity for violence, love, and forgiveness, and asks if it's ever truly possible to come home again.

 

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