October 7, 2014
WAR OF THE ROSES: STORMBIRD by Conn Iggulden. The great Lion of England, King Henry V is long dead, and in 1437, after years of regency, his son, The Lancaster king Henry VI, ascends the throne. Henry’s poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king, and he depends on his closest men to run his kingdom. Yet there are those who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive—and who will do anything to ensure that. With England’s territories in France under threat, fears grow that Henry and his advisors will see the country slide into ruin. And when he strikes a secret deal to marry a young French noblewoman, those fears become all too real. As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what, can save the kingdom before it is too late?
DESERVES TO DIE by Lisa Jackson. In Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are struggling with a new commander and a department in the midst of upheaval. It’s the worst possible time for a homicide. A body has been found, missing a finger. Alvarez believes the disfigurement means a murderer with a personal grudge, not a deranged madman with a brutal fetish. Pescoli can only hope she’s right. But then a second body turns up, bearing the same mark. As the clues begin pointing toward a suspect, Pescoli’s unease grows as she senses there’s more to this case than others believe. A killer has made his way to Grizzly Falls, ready to fulfill a vengeance years in the making. And Pescoli must find the target of his wrath—or die trying.
THE PUN ALSO RISES by John Pollack. Some people may dismiss puns as the lowest form of humor. But this attitude is a relatively recent development in the sweep of history. Pollack—a former presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton, and winner of the World Pun Championship—explains how punning revolutionized language and made possible the rise of modern civilization. He weaves a playful yet authoritative narrative, exploring how the brain processes humorous wordplay and suggests why—in evolutionary terms—punsters just might end up having the last laugh.
SMALLER FASTER LIGHTER DENSER CHEAPER by Robert Bryce. In the face of today’s environmental and economic challenges, doomsayers preach that the only way to stave off disaster is for humans to reverse course: to de-industrialize, re-localize and ban the use of modern energy sources. But in this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make things smaller, faster, lighter, denser and cheaper is providing consumers with Cheaper and more abundant energy, Faster computing, Lighter vehicles, and myriad other goods. That same desire is fostering unprecedented prosperity, greater liberty, and yes, better environmental protection. The tools we need to save the planet aren’t to be found in the technologies or lifestyles of the past. The catastrophists have been wrong since day one. This is the time to embrace the innovators and businesses all over the world who are making things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper.
September 22, 2014
THE RIVER by Beverly Lewis. Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau. Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?
THE KING’S CURSE by Phillipa Gregory. As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the king’s mother, the Red Queen, as a rival to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter—Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales—and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. But Margaret’s destiny, as cousin to the White Princess, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty, yet a royal death restores her to a place at young Henry VIII’s court, where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband, and her tragic decline.
THE FAMILY OF JESUS by Karen Kingsbury. These are the stories that changed history. The first in a four-book series, this volume will transport you back to the time of early Jerusalem. A time when all of Israel was waiting for a remarkable change…the promised Messiah. Get to know the family closest to Jesus and the role they played in shaping history. Read how each character is part of God’s greatest gift to mankind: Jesus. Told in vivid and dramatic life-changing detail, these stories will draw you closer to Jesus and make you love the Bible like never before. Includes daily application questions, group discussion guides, and homework questions to help facilitate small group study.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN by Dave Berg. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno comes alive in this book by insider Berg, who spent eighteen years as Leno’s co-producer. Through a revealing personal narrative full of never-before-told anecdotes about Leno and his guests, Berg divulges intimate information about himself and Leno along with the trade secrets that led to Leno’s phenomenal two-decade reign in the ratings. Weaving what happened on the stage with what happened behind the scenes, Berg shares the show’s most legendary moments with us. A highly entertaining and revealing look at an iconic show and the man who contributed to its legacy, this book invites you to take the ultimate VIP backstage tour.
September 15, 2014
PRIVATE DOWN UNDER by James Patterson and Michael White. With the best detectives in the business, cutting-edge technology, and offices around the world, there is no investigation company like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party, Private Sydney throws open its doors. Craig Gisto and his newly formed team have barely raised their glasses when a young Asian man, blood-soaked, stabbed, and bullet-ridden, staggers into the party. But what looks like a botched kidnapping soon turns into something much deadlier. Yet it is a horrific murder in the wealthy eastern suburbs that stretches the team as they desperately search for a motive. As more mutilated bodies suggest the work of a ruthless serial killer, panic grips the city and threatens to destroy the firm’s reputation. One of Private Sydney’s inaugural cases may also be its last.
EYES ONLY by Fern Michaels. The Sisterhood is off to a tropical paradise, where they will confront an adversary more ruthless and devious than any they’ve yet faced. Lush, exclusive Spyder Island is home to many of the world’s billionaires. Though the inhabitants guard their privacy jealously, resident Gretchen Spyder, daughter of the island’s namesake, is making headlines. Years ago, Gretchen gave her twin babies up for legal adoption. Now Gretchen and her father are trying to get them back. The twins’ adoptive parents are a loving but poor couple, completely outgunned by the Spyders’ wealth. Myra Rutledge, with the full force of the Sisterhood behind her, intends to give them a fighting chance at keeping the family together. But nestled among the lavish mansions and immaculate landscaping of Spyder Island is a sinister enemy. And in a case that’s far more twisted than it first appeared, the ingenuity, courage, and friendship of the Sisterhood will be tested as never before.
ONE KICK by Chelsea Cain. Everyone thought Kick Lannigan was dead. Kidnapped by strangers at age six, her rescue five years later shocked the world. Now twenty-one, she has trained herself to be safe, though she really isn’t a “people person.” But when a former weapons dealer named Bishop approaches her with a proposition, Kick agrees to help him investigate two recent child abductions. Bishop has law enforcement contacts, a seemingly limitless fortune, and more secrets than Kick does. Armed with a Glock 37, half a lifetime of therapy, and an impressive array of criminal skills, Kick will do whatever it takes to rescue the missing children in time. Little does she know that the answers she and Bishop seek may be hidden in the dark corners of her own mind.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT DOWNTON ABBEY by Emma Rowley. This is the official backstage pass to the set, the actors, and the drama; where it all happens—from the acting and directing to the costumes and props—find out how the drama is created from the celebrated cast and crew. Step inside the hair and make-up truck, enjoy a rare glimpse into filming at Highclere Castle, share the perspective from the director’s chair, delve into the wardrobe, discover the music and meet the people. This is a unique insight into a secret world with never-before-seen photos and exclusive information from all four seasons. With in-depth interviews and incredible images, get the inside track on the making of Downton Abbey.
September 8, 2014
CASEBOOK by Mona Simpson. Young Miles Adler-Hart starts eavesdropping to find out what his mother has planned for his life. When he learns instead that his parents are separating, his investigation deepens, and he enlists his best friend, Hector, to help. While his mother, Irene, never suspects, they begin to rifle through her dresser drawers, bug her telephone lines, and strip-mine her computer, only to find that all clues lead them to her bedroom, and put them on the trail of a mysterious stranger from Washington, D.C. Their amateur detective work starts innocently but quickly takes them to the far reaches of adult privacy as they acquire knowledge that will affect the family’s well-being. Burdened with this powerful information, the boys struggle to deal with the existence of evil and concoct modes of revenge on their villains that are both hilarious and naïve. Eventually, haltingly, they learn to offer animal comfort to those harmed and to create an imaginative path to their own salvation.
THE HEIST by Daniel Silva. Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is in Venice repairing an altarpiece by Veronese when he receives an urgent summons from the Italian police. The eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood has stumbled upon a chilling murder scene in Lake Como, and is being held as a suspect. To save his friend, Gabriel must track down the real killers and then perform one simple task: find the most famous missing painting in the world, Caravaggio’s glorious Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. Gabriel embarks on a daring search to recover the Caravaggio and learn the identity of the collector who bought the stolen artwork. His search will take him on a worldwide hunt which will end at a small private bank in Austria where a dangerous man stands guard over the ill-gotten wealth of a brutal dictator. At his side is a brave young woman who survived one of the worst massacres of the twentieth century. Now, with Gabriel’s help, she will be given a chance to strike a blow against a dynasty that destroyed her family.
SOLDIER GIRLS by Helen Thorpe. More women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan than in any other conflict in our nation’s history, and today they compose about 15 percent of the armed services. Thorpe follows the experiences of three women in the Indiana National Guard—one a young college student, one a single mother, and one a grandmother—who chose to enlist for different reasons, never expecting they would go to war. Though quite far apart in age and in their political views, the three women become close friends, and through their daily interaction we see how military service changes their relationships with their families, their lovers, and their children.
STRINGER by Anjan Sundaram. In August 2005, Sundaram abandoned his path to a Yale Ph.D. in mathematics to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and refashion himself as a journalist. He describes the grueling reality of daily existence in the Congo, intimately chronicling his own struggle to make sense of life in a forbidding world. He puts his life in danger to interview a warlord whose militia is battling for control of valuable territory. As the city of Kinshasha descends into anarchy after a contested election, Sundaram takes shelter in a factory to file report after report even as other journalists flee. Oscillating between anger and loneliness and between melancholy and exhilaration, Stringer completely transports us not only to the Congo—but to the limits of sanity, reason, and experience.
September 2, 2014
BORN OF FURY by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Counted among the fiercest Andarion warriors ever born, Hauk is one of the five founding members of the Sentella, an organization that has declared war on the League. They rule the Ichidian universe with an iron fist and terrify it with an army of well-trained assassins. Hauk’s enemies are legion, but he fears nothing and no one. He will do whatever it takes to survive and protect his Sentella brethren. Sumi Antaxas is one of the best assassins the League has ever trained. In her world, failure is not an option and she has never met a target she couldn’t execute. So when she’s assigned Hauk, she believes it will be a quick and easy mission. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and Hauk is far better skilled than any she’s faced before.
REMAINS OF INNOCENCE by J.A. Jance. An old woman, both a hermit and a hoarder, is dying in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While cleaning out her dilapidated house, her estranged daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner. After her father ran off with another woman, Liza was raised in this house, surviving poverty, squalor, and a mentally unstable mother. Now a waitress at a small local diner, this money seems like a blessing to Liza—until an elderly man she’s never met appears at her mother’s funeral, warning that she’s in danger. Suddenly, Liza’s quiet life is turned upside down. The house is torched, her apartment is broken into, and her elderly landlady is murdered. Someone very dangerous is looking for her and won’t stop until she’s found. Terrified, Liza sets off on a perilous cross-country journey that will lead her to Cochise County, Arizona, and Sheriff Joanna Brady. But when a shocking murder involving Liza and the money rocks the Arizona Sheriff’s department, Sheriff Brady must solve both of these disturbing cases fast, before more innocent blood can be shed.
THE QUICK by Lauren Owen. 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. Within the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.
THE ZHIVAGO AFFAIR by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee. In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to a village just outside Moscow to visit Russia’s greatest living poet, Boris Pasternak. He left carrying the original manuscript of Pasternak’s first and only novel, entrusted to him with these words: “This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world.” Pasternak believed his novel would never be published in the Soviet Union. But it was, and from there the life of this extraordinary book entered the realm of the spy novel—being widely published in translation throughout the world. Finn and Couvee bring us intimately close to this charming, passionate, and complex artist, as they give us a literary thriller that takes us back to a fascinating period of the Cold War—to a time when literature had the power to stir the world.
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