January 20, 2015

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ADULT FICTION

SKINK – NO SURRENDER by Carl Hiaasen (Young Adult). A missing girl, a hungry gator, and only one way out. Meet Classic Malley. Her parents are about to ship her off to boarding school, so she takes off with some guy she met online. Meet Poor Richard. He’s less of a rebel than Malley, and a lot less trusting. He knows his cousin is in trouble before she does. Meet Wild Skink. He’s a ragged, one-eyed, wandering vigilante, with perfect teeth. Also, a former governor of Florida. Also, supposedly dead. But he’s a man who relishes a lost cause, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to find Malley. With Richard riding shotgun, this unlikely pair sets off on a breakneck chase, undaunted by blinding storms, poisonous snakes, crazed pigs, river rats, giant gators, flying bullets, and lightning strikes. In the state of Florida, there are a million places an outlaw might stash a teenage girl. A million unpleasant ways to die. And two who will risk everything to rescue a friend…and to, hopefully, exact a bit of swamp justice.

ADULT NON-FICTION

ROSE’S HEAVENLY CAKES by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This extraordinary collection of cake recipes is an essential kitchen companion for anyone who loves to bake. Illustrated throughout with stunning full-color photography, the book’s meticulously tested, easy-to-follow recipes are all you need to create spectacularly beautiful cakes in your home kitchen. In her signature crystal-clear style, Rose takes you step-by-step through the instructions for making every type of cake imaginable—more than 100 recipes in all. With each and every step thoroughly explained in Rose’s usual approachable baking style, baking with Rose’s Heavenly Cakes is like having a master baker right along-side you in the kitchen. The baking tips and trade secrets that she shares throughout the book will show you how to transform a simple cake batter into delicious art, with perfect results every time. This is the cookbook that translates the chemistry of baking into the incredible, extraordinary, and unequaled joy of cake baking.

FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. A celebration of the extraordinary courage, dedication, and sacrifice of this generation of American veterans on the battlefield and their equally valuable contributions on the home front. We stand up at athletic events to honor them, but we hardly know their true measure. Here, Starbucks CEO and longtime veterans’ advocate Schultz and National Book Award finalist Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post offer an enlightening, inspiring corrective. The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb and protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms,and a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor is fallen son. We also see how veterans make vital contributions once they return home, drawing on their leadership skills and commitment to service. These powerful, unforgettable stories demonstrate just how indebted we are to those who protect us and what they have to offer our nation when their military service is done.

YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS UP by Al Michaels. No sportscaster has covered more major sporting events than Al Michaels. During the course of his forty-plus-year career, he has logged more hours on live primetime network television than anyone in history, having covered all major sports championships—the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA finals, and the Stanley Cup final—as well as the Olympic Games, the Triple Crown, and many more. He has witnessed firsthand some of the most memorable events in sports, and in this highly personal and entertaining account, he brings them all vividly to life. Michaels’s stories cover unforgettable chapters over the past half century, with some of the biggest personalities on and off the field. From start to finish, Al Michaels gives us an up-close portrait of an industry that is—today more than ever—a vital part of our national culture.

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January 12, 2015

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ADULT FICTION

RAIN ON THE DEAD by Jack Higgins. In the past few years, the killing and capture of many al-Qaeda leaders has left the terrorist organization wounded—but by no means dead. And they intend to prove it. On a dark summer night, two Chechen mercenaries emerge from the waters off Nantucket to kill a high-value target, the former President of the United States, Jake Cazalet. Unfortunately for them, Cazalet has guests that night, including black ops specialist Sean Dillon and his colleague, Afghan war hero Captain Sara Gideon. The Chechens do not survive the night, but Dillon is curious about how they even got on the island. What he discovers sends a chill through his bones—a name from very far back in Dillon’s past. If this man is working with the terrorists now, the assassination attempt is only the beginning—and the next time, the results may be much, much different.

BLUE LABYRINTH by Preston & Child.  A long-buried secret has come back to haunt Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. It begins with murder. One of Pendergast’s most implacable, most feared enemies is found on his doorstep, dead. Pendergast has no idea who is responsible for the killing, or why the body was brought to his home. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect crime, except for one clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine in California, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his own family’s sinister past. But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history: he is being stalked by a subtle killer bent on revenge over an ancient transgression. And he soon becomes caught in a wickedly clever plot, which leaves him stricken in mind and body, and leads him toward a reckoning beyond anything he could ever have imagined.

ADULT NON-FICTION

TRUE LOVE by Jennifer Lopez. So many times Lopez wanted to abandon writing this book because she knew it would be a difficult process, delving into the past and reliving some of her darkest moments. She also didn’t want to be misread. Lopez doesn’t want anything to overshadow the magnificence of her great journey. This book is not a detailed account of any of her relationships, famous or not. It’s not a “tell-all,” if that’s what you’re looking for. But she hopes by the end you’ll agree you’ve gotten so much more from her story. This book is about a series of patterns that go back as early as her childhood. It’s about her path and what she’s learned. It’s the story of a transformative journey where she faced some of her greatest challenges, overcame some of her biggest fears, and emerged a stronger person than she’s ever been. This is the story of how she discovered…the truest love of all.

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January 5, 2015

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ADULT FICTION

DESERT GOLD by Wilbur Smith. On the gleaming banks of the Nile, the brilliant Taita—a freed slave and advisor to the Pharaoh—devises a plan to destroy Egypt’s most feared enemy, the mighty Hyksos. His quest will take him on an epic journey up the ancient river, through Arabia and the magical city of Babylon and across the open seas—all in the company of the Pharaoh’s exquisite sisters. With the future of the kingdom itself on his shoulders, Taita plunges into a world where the line between loyalty and betrayal shifts like the desert sands, evil waits in the shadows and death lingers on the edge of darkness.

LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult. For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals, hoping the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly-linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

ADULT NON-FICTION

ANY GIVEN NUMBER by Sports Illustrated. The ultimate sports debate – who wore it best, from 00 to 99? #4 – Brett Favre or Bobby Orr? #7 – John Elway or Mickey Mantle? #32- Jim Brown or Magic Johnson? Since there are no objective standards for linking athlete and jersey number, SI has no illusions that you will find their choices perfect in this book. This number thing is intense and personal with a hint of the mystical. And, indeed, jersey numbers are important to the preservation of league history and especially franchise history, the number-retirement ceremony often taking on the atmosphere of sacred ritual. As important as jersey numbers have become, they weren’t always around as player-identifiers. When Babe Ruth socked his 60th home run in 1927, his jersey had no number. And football, believe it or not, did not always have the regimented jersey-number system it has now. Yes, though we yearn in our real lives not to be considered “just a number,” when we put on a jersey and walk onto the playing field sometimes that’s all we are…and we’re O.K. with that.

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December 15, 2014

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ADULT FICTION

BURN by James Patterson. At last, Michael Bennett and his family are coming home to New York City. Thanks to Bennett, the ruthless crime lord whose vengeful mission forced the Bennett family into hiding has been brought down for good. Back in the city that never sleeps, Bennett takes over a chaotic Outreach
Squad in Harlem, where he receives an unusual call: a man claims to have seen a group of well-dressed men holding a bizarre party in a condemned building. With no clear crime or evidence, Bennett dismisses the report. But when a charred body is found in that very same building, he is forced to take the seemingly demented caller seriously—and is drawn into an underground criminal world of terrifying depravity.

PEGASUS by Danielle Steel. Nicolas von Bingen and Alex von Hemmerle, titled members of the German aristocracy, have been best friends since childhood. Both widowers, they are raising their children in peace and luxury on the vast Bavarian estates that have belonged to their families for generations. While Nick indulges in more glamorous pursuits, Alex devotes himself to breeding the renowned white Lipizzaner horses that enthrall audiences throughout Europe with their ability to dance and spin on command. But then, a secret from Nicolas’s past has left his family vulnerable to the rising tide of Nazism:  Nick’s mother, whom he never knew, was of Jewish descent. Suddenly, Nicolas must flee Germany, wrenching his sons away from the only home they’ve known, sailing across the Atlantic for a new life in America. Their survival will depend on a precious gift from Alex, their only stake for the future: eight purebred horses, two of them stunning Lipizzaners. In Florida, where Nicolas joins the Ringling Brothers Circus, he becomes Nick Bing, with Alex’s prize white stallion—now named Pegasus—the centerpiece of the show. In America, Nick will find love and his sons will find a future. But, their left-behind world will eventually find them.

ADULT NON-FICTION

41: A PORTRAIT OF MY FATHER by George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush’s life is a great American story. Following Pearl Harbor and against his father’s wishes, he delayed college to pilot torpedo bombers in the Navy during World War II. When he returned home, he married his wartime sweetheart Barbara Pierce, a woman who would profoundly influence both father and son for decades to come. With his military medals and Yale degree, George H.W. Bush was highly coveted on Wall Street. But his zeal for adventure led him and Barbara to move their young family to West Texas. George W explores how his father developed the skills of cultivating personal relationships, following his instincts, and taking risks while making a name for himself in the oil business. George H.W. eventually set himself on a new path, away from entrepreneurial endeavors and toward public service. More than a biography, 41 provides insights into the lessons learned by a son from watching a man he admires and adores. George W. reflects on his father’s influence at his own personal and political crossroads and reveals how George H.W. Bush’s quiet, steady emotional support carried him through difficult times.

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December 8, 2014

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ADULT FICTION

DEVIL’S BROOD by Sharon Kay Penman. A.D. 1172. Henry II’s three eldest sons conspire against him and align themselves with his greatest enemy, King Louis of France, but it’s Eleanor of Aquitaine’s involvement in the plot to overthrow her husband that proves to be the harshest betrayal. As a royal family collapses and a marriage ends in all but name, the clash between these two strong-willed and passionate souls will have far-reaching and devastating consequences throughout Christendom. This sweeping epic of a family at its breaking point shows how two monumental figures once bound by all-consuming love can become the bitterest of adversaries.

SMOKE by Ellen Hopkins. Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life as a migrant worker on a California ranch. But is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth? Pattyn must explore what it takes to rise from the ashes, put ghosts to rest, and step into a future.

THE HOMECOMING by Robyn Carr. At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been. Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he’s been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he’s become a better, humbler version of his former self. Winning over his father isn’t the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town,  his family and especially Iris that he’s finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?

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December 1, 2014

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ADULT FICTION

WHEN THE SNOW FALLS (FOUR VOLUMES IN ONE)

CANDY CANES AND CUPID BY FERN MICHAELS: All private investigator Hannah Ray wants for Christmas is a quiet day at her Florida beachfront condo. When her biggest client insists she join him on a Colorado ski trip, she has little choice – but what she finds on her arrival could melt the coldest heart…WHITE HOT CHRISTMAS BY NANCY BUSH: Aspiring PI Jane Kelly likes to pretend she’s a bah-humbug kind of girl, but she’s had mistletoe on the brain ever since she shared a kiss with her boss, Dwayne. Before she can hope for a repeat performance, Jane must solve a kidnapping that’s as twisted as a candy cane – and not nearly as sweet…SEVEN DAYS OF CHRISTMAS BY ROSANNA CHIOFALO: Five years ago, Bianca Simone received a wonderful early Christmas gift from her boyfriend, Mark – a week amid the stunning Alpine scenery of Innsbruck, Austria. Now she’s back under very different circumstances, but Mark has one more special gift in mind…A SMOKY MOUNTAIN GIFT BY LIN STEPP: Veda Trent is back in Townsend to fill in as temporary manager of the Crafts Co-op, but she’s not planning to stay. Though the mountain town is small, it holds lots of unsettling memories. Yet the wind can change, bringing with it new opportunities—and the chance to create the kind of Christmas Veda has always longed for.

DEADLINE by John Sandford. In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. “Issues” is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. The vote is four to one in favor. Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier—a team of dognappers supplying medical labs—when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found—and the victim is a local reporter…

THE JOB by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicholas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick Fox has a few tricks up his sleeve to roust this particular chocolate-loving drug lord. But when they find themselves up against a psychopathic bodyguard and a Portuguese enforcer who gets advice from a pickled head, they decide it’s time to enlist some special talent—talent  like a machete-wielding Somali pirate, a self-absorbed actor, an Oscar-winning special effects artist, and Kate’s father, Jake, a retired Special Forces operative. Together they could help make this Fox and O’Hare’s biggest win yet…if they survive.

Brooke County Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860