Many of you noticed the bulldozer, piles of dirt, and yellow tape here at the library the last few weeks. We were doing some foundation work on this fine old 62 year old building, and we’re working on some other changes, as well. Come by and give your opinion on some of our renovation plans!
Lots of good books this month; here you go….
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert Gates
In relating his personal journey as secretary, Gates draws us into the innermost sanctums of government and military power during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, vital negotiations, and critical situations in revealing, intimate detail. Offering unvarnished appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama among other key players, Gates exposes the full spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking within both the Bush and Obama administrations. However embroiled he became in the trials of Washington, Gates makes clear that his heart was always in the most important theater of his tenure as secretary: the front lines. We journey with him to both war zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed by their courage, and also witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin returned to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly aware that he signed every deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human cost of war, and his admiration for those brave enough to undertake it when necessary.
An Officer And A Spy by Robert Harris
Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that “proved” Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness––a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower—richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels.
The Death Trade by Jack Higgins
An eminent Iranian scientist has made a startling breakthrough in nuclear weapons research, but he can’t stand the thought of his regime owning the bomb. He would run if he could, but if he does, his family dies. He is desperate; he doesn’t know what to do. It is up to Sean Dillon and the rest of the small band known as the Prime Minister’s private army to think of a plan. Most particularly, it is up to their newest member, an intelligence captain and Afghan war hero named Sara Gideon, who thinks there just might be a way to pull it off. But plans have a way of encountering the unexpected. And as the operation spins out, from Paris and Syria to Iran and the Saudi Arabian desert, there is very much that is unexpected indeed. And much blood that will be spilled.
Casino Infernale by Simon Green
My name is Drood, Eddie Drood, aka Shaman Bond. For generations my family has protected you ordinary mortals against things that lurk in the darkness, just out of sight, but not at all out of mind. Unfortunately, I’ve had a falling out with my near and dear (some of whom were trying to kill me), so my true love—Molly Metcalf and I are now in the employ of The Department of the Uncanny. We’ve been given an Extremely Important Assignment: attend Casino Infernale, an annual event held by the Shadow Bank, financiers of all global supernatural crime. Our mission: rig the game and bring down the Shadow Bank. But at Casino Infernale, the stakes are high indeed—winner takes all and losers give up their all…
Cemetery Girl by Charlayne Harris
She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill—names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead. She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead—and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her. Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave—and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own. Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself—or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help…
Crazy Little Thing Called Death by Nancy Martin
Nora Blackbird has made the society pages yet again. The impoverished Philadelphia heiress has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey’s most notorious mobster. Now Nora has to help him survive the Blackbird curse: Every time a Blackbird sister marries, the groom is bound to die. But Nora’s superstitions are eclipsed by some ominous news. Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has disappeared, and strangely, her family is very eager to have her declared dead. When it’s revealed that Nora has inherited Penny’s extensive couture wardrobe, eyebrows rise even higher. The only way for Nora to keep her name clear and save her sanity is to snoop among the snooty…until she sniffs out the truth.
Killing Cupid by Laura Levine
When Jaine lands a job writing web copy and brochures for matchmaker Joy Amoroso, she’s excited for a chance to help the lovelorn just in time for Valentine’s Day – until she realizes what “Dates of Joy” is really all about. Joy is a ruthless taskmaster who screams at her employees for the smallest infractions, pads her website with pictures of professional models posing as clients, and offers up convincing but empty promises of love in exchange for inordinate sums of money. And woe betide anyone who lays a finger on her heavily guarded stash of chocolates. So it’s no surprise when the chiselling cupid turns up dead at a Valentine’s Day mixer. Aghast to find herself on the cops’ suspect list, Jaine sets out to track down the killer. Who could it be? Joy’s harried assistants, whose lives she made a living hell? Her younger lover? The handsome hunk of a client with a secret in his past? Or the furious Beverly Hills widow who forked over the last of her savings for a Prince Charming who never materialized? Joy left behind a slew of enemies struck by her deviant arrows, so finding the culprit may prove harder than spotting that elusive caramel praline in a box of chocolates – and Jaine will have to flirt with danger to get to the truth…
The Gods Of Guilt by Tom Connelly
Mickey Haller gets the text, “Call me ASAP – 187,” and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt
The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini
Kate Chase Sprague was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of a devout but ambitious lawyer. Her father, Salmon P. Chase, rose to prominence in the antebellum years and was appointed secretary of the treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, while aspiring to even greater heights. Beautiful, intelligent, regal, and entrancing, young Kate Chase stepped into the role of establishing her thrice-widowed father in Washington society and as a future presidential candidate. Her efforts were successful enough that The Washington Star declared her “the most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her.” None, that is, but Mary Todd Lincoln. Though Mrs. Lincoln and her young rival held much in common—political acumen, love of country, and a resolute determination to help the men they loved achieve greatness—they could never be friends, for the success of one could come only at the expense of the other. When Kate Chase married William Sprague, the wealthy young governor of Rhode Island, it was widely regarded as the pinnacle of Washington society weddings. President Lincoln was in attendance. The First Lady was not.
Murder As A Second Language by Joan Hess
Longtime bookseller and single mother, Claire Malloy has recently married her long term beau and moved out of her less than opulent apartment into a sprawling, newly remodeled house. Her daughter, Caron, is making plans for college. All of which leaves Claire with something she hasn’t had in quite a while: spare time. When her attempts to learn French cooking start getting “mixed” reviews, she agrees to help Caron and her best friend Inez in fluffing up their college applications by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council. But her modest effort to give back quickly becomes a nightmare when she’s railroaded onto the Board of Directors of the troubled nonprofit. Vandalism, accusations of embezzlement, epic budget problems, and a cacophony of heavily-accented English speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as she decides that it might be best to extricate herself, Claire gets a frantic call from her husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. One of the students, an older Russian woman named Ludmilla, famed for her unpleasantness, has been murdered in the offices of the Farberville Literary Council. For the first time ever, Peter actually asks Claire for her help, and Hess brings a new depth to this fan-favorite series, in Murder as a Second Language.
The Queen’s Dwarf by Ella March Chase
It’s 1629, and King Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria have reigned in England for less than three years. Young dwarf Jeffrey Hudson is swept away from a village shambles and plunged into the Stuart court when his father sells him to the most hated man in England—the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham trains Jeffrey to be his spy in the household of Charles’ seventeen-year-old bride, hoping to gain intelligence that will help him undermine the vivacious queen’s influence with the king. Desperately homesick in a country that hates her for her nationality and Catholic faith, Henrietta Maria surrounds herself with her “Royal Menagerie of Freaks and Curiosities of Nature”—a “collection” consisting of a giant, two other dwarves, a rope dancer, an acrobat/animal trainer and now Jeffrey, who is dubbed “Lord Minimus.” Dropped into this family of misfits, Jeffrey must negotiate a labyrinth of court intrigue and his own increasingly divided loyalties. For not even the plotting of the Duke nor the dangers of a tumultuous kingdom can order the heart of a man. Though he is only eighteen inches tall, Jeffrey Hudson’s love will reach far beyond his grasp—to the queen he has been sent to destroy.
Standup Guy by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington’s newest client does not seem the type to bring mayhem in his wake. A polite, well-deported gentleman, he comes to Stone seeking legal expertise on an unusual—and potentially lucrative—dilemma. Stone points him in the right direction and sends him on his way, but it’s soon clear Stone hasn’t seen the end of the case. Several people are keenly interested in this gentleman’s activities and how they may relate to a long-ago crime . . . and some of them will stop at nothing to find the information they desire. On a hunt that leads from Florida’s tropical beaches to the posh vacation homes of the Northeast, Stone finds himself walking a tightrope between ambitious authorities and seedy lowlifes who all have the same prize in their sights. In this cutthroat contest of wills, it’s winner-takes-all . . . and Stone will need every bit of his cunning and resourcefulness to be the last man standing.