fiction

American Craftsmen, Tom Doyle

Caitlin's picture

American Craftsmen is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined Seal Team Six. Magic workers have operated in America since its founding, sworn to protect and defend the United States as part of secret military units. Army Captain Dale Morton is one of these elite soldier-magicians—until a Persian sorcerer curses him to madness. Now, convinced that an evil from his family’s past has corrupted the highest echelons of military magic, he must hunt down the traitors that placed him in harm’s way—while protecting the innocent woman he loves and avoiding a fellow Craftsman with a family axe to grind. Fast-paced and engrossing, American Craftsmen will appeal to readers of military thrillers and urban fantasy alike.

Thrills and Chills

Jen's picture

Halloween is upon is! When it comes to scary reads, you might think of such spooky authors as Stephen KingDean Koontz, or Joe Hill. Did you know there are many women authors that can scare you just as much, if not more, than the guys? 

The following female-authored novels are sure to put some thrills and chills in your fall reading: 

Night Film by Marisha Pessl - When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman's death. Those who want to immerse themselves in this novel can download the app and scan pages for an even spookier experience.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters -  Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability, is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes - A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace– until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler - Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago. One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he stop it in time to save Enola?

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits - Julia Severn is a student at an elite institute for psychics. Her mentor, the legendary Madame Ackermann, afflicted by jealousy, refuses to pass the torch to her young disciple. Instead, she subjects Julia to the humiliation of reliving her mother's suicide when Julia was an infant. As the two lock horns, and Julia gains power, Madame Ackermann launches a desperate psychic attack that leaves Julia the victim of a crippling ailment.

For more reading recommendations, spooky or not, be sure to stop by the Adult Services desk and ask our friendly and knowledgeable staff!

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Jen's picture

If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.  

2015 Guardian Prize

Caitlin's picture

Last week Andrew McMillan became the first poet to win the Guardian’s book prize (worth approximately $15,000) with his debut collection, Physical, about the anxieties and tensions of modern masculinity.

While Physical is currently unavailable in the United States, four of the other books nominated for the Guardian prize are available to request now, including:

  • Diane Cook’s Man v Nature, an “absurd and funny” collection of short stories;
  • Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen, a Cain-and-Abel-esque novel of family and madness;
  • Peter Pomerantsev’s Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, a “dizzying” look into the “glittering, surreal heart” of modern Russia;
  • Sara Taylor’s The Shore, a collection of short stories spanning more than a century of mystery and family drama in a group of islands on the Chesapeake Bay.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

Catie's picture

No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

2015 Historical Christmas Mysteries

Caitlin's picture

Mystery and historical novel fans, get in the Christmas spirit with these new books:

The Fruitcake Murders, Ace Collins: A detective in 1946 Chicago must find out who is killing people with twenty-year-old fruitcake tins while dodging a persistent (and annoying) reporter.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, Victoria Thompson: When a friend’s daughter is found with her murdered husband in her arms, Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt become an innocent woman’s only hope in turn-of-the-century New York.

Away in a Manger, Rhys Bowen: Molly Murphy Sullivan investigates the disappearance of a young girl’s mother in 1905 New York.

Two Bronze Pennies, Tom Harper: DI Tom Harper must use unorthodox methods to track down the killer of a man found dead in Leeds, England’s Jewish district.

The Hanged Man, P.N. Elrod: On Christmas Eve in 1879, a London psychic reader called to the scene of a suicide discovers it’s actually a magic-influenced murder.

The Humbug Murders, L.J. Oliver: When Ebenezer Scrooge is framed for the death of Fezziwig, his former boss, he’ll need the help of the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Pickwick, and other Dickens characters—including the author himself—to clear his name.

High-Rise by JG Ballard

Caitlin's picture

In a gleaming new high-rise building on the outskirts of London, the inhabitants have everything they need to live comfortable, pampered lives: two indoor pools, an elegant restaurant, a grocery store, a beauty parlor, a bank, even a rooftop park and a school. But violence lurks beneath the polished surface: when minor construction problems send a floor into darkness, riots erupt—leaving a dead dog floating in the swimming pool. In the weeks that follow, chaos rules, as the lower floors send raiding parties to assault the penthouse, and warring groups seize control of the elevators. A dark (and darkly funny) exploration of the animal passions that lie beneath the most civilized facades, this 1975 novel is being adapted into a 2015 movie directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Luke Evans.

Tenacity, J.S. Law

Caitlin's picture

Lieutenant Danielle “Dan” Lewis is the Royal Navy’s most tenacious investigator, but when she’s assigned to investigate the suicide of a submariner, she finds herself deep into hostile territory. At sea in a nuclear submarine led by a power-mad captain, with a killer hiding among the hostile crew, she’ll have her hands full just keeping herself alive—much less solving a murder. Tense, dark, and authentic, this debut novel by a British submariner will have you turning pages long past your bedtime.

The Sweetheart, by Angelina Mirabella

Caitlin's picture

The Sweetheart is a riotous coming-of-age novel set in the outrageous world of professional wrestling in the 1950s.

Plain, shy, lonely Leonie Putzkammer is headed for a lifetime of waiting tables and cooking dinner for her widower father when she meets a wrestling promoter in her diner. With the promise of fame dangling before her, she sets out for Otherside, Florida and Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grapplers, where she learns to wrestle and, more importantly, to perform. Renamed Gwen Davies and teamed with Screaming Mimi Hollander, Leonie tours the country and finds fame, friendship, and first love. But in the brutal world of professional wrestling, fame is fleeting and identity is tenuous: torn between her family, her boyfriend, her friend Mimi, and her ambition, Leonie can’t have it all—so she’ll have to decide what she really wants.

"The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye" by Rachel Joyce

Vita's picture

Harold Fyre is retired, henpecked, and indifferent to life.  Then he receives a letter from a elderly friend who is dying.  Rather than mail her correspondence Harold decides to walk 600 miles to deliver his message in person.  His trek is peppered with fascinating characters who help unlock Harold's buried spirit and renew his sense of life. 

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