Category Archives: Popular

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

Title: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

Author:  Charlie Huston

Publisher: Ballantine, January 2009

Summary: Charlie Huston has a reputation for using vulgarity and profanity in his writing. His newest novel will cement that reputation. The dialogue, however, did not offend me because it was true to the characters. I couldn’t imagine them speaking any other way.

Webster Fillmore Goodhue, Web for short, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has been slacking off a bit. Once a middle school teacher, he is now living off his best friend Chev. Web is offered and encouraged to accept some part time work with Clean Team. Apparently, the trauma scene and waste cleaning industry is very competitive and the employees of Clean Team have to watch their backs. It doesn’t help that Web gets involved with a beautiful young woman who needs him to “clean up” a mess in a seedy motel room. Web finds himself in all kinds of trouble, and even though his life has been in a downward spiral, he still tries to be a good person and do the right thing.

The descriptions of the trauma scenes are grisly and may be too much for some readers. If you can get over past the language and the gore, this book is really rather amusing.

Who will like this book?  Anyone who will admit, even if its just to themselves, that they like inappropriate dialogue and blood and guts.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

Hold My Hand

Title: Hold My Hand

Author:  Serena Mackesy

Publisher: Constable, October 2008

Summary: All Bridget wants is a safe place to raise her daughter Yasmin. The flat they share in London has become a prison instead of a home. Though Bridget has divorced her abusive husband and the court has ordered Kieran to stay away, he continues to stalk the two vowing to make Bridget pay for leaving him. Bridget struggles to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table as fear and desperation set in. The hope for a new and better life for Bridget and Yasmin comes in the form of a job offer. Bridget is offered the job of housekeeper at Rospetroc, a manor house in a part of the country where no one will know them- where they will be safe. Rospetroc, however, has it’s own secrets and it’s own brutal history. The villagers have their suspicions as to why there is such a high turnover rate for housekeepers at Rospetroc. Bridget has run out of options and must stay at the manor house, even though the move now seems like a dangerous mistake.

Who will like this book?  Anyone who likes ghost stories and a bit of mystery.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

A Prisoner of Birth

Title: A Prisoner of Birth

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Summary: A modern day version of The Count of Monte Cristo, this enthralling story is full of interesting characters and suspenseful twists and turns, A young British auto mechanic, Danny Cartwright, is wrongly accused of killing his best friend, who is also the brother of his pregnant fiance. He is imprisoned, and he spends his time reinventing himself and creating an elaborate revenge plan.

This is not a literary masterpiece and some of the plot is far-fetched, but the story still makes for an exciting and engrossing read. Archer is a great storyteller, and this book was hard to put down.

Who will like this book?:Readers of this would also like Archer’s other books, and Harlan Coben

Recommended by: Laurie, Circulation Clerk

Sacrifice

Title: Sacrifice

Author: S.J. Bolton

Summary: Tora Hamilton and her husband Duncan have just moved to the Shetland Islands. Tora is new to the Islands, but Duncan is returning after a 20 year absence. Soon after Tora moves in, she accidentally digs up a body buried on her property and soon realizes she has unearthed more than just human remains. She has quite a few questions to ask the authorities about the body. Simple questions like why was the woman’s heart removed and why did she have ancient symbols carved into her back? The more questions Tora asks, the more secretive the people around her become. She finally decides to do some investigating on her own and discovers that the symbols carved in the woman’s body are ancient runes and the manner in which she was killed is eerily similar to a ritual described in Shetland Island folktales. Unfortunately for Tora, as one character puts it, “…tucked away inside all legends, a kernel of truth can be found”.

If you like a book that has some chills,  and a setting that is not commonly used, this may be the book for you.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

Down River

Title: Down River

Author: John Hart

Summary: Five years ago, Adam Chase was acquitted of murder, even though his own stepmother testified against him. Most people in his hometown believed that he was guilty and that his father’s money paid for the verdict. Adam left home soon after the trial and has been living in New York ever since.

Now Adam has been asked by a childhood friend to come back to his hometown in North Carolina. Adam returns to find that the residents’ feelings toward him have not changed since he left. To make matters worse, many of them are angry with Adam’s father for interfering with a local land deal which could make them all rich. After Adam’s arrival,  violent attacks occur against the people closest to him. Seeds of doubt as to Adam’s innocence are again planted and he must find the true murderer before he/she kills again.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

The Book of Joe

Title: The Book of Joe

Author:  Jonathan Tropper

Summary:   Who says you can’t go home again? In “The Book of Joe”, Joe Goffman does just that. Joe returns to his hometown of Bush Falls, CT to see his father who has suffered a serious stroke, but Joe was very busy while he was away. He wrote a best selling novel that was recently made into a movie. Unfortunately, the novel was based on Joe’s life during his senior year in high school, and many residents of his small hometown were not portrayed very favorably.

Some signs that the residents are not too happy with his book? The wife of the high school basketball coach dumps a milkshake in his lap, copies of his novel are strewn across the lawn of his childhood home, and threats of bodily harm are made by the “high school bully”. Joe must must reconnect with the people of Bush Falls that he left behind and come to terms with the actual events of that fateful senior year.

Who will like this book?:Anyone who likes a fun, fast paced read. References to Fairfield, CT including the Stratfield Road area and the Duchess Restaurant make this a fun read for anyone who knows the area.

If you like this, try this:Jonathan Tropper has a written a new novel titled How to Talk to a Widower.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

Blasphemy

Title:  Blasphemy

Author:  Douglas Preston

Summary:  Nobel-prizing scientist and merry gang of whiz colleagues go off the deep end, experiment with the world’s largest supercollider computer housed on sacred native land, encounter operational difficulties, and the race to the “end” involves life and death issues.

This book kept me reading as I got caught up in the unfolding drama as computer scientists try to get the super computer to reveal what happened at the moment of creation. Scientist Hazelius and his twelve colleagues force the computer to operate at extreme levels resulting in a remarkable discovery. Or is it? Meanwhile evangelicals get wind of this “dangerous” experiment and build a protest movement against this government-funded project.   Throw in a romance rekindled and you have a nice fast-paced read that grabs and holds the reader’s  interest to the end.

Who will like this book?:  Readers looking for a fast read with some intrigue and an appetite for kirky characters and interesting questions about the beginning of life.

Recommended by: Karen, Administration

Family Acts

Title: Family Acts

Author: Louise Shaffer

Summary: The author, who is an Emmy-Award winning soap actress for Ryan’s Hope and screenwriter, turns her love of the theater inot a delightful novel set in the Old South. Katharine ‘Kate’ Harder, a New York scriptwriter and Miranda ‘Randa’ Jennings, a Hollywood business writer, seem to have little in common, except names from Shakespearean plays and a thespian parent. A letter from a lawyer brings them the news that they have jointly inherited the Venable Opera House in Massonville, Georgia. After traveling to see the crumbling century-old theatre, the two women, with the help of Randa’s precocious 11 year-old daughter, delve into the lives of the owners who struggled to keep the theatre alive.

The story alternates betwen the present and flashbacks to tell a family epic that is rich in its theatrical setting. The ending links this book to Shaffer’s other two novels: The Three Margarets and Ladies of Garrison Gardens.

Who will like this book? Definately a women’s read, especially lovers of the theater and soaps.

If you like this, try this: Shaffer’s previous novels: The Three Margarets and Ladies of Garrison Gardens.

Recommended by: Sandy, Technical Services

The Godmother

Title: The Godmother

Author: Carrie Adams

Summary: Thirty-something Tessa King has seven best friends, four godchildren, and no life of her own. Returning home to London after a five-week vacation (or, escape from her harrassing former boss) she is thrown back into her familar role of drinking buddy/fairy godmother/crisis counselor. But will Tessa ever get over her unrequited love, meet her true Prince Charming and have babies of her own?

While this novel sounds like another carbon copy beach book, the plot takes some unexpected turns and becomes something more substantial that traditional chick lit fare.  Tessa is a well-developed, painfully believable heroine, and her circle of friends and godchildren are well-developed but still familiar characters, each with their own secrets that are revealed over the course of the story. These are the sort of characters that stay with you, and leave you wishing for a sequel!

Who will like this book? People with godchildren, nieces and/or nephews whom they adore, and ‘women who do too much.’

If you like this, try this: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner, Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

The Lottery

Title: The Lottery

Author: Patricia Wood

Summary: If you are looking for a sure winner, don’t buy a lottery ticket, but check out Patricia Wood’s debut novel. She draws on her own personal experiences with a dad who won the Washington State lottery and a family member who had Down’s syndrome.

Perry L. Crandall, the narrator, has an IQ of 76 but as he says, he is not retarded, just slow.  His wise-cracking grandmother taught him everything he needs to know to survive. When she dies, leaving him an “orphan” at 31 year-old, that family that had abandoned proceed to swindle him out of his house. Imagine what happens they learn he has won 12 million dollars…You will be charmed by Perry’s sweet and often funny personality, and root for him to outwit his thieving ‘new-found’ family.

Who will like this book? All readers from high school to 100 who love light, feel-good novels.

Recommended by: Sandy, Technical Services