Posted by Book Mavens on 7th February 2012
Title: The Submission
Author: Amy Waldman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Summary/Review: The Submission by Amy Waldman is a thought provoking, provocative work of fiction that stays with you long after you have finished the last page. The setting is 2 years after the 9/11 tragedy and a committee has been formed to find a design for a memorial at the site. The committee consists of various artists, government representatives and a member who lost her husband in the towers. The submissions are all anonymous and after finally agreeing on a design for the memorial it is revealed that the architect is an American Muslim. This is where the book really kicks in and you begin an emotional roller coaster. Waldman was a reporter for the New York Times for 8 years including a stint in the South Asia bureau. She is able to make you see many points of view through her various and varied characters and she forces you to confront your own feelings and prejudices that resulted from the attack on 9/11.
Who will like this? Readers who like their books to have many points of view and readers who are not afraid to confront difficult and controversial topics.
If you like this, try this: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Recommended by: Claudia, Technical Services Assistant
Does this look interesting? Check out the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability of the book or place a hold
Tags: 2011 Releases, 9/11, Islam, New York City, Politics, Terrorism
Posted in Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 7th July 2011
Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel, March 2011
Summary: This is the heart wrenching story of one family’s deportation from Lithuania to Siberia by the Soviet secret police during World War II.
Lina Vilkas is just 15 years old when the secret police burst into her Lithuanian home and take her, her mother, and younger brother Jonas away. Thrust onto a train meant for carrying livestock, Lina and her family join others from their neighborhood on a harrowing six week long trek to Siberia. Unsure of what has happened to her father but hoping they will be reunited with him soon, Lina and her family concentrate on surviving the horrific conditions they are forced to endure. A gifted artist, Lina uses her drawings to leave clues for her father as to their whereabouts, hoping against hope that he will receive her messages and find his family.
This is more than a fictionalized account of one family’s suffering at the hands of Josef Stalin. It is a glimpse into the lesser known history of violence and genocide directed at the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian people by the Soviet government during and after World War II. I found this to be a very moving story of family and community, and most of all hope.
Who Might Like This?: Teens and adults interested in historical fiction.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
If this looks like a book you’d be interested in, click here to visit our catalog to see if it’s available, or to place a hold!
Think this looks like something your teen would like? Click here to visit our teen librarian’s blog about this book!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Coming of Age, Family, Genocide, Siberia, Survival, Terrorism, World War II, YA Crossover
Posted in Fiction, Historical, Teen Books for Adults | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 7th October 2010
Title: Death Echo
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Publisher: HarperCollins, June 2010
Summary: Emma Cross, former CIA agent now working for St. Kilda Consulting, must rustle with Russian spies and a terrorist plot in Elizabeth Lowell’s latest book. Emma needs to chase down “The Blackbird” a yacht that could have explosives attached to it… enough explosives to blow up a major city. The story moves from the Puget Sound to Vancouver Island. Interestingly, a “twin” yacht went missing never making it to its port. Are the two connected somehow? Did they have the same owner?
Fortunately for Emma she doesn’t have to work alone. Enter Mackenzie Mac Durand, a former Special Ops guy, and the transit captain for “The Blackbird.” Sparks fly between the two and a romance blossoms amidst all of the turmoil.
They are in for a bumpy ride in this romantic suspense novel, fighting off Russian Spies, CIA agents, and a very hazardous sea - and time is not on their side.
Recommended by: Nancy, Deputy Town Librarian
Tags: 2010 Releases, Detective, Espionage, Romance, Terrorism
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 12th February 2010
Title: 31 Hours
Author: Masha Hamilton
Publisher: Unbridled Books, October 2009
Summary: Carol Meitzner wakes with a feeling of dread. She knows in her heart that her 21 year old son, Jonas, is in trouble. She doesn’t know what kind of trouble or how much, but he has not been returning her calls. Carol soon learns that his girlfriend, Vic, has not seen or heard from him recently, either. Jonas’s father doesn’t think they should be so worried. Wrong. In 31 hours, their son Jonas and 6 others are planning to walk into key terminals of the NYC subway system and detonate explosive vests strapped to their bodies. Blond haired, white, and from a privileged background, Jonas is set to become the new face of terrorism.
Jonas’s radical mentor has disabled his phone to keep him completely isolated from the people who care about him the most. Throughout this gripping novel we meet some of the potential victims of this terrifying act, many of whom Jonas knows and loves. As we watch Jonas prepare for his martyrdom, without the fanaticism one would expect, it becomes clear that this could really happen. This possibility makes 31 Hours all the more chilling.
Who will like this book? Fans of suspense novels.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Tags: 2009 Releases, Islam, New York City, Subway, Terrorism
Posted in Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 16th October 2008
Title: The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Doubleday, July 2008
Summary: In The Dark Side, Jane Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker, documents some of the ugliest allegations of wrongdoing charged against the Bush administration. There are facts, which Mayer substantiates in persuasive detail.
Essential reading for those who think they can stand the truth.
Who will like this book?: Those interested in the subject of the ‘Imperial Presidency.’
If you like this, try this: The Way of the Worldby Ron Suskind. The Limits of Powerby A.J. Bacevich. The War Within by Bob Woodward.
Recommended by: Cliff, Reference.
Tags: George Bush, Iraq, Iraq War, Terrorism, Torture
Posted in Politics | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 13th June 2008
Title: Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone
Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Summary: A shocking account of life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a walled-off enclave of posh villas and sparkling swimming pools that was the headquarters for the American occupation of Iraq. This bubble, cut off from wartime realities had a half-dozen bars stocked with cold beer, a movie theater that screened shoot-em-up films, an all you could eat buffet piled high with pork and a parking lot filled with shiny new SUVs – much of it run by Halliburton. Most Iraqis were barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it up.
A startling portrait of an Oz-like place.
Who will like this book?: All interested in American foreign policy.
If you like this, try this: Fiasco by Thomas Ricks. Assassin’s Gate by George Packer
Recommended by: Cliff, Reference Librarian.
Tags: Baghdad, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Terrorism
Posted in Non-Fiction, Politics | No Comments »