Posted by Book Mavens on 6th April 2012
Title: The Art of Fielding – A Novel
Author: Chad Harbach
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 2011
Summary/Review: The Art of Fielding is definitely “not just about baseball”. Although it centers around the baseball games, it is the characters who take center field. It was easy to identify with the hardships each character goes through, knowing that the outcome of one situation leads to another. The book revolves around five main characters: Henry Skrimshander, who lives and breathes baseball; Mike Schwartz, the team captain who befriends and pushes Henry to his limits; Owen Dunne, Henry’s roommate, who provides insight and support to those around him; Guert Affenlight, the college president, who shows that it is never too late to change and become the person you are supposed to be; and Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, who overcomes her own personal issues trying to find her life’s path.
Overall, I found The Art of Fielding to be interesting read with some unexpected turns. I felt that the characters and storylines are something readers can relate to.
Who will like this book?: People who are interested in sports, but more interested in the people involved in them.
If you liked this, try this: If you’re interested in learning more about baseball, check out “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis, which goes into (sometimes shady) economics of the Oakland A’s, or “The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn, a non-fiction book about the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Also, try “Accidental Sportswriter” by Robert Lipsyte.
If you liked Char Harbach’s writing style, this is his debut novel- but he’s been compared to Jeffrey Eugenides (author of “Middlesex”), and Justin Torres (“We the Animals”).
Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation Staff
Does this look like a book you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to place a hold or check availability!
Tags: 2011 Releases, America, Baseball, College, Coming of Age, Wisconsin
Posted in Fiction, Popular, Sports | 1 Comment »
Posted by Book Mavens on 31st March 2012
Author: Nina Revoyr
Publisher: Akashic Books, 2011
Review/Summary: “Wingshooters” is grim reminder that hatred and bigotry have no place in a civilized world.
Michelle LeBeau, the nine year old daughter of a white American father and Japanese mother, has come to live with her American grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin. It’s the early 1970’s and Deerhorn has remained virtually unchanged for the past 30 years. Michelle, or “Mike”, as her grandfather likes to call her, is the first non-Caucasian person many residents have ever seen. No one is very happy that she has come to live in their town. Mike’s grandfather, Charlie, who is well respected in town, is torn between his love for his granddaughter and the shame of his son’s marriage. Michelle is tormented and bullied by her schoolmates but finds comfort spending time outside with her dog Brett. When an African American couple comes to live and work in town, Michelle sees just how ignorant, bigoted and hateful her neighbors, and her grandfather, really are.
This is a powerful, brutal and disturbing story that will leave you shaking your head at the senseless violence and utter disregard for life portrayed within its pages. A great choice for book clubs, this wonderfully written novel will linger in your thoughts well after the last page is turned.
Who will like this book?: Someone who is not afraid to read about the realistically devastating effects of racism. Someone looking for a more literary read, focused on complex family bonds and historical events.
If you like this, try this: If you’re looking for more books dealing with racism in general, check out “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, or “A River Runs Through it”, a short story by Norman Maclean. If you’re more interested in the Japanese American historical fiction, try “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson or “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. Nina Revoyr also has a few other books, titled “Necessary Hunger” and “Southland”.
Recommended by: Sue B, circulation coordinator
If this looks like something you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog where you can check if its available and place a hold!
Tags: 2011 Releases, America, Family, Japanese American, Racism, Survival, Wisconsin
Posted in Fiction, Historical, Literary | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 24th April 2009
Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Publisher: Algonquin, March 2009
Summary: Robert Goolrick resurrects the Gothic romance! This book is so dark, suspenseful, sensual, and scary that I’m not quite sure how to begin to explain it, accept to say that is absolutely fabulous. It’s 1907 Wisconsin, the dead of winter, and everything is dark, frozen, covered with snow. Ralph Truitt stands on the platform of the train station, awaiting the arrival of his new wife-to-be under the watchful eyes of practically everyone who lives in his small rural town (that is everyone who hasn’t gone murderously insane.) Catherine Land sits on the train, having answered Truitt’s ad in the newspaper, on her way to marry him. She says goodbye to her past, literally throwing the remnants of it out the window of the private railway car he has sent for her (yes, he’s that rich). We don’t know much, but we know that Catherine is definitely not who she’s pretending to be, and that’s only the beginning of all of the terrible secrets buried in this book.
Part DuMaurier, part Poe, part Bronte (and even a little bit part Stephen King), Goolrick has masterfully created a suspenseful tale that will leave you breathless, really. He writes for all of the senses, and brings us to a world that is simply tragic and utterly beautiful.
Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference
Tags: 2009 Releases, Marriage, Wisconsin
Posted in Fiction, Historical, Literary | 3 Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 26th January 2009
Title: The Bodies Left Behind
Author: Jeffrey Deaver
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, November 2008
Summary: This is a real cat-and-mouse thriller with the usual Deaver twists and turns. It all starts with a 911 call that is mysteriously cut short. Deputy Brynn McKenzie is sent to investigate the call which originated from a vacation home in remote Wisconsin woods. On the way, Brynn is notified that the 911 caller has called back to cancel the call, explaining that the 911 speed dial on his phone was pushed accidentally. Hmmm… Of course Brynn does not turn around and go back home. Instead, she decides to keep going and check it out anyway. The fact that she is desperate to use their bathroom was a bigger incentive than her need to follow things through.
Brynn discovers a murder scene when she finally gets to the house, and the murderers are still there. One thing leads to another and she soon finds herself on the run in the dense Wisconsin woods, accompanied by the murdered couples house guest. This is a fast paced, and highly suspenseful novel. Don’t bother trying to figure out what’s going to happen next since its seldom what you expect. Just go along for the ride.
Who will like this book? Any fan of suspense.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Tags: Detective, Muder, Wisconsin
Posted in Mysteries & Thrillers | 1 Comment »
Posted by Merry Mao on 8th August 2008
Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Author: David Wroblewski
Summary: I could have lain in the hammock for hours on end with the new book by first-time author David Wroblewski. What a storyteller! The story takes place in 1970′s Wisconsin at the Sawtelle farm, whose owners, Gar and Trudy breed a wonderfully smart, unique dog — the Sawtelle dog. But a child is missing in their life and a son is finally born to them. Although Edgar is mute, even as a young boy it is obvious that he is a keen and intelligent observer of people and dogs, and he communicates with both by signing.
Gar’s brother, Claude, shows up at the farm one day (Edgar is now 14) and his father puts Claude to work on the farm. But the tension between the brothers is palpable. It is clear that two brothers are very different and have unspoken grudges dating all the way back to their childhood. Unexpectedly, Gar, Edgar’s father, dies, apparently of an aneurysm, but Edgar suspects murder. And Claude continues to insinuate himself on the life of the farm and into the affections of Edgar’s mother. The parallels to “Hamlet” occur throughout the book and culminate in a fantastic scene where Edgar’s dead father appears to him in a sheet of rain.
David Wroblewski has woven together a coming-of-age story, combining fiction and the supernatural to drive you to a pulse-pounding end. Even though the book is about 550 pages, it is worth the investment.
Recommended by: Susan Z, Reference
Tags: Coming of Age, Dogs, Hamlet, Murder, Mutism, Wisconsin
Posted in Fiction, Literary | 1 Comment »