Posted by Book Mavens on 16th March 2012
Title: Call After Midnight
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Severn House, 2011
Summary: The book begins with a phone call at midnight, newlywed Kate Fountaine thinks it’s her husband of two months, Geoffrey. When she answers the call-not quite awake- it isn’t her husband: it’s the U.S. State Department. They are calling to tell her that her husband was killed in a fire in the hotel where he was staying in London. She is then asked to come in and answer a few questions. It is soon discovered that the body had a bullet in the head and now she is told he was murdered. She will not accept this and heads to London for answers; there she discovers Geoffrey isn’t the man she thought he was -in fact, he was leading a double life. He has a wife in London and they are both spies. The story takes off from there. It is very fast paced and has a few twists and turns along the way.
Who would like this book: Anyone who enjoys mysteries, a little romance and espionage.
If you like this, try this: Anything else by Tess Gerritsen- she has written a number of books. If you like the crime fiction aspect, Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, and Robert Ludlum also write similar crime fiction. If you’re looking for something a little more gritty, try the Stieg Larsson series (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo…). If you’re more into espionage, try Alan Furst, who blends mystery, spies, thrills with an international twist.
Recommended By: Virginia, Circulation Dept.
If this looks like a book you’re interested in, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check the availability and place a hold!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Crime, England, Espionage, Murder
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 21st February 2012
Title: The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar –Packed Baking Book
Author: Judy Rosenberg
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 2011
Summary/Review: The Rosie’s Bakery Cookbook is a wonderful thing. It was a holiday gift from 2 colleagues so any subsequent weight gain when I bring one of these very tasty treats into work with me to share is not my fault.
Judy Rosenberg, the author, is the owner of the Rosie’s Bakery chain located in the Boston area and she learned the considerable amount she knows about baking great desserts on her own. She not only shares her excellent recipes but she also shares excellent advice. She starts with one basic rule: “Don’t be intimidated.” I love to bake but I try not to put myself in a position where I’m baking something completely unfamiliar for a special occasion. This helps to cut down on the intimidation factor. Following “Rosie’s Five Steps to Carefree Baking” will also help. Briefly, they are:
1. Read the entire recipe
2. Prepare your ingredients in advance
3. Avoid distractions
4. Bake when you’re not tense or in a hurry
5. Make sure you understand basic baking techniques (and the thoughtful instructions will help with this.)
My plan was to start with recipe number one and just work my way, recipe by recipe, through the whole book. But I made the mistake of taking a quick glance at the Brownie section so I started on page 269 which is now marked with a chocolate thumb-print. I did navigate away from the brownie section briefly to make the Applesauce-Raisin Cake and it was well worth it.
This book is a treat, as are the baked goods you will produce. Anyone who loves the occasional (or the more than occasional) indulgent dessert will find a recipe in this cookbook that will become a favorite and possibly a family legend.
Who will like this?: If you share, everyone who knows you.
If you like this, try this : The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, Recipes from the World-Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey’s Home Kitchen
The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Recommended by: Sue D’Num
Does this look like a book you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and place a hold!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Baking, Food
Posted in Food and Cooking, Non-Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 16th February 2012
Title: The Litigators
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday, New York 2011
Summary: If you love reading John Grisham, this one will not disappoint. Why would a Lawyer working for a large prestigious Law Firm billing Clients at $500.00 per hour suddenly find himself working as a Street Lawyer making $600.00 per month? As a young Lawyer with a very promising career, David Zinc finds himself burnt out from working 80+ hours per week. One day he gets off the elevator and can’t bring himself to go to his Office. He dives (literally) back into the elevator, walks out of the firm and goes on a drunken bender. He lands on the doorstep of a two man law firm where they spend their days chasing ambulances, handling quickie divorces and bickering over what little money they do have. They like to refer to themselves as a “boutique law firm”. These two guys keep waiting for their big break. When David wakes up the next day after his drinking binge, he is unemployed and not sure what to do. He finds himself going back to the two partners at Finley & Figg where he tests the waters as a street lawyer. He quickly realizes these two have never really practiced law and are clueless on how a real Law Office should operate. But David is happy. He has a new lease on life, he is working normal hours and spending time with his wife and enjoying himself for the first time in years. When the 3 Lawyers are suddenly faced with their first big case, they quickly realize they are in way over their head. Wally is looking for the quick buck and a fast settlement since he has never been inside the courtroom to try a case. Oscar who wants to appear as the professional lawyer wants nothing to do with the case until he learns of the potential for a very large settlement. He has never stepped in a courtroom to try a case. David gets pulled into the mess by the bumbling partners. The three Lawyers are preparing to take on a big drug company with the claim that one of their drugs on the market is unsafe and has resulted in numerous deaths. The drug company hires the best legal defense team, which happens to be David’s previous employer, the very impressive Law Firm that he walked away from. Since the three Lawyers believe this case will settle out of court, they do nothing to prepare for a trial. The big drug company, on the other hand, knows this law firm lacks any courtroom experience and can’t wait to go to trial to clear their name. What goes on behind the scenes has as much to do with what goes on in the courtroom, and how money can manipulate the system. This book moves along at a fast and entertaining pace. David shows us that there is more to life than the big money at a big law firm.
I have not read a book by John Grisham in a long time, but this one really grabbed my interest.
Who Will Like this? Fans of John Grisham – he has written 23 books. Anyone who likes legal thrillers and courtroom drama.
If you like this, try this: James Grippando, David Rosenfelt, Perri O’Shaughnessy, David Rosenfelt
Recommended by: Laura, Technical Services Assistant
For more informaton about the book and to place a hold, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Chicago, Crime, Lawyers
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
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 28th January 2012
Title: The Drop
Author: Michael Connelly
Publisher: Hachette Audio, 2011
Summary: Narrator Len Cariou, the voice of deeply flawed LAPD detective Harry Bosch, brings Bosch alive in this popular series that has yet to grow cold like the cases Harry oversees in the LAPD’S Cold Case Homicide Unit. On the verge of retirement Harry’s need to solve cases reaches a desperate point when not one but two cases are dropped in his lap. The first case a cold case, in which DNA from a 21 year old cold case points the finger at a convicted pedophile rapist, the only problem is that the suspect was only 8 years old at the time of the crime. The possibility of a bad DNA report from the Regional Crime Lab casts a veil of uncertainty over the validity of DNA results that could send thousands of sex crime cases into turmoil. The second case involves the son of Bosch’s arch enemy Councilman Irvin Irving, who “dropped” out of a hotel suite window at the famed Chateau Marmot. It is not clear why Irving specifically requested that Bosch investigate his son’s death when all evidence points to a suicide. Bosch sticks to his credo “Everyone counts or nobody counts,” in his investigation where he finds himself on a path of clues leading to possible political conspiracy.
I love to listen to Connelly’s Harry Bosch books on audio CD with the rich character voice of Len Cariou creates the perfect image of Harry in your mind, when audible voice is given to a character like Harry it outs the story on a whole different level. Michael Connelly revives the character of Bosch avoiding a stale storyline of heroics and glory and really giving insight into a cop facing the possibility of retirement when his life force depends on the challenges of a case and the pursuit of justice.
Who will like this?: Fans of the Harry Bosch series (this is number 17), anyone who likes crime thrillers
If you like this, try this: Joseph Wambaugh, John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series, or books by David Simon.
Recommended by: Dawn, Main Library
Interested in this book? Visit the Fairfield Public Library Catalog to check the status or place a hold on the audio book, or visit the Fairfield Public Library Catalog to place a hold on the paper version!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Crime, Detective, Los Angeles, Murder
Posted in Audiobooks, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 24th January 2012
Title: Night Strangers
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Publisher: Crown, 2011
Summary: The beginning of Chris Bohjalian’s latest book is riveting. It had me gasping for breath as I read about Chip Linton, a seasoned pilot, who had to ditch his jet in Lake Champlain after jamming into a flock of geese. The normalcy of being seat belted into a chair and the next minute hitting the water and going under is frightening. The body count, thirty nine deaths.
Chip, his wife (a lawyer) and their twin ten-year old girls move to New Hampshire in the hope that they can rebuild their lives. However, in a musty dirt floor basement in the corner of the room sits a door that has long been sealed with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. 39 bolts, 39 deaths on the plane. It only gets spookier from there.
This novel is for sure a psychological thriller but it’s also a domestic drama and the story of a family coping with the aftermath of a horrible catastrophe.
The ghost story develops when Chip begins to see some of the dead from the plane crash, but there are also herbalists aka witches who play a huge part in the demise of this family. As you read through you begin to build your own dread on what is going to take place. The ghosts know exactly what they want and Chip is beginning to understand what he must do to help them. Meanwhile you begin to understand that this cult of women, in this tiny town, is definitely moving this plot into a not so happy ending. They are a strong and fearful group to reckon with and Chip and Emily’s twins will play an important role in their desires.
I haven’t read a ghost story in a long in a while but I really enjoyed this one.
Recommended by: Nancy, Deputy Town Librarian
Who will like this book?: Those who are already fans of Bohjalian, or those who enjoy psychological fast-paced thrillers
If you like this, try this: Other Bohjalian books, or other psychological thriller authors such as John Sanford or Jeffrey Deaver
Does this look like something you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to put a hold or check availability!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Ghosts, New Hampshire, Plane Crash, Twins, Witches
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 4th January 2012
Title: “V is for Vengeance”
Author: Sue Grafton
Publisher: Penguin, 2011
Summary: I have been a fan of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries since her first one “A is for Alibi.” Her main character Kinsey Millhone, who was born in the 1950’s, has been a PI since the early 80’s. I always related to Kinsey driving around in her beat up Volkswagen, wearing her jeans, turtleneck sweater and boots. When need arose to make a visit to a more elegant venue she’d climb into her back seat of the car, to change into her pantyhose and skirt and manage to walk into a crowd sassy and smart. She was just a funky kind of PI.
Her life has evolved over the years, and alphabet, into a seasoned Private Investigator. We are still in the 1980’s for this latest book and it opens with Kinsey celebrating her birthday with two black eyes. Kinsey decided to stop in at Nordstrom’s and take a look at some lingerie and silk pj’s. That was unfortunate for the woman who was shoplifting. The woman is caught but when released from jail commits suicide by jumping off of a bridge, or did she? This woman’s finance wants to know the answer and hires Kinsey to find out. Kinsey hasn’t mellowed at all in this latest installment. She begins an investigation of a woman with a murky past; she stumbles onto the death of a spoiled kid, who had a huge gambling debt he thought he could beat and she runs into a powerful “mafia” style boss whose dealings fall outside of the law. Oh yeah, and just to add a little bit more spice to the situation there’s a “bad” cop involved.
You might think that after 21 books Ms. Grafton’s 22 might be a little stale and boring. But she’s kept Kinsey current to the timeframe and life of the 1980’s as she’s added new and interesting characters to her life. A quick and enjoyable read.
Recommended by: Nancy, Deputy Town Librarian
Who will like this book: Those who are looking for a quick-paced and exciting mystery. Those who are looking for an exciting and quick read.
If you like this, try this: Anything else by Grafton, especially the Alphabet Series.
Tags: 2011 Releases, America, Detective, Murder, Mystery
Posted in Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 18th December 2011
Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick 2011
Summary: 13-year old Conor’s life is spinning out of control. His mother is dying of cancer, his dad has run away to America to live with his new family, he’s the target of bullies at school, his work-centric over-bearing grandmother has come to stay with the family, and now- a monster has shown up at 12:07 outside his bedroom window. The monster, disturbingly drawn in sharp strokes of black and white, will tell Conor three stories: and then? Conor must share his own story, the nightmare that has woken him from sleep and haunted his waking life. As the monster, a Yew tree in its current form, tells his three stories, Conor must gather the strength to tell his own story, one he’s never shared with anyone.
A Monster Calls is a book that can be read in one sitting, the story gripping and the pictures haunting. The Yew tree’s stories offer life lessons that most kids will learn eventually: that there isn’t always a good guy and a bad guy, that people can be both, and that sometimes sacrifices must be made for a greater good. Conor’s story itself, which the reader will experience glimpses of throughout the book, is not the one you would expect. The book deals with death well, offering stories of death in several different lights but also never downplaying how difficult both life and death can be. Apart from the Yew tree’s stories, additionally the topics of bullying, mental issues, and familial relationships is addressed. While older children will certainly be intrigued by the story, teens and adults will feel its impact more directly.
If you liked this, try this: Teens and adults will enjoy Siobhan Dowd’s stories such as “Bog Child”. The story was inspired by an idea by Dowd, who passed away before the work was completed. Middle grade children seeking information about death may try “The Naming of Tishkin Silk”, which deals with losing a younger sibling.
Recommended by: Lauren, Technical Services Assistant
Tags: 2011 Releases, Bullying, Cancer, Children's Books, Coming of Age, Nightmares, Teen Books
Posted in Fiction, Popular, Teen Books for Adults | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 2nd December 2011
Title: Silver Sparrow
Author: Tayari Jones
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. 2011
Summary: What would it be like to grow up knowing that you were meant to be kept a secret? Dana Lynn Yarboro, one of the sisters starring in Tayari Jones’ third novel, struggles with this very thing every day. Her father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist, and Dana and her mother Gwen are his “second” and “secret” family, a fact of which they are painfully aware. His “first” wife and daughter, Laverne and Chaurisse, have his last name and almost of his attention and time – and they know nothing about Dana and Gwen. James goes to great lengths to keep it that way. So when Dana and Chaurisse meet by accident at a science fair, things get very complicated.
The first half of the novel is narrated by Dana, and the second half by Chaurisse, and both of their stories are beautifully told. Jones does a great job portraying the complex relationships between the two families and revealing the motivations behind the web of lives they have spun. It’s fascinating to follow them as their lives slowly interconnect, and to see how the girls’ meeting changes everyone involved. I love the way the author builds the momentum in the story in spite of the change of narrator half-way through. I especially liked the fact that Chaurisse’s half of the novel picks up where Dana’s left off, and wasn’t just a retelling of the same story from a different perspective. Atlanta in the 1980’s is so wonderfully described it becomes a character itself. All of the people in Silver Sparrow are drawn with voices that are unique and will remain with me for a long time.
If you like this, try this: “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, “The Untelling” or “Leaving Atlanta” by Tayari Jones
Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference
A second look:
Set against the backdrop of 1980’s Atlanta, Silver Sparrow perfectly captures the dichotomy of family relationships. The reader will be torn, much like James, between the two families. Dana and her mother Gwen are smart, gorgeous, vibrant women while Chaurisse and her mother Laverne are plain, hard-working, and honest. Like their father, the reader will fall in love with both girls and their mothers, often forgetting that they are two scales perfectly balanced before disaster inevitably strikes.
When a chance meeting at a science fair piques Dana’s interest in Chaurisse, it is only a matter of time until their worlds collide and, ultimately, shatter. As much as the reader feels they know each character, there is no predicting their actions when loyalties run deep- and the reader most likely will not know where their own loyalties lie. Sad, intense, and eye-opening Silver Sparrow should not be missed.
Recommended by: LB, Technical Services Assistant
Does this look like a book you’d like to read? Visit our catalog here, where you can check availability and place a hold.
Tags: 1980's, 2011 Releases, African American, American South, Atlanta, bigamy, Coming of Age, Family, fiction, Sisters
Posted in Fiction, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 27th October 2011
Title: Stolen Souls: A Jack Lennon Investigation
Author: Stuart Neville
Publisher: Soho Press, October 2011
Summary: A young Ukrainian sex slave escapes from her captors only to find an even greater horror awaits her.
Soon after the brother of a Lithuanian crime boss is found dead, three of his business associates are murdered. Detective Inspector Jack Lennon must work quickly to stop the situation from spiraling out of control while trying to find the young woman who may hold the key to the brutal killings.
Stuart Neville is by far one of the greatest crime fiction writers I have ever read. Starting with “The Ghosts of Belfast” and “Collusion”, Neville continues his Jack Lennon series with this new novel, again set in Belfast. “Stolen Souls” delivers non-stop action from first page to last. In fact, I was lucky to find a good stopping place in the middle so I could get some sleep because once back into it, I was in until the end. Neville’s protagonists are far from perfect. They are deeply flawed and living on the edge. Do these faults make us love them any less? Absolutely not. This is one of Neville’s gifts. We can forgive his heroes anything, because there is always someone out there darker and more evil than they could ever be.
Who Might Like This?: Fans of excellent crime fiction.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
Does this look like a book you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog here, where you can check availability and place a hold.
Tags: 2011 Releases, Belfast, crime fiction, Human Trafficking, Ireland, Murder
Posted in Fiction, Popular | No Comments »