Posts filed under ‘What We Are Reading’
Fans of topical nonfiction may want to check out Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. This book chronicles the experiences of New Orleans resident and Muslim American Abdulrahmen Zeitoun who, ignoring orders to evacuate, rides out Hurricane Katrina in his home and spends the days following distributing supplies, assisting others and feeding abandoned pets from his canoe, only to be mistakenly arrested a week later on suspicion of being a terrorist.
Here is what reviewers have said about the book:
“What Dave Eggers has found in the Katrina mud is the full-fleshed story of a single family, and, in telling that story, he hits larger targets with more punch than those who have already attacked the thematic and historic giants of this disaster. It’s the stuff of great narrative nonfiction.” Timothy Egan in New York Times Book Review
“ …an unusual book. It’s not a big-screen picture of New Orleans in crisis. It’s a portrait of one man — a patriotic and deeply religious immigrant — caught in a nightmare created by a natural catastrophe, exacerbated by government incompetence.” Deirdre Donahue in USA Today
“This is as accurate, sensual and readable an account of Hurricane Katrina as you can find in nonfiction.” Dan Baum in in San Francisco Chronicle
Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey
Totally new for me. All the action/crime/adventure is set in sunny Florida, one of my favorite spots in the world. Serial killer Surge E. Storms, is genius at finding creative ways to dispatch unsavory characters who violate his oddly sensible code of ethics. It’s a complicated plot that’s easy to follow, with mimes, clowns, drug kingpins, CIA operatives, real estate agents, former NFL players, and family values thrown together. The violence is sometimes gruesome, but the situations are hilarious and the denouement reads like the best lethal weapon/sitcom you’ve ever seen. For adults – language, situations. -Terri, Fowler Central Library
Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson
Frances has a past. When she was a little girl, her mother murdered her three younger sisters. Frances was supposed to die with them, but was saved at the last minute. Now, her mother is being released from prison and wants to see her. Will Frances be able to see her mother and survive, or will she end up like her sisters? -Wylaina, North Branch Library
Missing Mark Julie Kramer When the advertisement for a Wedding Dress “Never Worn” is listed in the local paper, reporter Riley Spatz suspects there might be a juicy story behind the abandoned dress. What she finds leads her to a missing groom who may be a murderer or a victim, a kidnapped prize winning bass and the seedy world of stand-up comics. Julie Kramer creates a fast-paced and fun mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages until the end. -Kimberly, South Branch Library
Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok is the man who can fix anything. When pilot Terri Howe begins to have trouble with a coworker, Stan goes into fix-it mode assigning Terri to fly a simple training mission with him. Stan begins falling for the lovely Terri but he decides she deserves better and sets her up with one of his men. Meanwhile, the training mission becomes dangerous when the team is called to help with a high-jacking situation. Can Terri convince Stan that they deserve a chance or will his stubbornness end their relationship before it can begin?
Great story! I fell in love with Stan for his steely determination, courage, and genuine concern for others. I felt Terri was a good match for him with her courage and perseverance. The plot was really involving and the secondary characters were engaging. This is part of Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, Inc. series so there are lots of familiar characters. I found this story had a good mix of action, humor, and romance. -Stacey, Fowler Central Library
The Rising by Brian Keene
A cross between Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and George Romero’s film Day of the Dead, The Rising is the story of a devoted father determined to rescue his son during a zombie apocalypse. Heartbreaking, intelligent, and extremely suspenseful, the Rising breathes new, um, life into the zombie genre (zombie animals!). -Stephanie, Fowler Central Library
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Charleston native Leopold Bloom King narrates his own story about his troubled adolescent years in the 1960s that are highlighted with his older brother’s suicide and the realization that his mother is an ex-nun. He eventually finds a motley, yet close group of friends whose encounters span the 60s, 70s and 80s. This is my first Pat Conroy experience, and everyone is right, he is a fantastic writer! Conroy gives Leopold a voice so authentic that it’s hard to believe South of Broad is fiction. -Dana, North Branch Library
I am reading the M.C. Beaton series about Agatha Raisin. She is a hoot – a strong single woman, retired from the world of Public Relations to live out her dream in a Cotswold countryside cottage. She has a hunky neighbor who helps her solve the inordinate number of murders that affect her little village. Agatha is offputting, with an underdeveloped sense of emotional self control. She is very human, full of undesirable personality traits, but a sympathetic figure none the less.
The books are short and satisfying. Lots of summer fun – I am reading them in tandem with a friend.
-Terri, Emily Fowler Central Library
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I haven’t been able to put this book down. Murakami’s writing is vivid and dream-like, and the book has a mysterious, slightly unsettling, tone. -Becky, North Branch Library
I love the Bloody Jack series. It’s full of adventure which makes it hard to stop reading! If you love audiobooks the second book Curse of the Blue Tattoo has won an Audio book award… -Kayci, Emily Fowler Central Library
The Vampire of Ropraz by Jacques Chessex . Gloomy black metal novel based on a true story of a small town in Switzerland in 1903 plagued by a series of mysterious tomb violations of freshly buried beautiful young girls. -Andrew, North Branch Library
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad of the Hills! I have a huge fan of the hills. The story is about a reality show contestant and how fame and fortune change her life and relationships. Hmmmmmm sounds a bit like Lauren’s life? -Celina, Technical Services
The Lost City of Z: a Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Gran. Gran investigates the life and final journey of British explorer Percy Fawcett who vanished in 1925 while searching for a mythical city deep in the jungles of the Amazon. Lots of adventure, intrigue and revolting insects. -Stacy, North Branch Library
I am reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. LockHart. It is the story of a girl’s adventures while she is at boarding school. So far, I am totally wrapped up in it, but that may simply be because I am obsessed with boarding schools. The heroine is adorable, plucky and lovable so far.
I am also reading The Bible Illuminated, which is a glossy, magazine like version of the Bible. The authors condense much of what was in the original, which some may not like, but makes for an interesting read. -Sunni, Technical Services
The Denton Public Library has a good collection of non-fiction and biographical titles about the 36th President. Also, in The Texas Collection at the Emily Fowler Library, there are rare and out of print titles that can be read but have to remain in the building. Good stuff.
If you are obsessed with 20th Century American political history like me, there are a handful of major players that you have to get a handle on if you want to understand what happened. Along with Nixon, Roosevelt, MLK, Jr., Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and a few others, Johnson helped shape the politics and country we live with and in today.
My favorite LBJ bios are written by Robert Caro: “The Path To Power” (1982), “Means of Ascent” (1990) and “Master of the Senate” (2002). A projected fourth volume covering the Vice-Presidency and Presidency is not yet completed. Caro writes almost in a literary style and has a gift for suspense. For instance, the recounting of both the 1948 Senate race and the struggle over the 1957 Civil Rights Act manages to give a sense of the high drama surrounding those events.
I wouldn’t call LBJ a hero because so much of what he did was motivated by naked ambition and by the darker forces in his personality. Yet, he did harness and moderate those forces along with his uncanny ability to use power for the advancement of social justice. Endlessly fascinating, frustrating, inspirational, disgusting, sometimes funny and angering, LBJ was, as much of a cliche as it is to say, a larger-than-life character.
Always the first person on my “Fantasy Dinner Party” list.
-Chuck Voellinger, Emily Fowler Library
The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell: This doorstop of a book, a quick and compelling, first person narrative/fictional memoir, demands quite a commitment and really weighs down my bike bag. -Bill, Tech Services
A Stillness At Appomattox by Bruce Catton. Details the last year of the American Civil War in the East and the Battles between Grant and Lee in Virginia. Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner. Very readable history although a bit heavy handed in the attempts at symbolism and poetic description. Still, manages to capture a mood. -Chuck, Emily Fowler Central Library
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. This weep inducing memoir relates Corrigan’s battle with breast cancer as a 36 year-old mother of two and her father’s simultaneous battle against bladder cancer. Corrigan’s subtle levity keeps the book from being sentimental, and brings some laughter in between the tears. -Dana, North Branch Library
I’m listening to The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker. It makes my commute go by pretty fast. I am liking it so far (about ½ way done!) and am reminded of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It is about a small town in New York, a very large woman, and the simple things in life. It takes place in the 50s-60s-70s (so far), and I find it really…soothing -Sian, Tech Services
First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh. In Balogh’s new Regency series, we meet an ordinary family unexpectedly thrust into the aristocracy. In order to save her sister from a loveless marriage, Vanessa Huxtable offers to marry Viscount Lyngate herself even though he finds her to be one of the most outspoken and infuriating women he has ever met. Will this marriage of convenience turn into something more? -Stacey, Emily Fowler Central Library