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Henning Mankell, 1948-2015

The literary world is a little emptier today after the death of renowned Swedish author Mankell, a master of Nordic noir and creator of the character Kurt Wallander, the morose and self-doubting police inspector investigating crimes in a changing Sweden. Mankell also wrote non-Wallander novels, plays, children’s books and screenplays. If you haven’t read any of his work and enjoy literary crime fiction that digs much deeper than your average ephemeral thriller, start with the first Wallander novel, Faceless Killers, and see if you get hooked.

Stretch Your Mind - Read a Banned Book

This week is Banned Books Week, a time that libraries take a look at which books have been challenged and by whom. Since 1982, about 11,300 books have been challenged for content that some consider to be offensive - content that includes sex, drug use, homosexuality, politics and offensive language.

Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

How a daring band of misfits mastered the lost secrets of strength and endurance. This is a really engaging non-fiction read that tackles several diverse ideas and weaves them together with a very compelling story. It opens in WWII with the kidnapping of a Nazi general from the heart of occupied Crete. It travels back to the origins of the Greek mythical heroes and takes a detour visiting moden urban heroes practicing parkour.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

A horror-fantasy novel about librarians (who are also formidable gods) - with a bit of humor and romance too? I’m in! Author Scott Hawkins has been likened to Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman, and I think his first foray into fiction deserves this comparison. It takes a few chapters to really figure out what’s going on, but if you stick with it, the payoff is huge. Mysterious protagonist Carolyn is making plans to take over the library, which wields immense power over the universe, after the librarians’ brutal adopted Father disappears.

The Bees by Laline Paull

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker bee, navigating the strict hierarchy of her beloved hive. She’s also curious, ambitious and unusually talented. A rare chance to rise above her low-caste estate comes when circumstances threaten the hive’s survival. Work and sacrifice conflict with an overwhelming maternal love and lead her to unthinkable and dangerous deeds. Paull’s imaginative prose protects the story from artifice. You’ll never look at the lowly honey bee in your backyard in the same way after reading this thrilling tale.

Clockers by Richard Price

Desperate to conquer your addiction to the hit HBO series The Wire? Everyone curious to see how the show works in book form - here it is. While Baltimore has been replaced by Dempsey, New Jersey and Rocco and Strike fill in for McNulty and Bodie, Price's work paints for us the same tortured image recognizable to those who have experienced The Wire: an American inner city on fire. Check Our Catalog

Redshirts by John Scalzi

My name is Nick Weinstein. I’m a scriptwriter for a low budget sci-fi TV series, Chronicles of the Intrepid. The people I wrote in my scripts exist. I know because I met them right there in the flesh. I could reach out and touch them. Whenever I kill one of them off, they actually die. To me, it’s just putting down words on a page. To them, it’s getting eaten by a Borgovian Land Worm, or shot to smithereens by a rogue robot, or being eaten by a bear. Think about that.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Never have I enjoyed a book so much in which the all of the main characters were so unsympathetic. But that was part of its charm. We do want to know what happens to these broken people - alternating between an eagerness for punishment for their sins and a hope that they can start anew. The book, a fairly straight suspense/crime novel, centers upon a woman’s disappearance, and another woman’s experience as a very unreliable witness. We actually jump between three women’s perspectives, which come together nicely near the end of the book. I was kept guessing until the very end.

Quincy Reads

Curious what everyone else in Quincy is reading? We just updated our lists of the top circulating adult books. You can always find the lists here. Click on any of the covers below to view the entire list.

July's Hotest Reads Top Books on CD

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

A hilarious and entertaining investigation into the messy realm that is modern dating, Aziz Ansari provides comic relief upheld by facts, anecdotes and research.  Reading the book is not unlike watching one of his stand up specials, as he projects his humor on different cultural perspectives of relationships, online dating and texting.  What makes Modern Romance so enjoyable is Ansari’s own lens and light judging of the socially awkward, weird and desperate in all of us.

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