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The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

I enjoyed listening to the women’s perspective of the Space Race and early days of NASA. This is the entertaining story of the wives of the heroes of the Mercury missions through the Apollo moon walks. These mostly military wives were transformed overnight into American celebrities. Pressured to conform to an ideal of “perfect American housewife,” these very human women had to deal with stresses of intense media attention - two families even went so far as to build their dream homes with no front windows.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Downton Abbey fans will enjoy visiting (or revisiting) this classic Agatha Christie murder mystery. Written one year after the current season of Downton takes place, in 1926, this book is set in a small English village with all the usual characters of British mystery fiction – the sly butler, the gossip, the housemaids, and the upper crust young people being forced into an arranged marriage. The story is narrated by the local Dr. Sheppard, a neighbor of Hercule Poirot’s, and a friend of the murder victim.

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

Having trouble staying awake? Start reading this book and forget about sleeping until you’ve finished it. This outrageously high octane thriller features a pair of rival European criminal gangs engaged in a murderous competition for market domination, a gang of disturbingly corrupt Swedish cops, and an innocent but complicit nurse (and her completely innocent teenage son) who gets caught in the middle. Check Our Catalog—and buckle your seat belt!

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.

Robert Stone (1937-2015)

Adventurer, war correspondent and award-winning novelist Robert Stone died on Saturday. His second novel, Dog Soldiers, won a National Book Award and was adapted into the movie "Who'll Stop the Rain" in 1978. Other significant works include A Flag for Sunrise, Outerbridge Reach, and Damascus Gate. Never read one of his books? Try borrowing one from the library and see what makes his work worth reading! Check Our Catalog

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

No one writes dystopian science fiction quite like Octavia Butler. Captivating and terrifyingly real, Parable of the Sower tells the tale of young Lauren Olamina, an empath who feels and experiences the pain of others around her. Forced to flee her home in Southern California, Lauren finds an America where anarchy and violence have completely taken over as a result of unattended environmental and economic crises.

Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day by Lauren Clark

Local journalist and beer brewer Lauren Clark has delivered a well researched and witty book about the history of beer and the explosive emergence of craft beer brewing in the New England area. Starting with the Pilgrims first landing in Plymouth, Lauren explores the rich history and vital importance that beer had on the first settlers of America. With scarce resources, the early settlers of our nation had to get creative, using corn, spruce tree branches, pumpkins (actual pumpkins, not our modern nutmeg laced “pumpkin” beers), and molasses, as ingredients.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Jodi, a psychoanalyst, is in denial that her companion of 20 years is unfaithful until he decides to leave her. Their comfortable relationship is now in peril. Has she enabled him long enough? Is revenge the answer? How far will that desire for revenge take her? Todd is comfortable with their relationship, too. His meals are cooked, his house is well kept, and they enjoy their high-end lifestyle. But he wants more and takes up with yet another woman, this time younger.

The Lower River by Paul Theroux

Ellis Hock bids adieu to his failing clothing store, bitter wife and avaricious daughter and returns to Malabo, Malawi where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer almost 40 years ago. But a place of hope and nostalgia and usefulness has deteriorated to one of corruption, deep distrust and danger. Ellis not only has nothing to do but is slowly consumed by the people he once loved until he discovers that there is a price on his head. Snakes play a major—if understated—role in this provocative tale. Theroux is a master story teller with the travel writer’s exquisite eye for detail.

A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay

Eight-year-old Norma Joyce and her 17-year-old sister Lucinda are living with their widowed father on a wind-swept farm in 1930s Saskatchewan when a stranger blows into town and changes their lives forever. Beautiful, fair and hard-working Lucinda is the favored daughter, compared to small, dark and challenging Norma Joyce, but each is formidable in her own way. This family story by an acclaimed Canadian author covers 30 years and takes its members from the western prairies to "heavenly" Ontario to New York City and back again, through dreams, heartbreak, love, betrayal and loss.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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