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Books

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Ratking by Michael Dibdin

Having enjoyed Zen on Masterpiece Mystery I went looking for the books the series is based on. This is the first of the Aurelio Zen mysteries, oddly enough shown as the third episode in the TV series. The book provides a much more detailed story with many more characters and an ending that doesn't work out quite as simply as on TV.

Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Sadly, writer, screenwriter & director Ephron died yesterday--yet even just reading the obituaries made me laugh. Read, for example, her reprinted comments ruing the fact that she was "probably the only young woman who ever worked in the Kennedy White House whom the president did not make a pass at"....perhaps because of her unfortunate permanent wave, or because she was Jewish, or because "JFK somehow sensed that discretion was not my middle name.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

There are those inside the Dome, and then there is everyone else. Pressia wasn’t one of those lucky enough to make it into the Dome before the Detonations. Now, like her fellow survivors, she bears the scars of the Detonations, both with her physical deformities, and her mental strife. Now, Pressia is on the run, trying to escape from a militia, and this is when she discovers a Pure.  Patridge has escaped from the Dome and as a Pure, has already escaped the physical scars of the Detonation.  Now, the two are thrust together, trying to survive in a harsh new world.

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

Over a span of 24 hours, brilliant, yet eccentric, physicist Alex Hoffman suspects that he is losing his mind. He can’t remember sending ominous emails supposedly sent by him. People die. He is brutally assaulted. And Alex might be the cause of cataclysmic worldwide stock market crash that threatens global financial institutions. He’s invented a computer algorithm that begins to “think” for itself (and the fortunate few investors who have thrown their cash in Alex’s direction), starts to move the markets and doesn’t care what the collateral damage might be. Can it be stopped?

The Protector by David Morrell

A great story, especially one with this much action, requires suspension of the reader's disbelief. I realized how skilled Morrell is in accomplishing that effect, at least in this reader, when I turned to my wife and said, "Have you ever been reading a book that is so exciting that you realize you have been holding your breath?" This is not a new book, but it sure still packs a punch.

The Gingerbread Girl by Stephen King

This is an audiobook release of a novella from King's 2008 collection, Just After Sunset. It is only two CDs but it feels like a longer story because he packs so much suspense in so few words. Narrator Mare Winningham conveys just enough emotion and mood, without overdramatizing a story that is exciting and - at times - lurid enough based just on the words. Like any great melodrama, you wonder how much more your "hero" can take, as challenges and disasters pile up, but you root for her to rise to every one and come out stronger.

Lost in Shangri-La : A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

As WW II comes to a close, 24 military sightseers take a flying joyride over the remote mountains of New Guinea. The plane crashes and the only survivors are a beautiful WAC and 2 G.I.s. All three are injured, unreachable by ordinary means, surrounded by startled stone-age warrior tribes and cut off from a 200-mile journey to the coast by thousands of hostile Japanese soldiers. The military inserts a squad of Filipino-American paratroopers and their gung-ho commander to aid the survivors.

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder

In the dizzying third (and probably not the last) installment of a steampunk/alternative-universe/time-travel saga, polymath explorer extraordinaire Sir Richard Burton returns with his trusty sidekick poet Algernon Swinburne to pre-empt a royal assassination, prevent world war, recover a set of psychoactive diamonds deposited by a now-extinct non-human race of super beings, and defeat the powers of evil. Burton hops between alternative realities in an enthralling tale replete with an encyclopedic grasp of period detail. Thoroughly engrossing.

The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think? by Harry Blamires.

A generation ago this was required reading for those seeking to enlist in the ranks of ecclesiastical leadership. This classic begins with a resounding jeremiad against the rising tide of secularism and posits six marks of the mind that thinks Christianly: its supernatural orientation, awareness of evil, conception of truth, acceptance of authority, concern for the person, and sacramental cast. Still provocative. Check our Catalog



Soccer Men by Simon Kuper

Euro 2012 has kicked off in Poland and the Ukraine.  This is one of the world’s largest soccer tournaments, featuring sixteen of Europe’s top flight clubs.  Will Spain continue their dominance, or will Germany restore order? To get you in the mood, try Simon Kuper’s Soccer Men.  This book contains essays on some of the great players and managers of today and the recent past. The profiles explore what makes a truly great player or soccer strategist. You can dig a little deeper and check out Kuper’s older book, Soccernomics, which explores the who wins and why.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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