Books

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Emily Hudson by Melissa Jones

Emily Hudson, a penniless orphan who lost her family to consumption and fever, is forced to accept the grudging hospitality of her aunt and uncle.  Emily does not fit into the dour straitlaced Cornford household where the least show of enthusiasm is deemed inappropriate.  Her cousin William, a novelist,  takes an interest in her watching every emotion and reaction as if thinking about how he would write the scene in a novel, even going so far as to interfere in events to create situations to observe.   Ultimately the novel is about how Emily learns to stand up for

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Can’t get enough Sherlock Holmes?  It seems that the famous inspector has made quite a comeback for himself.  The House of Silk offers the first Holmes novel to be authorized by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate in 125 years.  Narrated by Watson, this is an excellent Holmes story.  The mysteries and deductions abound.  Horowitz uses excellent pacing as the clues are slowly revealed.  I quite enjoyed this book and hope to see more from Horowitz (author of the Alex Rider books and Foyle’s War TV series). 

Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá

This masterfully drawn and written Brazilian graphic novel chronicles the life of Brás, an obituary writer and son of a famous author. The story jumps around throughout Brás’ life, but every chapter ends the same way: Brás dies. More beautiful than morbid, the novel shows the reader all the possibilities life has to offer and how, in a moment, those possibilities can vanish. The sparse words and powerful images—wonderful enough to be framed on a wall—draw you in to the heartaches, the joys, the relationships, and the truly great moments of Brás’ life.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

This award-winning novel follows a middle-aged man as he is forced to contend with people and a past that he hasn’t thought of in many years.  We follow Tony Webster as a school boy, philosophizing with his chums and as he grows through a happy, then failed marriage.  This short novel is packed with mystery and emotion.  Check Our Catalog



Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors

From April to August since 2002 Connors has parked himself in a Depression-era lookout tower on the top of 10,000 foot Apache Peak in the "epicenter of American wildfire", New Mexico's Gila Wilderness. As a employee of the U.S. Fire Circus his duties are spare: report the weather, answer the radio, relay messages, and "call in new smokes." But the life of an lyrically observant lookout (motto: "Every day spent in a lookout is a day not subtracted from the sum of one's life.") is far from boring.

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

In this Dickensian tale Jaffy, a fearless street urchin, is almost eaten by a Bengal tiger. Saved by the titular Jamrach, a jovial dealer in exotic animals who, impressed by his fearlessnes, hires him as a trainer, Jaffy meets slick talking Tim, another Jamrach protege, and his twin sister Ishbel. Tim and Jaffy become best friends. Which does not mean that their relationship is uncomplicated. The fact that Jaffy's heart is captured by Ishbel makes that a given.

Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy by John Julius Norwich

A rollicking, fast paced, less-than-reverent but scrupulously researched romp through two millenniums of popes. The cast is vast: 265 men (a very entertaining chapter explores the dubious possibility of a ninth century female Pope Joan) not to mention various antipopes. A few popes bring marvelous diplomatic and ecclesiastical skills to the task. Leo I keeps the Huns at bay and saves Rome from destruction. Scholarly Benedict XIV delicately keeps the 18th century peace and reforms the Holy See.

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

This is Nesbo’s sixth book to be translated into English starring Inspector Harry Hole.  I have been hooked since his first.  The Leopard finds Hole hiding out in Asia trying to avoid and forget his most recent dealings with murder and serial killers in Norway.  Hole is coerced back to Oslo to face yet another daunting investigative challenge.  Nesbo’s rough around the edges hero and bleak Norwegian environs make for excellent reads. 

Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume One by Mark Twain

Published in 2010, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death, this autobiography was a major literary event.  At times during this first volume, there were a lot of starts and stops;  with the editors presents Twain’s many abandoned attempts at writing an autobiography.  Once you get to the meat of things however, you can fully appreciate the great storyteller at his best.  Twain’s descriptions of events, locations, friends and foes are hilarious and enjoyable. 

The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak

Local author Andrew Krivak tells the story Jozef Vinich, who begins life in a bleak 19th century Colorado mining town, only to end up fighting for the Kaiser in World War One.  Krivak’s debut novel offers the story of a man returning to the roots of his ancestors, finding new family along the way, only to have the horrors of war disrupt all that he had come to take for granted.  Krivak packs a lot of emotion into the rather small book. 

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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