Books

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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. 

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

An exceptional crime novel by this Scottish writer, featuring detective inspector Alex Morrow of the Glasgow police. A disgraced millionaire financier hangs himself in London hours before a young woman is brutally murdered in a suburb of Glasgow. The reader knows the two events are related somehow but Alex must connect the dots while managing a tense work situation and her personal ties to some of the working class Glaswegians implicated in the murder.

New York Times announces 10 Best Books of 2011

Have you read all of our suggestions?  Maybe it is time to try one of the 'Best Books of 2011.'  The New York Times, always an arbiter of taste, has released it annual list of Best Books.  Whether you are looking for some good fiction or nonfiction, this is always an interesting and enticing list.  If you don't find anything you like, you can always turn to the Times' 100

We the Animals by Justin Torres

What is it like growing up the youngest of three brothers of a mixed race family in upstate New York?  At times it seems that it can be pretty dangerous.  Torres offers a short, quick stories that follow our narrator as he grows up in a family that teaches him to love, to fight and to survive.  Check Our Catalog

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

In this audiobook read by Johnny Heller, Nikki Heat--an interesting, tough and sexy New York homicide detective--is trying to solve the murder of a parish priest in a bondage club.  She is thwarted from investigating leads which leads her to a conspiracy inside the Police Department and a death squad trying to gun her down.  She is put on probation and has to turn to a non-policeman to assist her, writer Jameson Rook.

Sanctus by Simon Toyne

Inside the Citadel lies the oldest most important religious relic in the world.  It is greater than any relic ever recovered or revered by any religious faith.  And it is the world's greatest secret.  Toyne's book brings us inside the Citadel and into the secret sect that guards the relic.  The book begins with a very public death, which sends characters from different sides searching for answers.  This is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. 

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

I finished with tears in my eyes; this one really got me. What wonderful, evocative writing, and what skill at conveying the tangled webs we weave for ourselves and one another. Check Our Catalog

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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