Books

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Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

It’s 1913 Vienna and Lysander Reif, a young English actor, is in town seeking psychotherapy for a very private sort of ailment. He ends up enmeshed in a passionate affair with an enigmatic woman he meets at his therapist’s office. When his lover’s live-in boyfriend finds out and becomes enraged, she accuses Lysander of rape and the story gallops away from there. Upon his return to London on the cusp of war, Lysander finds it difficult to return to normal life, breaks up with his English fiancé, joins up and gets pulled into the dangerous world of wartime spying.

More Baths Less Talking by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch) writes a monthly column for the British magazine Believer where he discusses the books he’s read in the past month. Compiling a group of these columns into a novel seems like a strange idea, but reading this collection is like joining a fun book club with a witty, well-read writer. Over the course of the 14 entries Hornby talks about fiction and nonfiction, but he also digresses often about writing and writers, life as a parent, the pleasures of reading, and the art of only reading short novels.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen

I expected this to be an oral history of comedians so I was a little surprised at how much space was given over to improv and writing for sitcoms.  Not that it wasn't interesting but I kept wondering when we'd be getting back to the comedians.   A lot of the focus of the book is about women breaking into the largely male arena of stand-up comedy and the perception, by some people, that women aren't funny.  There is some rehashing of well-worn topics like how hard women had it on  Saturday Night Live, and other not so well known, like how supportive Janeane Garofalo was

The Lost: A Search For Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn

As a boy, Daniel Mendelsohn was fascinated by his maternal grandfather’s stories and compelled by the mysterious absence of the single great-uncle (of seven siblings) who was “killed by the Nazis” along with his wife and four daughters. As an adult, the author doggedly pursued the truth about what happened to these “six of six million” in an attempt to know who they were as individuals caught up in the larger holocaust of history.

This Bright River by Patrick Somerville

Two damaged thirtysomethings with mysterious back stories return to their Wisconsin home town to lick their wounds and subsequently run into each other at a local gallery open. Flash back to their experience as two high school oddballs assigned to do a science project together. Uh huh, you can predict the ending to this one: awkwardness leads to happily ever after. But not so fast. This suspenseful story has twists and turns that you won’t expect and you won’t really know which narrator to trust, and which version of the past to believe, until the very end.

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

In 1780s London Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a native of Philadelpia, has been studying anatomy for seven years and is gaining a reputation for himself as a skilled and dedicated anatomist.   Thomas would be more than willing to continue to pursue his studies purely to gain more knowledge of the human body but when Lady Lydia Farrell requests his aid in discovering whether her brother, Earl Crick, was poisoned he finds himself drawn out of his laboratory and into a court room.  Lady Farrell is desperate to find the truth as the local rumor mill has cast her husband as the murderer.

Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen

This comedic crime novel teems with memorable characters and laugh-out-loud situations. When you mix the aftermath of a destructive hurricane with money hungry ex-cons, an insane ex-governor, a rogue band of monkeys, innocent honeymooners, and an independently wealthy handsome skull juggler looking for direction, high jinks and hilarity are bound to happen. Check Our Catalog

Vigilante by Stephen J. Cannell

Not intellectual fare, but wonderful fun and distraction and a great way to recontextualize whatever you're dealing with lately.  "You think you have problems?"  Cannell's recurring hero Shane Scully is up against an evildoer you can picture easily enough in your mind, a lurid "Reality TV star" whose mission in life seems to make life miserable for police.  One measure of a well written story is the solutions you think you have drawn as you move toward the conclusion, telling yourself how good it will feel, and how vindicated you as reader will be, when it turns out you had alre

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

This book is about the effect a morbidly obese obsessive-compulsive eater has on her family.  It's true that matriarch Edie's non-stop consumption weighs heavily on her family, but so does her impending divorce from husband of 30-something years, Richard.  We get everyone's point of view. Pharmacist Richard who just wants to have sex again before he dies.

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The world is going to end, it is just a matter of time.  In The Last Policeman, they know when and they don’t have too long.  In a world threatened by an impending asteroid strike, Detective Hank Palace might just be the last working policeman.  Crime is on the rise, but who wants to waste the effort bringing criminals to justice, when the asteroid will bring its own.  Palace sets about solving a murder in this first of an anticipated trilogy.  The investigation won’t be easy since the murder looks like a suicide, and those have become all too prevalen

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