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 
Sometime in the near future a virus has infected thousands of people around the world and completely severed their ability to control their bodies. Being of sound mind these people (Holdens) are literally locked inside their human form. The virus had no respect for class or status and many very wealthy people were locked in. They were able to harness political power to subsidize rapid advances in technology that now enable people locked in their bodies to navigate the physical world by controlling very advanced robots - as well as habitating in expansive virtual worlds. The story opens on the poster child of Holdens’ first day in the FBI. Crimes against Holdens are on the rise, and political winds have shifted, as people who were not infected start to feel disadvantaged. Tightly written, this was a very fun read. Check our catalog 
I first met local veterinarian Dr. Trout when he helped me diagnose a dear greyhound I had rescued. When I came across this, his fifth book, I knew I had to give it a chance - he was a great help in a tough time and I figured that his writing must be pretty good to sustain this many books. I was very pleasantly surprised. This novel is about a man who has returned to his home-town in rural Vermont to take over his recently deceased father’s veterinary practice. It comes with the expected animal related mysteries, a rivalry with a bigger, corporate practice in the next town over, and a couple possible love interests with complications. The writing is very easy-going and often humourous. Not incredibly deep, but quite comforting - much like my favorite canine companions. Check our catalog 
Luz made the biggest mistake of her life when she left her one-year-old daughter in L.A. with her aunt and threw her lot in with a Mexican drug lord in Tijuana. Now married to Mexican drug lord #2, she is captive to her husband and her drug habit. After a year of careful planning, she manages to escape both and make a run for her “angel baby” back in L.A. Almost immediately, her husband is on her trail via a murderous paid thug/convict and a thoroughly corrupt U.S. border patrolman. Her only hope is Malone, a drunken and dissolute drifter who smuggles illegals across the border for money. Tightly written and un-put-downable, this thriller follows the chase from both the good guys’ and the bad guys’ point of view. Check Our Catalog 
If I could, I would make this book required reading for everyone of voting age in this country. In this age of mass-incarceration, with truly horrifying and mind-numbing statistics documenting our floundering with the administration of justice, this book provides powerful hope for how we can move forward. With incredibly engaging stories from the frontline of the struggle, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice. Likened to Nelson Mandela by Desmond Tutu, this is a profound voice you need to hear. The interview below, originally broadcast on November 20, is Stevenson discussing Ferguson, prison reform and why the opposite of poverty is justice. Check our catalog 
Demythologizing the complications and vicissitudes of war requires a deft eloquence and brutal honesty. Klay’s powerful first-person stories explore the brutality and faith, guilt and doubt, commitment and fear and the ever present attempt to create meaning from the fog of our recent Middle East conflicts. Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for fiction . Check our catalog 
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. What begins as a flight for survival becomes a mission to carry the hope of a new world and a new faith known as "Earthseed." If you enjoy compelling, thoughtful reads, Octavia Butler’s works are a must (especially to hunker down with this coming winter!). Check our catalog 
This is a fabulous tale! It starts in the mid-1980’s in the English countryside when 15-year-old Holly Sykes storms away from home over her first-love - an older boy who does her wrong so fast its barely even mentionable. Earlier in Holly’s life she heard voices and had visits from what other’s chalked up to an imaginary friend. But it was never imaginary for Holly, and she is quite sane. The novel skips forward and around the globe, introducing several other interesting characters, all of whom have compelling stories of their own. There are sci-fi elements to this story, but, as a non-sci-fi reader re-assured me, this is NOT a sci-fi novel. Or at least that’s not a very significant portion, although there are some rather fantastical elements. What this IS, is a story of life, culture, loving, what lasts, and what is merely transitory. Many twists and turns, and utterly compelling, you may likely want to read it more than once. There is a good reason this ended up on the long list for the 2014 Booker prize. Check our catalog 
Who is Jigme Drolma? Perhaps the Tibetan David Foster Wallace? Perhaps a fraud? Follow young literary artists across Brooklyn, Bloomington, Berkeley, and Bakersfield as they trip through life, art, love, and SOFA. What is SOFA? Think Occupy, but not as well defined. This novel is often quite funny, definitely proud of its geek edges, and a fun way to spend a few hours. Don’t read it for plot - there’s not a ton. Its never even entirely clear who the main characters are, but its a fun ride for sure. Check our catalog 
It’s 1920 and Rosanna and Walter Langdon are just starting their lives as a young farm family in Iowa, Walter just returned from the European battlefield and Rosanna determined to be the perfect farm wife. The years pass one by one while babies are born, crops are harvested, tractors replace workhorses and the family lives within the arc of history (drought, Depression, another World War, the Red Scare). This is a satisfying family saga that is billed as the first of a trilogy, and you will want to keep reading about this extended clan of characters you’ve come to know and care about. Check Our Catalog 
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. These unique ingredients lead to some...interesting...flavors. Beer, as both a source of nutrition and reliably safe form of hydration, was an essential element of the Pilgrims survival in the New World, however, it was also a source of contention, as overindulgence was common and threatened their religious way of life. This conflict would culminate in the passing of prohibition years later. In the aftermath of Prohibition, the New England beer industry saw a big resurgence. With great detail, Clark explores the creation, and in some cases, failure, of post prohibition New England beer companies like Narragansett, Samuel Adams, Haffenreffer, Harpoon, Smuttynose, and many, many others. This is a great book for anyone thirsty for local history and beer/craft beer history. Cheers! Check our catalog 
A project to bioengineer a race of super warriors who can master any skill in moments and heal from the most catastrophic wounds produces mutant “virals” that wipe out most of the human population in short order. One hundred years later a small group of survivors at the end of their resources decide to place their hope in a young girl who can so something unusual: communicate with the “virals.” Meticulously plotted, full of a host of well-drawn and empathetic characters, and enough plot twists to keep one guessing to the pause at the end . . . eagerly anticipating the second installment. Yes, this is another first installment of a projected vampire trilogy, but this one’s very, very different. Check our catalog 
We first meet Marie-Laure and Werner as youngsters in pre-war France and Germany. Marie Laure lives with her father, master locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, and loses her sight at age six. Werner and his sister are growing up with limited prospects in a poor orphanage in the coal mining town where their parents died. The arrival of World War II disrupts their childhoods, causing Marie-Laure and her father to flee to the relative safety of Saint-Malo, a walled citadel on the coast of France, and providing Werner with an unexpected opportunity to avoid his inevitable destiny in the coal mines by joining Hitler Youth. This beautifully written story follows these two characters through the wartime years as their lives slowly converge and finally meet just as Allied bombs rain down and the Nazis flee in August 1944. Although it is closely focused on the lives of two sympathetic people, the novel is really about the devastation of war on every level—the way it destroys communities, rips apart families, and permanently warps the lives and personalities of individuals caught up in something beyond their control. Check Our Catalog 
Lyddie Berry is a strong and independent thinking woman. She needs that strength when her husband dies because life as a widow in colonial America is almost unimaginable by today's standards. Besides her grief, she must deal with the fact that the house she shared with her husband for twenty years, her property, and her rights are now controlled by her nearest male relative. That man is her overbearing and thoroughly insensitive son-in-law. The author gives us not only memorable characters, but painless history lessons as life in pre-Revolutiuonary Satucket (read Brewster, MA) unfolds, and we follow Lyddie in her personal "war" as she challenges the laws and customs of the times.
This title became a book club favorite, and there are now even organized tours of Lyddie's Satucket during the summer and early fall months. My group spent a day in Brewster, a "field trip" to the Cape, and followed the map included in the book on our own. This is certainly a well-written and well-researched story, and is followed by others in which some of the characters reappear and bring the story up to Revolutionary times. I've enjoyed them all, but I think this is my favorite. If you liked Sally Gunning's Peter Bartholomew mystery series, do give her historical novels a try, you won't be disappointed. Check Our Catalog 
In the summer of her 13th year, during the Watergate hearings of 1972, Riddle Camperdown stumbles upon the aftermath of a crime. A discovery she chooses to keep from her politician father "Camp" and her caustic, retired movie star mother Greer. In due time Riddle becomes involved with the family of a teenager who has seemingly disappeared and discovers several more familial secrets.
This is no whodunit. The bad guy is clear from early on. The mystery here is why did he do it? A word of caution: the villain is so cartoonishly evil that you must suspend your disbelief that he would be gainfully employed and welcome in anyone's home. That said, this is a beautifully written book and I loved Greer's wryly misanthropic one-liners and retorts which, alone, make this book worth reading. Check Our Catalog 
“Lars” Larson is a middle-aged college English professor with a wife and daughter—and a wandering eye for pretty coeds. Iris Weed is one of those coeds, whose apparent romantic disinterest in Lars inspires him to obsess about her to the point of stalking and spying on her to find out who her boyfriend is. Things come to a head one night during an argument in Lars’ car, leading Iris to storm off and leave one of her diaries behind. The next morning, she turns up brutally murdered in a parking lot. As the police investigate, Lars employs all of his considerable charm in every direction to avoid telling the truth to investigators, his colleagues, his suspicious wife and his daughter. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we start believing our own lies! Check Our Catalog 
I chose this because I thought, “Aha, someone’s finally written my story!” Then I discovered it was by and about--horrors-- A Pretender to the Throne! A hilarious pictorial parody of a clueless (but outrageously clever) father and his adorable daughter. I laughed so hard that I, well, a washing machine was involved. Check Our Catalog 
Picture this: a multinational corporation specializing in internet-related services and products has been devouring all competitors for years. 90% of the the world’s searches go through this company. Without competitors this will only increase. Control the flow of information and you control everything including what anyone sees and knows. The company can bury information. It can ruin any person. No one can rise up against it because it controls all the information and access to it. What happens when the company controls all searches and has full access to all data about every person? When they know every move every person makes? That’s Eggers’s Circle. And this provocative tale is 2013’s 1984. Check Our Catalog 
Reno is an artist living in NYC in the 70’s. She loves speed, especially fast motorcycles and downhill skiing. Always an outsider, she flirts on the fringes of several fascinating scenes, develops a long-term relationship with an older, more established artist/son of an Italian Motorcompany magnate, and finds herself mixed up with the Red Brigades, the radical movement that threw Italy into chaos in the late 1970s. Kushner has crafted a very tangible protagonist - I felt like I really knew her and can empathize with the challenges she faces. There are no tidy answers at the end. This book prefers to ask intricate questions and put answers to the test. The prose is beautiful and powerful. I really enjoyed reading this book. Check Our Catalog .
Little girls keep showing up dead--with bite marks on their bellies--in 1960s-era Florence, and world-weary 50-something Inspector Bordelli is tasked with finding their killer. This atmospheric novel really takes you back to a specific time and place that is palpably post-war 20 years after the end of World War II, with obvious scars remaining on both the physical landscape and on the psyches of police, witnesses and criminals alike. Like many of his fictional Italian colleagues, Bordelli spends a fair amount of time sitting around and contemplating, eating spaghetti and drinking wine, but he gets there in the end. Check Our Catalog