The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach

Glad you don’t live in Buffalo? But sort of wishing you were snowed in for a weekend so you could read?

RemedyforLoveHere’s the perfect book for you – The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach (from Algonquin and finalist for the 2014 Kirkus prize for fiction). Two strangers meet by chance in a grocery line, and end up together in a cabin during the storm of the century in Maine.

Eric – a defense lawyer who is trying in a last ditch effort to save his marriage, even though his wife has moved on, decides to cook a romantic dinner. He needs groceries. While in line he notices a young woman who in his mind is clearly homeless, probably unstable, and struggling to pay. He helps her and offers her a ride back to where she lives.

Danielle – is alone, squatting in a cabin far off the road and near the river. She doesn’t want him to help her home. Eric insists and that’s when he sees the rustic cabin with no running water, electricity or heat. He decides to help her whether she wants him to or not. She is distrustful of his intentions.

The storm comes. In this page turner, the reader isn’t sure about the motivation of either character; it is like watching a weird psychological tennis match with killer serves delivered by both parties. As several feet of snow falls and is measured in feet, there’s an odd world in that lonely cabin unfolding and it’s hard to step back without finding out how the characters will survive.

So settle into your favorite chair with your tea or cocoa and put your feet up. You will be reading this story from start to finish. Bill Roorbach is a gifted storyteller you will find yourself drawn into that cabin and into the characters’ troubled lives.LifeAmongGiants

The author lives in Maine and his novel, Life Among Giants has recently been picked up by HBO as a series. Roorbach is working on the script. You won’t regret settling into any book by Bill Roorbach.

~Lisa C.                         Program Liaison at James H. LaRue

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Volunteer Views

Volunteer Views

 

In this week’s list, our DCL volunteers offer some reviews which cover books for all ages!

miraclemapleshillMiracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen

All the best stories ring with truth and Miracles on Maple Hill is no exception. Ms. Sorensen very deservedly won the Newberry for this delightful juvenile book, which features glimpses of both the mundane and the complexities of life as experienced through a young girl’s senses during four seasons in rural Pennsylvania. Marly’s voice is so authentic and relatable that I found myself feeling a deep regard for all the people she meets and places she goes. Be prepared for the urge to consume some pure maple syrup at some point in the reading!

 

~Juvenile fiction; rated 5 stars by James H. LaRue volunteer Sara

inspectorpawsInspector Paws and the Wonders of Europe by Rosemary Budd

Inspector Paws moves in with Stella and Ernie Clayton and they provide him with food, and a big backyard, which caters to his roaming instincts. The best part is that there are no kids around to torment him. When Ernie has a fatal heart attack his death is attributed to natural causes, but the tingle in his whiskers convinces Paws there’s more to it. Then Stella and her friend Jo kidnap Paws and drag him off on a European tour, during which he becomes the tour mascot and self-appointed sleuth. Can he solve the mystery of who killed Ernie? An amusing little book that captivates you, much like other cat mystery books.

~Adult fiction; rated 5 stars by Castle Pines volunteer Bev

prolonged exposureProlonged Exposure by Steven Havill

Undersheriff Bill Gastner is recuperating at his daughter’s home in Michigan. Detective Estelle Reyes-Guzman calls from his hometown of Posadas, New Mexico, to notify him that his home has been robbed. She also tells him that his elderly neighbor has buried his wife on Gastner’s property. Gastner and his daughter return to New Mexico and are soon entangled in the search for a missing three year old boy. The search becomes more personal and heart wrenching when another little boy is kidnapped. Gastner must cope with his home invasion and his neighbor while supporting the kidnapping investigation. The plot is gripping, and I found myself unable to put the book down until the kidnapping was resolved.

~ePub fiction; rated 5 stars by James H. LaRue volunteer Sheryl

cotillionCotillion by Georgette Heyer

With some romance novels, you pretty much know what you’re going to get even before you flip to the first page. Not so with novels by Georgette Heyer, who consistently comes up with refreshingly original situations for her unique heroines and heroes. Cotillion is one of the best examples of her work. If you’re interested in atypical characters, an engrossing storyline with unexpected twists and turns, and a well-researched depiction of Britain’s Regency era – and you’re not looking for the literary genius of Jane Austen or the steamy heat of bodice rippers – then grab this e-book. You won’t be sorry.

~ePub fiction; rated 4 stars by James H. LaRue Volunteer Chris

angerviolenceAnger is Okay, Violence is Not by Julie Federico

This story delivers an empowering message appropriate for all people at all times. My kids, ages 5, 8, and 10 wanted me to read it over and over because it spoke to a solution for a universal problem. Though unsophisticated, the bright illustrations make a serious theme safe, accessible and conversational. The title is superb and my thanks go to Tate Publishing and Ms. Federico for this important book.

~Picture book; rated 4 stars by James H. LaRue Volunteer Sara 
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Mystery Monday — The Man Who Died Laughing

Mystery MondayI love to check out mysteries based on different cultures and settings.  As I was looking at different options, I decided to check out The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall which is set in India.  The title was intriguing and I hadn’t read any mysteries set in India before.  The victim, Dr. Suresh Jha, is murdered during a meeting of the weekly Laughing Club.  Apparently he has been killed by the goddess Kali, who hovers in the air and runs a sword through him while the other members of the club are helplessly laughing and magically unable to move.

The Man Who Died LaughingBecause this is such a sensational murder, Vish Puri, a famed detetective with a reputation for explaining the unexplainable is called in to assist.  However, Inspector Singh makes sure that Puri understands his involvement is not to be made known to the head of the police department.

The main suspect is Maharaj Swami, who leads a wealthy religious group and who Dr. Jha was extremely critical of.  Dr. Jha was the founder of the Delhi Institute of Rationalism and Education (DIRE) and a constant critic of Maharaj Swami as well as other Indian spiritualists.

Can this unusual murder be solved in a satisfactory way?  Most definitely.  With the help of his undercover agents, Detective Puri is able to put all of the pieces of this puzzle together.

This is the second Vish Puri Mystery.  Though I didn’t start with the first book in the series, it probably would be best to read them in order though I didn’t feel like I missed too much by not having read the first book (The Case of the Missing Servant in 2009).  Additional Vish Puri Mysteries include The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (2012) and The Case of the Love Commandos (2013).  But to really get a feel for the setting in India and correct pronunciation of the different names, I strongly recommend that you listen to the audio versions of these mysteries.

– Carol W.

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Amazon Names Ten Books

Recently Amazon named its ten best rated books for 2014 –so far. The list includes some of our own staff favorites as well–click here to see it.

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My personal favorite from the list is Pierce Brown’s riveting debut, Red Rising, the masterfully told tale of sixteen year-old Darrow and life in a Martian mining colony where all is not as it seems.

 

 

Golden Son, book II in the trilogy, is available now for requests prior to the January 6 publication date.

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~ djc

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An Evening with Bestselling Author – Ally Condie

BigBuzzBannerHer Matched trilogy has made her an international bestselling author, and now Douglas County Libraries welcomes Ally Condie to the  James H. LaRue Library in Highlands Ranch, on Thursday, November 13th at 6:30pm. She will talk about her new stand-alone young adult book, Atlantia.

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Registration is required for this free event, and is available online by clicking here or by calling 303-791-7323. Books will be on sale, of course, courtesy of the Tattered Cover Book Store.

Critically-acclaimed author Ally Condie is known for her spare, poetic prose and inventive storytelling. In 2010, her ‘superb’ (Wall Street Journal) novel Matched became one of the most talked-about books of the year, garnering two starred reviews and widespread critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly raved, ‘Matched is the hottest YA title to hit bookstores since The Hunger Games,’ and Publishers Weekly named the novel one of their ‘Best Books of the Year’.”

AtlantiaFor as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose…

In this heart-breaking novel, Condie masterfully conjures a world both dazzling and deeply flawed, and a heroine whose profound love for her sister and her city drives her to question everything she has known to be true.”

~Lisa C.

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Book Lover’s Night – JHL

Looking for just the right book to curl up with on a chilly evening? Well you’re not alone, and you’re in luck, because the Book Lover’s Night at the James H. LaRue library on October 22 featured some wonderful reading suggestions. Whether you are in the mood for a new novel, or if non-fiction is your thing this fall, you can always trust our staff to come through! Here are a few of their favorites from the list.

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, by Lydia Netzer

HowtoTellToledoLibrary Journal review: “Netzer’s sophomore effort is a love story like no other. Irene, a brilliant astrophysicist, believes in science, not love. George is convinced everything on the planet, from the stars to the living beings, has a twin soul. He just hasn’t found his yet… As George and Irene balance the fine line of fate, old secrets are exposed, and true love is put to the test.

Netzer’s poetic storytelling results in a surreal yet believable tale of two lives intertwined more than they could have realized. As in the author’s first novel, Shine, Shine, Shine, the imaginative characters are full of eccentricities, adding a touch of humor to a story that’s also tinged with remorse and regret. Recommended for all literary fiction fans, this would also make a great book club selection for anyone who has ever pondered soul mates and the role individuals play in controlling destiny.”  (Suggested by Dodie O.)

 

The View from Penthouse B, by Elinor Lipman

ViewfrompenthousebGwen-Laura Schmidt lost her husband suddenly and is trying, without much success, to cope with his death. When her older sister Margot invites her to move into Margot’s luxurious Village apartment, it’s a setup that could work for both. Margot herself is fighting back from financial ruin and a scandalous divorce from her husband, a fertility doctor who ran afoul of the law. This is a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief that will also help Margot make ends meet. Another boarder rounds out their group, an attractive guy named Anthony, who bakes cupcakes. Dreaming up money-making schemes with Margot and Anthony and venturing back out into the dating world begins to bring Gwen around. Meanwhile the arrival of Margot’s paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs livens things up even more. A sweet and witty sister story, this novel is all about love, grief, loneliness, forgiveness and new life in middle age.                                 (Suggested by Katherine J.)

 

No Silent Night: the Christmas Battle for Bastogne, by Don Cygan and Leo Barron

bookcoverCA0CJ75LOn Christmas morning, 1944, there was little reason to celebrate as the Battle of the Bulge raged. A small force of American solders—including the famed 101st Airborne division, tank destroyer crews, engineers, and artillerymen—was completely surrounded by Hitler’s armies in the Belgian town of Bastogne. The Germans desperately needed to drive back the Allies and thus turn the tide of the war. As the newly reinforced German army of men and tanks attacked just before dawn, the outnumbered, ill-supplied Americans gathered in church for services or shivered in their snow-covered foxholes on the fringes of the front lines. The horrific battle brought the enemies up close and personal, with the cold, exhausted soldiers of both armies fighting for every square foot of frozen earth. In the end, Allied forces prevailed to hold Bastogne, and the pivotal and hard-won victory hoisted up morale and sounded the death-knell for Hitler’s Third Reich. The Nazis never launched another offensive again.        (Suggested by Lisa)

Author Don Cygan will talk about his book at the Roxborough Library on Friday, November 7th at 7pm. Register online or by calling 303-791-7323.

For the complete list of the Book Lover’s titles,  click here.

~djc

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Mystery Monday – Ghostly Tales

Mystery MondayWhat could be better than even more ghost stories this time of year? Actually for some people (myself included) a spine-tingling ghost story is fascinating entertainment at any time of year. Ghostly tales have always appealed to people of all ages, too. Whether it’s the whole “I see dead people” thing, or there’s an unseen entity that helps or menaces us– or both– it happens to be the perfect time to try a well done ghost story! Here are a few new books for your consideration and enjoyment.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

afterworldsWesterfeld’s unique new book features Darcy Patel, a college-age woman working to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Darcy arrives in New York and quickly doubts her decision to set out with no apartment or friends in the city. Then she meets a group of writers who accept her into their diverse group. Westerfeld tells Darcy’s story in alternating chapters, switching between her real life and the story told in her novel. He cleverly navigates readers between these stories and somehow creates two fully realized worlds– one contemporary romance and one horror fantasy.
Darcy struggles with the ins and out of survival in today’s publishing world. Meanwhile, in Darcy’s novel, her character Lizzie slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between, she is pulled into a world of ghosts.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

roomsYA sensation Lauren Oliver offers readers a mesmerizing adult mystery, complete with ghosts and family secrets. When Richard Walker dies, his estranged family shows up at his sprawling country house looking to collect their inheritance. But when his embittered ex-wife and two troubled children arrive, they find they are not alone. Alice and Sandra, the ghosts of long dead former residents now bound to the house, linger within the crowded rooms. As the ghosts observe the family arguing and trading barbs, Alice and Sandra use the house itself to speak to the unhappy living—through hissing radiators, a creaky staircase, and the like. The characters are all haunted by painful truths that soon surface with explosive force as the lives of the living and the dead intersect.
Oliver is the New York Times bestselling Young Adult author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy. Rooms, her imaginative adult debut, has drawn comparisons to The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Jackaby by William Ritter

JackabyFans of “quirky” are in for a treat with Jackaby, in which we meet the endearingly naïve but adventurous narrator, Abigail Rook. It’s 1892 when Abigail sets out for the US, seeking adventure and a job. She arrives in New Fiddleham, penniless and with few employable skills, but when she meets R.F. Jackaby, he takes her on as his assistant. Her new boss is peculiar to say the least– an investigator who can see supernatural beings. Abigail has a keen eye for detail but no knowledge of the paranormal, yet Jackaby is drawn to Abigail when he sees immediately that she has managed to pick up a spirit somewhere in her travels.  Abigail’s first case proves a thrilling one, involving a serial killer. Jackaby believes that a nonhuman creature is responsible but the police deny the existence of the creature. That is, all except a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane.
Described as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock “, Ritter’s debut novel is first in a series that’s “brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.”

The Little Book of True Ghost Stories by Echo Bodine

littlebookofTrueGhostStoriesIf you are looking for stories where the ghosts are real, check out this publisher’s description: “Echo Bodine sees dead people. And, in the course of her thirty year ghostbusting career, she has escorted countless souls of the dearly departed from bordellos, bars, and boardinghouses in which they have overstayed their welcome. ‘Ghosts,’ Echo Bodine once said, ‘are like everyone else, except they are dead.’ This always entertaining, and often scary, collection of true stories bears out this point. The dead are a lot like you or me – or the psychopath down the street. Based on her ghost-busting experiences, Bodine introduces the reader to over 40 different ghosts…These tales of ghosts and things that go bump in the night are often funny, sometimes unnerving, and always perceptive.”

~djc

 

 

 

 

 

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Mystery Monday: Paranormal Mysteries

Mystery MondayIn anticipation of Halloween, it seems fitting to discuss mysteries that have paranormal or ghostly elements to them.  These mysteries may have vampires, werewolves, witches or people with psychic powers.   As so aptly stated by MysteryAuthors.com, these are ”…mysteries solved by involving the things that go bump in the night, are solved by people with powers or at times by people who aren’t really people at all.”

Storm FrontMy husband’s favorite series is the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  This series follows Harry Dresden, a wizard and private investigator who works hard to protect the general public in modern day Chicago from the mythical creatures (ghouls, vampires, werewolves, zombies, fairies, etc.) and other dark forces out to destroy them.  There are currently fifteen books in this series.  I would strongly recommend reading this series in order beginning with the first book, Storm Front.

On the lighter side, check out the Ghost Hunter Mysteries by Victoria Laurie.  In this series, M. J. Holliday runs a ghost busting business with her best friend, Gilley Gillespie.  There are currently eight books in this series: What’s a Ghoul to Do? (#1), Demons are a Ghouls Best Friend (#2), Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun (#3), Ghouls Gone Wild (#4), Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls (#5) and Ghoul Interrupted (#6), What a Ghoul Wants (#7)  and The Ghoul Next Door (#8). No Ghouls Allowed (#9) will be coming out in January of 2015.  An interesting tidbit:  Victoria Laurie is a real life professional psychic and also writes another mystery series: Psychic Eye Mysteries.

And for those of you who have loved the True Blood Series on HBO, check out the Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris, featuring Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who deals with vampires and werewolves.  Here’s a list of this series in order: Dead Until Dark (#1), Living Dead in Dallas (#2), Club Dead (#3), Dead to the World (#4), Dead as a Doornail (#5), Definitely Dead (#6), All Together Dead (#7), From Dead to Worse (#8), Dead and Gone (#9), Dead in the Family (#10), Dead Reckoning (#11), Deadlocked (#12) and the final book in the series Dead Ever After (#13).

Happy Haunting!

– Carol W.

 

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Celebrating Season’s Eatings at the Library

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Cooler weather and shorter days always inspire us to warm up our kitchens with foods that satisfy our urge for something just right, foods that smell and taste delicious. We dream about snuggling in by a toasty fire, with a good book or movie and a delicious meal or snack. It’s comfort food time, and whether you are cooking and enjoying it yourself, giving it as a holiday gift, or reading and watching more about it, comfort is where it’s at.

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Do you believe that food makes everything better? A lot of people do– just ask any “foody” why they love it so much. Be sure to consider some of one of the wonderful, current memoirs and other non-fiction books that center around food and cooking when you need gift ideas for the food enthusiast in your life. You can look them over first for yourself at the library!

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Want something on DVD? Watching movies about food is almost as fun as eating it!

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For people with special dietary needs, finding healthy food to enjoy is a challenge to be met every day. The good news is, there are more books than ever to help maintain a special diet that’s tasty and balanced, and that still provides a festive celebration for the holidays.

So don’t forget to warm up the coming months with all things food related, and enjoy your Season’s Eatings!

 

 

For a list of Season’s Eatings materials, click here!

~djc

 

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The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

DelightfulDebutsBannerThe Queen of Tearling is a fantasy adventure trilogy poised to make a splash, especially considering the buzz about a movie adaptation,  starring Harry Potter’s Emma Watson!

Queen of TearlingThree hundred years ago, Kelsea’s forefathers fled a collapsing modern civilization to establish a technology-free society on a newly-discovered continent. This land has since divided into four nations, but the power resides within the one called Mortmense, in the form of a cunning sorceress known as the Red Queen.

Kelsea is born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a magical jewel of immense power. Hiding in the forests of the Tearling since her mother’s death, Princess Kelsea has been training for the role of Queen. Now, on her nineteenth birthday, the loyal soldiers of the Queen’s guard, or what is left of them, appear to escort Kelsea to the capital to take her rightful place as the Queen of the Tearling. Kelsea’s journey is fraught with intrigue and danger, and reveals to her the shocking evil within her kingdom. As Kelsea grows in strength and resolve into her new role, she gathers her true allies, including the Queen’s guard, and a notorious outlaw named “Fetch”. When she breaks a treaty with neighboring Mortmense she angers the Red Queen to a murderous degree. Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire. Will it forge a legend . . . or destroy her? Oh, to be Queen!

This story reminded me so much of Rae Carson’s excellent trilogy for young adults– with strong appeal for adult readers –Girl of Fire and Thorns. I suggest that readers who can’t wait for the next installment consider checking out Carson’s read-alike books, beginning with The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

~djc

 

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