I hate to say this but Concealed in Death was the first book I didn’t buy, but instead borrowed from my library. After reading it I feel I made the right choice. The last few books seem to be a little off to me, whether they’re things like the changing of where the button came from that Roarke constantly carries in his pocket, or Peabody’s sudden channeling of Eve, and swearing up a storm. Even Eve and Roarke’s relationship doesn’t seem quite as passionate, and the barbs that she and Summerset exchange that are usually so enjoyable have definitely lost their sting. That said, I did enjoy the book. The plot was different and so was the villain. It wasn’t quite so stock in trade as in some of the previous books. You don’t see a lot of your favorite secondary characters. I particularly missed McNab and Feeney, but Morris might have a new love interest, and Mavis brings in a unique twist to the story. So basically I’m a bit torn. I’m still enjoying the series enough to keep reading, just not enough to buy. Which is why I thank God for libraries!
Wednesday, March 12th at 7:00 PM
The Dordogne is a particularly beautiful part of southwestern France, named for the river that meanders westward through it to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for its many chateaux, brooding over bends in the river, and charming medieval and renaissance towns like Bergerac, Cahors, and Sarlat, and the dramatic pilgrimage site of Rocamadour.
Its proximity to the important wine-growing areas of Bordeaux contribute to the locals’ love of fine cuisine, which in this part of France makes good use of duck, truffles, foi gras, walnuts, freshwater fish, and local cheeses.
Join Wakefield Library reference Jeff Klapes, the “Traveling Librarian,” for a lecture focusing on the culture of the Dordogen region.
Please call the library at 978-774-0554 to register to attend or do so online.
Try one of these titles before–or after–this event:
Paris was the Place – Susan Conley
“From acclaimed author Susan Conley, a novel that gives us a luminous emotional portrait of a young woman living abroad in Paris in the 1980s and trying to make sense of the chaotic world around her as she learns the true meaning of family. Conley has written a piercing, deeply humane novel that explores the connections between family and friends and reaffirms the strength of the ties that bind.”
Blood Royal – Eric Jager
“On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the citys chief law enforcement officer, and one of history’s first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.”
Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train -
“Through twenty-five one-day train trips, the author describes outings spanning seven hundred years of French history, including Orléans, Versailles, Place de la Concorde, and Saint-Denis.”
Coming April 22, 2014:
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 – Francine Prose
“Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club’s loyal denizens, including the rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol; and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine. As the years pass, their fortunes—and the world itself—evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis— sparked by tumultuous events—that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more.”
This debut novel is not due out until June 17th, but I was fortunate to have won an ARC (advanced readers’ copy) in a Goodreads contest. The Quick is about the Norbury siblings, James and Charlotte and takes place mostly during 1892. When James graduates from Oxford he sets out for London hoping to become a successful poet. Instead, he meets the aristocratic Christopher Paige and is immediately drawn into his sophisticated world of balls, operas, and plays. He changes his writing from poetry to that of a playwright. The two young men quickly become more than just friends and shortly thereafter Christopher is found horrifically murdered and James has disappeared. When Charlotte Norbury ceases to hear from her brother she leaves their country home and heads for London hoping to find him. What she discovers is horrifying, macabre, and beyond her wildest imagination. To give you an idea of how much I loved this book, I have a whole pile of library books waiting patiently to be read as nd I was right in the middle of reading a book on my Kindle. Out of curiosity I thought I’d read the first chapter of The Quick, and then go back to it later. Well, two days later I finished this 500+ page masterpiece and 3 days later I’m still thinking about it. I know it’ll be one of those books I’m going to want to read again at some point. The only way as I can sum up the theme of this book without giving too much away is that it’s a bit of a mix between Deanna Raybourn, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, with perhaps even a little H.P. Lovecraft thrown in. So if you like gothic horror, I recommend you put yourself on hold for this gem immediately as its already in the library’s catalog.
One hundred fifty years of Roses‘ Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts! We begin in the antebellum South on Plantation Alley in South Carolina, where Silas Toliver, deprived of his inheritance, joins up with his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to the “black waxy” promise of a new territory called Texas.
The patron said: “I hated for it to end. So good!”
You may also want to checkout:
Roses – Leila Meacham
“Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.”
Tumbleweeds – Leila Meacham
“Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives.”
Christopher Golden hasn’t written a horror novel for quite awhile, but he certainly hasn’t lost the knack for it. If you haven’t read Snowbound yet, don’t go into it expecting immediate action. This is the type of horror story that slowly and suspensefully builds to a crescendo. It starts with what happened during a monstrous blizzard twelve years ago which resulted in several mysterious deaths and disappearances. It leaves no doubt that something supernatural was at play here, but it doesn’t go into a huge amount of detail. Instead it jumps to the present and what is going on with the survivors in Coventry MA as they anxiously await another monster blizzard which is forecasted. Golden goes into how their lives have changed since the first storm, usually not for the better. Actually the only reason why I’m not giving this 5 stars is because it doesn’t make sense to me that after what happened only one survivor actually has the sense to leave town, although she does come back to try to save her friends when she finds out it’s going to happen again. Instead, the rest of them stay, nervously awaiting every snowstorm. Aside from that though, I loved the development of the characters, and also the suspenseful build up to the climax. I would recommend this to fans of Stephen King. Especially ones who love his earlier works.
Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation’s readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader. [Source]
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
- Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
- Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey
- Enon by Paul Harding
- Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma
- The Dinner by Herman Koch
- Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
- The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
- Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
- Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Baruma
- On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History by Nicholas Basbanes
- To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
- Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
- The Riddle of the Labyrinth: the Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox
- On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks by Simon Garfield
- Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn
- The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking by Brendan I. Koerner
- Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell
- Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
- Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
These new paperbacks, and several more, will be available for checkout throughout February. Keep an eye on our shelves!
“Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk
Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.
Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.
When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors .“
House of Glass – Sophie Littlefield
“Jen Glass has worked hard to achieve the ideal life: a successful career, a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, a seemingly perfect family. But inside the Glass house, everything is spinning out of Jen’s control. Her marriage to her husband, Ted, is on the brink of collapse; her fifteen-year-old daughter grows more distant each day; and her five-year-old son barely speaks a word. Jen is on the verge of breaking, but nothing could have prepared her for what is to come .
On an evening that was supposed to be like any other, two men force their way into the Glasses’ home, but what begins as a common robbery takes an even more terrifying turn. Held hostage in the basement for more than forty-eight hours, Jen and Ted must put aside their differences if they have any hope of survival. They will stop at nothing to keep their family safe—even if it means risking their own lives. A taut and emotional tale of a family brought together by extraordinary forces, House of Glass is a harrowing exploration of the lengths a mother will go to protect her children, and the power of tragedy to teach us what truly matters.“
Twisted Hills – Ralph Cotton
“When wanted men don’t want to be found, they hole up in Agua Fría, Mexico. Nestled in the twisted hills of the Blood Mountain Range just across the border from Arizona, the town is divided by two ruthless gangs of thieves and killers. On one side stands Texas Red Madson, and on the other is Raymond Segert.
Between them stands Arizona Ranger Sam Burrack. He rides into Agua Fría in the guise of a vicious gunslinger with a plan to ingratiate himself with both gangs—and stir up the bad blood between them into a war that will leave Burrack the last man standing .“
The Bride Says Maybe – Cathy Maxwell
“What happens when a bride says maybe?
She’d once been the toast of London, but now scandal has brought her down. Still, pretty, petted Lady Tara Davidson can’t believe her new fate. She had wanted to marry for love . . . but her profligate father has promised her hand to none other than Breccan Campbell, the “Beast of Aberfeldy” and laird of the valley’s most despised clan! Well, Tara may have to marry him, but Breccan can’t make her love him—can he?
What happens when the groom insists?
Breccan Campbell is nobody’s fool. He knows that Tara is trouble. Yet he’s determined to reform the Campbell name even if it means forging an alliance with the arrogant beauty. There’s no doubt that Tara is a challenge, and Breccan loves nothing more. For he’s vowed to thoroughly seduce Tara—and make her his in more than name alone.“
“The National Book Critics Circle awards are given each March and honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. These are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves.” [Source]
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
- Alice McDermott, Someone
- Javier Marias, The Infatuations
- Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
- Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
- Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and The Manhunt That Brought Him To Justice
- Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in A Storm-Ravaged Hospital
- David Finkel, Thank You For Your Service
- George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of The New America
- Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and The Prison of Belief
Saturday, January 25th at 11:00 am
Ellen Bomerth of Danvers navigated her breast cancer journey with enough industry-savvy and know-how to maintain a job and much quality of life all through her treatment. Join us to learn more about her experience as she discusses her book How to Survive a Year of Breast Cancer Treatments: Suffer Less and Get Your Best Results.
Dr. Ellen Blomerth has been a Doctor of Chiropractic for 30 years. She has written health and wellness newsletters and newspaper articles and recently published How to Survive a Year of Breast Cancer Treatments: Suffer Less and Get Your Best Results. The book is packed with useful tips and where to get the information you need from diagnosis through treatments to help people facing breast cancer diagnosis.
This program will be held in the Gordon Room.
Please register to attend this event by calling the library at 978-774-0554.
Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.