Already the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, 12 Years a Slave (306.362) also has nine Academy Award nominations. In case you haven’t seen the movie, Solomon Northup’s compelling memoir, first published in 1853, has now been reprinted. His story – that of a free Black man who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery – played a key role in the national debate that spread across the country in the years leading to the Civil War.
As Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, is found guilty of treason against the government of France and begins his exile on Devil’s Island, Major Georges Picquart is named to head the country’s espionage department. He truly believes Dreyfus is guilty, as indeed do most of the populace, but in his new position he stumbles across evidence that someone else was responsible for the security leaks – not Dreyfus. And Picquart suspects that the person is still passing classified information to the Russians. Can he go against his government and his country – both steeped in anti- Semitism – to prove an innocent man was wrongly convicted? Master storyteller Robert Harris explores the answer in An Officer and a Spy.
It is 1952 and England has been under Nazi rule since Prime Minister Lloyd George capitulated to them in 1940. There is a clandestine but growing resistance group led by Winston Churchill, and one of the members, civil servant David Fitzgerald, has been tapped to make contact with Frank Muncaster, the scientist who may hold the key to breaking Germany’s hold. The problem is that Muncaster is a closely-watched patient at a mental hospital. C. J. Sansom, author of the Matthew Shardlake mysteries, creates a gripping alternate history in Dominion.
John Hay and John Nicolay were young men when they first met Abraham Lincoln in Illinois during the late 1850s. They accompanied him to Washington after he was elected president where they served as his secretaries, confidants, and political advisors. After Lincoln was assassinated, they spent the next two decades researching and writing the family authorized, definitive biography of the man they both knew so well and admired. Their massive work countered many of the spurious biographies that quickly cropped up and helped establish the perception we have of Lincoln today. Joshua Zeitz offers an enthralling look at Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image (973.709).
Mental health counselor Michael Gurian has a message for Baby Boomers who are 50 and above. He wants them to experience The Wonder of Aging (613.043), and he offers “a new approach to embracing life after fifty” in his latest book. He believes it is a time to reap the rewards of the previous decades, and he also provides good advice on dealing with many of the physical and mental issues the aging process can bring.
Twelve years ago, the tiny New England town of Coventry was hit with a devastating blizzard. People simply vanished during the storm as the air seemed to be fill with “ice men” – strange creatures who peered in windows and swept some of the villagers away. Now the storm clouds are gathering once again and the ghosts of the 18 who died before have returned. Christopher Golden sends a chill down your spine with Snowblind.
Other new titles:
Fiction – The Dead and Their Vaulted Arches: a Flavia de Luce Novel (M), by Alan Bradley; Carthage, by Joyce Carol Oates; Ripper, by Isabel Allende; Dark Bites, by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Non-fiction – The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way, and It Wasn’t My Fault, and I’ll Never Do it Again (817.000), by P. J. O’Rourke.
Now 60-years-old, professional photographer Rebecca Winter is facing the fact that her former life, with happy marriage and successful career, is over. As her bank account begins to dwindle, she decides to sublet her upscale Manhattan apartment and rent a cabin in the woods where she expects to re-exam her past and take a fresh look at her life. What she gets, instead, is an unexpected new direction for her career, intriguing and quirky new friends, and a new chance at love. Still Life with Bread Crumbs is Anna Quindlen’s engaging new novel.
Dr. Alex Delaware’s 36th case could be his last in Jonathan Kellerman’s latest entry in this popular series. Killer begins with an unnerving threat to Alex’s life from Dr. Constance Sykes, a well-to-do physician who initiated a lawsuit for custody of her sister’s baby. Alex was on the court-appointed panel that evaluated the case and his testimony stymied her chances. It turns out that Sykes is a very determined sociopath who now decides to get revenge on the man she believes ruined her hopes and dreams.
While he may have played like a god on the baseball diamond, Ted Williams was a very flawed mere mortal in his private life reveals Ben Bradlee, Jr., in his new biography of the legendary Red Sox hitter. In-depth research and fine writing combine in Bradlee’s entertaining warts-and-all look at The Kid: the Immortal Life of Ted Williams (796.357).
Smartphones get a little smarter in Robin Cook’s latest medical thriller, Cell. George Wilson, currently working on his residency in radiology, mourns the sudden death of his fiancé, Kasey. A diabetic, she had recently participated in a beta test for iDoc – a smartphone app that continually monitors one’s vital signs to instantly give a diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment. When other members of the beta test suddenly start dying, though, George begins digging into the development of the app, uncovering alarming information about the parent company, and its secret backers, that could get him killed.
Irish country doctor Fingal Fahertie O’Reilly has garnered a legion of fans in a series of humorous and warmly compelling novels by Patrick Taylor. O’Reilly first appeared, though, in a series of columns Taylor wrote for Stitches: The Journal of Medical Humor. These pieces have been gathered together in The Wily O’Reilly: Irish Country Stories (SS) which offers a glimpse into Fingal’s colorful beginnings.
When VISTA volunteer Nancy Morgan was found murdered in 1970, journalist Mark Pinsky was a college student near the remote area in Madison County, North Carolina, where the crime occurred. The killer was never found, and the case has haunted Pinsky all these years. Using his own investigative skills, he revisited Morgan’s murder and uncovered a hot bed of corruption and inept police work. Pinsky reveals what he learned in Met Her On the Mountain: a Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan (364.152).
Feature – The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Despicable Me 2, with the voices of Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig; The Butler, with Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; World War Z, featuring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos.
Television – Farscape: the Complete Season One, with Ben Browder and Claudia Black; The Tudors, complete Seasons First, Second, Third, and Final; starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Henry Cavill.
When Fanny Osbourne took her three children and their nanny to Belgium leaving her philandering husband Sam back in San Francisco, she hoped to develop her talents as an artist. Tragedy soon followed, however, sending a grief stricken Fanny and her small family to the countryside outside of Paris. There, she met a young writer who was hiking the continent after finishing his education in the law. His name was Robert Louis Stevenson. Nancy Horen, whose Loving Frank gained instant popularity, follows this passionate couple through their troubled courtship and successful marriage in Under the Wide and Starry Sky.
Los Angeles Times music critic and editor Robert Hilburn turns in perhaps the definitive biography of one of our most iconic performers in Johnny Cash: the Life (781.642). Hilburn knew Cash well and interviewed him a number of times throughout his extraordinary career. He was also given access to many of the singer’s private papers, providing us with a fascinating and myth-busting look into Cash’s life.
Twenty-five years ago, Kermit Lynch, a California wine lover and retail shop owner, wrote a slim guide that became a standard resource for oenophiles everywhere. In it he took the reader through the wine country of France visiting vineyards, talking to vintners, and embracing the French philosophy of wine. In celebration of its anniversary, Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route: a Wine Boyer’s Tour of France (641.220) has been reissued and updated with a new list of Lynch’s favorite wines.
By 1941, reporter John Russell realizes it is time to leave Berlin. The media censorship imposed by the Nazis has compelled him to work secretly with American intelligence. He has also quietly begun his own investigation into the removal of the Jews. As he tries to find a way to get himself, his son Paul, and his lover Effie Koenen out of the country, he meets a major roadblock – Effie is a German film star and high-profile celebrity who the Nazis will not allow to leave. Stettin Station is the latest in in the John Russell series by David Downing.
Like many young men in the South when the Civil War began, Samuel Watkins enlisted in 1861. Born near Columbia, Tennessee, he first joined the 3rd Tennessee Infantry but soon transferred to the First Tennessee Infantry, also known as Company H. With his comrades, Watkins fought in battles all over Tennessee and Kentucky. Miraculously he survived the war – one of the very few from his company who did. Co. Aytch (973.782) is his memoir – his “side show of the Big Show”. It is a rollicking read and one of the primary resources for Civil War researchers and enthusiasts interested in the daily life of the common foot soldier of the Confederacy.
Fiction – Fear Nothing, by Lisa Gardner; The Execution: a Jeremy Fisk Novel, by Dick Wolf; Hunting Shadows: an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (M), by Charles Todd; The Unwelcome Child, by V. C. Andrews.
Non-fiction – Neutrino Hunters: the Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (523.019), by Ray Jayawardhana.
Over 50 years ago, Michael Harrington wrote a controversial and eye-opening book on the state of poverty in our country entitled The Other America. Despite President Lyndon Johnson’s declared war on poverty in 1963, this issue continues to be a major social problem – the economic gap between the Haves and the Have Nots continues to widen. Journalist Sasha Abramsky gives a cogent and disturbing new look at The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives (362.509).
With 22 Richard Jury mysteries to her credit, Martha Grimes pretty much knows the good, the bad, and the ugly of book publishing. In 2003 she wrote an enjoyable send-up Foul Matter, which featured competitive authors, unscrupulous publishers, and a pair of paid hit men. Those hit men, Candy and Karl, are back in Grimes’ cheeky latest The Way of All Fish. The duo decide to go after literary agent L. Bass Hess after he sues a former client for a commission on her new book – the one she published after she had fired him.
It seems more and more parents are trying to cope with children who have some form of mental illness or substance abuse problem – frequently the two go hand-in-hand. The situation is not only emotionally devastating it can be financially draining as well. Dr. Joel Young, the founder and medical director of the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine, has put together an informative, compassionate, and timely guide for parents entitled When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart: Coping with Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and the Problems that Tear Families Apart (616.890).
After a month away assisting in a number of births, midwife Elspeth Howell returns home in the winter of 1897 to find her husband and four of their five children murdered. The lone survivor, 12-year-old Caleb, was in the barn when the trio of men came. Elspeth believes the shootings are retribution for her past sins: realizing that she could not conceive a child, she stole each of her five children and raised them as her own. Now Elspeth and Caleb set out on a quest – Elspeth to find the murderers, and Caleb to learn about his parentage. The Kept is James Scott’s finely written friction debut.
Danish author S. J. Gazan and her debut mystery, The Dinosaur Feather (M), have been winning accolades across Europe as well as with American book critics. Anna Bella Nor, the harried single mother of a toddler, is two weeks away from defending her thesis for a PhD when her advisor, the thoroughly disagreeable professor Lars Helland, is murdered at his desk – a copy of Anna’s thesis in his lap. Inspector Soren Marhauge, whose personal life is in shambles, is in charge of the investigation which will take him into a vast web of academic jealousy and deceit.
A recent best seller called attention to the valuable role introverts play in a culture enamored with extroverts. Now the Dummies series takes us one step further by offering a guide that shows introverts how to be effective in business and in their daily lives. Success as an Introvert for Dummies (155.232) is by clinical psychologist Joan Pastor. She shows how to become a leader at work, how to cultivate meaningful relationships, and even how to effectively parent an introverted child.
Fiction – The Death Trade, by Jack Higgins; Stories II (SS), by T. C. Boyle; In the Blood, by Lisa Unger; The Devil’s Breath: a Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery (M), by Tessa Harris.
Non-fiction – The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (613.200), by Rev. Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman; The Great War: a Photographic Narrative (940.300), by Mark Holborn and Hilary Roberts.