Readers Guide


By Julie Forkner

October 24, 2016
October 17, 2016
October 10, 2016
October 3, 2016

October 24, 2016 

Well known as an author for children and young adults, award winning author Jacqueline Woodson has written her first novel for adults. Another Brooklyn (F) takes us to the Brooklyn of the 1970’s when friends August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi felt like they ruled the streets. With Woodson’s exquisite use of language, however, we also see the dangerous side of being young in a world full of fallen adults.

Comedic genius Carol Burnett reminisces about her days preparing for, starring on, and working with other famous comedians on The Carol Burnett Show. In Such Good Company (791.450) illustrates the chemistry of the crew that made the improvisational magic of the show happen. Burnett, with her characteristic wit, tells how she came to work with Hollywood greats such as Tim Conway, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Betty White.

Debut novelist Mbue Imbolo has written a warm-hearted and ambitious novel about a immigrant Cameroonian family who finds work with a Lehman Brothers executive during the 2008 financial crisis. With a sly and a keen eye, Imbolo brings an immigrant’s perspective to American culture, but she also turns her considerable story-telling skills to an immigrant family determined to make the best of their lives, whatever fate has in store.

For fans of spy thrillers, John Le Carre has taken his readers into the heart of modern intelligence world. In his new memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel (921.000), Le Carre tells of his time serving in British intelligence to war-torn Cambodia to celebrating New Year’s Eve with Yasser Arafat. Le Carre gives insight into the real life inspirations for some of his most memorable characters.

In Surrender, New York, a serial killer is preying on “throw away” teenagers. Abandon by their families to fend for themselves, these homeless teens are being gruesomely tortured and the local sheriff’s office has been unable to stop it. Enter Trajan Jones, psychological profiler, and Michael Li, trace evidence expert. Having made enemies of those in power, these two outcast investigators are able to discover new information that threatens the entire town of Surrender, New York (F), Caleb Carr’s new novel. 

Stress Test (330.970)
is Timothy Geitner’s story of his education in financial crises. As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Geitner was instrumental in leading the United States through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In this riveting and candid memoir, he takes readers into closed-door meetings, explaining the hard choices and unpalatable decisions. A must read for anyone interested in leadership, government, and financial decision-making. 

Also at the library:
     Missing: A Private Novel (F) by James Patterson and Kathryn Fox
     Order to Kill (F) by Vince Flynn
     Escape Clause (M) by John Sandford

New on Cd:
     Woman of God (V PATTJ WG P 66) by James Patterson read by Therese Plummer
     Rushing Waters (V STEED RW M 22) by Danielle Steele read by Dan Jon Miller
     As Time Goes By (V CLARM ATG M 83) by Mary Higgins Clark read by Jan Maxwell

Back to top 

October 17, 2016 

New author Hannah Kohler’s novel The Outside Lands (F) begins in San Francisco in 1968 with the mysterious death of Jeanie’s and Kip’s mother. When their father, a decorated WWII veteran, succumbs to guilt and misery, Kip joins the Marines and leaves for Vietnam. When he is convicted of a terrible military crime, his sister Jeanie sets out to save him and in the process is drawn into the underworld of the 60s counter-culture.

In 2014, Israel launched a 51 day offensive in Gaza that killed 2,145 Palestinians. In The Drone Eats with Me (953.100), journalist Atef Abu Sayf chronicles those 51 days of ordinary war in Gaza. These diary entries chronicle the daily life of raising a family in one of the world’s most notorious war zones. 

Another debut novelist, Roy Scranton looks at the effect technology has on our perception of war. In War Porn (F), defined as videos, images and narratives featuring graphic violence, often brought back from combat zones, viewed voyeuristically or for emotional gratification, the experience of war affects soldiers and civilians alike. Told as a series of stories nested one inside the other, War Porn reconnects the fragile humanity that has been fragmented by the war on te

Rachel Starnes fell in love with her brother’s best friend, and without realizing it, continued a family pattern of marrying into the military. The wife of a Navy pilot, Starnes tells, with humor and attitude, what it is like to be married to someone in a high-risk job, to be left with the work of moving a family through countless relocations, and the agony of being continually left behind. The War at Home (359.009) is a portrait of life as the wife of a Top Gun pilot and a window into what military life is like for those left at home. 

How much do you know about John Wilkes Booth’s history? What about his love life? The son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, Booth has often been portrayed as a violent loner and the most hated man in America. Jennifer Chiaverini, however, has uncovered the story of his romantic life and the women who thought they knew him in Fates and Traitors (F). 

James Crnkovich’s Atomic America (355.825) is a collection of photographs documenting nuclear history and culture in America and overseas. From the gates at the borders of Oak Ridge to the Mushroom Cloud Motel in Nevada to the various museums curating our nuclear past, Crnkovich’s photographs capture everything from nuclear pop-culture to the effects of the Fukushima melt down to the Chernobyl disaster.

Also at the library
     Manitou Canyon (M) by William Kent Krueger
     The Kept Woman (M)  by Karin Slaughter
     Two by Two (F) by Nicholas Sparks
     Everyday Cook (641.500) by Alton Brown
     My Own Words (347.732) by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
     A Life in Parts ( 791.450) by Bryan Cranston

 Back to top

October 10, 2016 

When Wilma Dykeman passed away in 2006, she was already considered one of the South’s most prolific and astute story tellers. Family of Earth (921.000) was discovered after the author’s death as a typewritten manuscript. Dykeman grew up in the mountains near Asheville, NC, and this is the story of her family, those mountains, and the fortunes and hardships of both during the 1920s and 30s. 

Now that the long, hot, dry summer has convinced you that gardening is sweaty and painful, Simon Akeroyd’s book Raised Bed Gardening (635.967) is here to give you hope and fill your wintertime with garden fantasies. In fifteen different step-by-step projects, Akeroyd shows you how to reduce some of the pain and failures of gardening in our hot, and increasingly dry, climate. Allowing you to grow more in less space, raised bed gardening is perfect for small scale gardeners wanting to save time, water, and their back. 

Another giant voice in Southern literature, Ron Rash, author of Serena (F) and Above the Waterfall (F), once again returns to the mountains of Western North Carolina in his new book, The Risen (F). When the body of a 17-year-old girl washes up in a secluded mountain creek, Eugene Matney is forced to remember his first love and the forces that drove him apart from his older brother, Bill. Falling in love with a troubled girl from Daytona Beach in 1969 sets Eugene on a path that will eventually show the inherent differences in the two brothers’ natures. 

Registered psychotherapist Stacey Gorlicky is a recovered food addict. In her book, Food, Sex and You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World (158.100), Gorlicky examines the battle between the need for food, the desire for sex, and the pressure to be model-thin. Gorlicky provides advice on how to overcome past traumatic experiences that create the choices and obsessions we all live with. 

Ann Patchett, owner of Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, author of seven novels, and winner of the PEN/Faulkner award, has a new novel spanning the country from Southern California to Virginia. In Commonwealth (F), Patchett follows a blended family through several generations, beginning with the dissolution of the initial marriages and the combining of two very different sets of siblings. As the step-brothers and step-sisters grow, the far-reaching implications of their new situation manifest in ways both loving and sad. 

Roy Blount, Jr. is known for his regular spot on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me quiz show as well as his 24 books. Always the comedian, Blount has taken on food as the subject for his newest book, Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations (641.300). With his characteristic wit and wisdom, Blount writes about everything from bacon froth to the Garden of Eden to carjacking turkeys.

Also at the Library:
     Always a Cowboy (F) by Linda Lael Miller
     Home (F) by Harlan Coben
     Pushing Up Daisies: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (M) by M. C. Beaton
     How the Body Works: The Facts Simply Explained (612.000) by DK Publishing
     The Southern Cake Book (641.865) by Southern Living
     Warren Buffet’s Ground Rules: Words of Wisdom from the Partnership Letters of the World’s Greatest Investor
by Jeremy C. Miller

Back to top 

October 3, 2016 

Election years bring many things from heightened emotions to mudslinging, but they also bring out the comedy in life. Nathan Hill’s The Nix (F) is just one of those election year comedic moments. When someone tosses a handful of gravel at presidential candidate Sheldon Packer, a fire-breathing, anti-immigrant politician, the media jumps on the story of the year, as does everyone else in the country. Everyone, that is, except, Professor Samuel Anderson-Andersen. Unfortunately for the professor, the woman throwing gravel turns out to be his long lost mother, who abandon her family when Samuel was still small. Roaming from the 1950’s to the 2000’s, The Nix is full of the uproarious humor that only American politics can inspire.

Continuing the conversation about technology and its role in our lives is Nancy Jo Sales’ new book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers (006.754). After interviewing girls between the ages of 13-19 in ten different states, Sales’ book  centers on the accelerated sexuality of girls in our online culture. From being bullied by peers to the prevalence of online porn, the pressure on today’s teenager girls is great. Sales offers a picture of American teenage life as it pertains to girls today. 

Graham Moore takes us back to the beginning days of technology in The Last Days of Night (F). Edison invented the lightbulb, but George Westinghouse invented a better one, so the story goes. Edison held the patent, however, and young lawyer Paul Cravath was hired to represent Westinghouse’s claim. Enter Nikola Tesla and JP Morgan and an epic tale unfolds. Thoroughly researched, Moore’s story is a celebration of human inventiveness at the turn of the century.

Other than what’s in the daily news, how much do you really know about Iraq? John Robertson’s newly published history of that country takes on the whole history of Iraq from the pivotal moment of its Neolithic inhabitants to the after effects of the American-led invasion. With insightful analysis, Robertson gives us a well-rounded picture of this often poorly represented country in Iraq: A History (956.700)

Life in the Montana badlands can be desolate and difficult, but Calvin Sidey is a cowboy at heart and made for the challenges the badlands deal out. Why then, did he abandon his children and successful real estate business after his wife’s death? All things come full circle, however, and Calvin is reunited with his family when his son seeks out his help. With all the characteristic compassion of a tough cowboy, Calvin reenters family life to find challenges he never expected. Watson writes with great love for Montana and its people in As Good as Gone (F). 

With major corporations like Wal-Mart, General Electric, and Apple pledging to purchase goods made in the United States, well-paying manufacturing jobs are going unfilled. At the same time, 50% of youth are unemployed, according to Katherine S. Newman and Hella Winston, authors of Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century (370.113). Newman and Winston not only argue for technical education but also lay out a plan for how to achieve a thriving workforce through vocational schools. In Newman’s and Winston’s view, rewarding, successful careers are available to our kids regardless of their background. 

Also at the library:
     Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay (M) by Reed Farrel Coleman
     Pirate (F) by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
     An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery (M) by Craig Johnson
     What Color is Your Parachute 2017 (650.140) by Richard N. Bolles
     Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two (658.000) by Jim Koch

Back to top