Great Reads

Franklin, Ariana. Mistress of the Art of Death.

The murders of three Christian children are being blamed on the innocent Jews of 12th century Cambridge, England in the first installment of this historical mystery series. In order to clear their name, King Henry calls for an expert, a master of the art of death, to determine who is really to blame. Instead, he gets a mistress, Adelia Aguilar, a trained physician from Salerno, Italy. She is talented, stubborn and on a dangerous mission to discover the real killer, who is still roaming Cambridge, perhaps under her very nose.

Adelia is definitely out of her element among the strict social confines of her surroundings, but she still manages to gather clues based on the forensic evidence she collects from the corpses of the dead children and with the help of her travel companion, Simon, and the young eel catcher, Ulf. The book is a medieval spin on a forensic thriller and readers will enjoy the rising tension as Adelia hones in on the killer.

Just a Thought.. Best Debut Novels of 2011

2011 has seen a lot of wonderful novels, many of them by well-established authors. But there have also been quite a few break-through successes for brand-new authors. Many of the most popular and well-reviewed books of the year have been debut novels from first-time authors or authors who had only published short stories or memoirs previous to their novelistic success. Here’s hoping the years to come bring more great novels from these rising stars!

 

Benaron, Naomi.  Running the Rift

Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding

Morgenstern, Erin.  The Night Circus

Obreht, Tea. The Tiger’s Wife

Russell, Karen. Swamplandia!

Torres, Justin.  We The Animals

Waldman, Amy. The Submission

Just a Thought... Authors Who Died in 2011

Well, it’s 2012, amazing as that may seem, and most people are looking ahead to the new year, making their resolutions…and resolving not to break them this time. But before we move forward, let’s take a moment to look back over the last year and remember some of the great novelists and writers who passed away. Though they themselves are gone, here’s to hoping their great works of fiction and nonfiction survive for many years to come!

 

Brian Jacques, 2/5/11

Diana Wynne Jones, 3/26/11

Joanna Russ, 4/29/11

William Sleator, 8/3/11

Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, 8/26/11

Anne McCaffrey, 11/22/11

Christopher Hitchens, 12/16/11

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Just a Thought...Classics Meet Graphics

The phrase “comic book” still conjure visions of Batman and Archie for many people. But comic books have grown up and spawned a whole new generation for readers to enjoy. Normally known as “graphic novels” to distinguish them from the comic books of our youth, they are not a static genre but a format which, like regular “word only” books, comprises a wide variety of genres and content.  A good starting place for someone interested in giving these grown-up comics a try would be one of the many graphic novel adaptations of classic literature.  The visual illustrated content provides these familiar stories with an extra level of depth and interest that many find very engaging! Frequently, these classics are shelved under the name of the artist or writer who produced the adaptation, so for your reference, the original author will be included in parentheses in our list.

 

Appignanesi, Richard.   Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare)

Butler, Nancy.   Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)

Chwast, Seymour.   Dante’s Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri)

Edginton, Ian.  The Sign of the Four (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Hamilton, Tim.  Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Hinds, Gareth.  The Odyssey (Homer)

Kuper, Peter.  The Jungle (Upston Sinclair)

Mairowitz, David.  The Trial (Franz Kafka)

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Kaling, Mindy. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

So you've read Tina Fey's Bossypants...now what? Feed your appetite for another humorous read with Mindy Kaling's honest memoir. The Emmy-nominated writer and actress on The Office tackles everything from growing up chubby to her unabashed love of chest hair. The randomness of  the amusing topics covered is anchored by the important eras in her life as well as her friends, family and evolution of her career.

Kaling doesn't hold back on exploring her faults, her ego (which she is always trying to keep under control) and the million other things that make her human. Her smart and witty prose will make you laugh-out-loud more than a few times.

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