Friday, January 23, 2015

Sleuth for the New Door County Detective Series!

Door County, Wisconsin is a place like no other. It boasts 300 miles of spectacular shoreline and five majestic parks. It has a lot of history, 11 lighthouses, unique villages, arts & entertainment, galleries & boutiques as well as delicious local cuisine. It's a favorite destination of mine as well as many Glenview/North Shore families for generations. I have been vacationing there since childhood and although there have been many changes, one thing that hasn't changed is the natural beauty found there.

So, I was beyond excited to spy a book entitled, Death Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka. It introduces a new detective series, "The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries." According to the author there is this one and there will be more. Though I am not an avid thriller/mystery reader and typically don't gravitate toward this genre, I am enjoying this one set in the stunning landscape and picturesque waterfront villages of Door County. The author, Patricia Skalka , is a former staff writer for Reader's Digest and has worked as a magazine editor, ghost writer, and writing instructor. She is a native of Chicago, lives in the city and takes time off at her cottage in Door County. She acknowledges, "During one of my first visits to Door County, Wisconsin, I sat on the Lake Michigan shore as a deep mysterious quiet settled over the peninsula. Anything can happen here, I thought. Indeed much did. Cozy Thanksgiving celebrations. Summer days of long walks and kayaking and creating castles and candles in the sand. Beach fires with wine and good friends. Nights tracking the moon's silvery path across the rumpled surface of the water." She goes on to say, "When I began to write this book, there was no question of the locale. It had to be set in Door County. Door County is real. While I used the peninsula as the framework for the book, I also altered some details and added others to fit the story.  The spirit of this majestic place remains unchanged."

So, what's her first book about? Six deaths mar the holiday mood as summer vacationers enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula. Murders or bizarre accidents? A troubled former Chicago cop is pitted against a clever killer. In a desperate search for clues, he uncovers a tangled web of greed, betrayal, bitter rivalries, and lost love beneath the peninsula's travel-brochure veneer.
Befriended by several locals but unsure whom to trust or to suspect of murder, the one-time cop tracks a clever killer.  It's a smart, hard-edge detective story of greed, revenge and lost love set in the "Cape Code of the Midwest."

I plan to finish this book on my next weekend getaway to Ephraim in front of a roaring fire!
Patricia has authored four more books in her crime series. So, be on the lookout! I know I will!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Magic of Reading

Writers, like magicians, invoke enchantment out of thin air, captivating the reader with their supernatural powers. In the last thirty years there has been a barrage of magic-related fiction. Magic has long been an integral part of fantasy fiction, a mainstay from the days of Homer to contemporary authors like Tolkien, Rowling, and Lackey. Within a work of fantasy, magic can function to move the plot forward, providing both power for the protagonist of the story and power for those who oppose him/her.  Pick up one of these spellbinding novels and unleash the magic.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clark
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Night Magic by Thomas Tyron
The Prestige by Christopher Priest

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Edgar® Awards nominees announced today

In celebration of the 206th anniversary of Edgar Allen Poe's birthday, the Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the 2015 Edgar Awards. The shortlist includes works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children. Awards will be announced and grand master authors James Ellroy and Lois Duncan will be honored at a gala ceremony in New York City on April 29th. A selection of nominated works follows. For a complete list of nominees in all categories,

Best Novel
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
Wolf by Mo Hayder
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin

Best First Novel by an American author
Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman
Invisible City by Julia Dahl
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie
Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh
Murder At the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Best Fact Crime
Kitty Genovese: the murder, the bystanders, the crime that changed America by Kevin Cook
The Savage Harvest: a tale of cannibals, colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's tragic quest for primitive art by Carl Hoffman
The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson
Tinseltown: murder, morphine and madness at the dawn of Hollywood by William Mann
The Mad Sculptor: the maniac, the model and the murder that shook the nation by Harold Schechter

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fast action films

We are now in the throes of winter, although fingers crossed, it won't be as bad as last year. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to get away and go South or West for some fun in the sun. For those of us who can’t, we’ll just have to crank up the furnace to stay warm, or watch these action movies to get us going:

If you like car racing, watch  the Fast & Furious series, of which there are six. These DVDs  will keep you busy for a while. The first two in the series are  The Fast & the Furious, and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Another action packed movie is Unstoppable, about a runaway freight train loaded with toxic chemicals that will derail in a populated town unless it is stopped.

From cars to trains to The Hunt for Red October, about a Russian nuclear submarine that's headed for the United States and whose intentions are not known. The A-Team is about a group of  former Special Forces soldiers who have been accused of crimes they did not commit. And for a little bit of fun, watch Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.

I hope these movies will see you through the winter doldrums and into spring.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Best of Romance in 2014 - Some Lists

In Your Dreams-2
Sometimes in the hectic rush around the holidays, the avid reader misses seeing the various end of the year book lists that come out seemingly everywhere.

Maybe the best time to take a look at these titles is really in January and February - when the season and the weather can sometimes bring a little down time or aka extra reading time.

I don't always agree with the various book lists that are put out there - but for Romance titles - these two sources do a fine job with their lists and feature some great titles (and authors.)

Library Journal's Best Romances of 2014

Bollywood Affair-3Kirkus Reviews' Remembering Best Romances of 2014

Take a chance on one of these books - and discover a new Romance author or  a genre for you!

Or if the specific title is checked out - look to see if these ladies' have back-list titles. ( Most do!) Just ask at the Reader Services desk if you need assistance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Forthcoming Fiction in February

Here are some Fiction titles coming out in February. You can reserve them by searching our Online Catalog, or give us a call at 847-729-7500.

The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-olsen
Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer
Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium by Clive Barker
Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton
Darned If You Do by Monica Ferris
Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
Phantom Angel: a Mystery by David Handler
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
Doctor Death: a Madeleine Karno Mystery by Lene Kaaberbol
Motive by Jonathan Kellerman
Dreaming Spies: a Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
The Chessmen by Peter May
In Plain Sight by Fern Michaels
The Cat, the Devil and the Last Escape by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke
Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
Blood Infernal by James Rollins
Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Monday, December 29, 2014

Taking Stock in the New Year

The New Year is a natural time for looking at where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Many of us recall the dire predictions in late 1999 of a Y2K disaster.  Although computers did not fail on January 1, 2000 as some had feared, an avalanche of dystopian novels seemed to follow. One recent book that explores the perils of technology is Dave Eggers’ The Circle, which satirizes an internet utopia created through social media.

In the novel, Mae Holland is devoted to her job at a giant internet company, where she joins the other employees in her obsession with constant communication, attention, and recognition. Eventually she abandons her family, friends, privacy – and in the end, her identity -- for professional success. At first, the world Eggers presents looks very familiar, but slowly it morphs into a nightmare in which “the brave new world of virtual sharing and caring breeds monsters” (Margaret Atwood). Can sharing and caring really become oppressive, even evil? Eggers' book has been compared to Brave New World (Aldous Huxley), 1984 (George Orwell), Fahrenheit451 (Ray Bradbury), and The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood).

So why do books like these appeal to readers? Maybe it’s a relief to close the book and think:  At least it’s not that bad – yet! The Circle, with its many fans and critics, would be a good book for discussion.

Other recent dystopian books include:
California – Edan Lepucki
Spark: A Novel- John Twelve Hawks
Tomorrow and TomorrowSweterlitsch, Thomas
The BeesLaline Paull
Red RisingPierce Brown
Archetype: A NovelM.D. Waters
Lighthouse IslandPaulette Jiles
The Dog StarsPeter Heller
When She Woke Hillary Jordan
ZazenVanessa Veselka