Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Lake & Cottage Stories

The Big House: a century in the life of an American summer home by George Howe Colt. Faced with the sale of the century-old family summer house on Cape Cod where he had spent forty-two summers, George Howe Colt returned for one last stay with his wife and children. This poignant tribute to the eleven-bedroom jumble of gables, bays, and dormers that watched over weddings, divorces, deaths, anniversaries, birthdays, breakdowns, and love affairs for five generations interweaves Colt's final visit with memories of a lifetime of summers. Run-down yet romantic, the Big House stands not only as a cherished reminder of summer's ephemeral pleasures but also as a powerful symbol of a vanishing way of life.

The Lake House by James Patterson. The six children who escaped horrifying government experiments in James Patterson's When the Wind Blows are back at last--in a new thriller that tests the limits of the imagination. All they want is to return to the one place where they ever felt protected--the waterfront cabin known as the Lake House.

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Doran Barbieri. Learning of the infidelity of her husband, Nora Cunningham packs up her daughters--Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve--and takes refuge on Burke's Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine where her mother disappeared at sea long ago. Just as Nora begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own--forcing Nora to finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.

The Lake by Richard Laymon. A woman is forced to confront her horrifying past when her eighteen-year-old daughter, while hanging out at the lake during the summer, is tormented by a sadistic killer who plunges them both into a world of terror and insanity.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cooler by the lake

Some may complain about the temperatures this summer, but I love it. I love summer nights when you need a sweater, can turn off the air and open a window. And when the nights are cool so are the mornings. And cool nights are perfect for backyard fires and s'mores. Here are a few lake titles that are are on the cool side as opposed to the sizzling side.

Lake Effect by Johannah Bryson,
Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
Lake Country by Sean Doolittle
On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah
The Lake House by James Patterson
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gramophone Hall of Fame - 2014

"The Gramophone Hall of Fame celebrates those performers, producers, engineers and label executives whose contributions to classical music recording, whether through artistic excellence, innovation or imagination, have proved the most influential and inspiring." 
Here are some that you can find in the Audiovisual Room at the library:
Sir Thomas Allen (b 1944) (Baritone)

Emile Berliner (1851-1929) (Inventor)
Benjamin Britten (1913-76) (Pianist and Conductor)

Jose Carreras (b 1946) (Tenor)
Riccardo Chailly (b 1953) (Conductor)
Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938) (Bass)

C. Robert Fine (1922-82) (Recording engineer)

Angela Georghiu (b 1965) (Soprano)
Nicolai Ghiaurov (1929-2004) (Bass)
Tito Gobbi (1913-84) (Baritone)

Marilyn Horne (b 1934) (Mezzo-Soprano)
Stephen Hough (b 1961) (Pianist)
Dmitri Hvorostovsky (b 1962) (Baritone)

Simon Keenlyside (b 1959) (Baritone)
Evgeny Kissin (b 1971) (Pianist)

Alain Lanceron (b 1949) (Record company executive)
Sir Edward Lewis (1900-80) (Record executive)
Dinu Lipatti (1917-50) (Pianist)
Radu Lupu (b 1945) (Pianist)

Richard Mohr (1919-2002) (Producer)
Riccardo Muti (b 1941) (Conductor)

Jessye Norman (b 1945) (Soprano)

Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) (Pianist)

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (b 1944) (Soprano)

Mitsuko Uchida (b 1948) (Pianist)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Camping Adventures in Fiction

The other day my colleagues and I were reminiscing about memorable camping trips. We talked about the good, and not-so-good experiences we'd had whether it was encountering a mama bear and her cub, remembering the breathtaking scenery or recalling all the hard work that went into preparing for a trip. Everyone has a great camping story!

Here are some novels about some not very typical, unforgettable, and sometimes chilling camping trips:

The Bear by Claire Cameron
While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of her mother screaming. A rogue black bear, 300 pounds of fury, is attacking the family's campsite, pouncing on her parents as prey. Anna manages to get her brother into the family's canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe dumps the two children on the edge of the woods, they must battle hunger, the elements, and a dangerous wilderness.

The Troop by Nick Cutter
During a camping trip, on an uninhabited island off the coast of Prince Edward Island, Tim and his boy scout troop encounter an unexpected intruder who's bioengineered body spreads horror faster than fear.

A Small Target by Christine AndreaeWhile filling in as a cook on a llama pack trek in the mountains of Montana, Lee Squires is forced to discover who is killing off the members of the backwoods trip.

August by Gerard Woodward
Ever since Aldous Jones careened over the handlebars of his bicycle in 1955 and landed next to farmer Evan's field, it has become a tradition for him to take his family camping in Wales, believing that a certain symbiosis exists between their lives in their North London home and the Welsh village that they only ever see in August.

All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills
In preparation for a trip to India, a young man in Britain goes camping. Offered free board at a camping ground in exchange for odd jobs, he becomes involved in local life and never makes it to India.

Goat Mountain by David Vann
In the fall of 1978, an 11-year-old boy joins his grandfather, his father and his father's best friend on the family's annual deer hunt during which a simple act leads to tragedy, transforming them all and forcing them to question themselves and everything they thought they knew.

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith
In 1898, a young Cornell medical student joins a field study in Yellowstone National Park and describes in a series of letters her relationships with fellow naturalists who had expected a male colleague, her experiences, and her encounters with a colorful assortment of characters.

The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
Returning to Echo Canyon for one last time before it is turned into a golf resort, Justin Caves and his father Paul must battle the physical demands of the terrain and the presence of bears along with each other, as Justin tries to come to terms with his rocky relationship with his father.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What We're Reading This Summer

With thousands of books at their fingertips and easy access to an overwhelming number of book reviews of new and forthcoming titles, it is always interesting to discover what librarians have on their "must read" or "must listen to" lists.

Here is a sampling of titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that some of your friendly Glenview librarians are reading and listening to this summer. All descriptions are from WorldCat.



The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (2013)
Working as a private investigator after losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike takes the case of a legendary supermodel's suspicious suicide and finds himself in a world of multi-millionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, desperate designers and hedonist pursuits.

Readers are quickly following up this first title in Galbraith's Cormoran Strike novels with the second book in the series.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (2014)
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes.

Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, famous for her Harry Potter series.

The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald (2010)
In the mid-twentieth century in a home economics program at a prominent university, real babies are being used to teach mothering skills to young women. For a young man raised in these unlikely circumstances, finding real love and learning to trust will prove to be the work of a lifetime.

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (2014)
Penn Cage must investigate when his father, a beloved family doctor and pillar of the community, is accused of murdering Violet Davis, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the early 1960s.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (2013)
In a rural village in December 2004 Chechnya, a failed doctor Akhmed harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin (2014)
"In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society."


Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (2012)
This work of narrative nonfiction tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities. In it, based on three years of reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. The events recounted are real, as are the names.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (2014)
"An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation."

Little Ship of Fools: 16 Rowers, 1 Improbable Boat, 7 Tumultuous Weeks on the Atlantic by Charles Wilkins (2013)
The dramatic and hilarious story of sores and survival on a human-powered journey across the ocean. It was to be an expedition like no other-a run across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados aboard an experimental rowboat. There would be no support vessel, no stored water, no sails, no motor. The boat's crew of sixteen included several veterans of U.S. college rowing, a number of triathletes, a woman who had rowed both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and a scrawny, bespectacled sexagenarian -- our chronicler, Charles Wilkins.


The Circle by Dave Eggers (2013)
"When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle...links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency...What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy and the limits of human knowledge."

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (2014)
The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next 35 years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer (2014)
"Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, Emmett, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, his is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls, but his heart skips a beat when this time he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated."

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Horror, The Horror! The Bram Stoker Awards for 2014

I did a blog post last September entitled "Awards for Horrific Writing." I said then that "maybe it's the approach of Halloween, gray skies, dreary days and early darkness that encourages me to choose this type of writing in the Fall." Well, as fate would have it, I still select/edit GPL's NextReads Newsletter in the horror genre and continue to be fascinated with the genre that promotes terror in the reader. What has changed though is that I now realize that I simply want to be scared by a story all year long, in all seasons, not just Fall. You can check out my previous post of last September explaining the Bram Stoker Awards.
Now, another year has gone by and the anticipation is over. The Horror Writers Association has announced the winners of the Bram Stoker Awards 2014 at its annual awards banquet held as part of the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. Bronze haunted house statuettes were handed out to the writers responsible for creating excellent works of horror in 2013. The winners for superior achievement are:

In a Novel
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

In a First Novel
The Evolutionist by Rena Mason

In a Young Adult Novel
Dog Days by Joe McKinney

In an Anthology
After Death ... edited by Eric J. Guignard

In a Fiction Collection
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron

In Nonfiction
Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing About the Master of Science Fiction by William F. Nolan

Here's to your delight in the fright of one or all of these!

Monday, July 7, 2014

And The Winner Is....

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has awarded Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee the winner of its 2014 Christian Book Award for fiction. The Christian Book Awards  recognize the highest quality in Christian books and are among the oldest awards program in the religious publishing industry.In Iscariot Lee reexamines the life of Christianity's most notorious figure and his role in the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. From his difficult childhood to his years as a disciple of Jesus, the author portrays Iscariot as a man with deep religious faith who believes he has found both the Messiah and the man who can overthrow Roman rule. Recommended for those who enjoy Biblical fiction.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Revolutionary Fiction

With all the BBQ's, fireworks and other festivities revolving around the 4th of July, let's not forget the great stories associated with the birth of our country, and especially with the Revolutionary War. Here are a few titles to get you started after all the hot dogs and hamburgers are gone!

Revolutionary by Alex Myers
Presents a fictionalized account of Deborah Sampson Gannett, who defied the rigid societal and social norms of her times to disguise herself as a man, join the Continental Army, and fight against the British during the American Revolution.

King's Mountain by Sharyn McCrumb
John Sevier had not taken much interest in the American Revolution, he was too busy fighting Indians in the Carolinas and taming the wilderness. But when an arrogant British officer threatened his settlement--promising to burn the farms and kill families--the war became personal.

Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich
In the winter of 1777, Washington and his demoralized army retreat from Philadelphia, arriving at Valley Forge where they discover that their repeated requests for a stockpile of food, winter clothing, and building tools have been ignored by Congress. In spite of the suffering and deceit, Washington endures all, joined at last by a volunteer from Germany who begins the hard task of recasting the army as a professional fighting force capable of facing the British head-on and changing the course of history.

Martha Peake: A Novel of the Revolution by Patrick McGrath
Set among the teeming streets and desolate wharves of Hogarth's London, then shifting to the powder-keg colony of Massachusetts Bay, Martha Peake envelops the reader in a world on the brink of revolution, and introduces us to a flame-haired heroine who will live in the imagination long after the last page is turned.

Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara
More than a powerful portrait of the people and purpose of the American Revolution, "Rise to Rebellion" is a fictionalized account of history's most pivotal events: The Boston Tea Party, the battle of Concord, and of Bunker Hill. The author reveals with new immediacy how philosophers became fighters and how a scattered group of colonies became the United States of America.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Murder by Karen Swee
A tavernmistress in 1777 unravels a puzzle that involves stolen diplomatic letters, spies and avaricious traitors, while trying to find the killer of an overnight guest.

The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Jimmy Carter
In 1766 Ethan Pratt and his wife move from Philadelphia to North Carolina and then to Georgia. There they form friendships with their neighbors Kindred Morris and his wife. Through Kindred and his Indian friend, Ethan learns about the frontier and the Native American tribes who are continually being pressed further inland by settlers. As the Revolutionary War develops, Ethan and Kindred find themselves embroiled in a life-and-death struggle with opposing forces.