This is a grown-up coming of age travel story with plenty of spice and dark humor. The narrator dream walks through a playground of a world, where nothing seems like it can kill him. He's an anti-hero who, I suspect, a lot of adult readers won’t really get. It revolves around the powerlessness of a young idealist in a crushingly capitalistic world. I, for one, can get behind this book because of the narrator's sense of humor about life and death.
He travels aimless, looking for meaning while still trying to remain his own free agent. If you’ve ever seen the movie I <3 Huckabees, this is a similar philosophical journey. In the plot: he steals from a non-profit which he helped co-found and uses the money to buy tickets to Japan. Once there, he promptly starts making a mess of his friend’s life by having too good of a time.
If you enjoy travel tales or stories with tomfoolery and unsavory vices you’ll find a lot to like about Lights Out. It may also give you some perspective on the downtrodden experience of youth in today’s uncertain world.
Quinn Colson is returning home to Jericho, Mississippi, to attend the funeral of his beloved uncle Hamp, when Quinn arrives he is shocked to learn Hamp's was ruled a suicide.
Quinn who is on leave from Afghanistan sets out to find what really happened to Hamp, with the help of his old war buddy the one armed "Boom" and the new sheriff old crush Lillie Virgil, the three stir up a hornets nest in good ole Jerciho.
The town filled with rednecks, meth dealers, a good ole boy network that runs the town tries to stop them at all turns, a well plotted and thrilling new series from Mr. Atkins.
A must read for fans of the T.V show Justified.
For about three years people I respect have been telling me that I have got to read Christopher Moore, yet whenever I would read the synopsis of one of his books, I was left uninspired. The other day as I walked past the New Fiction display, I was caught by a dazzling blue cover with Christopher Moore's name on it and an image of Toulouse-Lautrec and and a mysterious woman. I snatched it up and read what it was about and I was hooked. I have barely put it down since.
It is a love story and a thriller that mixes a supernatural element with the story of the impressionist painters, Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and others. I was particulary taken with the way that Moore can write rather irreverent, even bawdy humor and balance it with tender, honest emotion. The characters are intense and very real. If Moore isn't a painter himself, he must have done a lot of research to gain such insight into the relationship a painter has with paint and color.
Although they couldn't be more different in tone, I think this book would be a great companion to Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party about Renoir, and Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay.
Christopher Moore has won yet another new fan. I will certainly be reading more of him in the future. Leave me a comment if you have a favorite book by him to recommend to me.
Author and film maker Nora Ephron passed away on June 26 at the age of 71(see Chicago Tribune tribute). In her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (2006), Ephron wrote,
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”
To explore material by Ephron you can find books and movies in our catalog. A temporary display of her books and movies can also be found by the checkout line at the library.
Critically acclaimed author Ray Bradbury passed away June 5 at the age of 91. He authored more than 27 novels and 600 short stories and brought fantasy and science fiction to the mainstream. Nearly everyone has been touched by his writing in some way because of his influence on the science fiction genre.
To explore material by and about Ray Bradbury you can find books and movies in our catalog. A temporary display of his books and movies can also be found by the checkout line.
As Adam Sandler would say: "...Not too shabby..." This best describes this first published novel of S. J. Watson.
Shabby, at best, could also describe the heroine’s memory. Chris wakes each day with no memory of her past. For over 20 years, her days begins in a panic. Where is she? Who is she? Why can't she remember anything? Who is the man in bed next to her?
Each dawn, the man in bed next to her patiently explains to Chris that he is Ben, her husband. He carefully outlines the traumatic past that she has survived and the resulting time-life-loop in which Chris' memory is stuck. Imagine what this must feel like to experience!
The lone, good outcome of this daily experience is that it's not like a nagging, horrific nightmare. She has little or no memories of her past, so each day is news to her. She discovers through Ben's daily narratives that she has spent a lot a time in hospitals and her prognosis is not good. Over the years, doctors have not measured much change in her condition.
One day a doctor contacts her and says that he has been secretly working with Chris for some time and feels that she may one day get better. He encourages her to start a daily diary, hide it from Ben each night before they sleep, and then the doctor will tell her the next day the hiding place so that Chris can read and more easily assimilate her past.
Since no character in the story is without flaws and trust-worthy, the reader is constantly assessing the exposition and attempting to seek some truth. Chris might have been in a car accident. She might have had best friend who is since estranged. Ben might have once divorced her. She might have had a son who died in a war. The list goes on.
This is a difficult book to write, but not that difficult to read. There is a lot of redundancy that is to be expected since Chris's memory must be reassembled each day like a house of cards. The final product, this book, withstands any gust of wind. Looking forward to his next novel. Watson's webpage can be found here: http://www.sjwatson-books.com/.
In Dan Ariely's new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty : How We Lie To Everyone - Especially Ourselves, he explores cheating, lies, and human nature by looking at psychology experiments. If you liked the more famous Freakonomics books or those by Malcolm Gladwell, you'll enjoy Dan Ariely, who makes you rethink your "morality" when it comes to cheating and lying - but in a totally entertaining way!
For those of you who shy away from non-fiction, this book (and previous books by the author) is incredibly readable and fun - Ariely is charmingly self-deprecating - and reading him is like hearing stories from an old friend who just happens to be a behavioral economist. If you don't want to commit to reading the entire book, I highly recommened you at least check out Dan Ariely's blog or twitter, where you can get fascinating snippets from the social psychology world in pop form.
Blending facts and fiction with some chapters devoted to literary dissertation rather than biographical information, Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines A Life is a hybrid of a biography and a narrative.
Drawing from a variety of sources which are noted in the back of the book, Beattie recounts snapshots of Pat Nixon’s life and at the same time interjects her own suppositions, imagining what Pat Nixon might have done or said in a given situation. Beattie notes that her book “is based on research,” but also states, “I imagine dialogue… in some cases, factual events are used only as points of departure.” A brief chronology is included at the end of the book highlighting some of the events in Pat Nixon’s life as well as those of her husband, Richard Nixon.
Beattie is a university professor and has received awards for her short stories. The chapters in Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines A Life are not individual short stories; however, they do stand alone in variety and scope. For example, chapter one is a list of nicknames; other chapters include examples of literary terms and the author’s opinion about writers.
Reading this book is like looking through a box of photographs and notes rather than reading a chronicled scrapbook or detailed diary. If you are looking for a complete biography about Pat Nixon, this book is not it, but if you would like to read snippets of Pat Nixon’s life intermingled with ‘what-ifs’ read on.
Helen Allston and her daughter Eulah are enjoying all the perks their first-class passage affords aboard the Titanic.
Fast forward three years to Boston where Sibyl, the eldest daughter of Helen and Harlan Allston, and reluctant matriarch of the family, is attending an annual seance. This secret and somber affair is dedicated to communicating with departed loved ones lost on the Titanic.
Flashback to 1868 Shanghai where Harlan is a novice sailor trying to make a name for himself.
From seedy back alleys and opium dens to the lavish lifestyles of the privileged upper class, this novel brings together three distinct settings to produce a vivid snapshot of life during the turn of the century.
Ben, Chon and their girlfriend Ophelia are living the Dream, spending their days in a mansion in Laguna Beach, together a happy dysfunctional family of sorts.
Ben the Botanist grows the best pot in SoCal and Chon the ex Navy Seal helps distribute and sell it, all along guided by their Muse Ophelia, all is well until they get an offer they can't refuse.
The Baja Cartel wants a cut of the business and make it clear that no is not an option, after some thought they say no and the fun begins.
Chon leads the way with his expertise to turn the tables on the cartel and a scary, violent and sometimes funny high octane ride begins.
Don Winslow-- is one of my favorite writers and he has a winner here.
Check the trailer for the new movie out in July.