Book Lovers

Last Days
Adam Nevill

Documentary-filmmaker Kyle Freeman is flat broke and uncertain about what the future holds for his career. Determined to make movies his way, Kyle is pleased when he is offered a large sum of money to make a movie about the doomed cult, the Temple of the Last Days. Tasked with studying the supernatural elements of the cult (what the members described as "the presences"), Kyle and his camerman travel from England, to France, and finally to the Arizona desert, where the Temple self-destructed in a grisly bloodbath. On their disastrous journey to make a hit documentary, they discover much more about the Temple's devious, manipulative leader, Sister Katherine, and that the presences she conjured did not perish along with the cult.

Apr 21, 2014
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An enthralling tale about love, race, immigration, Nigeria, England, and the United States.  Adichie tells the story of a Nigerian couple that is split up when one goes to America while the other goes to England to start new lives.  Eventually both return to live in Nigeria with their changed identities and look to reunite.  Americanah may be fiction, but it offers important lessons on race and privilege.  

Dec 16, 2013
Denise Duhamel

This is poet Denise Duhamel's 4th collection and what a humorous, heartbreaking, angry, and touching collection it is. Centered mostly around the end of her marriage (and the spark of something new), Duhamel is the best friend you never had tell you all the things you wanted to know (but were too afraid to ask). She writes in free verse mostly, but this is a narrative confessional poetry that reads a lot like a first-person novel. Readers will identify with the poet whether woman or man (who hasn't been blindsided in a relationship?) and cheer for her when she finally finds someone to share her creative and personal life with. Recommended.

Oct 2, 2013
What's Wrong with Fat?
Abigail C. Saguy

"What's wrong with fat?" seems like an easy question to answer.  We're constantly bombarded on news reports of how obesity leads to all kinds of illness and health problems.  In Abigail C. Saguy's new book, What's Wrong with Fat? she presents new positive frames for thinking about fatness and looks at how obesity as a public health crisis is being blown way out of proportion.  Despite being an academic read, this is a brave and enlightening perspective that doesn't get heard from a lot.

Aug 21, 2013
The Art Forger
B.A. Shapiro

This art-rich story from Shapiro revolves around an art heist that occurred 20 years prior (actual event), one in which a Degas masterpiece was stolen. Now that masterpiece is in outcast artist Claire Roth’s studio (or is it?). Handsome and sly gallery owner, Aiden Markel, has brought it to her so she can paint a forgery which he will sell off- and then, supposedly, return the original to the museum. Claire’s own history as an apprentice (and forger) for a contemporary artist and lover of hers plays well into this story of who-done-it and where-is-it-now. A lot of interesting discussion about art world forgeries (its processes) and collecting, the politics of art museums, plus a love interest and some police procedural give this story a little bit of something for everyone without losing interest or momentum. 

Aug 17, 2013
Loteria: a novel
Mario Alberto Zambrano

Loteria cards are used to play a Mexican bingo-like game.  In the debut novel Loteria, by Mario Alberto Zambrano, the cards are used as a literary device for 11-year-old Luz to express herself after she stops talking.  The book opens with a bit of mystery - Luz is in state custody, her father is in jail, and her older sister is in intensive care.  Each chapter begins with a picture of a Loteria card sparking a memory from Luz's past.  Chapter by chapter, card by card, it is revealed what led up to the current predicament.  This book is beautiful, tragic, and wholly original.

Aug 8, 2013
Love's Winning Plays
Inman Majors

This is one fun football story that leatherheads and librarians (and anyone in between) can enjoy. Raymond Love is a graduate assistant for an elite college football school, one of two GA’s competing for a spot on the coaching staff under the vaunted Coach Von Drive (or CVD, as he likes to be called). All Love has to do is make sure the opera loving, beer guzzling defensive line coach doesn’t get into too much trouble that summer on the Pigskin Cavalcade through the small town South. Throw in a couple of romantic interests, some heated internet chat exhanges, and a there’s a barrel of laughs to be had on each page. Love makes for a winning narrator with his homespun charm and knack for getting in and out of trouble.  For sports fans and anyone seeking a good laugh.

Jul 30, 2013
The Fire Witness
Lars Kepler

A teen girl and a psychologist are killed at a juvenile home for troubled girls.  All clues point to another younger patient who has run off.  Joona Linna is sent to observe the case since he is under investigation by Internal Affairs.  He's not as convinced as the other police that the missing Vicky Bennett is the culprit.

Jul 23, 2013
I Wear the Black Hat
Chuck Klosterman

By now, you might be sick of Chuck Klosterman.  Between his nonfiction books of essays that have turned into retreads and his boring forays into fiction, Klosterman has become somewhat tiresome.  With his newest collection of essays, I Wear the Black Hat, he actually has a larger point that runs throughout - the villain is the person who knows the most, but cares the least.  While this book is hardly exhaustive and in depth, it is entertaining with Klosterman's trademark cleverness and humor.  It winds up being more fun than philosophical.

Jul 20, 2013
A Conspiracy of Faith
Jussi Adler-Olsen

A message in a bottle leads Department Q to an unsolved kidnapping and murder.  Could it be that the perpetrator is still on the loose and committing more horrible crimes?  Carl Morck and his quirky assistants are on the case and also help solve a string of present-day arsons.

Jul 11, 2013

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