Book Lovers

The Night Circus
Erin Morganstern

Le Cirque des Reves arrives without warning, and is only open from dusk to dawn. Within its tents patrons will find wonders beyond their wildest dreams, created by a cast of talented and powerful entertainers. Two of the circus’ star players, Celia and Marco, are no ordinary illusionists. They are magical opponents, playing on behalf of their mentors, in a game to which they do not entirely understand and to which their lives are bound, with the circus as their playing field. As they realize their roles, they choose to pursue romantic and magical collaboration instead of fatal competition, though the fate of the circus-and all of its players-hangs in the balance. Simply enchanting.

Dec 1, 2011
Stephen King

Jake Epping, high school English teacher, is sent back to 1958 via a time-travel rabbit hole under the local diner.  Al, the diner owner, shows Jake the way to the past and has one dying request:  stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating President Kennedy in 1963.  Jake becomes George Amberson and spends the next five years getting to know Oswald's life.  He also gets involved in the daily life of living and loving, finding the past is not always easy to change.  Will he be able to prevent Kennedy's death and what happens if he is successful?  Fans of time travel and historical fiction should enjoy this story.

Nov 28, 2011
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell is an intelligent and inquisitive young boy who
enjoys inventing things and solving puzzles, but in the wake of his father’s death in the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Oskar discovers a key, and what he believes to be his father’s last puzzle. He embarks on a journey through New York’s boroughs to meet everyone with the surname “Black” and find the lock that fits his key. Beautifully written and colored with delightful characters, decades of letters and the precocious logic of intelligent but unwise youth, this novel is highly recommended for fans of Foer’s earlier work Everything Is Illuminated, or Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Nov 15, 2011
The Hypnotist
Lars Kepler

Erik Maria Bark had promised never to use hypnosis again.  But when the police ask for his assistance with a sole survivor of a brutal mass murder he agrees to help.  This decision starts a chain of events that leads to the kidnapping of Bark's son.  Another fine example of Swedish crime fiction.  I found it hard to stop reading.

Nov 9, 2011
And Nothing But the Truthiness
Lisa Rogak

And Nothing But the Truthiness is the story of the popular faux news host/comedian Stephen Colbert.  Learn how his childhood and family, especially the deaths of his father and two brothers, influenced his life.  His comic experiences, especially at Second City and the Daily Show, are well-documented.  Try to find out out his real-life views differ from that of his television personality.  Recommended for fans of The Colbert Report.

Nov 1, 2011
Zone One
Colson Whitehead

Mark Spitz is on a civilian team sent to clear out the remaining "stragglers" from lower Manhattan (Zone One) to make it habitable again. Stragglers are the non-hostile type of zombies that are trapped performing the mildless tasks of their past lives: making copies, preparing coffee, filling balloons with helium at a costume shop, and so on. 

Zone One covers three days for Mark Spitz and his team as they attempt to complete their mission and weather through the symptoms of PASD (Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder).

Oct 31, 2011
Just One Look - Harlan Coben
Just One Look
Harlan Coben

This is a great book if you like gripping suspense and dozens of plot twists.  One day Grace Lawson stops to pick up a pack of recently developed photos and finds one that was taken twenty years ago.  It is a picture of her husband before she knew him with four other people. When she shows it to him and asks if he can make any sense of it, he takes off and still isn't home by the next morning.  Grace must find out what the photo is about, what has happened to her husband and confront her own past.  As with most Harlan Coben novels, you will not want to put this one down.  You will enjoy the ride so much that you won't care if some of the characters motivations seem a little contrived at the end.

Oct 30, 2011
The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen

With the overwhelming success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Scandinavian crime novels are a big hit in the United States.  The Keeper of Lost Causes is an excellent example of a Danish thriller.  Detective Carl Morck is having a hard time after a shootout has killed one of his partners and paralyzed the other.  He is made the head of a new department, Dept. Q, which handles unsolved cases.  His only help is non-policeman Assad.  The case they decide to tackle is the five-year disappearance of a rising politician, Merete Lynnggaard. Fast-paced with likable characters, this book is highly recommended.

Oct 25, 2011
Driving on the Rim
Thomas McGuane

Irving Berlin (“Berl”) Pickett is a housepainter-turned-doctor-turned-housepainter who, upon suspension of his clinic duties reflects on a life spent as an immature fool. His inability (or unwillingness) to grow up is the novel’s source of both comedy and tragedy, and sets Pickett apart from those around him as more of a constant narrator of his life instead of a fellow actor. Pickett’s deadpan style is incredibly rich in one-liners and will appeal to fans of Kurt Vonnegut or Heller's Catch-22.  Pickett’s tale is much more remarkable in its cast than in its actual events. Driving on the Rim is a great read for those more concerned with colorful character than profound plot. 

Oct 18, 2011
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

This is a western about a pair of brothers: Charlie, a dark, lean, heavy-drinking gun-for-hire; and Eli, his riding companion and conscience, a little overweight and seeking an end to the killing lifestyle (though with his own mean streak). As it happens, Charlie and Eli Sisters are on the trail of a man their boss, Commodore, has ordered them to dispose of. This sometimes brooding, sometimes humorous picaresque is about the adventures they encounter on their find to find Mr. Hermann Warm, including an encounter (and a curse) with a desert witch, a goldmining boss set to take their bounty and their lives, and plenty of squabbles settled Old West-style (gun fights and killing). The humor is dry  and dark, but spot on for the Western setting. Recommended for those readers who like a little reflection amid flying bullets and flasks of whiskey.

Oct 4, 2011

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