Book Lovers

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
Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson, best known for the graphic novel Blankets, triumphantly returns eight years later with Habibi.  It is also a graphic novel with beautiful illustrations, but that is where the similarities end.  Habibi is the story of Dodala and Zam who are runaway slaves.  They meet when Dodala rescues Zam and raises him for nine years.  Circumstances cause them to separate only to find one another years later.  Their bond remained strong and their devotion to each other never wavered.  This epic love story also delves into the shared roots of Christianity and Islam.

Nov 15, 2011
Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time
Courtney E. Smith

This book attempts to give a female perspective on music writing in a similar vein as Rob Sheffield, Chuck Klosterman and Nick Hornby.  Ms Smith treads a lot of similar ground as those big names, but the book's strength lies in Smith reclaiming music nerdery for women.  Men are usually looked up to in music writing and reviewing, but this book shows that women can be just as crazy obsessed with music as men and should never back down from a Beatles vs. Rolling Stones debate.

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
The Visible Man
Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is mostly known for his wry pop culture essays, but here he is, taking a second stab at fiction.  This time, he writes a thriller about a man who can become invisible and observes people.  When he no longer can deal with this in isolation, he seeks out the help of therapist, Victoria Vicks.  As his stories of voyuerism escalate in danger, so does Victoria's personal relationship with him.

In The Visible Man, Klosterman presents deep philosophical topics in a very easy to swallow manner.  This book is a quick read and it's simple, but it is also extremely intelligent and will make you continue to think about the characters well after you finished reading it.

Nov 8, 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
Ready Player One
Ernest Cline

If you're into video games of any sort, be it old school arcade types or online virtual reality simulations, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is the perfect book for you.  Adults will love all the pop culture references to the 1980s and teens will love the action and future possibilities of gaming.  Set in the near future, people log into the OASIS, an online virtual utopia, in order to escape their sad lives.  When James Halliday, creator of the OASIS, dies, he leaves a puzzle.  The gamer that solves it and gets Halliday's Easter Egg will inherit the whole OASIS, which is worth billions.  Wade is an 18-year-old geek who has to compete against other elite gamers as well as an evil corporation in order to reach the egg first and make sure it ends up in good hands.  Read the book to find out what clever puzzles Cline managed to think up.

Oct 18, 2011

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