Book Lovers

Jack McDevitt

Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath are antiquarians seeking space treasure that they are able to turn into serious profits.  One day, they get a lead from an unusual artificat that appears to be from the Seeker, a spaceship that was lost 9,000 years ago when the first group of human settlers left the home planet to establish a utopia called Margolia in the Earth year of 2688.  Benedict and Kolpath get drawn into an exciting adventure as they attempt to discover if the ship is still intact somewhere and if the lost colony of Margolia still exists.  Filled with mystery, science fiction and really well done aliens, there is nothing not to like about this book.

Jul 1, 2011
Margaret Atwood

The female narrator, a commercial artist, takes her boyfriend and two friends (a married couple) on a trip to Northern Quebec, where they stay in her childhood home out in the woods. Secretly, the narrator wants to find her father, who has gone missing. Married once before, the main character longs to discover when and how the part of her capable of loving someone else also went missing. Surfacing is an honest portayal of one woman who feels a sense of disconnect from her life and those around her.

Jun 30, 2011
Left Neglected
Lisa Genova

Sarah Nickerson is a highly-motivation and deeply ambitious woman who spends 25 hours a day balancing the demands of her career and, time permitting, her family. She is a quite masterful in her juggling of these priorities, until the day a high-speed car crash leaves her with a rare form of brain damage that deletes the concept of “left” (as opposed to “right). When Sara loses her ability to see the left side of a room, or control her left hand, she gains an opportunity to take stock of the things that really matter.

Jun 30, 2011
Tina Fey

An entertaining combination of humor writing and biography, this well-written collection of essays is recommended to any and all fans of Fey’s work, including the semi-biographical 30 Rock. Funnylady Fey addresses her childhood in Pennsylvania, getting started in comedy, and balancing the challenges of a career in entertainment with those of maintaining a family with her usual blend of self-deprecation and sharp wit.

Jun 30, 2011
Get in the Van
Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins, spoken-word performer, writer, TV host, former frontman of Black Flag as well as Henry Rollins Band, is a living punk rock legend.  If you've ever gotten the chance to see him speak or sing live, you can't help but be taken by his ferocity, his humor, his wit and his stamina.  He is a performer that seems almost beyond human with the amount of music and writings he's produced while constantly touring.  In his now classic tour diary from the 80s, Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag, we get to see his daily reactions to the violence and raucousness that punk rock embodied at the time.  This can grow redundant and tedious, with many entries sounding the same, but in this 2nd edition, Rollins adds an updated forward, afterword, previously unpublished photos and flyer art.  This work by one of punk's most respected figures is a must for any fan of rock music in general.

Jun 29, 2011
Player One: What Is to Become of Us
Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland has never been one to shy away from the heavy themes of identity, religion, society, time, and the purpose of our existence with contemporary classics like Generation X, Microserfs, Shampoo Planet, and Girlfriend in a Coma.  In last year's Player One: What Is to Become of Us, Coupland once again gets us to think about big issues.  This is the relatively short story of five strangers stuck in an airport cocktail lounge after a devastating global disaster strikes.  Each chapter alternates between all five voices with the addition of a mysterious Player One.  As the world is falling apart outside, each person reveals truths about themselves.  Highly recommended for fans of Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, and even Chuck Palahniuk.  Watch the book trailer here.

Jun 24, 2011
God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre
Richard Grant

If you're like me, fascinated and appalled by the current crisis in Mexico, here is another title to feed your curiosity.  Part travel guide, part memoir, and part history lesson, God's Middle Finger shows us what life in the Sierra Madre is like from a safe distance.  Filled with bandits, drunks, and narcos, this region of Mexico continues to embody the Wild West mentality with its lawlessness and brutality.  See the sticky situations travel writer Richard Grant encounters on his risky journey through the Sierra Madre.

Jun 24, 2011
Nick Sagan

Our narrator, Halloween, has a problem: he can’t remember anything! As he starts to gather clues from friends and acquaintances, he soon learns that he is in a school for gifted children- and that one of those teens is dead (did Halloween do it? He can’t be sure). Halloween can’t remember what happened to cause him to forget so much- and no one else does either. And what is up with the overly stern headmaster, Maestro? This page-turning debut from Nick Sagan (yes, the son of famed astronomer Carl Sagan) is kind of like watching Inception or the Matrix- it takes you to multiple levels of reality (or is it virtual reality) to tell this story and does so in a mostly exciting, engaging style. Recommended for Sci Fi fans and fans of a good thriller who want to stretch their imaginations a little.

Jun 22, 2011
In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts tells the story of the Dodd family's years in 1930s Berlin.  William Dodd is named US Ambassador to Germany and is sent to Berlin in 1932.  His family, consisting of his wife, son and flirtatious daughter Martha, also make the journey.  The book is a riveting look at a Germany undergoing tremendous change and upheaval as well as a look at the diplomatic positions of not only the United States but of other countries as well.  Another fascinating readable historical book by a master.

Jun 16, 2011
Donovan Hohn

In 1992, a freight container ship hit rough seas and lost some of its load.  Included in the loss were containers of plastic bath toys (beavers, frogs, turtles, and rubber ducks).  In 2005, a student wrote an essay about the rubber ducks and made a lasting impression on his teacher Donovan Hohn.  Hohn was so intrigued with what happened to the toys that he quit his job and researched the paths of where the ducks may have traveled.  His 2-plus years of journeys took him to Alaska, Hawaii, China, and the Arctic.  His traveling companions were varied in their knowledge and personal quests. 

Jun 11, 2011

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