New Titles

New Titles – June 2017

New Non-Fiction

Payne, Daniel G.    Orion on the Dunes: A biography of Henry Beston

Benefitting from unrestricted access to the writer’s archives, and drawing on interviews with friends and family, the author presents a personal narrative that follows Beston through his childhood in Quincy, his years at Harvard, abroad as a teacher and later as ambulance driver in WWI, and back to his home in New England.  Concerned with the effects of modern industrialization on both the earth and the human spirit, Beston clearly perceived problems that would attend overpopulation and the destruction of national resources.  He married poet and children’s author Elizabeth Coatsworth shortly after spending a year in a shack high on a Cape Cod dune and publishing his famous The Outermost House.

Hesse, Monica    An American Fire

In Accomack County, VA, months of midnight arsons generated fear and suspicion among the business owners and residents.  Firefighters slept at their stations.  Vigilante groups patrolled the rural coast with cameras and camouflage.  When the author, a Washington Post reporter, traveled to the county to cover a hearing for a struggling mechanic who pleaded guilty to 67 counts of arson, she learned that he wasn’t lighting fires alone:  his crimes were galvanized by a surprising love story.

Fuller, Randall   The Book that Changed America:  How Darwin’s theory of evolution ignited a nation

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1860) was eagerly read and discussed by five extraordinary American intellectuals — Harvard botanist Asa Gray, child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, abolitionist Franklin Sanborn, philosopher Bronson Alcott, and essayist Henry David Thoreau — causing it to become the single most important idea of the nineteenth century.  It reshaped American notions about nature, religion, science, and race, and illustrated the interconnectedness of all living things.

Roper, Lyndal     Martin Luther:  Renegade and prophet

This magisterial biography investigates the complicated inner life of the founding father of the Protestant Reformation, whose intellectual assault on Catholicism ushered in a century of upheaval that transformed Christianity and changed the course of world history. He appears as a revolutionary thinker who was a brilliant writer but also deeply flawed, a bit evil, and full of contradictions.

FitzGerald, Holly     Ruthless River

A young married couple on a yearlong honeymoon survived a plane crash only then to raft hundreds of miles across Peru and Bolivia, taking a wild ride down a South American river in the thick of the Amazon Basin, ending up in a channel to nowhere, a dead end so flooded there is literally no land to stand on. Their four-log raft is surrounded by piranha and caiman.  Now what?

Attkisson, Sharyl    The Smear:  How shady political operatives and fake news control what you see, what you think, and how you vote

Pulling back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research, the author reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence our opinions. Paid forces cleverly shape words and images, and their success hinges on their ability to remain invisible.  This shady industry affects us every day.

Stovel, DeeDee     The Pumpkin Cookbook:  139 recipes celebrating the versatility of the pumpkin and other winter squashes

Found on every continent except Antarctica, the versatile cucurbit plant family takes center stage with lots of recipes sweet and savory, unusual combinations, and historical tidbits as well.    

Buhner, Stephen – Healing Lyme: Natural healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis
This examination of the leading scientific research on Lyme infection and its tests and treatments outlines the most potent natural medicines that offer help, either alone or in combination with antibiotics, for prevention and healing. Based on his contact with over 25,000 people who have used some form of these protocols, the author explains what Lyme bacteria do in the body and how natural approaches can heal the disease.

 

New Fiction

Clark, Polly     Larchfield

A young poet, recently married, now pregnant, finds that her relocation to a small town in Scotland was a big mistake.  She is stifled, harassed by the couple upstairs, shunned by neighbors and unsuccessful in launching her career. Her spirits lift upon discovering that the great poet W.H. Auden once lived and worked at a nearby boys’ school in the 1930s, giving her a link to sanity that she desperately clings to. The novel recounts her imagined friendship with the poet in a fictionalized life of Auden as a teacher, a brilliant writer, and a (secret) homosexual, who fueled the power of the young poet’s imagination and allowed her to transcend banality and suffering.

Elsberg, Marc     Blackout

Someone is taking down power grids across Europe. There is no power, anywhere. An Italian hacker may be the only person who can devise how the systems have been breached and who is behind the attacks. But the authorities don’t believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the U.S. now also at risk, he goes on the run with a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, while havoc reigns as lifesaving technology and communications networks are no longer available. 

Bassingthwaighte, Ian     Live from Cairo

Cairo, 2011.  President Mubarak has just been ousted from power. The oldest city in the world is reeling from political revolution, and people have been changed by it, including a strong-willed Iraqi refugee who finds herself trapped in Egypt after her petition to resettle in America with her husband is denied, her foolhardy attorney, whose frustration with the legal bureaucracy and complicated feelings for her have led him to forge a not entirely legal plan to get her out,  the attorney’s fastidious translator who spends his days trying to help people through the system and his nights in Tahrir Square protesting against it, and a young and disenchanted Iraqi-American resettlement officer, who takes a big risk to help the refugee. But soon laws are broken, friendships and marriages are tested, and lives are at stake.

Barton, Fiona     The Child

A reporter covering the discovery of a tiny skeleton in the remains of a demolished house in gentrified London is a loss for answers:  who is this little baby?  As she investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier, when a newborn baby stolen from a maternity ward was never found. As she interviews people who once lived in the neighborhood, she is drawn, house by house, into their pasts and their surprising secrets.

Cantor, Jillian     The Lost Letter

In this historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, a mysterious love letter connects generations of Jewish families. It begins with a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver who, after Kristallnacht, is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, while secretly working for the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers.  A generation later, a newly-divorced woman cleaning out her house comes across the stamp collection of her father, in which an appraiser discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter. They set out on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just-fallen Berlin Wall.

Phillips, Gin     Fierce Kingdom

A woman playing with her four-year-old son at a zoo is stunned to see, as she hustles her son toward the exit minutes before closing time, dead bodies at the gate.  She pulls him back into the zoo.  They will soon be as trapped as the animals.

Connolly, John     A Game of Ghosts

Into the seemingly unending darkness of deep winter, a private detective has vanished, and the FBI has good reasons for wanting him found.  The missing p.i. was obsessively tracking a series of homicides, each linked to reports of hauntings.  He will step foot into a criminal world in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts.

McCall Smith, Alexander     A Distant View of Everything

A four-year-old is none too keen on his newborn brother. In fact, he doesn’t like him at all, and it falls to his mother to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have served as guiding principles in her own life. These principles will land her into an awkward situation:  that of investigating, as a favor to a friend, a cosmetic surgeon whom the friend fixed up with a wealthy acquaintance.  Her inquiries into rumors about the surgeon’s motives will take an unexpected turn, and she will wonder who it is exactly that she should be investigating.

Kellerman, Jonathan     Crime Scene

A former star athlete turned deputy coroner is drawn into a brutal, complicated murder when a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye. An eccentric, reclusive former psychology professor lies cold at the bottom of his stairs, at first seemingly a victim of booze and a bad heart. But his life is a history of scandal and violence and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed.  The professor, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one.

Buchanan, Tracy      No Turning Back

A radio personality and newly-single mom accidentally kills a seemingly crazed teenaged boy who attacked her and her baby daughter on the beach.  The police believe she acted to defend herself, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.  Her precarious mental state is further threatened by tremendous guilt, sleepless nights, media frenzy, and emails from a murderer believing them to be kindred spirits.

Craig, Charmaine     Miss Burma

The story of modern-day Burma unrolls through the eyes of a young Jewish officer working for the British Customs Service who meets and marries a woman of Burma’s persecuted ethnic minority group.  When WWII comes to Asia and their town is under threat of Japanese occupation, the young couple and their baby take shelter among her countrymen.  After the war, the husband will become an architect of the revolution, which will spark the longest running civil war in recorded history.  Their daughter will grow up to become Burma’s first national beauty queen, while she covertly advances the cause of her mother’s people.

Ruskovick, Emily     Idaho

In the wild emotional and physical landscape of rugged northern Idaho, a couple is bound together by love.  But the husband’s memory is fading, and his wife decides to piece together the truth of what happened to his first wife and to their daughters, uncovering a mysterious and shocking act that fractured their lives.  Her failing husband’s past will obsess her as she determines to understand the family she never knew and to take responsibility for them, hoping to reassemble their lives, and her own.

Penziwol, Jean     The Lightkeeper’s Daughters

With the help of a delinquent teenager performing community service, a woman losing her eyesight goes through her late father’s diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own—to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where the aging woman’s father manned the lighthouse seventy years earlier.  As the words on the musty pages come alive, they begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed.

Kwan, Kevin     Rich People Problems

From the mansions of Manila to secluded islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at an elite Hong Kong school to a surprising marriage proposal at an Indian palace, this story features a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royale fought through couture-gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.

Maher, Jan     Earth As It Is

In 1930s Texas, a heterosexual cross-dressing man is one of society’s least understood people.  Unable to continue in his new marriage, abandoned by his wife, he heads to Chicago where he finds a community of cross-dressers and begins to attend their secret soirees.  When Pearl Harbor is bombed, he volunteers for the army as a dentist, trying once again to leave his obsession behind.  After his service, the Army’s faulty recordkeeping puts him in a small Indiana town, listed as a woman, and there he opens a beauty shop where women safely share with him their stories and secrets.

Silva, Daniel     House of Spies

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. The thread leads a legendary spy and assassin and his team of operatives to hunt down a shadowy ISIS mastermind, taking them to the south of France and to the doorstep of a beautiful former British fashion model, who pretends not to know that the true source of her partner’s enormous wealth is drugs, and who is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West.

Williams, David     When the English Fall

When a solar storm destroys anything electronic, a man, his family, and his Amish community are at first unaffected.  But the non-Amish citizens are becoming increasingly desperate as civilization around them collapses.  Two worlds are about to collide.

 

New Mysteries

Rosenfeld, David     Collared

A lawyer who has founded a dog rescue organization finds a dog abandoned at the shelter one morning, accompanied by a mysterious anonymous note. When he scans the dog’s embedded chip, he discovers that this dog is the “DNA dog.”  Two and a half years earlier, a single mother watched her adopted baby and her dog snatched away in broad daylight. When DNA tests showed conclusively that dog hair found in the mom’s ex-boyfriend’s house belonged to her dog, the boyfriend was convicted of kidnapping, but the dog and baby were never found.  Now, with the reappearance of the dog, the case is brought back to light, and the lawyer joins the search for the child.

Mogford, Thomas     A Thousand Cuts

A melancholy lawyer living in Gibraltar defends a violent alcoholic in a harassment case brought against him by a wealthy and respected female doctor. Because the case isn’t as cut-and-dried as it first seemed, the defendant walks free.  Only days later, the doctor leaps to her death from a blazing house fire before the attorney’s very eyes. He has spotted someone else watching from the shadows:  the defendant. The further he investigates, the more secrets buried deep in Gibraltar’s past he uncovers, and they lead him to the doors of some of the most powerful people in town, people dangerously close to his own life, and fragile happiness.

Robotham, Michael      The Secrets She Keeps

Two women, both expecting babies at about the same time, lead very different lives.  One is single, a stock clerk in a small grocery, and the other a popular mommy blogger married to a famous sportscaster.  The single mom watches the other, almost to the point of stalking, daydreaming about what it would be like to live her perfect life, as she waits and wonders whether her ex-boyfriend will come home from his tour with the British Navy in time to meet his child. But the glamorous married woman hides a less-than perfect marriage:  she is battered by constant fighting and the toll that caring for two other young children takes on her energy and mental health. Little does she know that a mundane exchange she has with the grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever.

Jones, Stephen Mack     August Snow

A tough, smart man of mixed race joined the Detroit police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But after winning a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that leaves him rich but low on friends, he spends a year away, then returns to his very humble childhood home. It’s not long before he’s summoned to the palatial estate of a business magnate who wants him to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. He declines, and a day later, the wealthy woman is dead of an apparent suicide. What begins as an inquiry into her death soon drags him into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries.

Berenson, Laurien      Murder at the Puppy Fest

A volunteer at an animal care fundraiser becomes involved in investigating the death of the wealthy head of the event, a man with nine children who collapsed after eating cookies containing peanuts. In between attending dog shows and training her new rescue dog, she discerns that almost all family members had reasons to dislike the famous philanthropist.  In memory of Parker Carey.

Brown, Janelle    Watch Me Disappear

After marrying a straightlaced technology editor, a woman who had a troubled and somewhat felonious childhood hoped to settle down.  But after the birth of their daughter, she begins to leave the house, driving away for short and long periods, taking solo hiking trips and weekends apart.  When one day she disappears while hiking, police find only a shattered cell phone and a hiking boot, and her husband ponders what he really knows about his wife, and whether he has the guts to learn the whole truth.

Thiem, Brian     Shallow Grave

When the Oakland coroner uncovers a body in a shallow grave, the homicide sergeant expects to find a drug dealer who got caught in the crosshairs of a turf war.  Instead, the victim is identified as the commander of the police department’s intelligence unit and the sergeant’s former partner. He will have to find the truth, even if it means sacrificing his former partner’s reputation and possibly his own career.

Carter, M.J.     The Devil’s Feast

In a swanky men’s club in 1840s London, a very famous chef is horrified to learn that a few of his diners have collapsed and died from two kinds of poison.  Desperate to find the source while keeping the deaths secret, the club hires a former soldier to investigate, who soon uncovers a web of rivalries and hatreds, both personal and political in the behind-the-scenes lives of the chefs, cooking staff, and servants in grand houses.

Paris, B.A.     The Breakdown

Late at night in the midst of a storm, a woman driving home through a desolate wood comes upon a car at the side of the road. She pauses, but when the woman alone in the car doesn’t signal distress, she continues home, neglecting to call the police.  The guilt about her inaction is compounded when she learns not only that the woman in the car was murdered that night but also that she was someone the guilty woman had recently met and liked immensely.  As sorrow weighs upon her, she becomes increasingly convinced that she has early-onset dementia, finding herself forgetting things she’s said and done and is now receiving silent phone calls she believes are from the murderer. Thus begins her downward spiral.

Reichs, Kathy     Two Nights

A woman with physical and psychological scars and a killer instinct has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs her help. The search will force her to face her own demons.

Stabenow, Dana     Less Than a Treason

A geologist known for his research in exploring the wilds of Alaska has disappeared from an ancient mine in an Alaskan national park.  A native Aleut working as a private investigator, assisted by her half-wolf, half-husky dog sets out to find him.  She is resourceful, strong, experienced… and now has also gone missing.

Persson, Leif     The Dying Detective

Newly retired, living in the country, the once head of the National Criminal Swedish Police is about to bite into a spicy sausage when he has a stroke that puts him in the hospital where he is also diagnosed with serious heart problems.  Depressed and immobile, he takes up an old case, the unsolved rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. Is it possible to resolve a 25-year-old murder if you’re forced to lie on a sofa the rest of your life? Once released from the hospital, he recruits an old friend to drive him around to possible crime scenes and his punked-out caregiver to take him to some crucial face-to-face interviews. Racing against time, he uncovers a web of connections that links sex tourism to a dead opera singer and a self-made millionaire. As the old policeman draws closer to solving the crime, he finds that he will have to confront not just a mystery but his own mortality as well.

Johansen, Roy     Look Behind You

A serial killer on the loose in San Diego leaves behind mystifying random objects, causing a confusing array of unrelated evidence for the investigator who is chosen by the CIA and FBI to solve the cases.  Blind for the first 20 years of her life, she has regained her sight through revolutionary surgery and now uses her acute powers of observation to assist police all over the U.S.  When she uncovers that the objects left behind are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murders, she realizes that one single killer is behind the nation’s most notorious unsolved murders, and she has to find him.

Connelly, Michael     The Late Show

A fierce young detective is fighting to prove herself on the LAPS’s toughest beat, the midnight shift in Hollywood, forced upon her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.  More than anything, she resents having to turn over her night-shift notes to the day shift.  One night she catches two assignments she doesn’t want to part with.  First, a prostitute is brutally beaten and left for dead in a parking lot.  Then, she finds a young waitress dying after a nightclub shooting.  Against orders and her partner’s wishes, she will work both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night.

Castillo, Linda     Down a Dark Road

After two years in jail for murdering his wife, a ‘fallen’ Amish man and known drug user with a violent temper has escaped and is headed home.  There, the chief of police, herself a former member of the Amish community, remembers the felon in his youth as a good man, and never imagines that he will take his five children hostage at gunpoint.  When she sets out to rescue them, she finds herself trapped with him, and hears his plea to help him prove his innocence.

Muller, Marcia     The Color of Fear

A knock on the door in the middle of the night wakes a private detective, who is wholly unprepared for the horrifying news that her father is comatose, the victim of a vicious, racially motivated attack.  A nationally recognized Shoshone artist, he visited for the holidays, and while browsing for gifts in San Francisco’s exclusive Marina district, was set upon by a mob of angry young men.  The p.i. undertakes the investigation, but soon receives hate-filled racist threats from a shadowy group.  Her life is at stake.

Loehfelm, Bill      The Devil’s Muse

A New Orleans rookie cop faces a new challenge:  Mardi Gras.  On day one, a man in tights and high on something throws himself onto the hood of a car and promptly becomes catatonic. Then shots are fired into the crowd, leaving three wounded and a handful of drunken witnesses.  With a couple of her colleagues, she attempts to sort out the shooting, while dealing with pressure from city hall and from an incompetent supervising detective who gets in her way.  The team exhibits grace under pressure, and by working together, they prove their ability to staunch the flow of blood, at least for a while.          

Box, C.J.     Paradise Valley

A serial killer whose hunting grounds are the highways and truck stops where runaways and prostitutes are most likely to vanish has for three years eluded an investigator with a North Dakota sheriff’s department.  Now she has set what she believes is the perfect trap for the murderer, and has lured him and his truck to a depot. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the investigator is disgraced and fired. Meanwhile, a troubled kid whom the investigator has taken under her wing has disappeared, after telling people that he was setting off on a long-planned adventure.  She will try to find him, all the while hunting the truck driver.  She is now a lone wolf.  Can she take the ruthless killer down alone, without losing her own humanity or even her life?

Slaughter, Karin     The Good Daughter

An attack on a family home leaves the mother dead, the father (the town’s defense attorney) devastated, and the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night. One daughter, 28 years later, has become a lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps.  One night, a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, and the young attorney plunged into a nightmare.  Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but the case brings forward the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress.

New Fantasy/Science Fiction

Sakey, Marcus     Afterlife

Chicago is being terrorized by a preternaturally lethal sniper, and a pair of FBI agents are desperate to end the horror. After one of the agents is murdered by a bomb in an abandoned church, the other finds himself wandering the streets of Chicago, which are populated only by people armed with clubs, axes, and swords.  These people are dead, and they have learned that killing makes them stronger.  And now the sniper is organizing them into an army.

Barker, Nicola     H(A)PPY

Employing imaginative typography and visual imagery, this dystopian novel stars a young woman living in a world of an unending and perfect present, where extremes are banned and each mind runs on computer data.  What kind of stories can such a world produce?  Her struggles to answer this question will unleash chaos.

 

New in Large Print

Backman, Fredrik     A Man Called Ove

A curmudgeonly widower with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse has made plans to terminate his life, as it has lost all meaning since his wife’s death.  His prospects change when one day a chatty young couple with two small daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten his mailbox.  As he reluctantly interacts with them and slowly opens his heart to the children, he begins to think that life may be worth living after all.

Albanese, Laurie Lico     Stolen Beauty

In the dazzling glitter of 1900 Vienna, a beautiful, brilliant, young Jewish woman meets the famous and wealthy painter Gustav Klimt, embracing Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Although they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the façade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of the city’s coffee houses and cultural salons.  Forty years later, the woman’s newlywed niece watches the Nazis invade Austria, her husband arrested, and her family evicted.  Will she escape, and what will become of the paintings that her aunt nearly sacrificed everything for?

Brooks, David     The Road to Character

Responding to what he calls the culture of ‘the big me,’ the author challenges us to rebalance the scales between the material goals of wealth, fame, and status, and the basic human values of kindness, bravery, honesty and faithfulness. Using the world’s great thinkers and leaders as examples, he shows the way to a strong inner character and encourages us to rethink our priorities.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi     Americanah

Filled with love and optimism, a young couple depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West.  The woman, beautiful and self-assured, arrives into America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be Black.  The man, quiet and thoughtful, planned to join her, but with post 9/11 America closed to him, he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.  Fifteen years later, they will reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, rebuild their relationship, and choose an identity.

Moore, Kate     The Radium Girls:  The dark story of America’s shining women

This is the story of the inspiring young women exposed to the ‘wonder’ element of radium as they toiled amidst the glowing dust of radium-dial factories in the 20th century.  The factories ignored all claims of the gruesome side effects, even as the fatal poison of the radium took hold.  Embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, the girls engaged in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that would echo for centuries to come, ultimately saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

 

New Audiobooks

O’Neill, Heather     The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Abandoned as babies in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914, two children exhibit special talents:  the boy is a piano prodigy, the girl a fine dancer and comic.  Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs, and theft in order to survive.  But when the two finally reunite after years of searching and desperate poverty, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true.  They assemble a troupe of clowns and chorus girls and hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alley.  Neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

Howard, Catherine Ryan     Distress Signals

The day a man’s girlfriend fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to crumble.  Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads “I’m sorry” sets off real alarm bells.  His search leads him to a cruise ship and to a woman who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.  To get answers, he will have to confront some difficult truths about his relationship with his missing girlfriend and outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground.

Mayo, Michael     Everybody Goes to Jimmy’s

A young man is delivering a bribe for an infamous racketeer when a bomb goes off on Wall Street, killing thirty people and scaring every banker in the city.  Twelve years later, the racketeer is dead, and the runner is doing his best to stay out of trouble, operating a quiet little Manhattan speakeasy.  At a particularly bad moment for his favorite waitress and him, a blast rocks the alley outside, awakening his memory of the madness of a dozen years ago. The delivery of a strange package containing four books filled with cryptic numbers sets him off on a mad race to stay out of the line of fire, taking him from the top of the Chrysler Building to the depths of New York’s underworld.

Ware, Ruth     The Lying Game

Three women in and around London receive the text they had always hoped would never come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, who says only, “I need you.”  Best friends at a second rate boarding school near the English Channel, the four fast friends were notorious for playing their Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature, so that everyone steered clear of them.  The game had only one rule:  no lying to each other, ever.

Jackson, Joshilyn     The Almost Sisters

One tequila-soaked night at a comic book convention, a usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.  The consequence of that half-remembered night will be, nine months later, a baby boy.  Before she can break the big news (including the fact that the baby will be biracial) to her conventional Southern family, her stepsister’s marriage implodes, and she learns her beloved 90-year-old grandmother is losing her mind.  When the soon-to-be mom returns to Alabama to clean out the big Victorian homestead, she finds in the attic a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War.  Its exposure will threaten the family’s freedom and future.

Dave, Laura     Hello Sunshine

A culinary star with millions of fans, a line of bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor gets hacked, upending her life.  Her secrets are revealed, her fall from grace catastrophic. After she loses her husband, her show, her fans and her apartment, she is forced to return to her childhood home – and to her estranged sister she’s tried hard to forget.
 

New Films

I, Claudius          

This 35th-anniversary edition of the complete series presents the history of the Roman Empire from Augustus through Claudius.  A stuttering scholar, Claudius learns early on to play the fool to stay alive.  His ascension is made possible by the depraved Caligula’s reign of terror.

The Zookeeper’s Wife          

The keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who will help to save hundreds of lives during the WWII occupation of Poland by the Nazis in 1939, survive the bombardment of the city, only to see the occupiers ruthlessly kill many of their animals. The Nazis then carry off the prized specimens to Berlin for their program to create the “purest” breeds of animals. Horrified by the Nazis’ actions and all that they stand for, the Polish couple risks their lives by hiding Jews in the now-empty animal cages, saving some 300 people from extermination. Both the savers and the saved are ordinary people powered by empathy and the strength of love.

The Before Trilogy          

This celebrated three-part romance captures a relationship as it begins, begins again, deepens, strains, and settles over the course of almost two decades. It chronicles the love of a man and woman from their first meeting as idealistic twentysomethings to the disillusionment they face together in middle age. Attuned to the sweeping grandeur of time’s passage as well as the evanescence of individual moments, the Before films chart the progress of romantic destiny as the couple age on screen and navigate the vicissitudes of ordinary life.

Microcosmos         

 A day in the life of insects in a French meadow may sound mundane, but with intense close-ups and enhanced sound effects, together with a thrilling score and lyrical narration, this film allows an immersive deep dive into the spectacular hidden universe of insects, without sentimental messages. With its tiny cast of thousands, Microcosmos leaves no doubt that Mother Nature remains the greatest special effects wizard of all.  In memory of Chris Kennedy.

Endeavour, the complete third season          

In Oxford in the mid-1960s, a young constable (who would become Inspector Morse) is himself placed in police custody, framed for a murder he didn’t commit, while his DI’s life hangs in the balance after being shot.  In memory of Parker Carey.

Things to Come          

A philosophy teacher with a seemingly settled existence, juggling a rich life of the mind with the day-to-day demands of career and family (including frequent visits to her drama-queen mother), is hit with the bombshell revelation that her husband of twenty-five years is leaving her. One by one the pillars of her life start to crumble. For the first time in ages, she finds herself adrift but also senses a newfound liberation. With nothing to hold her back, she has no choice but to set out to rediscover herself. This is an uncommonly intelligent, soul-searching look at what it means to create a life of one’s own.

American Pastoral          

Returning after WWII with the [Catholic] girl of his dreams, a young Jewish man fights for his parents’ acceptance of the union. A few years later, the couple has a wonderful little girl with a problem: she stutters, for reasons unknown. When she reaches age 16, with the anti-Vietnam movement in full swing, she becomes radicalized, turns against her family and disappears. When a post office is bombed, she becomes the prime suspect, and the father sets out to find her.

Table 19          

When, after being replaced as maid of honor, a young woman decides to attend her friend’s wedding anyway, she is banished to the fringes and seated near the bathrooms at the dreaded Table 19. At this table, five strangers, all designated losers, are each at a pivotal moment in their lives. Can they bond and rally together to solve their unique problems and move forward?