What’s New in Our Collection

 

 

What’s New at Skidompha              March 2018

 

 

New Non-Fiction

Kelleher, Kary     Handcrafted Maine:  Art, life, harvest & home

Maine’s forest, lakes and coastline harbor a handmade culture fed by heritage, self-sufficiency, and collaboration, represented here in twenty lively profiles of weavers and potters, a painter, an architect, a boatbuilder, a leatherworker, bakers, and lobstermen and –women.  Gorgeous photographs combine with intimate narratives to reveal the inner lives of creative people and the spirited character that nurtures the unbridled ingenuity of Mainers.

 

Aurelius, Marcus     The Essential Marcus Aurelius

This new translation presents the voice of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) whose meditations on what constitutes a good life continue to resonate through the centuries.  Honoring Board Member Louise Belknap.

 

Simson, Joe     Touching the Void: The true story of one man’s miraculous survival

After reaching the peak of a 21,000-foot mountain in the Andes with his climbing partner, the author plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. Darkness fell and a blizzard raged as this partner tried to lower him to safety, but finally was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death.  Certain that his partner was dead, he returned to base camp consumed with grief and guilt.  Miraculously, the author had survived the fall, but crippled, starving, and severely frostbitten he was trapped in a deep crevasse. How would he save himself?

 

Ludwig, Coy     Maxfield Parrish

One of the most successful and original American painters and illustrators of the early twentieth century, Maxfield Parrish worked for 65 years in widely varied fields – book and magazine illustration, posters and advertisements, paintings and murals – rendering the realm of the imagination with sharp-focus realism and capturing the interest of virtually the entire American public.  One highlight of this book is the chapter on Parrish’s technique, examining in depth his materials, favorite methods, and unique ways of painting.  In addition, a lengthy excerpt from an unpublished manuscript by Maxfield Parrish, Jr., explains, step by step, his father’s glazing technique and his use of photography in his work.  In memory of Patricia Atwood.

 

Dunne, Linnea      Lagom:  The Swedish art of balanced living

Not too little, not too much, just right:  that’s the rough translation of lagom, the Swedish principle of balanced living that promises happiness and sustainability in work and in our personal lives.  How to juggle priorities, reduce stress, eat well, save money, have downtime, enjoy the outdoors, and savor a great cup of coffee – that’s lagom.

 

Beard, Mary     Women and Power

By tracing the origins of misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender, and recalling the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial, the author illustrates how women traditionally have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life.  In spite of history and cultural assumptions, women have assumed power, and these leaders now provide the example for all women who resist being vacuumed into a male template.

 

Olson, Sigurd     Reflections from the North Country

With a poet’s lyric voice, a guide’s authority, and a warrior’s commitment to his beloved canoe country wilderness, the author presents his wilderness philosophy developed while working as an outspoken advocate for the conservation of America’s natural heritage.  Honoring Board Member Bruce Lutsk.

 

Ellsberg, Daniel     The Doomsday Machine:  Confessions of a nuclear war planner

A former high-level defense analyst reveals his shocking firsthand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s.  From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, the author argues that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization continues to threaten our very survival.

 

Conroy, Pat     A Lowcountry Heart:  Reflections on a writing life

Gathering his most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches, and letters from his long literary career, the late great Southern author opens a window into his life.  Remembrances from his friends are included; the books concludes with a eulogy.

Honoring Board Member Bruce Lutsk.

 

Banks, Patrice     Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide

For the many women who feel powerless, frustrated or humiliated when taking a car in for a repair, this how-to guide offers instructions for diagnosing a problem under the hood, performing scheduled maintenance tasks, and for making basic repairs.  Honoring Board Member Louise Belknap.

 

 

Isaacson, Walter     Leonardo Da Vinci

Drawing on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and presenting new discoveries about his life and work, this biography shows how his genius was based on skills we can strengthen in ourselves, such as his passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.  Honoring Board Member Louise Belknap.

 

Julien, Maude     The Only Girl in the World

With fanatic parents who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor, the author was raised in isolation and subjected to endless drills designed to eliminate weakness. She learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching and to sit still in a rat-infested cellar all night long.  She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affection.  But her parents could not rule her inner life.  This is the story of how she broke free.

 

Chernow, Ron     Grant

All too often, Ulysses S. Grant is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War.  While he certainly had his failures and was particularly challenged by alcohol, this biography presents the other side of the man: soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg Campaign, and ultimately defeating Robert E. Lee.  Along the way, Grant became President Lincoln’s most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort.  He sought freedom and justice for Black Americans and worked to crush the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Barter, Judith     America after the Fall:  Painting in the 1930s

Fifty masterpieces of painting chronicle the turbulent economic, political and aesthetic climate of the 1930s, a supremely creative period in the U.S. as the nation’s artists, novelists, and critics struggled through the Great Depression, seeking to define modern American art.  An astounding diversity of work emerged as artists sought new styles, ranging from abstraction to Regionalism to Surrealism, which allowed them to engage with issues such as populism, labor, and social protest, and to employ an urban and rural iconography including machines, factories and farms.  In memory of Patricia Atwood.

 

 

New Fiction

Plante, David     American Stranger

Brought up in a secularized Jewish household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a young woman knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past, other than that they were WWII Jewish refugees who were able to escape Germany with precious family heirlooms.  The longing she has for some kind of spiritual connection first leads her into an encounter with a Hasidic Jewish man who, unable to find meaning in his own religion, has taken vows to become a monk, and then to a Catholic boy in Boston who seeks to escape the clutches of Catholicism and his overbearing mother.  Their tormented affair will affect all other relationships she will have throughout her life.

 

Hendricks, Greer     The Wife Between Us

A wife has been thrown over for a younger woman. She’s not handling it well, drowning her sorrows in wine that she hides from the aunt who took her in after her marriage fell apart.  She is failing miserably at her new job and obsessing about the new woman in her husband’s life. She’s shocked out of her malaise by the news, cattily delivered by an ex-friend, that her ex-husband is engaged to her replacement. That piece of information may send her over the deep end. Or will it?

 

Preston, Douglas   City of Endless Night

When the body of a beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire is discovered, headless, in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, an NYPD lieutenant and an FBI Special Agent join forces to combat a diabolical presence haunting the greater metropolitan area. As more murders occur, mass hysteria sets in, and the two investigators find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who threatens the very lifeblood of the city

 

Halpern, Susan     Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

A librarian in a small New Hampshire town treasures peace and quiet but finds her life changed when a fifteen-year-old is assigned community service at the library for shoplifting. Happy with her assignment, she and the librarian are drawn to each other. With a cast of other offbeat regulars, they gradually come to terms with their unraveled lives and find a way to knot them together again.

 

Gray, Amelia      Isadora

Eccentric, stunning and unorthodox in her life as in her art, the brilliant dancer enjoyed fame and fortune, along with a long string of lovers.  But the tragic drowning in Paris of her two children sent a shock wave through her life from which she never recovered.  She abandoned her artistic empire, cast about prewar Europe living on credit on Greek islands and in shuttered beachfront dwellings in Italy, lashed out at her friends, and as a heartbroken mother spun dangerously on the edge of madness

 

Kellerman, Jonathan     Night Moves

Confronted with the toughest cases, an LAPD homicide detective relies on a brilliant psychologist to read between the lines, where the darkest motives lurk. They now deal with a baffling crime scene: there’s no spilled blood, no evidence of a struggle, and, since the victim’s face and hands are missing, no immediate means of identification. This stranger’s disfigured corpse has appeared in an upscale L.A. family’s home, who claim not to know the John Doe, although their cooperation seems guarded.  It will become clear that this family and their well-to-do suburban enclave has its share of curious eyes, suspicious minds, loose lips, and dark secrets.

 

Zumas, Leni     Red Clocks

In an imagined future, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo.  In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new regulations and grapple with age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom.

 

Margolin, Phillip      The Third Victim

A woman stumbles onto a dark road in rural Oregon, tortured, battered and bound.  She has escaped her kidnappers, but two other abducted women will be found dead, in a home owned by a prominent local attorney.  Evidence found at the scene as well as his wife’s statements about his sexual sadism will be damning, in spite of his insistence on his innocence.

 

Cornwell, Bernard     Fools and Mortals

In the heart of Elizabethan England, the younger brother of William Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in one of the London playhouses. But he is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft, and a silver tongue. So when a priceless manuscript goes missing, he is the prime suspect, forced onto a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. Entangled in a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal which threatens not only his career and potential fortune but also the lives of his fellow actors, he must play the part of a lifetime, if he is to avoid the gallows.

 

Ignatius, David     The Quantum Spy

A hyper-fast quantum computer is the digital equivalent of a nuclear bomb, in that whoever possesses one will be able to shred any encryption and break any code in existence.  The winner of the race to build this quantum computer will secure global dominance for generations to come.  The U.S. attempt to cross the finish line before China will be compromised by a suspected Chinese informant, inciting a mole hunt of history-altering proportions.

 

Campbell, Kay     A Caravan of Brides

After attending college in Lebanon, a young woman returns home to Jeddah and takes up secretly with her forbidden college sweetheart.  When her reckless behavior leads to family tragedy, she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a mysterious old storyteller, the niece of a legendary Bedouin chief.  Are all women’s lives in Saudi Arabia forever in thrall to honor, or might some of them be protected by earlier traditions?

 

Patterson, James     Fifty Fifty

A convicted killer, the brother of a local police detective, claims he is innocent of the serial murders of three young women. The detective believes him and determines to clear his name, no matter the cost to her career.  When at his hearing she unleashes an outburst, she is reassigned to the Outback.  There, in a town of seventy-five people, she finds a diary along the roadside, which outlines a shocking plan: the massacre of the entire town. The clock is ticking. He has begun.
Herron, Mick     This Is What Happened

An insufficiently socialized 26-year-old woman was never warned to be careful what she wished for.  Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in a bleak section of London, with no family, no boyfriend, and not much in the way of friends, she could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone’s taking notice.  She is completely forgettable – just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that could put all of Britain at risk.  Her story is told by the voices battling for control over her mind, as she makes her slow descent into her own private hell.

 

Horn, Dara     Eternal Life

Ever since she made a spiritual bargain in order to spare her first son in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, a woman cannot die, and so has been through dozens of marriages and hundreds of children since then.  Now, in 2018, new technologies facilitating immortality are proliferating.  She realizes that if her children and grandchildren are to live fully, she will have to find a way to quit this life forever.

 

Kroger, Merle     Collision

Laden with self-indulgent passengers, a cruise ship must stop its engine as a disabled raft carrying refugees approaches.  When the cruise ship calls the Cartagena Rescue Center for help, the Algerian steering the raft knows he’ll be arrested for human trafficking if he sets foot in Spain ever again.  Now what?

 

Benjamin, Chloe     The Immortalists

In the 1960s on NYC’s Lower East Side, word has spread concerning the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to know the day on which every person will die.  Four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness sneak out of their home to hear the fortuneteller.  These prophecies will inform their next five decades, as they probe the line between destiny and choice.

 

Santlofer, Jonathan, ed.     It Occurs to Me that I Am America

Thirty best-selling and award-winning authors present their original short stories exploring the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy in a divided country in a challenging era.

 

 

New Mysteries

Locke, Attica     Bluebird, Bluebird

Everyone heading in or out of a small East Texas town likes to stop at a sweets shop on the highway, including a righteous Texas Ranger who is working his way through his territory looking for the murderer of a black attorney from Chicago and a local white woman whose bodies were fished out of the bayou’s muddy waters. The crime has stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment and bigotry. The lawman must solve the crimes — and save himself in the process — before the town’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

 

Tudor, C.J.     The Chalk Man

In 1986, a boy and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence, spending their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. Chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But when a mysterious chalk man leads the boys right to a dismembered body, nothing will ever be the same. Fully grown some 20 years later, one of the group now has put his past behind him, until he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When his old friends receive the same message, they all conclude that it’s a prank… until one of them turns up dead. He realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.  In memory of Parker Carey.

 

Harper, Jane      Force of Nature

A woman has gone missing on a supposedly team-affirming corporate hike through rugged mountains in Australia. A federal police agent is particularly worried because the missing woman is a whistle-blower about to reveal everything concerning a corporation in a case which the officer is coordinating. The investigation takes him deep into an isolated forest, where he discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendships, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But murder?

 

French, Nicci     Sunday Silence

A gifted London psychologist and frequent police consultant becomes a person of interest in a murder case when a body is discovered in the most unlikely and horrifying of places: beneath the floorboards of her home. The corpse is only months old, but the chief suspect appears to have died more than seven years ago. The psychologist knows, however, that he’s alive and well and living in secret. And it seems he’s inspired a copycat. As the days pass and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in a fatal tug-of-war between two killers: one who won’t let her go, and another who can’t let her live.

 

Blaedel, Sara     The Undertaker’s Daughter

A woman from Copenhagen travels to Wisconsin, having just inherited her father’s funeral home along with its crippling mountain of debt. Determined to keep the business afloat until it sells, she dives in, handling mortuary pickups and proving surprisingly competent at planning funerals. Then a pro-bono burial revives a criminal cold case, the deceased having fled the area after becoming a suspect in his girlfriend’s murder, and his body abused after a bizarre break-in at the funeral home. In re-opening the cold case, police discover that the dead man had been paid to leave town by the matriarch of a rival funeral home.

 

Indridason, Arnaldur     The Shadow District

In a rough and dangerous area of wartime Reykjavik, a young woman was found strangled, the case never resolved either by investigating detectives or American military police. Now, in the present time, a detective finds newspaper cuttings about the WWII murder in the home of a 90-year-old man who has been smothered with his own pillow.  Will Reykjavik ever lay its wartime ghosts to rest?

 

Hurwitz, Gregg     Hellbent

A lone-wolf government assassin has been given a sidekick, a 16-year-old girl, who was a former assassin-in-training in the Orphan X program (as he was). Training takes a back seat when he is sent into a single-minded rage by the death of his mentor, the only person he ever cared about. He vows to track down and eradicate the man he thinks responsible: the current head of the top-secret Orphan X program. If it comes down to it, will he be willing to sacrifice the life of the girl to satisfy his primal need for revenge? On that choice, everything depends.

 

Eastman, Dawn     Unnatural Causes

A new doctor hoping to settle down in a quiet Michigan town finds her idyll shattered when one of her patients is found dead, allegedly from an overdose of medication the new doctor had prescribed – although she doesn’t recall ordering it. When police rule the death a murder, she finds herself catapulted into an off-the-books investigation linked to a dark time in the town’s history.

 

Beaton, M.C.     Death of an Honest Man

When a newcomer nobody can stand because of his brutal honesty, hurtful and uncalled for, is killed, the entire village could be viewed as suspects, thinks the Scottish police sergeant charged with investigating the murder. His usual helpers are not available, so he is going to have to deal with this mess himself.

 

Mosley, Walter     Down the River unto the Sea

When one of NYPD’s finest investigators, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, was framed for assault by his enemies within the force, he landed in Rikers.  Now, a decade later, he is a private eye, leading an otherwise solitary life, broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars. When he receives a letter from a woman who admits she was paid to frame him years earlier, he decides to take his own case:  finding out who on the force wanted him disposed of, and why.

 

Finn, A.J.  The Woman in the Window

Unaware that she will set out on a nightmare journey, one confined almost in its entirety within the walls of her NYC home, a woman suffering from agoraphobia has carefully arranged her housebound existence around her many medications (including bottles of wine), her contact with her husband and daughter, her agoraphobia support group, virtual chess games, and surveillance of her neighbors from her window. When she witnesses a murder in the house across the way, her cocoon begins to unravel.

 

Gardner, Lisa     Look for Me

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? A detective is on the case, but so is the survivor-turned-avenger. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

 

Glass, Emma     Peach

In the aftermath of a brutal sexual assault, a lovely young college student is not coping. She avoids her parents, showers off the evidence, stitches her wounds with needle and thread from a sewing basket, is unable to tell anyone. Almost immediately she begins receiving creepy letters from her attacker, who may also be stalking her. As her behavior becomes increasingly odd, her parents and friends are unable to understand what is happening to her.

 

Staub, Wendy     Dead of Winter

In rural New York, a young widow happens to look out of her window at the moment when a murderer is dumping a corpse into the lake. She’s been spotted:  the killer is headed straight for her door.

 

Lescroart, John     Poison

A San Francisco attorney recovering from gunshot wounds is pulled back into the courtroom by the murder of the hardhearted owner of a successful family business.  The prime suspect is the bookkeeper, who turns to the attorney for help.  His investigation will launch him into the family’s long history, a sticky web of jealous siblings, gold-digger girlfriends, startling betrayals, and menacing blackmailers.

 

Spindler, Erica     The Other Girl

A police officer with a dismal past has worked hard to earn the respect of her coworkers in a Louisiana police department as well as the trust of the community. When she and her partner are called to investigate the murder of a beloved college professor, they’re unprepared for the brutality of the scene.  Even more shocking to her personally is that a piece of evidence, a faded newspaper clipping from fifteen years earlier, revives the nightmarish event she hoped would stay buried forever.

 

 

New SciFi/Fantasy

Smith, Gavin     The Bastard Legion

Four hundred years in the future, the most dangerous criminals are kept in suspended animation aboard prison ships and ‘rehabilitated’ in a shared virtual reality environment. One of them, a thief and a hacker with a background in black ops, has stolen one of these ships and made it her own. Controlled by explosive collars and trained by the electronic ghost of a dead marine sergeant, the criminals are transformed into the leader’s own private indentured army, ready and able to achieve her hidden purpose.

 

Saadawi, Ahmed     Frankenstein in Baghdad

From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, a scavenger who hangs out at a local café has collected human body parts and stitched them together to create a corpse.  His goal is to have the government recognize the parts as peopl and give them proper burial.  But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, although shot, cannot be killed.

 

 

New in Large Print

Benedict, Marie     Carnegie’s Maid

When an Irish maid vanishes from one of Pittsburgh’s grandest households, another woman with the same name steals her identity, hoping to earn money to send back home.  With a steely resolve and canny understanding of business, she serves as a lady’s maid to Andrew Carnegie’s mother, who rules her domain with an iron fist. Soon the maid will win the mother’s confidence, and Andrew may become something more than an employer.

 

Jiles, Paulette     News of the World

In the wake of the Civil War, a retired army captain travels northern Texas giving live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world.  When he accepts an offer of a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to relatives she doesn’t remember and who live 400 miles away, the captain witnesses a reunion neither happy nor welcome.  He must decide whether to leave the child to her fate or become, in the eyes of the law, a kidnapper himself.

 

Robb, J.D.     Dark in Death

During a screening of Psycho in midtown Manhattan, someone sinks an ice pick into the back of a woman’s neck, then disappears quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square.  The detective in charge puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned, yet somehow oddly random.  Or was it actually very personal?

 

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

After the Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes headlines across the nation as the wonder drug of the medical community, hundreds of girls toil in radium-dial factories, feeling lucky to have such a coveted job.  As they fall mysteriously ill, and the fatal poison takes hold, the brave girls find themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest 20th century scandals, launching a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that would echo for centuries to come.

 

Rothmann, Ralf     To Die in Spring

Distant, silent, often drunk, a man is a difficult and uncommunicative father.  So his son, curious about his dad’s experiences during WWII, presents him a blank notebook in which to write his memories.  He dies after recording only the barest skeleton of a story there, leaving his son to fill in the gaps as best he can.

 

Kiernan, Stephen     Baker’s Secret

In June of 1944, in a small town on the Normandy coast, a woman makes the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days of German occupation. When her baking mentor wearing his yellow star was dragged from his shop at gunpoint, she stepped in, and now fights back in her small way:  she bakes for the occupying troops, but mixes the flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves – contraband bread that she shares with the hungry villagers.

 

Reich, Christopher     The Take

A freelance industrial spy lives a mostly quiet life above his auto garage in central London, performing the odd job for a bank or the British Secret Service, avoiding anything messy.  But a gangster has orchestrated the greatest street heist in the history of Paris, robbing a visiting Saudi prince of millions in cash, and something else.  The Russians have already killed in order to get their hands on a secret letter that could upend the balance of power in the Western world.  That knock on his door?  The CIA.

 

 

New Audiobooks

Medoff, Jillian     This Could Hurt

Just past her prime at the top of the corporate world, the chief of HR for a consumer research firm has the respect and loyalty of her staff.  Among these is her deputy, a middle-aged, happily married father of two, who finds himself drawing closer to his ‘work wife,’ an enterprising single woman searching for something – a romance, a promotion, to fill the vacuum in her personal life.

 

Yates, Christopher     Grist Mill Road

In the 1980s in a picturesque hamlet north of NYC, three friends are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime.  Twenty-six years later, in NYC, living lives their younger selves could never have predicted, the three meet again – with even more devastating results.

 

Finn, A.J.     The Woman in the Window

A woman has stayed in her home for ten months without leaving it, like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.  At her window all day every day, she watches her neighbors.  One day a picture-perfect family moves in, an echo of the life that was once hers.  But one evening, after a frenzied scream rips across the silence, she witnesses something no one was supposed to see. How ever can she uncover the truth about what really happened?  And even if she did, who would believe her?

 

Duenas, Maria     The Vineyard

A man loses the fortune he acquired through years of hardship and toil. Now, swamped by debt and uncertainty, he gambles away the last of his money in a daring play that wins him an abandoned house and vineyard across the ocean.  He travels to Andalusia intending to view and then sell the property, but once there, the widow of a wine merchant bursts into his life unannounced, determined to protect her family’s legacy.

 

Eugenides, Jeffrey     Fresh Complaint

This collection includes stories of a failed poet, envious of other people’s wealthy during the real-estate bubble, who becomes an embezzler, a clavichordist whose dreams of art collapse under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood, and a sexually-confused college freshman who, encountering a stranger on a train, receives a revelation about his past and his future.

 

Lang, Ruth     Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

An unusual man (orphaned, raised by wolves, proud owner of a horned pig) singlehandedly stops a tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma.  This tornado is one of many strange events that seem to follow him from town to town.  His unique abilities are a curiosity, but also a danger to himself and the woman he loves. She doesn’t care – he saved her on her 11th birthday, and she wants him never to leave.

 

 

New Films

Victoria and Abdul          This is the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen (Judy Dench) Victoria’s remarkable rule. When a young clerk travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.

 

Doctor Blake Mysteries, Season 4          A doctor/surgeon to the police and his housekeeper and confidant have survived many challenges, and are ready finally to pursue their romantic feelings for one another. But their arrival coincides with the attack on someone extremely close to them, creating a life-threatening situation that will shake them both to their very core. And just as they are recovering from this, the doctor is shocked by the sudden appearance on his doorstep of a mysterious figure from a past life he can barely remember.

 

Wind River          A female rookie FBI agent teams up with a local game tracker who has deep community ties and a haunted past to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation. The tracker will use the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility, which ended in tragedy.

 

Murder on the Orient Express          A famous Belgian detective boards the luxurious Orient Express, to find himself annoyed by an irritating bunkmate. But when a dead passenger is discovered, he has more important issues on his plate. The bad news: the train has more than enough suspects, and the train keeps breaking down in the middle of snow-covered nowhere. The tension mounts as he and they are trapped in the train – with a murderer. In memory of Parker Carey.

 

Shades        A couple meet in London under unusual circumstances: both are recently deceased. She (unaware of her lover’s infidelities) was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and he died during a routine surgery while his wife (now left penniless) was giving birth to their son. The two mismatched souls, each having left a mess behind, find themselves still in this world, thrown together in a weird and wonderful afterlife, where the dead can’t talk to those they knew when alive, but can speak freely with strangers. Will they be able to right past wrongs?

 

Delicious, Season 1          A professional chef has everything he ever wanted: a prosperous hotel business, a beautiful family, and an amiable relationship with his ex-wife, to whom he owes much of his success. But when his glamorous current spouse starts to suspect that he is having an affair, she asks the ex-wife for advice, recognizing that the ex would know his signs of infidelity, having perceived them many times. None of them could anticipate the disastrous chain of events that follows, revealing unsavory secrets and juicy scandals. As the two women try to mend their broken families, either a friendship will arise from the ashes of betrayal, or they will tear each other apart.

Book and film descriptions are excerpted from dust jackets, publisher info, and book and film reviews.

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