Library Lines – September 2014

Back to school/work new books are here


Even though you are reading this in September, it was written during the dog days of summer – those hot, humid days in the beginning of August. The heat has encouraged us all to read as a means of staying cool and not moving around too much! It has been comfortable in the library this summer, and many of you have participated in our summer reading programs that ended in August with an ice cream social. For many of you, now is the time to go back to school or work – with the chance to read only in your spare time again. Isn’t it nice that so many of the popular authors have published books to coincide with this time of year?

One that I have looked forward to with great anticipation is the third and final book in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, “The Book of Life” (HAR). I loved “A Discovery of Witches” (HAR) and “Shadow of Night” (HAR) – the first and second of the series, respectively – and right now I am about halfway through the final book. It absolutely lives up to expectations and is a real page-turner. Vampires, witches and demons populate the pages – and the story is fascinating. The basic premise is a witch and vampire fall in love, and she conceives twins. They are searching for a magical book entitled “Ashmole 782,” which they believe explains the origins of all species in hopes it will guide them in determining the outcome of their own progeny. This is great writing with a little history, romance and humor thrown in to spice up the mix!

Danielle Steel just keeps writing. “A Perfect Life” (STE) is her newest love story with a twist. Blaise McCarthy is a high-powered television news star with a quietly different personal life. Salima, her blind daughter, comes to live with her in New York City when her caretaker dies. A new caretaker is hired, and he and Blaise fall in love despite their 15-year age difference. Simon encourages Salima to overcome her physical limitations, and the trio become a family. Those who love her numerous novels are sure to enjoy this latest addition by Danielle Steel.

“Eden in Winter” (PAT) by Richard North Patterson also concludes a trilogy begun with “Fall from Grace” followed by “Loss of Innocence.” The Blaine family is mourning the death of Benjamin – father and famous author – on Martha’s Vineyard. The entire family is under suspicion in the death – including his son, Adam, who is in the CIA. Complicating matters is Benjamin’s surviving (and much younger) mistress, Carla, pregnant with Adam’s brother. Sparks are flying between Adam and Carla – and how many family secrets will be revealed? Hmm … stay tuned.

Finally, in fiction, we have more of a summer read – light and undemanding – “Driving with the Top Down” (HAR) by Beth Harbison. Colleen, Tamara and Bitty take a road trip down the coast with the purpose of checking out antique auctions for Colleen’s business. All are running away from something – or running towards something. This last choice is a real chick-lit book that will not strain your brain and could probably be read in one sitting on a rainy day.

“Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” (973.932 KLI) by Edward Klein is sure to ruffle feathers – the title alone makes it clear these two power couples are in a death struggle to control the Democratic Party. Klein gives the impression Obama appears to be inept – or his enormous responsibilities render him incapable of running the government. Clinton’s health has become an issue, also, in his drive to return to the White House. This is a fascinating – maybe slightly skewed – view from among those who are behind the scenes at the highest levels of government.

If you are a Red Sox fan, the season of 2004 is burned into your mind as the highlight of the century! If not, “Miracle at Fenway: The Inside Story of the Boston Red Sox 2004 Championship Season” (796.357 ROB) by Dave Roberts is a book to help you remember what a wonderfully exciting year it was in the world of baseball. Just reading all those power names again – Damon, Ramirez, Schilling (remember the bloody ankle?) and of course, Big Papi – brings back that invincible feeling that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year. And it was. Too bad this year is not their year …

Why did Harper Lee never write another book after “To Kill a Mockingbird”? Marja Mills moved next door to her and for 18 months developed a deep friendship with Lee (known to her as Nelle). “The Mockingbird Next Door” (813.54 MIL) is the story of the close relationship that slowly developed between the two who shared many interests and beliefs. They discussed numerous subjects – including the reason Nelle never published again – giving us a captivating look at a fascinating character. If nothing else, I now have to watch “Capote” as it apparently involves Lee’s relationship with Truman … hmm.

Finally, we turn to “Maeve Binchy: the Biography” (B BINCHY DUD) written by Piers Dudgeon. Maeve Binchy was a beloved author whose great gift was writing characters so real to life they became your friends by the end of every novel – you didn’t want the book to end. According to Dudgeon, inspiration for her homey novels came from Binchy’s own life growing up in Ireland. Maeve Binchy was that rare author who loved meeting her readers and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Her novels were heartwarming, with comfortable, livable settings you wanted to visit again and again.

Adult Services Librarian Donna Hine writes Library Lines once a month. If you have a topic you’d like her to cover, contact her at the library at 203-758-2634.


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