Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, for last week!
Apologies for the delay in posting; between vacation days and our charming inclement weather at the end of last week, this is my first chance to finish it.
So here are the suggested reads for last week and I’ll post the recommended titles for this week on Wednesday.
(Note: Click on the photo of the item you’d like to request or check out)
Digital Suggestions Of The Week For Last Week:
The Comedians, Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff (Format: eBook):
“Funny [and] fascinating . . . If you’re a comedy nerd you’ll love this book” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, National Post, and Splitsider
Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, this groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years.
Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, the book introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.
“Entertaining and carefully documented . . . jaw-dropping anecdotes . . . This book is a real treat.” —Merrill Markoe, The Wall Street Journal
Damsel by Elana K. Arnold (Format: eBook):
A dark, twisted, unforgettable fairy tale from Elana K. Arnold, author of the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of.
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon or what horrors she faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome young man, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny of sitting on a throne beside him. It’s all like a dream, like something from a fairy tale.
As Ama follows Emory to the kingdom of Harding, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. There is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows, and the greatest threats may not be behind her, but around her, now, and closing in.
Jack Of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates (Format: eBook):
An exquisite, psychologically complex thriller about opposing forces within the mind of one ambitious writer and the delicate line between genius and madness.
Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: He has a top agent and publisher in New York, and his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies. Only Stephen King, one of the few mystery writers whose fame exceeds his own, is capable of inspiring a twinge of envy in Rush. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym “Jack of Spades,” he pens another string of novels—noir thrillers that are violent, lurid, masochistic. These are novels that the upstanding Rush wouldn’t be caught reading, let alone writing. When his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel he has carelessly left out, she picks it up and begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Before long, Rush’s reputation, career, and family life all come under threat—and in his mind he begins to hear the taunting voice of the Jack of Spades.
“Sleek and suspenseful . . . Readers are sure to be gripped and unsettled by [Oates’s] depiction of a seemingly mild-mannered character whose psychopathology simmers frighteningly close to the surface.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Just when you think you’ve got her all figured out, Joyce Carol Oates sneaks up behind and confounds you yet again. She does it with a wicked flourish in Jack of Spades.” —The New York Times Book Review
The Vineyard Victims, Wine Country Mystery Series, Book 8 written by Ellen Crosby & read by Christine Marshall (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a thirty-year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near-fatal accident ten years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.
When Jamison Vaughn-billionaire real-estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful US presidential candidate-drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia, is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide? Or was it murder?
Before long, Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends, an elite group of academics, and the brutal murder thirty years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced-for good.
Written in Red, The Anna Hopkins Mysteries, Book 2 by Annie Dalton (Format: eBook):
The murder of a college professor uncovers long-buried Cold War secrets in this “suspense-filled” mystery in the Oxford Dogwalkers’ series (Booklist).
Shortly before Christmas, Professor James Lowell is found brutally attacked in his rooms at Walsingham College, where dog-lover Anna Hopkins works as an administrator. Baffled as to why anyone would wish to harm such a gentle scholar, Anna discovers that her fellow dog walker, Isadora Salzman, knew Lowell as an undergraduate in the 1960s. They were both members of the so-called Oxford Six—and it seems that Isadora has been keeping a surprising secret all these years. But someone else knows about Isadora’s secret: someone who has sent her a threatening, frightening letter.
Could the attack on Professor Lowell have its roots in a fifty-year-old murder? And who is targeting Isadora and the surviving members of the Oxford Six? Anna, Isadora, and Tansy, the dog walking detectives, make it their business to find out.
This mystery series for adult readers is an intriguing new departure for award-winning YA writer Annie Dalton. Dalton is the author of more than 30 novels for children and young adults, including the Agent Angel series. She has twice been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
“This taut . . . nail-biter of a mystery is chock-full of surprises and will appeal to a wide range of mystery lovers.” —Booklist
“Dog lovers will enjoy the canine interludes.” —Publishers Weekly
Print Suggestions Of The Week For Last Week:
Almost Everything: Notes On Hope by Anne Lamott:
From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives.
“I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen,” Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest–when we are, as she puts it, “doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated”–the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. “All truth is paradox,” Lamott writes, “and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change.” That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but “to do what Wendell Berry wrote: ‘Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'”
In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life’s essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.
Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.
Elevation by Stephen King:
The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.
Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.
In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.
From Stephen King, our “most precious renewable resource, like Shakespeare in the malleability of his work” (The Guardian), Elevation is an antidote to our divisive culture, as gloriously joyful (with a twinge of deep sadness) as “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Merry And Bright by Debbie Macomber:
Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.
Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects—or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.
Past Tense by Lee Child:
Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.
The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?
As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.
“Superb . . . [Lee] Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)
You Don’t Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark:
When we last saw Laurie Moran, she had recently become engaged to her show’s former host, Alex Buckley. Since then, the two have been happily planning a summer wedding and honeymoon, preparing for Alex’s confirmation to a federal judicial appointment, and searching for the perfect New York City home for their new life together.
But then Laurie is approached by Robert and Cynthia Bell, parents of Dr. Martin Bell, a famously charming and talented physician who was shot dead as he pulled into the driveway of his Greenwich Village carriage house five years ago. The Bells are sure that Martin’s disgraced and erratic wife, Kendra, carried out the murder. Determined to prove Kendra’s guilt and win custody over their grandchildren, they plead with Laurie to feature their son’s case on “Under Suspicion,” ensuring her that Kendra is willing to cooperate.
Kendra has lived under a blanket of suspicion since Martin’s death, with the tabloid media depicting her as a secretive, mentally unstable gold-digger. Laurie’s show is a chance for her to clear her name. But unbeknownst to the Bells, Kendra has already refused once before to go forward with a re-investigation of her husband’s murder, and her statements to the contrary only add to the appearance of guilt.
But once Laurie dives into the case, she learns that Martin wasn’t the picture-perfect husband, father, and doctor he appeared to be and was carrying secrets of his own. And what does the web of lies ensnaring the Bell family have to do with a dangerous stranger, who gazes at Laurie from afar and thinks, She is actually quite a lovely girl, I’m sure she’s going to be missed…?
You Don’t Own Me is the perfect, exhilarating follow up to the bestselling Every Breath You Take. The “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke have devised another riveting page-turner.
Have a great week!
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The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.
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Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.