Thursday, March 19, 2015

Did you know?

Whether you're on the hunt for your next read or you're just interested in browsing what's new and notable, we have the resources you need to get started. You may not know it, but the library offers a variety of newsletters in all sorts of genres that you can peruse online or have delivered right to your inbox. Are mysteries your thing? Take a look at these. How about thrillers? Try these on for size. There's more: fantasy, horror, romance, and lots of others. On the other hand, if you'd rather see which books are topping the bestsellers lists, we've got those too, fiction and nonfiction. And speaking of nonfiction, you can find everything from cookbooks to home and garden to travel, all at your fingertips. Sounds good, doesn't it? Now if you'd like to check out all the newsletters the library has to offer, you can find them right here. If you'd rather subscribe to your favorites and receive them monthly or bimonthly in your inbox, you'll want to go here.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Great New Thriller!

I love suspenseful mystery novels especially when there's action that keeps me on the edge of my seat.  Erica Spindler's new novel, The First Wife combines a fantastic thriller with a touch of romance.  This is a fantastic must read novel for all readers who love suspenseful thrillers. The story opens with Bailey Browne in the hospital. She's been injured and another man is found dead. Bailey is covered in the dead man's blood and the police chief is waiting for her to wake up so he can interrogate her. Unfortunately when  Bailey wakes from her coma she has no memory of the events leading up to her injury. 

The stage is set and the mystery begins. We are taken back into the past where Bailey meets the man of her dreams, Logan Abbott. He is a mysterious stranger who sweeps her off her feet and whisks her away from her ordinary life.  She finds and marries her prince charming sure it will lead to the happily ever after she desires. She loves Logan with all her heart, but barely knows him. When Logan brings her to his horse farm Bailey's dreams of happily-ever-after fades. The family has a tragic history and Logan will not discuss it. The police chief suspects Logan of murdering his wife and several other women who have mysteriously disappeared. As the story opens we wait to learn who injured Bailey. Could it be the man she just married or could it be one of the people she just met?  

This is one story that is filled with multiple twists. If you enjoyed Before I Go To Sleep or Gone Girl you are bound to enjoy this fast paced thriller. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Women of Mystery Part 1: Native American Sleuths and Sleuths with Odd Jobs

I recently attended a workshop on women in the mystery genre, so, I thought I'd pass along some excellent reads.

Native American She-Sleuths
All mysteries involving women of Native American descent.

Margaret Coel--The Eagle Catcher
--Vicki Holden is an Arapaho attorney on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  She and Catholic priest Father John O'Malley solve crime and help their people.

Jean Hager--Ravenmocker
--Molly Bearpaw is a Civil Rights investigator on tribal lands in rural Oklahoma.  This series explores Cherokee culture and history with compassion and humor.

Sara Sue Hoklotubbe--Deception On All Accounts
--Sadie Walela is a Cherokee banker in Northeastern Oklahoma.  This series is action-packed with a little romance and has a diverse supporting cast.

Thomas Perry--Vanishing Act
--Jane Whitefield is a Seneca "guide" in Upstate New York who helps people in mortal danger disappear.  "If Tony Hillerman reinvented "The Equalizer", she would be Jane."

Dana Stabenow--A Cold Day For Murder
--Kate Shugak is a part Aleut, part Russian investigator in Niniltna, Alaska.  Excellent series, great characters, and explores the wilds of Alaska.

Aimee Thurlo--Blackening Song
--Ella Clah is a FBI agent and special investigator on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico.  Well researched series that combines modern police work with Native mysticism.

Women At Odds
All female sleuths with unusual and/or interesting occupations.

Susan Wittig Albert--Thyme of Death
--China Bayles is a former corporate lawyer who leaves the big city to open a herb shop in the West Texas hill country.  This is a mystery with recipes and lots of interesting facts about herbs.

Sarah Andrews--Tensleep
--Em Hansen is a forensic geologist in the Western United States.  She starts out in the oil industry and moves on to helping law enforcement solve crimes.

Nancy Bartholomew--The Miracle Strip
--Sierra Lavotini is an exotic dancer in Panama City, Florida.  She is a good Catholic girl from Philadelphia, far from the eyes of her policemen/firemen family.  Wild characters and snappy dialogue will tickle your funny-bone.

Lyn Hamilton--The Xibalba Murders
--Lara McClintoch is a Toronto antiques dealer who travels all over the world.  Well researched and interesting tidbits on other cultures and locales.

Charlaine Harris--Shakespeare's Landlord
Lily Bard is a house-cleaner and martial artist in Shakespeare, Arkansas.  Running from a horrific past, Lily is tough as nails and somewhat unapproachable but she will grow on you.  

Sue Henry--Murder on the Iditarod Trail
--Jessie Arnold raises and races sled dogs in Alaska.  Full of meticulous research and interesting facts on Alaska, dogs, and mushing.

Virginia Lanier--Death in Bloodhound Red
--Jo Beth Sidden is a bloodhound trainer and fugitive tracker in the Okefenokee Swamp area of Georgia.  She is stubborn and self-reliant in a male dominated law enforcement field.  Excellent series!

Jessica Speart--Gator Aide
--Rachel Porter is an US Fish and Wildlife Officer in the southern United States.  She is tough, opinionated, and fights for the environment and not the politicians.

All of the titles listed are the first in each series.  If the library does not own any copies then we can get them for you through Search Ohio.

Next time I will highlight the ladies of cooking and humorous mysteries.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March's In the Queue

When it's cold and dreary read a book from March's In the Queue. These novels are sure to make your winter warmer and much more cheery! 


The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
A lost gospel, a contentious relic, and a dying pope's final wish converge to send two brothers on a quest to untangle Christianity's greatest historical mystery.

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
This riveting and unforgettable debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality and mostly self. It navigates between the lines of lust and love, guilt and shame and excuses and reasons,  Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose story reveals how we create ourselves, and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.

Dead Play On by Heather Graham
Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans and Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn are determined to find the murderer. They hope to find what the cops couldn't or wouldn't discover about the mysterious killer.  They discover that sometimes the line between passion and obsession is hard to separate. They must uncover the truth to save other musicians and themselves.

The Buried Giant: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
This novel tells a luminous story about the act of forgetting and the power of memory, a resonant tale of love, vengeance, and war.

Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon
Alex Meier makes a desperate bargain with the CIA. He can earn his way back to America but he must spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved.  This is a compelling postwar espionage thriller and a love story that brings a shadowy period of history vividly to life.

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell
David Morrell transports readers to the fogbound streets of London, where a killer is killing the upper echelons of society with the ultimate victim Queen Victoria.

Cuba Straits by Randy Wayne White
When a friend goes missing after delivering a valuable cache of letters, Doc Ford discovers that the letters may contain a powerful secret that someone does not want made public. 

A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

New Books by Best Selling Authors

Memory Man by David Baldacci
Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
Wicked Charms: A Lizzie and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich
The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
Your Next Breath by Iris Johnson
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson and Peter de Jong
The Liar by Nora Roberts
Gathering Prey by John Sandford
Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
Hot Pursuit by Stuart Woods

Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The author makes an impassioned plea for Islamic Reformation and explores how Islam can be reconciled with modernity to end terrorism and the repression of women and minorities.

Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry by Dave Barry
Barry's latest collection of previously unpublished writing is a quick, fun read that will keep you laughing from beginning to end.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Live by Gretchen Craft Rubin
This outline is a fascinating study of the human mind and the process of change. Rubin uses real life examples and proved customizable strategies to help readers understand how to change their habits.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not that kind of girl: Lena Dunham tells you what she's "learned"

Feminist lit seems to be topping the best of 2014 lists. Among the books to hit the shelves in 2014 was Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. Dunham modeled the book after Helen Gurley Brown’s book, Having it All—more in construction than message. Dunham leans a bit more to the feminist, coming-of-age bent than Brown did. I am not a diehard Lena Dunham fan, I have not watched Girls, and I generally have not enjoyed anything I’ve see her act in. However, she’s making news and is splashed across at least one major magazine cover every month. I am a fan of feminist lit, as this is touted, and I enjoy memoirs.

My perception of Dunham did not change much. She’s a rather whiny, over privileged girl from Soho. However, she disclosed in her book that she became aware of these things as she aged and tried to put things in perspective. According to her, not even the offspring of well-known artists have it easy when trying to break into the entertainment industry. Alongside the normal coming of age issues like flagging motivation and low self-esteem, Dunham has had to face sexism and age discrimination. Yes, women are still not treated fairly in the workplace (Patricia Arquette might have mentioned this recently, too.). Perhaps my favorite part of the book is Dunham’s proclamation that she will name names of the men who treated her poorly when she made it to Hollywood. She’s polite enough to wait until he’ll more than likely be dead and her career will be rock solid, but she will be telling all. I can't wait.
Lena Dunham’s book is great. A good solid read that sheds light on a new icon. If you've read other recent memoirs by female television or movie stars, such as Bossypants by Tina Fey or Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler, this would be a safe bet for your next read. Keep in mind, young women are tongue in cheek these days so don’t come expecting a lovely story about a chaste and well-mannered young woman. Life is messy and these women don’t sugar coat it. Young women, all women, should read their books and be proud of the advancements made, but also be aware  of what it took to get here and how much further we have to go.
And, just for another shameless plug, don't forget Caitlin Moran in your list of feminist reads. I recently read and reviewed How to Build a Girl, but if you're feeling particularly angsty, you should check out How to be a Woman, also by Moran.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Steampunk: a Blend of Action, Adventure, Science, and Magic

Steampunk is a type of science fiction/fantasy that often mixes the modern with the antique.  It originated in the 1980s and blends together a number of sub-genres such as: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, alternative history, and horror.  It's settings are usually Victorian-era Britain although some are set in the American Wild West or even a post-apocalyptic future.

While clockwork and steam-powered contraptions are a common steampunk theme, there may be others such as:  the pairing of hard science with magic or futuristic technology with mechanical machines.

So, try some of the following steampunk books--you'll be happy you checked them out.

Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

The paranormal town of Pemkowet is led by Daisy Johanssen, agent of Hel.   But as a nightmarish monster racks up victims, someone else files a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, the fate of the community will be at stake. 

The Shotgun Arcana by R. S. Belcher

Golgotha, Nevada. 1870. A haven for all including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many trials, but now an army of killers is converging on the town, and its people will be tested as never before.

Gideon Smith & the Brass Dragon by David Barnett

Nineteenth century London is where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world.  The pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen a fantastical weapon-a great brass dragon. Gideon and his intrepid band give chase through the lawless lands of free Texas where life is cheap and honor cheaper. 

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

Octavia, a young healer with incredible powers, is traveling to her first mission. Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue:  the steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers! The danger is only beginning and the conspiracy may reach to the crown itself.

The Return of the Discontinued Man by Mark Hodder

In 1860 London, a scientist conjures up Spring Heeled Jack, who is hunting Sir Richard Burton! Meanwhile, Burton is experiencing visions and now he must voyage through time into a twisted future ruled by a cruel intelligence.
The Executioner’s Heart by George Mann

Chief Inspector Bainbridge of Scotland Yard is called to a third, symbolic murder. Supernatural specialists Newbury and Hobbes conclude that the killings may be the work of the Executioner. Who will be her next target? 

Cold Copper by Devon Monk

In steam age America, lycanthrope Cedar Hunt and witch Mae Lindson set out on a mission. Taking refuge in Des Moines when a storm hits, they must stop the mayor’s plot to rule the world.

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

Ex-slave Gideon Bardsley is a brilliant inventor. To keep Gideon safe, Abraham Lincoln calls on Pinkerton "Belle" Boyd.  Can she keep the greedy warmongers from assassinating Gideon and extending the Civil War? 
The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

An accident places Archibald Clare, a mentath in the service of Britannia, in the care of sorceress Emma Bannon. He needs rest to repair his abilities, but someone is murdering women of a certain reputation and threatens to bring ruin to the Empire. 

Also, try some of these stand-alone novels and series number ones:

Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs by Daniel Abraham
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Half Made World by Felix Gilman
Mainspring by Jay Lake
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
The Buntline Special by Michael (Mike) Resnick
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey Read-a-Likes

Read-a-like is library speak for a book or series that shares a commonality with another book that may appeal to the same reader. The book may have a similar tone, setting, characterization style or similar plot. A good read-a-like connects the elements a reader enjoys in a story with a new author or different book. For instance if you enjoy reading books written by  Robyn Carr, books which are compelling and have a heart-warming romance you will probably enjoy books by Merline Lovelace. If you enjoy light, breezy and upbeat romance novels that delve into adult human emotions and have a touch of sexuality you will likely enjoy novels by Susan Mallery or Jennifer Crusie. Although these novels often touch on serious subjects they possess a positive heart-warming feel.  

If you are like the myriad of readers who have enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, here is a list of novels that have become quite popular since the interest in scandalous and titillating novels has grown. 

Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks
Police officer Gray Montgomery is searching for his partners killer. He finds a link between the killer and Faith, a beautiful stranger and decides if he has to get close to her to catch the killer, he will. 

Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Another beautiful and conflicted couple deal with their past history of sexual abuse as they strive toward 'normalcy'. "Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each others most private wounds and... desires."

Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey
Nia Simone Bijou 'has it all except the one thing which will give her the control she craves and the power she deserves: absolute, uninhibited sexual satisfaction.'

Never Too Much by Lori Foster
This contemporary erotic romance is smart playful and extremely sexy. Ben Baldwin sets his sites on Sierra Murphy when she pulls up to his restaurant. She rebuffs his advances and the chase is on, but Ben never expects he will fall in love.

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
Meet Merry Gentry paranormal P.I. and Fae Princess. Enter a dazzling world full of danger, mystery and magic, when the Dark Queen sends her Darkness to bring Meredith back to the Fae.

Dangerous Pleasure by Lora Leigh
Abram el Hamid Mustafa has always appreciated Paige Galbraithe. She has been a constant source of comfort to him in his dark world. When his father kidnaps Paige, Abram must find the courage to save her as their secret dangerous desire pulls them together, while other forces try to tear them apart.

Never the Face by Ariel Sands 
The heroine in this story remains nameless throughout the book, but she is dissatisfied with love, bored with sex; in her experience all lovers are predictably dull,... until she rekindles a relationship with her old flame.