Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Samuels Says - "Which books made you cry the most?"

April showers! This month for our display, we asked the staff, "Which books made you cry the most?" (These can be tears of sadness, joy, or mirth. Or the book could just make you feel a strong emotions without tears, if you prefer.) Here are our picks— we'd love to hear yours too!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (F Ste) — I cried from page 1 all the way through!
Unsaid: A Novel by Neil Abramson (F Abr)
Still Alice by Lisa Genova (F Gen)
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon (F Sim)
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story by Pete Nelson (F Nel)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (F Seb)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (940.54 Hil)
What Came before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George (F Geo)
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (F Bro)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (F Ver)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (F Sto)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (F Gru)
A Time to Kill by John Grisham (F Gri)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (F Hos)
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (F Kid)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (F Lee)
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (820.9 Naf)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (F Con)
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (F Pas)
The Space between Us by Thrity Umrigar (F Umr)

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (F Ish) and the film (DVD F Nev)
Suite Française by Iréne Nèmirovsky (F Nem)
I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker (F Bak)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (F For)
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (F Sha)
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult (F Pic)
One Day by David Nicholls (F Nic) and the film (DVD F One)
Room by Emma Donoghue (F Don)
The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw (940.542142 Ker)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (F Gru) and the film (DVD F Wat)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (F Nif)
Lucky by Alice Sebold (364.1532 Seb)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (YAF Zus)
Atonement by Ian McEwan (F McE) and the film (DVD F Ato)
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Classic PB Pla)
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (F Fra) and the film (DVD F Col)
The Hours by Michael Cunningham (F Cun) and the film (DVD F Hou)
The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Bend in the Road, (all F Spa) and Three Weeks with My Brother (813.54 Spa) by Nicholas Sparks
ZooBorns Cats! sooooooooooooo precious (591.39 Ble)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (YAF Row)
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin (YAF Fra)

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (F Spa)
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella (F Cap)
House of Daughters by Sarah-Kate Lynch (F Lyn)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (F Bro)
Sophie by Emma Pearse (636.737 Pea)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (F Fla)
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman (F Ric)
Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (F Dev)
Firebird by Janice Graham (F Gra)
Three Wishes by Barbara Delinksy (F Del)
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (F Wal)

The Harry Potter series, especially The Half-blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (YAF Row)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (YAF Rya)
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (YAF Sch)
The Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison (YAF Ren)
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (YAF Ash)
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (YAF Ara)
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (YAF Han)
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (E Ros)

Brian’s Song by William Blinn (YA 812.54 Bli) and the movie Brian’s Song (DVD 791.45 Bri)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (F Spa)
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (F Han)
Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (F Alb)
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (E Mun)
Emily and Einstein by Linda F. Lee (F Lee)
Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer (F Str)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (F Sto)
The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck (F Bec)
The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King (F Kin)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (F Mit)
Night by Elie Wiesel (Bio Wiesel Elie)
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (F Edw)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (F Fit)
Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber (F Mac)

Love Story by Erich Segal (F Seg)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Classic PB Alc)
The Spellman series by Lisa Lutz (F Lut) — tears of laughter!
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (133.901 Bur)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (F Seb) :(
Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? by Mindy Kaling (818 Kal) :)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (YAF Row) :(
Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison (YAF Ren) :)
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (F Pic) :(
Seriously—I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (Bio DeGeneres Ellen) :)
One Day by David Nicholls (F Nic) :(
Bossypants by Tina Fey (Bio Fey Tina) :)
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (JF Sil) :(
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (E Mun) :(

Marley & Me by John Grogan (636.752 Gro) :(
The Green Mile by Stephen King (F Kin) :(
I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (973.92 Bry) :)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (978 Bro) :(
Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark (Overdrive) :)
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (YAF Raw) :(
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson (JF Gip) :(

Crash by Jerry Spinelli (JF Spi)
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Classic PB 812.52 Mil)
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (822.33 Sha)
Othello by William Shakespeare (822.33 Sha)
Oedipus by Sophocles (882 Sop)
Timaeus by Plato (in The Works of Plato, 888.4 Pla)
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (YAF Raw)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (JPB W)
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (YAF Hin)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (F Lee)

Kathy J:
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (E Mun)
Any episode of Little House on the Prairie!
Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury (F Kin)
One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury (F Kin)

Old Yeller by Frank Gipson (YAF Gip)
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (E Mun)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Classic PB Alc)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (JF Mon)
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (920 Mas)
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (Bio Ten Boom Corrie)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (978 Bro)
Graceling by Kristen Cashore (YAF Cas)
Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight (JF Kni)
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank G. Gilbreth, Jr. (920 Gil)
We Free Men by Terry Pratchett (YAF Pra) — funny!
Watership Down by Richard Adams (F Ada)

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (JF Sew)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (JF Whi)
This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (F Phi)
Home by Jeannie Baker (E Bak)
The Wump World by Bill Peet

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli (JF Spi)
It Might Have Been What He Said by Eden Collinsworth (F Col)
Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage (363.123 Ti)
The Enemy by Charlie Higson (YAF Hig)
Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen (YAF Pau)
The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller (F Mil)
The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir (Bio Elizabeth I) — her personal life seemed sad
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Bio Frank Anne)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (YAF Rya) — the apocalyptic vision was so sad

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (E Ros)
Maus by Art Spiegelman (940.5318 Spi)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reading Lists - Political Thrillers

Remember awhile ago (November 10) I wrote how much we love helping people find good books to read? The other day a patron wanted some espionage/thriller/political novels like Vince Flynn's. He left with a short list of authors to try, and he left me with inspiration for this reading list. I'll admit that I often have a hard time coming up with "guy books," so I especially loved this suggestion!

In this list, you'll find conspiracies, terrorism, and spy games set in the dangerous world of cutthroat politics.

The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
Ivor Tesham, a member of Parliament, decides to give his married mistress an unusual birthday gift. He hires two men to kidnap her and transport her, bound and gagged, to their weekend love nest. When the kidnapping goes terribly wrong and results in murder, Ivor becomes trapped in a dangerous game of his own making.

Blink of an Eye by William S. Cohen
After a nuclear bomb flattens a major American city, national security advisor Sean Falcone is charged with identifying the attackers, but if his sources are incorrect, it could mean inciting war with the entire Muslim world. Cohen is a former Republican senator and congressman who also served as President Clinton's Secretary of Defense.

By Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin
In the first of the Presidential Agent series, a leased Boeing 727 mysteriously vanishes after two passengers murder the pilot. Army intelligence officer Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo, a veteran of the Special Forces, is called in by the president of the United States to uncover the truth and embarks on an undercover investigation into a case with frightening implications.

The Camel Club by David Baldacci
It exists at the fringes of D.C., has no power, and consists of four eccentric members. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions. The Camel Club studies conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government, but never in their wildest nightmares could they imagine the conspiracy they are about to uncover.

The Eleventh Commandment by Jeffrey Archer
Connor Fitzgerald has led a double life for the last 28 years as the CIA's most deadly assassin. Just days before his retirement, he comes across an enemy he can't handle—his own boss, director of the CIA. The Eleventh Commandment? "Thou shalt not get caught. But if you are, deny absolutely that you have anything to do with the CIA."

Empire of Lies by Andrew Klavan
Jason Harrow must return to New York when he learns his daughter is in trouble. Realizing he's either incredibly paranoid or that Serena knows enough about a terrorist group to endanger herself and everyone around her, he tries to prevent "the End of Civilization as We Know It" while confronting his fear that he's inherited his mother's insanity.

Eye of the Storm by Jack Higgins
In the first Sean Dillon thriller, elusive master terrorist Sean Dillon reemerges during the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein hires him to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. Only Martin Brosnan, an American Special Forces hero and IRA member turned college professor, can stop him.

Fade by Kyle Mills
Salam al Fayed (aka Fade), an American agent of Arab ancestry and a former Navy SEAL, becomes bitter when his latest mission ends in failure and his employers treat him badly. So when his former friend and colleague, Homeland Security agent Matt Egan, is ordered to persuade Fade to put aside his anger and join an undercover team in the Middle East, Fade has a one-word answer.

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
In the first of the John Wells series, Wells, an undercover operative who has infiltrated al Qaeda, is trapped between his terrorist associates and the CIA, which no longer trusts his loyalty, when he becomes a prime suspect in two bombings in Los Angeles. Be warned, this novel is not for the squeamish: the torture sequences and bombing descriptions are graphic and chillingly real.

The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer
A young White House lawyer, Michael Garrick, begins dating the President's daughter, Nora Hartson. Michael thinks he can handle the pressures of the White House and all the power. Then, while together late one night, he and Nora witness something they were never meant to see—and become ensnared in a secret scheme by a White House insider that includes betrayal and murder.

Gatekeeper by Philip Shelby
Hollis Fremont has been at a dream job in Paris at the American Embassy for three months. She's also having an affair with a high-ranking embassy official. Soon events are set in motion that plunge her into the midst of a plot to kill a presidential candidate, and she realizes that she cannot trust anyone around her. No damsel in distress, Hollis puts her own life at risk to stop the assassination attempt.

The Good Son by Michael Gruber
Somewhere in Pakistan, Sonia Laghari and 8 fellow members of a symposium on peace are being held captive by armed terrorists. Sonia, a religious woman and Jungian psychologist, has become the de facto leader of the kidnapped group. Meanwhile her son Theo, an ex-Delta soldier, uses his military connections to find and free the victims.

Hawke by Ted Bell
Alexander Hawke is a daring, dashing, and handsome billionaire adventurer who occasionally does “favors” for the U,S, and British governments. In the first of the series, Hawke heads for the Caribbean on a secret mission to locate an experimental stealth submarine, which has fallen into the hands of an unstable government planning a strike against the U.S.

The Inside Ring by Michael Lawson
Following an assassination attempt that wounds the president and kills his closest friend, General Andy Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, who had warned the Secret Service about the attack, initiates an investigation. He goes to Joe DeMarco, a fix-it man who’s never dealt with something of quite this magnitude.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
In the first Gabriel Allon novel, the Israeli intelligence chief recalls Gabriel and Jacqueline to eliminate a top Palestinian terrorist, who is part of a plot to halt peace talks by assassinating Yasir Arafat. The former agents were once lovers, and their pasts and enemies come back to haunt them as the terrorist begins his campaign of murder. Silva has covered Middle East politics as a journalist and CNN producer.

Last Snow by Eric Lustbader
Jack McClure, Special Advisor and closest friend to the new U.S. president, takes on a personal mission along with his official one—keeping his two incompatible companions (Annika Dementieva, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli Carson, the President's daughter) safe and finding those responsible for murdering an American senator who was supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine.

The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor
In the first of the Scot Harvath series, a group of Secret Service agents is massacred in Utah and the president of the United States is abducted. Surviving agent Harvath vows to avenge his murdered colleagues and find the kidnappers. The terrorists publicly demand $500 million and privately insist that an anti–fossil fuel proposal in Congress be killed.

The Machiavelli Covenant by Allan Folsom
While investigating the murder of a former girlfriend, her child, and her congressman husband, former LAPD detective Nicholas Marten stumbles upon a secret, illegal bioweapons program. He also finds himself allied with another man trying to foil a cabal bent on creating a new world order—the U.S. president himself, John Henry Harris.

The Man with the Baltic Stare by James Church
Inspector O, the wily North Korean police detective, is ordered out of retirement to Pyongyang. His task is to cover up a crime of passion committed by the young leader of a transitional government vital to a tenuous peace agreement between the two Koreas. Inspector O finds his life threatened when the case tests his loyalties.

Metzger’s Dog by Thomas Perry
Veteran CIA operative Ben Porterfield is ordered to recover some top-secret papers (revealing government-sponsored research on "psywar": how to wreak havoc, panic, and mayhem in assorted Latin American nations) from the terrorists who seized them while stealing $1 million worth of cocaine.

Mounting Fears by Stuart Woods
In the aftermath of his vice president's unexpected death, President Will Lee finds his efforts to select a replacement hampered by a rogue CIA agent's vengeful plot against the first lady and a nuclear threat in Pakistan. To make matters worse, the new VP chooses becomes entangled in a love triangle that could ruin Lee’s re-election bid.

Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn
The National Counterterrorism Center is struck by a series of devastating explosions with catastrophic results. With three al Qaeda terrorists still at large, CIA superagent and counterterrorism expert Mitch Rapp must thread his way through the naysayers on Capitol Hill—and silently, swiftly, do what he must for the sake of his country and the pursuit of honor.

Quantico by Greg Bear
Just a handful of years from today, global terrorism has escalated out of control. When the political situation in the United States becomes balanced against the administration, only three FBI agents and one bio-terror expert are left to deal with a domestic terrorist, who has started telling certain fanatics that he can make gene-keyed anthrax to destroy their hereditary enemies .

The Rules of the Game by Leonard Downie
Journalist Sarah Page uncovers evidence of appalling corruption in defense contracts related to the War on Terror, to private security contractors, and to government involvement in torture, rendition, and murder. Her findings puts her life at risk. Meanwhile, President Susan Cameron must choose between her political future and the nation's well-being after learning of Sarah's discoveries.

The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg
Amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, Iranian-American CIA operative David Shirazi must infiltrate and disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons program, leaving no trace of U.S. involvement. When he learns of a prophet called the Twelfth Imam, proclaiming himself a messiah, Shirazi worries that a war of apocalyptic proportions may be in the offing.

The Walls of Jericho by Jon Land
When a serial killer stalking Jericho threatens peace talks between Palestine and Israel, a Palestinian detective and an Israeli Shin Bet agent must set aside their differences to stop the killer before he destroys the talks. The two soon discover that there is something more sinister behind the murders and their forced collaboration.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Read-alike Guides - Jodi Picoult

 If you like the works of Jodi Picoult, you might enjoy one of these books:

Halfway House by Katharine Noel
Angie is a diligent student and all-star swimmer, but her entire world changes when it becomes apparent that she is mentally ill in a story of how families live through crisis. Noel considers the ways manic depression touches each member of the family with an uncanny ability to convey the disease as experienced by the patient.

Home Fires by Luanne Rice
Anne has just lost her young daughter in a tragic accident and her husband to another woman. With her world in upheaval, Anne returns to the secluded island hometown that her sister never escaped. A fire in the women's ancestral home drives Anne to rescue the one object she holds most dear and to be rescued by Thomas Devlin, a scarred firefighter with his own unfortunate past.

Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret
Bourret also writes compellingly about sympathetic characters faced with agonizing ethical decisions. In this debut novel, Ruby never dreamed that she had done anything wrong by rescuing Lark, an infant abandoned at a truck stop. What decision will she make years later when she sees Lark's picture in the newspaper as a missing child?

Past the Bleachers by Chris Bohjalian
Bohjalian is another New England author who favors close examination of hot button issues in small town settings. After Bill Parrish loses his young son Nathaniel to leukemia, he fills the void in his life by coaching a local Little League team and becoming attached to a mute boy, Lucky, who eerily reminds Bill of his own lost son.

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline
A bestselling author of legal thrillers, Scottoline seems to excel at stand-alone domestic suspense as well. Volunteering at her daughter's school so that she can keep an eye on a bully, Rose faces a difficult choice when her daughter is tormented at the same time an explosion occurs in the cafeteria, a situation that causes Rose to be blamed for the bully's injuries.

Stolen by Susan Lewis
Lewis writes compelling, emotional tales about sensational subjects with understated execution. Lucy’s parents have always been there for her, and when she moves to the country to take over their thriving auction business, she knows she's made the right decision. Then, quite suddenly, she discovers a shocking truth that forces her to question everything she has ever known.

Testimony by Anita Shreve
A New England boarding school is rocked in the wake of a sex scandal in which participants were caught on videotape, a situation that derails the innocence and best intentions of students, parents, and others in life-shattering ways. Shreve offers sensitive portrayals of her characters in emotional stories with psychological depths.

A Theory of Relativity by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Readers with a preference for observing how families in turmoil deal with shocking situations will appreciate this novel of grieving grandparents locked in an anguished custody battle for the sole surviving daughter of parents lost in a car accident. Also try Mitchard’s The Deep End of the Ocean, Oprah’s first book club selection.

Truth and Consequences by Alison Lurie
University director Jane Mackenzie is dismayed when her injured husband falls for Delia, a beautiful writer who has recently joined the center's staff. The situation is complicated when Jane develops feelings for Delia's husband. Lurie explores what happens when the truth isn't always told, as well as the consequences of our every choice in this engrossing, wonderfully written novel.

While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
Miller’s stories have a more literary quality and delve more deeply into character's emotions. Here, Jo Becker is supremely content with her life, and she doesn't talk about the summer of 1968 when she walked away from another husband, another family and into a completely different identity only to be jerked back to her previous life after the brutal murder of her best friend.

Books by Picoult you shouldn’t miss:

My Sister’s Keeper
Conceived to provide a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister, teenage Anna begins to question her moral obligations in light of countless medical procedures and decides to fight for the right to make decisions about her own body. The drama unfolds from the points of view of Anna, her parents, the self-absorbed lawyer, the court-appointed guardian ad litem, and Anna’s troubled older brother.

Nineteen Minutes
Peter Houghton, an alienated teen who has been bullied for years by the popular crowd, brings weapons to his high school one day and opens fire, killing 10 people. Alex Cormier, the judge assigned to Peter's case, tries to maintain her objectivity as she struggles to understand her daughter, Josie, one of the surviving witnesses of the shooting.

Sing You Home
Ten years of infertility issues culminate in the destruction of music therapist Zoe Baxter's marriage, after which she falls in love with another woman. They want to start a family, but Zoe’s ex, Max, stands in the way. Picoult explores both gay rights and the legal aspects of fertility treatment in this novel, which includes a CD of folk songs she wrote with Ellen Wilber.