Ari Reviews: Pride and Prometheus – John Kessel

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley I highly recommend reading the book Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel. Kessel combines the novels Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein that sparked my interest in coming across this book. I was curious to see how the two books combined would play out. Kessel uses Mary Bennett…

Rachel Reviews: Incendiary by Michael Cannell

Long before the specter of terrorism haunted the public imagination, a serial bomber stalked the streets of 1950s New York. The race to catch him would give birth to a new science called criminal profiling.   The most interesting chapter of Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling was its epilogue, when…

Sarah Reviews: New People – Danzy Senna

In many respects the world that my generation grew up in has changed for the better. Gone are the days of enforced segregation, slavery, and Jim Crow laws. And while the society we have created is not nearly close to perfect, it is a far cry from the social injustices that people of color have…

Recommended by Fran

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (a local author; she also wrote The Good Thief) “Samuel Hawley isn’t like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back.…

If You’ve Read…History of Wolves

If you’ve read Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves: “Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new…

Tracy Reviews: The Hopefuls

I randomly picked up the audiobook The Hopefuls as I was finishing my shift on the circulation desk. I started listening to audiobooks a few years ago when my commute time nearly doubled, when I was at my previous job, and now I find it hard to be in the car without listening to a…

Tracy Reviews: Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

“On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and…

Tracy Reviews: The Forgetting Time – Sharon Guskin

I can’t recall how I first heard about this book, but I will admit that one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult’s quoted recommendation on the front cover, calling the book, “Provocative, evocative, fresh, Guskin’s book is an explosive debut,” may have played a part in my decision to check it out. The beginning chapters…

Rachel Reviews: A Gathering of Shadows

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift…

Jim’s Bedside Table

Once again my bedside table has gotten so full of books that my eyeglasses case and alarm clock are threatening to move to some other bedside table. Lets see what’s on there. 1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffery When I picked up this book originally I thought, “oh goodie, another World War I book,”…

Jim Reviews: Clash of Eagles – Alan Smale

If you read enough history sooner or later someone asks you: “What would happen if a Roman army were to go up against [insert anachronistic warrior culture here]?” I’ve gotten Romans vs Vikings, Romans vs Samurais, and Romans vs Incas. I always hate these because it’s always comparing apples and oranges, but that is exactly…

Jim Reviews: Immortals – Jordanna Max Brodsky

Brodsky’s Immortals is the first book in her Olympus Bound series, a fantasy of Greek gods and goddesses in present day New York City. It’s a great concept. As people gradually stopped believing in the gods of Olympus they started to weaken. Finally, hundreds of years ago, Zeus decided to throw in the towel. The…

Jim Reviews: Trinity Six – Charles Cumming

Trinity Six is a modern spy novel that hangs on the search for the fabled Sixth Man. In the 1930s, the NKVD (the predecessor to the KGB) recruited five spies at Trinity College, Cambridge. Now known as the Cambridge Five, these individuals– Kim Philby, Donald MacLean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross– went on…

Rachel Reviews: City on Fire

City on Fire is a behemoth of a novel – clocking in at over 900 pages – but it feels overwrought and excessive, as if author Garth Risk Hallberg simply wanted the world to know that he was capable of writing such an opus. The core action – which spans about seven months in 1977…

Rachel Reviews: The Martian by Andy Weir

If it weren’t for the big-budget movie starring Matt Damon that just came out*, I don’t think Andy Weir’s The Martian would be flying off the shelves as much as it has – but that’s kind of a shame, really, because it’s super (ridiculously) good. And not just good in a hard sci-fi kind of…

Reading List: In the Heart of the Sea

You’ve already read Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex, you’re this-close to making plans to see the film (starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw), and the whole thing has provoked a deeper curiosity about the whaling industry, perhaps, or maybe you’d like to read…

Jim Reviews: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley

I admit I picked up this book because of the cover. I first saw it in the new book display by the circ desk (if you haven’t checked that one out you really should there are a lot of gems there). And everything on the cover of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street has a connection to the story which makes it even cooler. Plus it has really great endpapers. This is Natasha Pulley’s first book and it is a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy.

Fall Reading: A Few of My Favorite Mysteries

Quieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson “Karen Pelletier abandoned her life in New York for a professorship at Massachusetts’s elite Enfield College. But she quickly learns that New England is not the peaceful enclave she had imagined–and that not even the privileged world of academia is immune to murder….Professor Karen Pelletier’s prime literary passion is…

Rachel Reviews: Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes

Where Station Eleven cornered speculative fiction with a flu virus turned pandemic, Broken Monsters turned its spotlight on a probable schizophrenic serial killer roaming around the city of Detroit in real time.

And, yes, both hooked me with narratives, and kept me reading past bedtime, and fed me answers just as quickly as they kept me asking questions…

Lowell in Letters | Reading Intersections

Fall down the rabbit hole with us! In our Reading Intersections series, we’ll give you a place to start and where to go next, piling titles on until you’re neck-deep in books, graphic novels and movies on a similar theme. | Perhaps the title is a bit misleading, perhaps you thought this was going to be about the city, but no…No, this is going to be about the poet Robert Lowell and the many, many letters he wrote during his lifetime.

Jen Reviews: The Ingredients of Love – Nicolas Barreau

Reviewed by Jen “A charming restaurant A book and its mysterious author A little secret A romantic meeting Paris and all its magic . . . Cyrano de Bergerac meets Chocolat and Amélie in this intelligent, charming, and entertaining publishing sensation from Europe. While in the midst of a breakup-induced depression, Aurélie Bredin, a beautiful…

Rachel Reviews Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy

Since seeing all three Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) as well as David Fincher’s Oscar-winning adaptation, I’ve felt no real need to read the books – until I kind of joined a book club and then quit after I’d already started reading the first book… and, man, I was hooked.

Reading List: Kingsman (Get Your Spy Game On)

So you’ve seen the recently released Kingsman: The Secret Service and have been bitten by the spy craft bug. One: Trust me, you’re not alone. Two: We can help fill the time between now and when you go back to the theater to see the movie again, or between now and when it’s released on DVD, whichver is in keeping with how you roll. The majority of the titles on this list, both fiction and non-fiction, can be found on display in the new book room.

Go Ahead Judge a Book by it’s Cover

We all do it (even though we’ve been admonished not to). Standing there looking at shelf after shelf of books we automatically are drawn to the covers. More importantly publishers know we do and create some really gorgeous covers to tempt us. Here are just a few of our favorites. Oh and we want to know what your favorite covers are. Leave them in the comments. (Bonus points if you can guess which of us picked which cover.)

Patron Recommendation: Gemini by Carol Cassella

A patron returning Gemini said it was terrific. Here’s a bit more about the book, taken from the publisher’s summary: “Dr. Charlotte Reese works in the intensive care unit of Seattle’s Beacon Hospital, tending to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her job is to battle death—to monitor erratic heartbeats, worry over low…

Staff Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of those books that I think everyone’s at least heard of – if not read themselves. It’s a familiar story, with both substantial literary themes and characters that have transcended the confines of the novel. It’s both a difficult read and an easy story to follow. And I honestly did not think that I was going to love the book as much as I did.

Jim Recommends

This is easily my favorite work by Umberto Eco and pretty high on my list of favorite works of historical fiction in general. The story is set in the late 12th century and early 13th century. The main character is Baudolino a boy from northern Italy who has two talents: he can learn any language in moments and he is a very good liar.

The 100th Anniversary: A World War I in Film

One of the biggest problems with creating a list of World War I movies is deciding what to include and what to leave out. As with the literature on the war there are hundreds of movies so I’ve done a lot of picking and choosing. However if I’ve left something out that you think should…

Reading List: Outlander

“Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited…

2014 RITA Award Winners

The RITA Awards are sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. The 2014 winners are: Best first book: The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake “Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son…

Jen Recommends (III)

Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen “A pinch of marigold for affection, a dash of snapdragon to repel evil, finish with rose petals to encourage love, then let nature take its course. It may be the recipe for Claire Waverley’s successful catering business, but when it comes to working its magic on her own love…

Michelle Recommends (II)

Notes from the Internet Apocalypse – Wayne Gladstone Have you ever guffawed while reading? I mean, out of the blue: a burst of laughter, startling in the relative quiet. I did, with this book, not once or twice but so many times I lost count. This too-slim* satire imagines an internet-less world run amok with…

Patron Review: Desperate – Daniel Palmer

Reviewed by Kim Gage Dekker, who has lost his wife and young son in a car accident, meets Anna Miller, who has also lost a child at a grief group, and marry within the year. After a miscarriage, Anna can’t bear to try again so they decide to adopt. Conveniently they stumble upon Lily who…

Jen Recommends (II)

Gone With a Handsomer Man – Michael Lee West Betrayed, arrested for assault with a dangerous Georgia peach, and framed for her fiance’s murder, Teeny Templeton’s battle to clear her name features a host of oddballs, Southern charm and poisonous recipes! [One of our patrons also enjoyed this title; read her review here.] The Easy…

Patron Review: Resistant – Michael Palmer

Reviewed by Kim Although he was one of my favorite authors, I didn’t realize that Michael Palmer had died last Fall. He will be truly missed. As far as Resistant is concerned, it’s classic Palmer: He takes something that’s been in the news, in this case flesh eating bacteria, and gives it a unique twist…

Staff Review: Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd

Reviewed by Carol 4.5 Stars. Remarkable historical fiction about a Southern family’s views on slavery pre-Civil War, and the relationship between one of the daughters, Sarah Grimké, and her slave, Handful. Grimké and her sister, Angelina, become passionate about abolition, and eventually become active publicly for the cause, resulting in many life changes, some positive…

Staff Review: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Reviewed by Drew Let’s face it, magic schools where callow youth learn to be wizards and accidentally end up saving the world a few times are the bacon of fantasy literature – delicious but overused. We’ve Potter’d around Hogwarts, can Kwothe the University’s motto by heart, and have sampled the Coldwater showers at Brakebills Academy…

Patron Review: The Troop – Nick Cutter

Reviewed by Kim Five boys and their scoutmaster set off for a small Canadian island for some bonding, etc. Everything is going well until “Typhoid Tom” as he comes to be known comes ashore and events quickly spiral out of control. I bought The Troop because of all the positive feedback and I had already heard…