Friday, March 15, 2013

Ann Leary's latest novel The Good House offers a glimpse of life in a small town New England community, located north of Boston, where everyone not only knows each other's names but is also up on all of the latest gossip about them, too. And, Hildy Good, a successful real estate business woman and somewhat functioning alcoholic, gives them much to talk about. Of course no one confronts her directly about her alcoholism except for her two grown daughters during a formal intervention a few years before the book begins. Hildy dutifully checks into Hazelton, a well-known rehab, and she even stays sober for a period of time. However, she pokes fun at one of the fellow sober locals she meets in the 12-Step recovery rooms because he spends his days at an over-priced coffee shop in town.
Leary creates an authentic person in Hildy. Ironically, the character herself spends much of the novel hiding her truths from others and, most importantly, herself. This provides comic moments in the story, however, because we are able to see what she cannot. Perhaps this is why I liked The Good House and rooted for the oft arrogant, outspoken, condescending Hildy. I identified with her struggles, even if mine weren't exactly the same as hers. The ancillary characters--Hildy's ex-husband who realizes he is gay well into the marriage; a beautiful but lonely young mother she sells a house and befriends, and some of the town folks, especially a former lover, feel like people we might see on the street in this town on the water.
At the end of the book, I felt sad to leave Hildy, a character I had come to respect and care about. However, the final scene is subtle and sweet and I closed the book feeling optimistic about Hildy's future.

Karen Kovacs Dydzuhn

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes follows the character of Jim Holden, one of many citizens that have spread out over the solar system and inhabiting the surrounding planets. Holden makes his living as an ice miner that accidentally comes across the remains of the Scopuli. It's on this ship that they discover a secret that people are willing to kill and start wars for. At the same time, Detective Miller is searching for the daughter of a rich couple, his investigation bringing him to Holden and the remains of the Scopuli. The two men must work together to find out what is going on and keep themselves and everyone else alive.-(summary from Wikipedia)

Putting together all the pieces that make a great movie-Leviathan Wakes is truly a space opera that is begging for movie rights and will make one of the best sci-fi/thriller movies of that year, if done properly. The characters of Holden and Miller compliment each other as the plot unravels into a compelling who-done-it. What makes this science fiction book so memorable is that while the plot will appeal to heavy handed sci-fi readers, the writing is not so recondite to scare away everyone else. Mystery, thriller, horror and fiction readers alike should find Corey's book appealing, engaging and enthralling. Those not familiar with the genre will find Leviathan Wakes a great introduction!

-EWML Librarian

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What You Will Be Reading in 2013

It's never too soon to start putting together your next reading list. What's going to be hot coming January? Take a look at the book review links from Kirkus below to gather ideas for your next trip to the library!

THRILLERS! & Mystery/Crime

Fiction & Literature


Science Fiction and Fantasy

Your Library

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Gift of a Book!

Every holiday season, we try to post either the best books for 2012, or the most popular books of 2012-so that you have an idea of what to get that veracious reader in your life. This year is no different. Whether it's in hardcover, softcover, audio or electronic format, the gift of a great book often satisfies the most relucant of readers. Here's to a happy, stress-free shopping experience! Happy Holidays.

Amazon's Best Books of 2012

Barnes and Noble Best Books of 2012

New York Times Best Seller List

Good Reads Choice Awards 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Man Booker Prize Winner: Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel

2012 Man Booker Prize winner, Hilary Mantel is the first author ever to win the prize twice with her novel Bring Up the BodiesWolf Hall, the book for which Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel, won the 2009 Man Booker Prize.  Mantel is currently working on The Mirror and the Light, the final title in the trilogy.

"When last we saw Thomas Cromwell, hero of Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, he'd successfully moved emperors, queens, courtiers, the pope, and Thomas More to secure a divorce and a new, younger queen for his patron, Henry the VIII. Now, in the second book of a planned trilogy, Cromwell, older, tired, with more titles and power, has to get Henry out of another heirless marriage. The historical facts are known: this is not about what happens, but about how. And armed with street smarts, vast experience and connections, a ferociously good memory, and a patient taste for revenge, Mantel's Cromwell is a master of how. Like its predecessor, the book is written in the present tense, rare for a historical novel. But the choice makes the events unfold before us: one wrong move and all could be lost. Also repeated is Mantel's idiosyncratic use of "he:" regardless of the rules of grammar, rest assured "he" is always Cromwell. By this second volume, however, Mantel has taught us how to read her, and seeing Cromwell manipulate and outsmart the nobles who look down on him, while moving between his well-managed domestic arrangements and the murky world of accusations and counteraccusations is pure pleasure. Cromwell may, as we learn in the first volume, look "like a murderer," but he's mighty good company." - Publishers Weekly (June)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggot

Dystopian novels are all the rage right now-and some of them are less than note worthy. But, this adult novel will satisfy even the most discerning of apocalyptic tastes. Set in the future, the world as we know it has been destroyed by bombs. But, a dome built before these bombs were activated contains some of the privledged  few of society. Those that survived the bombs outside of the dome have been horribly mutated and refer to those in the dome as "Pure". When a young man from inside the dome escapes into the outter world to find a mother he believes is still alive, a string of events that will forever change the course of humanity are set into action. -Edith Wheeler Memorial Library

"What lifts PURE from the glut of blood-spattered young adult fiction is not the story Baggott tells but the exquisite precision of her prose...discomfiting and unforgettable." (The New York Times Sunday Book Review )

"Baggott's highly anticipated postapocalyptic horror a fascinating mix of stark, oppressive authoritarianism and grotesque anarchy...Baggott mixes brutality, occasional wry humor, and strong dialogue into an exemplar of the subgenre." (Publisher's Weekly (STARRED review) )

"A great gorgeous whirlwind of a novel, boundless in its imagination. You will be swept away." (Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage )

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Book that Really Cooks...and Eat Your Veggies!

Ah, the disappointing life of the cookbook reader. Well, that means me. I love to cook-and I love to browse through the stacks of the library cookbook section-to find new recipes, ideas and inspirations. Being a mom of a 20 month old, finds me constantly trying new ways to prepare vegetables-and I need all the help I can get. Frequently, I find myself drawn in by devastatingly scrumptious looking photographs-only to be less than impressed when I cook the real item at home. I'm not sure how cookbook publishers are able to pack so much deliciousness into a picture, but it sure works and fools me almost every time. Darn those food stylists!

Well, when I came across the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld in our Library Parenting Section, I was apprehensive. Sure, Jerry Seinfeld is funny-but can his wife really cook? Additionally, these recipes were all about "masking" vegetable goodness & vitamins, in regular everyday foods. Butternut squash in mac n'cheese, beets in pancakes, cauliflower in scrambled eggs were a few of the recipe ideas. Not the most adventurous cooking-I'll admit-but much needed in my house. Of course, as always, the pictures sold me. So, I borrowed it and gave it a shot.

That is why I'm writing this dear reader-because I was impressed-and so was my family. Not only does this book give the cook of the house great ideas about getting in extra nutrition into every bite-but the recipes are actually good-and accurate to the pictures. Our favorite right now is the Peanut Butter and Jelly muffins made with carrots and yogurt. I almost dropped over in happiness when I ate one this morning! Our daughter-who for the most part cannot be easily fooled by hidden veg-has found these recipes to be favorites as well. For the time being-while she's refusing to eat vegetables in their true form, this book has proven to be a life saver.

So I'm shouting it from the library treetops: Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. A winning cookbook and one that doesn't disappoint. Check it out today!