Friday, July 24, 2015

New stories are waiting to be discovered @ your library

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo, translated by Neil Smith

Versatile Nesbø (The Son, 2014, etc.) switches gears yet again in this chilly whisper of a novella: a hit man's account of a job gone fatally wrong. … A Nordic noir updating of James M. Cain's Love's Lovely Counterfeit (1942) with an equally sweet-natured killer at its improbably soft center.

Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury

"The second book of the Angels Walking series has well-written characters determined to live life to the fullest. Kingsbury is an amazing author. She has given readers a wonderful treat with this series."

Early Warning by Jane Smiley

“Absorbing. It's a good thing we only had to wait six months for Early Warning, the second volume of Smiley's ambitious Last Hundred Years trilogy. Why? Because we were eager to follow up on the members of the Iowa farm family she introduced in Some Luck.  As Smiley continues her year-by-year march, we are pulled into her characters’ dramas. In its sweeping scope, Smiley's saga recalls Balzac's Human Comedy, John Dos Passos's U.S.A. trilogy and John Updike's Rabbit quartet. Firmly rooted in history, this middle volume begins two weeks after Joseph Stalin's death in 1953 and extends through 1986. The novel's cumulative power lies in the unfolding lives of its characters. . . The Last Hundred Years trilogy is about change—both societal and personal. One of [its] many pleasures is that her characters evolve, sometimes surprising even themselves. Smiley's signature achievement, in this by turns wry and wise old-fashioned yarn, is her skill at deftly shifting focus between the long and short views. Early Warning doesn't leave us hanging, but it does leave us looking forward to the finale of this epic endeavor.”

Falling in Love (Guido Brunetti Series #24) by Donna Leon

The audacious investigation, conducted by Brunetti's confederate Signorina Elettra, into the psychology of stalkers is thorough and illuminating. But for opera buffs, going backstage at Teatro La Fenice is the real treat.

The Harder They Come by T. C. Boyle

…stunning…The Harder They Come…is very much a showcase for all of Mr. Boyle's storytelling talents. It's gripping, funny and melancholy, and opens out from the miseries of a father and his troubled son into a resonant meditation on the American frontier ethos and propensity for violence—a dramatic novelistic rendering, in many ways, of the scholar Richard Slotkin's pioneering studies on the mythology of the American West…From the novel's thrilling set piece of a start…to its pensive conclusion, The Harder They Come is a masterly—and arresting—piece of storytelling, arguably Mr. Boyle's most powerful, kinetic novel yet.

On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

…deeply moving…Dr. Sacks trains his descriptive and analytic powers on his own life, providing a revealing look at his childhood and coming of age, his discovery and embrace of his vocation, and his development as a writer. He gives us touching portraits, brimming with life and affection, of friends and family members…This is a more intimate book than Dr. Sacks's earlier ventures into autobiographical territory…and the more he tells us about himself, the more we come to see how rooted his own gifts as an artist and a doctor are in his early family experiences in England and what he once thought of as emotional liabilities…[Sacks's] writing, which [he] says gives him a pleasure "unlike any other," has also been a gift to his readers—of erudition, sympathy and an abiding understanding of the joys, trials and consolations of the human condition.

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