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|HOLD IT ‘TIL IT HURTS, by T. Geronimo Johnson
After hearing the interview with the author on public radio, I thought this powerful book would be about the complexities of race: black children raised by white parents, and their not fitting into either the white or black community. But it was so much more than that. The story begins as brothers, Achilles and Troy, return from the war in Afghanistan to learn that their father has just died. Their mother hands them sealed envelopes from their father, telling them about their birth parents. Achilles can’t open his; Troy does, reads it, and then leaves immediately for parts unknown. Achilles is the older and had always been Troy’s protector. The rest of the book is Achilles’ obsessive search for his brother, following tips that Troy had been seen in various cities. The writing is spiral and can be very confusing at times. Much of it covers incidents that occurred in Afghanistan — sometimes in the form of memories, dreams or hallucinations in the present, without clarification as to which. But they reveal the most intimate thoughts and emotions (or lack of them) at the time. This story has given me a much clearer picture of the brainwashing that must prepare recruits for war-readiness, the horror they must endure, and then the abrupt transition they face when coming home to loving people who have no basis of comparison in their own lives. Although billed as a novel, this book reads like an autobiography. I feel that Hold It ‘Til It Hurts is a book that all of us who have never been to war should read for better understanding.
Are you on the waiting list for 50 Shades of Grey? Can’t get enough of Christian Grey? Here are some books that you might like!
Sweet Surrender by Maya Bank
Searching for the man who had killed his partner, Dallas cop Gray Montgomery follows a trail of clues that lead to a link between the murderer and Faith, a beautiful stranger, but when he tries to get close to her to uncover the truth, he discovers that his actions have now made Faith a target.
Obsession by Gloria Vanderbilt
New York social maven Priscilla Bingham discovers a hidden cache of letters that reveal her late husband’s affair with a sophisticated dominatrix who has recorded the intimate details of their relationship, a finding with which Priscilla becomes increasingly obsessed.
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Eva Trammel, plagued by her own insecurities, is drawn into an intense, obssessive relationship with the wealthy and arrogant Gideon Cross.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure
This retelling of the traditional Sleeping Beauty fairytale explores its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him.
A master of Shibari, the ancient art of erotic restraint, Marina has never hesitated to dominate anyone. Until she meets James, a dark, gorgeous, towering journalist.
British TV mystery may have you thinking of proper tea drinking heroes, peering through the foxgloves at some suspicious goings on about the Village green. But there’s a whole other side to British Crime Dramas – a tough contemporary side where hardened detectives battle it out with society’s most depraved and disturbing criminals. The British seem to have a talent for depicting the complicated and sometimes compromised nature of coppers. Here are some of our favorite gritty Brit crime shows.
Luther follows the cases of a troubled yet brilliant English police detective, DCI John Luther. Separated from his wife, whom he loves passionately, he is torn between an unrelenting approach to solving serial killings and his attempts to rekindle his marriage. Luther is a highly charged emotional man who is not above stretching the law to solve a case or save a life.
Dalziel & Pascoe The blunt-talking Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel does not suffer fools gladly, but he has even more trouble with what he call the “smart arses” of this world. So when the inexperienced Peter Pascoe joins his team at Mid-Yorkshire CID, the omens don’t look good. Pascoe is one of the new breed of career police officers, armed with a degree, a caring attitude and a sharp brain. But just as Pascoe is surprised by the intuitive methods of his brash boss, so too does Dalziel begin to recognize the merits of his Detective Inspector…
Trial & Retribution In this Law & Order-like British series, Lynda La Plante follows cases from the commission of the crime to the trial of the accused. She examines grueling, pressure-packed police investigations in all their gritty detail. Going behind closed doors, she reveals the strategies of both prosecution and defense as they maneuver toward a final verdict.
Case Histories Jackson Brodie used to be a soldier in the British army and then an officer in the Lothian and Borders Police. Now the tough detective has turned private investigator, compelled to bring peace to victims and their families. Based in Edinburgh, the good-hearted Brodie finds himself looking into everything from lost cats to wayward spouses and killers on the run. He does a lot of running himself, partly to unwind from the stresses of his work, but mostly to escape the memories of his own traumatic past.
Waking the Dead Det. Supt. Peter Boyd (played by Trevor Eve) is the leader of a multi-discipline police team of detectives and scientists, the Cold Case Squad, which investigates old, unsolved murder cases using modern methods and new technology that may not have been available during the original investigation.
The Prince of Denial, by Doug Wilhelm
I first became aware of Doug Wilhelm’s work by reading The Revealers and True Shoes, two excellent books dealing with the problem of bullying in middle schools, as seen through the eyes of the victims.
The Prince of Denial tackles the problem of addiction – in this case a parent’s alcoholism. The narrator of the story is Casey, a thirteen-year-old, middle school-aged boy. The reader gets a thorough understanding of the complexities of this young man’s life as he is faced with major problems he isn’t prepared to handle. The dialogue and description of Casey’s feelings are beautifully written.
I recommend this book highly. The Prince of Denial will help create understanding for those whose lives have not been touched by addiction. And for those who have had to secretly deal with addictive behavior of a family member, they will find relief in not feeling alone, and in discovering resources for trying to solve their dilemma.
Here is Doug’s website: www.dougwilhelm.com
If you are anything like me, you were addicted to Downton Abbey after the first episode. Having just watched the last episode of the 2nd season I don’t know if I can wait until season 3 airs! Here are some other titles to tied you over until the next season of Downton or to prepare you if you are on the holds list!
The Forsyte Saga DVD Drama
In Victorian England, Soames Forsyte, a man from a wealthy and arrogant family, meets a falls in love with Irene Herron, a poor woman. After taking her step-mother’s advice, Irene marries Soames. After four years of marriage, Irene is not happy because she does not love him. Soames tries to win her affections by giving her the things he believes every woman wants, dresses and jewels. He can not give her the one thing her heart desires, freedom. This series chronicles three generations of the Forsyte family from the 1870s to the 1920s.
Howard’s End DVD Drama
Encounter of three social classes of the England at the beginning of the century : the victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropist ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters’ humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox’s prejudices and to help the Basts.
The Remains of the Day DVD Drama
A rule bound head butler’s world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in post-WWI Britain. The possibility of romance and his master’s cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.
Upstairs, Downstairs DVD Drama
In 1936, Sir Hallam Holland and his pretty young wife Lady Agnes return from a diplomatic posting abroad and take up residence at 165 Eaton Place, formerly the home of the Bellamy family but vacant for several years. By chance, they ask Rose Buck, herself a long-time servant in the Bellamy household, to find them a suitable staff. In the end, Rose herself joins them as the Housekeeper. The 1930s are a difficult time in England. The Depression has taken its toll with high levels of unemployment. Fascism, which has become popular on the Continent in Italy and Germany, is also finding followers in the UK with Oswald Mosely’s British Union of Fascists. As the new staff begin their daily work, the downstairs family begins to take shape.
And here are some books to check out:
Fall of Giants by Ken Follet FIC Follet
Follows the fates of five interrelated families–American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh–as they move through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear FIC Winspear
Private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt FIC Byatt
A tale spanning the end of the Victorian era through World War I finds famous children’s book author Olive Wellwood taking in a runaway and exposing the boy to dark truths about her family’s summer bacchanals at their rambling country house.
Here is a list of the library’s favorite holiday movies. Please add your own in the comments.
After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. (Find in the Comedy DVDs)
It’s a Wonderful Life
When Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve, his guardian angel, Clarence, appears to show him what his town of Bedford Falls would have been if he’d never been born—a sinful slum full of angry, depressed residents. After catching a glimpse of just how wonderful a life it really has been, George begs Clarence to let him live and return to his family. In the end, everybody wins—George returns to the love of his family and Clarence, an Angel Second Class, gets his wings. Director Frank Capra’s 1946 film was deemed a box office flop in its day, but has emerged as a Christmas staple of the stocking and ham variety. (Find in the Drama DVDs)
A Christmas Story
Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the ’40’s, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even good ‘ol Santa Claus himself. (Find in JDVD)
The characters are falling in love, falling out of love, some are with right people, some are with the wrong people, some are looking to have an affair, some are in the period of mourning; a capsule summary of reality. Love begins and love ends. They flirt a lot. They are all flirting with love. At all ages and social levels, love is the theme. The touching new classic is a mosaic of love stories in every form—familial, forbidden, brotherly and true—and is the perfect seasonal reminder that, “Love actually is all around.” (Find in Drama DVDs)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
For a more creepy holiday, this anti-Christmas movie is just for you. Jack Skellington is the king of Halloween Town. When he happens upon a portal to Christmas, he introduces the holiday to the ghosts and goblins in his residence. But Jack’s take on the holiday spirit is a bit twisted, and after convincing some children to abduct the real Santa, he takes to the sky in his coffin-sleigh and delivers the likes of shrunken heads to the world’s little boys and girls. Everything turns out okay—it’s Christmas, after all— (Find in JVid)
The McAllister family is preparing for a holiday vacation in Paris, France. But, the youngest in the family named Kevin got into a scuffle with his older brother Buzz and was sent to his room which is on the third floor of his house. Then, the next morning, while the rest of the family were in a rush to make it to the airport on time, they completely forgot about Kevin who now has the house all to himself. Being alone was fun for Kevin until discovers about 2 burglars, Harry and Marv about to rob his house on Christmas eve. Now it is up to this 10-year-old to bring the burglars to justice.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppets star in this retelling of the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire. He is held accountable for his dastardly ways during night-time visitations by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and future.
If you are looking for other books that will remind you of John Grisham, check out these authors!
Baldacci writes high energy Suspense Stories featuring corruption and conspiracies. Complex plots place characters in tense situations, which it is important to note, can sometimes lead to more graphic violence than found in Grisham’s writing.
In their novels, both John Grisham and Brad Meltzer portray young, vulnerable lawyers caught in difficult situations, pitted against powerful but corrupt enemies. Fast pacing, provocative storylines, suspense and danger, along with sympathetic characters make Meltzer a good choice for Grisham fans.
John T. Lescroart
Lescroart and John Grisham both write fast-paced, suspenseful legal thrillers that have wide appeal. Their characters are engaging and committed to justice.
Both John Grisham and Justin Peacock portray young, vulnerable (even damaged) lawyers caught in difficult situations, pitted against powerful, corrupt enemies. Fast pacing, provocative storylines, and suspense make Peacock a good choice for Grisham fans.
Lisa Scottoline’s novels share the legal focus, sympathetic characters, fast pacing, and unexpected plot twists found in John Grisham’s work. There’s more humor and sarcasm in Scottoline’s stories, but they offer a similarly suspenseful tone.
Steve Martini’s cinematic and page-turning Legal Thrillers may appeal to fans of John Grisham. Sympathetic protagonists people the stories – his novels often feature lawyers as underdogs, fighting for justice. Investigation plays an important role, with actual courtroom drama often taking second place.
Although Scott Turow’s stories are more realistic, and do not move at the same rapid pace as John Grisham’s, readers who enjoy issue-oriented Legal Thrillers may appreciate each author’s different strengths.
Known for his provocative stories and relentless pacing, Stuart Woods has much to offer John Grisham fans. While there are suspense, action, and plot twists in his novels, there’s also more sex and violence than one finds in Grisham. Readers who can tolerate this might find Woods a good choice.
If you like Grisham, you may also like Grace. Both write fast-paced and suspenseful Legal thrillers and Suspense stories books for adults about Trials (Murder).
Here is a list of other authors to check out if you are waiting for the next James Patterson thriller!
This author writes gripping suspense novels. He, like Patterson, includes clever twisting plot lines, memorable characters, threatening atmospheres, psychological and nightmarish tones. RFL owns most of his books! His latest is called Carte Blanche.
Kellerman and Patterson both write gritty suspenseful crime series. They both examine the psychological element in crime and criminal investigations. Vivid characters, fast paced page turners, and full story lines help set the stage for gripping and twisted, sometimes, violent crime novels.
If you like some of Patterson’s warmhearted stories rather than his crime novels, Sparks is a good fit. They both are great at writing heartwarming love stories.
Patterson and Pearson both feature serial murders, series detective protagonists, bleak outlooks, graphic violence, and psychological implications, though Pearson’s novels are more detailed, complex and offer more insight to what is going on inside the character than Patterson.
Connelly’s cunningly-plotted mysteries blend realistic police procedurals with the forlorn heroism of classic hardboiled fiction. Full of shocking twists, climactic build-up, and often violent confrontations, ultimately allows characters to carve meaning out of darkness–if they live.
Like Patterson, John Sandford writes hard-edged, suspenseful novels of detection. Sandford offers similarly fast-paced, bleak stories, pervaded by a menacing atmosphere. Psychological details are often the key to the case, and the story unfolds with strong language and graphically portrayed violence.
Greg Iles writes more elegantly than Patterson, but tells equally complex stories of gritty suspense. Plot twists, contemporary settings (although he has also written suspenseful thrillers set in World War II), alternating points of view, and graphic violence feature prominently.
Readers who enjoy Patterson’s fast-paced and suspenseful Suspense stories and Mystery stories books for adults about murder investigation; revenge; and serial murderers may also enjoy Castillo.
The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg
The dark secrets of a small Swedish community are revealed as a woman returns to her hometown after the death of her parents and the suicide of a childhood friend.
Red Wolf by Liza Marklund
A spate of killings that began with the murder of a Swedish journalist prompts crime reporter Annika Bengtzon to look into the deaths, in an investigation that forces her to question her own husband’s honesty.
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
1942: Daniel, a soldier legendary among the Norwegians fighting at the Eastern front, is killed. Eighteen months later in a Vienna hospital, a wounded soldier becomes involved with a young nurse. The consequences will ripple forward to the end of the century. 1999: Having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, Harry Hole is lumbered with monitoring neo-Nazi activity; a fairly mundane assignment, until reports of a rare weapon being fired attract his interest. Meanwhile, an ex-soldier has been found with his throat cut. Pursuing both his assignment and his hunches, Harry embarks on an investigation in which he has much to gain and everything to lose.
Lucifer’s Tears by James Thompson
Inspector Kari Vaara is pushed into investigating a 90-year-old national hero for war crimes committed during World War II. Finland’s Interior Minister demands a conclusion of innocence, but Germany wants extradition. Vaara is also drawn into a current murder-by-torture case that has the past and present colliding in ways no one could have anticipated.
Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum
The tranquility of a small, idyllic town is shattered when the body of a teenage girl is found, prompting an investigation by Inspector Sejer that reveals the sinister truth behind the town’s quiet facade.
Sun and shadow : an Erik Winter novel by Åke Edwardson
Enjoying a satisfying family life and career as Sweden’s youngest chief inspector, Erik Winter faces a daunting case involving a double murder and a suspect with possible links to the gothic world and the local police force.
The last fix by Kjell Ola Dahl
After recovering drug addict Katrine Bratterud is found dead on the shore of a serene lake, detectives Fralich and Gunnarstranda delve into the case, which holds a web of secrets and lies that stretches back generations.
Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, fiercely strong Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company.
Also by Stieg Larsson:
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Millennium, the magazine Blomkvist publishes, is about to do a story exposing the Swedish sex-trafficking trade when the authors of the story are both murdered, and Salander’s fingerprints are found on the gun. Larsson jumps between Blomkvist’s attempts to investigate the murder (and, he hopes, prove Salander’s innocence) and Salander’s own efforts to tie the killings to her past.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Blomkvist again sets out to prove Salander innocent of murder. To do so he must expose a decades-old conspiracy within the Swedish secret service that has resulted in, among other travesties, a lifetime of abuse for Salander, whose very life threatens to expose the deadly charade. Larsson amps up the suspense and adds great courtroom drama to the trilogy’s stunning conclusion.
About Stieg Larsson – A leading expert on right-wing extremist organizations, Stieg Larsson was the editor-in-chief of an anti-racist magazine called Expo. He died in 2004. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was made into a film in Sweden in 2009, and an American version is set to be released in 2012.
October is the month of the year when we celebrate the mysterious, the unexplained, and the eerie, hackle raising potential of things that go bump in the night. Here are some books and movies to invoke the spooky feelings of the season!
A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities by Ray Bradbury
Hollywood in the 1950s. A stone wall separates a graveyard from a movies studio. It is Halloween, and a science fiction screenwriter is invited to the graveyard at midnight. Curious, he accepts, finds a corpse, and is plunged into a twenty-year-old mystery. A satirical account of his adventures follows, amid the world of studio characters and through the backlots to a fantastic climax. LR
FIC Bradbury or try the library catalog
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Witches are a powerful part of Halloween. This book offers us a different perspective on the most famous Witch of them all. Based on L. Frank Baum’s classic Oz books, Wicked tells the story of the Elphaba, the green-skinned girl who grows up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. LR
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
In this sequel to her famous book Interview with the Vampires, Rice continues her fascinating vampire chronicle. As Library Journals writes: “Don’t expect the usual stake-in-the-heart story; Rice creates a new vampire mythos, mixing ancient Egyptian legends into her narrative, and weaving a rich and unforgettable tale of dazzling scenes and vivid personalities. This extraordinary book outclasses most contemporary horror fiction and is a novel to be savored.” LR
FIC Rice or try the library catalog
The Shining by Stephen King
Danny is only five years old, but he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of an old hotel, his visions grow out of control. Cut off by blizzards, the hotel seems to develop an evil force, and who are the mysterious guests in the supposedly empty hotel? LR
FIC King, also available as a sound recording or try the library catalog
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A timeless classic, written nearly 200 years ago, Frankenstein provides ample doses of horror, while also asking important questions about the ethics of science and technology. With genetic engineering and cloning looming on the horizon, this novel is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1818. LR
FIC Shelley or try the library catalog
Stop into the library to check out the display of Spooky Stories for Adults next to the Circulation Desk for more Halloween books, and movies!