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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
Survival…or something far worse. If you love books set in dystopic societies, you will enjoy these books about survival in future worlds, past ones revisioned, prison-like settings, the wilderness, diabolical mazes, and cities submerged under water due to global warming. Escape, swim, or run for your life, stop at the library, grab one of these books as if your life depended on it!
Young, Moira. Blood Red Road. 2011.
In a distant future, eighteen-year-old Lugh is kidnapped, and while his twin sister Saba and nine-year-old Emmi are trailing him across bleak Sandsea they are captured, too, and taken to brutal Hopetown, where Saba is forced to be a cage fighter until new friends help plan an escape.
Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker. 2010.
In a futuristic world, teen Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl. Winner of the 2011 Michael Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.
Condie, Ally. Matched. 2010.
All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?
Grant, Michael. Gone. 2008.
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of 14 suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.
Ness, Patrick. The Knife Of Never Letting Go. 2008.
Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from the Old World.
Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. 2011.
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. 2011.
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Lu, Marie. Legend. 2011
Day is one of the totalitarian Republic’s most wanted criminals; June has a personal vendetta against him. When their paths cross by chance, June—unaware of Day’s true identity—is attracted to his good looks, charm, and courage. In trilogy opener Legend, Marie Lu crafts a dystopian world rife with inequality and rebellion, with personal dynamics complicated by romance and betrayal
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.
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!
The Town that Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food, by Ben Hewitt (2010) – In 2009, amid the double dip economic recession, the small town of Hardwick, Vermont was adding jobs in a handful of businesses practicing sustainable agriculture and promoting local foods. This much I already knew from following Hardwick in the media during that time. What I liked about this book is that it gave a voice to some of the folks that the media reporting left out: operators of a mobile slaughtering unit, back to the land anarchists, and aging farmers from another era. A lot has been written about Hardwick’s successes since then, but this book serves as an introduction and playbook to community economic development in the region. (EG)
338.1974 HEW or try the library catalog
Just as I Thought, by Grace Paley (1998) – A sampler collection of autobiographical essays and articles by a longtime poet and activist who died in Thetford, Vermont in 2007. While the pieces themselves do not form a linear biography, together they chronicle Grace’s life placed in the context of the larger social movements. “The Illegal Days” describes abortion before Roe v. Wade, “Report from North Vietnam” brings us to a war zone and inspires courage, and further essays in the book describe acts of organized resistance to the Gulf War and for womens’ rights. An inspiring read from an articulate woman who never wavered from the politics of speaking truth to power. (EG)
Call Number is B Paley or try the library catalog