April 2011 Archives

Edgar Awards Announced

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars), named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. They honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theatre published or produced in the previous year. Here are some highlights; but click here for the complete list of nominees and winners.
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This year's best novel is The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton. After surviving an act of violence as a child, Michael stops talking and grows up with the ability to open any lock or safe, a talent he sells to any buyer in the crime world, until a botched heist forces him to go home to face the secret that has kept him so quiet. rogue.jpg

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva won the best first novel award. When journalist Liam Mulligan realizes that someone is systematically burning down his childhood neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, he ignores his bosses and his budding relationship to figure out the firebug's identity.

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Best paperback original was awarded to Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard. Astonished to learn that the uncle he believed was killed in the Blitz has been in prison for nearly four decades, Stephen Swan finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy involving forged Picassos and the disinherited family an Antwerp diamond dealer.


Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry is this years winner in the best fact crime category. Go behind the scenes of the 2000 Huskies' Cinderella story to discover a timeless morality tale about the price of obsession, the creep of fanaticism, and the ways in which a community can lose even when its team wins.


Best Critical Biography was awarded to Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvouz with American History by Yunte Huang. A biography of cinematic hero Charlie Chan, based on the real-life Chinese immigrant detective, Chang Apana, whose bravado inspired mystery writer Earl Derr Biggers to depict his fictional sleuth as a wisecracking and wise investigator rather than a stereotype.

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central

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The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester


The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester narrates the story of Joseph Needham (1900-95). Needham was a Cambridge University don, polymath and the principle author of the Science and Civilization in China series. The series was originally intended to be one volume, but grew into eighteen at the time of Needham's death and is now twenty-four volumes with more still pending. Needham was a married biochemist who was having an extramarital love affair at Cambridge with visiting Chinese biochemist Lu Gwei-djen. It was through her that he became interested in the Chinese language and shortly thereafter mastered it complexities. In 1943 the British Foreign Office sent him on a mission to establish a Sino-British exchange program to help Chinese scholars behind the lines of Japanese occupied China. Many dangerous travels and adventures ensued. Needham avoided the Japanese occupiers and still managed to ship many old Chinese manuscripts back home to England. Upon his return he began to chronicle the great early inventions of the Chinese that would consume the rest of his life.

Submitted by Dan @ Washington Park Library

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The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell


How dare Henning Mankell try to end the Kurt Wallander mystery series! Over the years I have grown to know Kurt as a very close friend, thanks to the exceptional writing of Henning Mankell. We've gone through many a mystery together and I guess I just hoped it would never end.

In The Troubled Man, the latest, and supposedly last, in the series, Mankell leaves it up to the reader to determine exactly who the troubled man is. I agree with many that Henning Mankell is Sweden's master crime writer, but this novel also demonstrates his skill in articulating the inchoate qualities of growing older. The reader is with Kurt as he cleverly solves the disappearance of his daughter's in-laws and gets to know his new granddaughter. Alas, I cannot describe more as it would spoil Mankells' deft revelation of events. Let me just say this one is remarkable. It's like a single potato chip. If you read one, you'll find that you'll have to read them all--preferably in order.

Submitted by Tricia @ Capitol

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Fledgling is the story of Theo Waitley, an "accident-prone" teenager in a highly-regulated academic society. It seems, at first, to be only a typical growing-up story. But then she discovers unusual error messages on her home computer console that is now hooked into the main academic net. She thinks it's a fluke, but then her mother finds that someone has tampered with the basic historic documents upon which most of the planet's research depends. Someone high-up in the faculty has been condoning such fraud--but why? And why try to injure and defame her father--even though he is from off-world? During an inter-planet journey, Theo discovers that her awkwardness at home transforms into an unusual "dancing" skill. She is naturally able to anticipate trajectories of bodies (humans or objects) to prevent disastrous collisions. This brings her to the attention of the Pilot Guild which supplies navigators for spaceships. So...by the middle of the book we are dealing with at least three viewpoints and certainly that many mysterious plots. Breezily written, the characters are well depicted and (mostly) likeable and the storylines are eminently logical, although not obvious.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library

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Heartstone by C. J. Sansom


Six hundred and thirty four pages may seem intimidating to a reader. But not if the author is C. J. Sansom. Mixing history, mystery and human nature Sansom has masterfully crafted the Matthew Shardlake series.

It's the reign of Henry VIII and England is in turmoil. A French armada is gathering in the Channel readying for battle. Henry is amassing an army to face the threat. But wars cost money and Henry's coffers are nearly empty. The buying and selling of wardships has become very lucrative for the King. Many are willing to pay large sums to become the guardian of an underage orphan. Especially if that orphan is heir to a large estate. Matthew Shardlake is a lawyer, despised by many. He is also a hunchback, feared by the superstitious. He has undertaken work for the Crown on several occasions and has sworn to refuse any more royal requests. Catherine Parr, the latest queen on the throne, calls in a favor and engages Matthew to investigate a case of wardship. A former servant of the Queen's has reported that young Hugh Curtys is being abused by his guardian. Catherine would like Matthew to investigate the situation for her.

The facts lead Matthew to an estate near Portsmouth. Something is amiss with Hugh Curtys's relationship with his guardian's family but Matthew can't put his finger on just what it is.The clues draw him closer to Portsmouth where Henry means to take on the French armada. His greatest warships the Mary Rose and the Great Harry are readying their guns and taking on archers and foot soldiers unfamiliar with sea battles. Matthew hurries to find the answer to his puzzle and flee the area before the carnage begins.

Sansom draws the reader into a Tudor world rich in detail. The unexpected twists and turns take the reader by surprise as plots and subplots twine together flawlessly to reach a satisfying conclusion. It is well worth 634 pages to meet Matthew Shardlake. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Jan @ Capitol

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Author Julie Klam's first true love wasn't quite what she'd expected.

Squat, walleyed and with a serious underbite, Otto nonetheless became a participant in every aspect of Julie's life. He taught her that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, what to look for when choosing a (human) mate, and eventually guided her down the perilous path of Boston Terrier rescue.

Julie sugarcoats none of her experiences. The admittedly cute adolescent pups rescued from a hoarder come with baggage that includes fleas, bad teeth and the ability to deposit seemingly endless amounts of bodily secretions on every surface of her home including the bed. Repeatedly.

Dahlia, an ancient mixed-breed who appears to be neither Boston nor Terrier arrives as a foster with bad teeth and a worse disposition. She is embraced with fervor by Julie's four year old daughter, surprises the family with two puppies despite her geriatric state, and shortly thereafter departs for the Elysian Fields leaving the humans to raise her offspring.

Then there is Moses, the Boston who devotes himself to Julie with single-minded passion. He is smart, affectionate, and impossible not to bond with. Unfortunately his skills at escaping the leash bring about a tragic ending guaranteed to leave the reader sniffling.

As the owner of two dogs, a pug and an ancient pug/Boston Terrier mix, I know that every dog who belongs to you is beautiful, even with bowed legs, a deviated septum and a propensity to eat things that are indigestible and hack them up on the rug. Dogs teach us patience, kindness, acceptance; they teach us, if we pay attention, how to be better at everything, including love. The lessons are sometimes hard, sometimes sad, but I'm with Julie - it's worth every minute. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Kathi G @ Capitol

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The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

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It is 1940, the war is on but the United States is not involved in it yet. Frankie Bard is an American woman journalist reporting from a bomb weary London, Iris James is a 40 year old postmaster in Franklin, Massachusetts on Cape Cod and Emma Trask is a newlywed married to the town doctor. The lives of all three become intertwined through Frankie's broadcasts as well as a chance encounter. We feel the heart stopping terror of World War II in Europe in Frankie's chapters and then take note of the smaller dramas taking place at home in the others. Emma's husband leaves to help in London, Frankie moves on to Germany to report on the Jews, and Iris keeps tabs on her community as they all come and go through her small world. I liked the alternating chapters of each character as it gave me more a sense of what was happening in Europe versus how those events were affecting people and events in the United States. I was reading this while driving with my husband through Chicago on I-94 which definitely added to the tension of those "close your eyes I don't want to know" type scenes. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Lynn @ Center St

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Vordak the Incomprehensible by Scott Seegert


Certainly somewhere inside each one of us there lurks a desire to rule the world. At last, Vordak the Incomprehensible (with the help of his minion, Scott Seegert) makes these aspirations possible. In this nefariously delightful book readers will learn how to create an evil name, select an appropriately heinous supervillain costume, as well as discover plenty of pithy advice on discovering their own inner evil. Particularly informative is the section on creating an evil lair. Vordak wisely points out that one should begin with a starter lair and using the "Evil Lair Gradual Upgrade Chart" slowly make your lair dreams come true. Apparently supervillains have fantastic vocabularies if Vordak is any indication. That said, one will also find plenty of humor appreciated almost exclusively by pre-tween boys. At first I thought that the intended audience was would-be pre-teen villains, however, after having heartily laughed my way through Vordak's advice, I'm sure he must have also been intending for adults interested in channeling their inner nine-year-old to join in the fun as well. This book is far too much fun to be read by children only. Muahahahaha

Submitted by Tricia @ Capitol

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Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

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Tender Branson is the last remaining Creedish member (also referred to as the Creedish Dealth Cult) and he is dictating his life story into the black box of Flight 2039, a plane he has just hijacked. While 39,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, he recounts his life as a child among the Creedish, a repressed religious sect founded in the 1860s. When he turns 17, he is sent out into the world as a domestic servant who is expected to send his earnings back to the cult. Years later, Tender finds himself on the edge of fame and fortune when members of the cult rapidly commit suicide. Everyone thinks he is the last remaining member and wants a piece of him. However, even as he preens under the attention he can't shake the feeling that his older brother is on his way to kill him.

There is also his romantic interest, Fertility Hollis, a girl who knows when strange disaster will occur. He uses her, first as a media messiah to solidify his image, and then to make an escape from it. He goes on the lam with his brother to revisit the place of his childhood, which reveals the true nature of the Creedish cult and his older brother to the reader, and then ends the book where it begins, at the hijacking of the plane and Tender's future - will he even survive?

Palahniuk's writing is full of witty and satirical observations on society with an enjoyable dark humor. His ability to keep the reader guessing continuously throughout the novel makes it a fantastic and enjoyable read. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Monica @ MPL Central

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Sister Souljah is back!


Bestselling author of The Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight, Sister Souljah is back with another gripping story. In Midnight and the Meaning of Love she shares an adventure about deep, young love. Midnight is a smart, fierce fighter and Ninjutsu-trained ninja warrior. Although he attracts attention wherever he goes, he is oblivious to it all--focusing instead on his mother, sister and regaining the family's fortunes. He is also a devout Muslim and after marrying a sixteen-year-old girl from Japan, Akemi, their life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped by her father and taken back to Japan. Midnight sets out to bring her back and must travel across three countries and experience several cultures to defeat his opponent. What he sees and encounters changes him forever; temptations, risks and love.

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central

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The Officers' Club by Ralph Peters

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Ralph Peters certainly understands military culture. From the unwritten rules that dictate etiquette between ranks and the constant shift of personal roles while on and off duty between friends and lovers, this engaging novel reads like a marathon of "As the World Turns" in khaki and dress greens.

2nd Lieutenant Roy Banks is stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, across the border from Mexico, during the early 1980's, where he is training to become an Intelligence Officer. Though Roy does a whole lot of things that show a distinct LACK of intelligence, including regularly sleeping with another married lieutenant, he is quickly portrayed as a strong but flawed man who loves jazz, beer and his own moral code.

When 1st Lt. Jessica Lamoureux, a promiscuous and manipulative woman, is found murdered, Lt. Banks becomes the prime suspect after recently declining her advances. As Lt. Banks works on clearing himself, he discovers a long laundry list of fellow servicemen with ties to Lt. Lamoureux. Could a jilted lover have committed the dastardly deed?

When the bedsheets are washed and hung out to dry, only one man comes out clean, though maybe a little shrunken from the emotional churning and cleansing.
This was a dirty, fun novel that's as gritty as the desert it's set in.

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Submitted by Dan@Central

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As Conor Grennan readily admits, his initial reason for working in a Nepalese orphanage was not quite selfless. Grennan originally signed up for the three-month volunteering stint as justification for taking a year-off from work to travel the world. What came of his time at the Little Prince's Children's Home, however, was not just a life changing experience, but a passion and dedication to the children of Nepal that would shape the course of his life and work.

Grennan starts his story with his initial trip to Nepal as a part of his year abroad. The stories he shares of his struggles to adapt to the unfamiliar day-to-day life in Nepal are both funny and endearing, as are the accounts of the antics of the charming children that live at Little Princes. Grennan adeptly peppers in information about the state of the civil war in Nepal so that you gradually develop a picture of the political climate that shaped his work there.

The story shifts with Grennan's discovery that the "Little Princes" are not in fact orphans, but the victims of a child-trafficker who profited off the chaos of civil war and the desperation of parents by charging astronomical fees to shuttle children out of the conflict zones with the promise of sending them to school. Instead of being sent to school, however, the children are abandoned once the reach Kathamandu or, worse, sold into slavery. With this revelation, Grennan feels a powerful need to help return these trafficked children to their families, and founds a non-profit organization to do just that.

Grennan presents his travels and work in Nepal with a comic grace and humbleness that is hard to resist. You feel that you get to know the children, right along with him, and they steal your heart with his. Over the course of the memoir you feel tremendous respect and admiration for Grennan, but it never feels like he is bragging or soliciting praise. This book had me laughing out loud and struggling (and failing) to resist crying. It is a quick, engaging, touching, and ultimately inspirational read. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Megan @ Capitol

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Finally! Here is the long awaited sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. As the title of the series states, this is the story about vampires. Vampires that live mostly in secret during the modern day. They go to special academies, have their own government and a hierarchy separate from humans. They also have three unique races - Moroi, full-blooded vampires and benevolent, Dhampir, half-vampire and Moroi bodyguards, and Strigoi, pure evil vampires and immortal. The adventures begin in book one with the main characters in their final year of school, nearly ready to go out into the real world. Our heroine Dhampir Rose Hathaway will stop at nothing to keep her charge Moroi Princess Vasilisa Dragomir safe. Rose has trained to be the ultimate warrior and surpasses all of her classmates. Naturally she has flaws, a bad temper and she always speaks what's on her mind which frequently leads her into trouble. She's also secretly dating her defense instructor Dhampir Dimitri Belikov, a definite faux pas. Danger is aplenty and almost nonstop. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace and surprising plot twists. What I didn't like was waiting for each of the next books in the series to be published.

It's always sad to me for a good series to come to an end. Luckily Mead is working on a spinoff series called Bloodlines due to be released in August 2011. Here's hoping it's as good as the Vampire Academy series!

Visit the author's website here.

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Who is Richard Castle?

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Richard Castle is the main character in the series Castle, currently in its third season on ABC. In the pilot for the television show, Castle (who killed off his wildly popular Derek Storm character when he got bored writing him) gets involved in a murder case after one of his books is cited as the inspiration for the crime. Once the case is over, he sticks around to follow NYPD detective Kate Beckett on other cases, using her as the inspiration for a new series of novels staring a detective named Nikki Heat.

In the series, Castle writes a novel titled Heat Wave. As a tie-in, ABC has released that novel as a real book with "Richard Castle" as the author. It is entirely in character from the dedication to the acknowledgments, although the latter references the principal cast and the show's creators by name. Castle puts himself into the book as Jameson Rook, a Pulitzer Prize winning author doing a story on the NYPD detectives, who tags along as they try to solve the murder of an art collector whose collection gets stolen during the investigation in a New York City heat wave.

The book reads just like an episode of the television show, meaning it's fast-paced with lots of twists and turns until the mystery is solved, with charm and great character interaction. While being a fan of the television series might help visualize the characters in the novel better (other characters in the "Castle" universe have counterparts in the novels), it's not a requirement.

So far, there are two books in the Nikki Heat series - Heat Wave, and Naked Heat. Castle, the television show, has been renewed for a fourth season, so watch for the third novel, Heat Rises, coming September 2011!

Submitted by Cami @ YCOS


The people behind the television program Castle have published two great tie-in books, Heat Wave and Naked Heat. If you've never seen Castle here's what you need to know. Richard Castle is a mystery novelist shadowing NYPD Homicide Detective Kate Beckett as research for his novels. Castle and Beckett solve murder cases together while Castle also works on his next two novels, Heat Wave and Naked Heat. Both books center on NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat who is clearly modeled after Kate Beckett.

In the real world, Heat Wave and Naked Heat have been published with fictional character Richard Castle as the author. No one is saying who really wrote the novels, although they capture the tone and characters of the show so well it's difficult to imagine it's anyone other than a writer or writers from the show.

If you don't watch Castle would you enjoy these books? Definitely. They mimic the best things about the show: crimes with lots of twists and turns, witty banter and red-hot chemistry between Castle and Beckett.

For all you Castle fans out there you'll really enjoy these books. Not only is reading them like watching episodes of the show, it's also fun to feel like you're in on the joke when the characters mention Castle's books and you know exactly what they're talking about. You're also sure to appreciate how easy it is to see the Richard Castle character writing Heat Wave and Naked Heat.

Submitted by Amy @ MPL Central

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Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman


Say Her Name, based on the facts of the author's life, tells how he lost his wife Aura in a freak accident on a Mexican beach. Woven into the story are excerpts from Aura's journals and short stories (she was a writer of fiction in real life). The story is heartbreaking with themes of loss and grief. Moving back and forth chronologically, he starts with Aura's death, sharing flashbacks into both of their lives.
Aura was a graduate student from Mexico who came to Columbia for her doctorate in comparative literature. Francisco was already accomplished as both journalist and novelist. Though very different people, their love was deep and Goldman was devastated at her death. Her mother, Juanita, brought a lawsuit against him, suggesting he was partially responsible for her demise. She even refused to let him have any of Aura's ashes, but as the story closes he acquiesces to both Aura and Juanita. I felt like I was intruding on a very raw, intimate part of a strangers lovelife--read this as though it's one long love letter written to honor a lost life and help repair the lives of those still living.

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central

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April is National Poetry Month

"There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it." -Flaubert

National Poetry Month is here; how are you celebrating? Attending a poetry reading? Signing up for a poetry class or workshop? Reading one poem a day? All of the above?

One of my favorite ways to celebrate National Poetry Month is to read at least one debut poetry collection. It's a great way to support new poets and be exposed to new poetic visions. Check out one of the debut collections below available at the Milwaukee Public Library.


To check availability click on the book cover, or click on the titles below.

Find even more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month with "30 Ways to Celebrate" from The Academy of American Poets.

Submitted by Kristina@MPL Central

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Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde


Shades of Grey is the first of a series and it doesn't know whether it wants to be science fiction, parable, or mystery. As Fforde lives in Wales it is possible that the story is all three. The story begins innocently with the protagonist announcing that he is being eaten by a carnivorous tree. Then things get really weird. Although outwardly, like our own world, Something Happened an indeterminate time ago that changed everything. Where once everyone could see all colors almost equally, now everyone perceives only one color range (designated by their family name and an appropriate color spot on their lapel). Thus Blood, Russet and Pink all see the red spectrum in varying degrees while to others red is just varying shades of grey. The same is true of all the other colors. Because particular color balance is needed to keep each person sane and healthy, chromatocologists become the country doctors of their society with their licensed swatches restricted to their dispensing. The entire populace is ruled and predicated on the individual's ability to see color.

Then there is the problem of the roads that absorb anything that sits still too long (a few minutes unmoving) on the surface. And the lack of engines that stay working despite mechanics that try their hardest. (There hasn't been a new car or boat built in generations. Even the train is beginning to loose some tracks and parts.) Our narrator--Eddie Russet--wants only to conform, but his curiosity gets the better of him. He discovers that previously obvious rationale for some rules gradually become more absurd as he moves farther and farther from the center of the society. As he poses more questions, his life becomes more complicated and precarious. I find it difficult to easily summarize the story and its logic, but I enjoyed its humor so much that I can hardly wait for the sequel due out this year.

Fforde also writes the Nursery Crimes series (which cast various nursery characters as victims, investigators, and criminals) and the Thursday Next mysteries as well. I've not read any of those mysteries although they have been recommended to me. I have briefly looked at his blog www.jasperfforde.com/ which only reinforces my opinion that his absurdities rival those of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kathy is a clone, raised along with a generation of cloned children to "donate" her vital organs. Although she goes through the same experiences as any child growing to adulthood - making and losing friends, going to school, falling in love - her hazy understanding of her destiny endows each moment with a deeper significance. Most deadly and disabling diseases among the naturally-born population have been eliminated as a result of the clone program, but does that justify taking Kathy's life? Does Kathy have a soul?

Despite the alternate-present setting and the element of human cloning, this book is not science fiction. The world is merely a vehicle to address the ethical struggles central to the characters' lives: how we treat those different from us; whether and when we believe that the end justifies the means or that the rights of an individual can be trumped by the needs of the many; whether we accept our fate or grapple with it; and the value of what we do with the time we are given.

As beautifully written as The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go will not disappoint lovers of Ishiguro's prose or of literary fiction. Fans of science fiction like Neal Shusterman's Unwind or lyrical suspense like James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series will also want to pick this up. Check catalog for availability.

Outsourced by Dave Zeltserman

Hard economic times sometimes drive otherwise honest, dependable men to do drastic, dishonest things, often with dire and far reaching consequences that could never have been foreseen. This is one of those stories. It reminded me of a cross between a Robin Hood type sentiment with the folk hero-ship of Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde.
Dan Wilson is an outsourced software engineer who, unbeknownst to his family, is slowly going blind. His last job was to develop a security program for a local bank. While doing the work, he discovers a flaw in a program used for the bank's alarm system that was developed by a company in India.
Desperate times bring desperate measures and Dan, along with a few other unemployed friends, decides to exploit the programming flaw and rob the bank. Things, of course, do not go as planned and a young woman is killed during the robbery. To add to the bad vibes, they steal the contents of some safety deposit boxes that belong to a powerful Russian mob boss. Trouble with a capital T.
This gripping, exciting bank caper reminded me of a mix between Dog Day Afternoon and Fargo, where peaceful, but despondent men get caught up in something bigger then themselves.

Submitted by Dan@Central

Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Amy had a choice--be frozen and join her parents on a 300 year voyage to a new planet or choose not to be frozen and stay behind with her Aunt and Uncle (and her friends and her life). This is where I left her months ago when I read a first chapter teaser before publication. Well it was worth the wait to find out what happened. Godspeed, the ship, has been continuing on its journey with a crew that is now many generations removed from the original. Elder, the leader-in-training, saves Amy from certain death when she is awoken prematurely. Elder, also a teen, has lots of questions and Eldest, his teacher, isn't very forthcoming with answers. Eldest says that the first cause of discord is differences and Amy is quite different from anyone else on the ship. As tensions increase and the lies keep unfolding, Elder and Amy come together to save the others who are still frozen; find a murderer and ultimately save the ship itself. Told in alternating chapters, we get Elder's viewpoint of one who has never known Earth and will probably not know the new Earth and then Amy's viewpoint as one who left everything on Earth to be with her parents and now might never see them again. Action, suspense, plot twists, romance--who could ask for more? Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Lynn @ Center Street

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It's A Book by Lane Smith


Click on the book cover above to check the catalog for available copies.

The video below best introduces this hilarious picture book made just for adults. Enjoy!

Visit the author's website here.

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Facebook now? Ask us how!

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If Facebook and I were in a relationship, the status would be "It's Complicated." Yes, I greatly appreciate having a venue to instantaneously keep in touch with hundreds of friends all the way from my high school days through my present circle of coworkers and confidantes. However, I also find the ever-growing and ever-changing number of features and ways to share information on the site positively overwhelming at times. Of course, if I was a teenager who was born texting, this would all be second nature. I've had my page for several years now, so I can only imagine how intimidating Facebook might be for an adult who is less savvy or comfortable with the wide array of social media options available. And, admit it: if you saw The Social Network in the theaters last year you are at least a bit curious, right?

Enter the manuals! I've found a couple of books to ease your foray into Facebook, or enhance the experience you're currently having. The first is more comprehensive, the second more concise, but both cover the basics quite well. One topic covered in both books that is essential to any discussion of social media is privacy. This is a lesson best learned before something goes wrong - learn how to keep the world from seeing things you don't want them to see on your page.

Facebook for Grown-Ups by Michael Miller
Sams Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 Minutes by Sherry Kinkoph Gunter

If you have teens in your life, chances are they already live on Facebook and could give you a tip or two. After you check out one of these books, you may be ready to share a tip or two of your own! And please let them know the Teens of Milwaukee Public Library Facebook page is up and running! We've got information about teen programs and events happening at all 13 MPL locations, book reviews, updates from our own Teen Advisory Board, and information about job and volunteer opportunities. Visit Teens of Milwaukee Public Library and become a fan today!

Submitted by Mandy @ YCOS

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