VPL Staff Picks - August, 2012
Annotation:In his retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adrian sets the action in San Francisco in 2008. You might say this is a novel about grief and magic. Three heartsick mortals, Molly, Will and Henry, encounter the equally distraught court of Titania who is grieving the loss of her son and the end of her marriage to Oberon. And then there’s Puck …
Annotation:A brutal rapist is on the loose in Copehagen and Detective Inspector Louise Rick wants to catch him before he finds another victim. The only problem is he meets his victims online and leaves virtually no clues. This is the first of the Louise Rick series to be translated into English.
Annotation:This disappointing follow up to Cleave’s smash bestseller, Little Bee focuses on the career and lives of two cyclists, Kate and Zoe, who are preparing for the London Olympics. Their lives are further complicated when Kate’s 8-year-old daughter Sophie is diagnosed with Leukemia.
Annotation:This is a hot new read for fans of the 50 Shades series. Lots of hot steamy romance and the author isn’t afraid to show the ups and downs that come in a relationship built between two people who have survived abuse in the past. Gideon and Eva, both instantly attracted to each other, but both with demons of their own. To make things work they will both have to come out of their comfort levels, face their pasts and open themselves up to a vulnerability they never have in the past … will their relationship survive? First book in her new Crossfire trilogy.
Annotation:All seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove wanted in life was to become a doctor. Supported by her father, whose premature death robbed her of a much needed ally, Louisa comes up against 19th Century societal prejudices regarding the education of women. In fact, members of her own family decide her ambition is a sign of mental instability and she finds herself consigned to a remote mental institution where she is stripped of everything including her name.
Annotation:Not the easiest of children to like, 13-year-old schoolgirl Jessica Vye must seem like all the Brodie girls rolled into one to those unfortunate teachers who don’t know how to appreciate her intelligence. For the lucky readers who do, Gardam has created an unforgettable portrait of the blossoming of a gifted writer. Very enjoyable.
Annotation:A fascinating and entertain look at the history of fonts. Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Whether you're enraged by Ikea's Verdanagate, want to know what the Beach Boys have in common with easy Jet or why it's okay to like Comic Sans, "Just My Type" will have the answer.
Annotation:Well reviewed but rather disappointing follow up to Haddon’s novel A Spot of Bother. When estranged family members meet for a holiday, complications follow. Domestic fiction from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Annotation:When Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can't believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. Catherine soon discovers that Lee's dashing good looks hide a violently jealous nature. Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life for herself. Trusting no one, she compulsively checks every lock of her apartment and varies her route home each day. Then an attractive new neighbour moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of a normal life. Until the day the phone rings.
Annotation:Author Hoag returns to her 1980’s Oak Knoll setting for the 3rd book in the series. Four years ago Lauren Lawton’s oldest daughter disappeared. Lauren and the police know who did it but can’t find a shred of evidence. Hoping for a fresh start Lauren and her younger daughter, Leah, move to Oak Knoll. But when the suspect shows up in the same city could Leah be his new target?
Annotation:When Angela catches her fiancé with another woman at her best friend’s wedding she is heartbroken and furious that she seems to be the last to know. After ruining the wedding and breaking the grooms hand with heel of her Louboutin shoe Angela jumps on a plane for NYC. With the help of new friends Angela makes a fresh start and soon finds herself head over heels in love….with NYC, but does she heart New York more than home?
Annotation:When she discovers the mutilated body of her brother Viktor, a revivalist preacher, laid out in ritualistic style, on the floor of their church, Sanna turns to her old friend Rebecka Martinsson for support. Despite her heavy work schedule as a tax lawyer in a large Stockholm firm, and her reservations about her own past in connection with the church, Rebecka heads back to the small town and community to help. The winner of Sweden’s Best First Crime Novel Award in 2003.
Annotation:Regret lies just beneath the surface humour of Lewycka’s latest novel. There is a sense of ideals being compromised and values lost by a generation of children who were raised in a Hippie commune called Solidarity Hall. Serge, for instance, turns his back on his communal upbringing and joins a brokerage firm. Serge’s secret shame isn’t his shady financial-double dealings, but his occupation which he carefully conceals from his parents. Recommended.
Annotation:Beautiful tribute to the music of Cuba from the beginning of the Afro-Cuban craze in the 1940’s to the Buena Vista Social Club. At the heart of the story is the tempestuous romance between pianist, Chico and the beautiful singer Rita. This graphic novel is an adaptation from the animated film of the same name. Recommended.
Annotation:The stripped-down style of this graphic novel seemingly refers to the design aesthetic of Apple under Steve Jobs. In telling the story, Melby re-imagines the friendship between Jobs and the Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino Otogawa. Less is more!
Annotation:A retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella but this time the heroine is half human half cyborg and lives in New Beijing where a deadly plague ravages the population. A fun read complete with a mean stepmother and stepsister watch for the 2nd book of the series next year.
Annotation:Mieville offers a complex science fiction novel for the adventurous reader in which language and communication are the major themes. I was especially intrigued by the central character, Avice Benner Cho, who is a living simile in the language of her host culture, the Ariekei.
Annotation:Kate Moore is an expat mom in Luxembourg, her days are filled with play-dates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. Kate is also guarding a huge secret—one that’s become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her neat little expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; plus her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. As Kate begins to dig, to uncover the secrets of the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage, and her life.
Annotation:This coming of age memoir probes the racial, sexual and political movements in South Africa in the 1980s. Retief’s childhood was spent in the Kruger National Park. As a young boy he was sent to boarding school where the brutality he experience came to seem emblematic of the systemic oppression of apartheid.
Annotation:A brilliant portrait of the final days a small band belonging to the Blackfoot Confederacy. The Lone Eaters, as they are known, continue to live in the traditional way in the Two Medicine Territory of Montana. In the year 1870, with the approach of white settlers, a young warrior and medicine man, Fools Crow, foresees that the life of his people is about to change. Recommended.