Thursday, December 27, 2007

Staff Recommendation - River of Doubt

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
by Candice Millard [B R67m]

After Theodore Roosevelt failed in his last attempt at the Presidency, he was talked into an expedition on a South American river that many doubted ever existed. Joined by his son Kermit, several naturalists from noted geographic societies, a priest, and a failed Arctic explorer, they set out on an ill planned venture in the unknown rain forest. Plagued by insects, Indians, fever, and shortage of supplies, Roosevelt contracted a serious illness that almost drove him to suicide. After surviving the debacle of the expedition, he returned home only to be ridiculed and doubted about his extraordinary accomplishment. For lovers of historic adventure and suspense. -- recommended by Rayma S. -- South Branch Library


Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's Next for Some Popular Fiction Series?

There are some great series that will be getting new installments early in the 2008, and a few that got their newest addition late in 2007. Here are some of our favorites:

The Winter Rose”, by Jennifer Donnelly: Set in 1900 London, the second volume in Donnelly’s “Tea Rose” trilogy tells the story of India Selwyn-Jones. Though a noblewoman by birth, India has recently graduated from the London Women’s Medical College. Rather than set up her practice in fashionable Harley street, she heads to the dangerous streets of the East End, where she feels she will be truly needed. When one of London’s most notorious gangsters, Sid Malone, comes to her for treatment, India must face her growing feelings for a man who represents everything she detests. (Due out January 8)

“Why Mermaids Sing”, by C. S. Harris: It’s another in the new and very popular Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series, set in Regency England. This time, Sebastian must find a serial killer who is doing in the sons of some of England’s most powerful families. These crimes were mentioned towards the end of Harris’ last St. Cyr novel, and solving them will no doubt prove to be a daunting and dangerous task for the darkly charming young viscount. (Out November, 2007)

The Queen of Bedlam”, by Robert McCammon: The long-anticipated follow-up to McCammon’s much-loved “Speaks the Nightbird” reunites readers with law clerk Matthew Corbett, now living in New York, and working for a new magistrate. This book promises to be as engrossing a read as “Nightbird”, as Matthew becomes embroiled in the hunt for a serial killer that the press has dubbed, “The Masker”. Only out since October of 2007, it’s already showing up on some “Best of the Year” lists. (Out October, 2007)

“Silent in the Sanctuary”, by Deanna Raybourn: Raybourn made a smashing debut last year with her complex, historically evocative mystery, “Silent in the Grave”. Now, she gives us another tale of Lady Julia Grey and her reluctant partner in crime-solving, Nicholas Brisbane. This one has murder, jewel thieves, and an ever-increasing attraction between the two main characters. It can’t come out soon enough for Raybourn’s many fans. (Due out January 1)

“Fire Study”, by Maria V. Snyder: The next book in the “Study” series finds the magically gifted Yelena trying to stop an overly-ambitious clan from creating a magician who can control fire. Wars threaten, and danger lurks around every corner as Snyder’s smart and stalwart heroine once more tries to save her world. (Due out March 1)

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose”, by Lauren Willig: Readers who have been avidly following Willig’s time-hopping chick-lit series will rejoice at the release of yet another installment. This time, it’s up to dark-haired socialite Mary Alsworthy and the mysterious Lord Vaughan to save England from the evil plots of the Black Tulip and his spies. Adventure and romance are sure to ensue, both in the nineteenth and the twenty-first century, where literary scholar Eloise Kelly may just finally get a date with hunky Brit Collin Selwick. (Due out January 28.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Staff Recommendation - Silver Bells

Silver Bells: A Holiday Tale
by Luann Rice

A touching holiday romance with a bit of a paranormal twist. Christopher Byrne, Nova Scotia Christmas tree farmer, deals with the disappearance of his teenaged son, Danny, during their annual selling trip to New York City. Librarian Catherine Tierney mourns the loss of her husband during a previous Christmas season. Together, with the help of their friends and the timely assistance of the holidays, they can help each other come to terms with their losses and concerns to find a hope for the brighter future. This book was adapted into a very nice Hallmark Hall of Fame production for television in 2005, in which quite a bit of the supporting plot was altered, but actually improved on the storyline. Watch for it in case it airs on television again this holiday season! -- recommended by Scott C. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Reference


Have you read this one? What did you think?

This review was pulled from the archives of past Staff Recommendations on the BookGuide web site.

Staff Recommendation - Spineless Wonders

Spineless Wonders: Strange Tales From the Invertebrate World
by Richard Conniff [592 Con]

They're weird. They're creepy. They have disturbing personal habits, and they're all around us. They're invertebrates, and we share our world with them, or maybe they just share theirs with us! Conniff takes us up close and personal with such seemingly common critters as the housefly, the leech and the ant. You will never look at a beetle in quite the same way again after reading this, and you may have new respect for the hagfish and the tarantula. No, these beings are not like us, but they have lives that are just as complex and full of drama. This is a fun way to learn more about a seldom-mentioned part of the animal kindgom. -- recommended by Lisa V. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Reference


Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a "mystery"...100 of them in fact!

Do you like "Top 100 Lists"?

The members of The Mystery Writers of America have recently assembled a list of what they consider to be the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time.

Check out their list and let us know what you think...any essential titles missing, or are there any here you're surprised to see? Any that are now on your "must read" list?

Comment here and share your views!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Staff Recommendations - The 47th Samurai

The 47th Samurai
by Stephen Hunter

The newest thriller in the Bob Lee Swagger series is highly recommended to those who like their heroes with a highly developed sense of duty and honor. In 47th Samurai, Swagger is asked to return a sword his father had taken from a Japanese soldier in a battle at Iwo Jima. Swagger makes a special trip to Japan to return the sword and shortly after discovers that the sword has been stolen and the family brutally murdered. Bob Lee begins a quest for atonement and along the way becomes immersed in Japanese organized crime, history, and culture. If you like high-action, all-out thrillers you'll love Stephen Hunter and the Swagger novels. If you shy away from graphic fight sequences, this may not be the novel for you. While the action is intense, the characters are well-developed and the plot tightly researched. -- recommended by Sean S. -- Eiseley Branch Library


Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Staff Recommendation - Pontoon [book-on-CD]

Pontoon
by Garrison Keillor [on CD]

Spend some time with the folks of Lake Wobegon as they prepare to celebrate a wedding and mourn the passing of one of their fellow denizens. This compact disc is narrated by the author and is sure to please even those who have never visited Lake Wobegon. -- recommended by Tammy T. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Collection Management


Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Staff Recommendations - A Test of Wills

A Test of Wills
by Charles Todd

This is a classic British police procedural with several twists. The setting is Upper Streetham, a small village in Warwickshire, England. The time is 1919, the world still reeling from the Great War. The detective is Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, recently returned to police duty from the bloody battlefields of World War I. The victim is Colonel Harris, a career soldier, also recently returned from the war to his estate outside Upper Streetham, where he lived with his ward, Lettice Wood. Miss Wood is recently engaged to Captain Wilton, a young soldier back from the war, also. As you might suspect, World War I and its aftermath feature prominently in this mystery. A woman in the village continues to be shunned because she fell in love with a German prisoner of war detained in the Upper Streetham during the war. Hickam, the town drunk, who suffers from shell shock, was the last person to see Colonel Harris alive. And our Inspector Rutledge, also suffering from shell shock, is dealing with his first murder case since his return to police duty, and his own very personal nightmares. As a captain in the army, Rutledge was forced to order the execution of a young soldier for refusing Rutledge's command to fight. This young soldier, Hamish MacLeod, haunts Rutledge, speaking to him in a voice that only Rutledge can hear. The central question of this mystery is who would want to kill Colonel Harris, a well-liked man for the short amount of time he actually spent in Upper Streetham in between his numerous military postings? Why has the romance between Lettice Woods and Captain Wilton suddenly cooled? Will Inspector Rutledge be able to find the killer or will he succumb to the inner torment and chaos always hovering at the edge of his next thought? With the voice of the dead, young soldier constantly questioning his judgment and character, the hunt for the killer of Colonel Harris will truly become "a test of wills." -- recommended by Evelyn D. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Technical Processes

[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.][ A Test of Wills page on the official Charles Todd web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fantasy Fiction - Good News and Bad News

The last few days have seen two newsworthy announcements in the media of interest to fans of fantasy fiction.

First, the Bad News:
Author Terry Pratchett, known for the immensely popular Discworld series (and Good Omens in partnership with Neil Gaiman), announced through artist friend Paul Kidby's website that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Click on the BBC news article for more information.

And the Good News:
Following the death of James Oliver Rigney Jr., who wrote fantasy under the pseudonym Robert Jordan, there was uncertainty as to whether the unfinished 10th and final volume in Jordan's hugely successful Wheel of Time series would ever see the light of day. Jordan's publisher announced on December 7th that Nebraska's own Brandon Sanderson has been tapped to finish Jordan's final book. See the full article on publisher Tor's web site!

Staff Recommendation - Complete Essays of Montaigne

The Complete Essays of Montaigne
by Michel de Montaigne [844 Mon]

These highly personal thoughts on a variety of subjects (friendship, superstition, the limits of knowledge, etc.) explore how one can know oneself, and thus, better know the world. -- recommended by Bob B. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Reference

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Staff Recommendation - Speaks the Nightbird

Speaks the Nightbird
by Robert R. McCammon

One of the fiction best-sellers this winter is bound to be the new book, The Queen of Bedlam, featuring the character Matthew Corbett. Matthew made his first appearance, however, in this gripping, highly entertaining novel of witchcraft and intrigue set in a small Colonial Carolina town. The year is 1699, and Matthew is acting as law clerk for a magistrate who has been called upon to hear the case of a woman suspected of witchcraft. The two men run into trouble almost immediately, and the path of their investigation never does run smoothly. There's a lot going on behind the scenes in the settlement of Fount Royal, and no one is who he or she seems to be. Pirates, Spanish gold, Satanic manifestations and more figure into this suspenseful and detailed story. Is the lovely Rachel Howarth guilty of trafficking with the Devil, or is she the victim of those who will gain by her death? That's the question that Matthew sets out to answer, and his search takes him down a twisting, turning path of deceit and death. Prepare to stay up late reading this one, and don't forget the sequel, which is getting great reviews. -- recommended by Lisa V. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Reference

[ Speaks the Night Bird page on the official Robert McCammon web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Tales of Beedle the Bard...worth $4 million?

One copy of J.K. Rowling's handmade Harry Potter tie-in, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, complete with hand-drawn artwork by Rowling, bound in Moroccan leather and ornamented with sterling silver and moonstones, has been sold at a Southeby's auction to Amazon.com for $4 million.

The other six copies of the book were all apparently given as gifts to friends and associates of Rowling, with this single copy going to auction, to benefit The Children's Voice, a charity founded by Rowling and Baroness Nicholson of Britain's House of Lords.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book mentioned prominently in the text of the final Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was released this past July.

For more information, including images of/from the book and reviews of the stories in the book, visit Amazon.com's Beedle the Bard site.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Book Talk Booklist: Mostly the Truth...Sometimes Not!

Mostly the Truth...Sometimes Not!

Tag team booktalkers Carol S. and Deanne J. presented a look at a selection of interesting fiction and non-fiction titles recently for both the Gere Books Talk series (Nov 19th 2007) and Bethany Books Talk series (Nov 30th 2007). You can click any of the linked titles below to see the availability of these titles at locations of the Lincoln City Libraries, and in many cases to see plot blurbs. You can also check out the Book Talk Booklists index on BookGuide to see many other recent and past book talk lists.

Staff Recommendation - A Fatal Grace

A Fatal Grace
by Louise Penny

"A stupid, vapid and vindictive woman" is how one of the residents of Three Pines described CC de Poitiers. Chief Inspector Gamache and his team from the Sûreté du Quebec had trouble finding anyone in the tiny village that had a good word to say about CC. As a result, their suspect list was long. Her henpecked husband, her spineless lover and any of the eccentric residents. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who we first met in Still Life, came back the village of Three Pines in southern Quebec to find CC's murderer. Gamache renews his acquaintance with the artist couple that eke out a living doing what they love, a poet fixated on death and the gay couple who run a B&B and a bistro as he investigates the latest crime. It was Boxing Day. The villagers met at the legion hall for a community breakfast. Then they headed out to the frozen lake for the annual curling tournament. While everyone cheered the players CC collapsed on the ice. The locals thought it was a heart attack and rushed her to the hospital. The doctor realized that CC had been electrocuted and contacted the Sûreté du Quebec. Gamache and his team have to determine how a woman can be electrocuted while sitting on a frozen lake with a small group watching the annual curling tournament. No one else in the group even received a small electrical jolt, let alone one big enough to kill them. The rest of the villagers were sitting in stands on shore and none of them left their seats. How could someone have killed her? -- recommended by Donna G. -- Loren Corey Eiseley and Bess Dodson Walt Branch Libraries

[ Fatal Grace page on the official Louise Penny web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Staff Recommendation - Tolkien: A Biography

Tolkien: A Biography
by Humphrey Carpenter [B T578c]

I have enjoyed reading about the development of "The Lord of the Rings" into a published work -- a process that took J.R.R. Tolkien over a decade to complete! -- recommended by Kim J. -- Bennett Martin Public Library/Reference

[ The Tolkien Library web site ] [ Bio on The Tolkien Society web site ] [ official J.R.R. Tolkien Estate web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Book Talk Booklist: Cowboys, School Marms and a Good Horse

Rayma S. presented the booktalk Cowboys, School Marms and a Good Horse at the Gere Branch BooksTalk series on Friday, November 16th at the Bethany Bookstalk series, and on Monday, November 26th at the Gere Bookstalk series. Her talk, if it's not obvious from the title, was on the "Westerns" fiction genre, both classic and modern.

Links in the following list will take you to each book's individual entry in the Lincoln City Libraries' catalog, where you can see plot blurbs and check on availability.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Staff Recommendation - The Murder League

The Murder League
by Robert L. Fish

Three elderly ex-mystery writers, fallen on hard times, decide to put their intelligence to use and set up a "Murder League." They advertise for clients and will dispatch someone for £1,000 plus expenses. Their goal is £10,000 to invest for themselves and live off the interest. They successfully complete nine such arrangements, but an innocent bystander is arrested for the 10th murder. Being men of integrity (?!) they fess up to their involvement, then hire a famed defense attorney. A fast read; humorous tale. The end has a surprise twist that will make the reader laugh out loud. -- recommended by Charlotte K. -- Reference/Bennett Martin Public Library
Have you read this one? What did you think?

Ten new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mistletoe Mysteries Display

The main December fiction display is now up at the Bennett Martin Public Library in downtown Lincoln, NE -- Mistletoe Mysteries, based on our extensive holiday themed booklist of the same name!

New Booktalk Booklist: Period Pieces

Period Pieces: A Book Talk

Sean S. presented the booktalk Period Pieces at the Gere Branch BooksTalk series on Monday, December 3rd, 2007. Focusing on a variety of works (mostly fiction) set in a variety of different time periods, Sean will also present the same booktalk at the Bethany Branch BooksTalk series on Friday, December 14th, 2007 at 10:30 a.m.

Links in the following list will take you to each book's individual entry in the Lincoln City Libraries' catalog, where you can see plot blurbs and check on availability.