Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Bad Day For Sorry by Sophie Littlefield

book jacketSuggested by a Not Your Ordinary Book Group member:
First mystery book in a new award winning series.  Strong female protagonist unlike any other I've seen.  She is endearing but with her own brand of justice.  She goes after male abusers with a vengeance all her own.  Great characters, funny and tough."

Book description: 
Littlefield's amusing, sassy debut introduces Stella Hardesty, a widow and survivor of domestic violence, who owns a sewing shop in a sleepy Missouri town. On the side, Stella solves problems and metes out justice on behalf of battered women, like Chrissy Shaw, whose abusive bully of an ex-husband, Roy Dean Shaw, Stella keeps tabs on. After Roy Dean absconds with Chrissy's baby, Stella learns he's involved with local mobsters in a stolen auto parts ring. Chrissy sheds her victim hood to team up with Stella and do battle. After girding up their weaponry, the unlikely crime-fighting duo trick their way into the home of Roy Dean's mob boss, who they suspect has Chrissy's son. Stella discovers that no amount of preparation and righteous anger can prevail over pure evil, at least not without loads of trouble. Spunky, unapologetic middle-aged and a tad cantankerous, Stella barges bravely and often unwisely into danger.
--Review from Amazon

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Body Copy by Michael Craven

book jacket
A patron recommendation:
"I recently read "Body Copy" by Michael Craven and was very pleased.  It's a nice shorter read but the story is engaging from start to finish.  As a fan of film noir, tortured loner detective novels I instantly could picture the main character as well as bond with him.  The story doesn't really lag at all and there's no overabundance of focus on any one topic.  It moves along nicely but I personally didn't see the ending until I was reading it.  I have a busy schedule and try to fit in reading while I'm at the gym doing cardio and this one fit the bill.  Not to lengthy, very imaginable and enjoyable."

Book description:
Introducing Donald Tremaine, P.I.
Once the world's number one surfer, Donald Tremaine quit at the top of his game, moved into a trailer in Malibu, and became a detective. Beautiful women don't ask for his autograph anymore. Now they ask for his help—like the stunning Nina Aldeen, who wants Tremaine to solve the murder of her uncle, advertising mogul Roger Gale, brutally slayed in his L.A. office a year earlier. The police investigation went nowhere. The suspects are many, and the victim had more secrets than anyone ever knew. But the closer Tremaine gets to the truth, the closer he comes to a killer who just might make his most complicated case his last.
A novel that both honors and invigorates the classic private eye novel, Body Copy loudly heralds the arrival—with a bullet—of a major contender on the noir scene.
~Description from Amazon

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Friday, November 12, 2010

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

book jacketThis recommendation goes out to all readers who have never read a romance and wanted to try one.  I loved this book so much that I personally donated several copies to the library for our Not Your Ordinary Book Group.

I absolutely adore this author's writing style.  Her love story in this book is more emotionally driven than spicy, but it draws you in and I couldn't put it down.  It is a perfect meld of fantasy and historical fiction, with compelling characters.  This book has received numerous awards and is well deserving of every one.  Enjoy!  ~Jan

Just some recognition from publishers:  Named by Romantic Times Winner of The Winter Rose for Best Paranormal and Best Overall, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence, A Romantic Times BOOK CLUB Top Pick, A Featured Alternate Selection for the Rhapsody Book Club, the Doubleday Book Club and the Science Fiction Book Club.

Request The Smoke Thief from Bangor Public Library

Description from Shana Abe's website:

Romantic Times Award for best historical romance!
You are cordially invited to taste the clouds and hunt the moon. You are invited to learn how to fly....

Imagine a world where clouds could be dragons, and dragons could be people...where diamonds beckon with silent songs and a beautiful runaway turns out to be an infamous jewel thief who dissolves into smoke with just a whisper of a thought.

Now imagine the drákon lord sent to capture her.

For centuries they've lived in secret amid the green and misted hills of northern England, shapeshifters who have the ability to Turn from human to smoke to dragon, and back again. They skim the sky and haunt the stars, powerful beyond thought, beautiful, sensual. They are the drákon.

Like any hunted beast, they've survived the centuries by learning silence, by keeping the secret of the tribe absolutely sacrosanct. But one of them has broken the rules, has run to eighteenth-century London and is using his powers to steal fabulous gemstones. Dubbed the "Smoke Thief," he's the most serious threat to the drákon in memory. Christoff Langford, Marquess of Langford and Alpha of the tribe, has sworn to bring the runner home at any cost.

But even Kit doesn't realize that the Smoke Thief is a woman.

Rue Hawthorne is a halfling: half drákon, half mortal, and an outcast in both worlds. As a little girl she loved Kit from afar. As a woman she knows better to trust her heart to anyone, especially the charismatic, ruthless leader of the drákon. She fled her home to escape a forced marriage to him; as the first female in four generations to complete the Turn, she knows she'll be considered Kit's property. Rue, however, has much bigger dreams than that.

A spectacular diamond is missing, Kit's hot on her heels, and Rue's about to find out that even thieves can have their hearts stolen….

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

book jacketStarred Review. Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy.  Review from Publishers Weekly

Library staff recommendation:  The characters are so compelling you just want to keep reading to learn more about them.

Not Your Ordinary Book Group member recommendation:  This trilogy is great.  Don't let the waiting list keep you from requesting this book.  It's worth the wait.

Update from Jan:  The waiting list on this book has finally subsided to a normal level, so please request the book if you're interested.  You may just find it on the shelf.  Also, I truly appreciate all your great comments.  In response to an audiobook reminder, (thank you Anonymous, whoever you are) I've added a link to our audio record below.

Request The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from Bangor Public Library
Request The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sound Recording) from the Bangor Public Library

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great book series on HBO, part 2

book jacketA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga. The family is the Starks of Winterfell, a society in crisis due to climatic change that has created decades-long seasons, and a society almost without magic but with human perversity abundant and active. Martin reaches a new plateau in terms of narrative technique, action scenes, and integrating (or not injecting) his political views into the story. He does not avoid a dauntingly large cast and a daunting number of viewpoint shifts, but these are problems seemingly inseparable from the multivolume fantasy genre. Accordingly, one doubts there will be any other comfortable entry point into this example of the genre except at the beginning. Judging by this beginning, however, it promises to repay reading and rereading, from first volume to last, on account of its literacy, imagination, emotional impact, and superb world-building.
~Review from Booklist

~Recommended by Jan (library staff):
HBO has started advertising the trailers for their new original series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series - to start in 2011.  I am anxious to see how they portray this medieval fantasy on the screen.  At 694 pages, A Game of Thrones is not a light read, nor is it for anyone who might be squeamish about violence.  This author drops children from towers and abandons wolf puppies in the woods.  That said, his character development is absolutely amazing.  Tyrion is my favorite character from any fantasy series I've read.

Request A Game of Thrones from Bangor Public Library     

Great book series on HBO, part 1

book jacketDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

A perfect blend of mystery and horror.  Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....  Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.  Now the HBO original series True Blood.  --Review from Amazon

~Recommended by Jan (library staff):
"My only regret is that I hadn't read this book before watching HBO's True Blood series.  Harris has a very witty writing style.  This book was thoroughly entertaining, although much less graphic than the HBO series."

Request Dead Until Dark from Bangor Public Library

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not Your Ordinary Book Group ~ November's Books

book jacket
Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things--and most of them don't play too well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a--well, whatever.  There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get... interesting.  Magic. It can get a guy killed. --Description from Amazon

Recommended by a book group member:
"The first of the Dresden Files series.  Entertaining topic, situations, and characters."

Request Storm Front at the Bangor Public Library

book jacketShadow Game by Christine Feehan
(Paranormal Romance)

In Feehan's latest paranormal, sizzling sex scenes both physical and telepathic pave the road to true love for brilliant billionaire scientist Lily Whitney and Captain Ryland Miller, the leader of a squad of psionically gifted soldiers who have been imprisoned and separated from each other after receiving life-threatening enhancements. When Lily's father called her in to consult on a top-secret project he was working on for the government, he had no idea that he was signing his own death warrant or that his beloved daughter with her psychic talents would witness his murder and become a target for the traitors who were bending his project to their own evil purposes. Ryland lends his psychic strength to Lily and ignites a passion that brings him and his men into her high-security estate. Action, suspense, and smart characters make this erotically charged romance an entertaining read.  --Review from Amazon

Recommended by a book group member.

Request Shadow Game at the Bangor Public Library