Archived Staff Picks May 2014
By: William Kent Krueger
Recommended by Marilyn
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson's Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.
When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.
On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it's the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, it is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
This title is available in Regular Print format.
By: Marie Lu
Recommended by Pauline
The explosive finale to Marie Lu's New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy--perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT! He is a Legend. She is a Prodigy. Who will be Champion? June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic--and each other--and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government's elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic's border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country's defence. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu's bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
This title is available in Young Adult Fiction and Downloadable Audiobook formats.
By: Lesley Pearse
Recommended by Ann
Storytelling at its best!
Eva Patterson's life is forever altered by the devastating discovery of her mother, Flora, dead in the bath leaving only a note: 'Forgive Me'.
Until Flora's suicide, Eva's world had been secure - but overnight everything changes. For when Flora leaves Eva a London artist's studio in her will, she finds her mother had a secret past.
In the studio's attic are Flora's paintings and diaries, and Eva learns her mother was a popular artist in the swinging sixties. Eva's hunt for answers uncovers clues to a shocking crime which led Flora to hide her past.
But will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will this journey lead her and those she loves into danger!
This book is well written, the characters are believable a very enjoyable read.
This title is available in Regular Print format.
Dallas Buyers' Club DVD 2013
Recommended by Kathy
Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar , Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards for his stellar performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Jared Leto also won all three awards for his supporting role alongside McConaughey.
Any doubt that still exists in audiences' minds as to Matthew McConaughey's talents as an actor are permanently put to rest by "Dallas Buyers Club."
Peter Debruge, Variety
An imperfect man fights for survival during an uncertain time in America. Inspired by true events, Ron Woodroof's story of strength is told in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from an original screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack. Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays the real-life character, whose self-interest is galvanized into something much more.
A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence.
His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks (Screen Actors Guild Award winner Jennifer Garner).
An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Gotham Independent Film Award winner Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron's lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron's entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a "buyers club," where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron's pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before.
This review is taken from http://www.focusfeatures.com/dallas_buyers_club/synopsis]
This title is available in DVD format.
The Rosie Project
By Graeme Simsion
Recommended by Rachel
Don Tillman a professor of genetics at an Australian university has never been on a second date. He can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, he is so socially awkward and ritualistic he has convinced him that he is simply too weird for romance. None the less he embarks on the "Wife Project", a sixteen-page, scientifically designed questionnaire to quickly weed out the unsuitable and find the perfect partner.
When Rosie walks into his office Don assumes his best friend who reluctantly agreed to help him sent her as a candidate, but from the first date nothing in Don's life is the same. Rosie is like a tropical storm, she comes in Dons life and turns everything upside down and he realizes he loves every minute of it.
If you are a fan of socially awkward, hilarious and heartwarming characters you will not want to miss out on this book! Fans of The Big Bang Theory will love Don; he is a more realistic version of Sheldon Cooper with all the amusing mishaps.
This title is available in Regular print, Large print, and Downloadable eBook formats.
Hotshot (Buchanan / FBI Series)
By: Julie Garwood
Recommended by Kim
Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishop's Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit--only then will they own it.
A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.
There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton's contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn't inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.
It's soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her--until she's nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.
I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next book in the Buchanan/FBI series "Fast Track" which is due to be released in July 2014.
This title is available in Regular Print, Large Print, Book on CD and Downloadable eBook formats.
This review is from http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/