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Archived Staff Picks - October-November 2015


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Archived Staff Picks - October / November 2015

The Mountain Can Wait
By Sarah Leipciger Recommended by Marilyn

In Leipciger's debut, a moody semitragedy set in Western Canada, the lives of a single father, who's never been able to express the love he feels for his children, and his son, who's made a catastrophic mistake and fears the consequences, circle around each other.

The novel begins with the mistake, a hit-and-run accident. Curtis is driving alone late at night when he hits a girl walking along the road and leaves the scene, not sure if she's alive or dead. He leaves his job and hides out with a friend. When his father, Tom, stops by, Curtis screws up his courage to say, "I think I killed someone." But Tom assumes Curtis is referring to a girlfriend's abortion and goes back to his out-of-town job supervising a crew planting trees. Tom raised Curtis and his younger sister, Erin, after their mother, Elka, ran off shortly after Erin's birth. Tom searched for Elka but couldn't find her, and she died four years later. He has never totally recovered from the loss, and she remains throughout the novel a sad mystery, cherished in memory by Tom and her mother, Bobbie, who distrust each other. Tom, skilled at practical tasks, is clueless about human relationships. Neither his children nor the woman with whom he's romantically involved realize how much he cares for them. While Tom deals with crew problems on and off the job, not to mention an unfortunate dalliance with the planters' cook, Curtis goes on the run. Ending up on the isolated island where Elka was raised, he bonds with Bobbie, whom he's never met before. By then his disappearance has made him a suspect, and the police involve a reluctant Tom, who realizes that he ignored Curtis' cry for help early on.

Written with painfully nuanced care that displays affection for nature and the laconic, working-class characters, the result is not a cheerful read but genuinely moving.

This title is available in Regular Print Format.

This review is from

By: Chuck Wendig
Recommended by Rachel

Miriam is a drifter with an unusual gift, with skin to skin contact she sees a vision of that person's death. It could be far into the future or later that very day. Some are accidents, some old age, some violent and gruesome. Miriam uses her gift to con cash from the recently or soon-to-be deceased, which allows her to hop from motel to motel and keep a steady supply of booze on hand, but one night her life changes drastically: she touches a friendly trucker giving her a ride, she sees not only that his death will be a violent one, but also that the very last word he utters is her name... She's seen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes and suicides but none that were directly linked to her. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive she has to try.  

This title is available in E book Format.

Review partly from good reads

The Devil You Know
By: Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Recommended by Krista

In the Devil you Know the present and the past collide when Evie Jones, a novice reporter whose best friend was murdered in her childhood, is tasked with staking out Paul Bernardo's house when he is arrested for killing women in his house.  As she becomes immersed in the Paul Bernardo arrest she begins to think more and more about her friend's Lianne's unresolved murder and becomes obsessed with pursuing her killer.  Her companion throughout her search is her childhood friend Dave whose past also gets mixed up in the tense turn of events.

The Devil You Know is a great psychological read with the same unreliable narrative that captivated us in Girl on the Train.  As the reader you begin to question Evie choices and wonder if she has blurred the lines between past and present.   It was dark and suspenseful and really hit on the instinctual fears women can experience. I liked that this book took place in Toronto against the back drop of true crime which made it seem more real and closer to home than other books.

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable Ebook.

White Ensign Flying: Corvette HMCS Trentonian 
By: Roger Litwiler
Recommended by Robert

It is really a special treat to review a book whose author you have known as a researcher for about 15 years. It is even more special when some of the material that your library owns has been used as original source material for this published work. Roger Litwiler's "White Ensign Flying" is such a tome. "White Ensign Flying" tells the story of the HMCS Trentonian, a corvette built in Kingston, Ontario and named for our own Trenton. During World War II, the town of Trenton expressed interest in having a having named after it.  In response, the Canadian Navy had approved the construction of the HMCS Trentonian at the end of 1942. The town eagerly adopted the Trentonian as their own and a committee was formed to ensure that an assortment of comforts would be sent to the crew. The head of this committee was Hazel Farley, a Trenton High School French teacher who regularly communicated with the ship's captain. (Our library houses this correspondence). Roger has used these records, historic naval records and personal interviews with surviving sailors to chronicle its service as a convoy escort

Although the ship's sinking in 1945 by a German U-boat precluded the existence of a captain's log, Roger has aptly used a wide range of sources to describe the history of the Trentonian. The ship escorted convoys, took part in the D-day invasion of Europe and was mistakenly shot at by an American ship. While the author provides effective descriptions of the Trentonian's three years of service, he has also accomplished something else. We learn about day- to- day life on a wartime corvette and the goings-on while on leave in ports. When one examines the photographs taken by the ship's sick bay attendant, one is struck by how young these sailors were. It is also really affecting when one reads about how each of the six met death during the boat's sinking. Nevertheless, the intense experience of three years in a confined space would create strong, life-long bonds among the surviving crewmates.

The Quinte West Public Library was privileged to be able to launch Roger Litwiler's book in 2014. It was particularly great to meet four gentlemen who had actually served on the Trentonian. A painting of the Trentonian by local artist Marc McGee was unveiled and now adorns the library's walls.  We thank Roger Litwiler for bringing back an important part of naval and local history back to life.

This title is available in Regular Print format.

By:  Catherine Coulter
Recommended by Kim

When Special Agent Lacey Sherlock foils a terrorist attack at JFK airport, she thinks her job is done and turns the reins over to the New York FBI. But stopping the grenade-carrying crazy was only the beginning. Another plot unfolds nearly simultaneously with a bomb at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The terrorist at JFK refuses to speak to anyone but Sherlock. She heads back with counterterrorist Special Agent Cal McLain to try to get him to talk. 

Meanwhile, Savich--with the help of Agent Griffin Hammersmith--has his hands full trying to track an elusive murderer who looks like a Hollywood Dracula. When Dracula's attempts to kill Savich collide with Sherlock's terrorist case, very strange things happen.

Who is really behind the bombing attack at St. Patrick's? How does Savich's mysterious killer fit into Sherlock's terrorism investigation? Savich and Sherlock race against the clock, as more lives are in danger with every passing minute.

I have really enjoyed reading this series since its beginning and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a really good FBI thriller.

This title is available in Regular print, Book on CD and Downloadable eBook formats.

This review is from

A touch of Frost (Jack Frost mysteries)
By:  R. D. Wingfield
Recommended by Pauline

Detective Inspector Jack Frost, offically  on duty, is nevertheless determined to sneak off to a colleague's leaving party. But first the corpse of a well-known local junkie is found blocking the drain of a Denton public lavatory - and then, when Frost attempts to join the revels later on, the nubile daughter of a wealthy businessman is reported missing.

Sleepy Denton has never known anything like the crime wave which now threatens to submerge it. A robbery occurs at the town's notorious strip joint, the pampered son of a local MP is suspected of a hit-and-run offence and, to top it all, a multiple rapist is on the loose. Frost is reeling under the strain, his paperwork is still in arrears and now, more than ever, his self-righteous colleagues would love to see him sacked. But the manic Frost manages to assure his superior that all is under control. Now he has only to convince himself.

This title is available in Paperback Fictionand Book on CD formats.

Recommended by Kathy

"Richard Gere gives a remarkable performance in Oren Moverman's spare, soulful study of urban poverty."  Justin Chang, Variety

Richard Gere stars as George, a homeless man who seeks refuge at Bellevue Hospital, a Manhattan intake center for homeless men, where his friendship with a fellow client (Ben Vereen) helps him try to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter.

This video was viewed on Hoopla.

Review is taken from


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