Monday, March 19, 2018

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach explores many topics--the role of women in the war effort, racketeering, and the meaning of family. 

In the "shadow" world that Dexter Styles inhabits, Styles is the top of the food chain who can indifferently make people disappear. For every gangster, though, who thinks he is at the top, there is someone else more omnipotent. 

In Dexter's case there's the mysterious Mr. Q and his sons and even someone much closer to home that can change the landscape of Dexter's world.

But this novel is not simply about gangsters. Manhattan Beach is also about the incredible sacrifices families makes for their loved ones.

Mrs. Kerrigan gives up a career she loves with the Ziegfeld Follies to raise her daughters, one of whom is severely disabled.

Eddie Kerrigan chooses to make another sacrifice; one that leaves his favorite daughter, Anna, bereft and angry. 

Anna had always been close to her father. She was his accomplice at twelve when he meets Dexter Styles at his Manhattan beach house. That incredible meeting is forever seared in Anna's mind and will alter the course of her father's life and her own.

Despite resistance from the top brass, Anna works in the Naval Yard, choosing to dive and repair ships.

Later, she will make an even riskier dive that will take her to the heart of the mystery of her father's disappearance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day

Read about "pi" in these books on popular mathematics.

Tammet, Daniel. Thinking in Numbers.
Hodges, Andrew. The Inner Life of Numbers: One to Nine. 
Strogatz, Steven. The Joy of X. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March is Women's History Month

There are many new titles that highlight women’s accomplishments. 

Many of these focus upon how historically women have made scientific breakthroughs or have developed new technologies. 

Some have worked alongside their husbands who held powerful positions and some have worked to overcome injustice. 

Radium Girls is about the courage of group of women who worked to change labor laws.

NoveList, which is available to all Rockwall County Library cardholders, is a great way to find fiction and non-fiction. 

The database can be searched by topic and it is a great resource for finding titles about exceptional women.

Brower, Kate Anderson. 
First Women: The Grace and Power.
Holt, Nathalia. Rise of the Rocket Girls.
Lee-Shetterly, Margot. Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story.
Moore, Kate. Radium Girls: The Dark History.

Cullen, Lynn. Mrs. Poe.
MacManus, James. Black Venus.
Nesbit, TaraShea. The Wives of Los Alamos.
Notaro, Laurie. Crossing the Horizon.
Pataki, Alison. The Traitor’s Wife.

Many more titles can be found by searching the NoveList and NoveList Plus database.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Read the Book Before or After Watching the Movie

Though a lot of readers like to read the book first, I find I can enjoy the movie and the book regardless of the order that I encounter them. If you want to read the book first, you may be interested in these titles that are set to become 2018 films:

Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One.

Gaiman, Neil. Good Omens.

Hansen, James. First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong.

Kwan, Kevin. Crazy Rich Asians.

Matthews, Jason. Red Sparrow.

Morgan, Richard. Altered Carbon.

Patchett, Ann. Bel Canto.

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar.

Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go Bernadette.

Shaffer, Mary Ann. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

Stanton, Doug. 12 Strong.

VanderMeer, Jeff. Annhilation

Need to learn about the latest Apps?

Social media tools are exploding and there's one good website to learn about each of them,

Social, entertainment, and shopping apps. Educational and everyday apps (e.g. Paypal, Evernote, and less known apps like Wunderlist). 

There's even an iPhone texting course and android calling and voicemail tutorial.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

DCI John Marvel wants to be promoted but he hates the new task his supervisor has given him. Marvel is given the unenviable task of finding his boss' wife's missing poodle. 

The humor of this scene contrasts with the grim details of two other missing cases--that of a male toddler, Daniel, and an twelve-year-old girl, Edie, who vanished in the same vicinity. 

Coincidentally, Anna Buck, the mother of the missing boy, and the supervisor's wife both consult the same "shut eye" or psychic. A natural skeptic, DCI John Marvel calls the "shut eye" a quack.

DCI Marvel is a stereotype who loves stereotypes yet he has a pure heart. He wants to find Edie more than anyone, even if it puts his career in jeopardy.

Ang, who works in a garage with Anna Buck's husband, is an illegal immigrant who tries yet fails to understand Western ways. Like the story cloth his mother made, Ang's tragic story is woven into the unusual events that occur in this novel. 

Belinda Bauer's debut novel Blacklands won a Gold Dagger award.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Edgar Nominations and Bram Stoker Nominations

If you like mystery or horror fiction, you may enjoy these 2018 nominated books:
2018 Edgar Nominations for Best Novel:

Kent, Kathleen. The Dime.
Kerr, Philip. Prussian Blue
Locke, Attica. Bluebird, Bluebird.
Mukherjee, Abir. A Rising Man

2018 Bram Stoker Nominations for "Superior Achievement in a Novel."

Baker, J.D. The Fourth Monkey [compact disc]
Golden, Christopher. Ararat [ebook]
Jemc, Jac. The Grip of it.
King, Stephen. Sleeping Beauties.

The Edgars

Bram Stoker Nominations

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