October 8, 2014 by Reader's Connection
The Indy Author Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday, October 25, at Central Library.
Click here for the fair’s full schedule. Here are some highlights:
Presented by the Indiana Writers Center and featuring Nancy Baxter.
Meet the Authors – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Clowes Auditorium
Book sales and signings will follow.
Meet Hoosier Authors – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Simon Reading Room
Network with more than 40 up-and-coming Indiana authors, who offer a wide variety of writing styles and genres. Book sales and signings will be available. Click here for a list of participating authors.
From 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m., there will be programs on how to get started writing, on the fundamentals of blogging, on writing about your own life, and on writing and marketing humor, genre fiction, children’s books, and nonfiction.
For another look at the schedule, click on this array of cover art from books by some of the authors taking part.
Please note that for many of the afternoon programs, it is necessary to register by calling (317) 275-4119.
The Indy Author Fair is presented by the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award and The Indianapolis Public Library, and would not be happening were it not for the Library Foundation and the Indiana Writers Center.
October 6, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Our gift suggestion list for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years kicks off this year with the splendorous Crown Hill: History, Spirit, and Sanctuary. The book’s photographs are by Marty N. Davis and Richard Fields, and the text is by Douglas A. Wissing, Marianne Tobias, Rebecca W. Dolan and Anne Ryder.
Someone on your holiday list might love to spend time with this book; and you can purchase a copy at the Indy Author Evening on October 20th, and have author Douglas Wissing sign it.
This book’s pictures, as you might expect, are gorgeous, and there’s a wealth of historical info. Of course James Whitcomb Riley and Booth Tarkington are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, but so is John Dillinger. And if Dillinger’s grave was the one most endangered by grave robbers, Ruth Law’s story is also peculiar. Her body spent three years in a temporary vault at Crown Hill, and was then was removed by her husband, who spoke of her obsessively and hid the body in his basement. Ruth’s body was discovered after the husband’s death, and she was finally buried back at Crown Hill.
Most exciting for me are the burials of Roma (or Gypsy) kings, but I’m prejudiced because my sister-in-law is quoted.
Tina Connor of Indiana Landmarks worked in the Waiting Station at Crown Hill during some of the Roma funerals. “The Gypsy king funeral was the second-longest cortege I ever saw–Eli Lilly’s was the longest,” Connor said. “They just kept coming and coming. The gypsies wanted to stay all night in the cemetery, but Crown Hill drew the line.”
And there are police officers, soldiers, industrialists, politicians, entertainers, and more than seven hundred individuals who are buried in unmarked graves, having been sent to Crown Hill from various institutions. This began in 1877 with the Indianapolis Home for Friendless Women, which had been founded by two former Civil War nurses.
This cemetery’s history is clearly part of a bigger living history.
All three Indy Author Evenings will happen in the Nina Mason Pulliam Special Collections Room on the sixth floor of Central Library, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Book signings will follow each event.
Here’s a recent interview with Wissing.
Category Book Review, Gift Suggestions | Tags: Anne Ryder, Crown Hill: History Spirit and Sanctuary, Douglas A. Wissing, Gift Suggestions 2014, Indy Author Evenings at Central Library, Marianne Tobias, Marty N. Davis, Rebecca W. Dolan, Richard Fields
October 2, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Happy Fall! As we bring on the pumpkins, turkeys, and footballs, it’s also a busy time for book publishers as they roll out their plethora of highly anticipated bestsellers coming out in the next couple of months. With titles being released in a multitude of genres, readers are sure to find a new favorite book they can’t put down. While it would be impossible to name every fabulous title coming out this season, here are some of the big name titles that will be sure to be hits with readers.
Immortal: A Novel of the Fallen Angels by J. R. Ward
Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber
Paris Match by Stuart Woods
Deadline by John Sandford
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Blood Magick by Nora Roberts
Pegasus by Danielle Steel
Prince Lestat by Anne Rice
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Havana Storm by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell
Revival by Stephen King
The Escape by David Baldacci
The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Hope to Die by James Patterson
Click covers or titles to visit our library catalog and reserve these titles today!
– Selector Emily Chandler
September 29, 2014 by Reader's Connection
A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses. — Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Leaving Time is a love story – love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna’s mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms–the good, bad and the ugly–and it is brilliant. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden
Even if you don’t have a crush on Cary Elwes, you’ll enjoy this vivid behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Princess Bride. His stories, especially those involving Andre the Giant, will leave you in stitches. Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and others also recount their experiences. An amusing account of a group of performers who came together to make a heartfelt film that is loved by many. — Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH
Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships. — Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL
Some Luck by Jane Smiley
Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014. — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO
The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships. — Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author! — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI
Reunion by Hannah Pittard
When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch. — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
Malice by Keigo Higashino; translated by Alexander O. Smith
Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning. — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver
Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on holiday at the English seaside. What starts out as a lark, intended to make Amory Ames’s misbehaving-but-oh-so-delicious husband jealous, turns into a dangerous and deadly game of whodunit for Amory and her friends. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre’s golden age. — Vanessa Walstra, Kent District Library, East Grand Rapids, MI
September 25, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Let’s begin with a quote from Lord Byron’s epic poem Don Juan. I’m sorry if his mention of partridges in the bag offends any vegans. Autumn is my favorite season, and my bag is full of wonderful October discussions.
The mellow autumn came, and with it came
aThe promised party to enjoy its sweets.
The corn is cut, the manor full of game,
aThe pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats
In russet jacket. Lynx-like is his aim,
aFull grows his bag and wonderful his feats.
Ah nutbrown partridges! Ah brilliant pheasants!
And ah ye poachers! ‘Tis no sport for peasants.
In his masterful follow-up to
The Kite Runner, [the author] takes readers back to Afghanistan, presenting events from that troubled country’s past–including the Soviet takeover and the rise of the Taliban–as they appear from the perspectives of two very different female characters. Mariam, the daughter of a cleaning woman and a businessman, was born out of wedlock. Married at the age of 15 to a man in his 40s, she experiences a loveless relationship. Laila, who lives with her accomplished, forward-thinking parents in Kabul, is favored by her father but spurned by her mother, who showers affection on her brothers. When Laila meets Tariq, a brave young man who was injured in an explosion, she falls in love for the first time. But the friction between the Communists and the mujahideen make day-to-day living in Kabul dangerous, and soon Tariq and his family move to Pakistan. After a horrifying series of events leads Laila to the home of Mariam and Rasheed, she must make a decision that will change her life forever. The two women develop a special relationship that could only arise in a country ruled by terror. Spanning 30 years of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, this melancholy, beautifully conceived book reinforces Hosseini’s reputation as a first-class novelist. – BookPage
The Shared Reading Group at Spades Park Library will meet on every October Friday–the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and yes, Halloween morning, the 31st–from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
This report just in from leader Anja Petrakopoulos: “It is very strange – next time we meet we will not be reading Nathaniel Hawthorne. We have finished The Scarlet Letter. I feel sad and elated at the same time, with a sense of unwilling separation and of closure – we’ve done it! I should remember with some relief that I will probably not have to pronounce “apothecary” or “ignominious” for some time. It is a relief to be free of “tremulous” (poor man!)”
She reports that in October there will be “a few weeks of random prose and poetry until we are ready to begin [Jean Toomer's] Cane.”
On Monday, October 6th, at 6:30 p.m., Franklin Road Library will host a discussion of Treasury of Joy and Inspiration: 90 Years of Uplifting Storytelling, from the editors of Reader’s Digest.
Emily is the classy and astute CEO of a San Francisco digital start-up about to go public in late 1999. Her lover, Jonathan, is launching his own tech company in Cambridge, and questions of trust and ambition are complicating marriage plans. Jessamine, Emily’s younger sister, is studying philosophy at Berkeley, volunteering with gutsy eco-activists determined to protect California’s redwoods, and working in a rare and used bookstore owned by control freak George, an early Microsoft millionaire. Goodman captures the fizz and folly of the dot.com boom and bust with wit and perspicuity, and brilliantly contrasts the cerebral seductiveness of the cyber realm with such sensuous obsessions as George’s gourmet cooking and Jess’ consuming fascination with the collection of invaluable old cookbooks George acquires under peculiar circumstances. The cookbooks harbor clues to a romantic mystery Jess stubbornly investigates, while encounters with two ebullient Hasidic rabbis induce increasingly disenchanted Emily to search for the truth about her and Jess’ late mother. From mysticism to algorithms, IPOs, and endangered trees and souls, Goodman spins a glimmering tale, spiked with hilarious banter, of ardent individualists, imperiled love, and incandescent interpretations of the mutability and timelessness of the human condition. — Booklist
Former opera singer Cowell . . . turns her eye to the women in the life of a young Mozart in her fourth graceful and entertaining historical. Music copyist Fridolin Weber and his socially ambitious wife, Marie Caecilia, have four daughters-bookish and devout Sophie; quiet Constanze; beautiful, silver-voiced Aloysia; and headstrong Josefa-whom they struggle to keep in hats and hose. Though the freethinking girls may wonder about the benefits of marrying well vs. marrying for love, Caecilia, whose family once had money, is terrified of growing old a pauper. Pinning her hopes on her prettiest daughter, 16-year-old Aloysia, Caecilia aims for a Swedish baron as suitor (though she keeps a list of backups in a notebook). Aloysia falls in love with the young Mozart, however, who happily returns her affections, though he, too, wonders about marrying better to support his father and beloved mother. But when the Webers move to Munich from Mannheim, Caecilia’s hopes for good matches begin to dim, as Josefa takes a married lover and a pregnant Aloysia runs away with a painter who, along with Mozart, had been boarding with the family. As Mozart progresses in his career, he has relationships with the other Weber sisters, too, and falls alternately in and out of favor with their bitter old mother. Told through the recollections of an aging Sophie, the tale is as rich and unhurried as 18th-century court life. — Publishers Weekly
Marrying Mozart is also available as a downloadable e-book.
In this extraordinary first novel, Marra homes in on a people and a region that barely register with most Americans and, in heartrending prose, makes us feel their every misfortune. In rural Chechnya, during the second war, a small group of people struggle to survive in the bleakest of circumstances. A gifted surgeon works tirelessly in a crumbling hospital, hardening her heart so that she can perform her gruesome work. An eight-year-old girl who has already seen too much is being hunted by the government ever since the night her father was abducted by Russian soldiers. An incompetent doctor who longed to be an artist paints portraits of 41 neighbors who were killed by government forces and hangs them in the doorways and trees of his ruined village . . . Marra collapses time, sliding between 1996 and 2004 while also detailing events in a future yet to arrive, giving his searing novel an eerie, prophetic aura. — Booklist
Enzo the dog feels sure that his next life will be spent in a man’s body. In preparation, he closely studies human behavior, and it’s from Enzo’s observant point of view that Stein writes his moving third novel. Enzo is deeply jealous when his owner, Denny, falls in love with Eve, but after baby Zoe is born, Enzo assumes his role as the family’s unconditional protector, particularly after Eve is diagnosed with brain cancer. After Eve’s death, her parents drag Denny into a bitter custody battle for Zoe, and Enzo, despite his canine limitations, passionately defends Denny and even alters the course of events. Denny is a race-car driver, and Enzo, who has watched countless televised races, folds thrilling track scenes and driving lessons into the terse family drama. The metaphors may feel purposeful, but readers will nonetheless delight in Enzo’s wild, original voice; his aching insights into the limitations and joys of the canine and human worlds; and his infinite capacity for love. — Booklist
Marsha Metcalf has hit rock bottom after being viciously fired by her grown-up mean girl of a boss. The desperate single mom turns to New Jerusalem Gospel United Church for support, a place where the sexy pastor Denzelle Flowers preaches each Sunday. Bowen’s latest inspirational work pulls readers behind the scenes at an African American mega-church, and there’s plenty going on. Pastor Denzelle decides to run for bishop but doesn’t realize haters are more than willing to sabotage the race. The nastiness starts with witchy Tatiana, who is Denzelle’s ex-wife, and continues with a group of corrupt preachers who don’t want church power to shift to a charismatic younger man. Does Marsha stand a chance for true love through all this drama? As the church folk say, “Make a way out of no-way.” — Library Journal
In Holt, the fictional Colorado town where all of Haruf’s novels are set, longtime resident Dad Lewis is dying of cancer. Happily married (he calls his wife “his luck”), Dad spends his last weeks thinking over his life, particularly an incident that ended badly with a clerk in his store, and his relationship with his estranged son. As his wife and daughter care for him, life goes on: one of the Lewises’ neighbors takes in her young granddaughter; an elderly woman and her middle-aged daughter visit with the Lewises, with each other, and with the new minister, whose wife and son are unhappy about his transfer to Holt from Denver. Haruf isn’t interested in the trendy or urban; as he once said, he writes about “regular, ordinary, sort of elemental” characters, who speak simply and often don’t speak much at all. “Regular and ordinary” can equate with dull. However, though this is a quiet book, it’s not a boring one. Dad and his family and neighbors try, in small, believable ways, to make peace with those they live among, to understand a world that isn’t the one in which they came of age. Separately and together, all the characters are trying to live–and in Dad’s case, to die–with dignity, a struggle Haruf renders with delicacy and skill. — Publishers Weekly
Please call 275-4470 to register for this event.
Think of Leon’s latest Guido Brunetti novel as a love letter to her fans, many of whom are librarians. The premise involves the theft and mutilation of rare books from a private research library, and much of the action takes place in the library itself, with Brunetti inhaling the aroma of aging parchment and fondly remembering his student days. Ah, but amid all this biblio-love, there is a real crime–not only the theft but also the murder of one of the library’s regular patrons. As usual, the focus rests with the people involved in and on the periphery of the case. Brunetti’s concern is always with individuals: how they come to do the things they do and what that says about them and about us. At one point, the police pathologist muses, “You know, Guido, at times I find it difficult to believe you do the work you do.” One might say the same of Leon: her books, despite employing the structure of traditional mysteries, are so very different from most crime novels, even those characterized as character-driven . . . sure [Leon] shows what a skilled interrogator her detective is, but between the lines, there is so much more: Brunetti’s remarkable sensitivity to other human beings, his ability not just to see what they are feeling but to share those feelings and to internalize their melancholy. Above all, Brunetti is a careful reader, of people, of places, of situations, and he never stops at surface meanings. — Booklist
By its Cover is also available in large print.
This brief novel, set in the small Missouri town of West Table, centers on the mysterious 1929 explosion and fire at the Arbor Dance Hall and its effects on a local family across three generations. Among the 43 people killed was Alma DeGeer Dunahew’s younger sister Ruby DeGeer. Forever after haunted by the incident, Alma, a maid for one of the town’s wealthiest families, is nearly driven crazy by her belief that the tragedy was a criminal act–the result of a scandalous love affair between her sister and her employer. Years later, when Alma’s grandson Alek is sent to spend part of a summer with his eccentric grandmother, he begins to learn of the town’s secret history and of his family’s role. Drawing on real-life events that rocked his hometown and his family, Woodrell returns nearly a decade after his celebrated
Winter’s Bone with a story that feels less of a different time and more timeless–a stark, haunting tale of almost mythic power and sweep. — Library Journal
The Maid’s Version is also available as a downloadable e-book.
Dueñas’s wonderful debut (a runaway bestseller in her native Spain) opens during the mid-1930s as Spain is on the brink of civil war and young Sira Quiroga is preparing a simple wedding in Madrid, where she lives. Sira’s plans are thrown off track when she meets Ramiro Arribas, the cunning older manager of a typewriter shop who convinces her to embark on an exotic life in Morocco. The future that he envisions for her differs from what he imagines for himself, however, and he abandons Sira after pilfering her inheritance and leaving her saddled with debt. Newly adrift, Sira travels to northern Morocco, where she is reluctantly taken in by Candeleria, a disreputable woman known for housing dispossessed souls. In Candeleria’s care, Sira returns to her roots as a dressmaker’s apprentice . . .As WWII looms, an influential client implores Sira to make a dangerous return to Madrid and set up shop there, adding another level of difficulty and peril to her journey. This thrilling debut is marked by immaculate prose and a driving narrative, establishing Dueñas as a writer to watch. — Publishers Weekly
The Time in Between is also available as an audiobook on CD.
Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Discussion Group, will meet at the Glendale Library on Sunday, October 26th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
The theme for October is -”Wicked” or Not: Witches – Good, Bad and in Between.
Grissom’s unsentimental debut twists the conventions of the antebellum novel . . . Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captain’s illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she can’t fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captain’s brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder. The plantation’s social order’s emphasis on violence, love, power, and corruption provides a trove of tension and grit, while the many nefarious doings will keep readers hooked to the twisted, yet hopeful, conclusion. — Publishers Weekly