February 2010

Reading Recommendations · Beyond Bestsellers: Notable New Fiction Titles (February 2010)

Only a few books reach the top of the fiction bestseller charts, but there are many more terrific new titles available at the Library. Here are some recent favorites.

Blacklands

Belinda Bauer
Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb incautiously probes in the disappearance of his uncle Billy, who, as a boy of eleven, vanished nineteen years ago. Steven writes secretly to the pedophile convicted in Billy�s death, in hopes of learning the whereabouts of his uncle�s remains. But Billy�s continues to believe her son is alive. A powerful and wrenching and debut thriller from British author Bauer.

The Privileges

Jonathan Dee
With four perfect children, Cynthia and Adam Morey achieve the top of financial and social success in Manhattan, driven by an appetite for wealth. But as Cynthia�s life stagnates and the Morey children begin to slip, Adam faces serious choices regarding his family�s future. Dee�s intelligent, sardonic, and stylish novel is a poignant morality tale about family, ambition and privilege.

Shades of Grey

Jasper Fforde
Five hundred years in the future, a Colortocracy rules society, as each person�s social status is determined by the ability to perceive color. When protagonist Eddie Russert—a Red who works for the Color Control Agency—moves to East Carmine, he falls in love with Jane, a sassy Grey, who shows him that all is not well in this rigidly regulated regime. A wildly inventive, satirical fantasy from Fforde.

The Parisian Prodigal

Alan Gordon
The swashbuckling courtier Baudoin descends upon Count Raimon VI�s chateau in May 1205, claiming to be the nobleman�s long lost brother. Called to investigate the slaying of scarlet-haired harlot, La Rossa, court jester Theophios the Fool is compelled by circumstances to uncover Baudoin�s former life in Paris. Rich, humorous characterizations abound in Gordon�s eighth engaging Fool�s Guild mystery.

Sleepless

Charlie Huston
Los Angeles is ravaged by violence and SLP, a global epidemic that causes a lethal insomnia in victims. Narcotics officer Park Haas watches helplessly as his wife slowly succumbs. Haas goes undercover to penetrate the black market in a bootleg drug and is drawn into the subculture of Chasm Tide, an addictive on-line game. This is a dark, original, and intriguing melding of the mystery and post-apocalyptic genres.

Village of the Ghost Bears

Stan Jones
Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active falls for the seductive Amazing Grace Palmer, even as the small town of Chukchi reels from a deadly incident of arson and the suspicious death of a hunter. Active unearths clues that link the recent events to a disastrous plane crash that rocked Chukchi one year earlier, in this well-written Native American mystery—fourth in the series.

Day Out of Days

Sam Shepherd
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor Shepard presents an intriguing amalgam of a travel diary, prose, free verse, and narrative to engage the discriminating reader. On the surface, Shepard�s stories portray bleak landscapes of lonely, misdirected wayfarers, but develop into powerful, thematically linked soliloquies that capture the untamed essence of the American West.

Fun With Problems

Robert Stone
Stone�s second collection of short stories (after Bear and His Daughter—1997) is filled with world weary, jaded characters-- including a washed up lawyer, a lovelorn screenwriter, a prison psychologist, and a Silicon Valley executive-- struggling for redemption in evocative, darkly humorous situations. A vital collection for lovers of the short story form, from the distinguished National Book Award-winner.
Need more suggestions? Email the Popular Library or contact your local branch and our staff will be happy to assist you.