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Kern County Library Staff Suggests...: February Recommendations for Adults

Monday, February 2, 2009

February Recommendations for Adults


Blackbird, Farewell by Robert Greer - As the NBA's second draft pick, superstar Shandrell Blackbird was headed for a professional basketball career and the big money that goes with it. But someone had another career agenda for him. When Shandrell is found shot to death mid-court, his best friend and teammate Damion Madrid, CJ Floyd's godson, takes the case. Will he survive the mean streets of Denver as he uncovers the dark side of pro sports?

Home by Marilynne Robinson - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robinson has created another powerful voice in the literature on family generations and the secrets they nourish. Prodigal son Jack Broughton returns to Gilead seeking refuge and redemption. His sister Glory assumes the role of nurse to their dying father and witness to Jack's troubled past and present pain. As in all great parables, shared deep and universal emotions knit together the frayed bonds of family generations.

The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer - The beginning of the rockin' sixties, the release of Cleopatra, and the national drama of the Taylor/Burton romance set the scene for the 1963 summer season at Kalyna Beach for the Canadian-Ukrainian community. With their husbands working in the city, the moms trade gossip along with gin and racy paperbacks at their Friday afternoon book discussion. But adolescent Laura, her sisters and their friends, are beginning to challenge the once impregnable "world of the mothers" and unleash a startling series of betrayals and discoveries. For this is the summer when everything will change for the girls and women of Kalyna Beach, as innocence is exchanged for a new understanding of the possibilities open to them all.

The Mystic Art of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston -"There are many things to love about Charlie Huston's fiction--he's a brilliant storyteller, and writes the best dialogue since George V. Higgins--but what pushes my personal happy-button is his morbid sense of humor and seemingly effortless ability to create scary/funny bad guys who make Beavis and Butthead look like Rhodes Scholars."

"…the best thing about Mystic Arts is how decency and heroism rise to the top in spite of everyone's best efforts to crush them under heel." The whole review by Stephen King is available at

The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories, 1978-2008 by Louise Erdrich - Three decades of Erdrich's stories are collected together for the first time including six not previously published. The chronological order reveals the evolution of a master storyteller developing her characteristic themes of passion, revenge, deception, and identity within the complex relationships of generations of Native American families.


Chocolate: A Healthy Passion by Shara Aaron - Who would argue against chocolate? Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for the Best Cookbook, USA, Aaron answers the question: no one. It is ancient, it comes from the tropical rainforests, it is addictive, preparation requires fermenting the seeds, even science acknowledges its divine origins, named Theobroma=food of the gods, by Linnaeus. One seed is 40-60% solid fat, some of the most expensive and seductive fat in the world. An homage to one of the nicest discoveries ever, Aaron has filled this book with wonderful recipes, beautiful photographs and important nutritional information about this universal passion.

The Foreclosure Survival Guide: Keep Your House or Walk Away with Money in Your Pocket by Stephen Elias - If you're having trouble making your mortgage payments or are already in jeopardy of foreclosure, this book will give you the practical information you need, step by step. An essential tool for anyone at risk of foreclosure.

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm during the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish - Kalish delights us with a loving but realistic portrait of a "hearty-handshake Methodist" family that gave its members a remarkable legacy of kinship, kindness, and remembered pleasures. Recounting a world of hardship, hard work, and simple rewards Kalish's memoir of her childhood shows how the right stuff can make even the bleakest of times seem like "quite a romp."

Organize Your Digital Life: How to Store Your Photographs, Music, Videos, & Personal Documents in a Digital World by Aimee Baldridge - Great how-to for keeping track of what you've got, in all media formats, without going crazy. Guaranteed to reduce clutter and paper waste.

Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity, edited by Michael Lewis - With his trademark humor and brilliant anecdotes, Lewis pulls commentary from a variety of sources to paint the mood and market factors leading up to four major financial disasters. He analyzes the 1987 stock market crash, the 1997-98 emerging market crisis, the meltdown, and the current housing and stock market crash. Using blog entries and other contemporary accounts, Lewis shows what people thought was happening at the time, and then, with the luxury of hindsight, analyzes what actually happened and what we should have learned from experience. In addition to six essays by Lewis, included are satirist Dave Barry, and articles by business reporters Joseph Stiglitz, Roger Lowenstein, Jack Willoughby and Greg Zuckerman.


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