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

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Recommendations for Adults


The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt - Set in the Victorian and Edwardian periods of England, Byatt spins a tale of the Wellwoods, city and country, the Fludds, the Cains, along with a supporting cast of German anarchists and artists to investigate this period of social history when the idea of childhood innocence was placed on a pedestal in literature and on stage. Folklore and fairy tales provide insight into the sexual politics of the cast of characters, but leave the reader to wonder if the mysterious connection isn’t both deeper and simpler than Byatt suggests. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday reading project.

Desert Lost by Betty Webb - While running surveillance in an industrial section of Scottsdale, P.I. Lena Jones discovers the body of a woman connected to Second Zion, an infamous polygamy cult based in northern Arizona. Lena joins forces with Roselia, a former polygamist sister wife, to the victim’s killer and soon discovers a shocking secret: in a society where one man can have ten wives, nine men will have none. Second Zion makes certain these possible rivals don’t stick around. Sue Grafton readers will enjoy the first book in this new series.

I Am Not A Psychic by Richard Belzer - The Belz is getting ready to head out to Las Vegas to co-host a charity telethon when he receives a phone call from a long lost pal who recruits him to investigate The Mysterious Death of Bridget Burgeon. Always a sucker for a good conspiracy theory, Belzer can’t resist. When the bodies start piling up, including his friend’s, he uses his TV cop skills to solve one of the most celebrated scandals in recent history.

The Ragged Edge of Nowhere by Roy Chaney - The American Dream in Las Vegas is largely fueled by the criminal underworld. Brothers Bodo and Ron Hagen do their best to put distance between their future and their past, one joins the CIA, the other the Foreign Legion. Years pass, when Ron is found dead at the edge of the Las Vegas desert Bodo wants to know why. Quick-witted and fast-paced, the novel shines a sharp new light on one of the world’s top entertainment destinations. Winner of the 2008 Tony Hillerman Prize, Chaney is a refreshing new voice in noir literature.

The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Tales Ever Published by Otto Penzler - The vampire genre has matured to where an anthology can include a sizeable collection of Pre- and Post-Dracula tales and subgenre including Love and Romance, Psychic, Classic, Humor, Poems, Feminist, and True Tales. And if these eighty-six stories are not enough, there is a 100+ page bibliography of vampire fiction. Sure to please even the most bloodthirsty aficionados.


American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato - Before Ellis Island became a federal immigration station, the island was once renowned for its rich oyster beds and as a place of execution of local pirates. History professor Vincent Cannato masterfully recreates the timeline from its humble beginnings to its place in the national mythology. A fascinating read for lovers of American history.

Fired to Hired: Bouncing Back from Job Loss to Get to Work Right Now by Tory Johnson - An award winning business leader and CEO of Women For Hire, Johnson worked in corporate communications for ABC News and NBC News and knows how to put together a winning presentation. Whether you are looking for a job or a career change, she will show you how to build a word-of-mouth network and create a digital identity using social networking sites, vital skills for today’s marketplace.

Forking Fantastic: Put the Party Back in Dinner Party by Zora O’Neill and Tamara Reynolds - "This eccentrically enjoyable book by two strange and wonderful women may well be the cookbook America needs right now." –Anthony Bourdain. Are you hosting the family holiday cooking this year and want to actually enjoy the cooking? This may be the cookbook for you. The great recipes, easy prep and entertain commentary make this a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys reading cookbooks, whether they cook or not.

Josie’s Story: A Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe by Sorrel King - We would not be surprised if the kind of miscommunication about a patient’s medication happened at an overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed metropolitan hospital. But it happened at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital. While a patient at this world renowned clinic, eighteen-month-old Josie received the wrong medication and died as a result. The Kings took the settlement and established the Josie King Foundation which became one of the leading voices in the patient-safety movement. An inspiring story about a woman who challenged and changed the medical establishment’s status quo.

Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan and others - Empathy, wondering, questioning, creating, purpose, curiosity are just a few of the educational goals that teachers and parents feel have been neglected in the current teach-the-test schooling. This book offer ideas and exercises to help children (and adults!) develop the moral, intellectual and emotional purpose and clarity necessary to succeed in a global society.


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