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

Monday, January 4, 2010

January Recommendations for Adults


The Brutal Telling: An Armand Gamache Novel by Louise Penny - When the body of an unknown man turns up in Three Pines, a small village in Quebec, investigators find a startling discovery in his cabin: a cache of priceless antiques and missing WWII treasures. Chief Inspector Gamache must sift through the lies to uncover the truth. Considered one of the best traditional mystery series being written today, Agatha-winning Penny achieves what few can, a psychologically acute cozy.

By Blood We Live, edited by John Joseph Adams - Charming gentlemen with the manners of a prior age. Savage killing machines who surge screaming from hidden vaults. Cute little girls frozen forever in slender bodies. Long-buried loved ones who scratch at the door, begging to be let in. Nowhere is safe, not mist-shrouded Transylvania or the Italian Riviera or even a sleepy town in Maine. This is a hidden world, an eternal world, where nothing is long as you're willing to pay the price. Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams brings you 33 of the most haunting vampire stories of the past three decades, from some of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Sure to satisfy the most bloody cravings.

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan by Jane Rubino and Caitlin Rubino-Bradway - A delightful and worthy homage to Austen, the Rubino duo have transformed the original novella into a vivid and richly developed novel of love lost and found, and the complex relationships between women, men, and money in Regency England. With wit and warmth, the Rubinos bring to life a time and place where a woman's security is at the mercy of an entail, where love is hindered by misunderstanding, where marriage can never be entirely isolated from money, yet where romance somehow carries the day.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee - In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, Janice Y.K. Lee's debut novel is a tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher and also begins a fateful affair. As the threads of this spellbinding novel intertwine, impossible choices emerge-between love and safety, courage and survival, the present, and above all, the past.

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro - Ten superb new stories by one of our most beloved and admired writers, and the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize. With clarity and ease, Alice Munro once again renders complex, difficult events and emotions into stories that shed light on the unpredictable ways in which men and women accommodate and often transcend what happens in their lives. A compelling, provocative, and completely satisfying collection.


The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter by Jason Kersten - Art Williams spent his boyhood in a comfortable middle-class existence in 1970s Chicago, but when family fortunes took a turn for the worst, he ended up living in one of Chicago's worst housing projects. He took to crime almost immediately, starting with petty theft before graduating to robbing drug dealers. Eventually a man nicknamed "DaVinci" taught him the centuries-old art of counterfeiting. After a stint in jail, Williams emerged to discover that the Treasury Department had issued the most secure hundred-dollar bill ever created: the 1996 New Note. Williams spent months trying perfecting his technique and went on to print millions in counterfeit bills. Money can’t buy love, but he tried, setting in motion a chain of betrayals that would be his undoing.

Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" by David Bianculli - "It is hard for many of us to remember--back when there were only a handful of stations on the dial--just how profoundly influential and controversial the Smothers Brothers were. But David Bianculli's brilliant new book has brought it all back to vivid life. ...This is a superb, at times moving, portrait of an entire age -- seen through the dramatic careers of two endlessly interesting entertainers." -- Ken Burns, Filmmaker

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley - In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. On this trip, secret agreements were concluded that Roosevelt thought would secure America’s Manifest Destiny in the Pacific. In 2005, James Bradley traveled in the wake of Roosevelt's mission and discovered what had transpired in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Seoul. Bradley discovered that rather than securing our borders, Roosevelt had started a fire that would smolder and explode into WWII.

Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner by Jaden Hair - Asian dishes do not have to be complex, simple pairings of vegetables and meat or fish with a dash of Asian flavorings make for quick, nutritious, and delicious meals. Take, for example, the combination of chocolate with fried wontons, or Korean BBQ with burgers. Exciting to cook as they are to eat, turns a weekday meal into a creative outlet.

Talking About Detective Fiction by P. D. James - P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie ("arch-breaker of rules"), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they’ve created. Essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.


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