Email Newsletter buttonSmartPay buttonEmail Notices buttonBookflix button
Follow us on FacebookKern County Library RSS Feeds button
California Libraries - Get Involved

Make a Difference Volunteer

In partnership with VolunteerMatch

layout graphic layout graphic
Library Catalog | E-Books | eAudiobooks | My Account | Search | Contact Us | Staff | Home | Text Size: A A A
layout graphic
layout graphic layout graphic layout graphic
layout graphic

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

Monday, June 7, 2010

June Recommendations for Adults


Blockade Billy by Stephen King - "Combining a reminiscent, folksy first person point of view of a third base coach now in a retirement home with one of his best forms, the novella, King takes readers on a nostalgic journey to 1957. The framing device is forgotten almost instantly as the reader becomes engrossed in the story of a young player, William "Billy" Blakely, who is called up from the minors to get his big break on a major league team. There’s something not quite right about Billy, but he scores as a catcher and a hitter until his sinister secret is unveiled. King excels when he mines the slightly off-kilter reality of seemingly ordinary people who are hiding dark secrets. Readers unfamiliar with baseball may feel a bit lost in the narrative, which is heavy in both baseball lingo and action, but those who love the game will appreciate the insider’s knowledge and loving detail that King shares. Lavishly illustrated with Alex McVey’s gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings, this read-at-one-gulp tale, which ends with an expected gruesome twist, will appeal to both King and baseball fans." - Charlie Osborne, Oxford P.L., MI (from Library Journal, Xpress Reviews)

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen - "Mary Beth Latham seems to have an idyllic life in a Vermont town as the wife of a respected doctor and the mother of three teenagers. But her son Max has been withdrawn and depressed, unlike his outgoing and popular twin, Alex, and her moody and sensitive daughter, Ruby, wants to break up with her emotionally needy boyfriend, who is practically a member of the family. Quindlen gives her readers an ominous sense of impending tragedy, but it still arrives with a shock. The book is divided into before and after, and it is compulsive reading. You might find yourself racing through the story, which could be drawn from today’s headlines or TV news, and only later reflecting on how skillful the author is in her portrayal of family life in all its little details and in her flawless pacing. Highly recommended." - Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence (from Library Journal, Xpress Reviews)

The Lost Books of the Odyssey, a novel by Zachary Mason - "Mason's fantastic first novel, a deft reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, begins with the story as we know it before altering the perspective or fate of the characters in subsequent short story–like chapters. Legendary moments of myth are played differently throughout, as when Odysseus forgoes the Trojan horse, or when the Cyclops—here a gentle farmer—is blinded by Odysseus while he burgles the Cyclops's cave. Mason's other life—as a computer scientist—informs some chapters, such as The Long Way Back in which Daedalus's labyrinth ensnares Theseus in a much different way. Part of what makes this so enjoyable is the firm grasp Mason has on the source material; the footnotes double as humorous asides while reminding readers who aren't familiar with the original that, for instance, Eumaios is the swineherd who sheltered Odysseus when he first returned to Ithaca and later helped him kill the suitors. This original work consistently surprises and delights." - Publisher’s Weekly (Feb.)

Zachary Mason was a finalist for the 2009 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award.

The Black Minutes by Martín Solares - When a young journalist named Bernardo Blanco is killed in the fictional Mexican port city of Paracuán, investigation into his murder reveals missing links in a disturbing multiple homicide case from twenty years earlier. As police officer Ramón "el Macetón" Cabrera discovers, Blanco had been writing a book about a 1970s case dealing with the murder of several young schoolgirls in Paracuán by a man known as el Chacal. Cabrera realizes that whoever killed Blanco wanted to keep the truth about el Chacal from being revealed, and he becomes determined to discover that truth. The Black Minutes chronicles both Cabrera’s investigation into Blanco’s murder and goes back in time to follow detective Vicente Rangel’s investigation of the original el Chacal case. Both narratives expose worlds of corruption, from cops who are content to close the door on a case without true justice to powerful politicians who can pay their way out of their families’ crimes. Full of dark twists and turns, and populated by a cast of captivating—and mostly corrupt—characters, The Black Minutes is an electrifying novel from a brilliant new voice.
"A breathless, marvelous first novel…This is Latin American fiction at its pulpy phantasmagorical finest…a literary masterpiece masquerading as a police procedural and nothing else I’ve read this year comes close." –Junot Diaz.


This Time Together: Laughter and Reflections by Carol Burnett - "After detailing her difficult early childhood in the best-selling One More Time, legendary performer Burnett now writes of her amazing journey from being fired from a movie theater usher job to her Broadway success and her amazing TV career on shows such as The Carol Burnett Show and specials with Julie Andrews. Burnett relates behind-the-scenes stories from her show, like Bob Mackie coming up with the concept of her parodic "Went with the Wind" dress, which is now in the Smithsonian. Burnett’s easygoing writing style makes the reader feel like a special friend, as she shares stories about Andrews, Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, and Marlon Brando. Burnett ends the book with the tragic death of her beloved daughter Carrie Hamilton in 2002." -
Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA (from Library Journal, Xpress Reviews)

Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Create the Brightest Future for Your Child with the Best Treatment Options by James Coplan, M.D. - "This guide to everything parents need to know about Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) covers spotting the signs, getting a diagnosis, and understanding therapies. Coplan, a board-certified physician in developmental-behavioral pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disabilities, shares knowledge from his vast clinical and research experience. He discusses normal development and how children with ASD develop differently. He explains possible causes and defines likely outcomes for children based on their general intelligence and the severity of their atypicality. Presenting different behavioral and language therapies and medications, Coplan also discusses treatments he does not endorse. Finally, he focuses on how autism affects the family and what parents need to do for themselves and their children now and for the long term. He appends several sections, including a resource list and glossary. Coplan does an excellent job of explanation, presenting information in both words and graphics that are easy to understand. Parents of children with autism will be well served by Coplan’s expertly written and compassionate guide." - Terry Lamperski, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh (from Library Journal, Xpress Reviews)

Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life by Angela Miller with Ralph Gardner Jr. - "Searching for a fresh start and a shared project, literary agent Miller and her husband bought a dilapidated farm in West Pawlet, VT. Over the course of six years they transformed Consider Bardwell Farm into an award-winning dairy—their cheeses are distributed nationally and served in upscale restaurants like Daniel and the French Laundry. With New York Times contributor Gardner, Miller writes about her decision to keep her Manhattan career while devoting half her week to the physical and financial challenges of dairying. This memoir covers much of the farm’s history but focuses on the 2008 agricultural year. Miller completes "mountains of chores," hires and fires employees, and copes with economic crises—all while managing a willful herd of Oberhasli goats. Full of vivid descriptions and details of business savvy, this book will please cheese enthusiasts and anyone who’s considered a second career in dairy farming. For complementary narratives, look no further than Gordon Edgar’s Cheesemonger and Liz Thorpe’s The Cheese Chronicles." - Lisa Campbell, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Tuscaloosa (from Library Journal, Xpress Reviews)

For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History by Sarah Rose -
In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China, a territory forbidden to foreigners, to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. Disguised in Mandarin robes, Fortune ventured deep into the country, confronting pirates, hostile climate, and his own untrustworthy men as he made his way to the epicenter of world’s finest tea nurseries, the remote Wu Yi Shan hills. One of the most daring acts of corporate espionage and smuggling in history, Fortune's exploit would save the British East India Company and ultimately reshape global economy.
"A wonderful combination of scholarship and storytelling" -Guy Raz, NPR host All Things Considered


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

layout graphic layout graphic layout graphic
layout graphic layout graphic
Top of Page
layout graphic