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


Friday, October 1, 2010

October Recommendations for Adults

Fiction

The Grave Gourmet (Capucine Culinary Mystery) by Alexander Campion - In Alexander Campion's witty debut, chic Parisian policewoman Capucine LeTellier plunges into a uniquely Parisian affair of gastronomic delights and bureaucratic intrigue to close a case that could make her career--or kill it. After dining on such delicacies as oyster sorbet and avocado soufflé, Jean-Louis Delage, président of automotive giant Renault, has been found dead in the freezer of Le Diapason, a restaurant owned by Chef Jean-Basille Labrousse, a renowned restaurateur extraordinaire. Capucine is uniquely suited to the case, as her husband Alexandre is a food critic well-connected to the culinary world. In between sharing sumptuous meals and fine wine with Alexandre at some of Paris' finest eateries, Capucine struggles to win the respect of her new squad of detectives and crack both the case and the guarded secrets of the restaurant staff. From the Champs-Élysées to the twinkling banks of la Seine, The Grave Gourmet is a thrilling mystery gastronomique, combining the allure of the Parisian haute cuisine restaurant scene with corporate espionage and political scandal in a dish that is très magnifique!

The Heights by Peter Hedges - Tim Welch is a popular history teacher at the Montague Academy, an exclusive private school in Brooklyn Heights. As he says, "I was an odd-looking, gawky kid but I like to think my rocky start forced me to develop empathy, kindness, and a tendency to be enthusiastic. All of this, I'm now convinced, helped in my quest to be worthy of Kate Oliver." Now, Kate is not inherently ordinary. But she aspires to be. She stays home with their two young sons in a modest apartment trying desperately to become the parent she never had. They are seemingly the last middle-class family in the Heights, whose world is turned upside down by Anna Brody, the new neighbor who moves into the most expensive brownstone in Brooklyn, sending the local society into a tailspin. Anna is not only beautiful and wealthy; she's also mysterious. And for reasons Kate doesn't quite understand, even as all the Range Rover-driving moms jockey for invitations into Anna's circle, Anna sets her sights on Kate and Tim and brings them into her world. From the author of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and About a Boy, Hedges latest work is at once light of touch and packed with emotion and depth of character.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray - Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory? Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love? Or could "the Automator"—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin "MC Sexecutioner" Flynn to basketball-playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel - One sunny morning in 1969, near the end of her first trip to Miami, twenty-six-year-old Frances Ellerby finds herself in a place called Stiltsville, a community of houses built on pilings in the middle of Biscayne Bay. It's the first time the Atlanta native has been out on the open water, and she's captivated. On the dock of a stilt house, with the dazzling skyline in the distance and the unknowable ocean beneath her, she meets the house's owner, Dennis DuVal—and a new future reveals itself. Turning away from her quiet, predictable life back home, Frances moves to Miami to be with Dennis. Over time, she earns the confidence of his wild-at-heart sister and wins the approval of his oldest friend. Frances and Dennis marry and have a child. Frances and Dennis struggle with the mutability of love and Florida's weather, as well as temptation, chaos, and disappointment. But just when Frances thinks she's reached some semblance of higher ground, she must confront an obstacle so great that even the lessons she's learned about navigating the uncharted waters of family life can't keep them afloat.


Nonfiction

Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York’s Legendary Fat Witch Bakery by Patricia Helding - At long last, the owner of New York City’s legendary Fat Witch Bakery shares her top-secret recipes for decadent and delicious brownies, blondies, and bars.

Patricia Helding’s rich, intensely chocolatey Fat Witch brownie is a New York obsession, an internet sensation, and arguably the very best brownie to be found on the planet. Unlike other bakeries that feature a range of desserts, Fat Witch, launched by Helding in 1998, specializes only in brownies—baking and selling over 2,000 each day. With over 50 recipes that can be baked in the same 9 x 9-inch pan and require fewer than 10 ingredients, Helding shows that baking from scratch is neither expensive nor time-consuming. All of her recipes include ingredients from local grocery stores, and are ready to serve in one hour or less. Beginning with tips on the proper tools, timing, and techniques, continuing with five chapters of recipes, and finishing with fabulous frostings, Fat Witch Brownies allows you to explore the versatility and richness of brownies and bars and create the incredible desserts in your very own kitchen that have made Helding’s bakery famous.

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant - Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant's Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope. An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach - The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

"Hilarious." The New York Times Book Review

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson - In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an "unrecognized immigration" within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

Isabel Wilkerson won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her reporting as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times. The award made her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting.

1 Comments :

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love that the lost dogs book is in this list...
i saw this really amazing documentary about vick's dogs and what happened with them.

www.VICKDOGMOVIE.com

its won all kinda awards, and has some celebrities in it. plus all the proceeds from the movie go to charity.

October 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM  



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