Summer Reading 2012
Annotation:Joe Spork, a mild-mannered clockmaker in contemporary London, is trying to live down the legacy of his Mob-boss father when he finds himself forced to rebuild and then disarm a doomsday machine of unimagined power. This book defies categorization, going beyond steampunk and mystery and thriller alike - a fantastic foray into a land of odd. Harkaway is the son of John Le Carre.
Annotation: Why Doesn't Batman Kill the Joker? Is it right to make a Robin? These topics, and many others, are discussed by various philosophers in this book.
Annotation:Eighteen months after Katrina, PI Claire DeWitt arrives in New Orleans to investigate the disappearance of a local prosecutor who's not been heard from since the hurricane. One of the best mysteries of the year, it defies convention and grips a reader's attention.
Annotation:A genuine page-turner of a story. Narrated by 26-year-old Kate Morrison, we dive in and out of the troubled woman's childhood memories over the passage of a year--when she was seven and her parents were killed in a motoring accident, leaving Kate, her younger sister Bo and two older brothers Matt and Luke orphaned. The proverbial can of worms is opened for our heroine when she receives an invitation to Matt's son's 18th birthday. Winner of the Books in Canada First Award in 2002.
Annotation: After losing a coin toss with her brother, Lacey winds up taking out the garbage... and stumbling upon a headless body. The real fun of the book is the conversation between the two authors - Lisa Lutz and David Hayward alternate chapters and argue about how the story should proceed. Good fun!
Annotation:When Hector Penniac, a young Micmac is mysteriously killed during his first day on the job in a shipping yard, suspicion falls on Roger Savage, a loner who finds it difficult to articulate his defense. In this leisurely paced but suspenseful tale, the author explores conflicts which occur not only between two communities, but also within each of those communities and within various individuals.
Annotation:This is the first book in a series of mysteries set in 19th-century Istanbul and starring the unlikeliest and most engaging of detectives: Yashim the eunuch. The year is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire feels he has no choice but to follow suit. But just as he's poised to announce sweeping political change, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court.
Annotation:A humorous exploration of the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of family obligation and tradition. When retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the widowed Pakistani shopkeeper in their small English seaside village, he is forced to confront the realities of life in the 21st century.
Annotation:At the request of a mysterious widow, Parisian lawyer François Dubon agrees to prove the innocence of her friend, Dreyfus, an army captain convicted of spying in 19th century Paris.
Annotation:As a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic. Gritty and funny urban fantasy has never been better. For fans of the Dresden files and beyond.
Annotation:Winston Churchill alluded to his periodic depression as being visited by "the black dog". Enter Mr. Chartwell. His day job is the systematic persecution of Churchill as the one-time prime minister struggles to accept retirement. However, he is also eager to make the acquaintance of Esther Hammerhans, a House of Commons library clerk who is looking for a lodger to rent her spare room. A wonderful, humane and even witty story, beautifully told.
Annotation:Set in 1940 in London, we meet Maggie Hope, a young woman considerably ahead of her time, who is hired to work in the office of Winston Churchill. Maggie finds herself in the midst of a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister and she and her friends must rise to the occasion, even in the midst of the Blitz. A glorious mix of historical detail, psychological insight of Churchill and a finely spun mystery, the first in a series featuring Hope.
Annotation:This is a grahic novel version of Bradbury's classic tale of oppression and censorship. Bradbury, a renowned science fiction writer, passed away on June 5, 2012 at the age of 91.
Annotation:Plotting revenge on the doctor who slipped her a devastating radioactive cocktail fifty years earlier as part of a secret government study, seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn insinuates herself into the now-senile doctor's family only to find herself in a maelstrom of worse trouble.
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Looking to pick something up over your holiday? Here is a list of titles selected by library staff which you might like to read (or re-read) during your long, summery afternoons and evenings.