September 17, 2013
The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith
A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
The Road Out: A Teacher's Odyssey in Poor America
by Deborah Hicks
Can one teacher truly make a difference in her students' lives when everything is working against them? Can a love for literature and learning save the most vulnerable of youth from a life of poverty? The Road Out is a gripping account of one teacher's journey of hope and discovery with her students--girls growing up poor in a neighborhood that was once home to white Appalachian workers, and is now a ghetto. Deborah Hicks, set out to give one group of girls something she never had: a first-rate education, and a chance to live their dreams. A contemporary tragedy is brought to life as she leads us deep into the worlds of Adriana, Blair, Mariah, Elizabeth, Shannon, Jessica, and Alicia seven girls coming of age in poverty. This is a moving story about girls who have lost their childhoods, but who face the street's torments with courage and resiliency. "I want out," says 10-year-old Blair, a tiny but tough girl who is extremely poor and yet deeply imaginative and precocious. Hicks tries to convey to her students a sense of the power of fiction and of sisterhood to get them through the toughest years of adolescence. But by the time they're sixteen, eight years after the start of the class, the girls are experiencing the collision of their youthful dreams with the pitfalls of growing up in chaotic single-parent families amid the deteriorating cityscape. Yet even as they face disappointments and sometimes despair, these girls cling to their desire for a better future. The author's own life story--from a poorly educated girl in a small mountain town to a Harvard-educated writer, teacher, and social advocate--infuses this chronicle with a message of hope.
Letters from Skye
by Jessica Brockmole
A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole's atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart. March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland's remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence--sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets--their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he'll survive. June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth's daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn't understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth's house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth's whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago. Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.
Lawrence in Arabia
by Scott Anderson
A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history - the Arab Revolt, and the secret game to control the Middle East The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, "a sideshow of a sideshow." As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. Curt Pruefer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order to gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.
by Sidney Poitier
A baby is born with a coin in her hand. An orphan crafts a mysterious wooden object. The CEO of a large corporation finds himself under extraordinary pressure at work and at home. And on a remote hilltop on a Caribbean island, a medicine man seems to understand the meaning of all these events and to hold the key to the future. Montaro Caine, CEO of the Fitzer Corporation, is losing control of the company he built just as his teenage daughter is experiencing her own difficulties. At this moment of crisis, a man and woman appear at his office with a coin of unknown provenance, composed of a metal unknown on Earth. Montaro immediately recognizes it as the companion of a coin he analyzed as a graduate student working in a lab at MIT, which was later returned to its unidentified owner. The coins appearance draws the attention of scientists, collectors, financiers, and thieves, all of whom vie to get their hands on it, and Montaro himself hopes that the discovery of the coin will save his company. But the value of the coin lies not in its monetary worth but in its hold on the people who come into contact with it. These include the young woman who is not aware of the object that was found in her hand at birth; an old man who, as a boy, crafted a wooden compact as a gift for a young Montaro Caine; and the elusive healer Matthew Perch, who, from his hut on a small Caribbean island, knows precisely why these people have been brought together and what wisdom the coin imparts. In his first novel, the beloved actor and director Sidney Poitier takes us on a wild and unexpected adventure--from New York to Europe to the Caribbean and beyond. The novel offers Poitiers heartfelt message about the potential each of us has within ourselves, and about being open to the possibility that there are mysteries in the universe, and here on Earth, far greater than we can imagine. An enthralling journey into the magic of existence, "Montaro Caine" is a radiant debut from an American legend.
by Ramsey Hootman
Samuel Cooke knows most women wouldn't give him a second glance even if he were the last man on earth. He's the cripple with crutches, the nerdy computer genius every female past puberty feels compelled to mother. So when he leaves his lucrative career to teach programming to high schoolers, romance definitely isn't on his radar. Perhaps that's why Greta Cassamajor catches him off guard. The sarcastic gym coach with zero sense of humor is no beauty-not even on the inside. But an inexplicably kind act toward Samuel makes him realize she is interesting. Samuel is certain she won't accept his invitation to dinner-so when she does, he's out of his depth. All he knows is that he'll do whatever it takes to keep her as long as he can. Pretending he's got his class under control? Easy. Being vulnerable enough to admit why he ditched his programming career for teaching? Um, no. That would require honesty. And if there's one thing Samuel can't exist without, it's the lies he tells himself. In this poignant, witty debut, Ramsey Hootman upends traditional romance tropes to weave a charming tale of perseverance, trust, and slightly conditional love.
by Geoffrey Girard
Ted Bundy. The Son of Sam. The Boston Strangler. Albert Fish. Henry Lee Lucas. The DNA of the world's most notorious serial killers has been cloned by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new breed of bioweapon. Now in Phase Three, the program includes dozens of young men who have no clue as to their evil heritage. Playing a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator. A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Castillo didn't count on the quiet young man he finds hiding in an abandoned house--a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country on the trail of the rampaging teens, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears--and who may also be his last hope. Melding all-too-plausible science and ripped from- the-headlines horror, Cain's Blood is a stunning debut about the potential for good and evil in us all.
The Lincoln Deception
by David O. Stewart
In March 1900, as former Congressman John Bingham of Ohio lies dying, he begins to tell a strange tale to his physician, Dr. Jamie Fraser. Bingham famously prosecuted eight members of John Wilkes Booth's plot to kill Lincoln. But during the 1865 trial, conspirator Mary Surratt divulged a secret so explosive it could shatter the republic. Though Bingham takes the secret to his grave, Fraser cannot let go of the mystery. Bored with smalltown medical practice, he begins to investigate, securing an unlikely ally in Speed Cook, a black, college-educated professional ballplayer and would-be newspaper publisher. Cook is fascinated by Fraser's inquiry and, like Fraser, thinks the accepted version of Lincoln's assassination rings false. Was Booth truly the mastermind or were other, more powerful forces pulling the strings? From Maryland to New York City, from Indiana to Washington, Fraser and Cook track down key figures and witnesses-including Mary Surratt's neurotic daughter Anna, Booth's nephew, actor Creston Clarke, and Clarke's attractive business manager, Mrs. Eliza Scott. Piece by piece the truth emerges -separating fact from rumor, innocent from guilty, and revealing a story of greed, ambition, courage, and tragedy. Blending real and fictional characters, The Lincoln Deception is a superbly researched, brilliantly plotted and thoroughly gripping mystery that explores one of the nation's darkest and most fascinating eras and the conspiracy that changed world history.