[bksvol-discuss] new fiction from my library

  • From: "Jamie Yates, CPhT" <mirxtech@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Bookshare Volunteers <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:50:15 -0500

Alone
by Loren D Estleman
Published 2009 by Forge

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780765315762
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
The second wacky comedic murder romp for Hollywood film detective Valentino

Valentino wants to keep The Oracle, his beloved run-down movie palace, from
being condemned before it even reopens, but murder keeps intruding into his
otherwise quiet life. At a gala party held in memory of screen legend Greta
Garbo, he's having fun until the host, a hotshot developer named Rankin,
tells Valentino about a certain letter from Garbo to his late wife. She and
Garbo had been...close.

Such a letter is of great interest to a film archivist like Valentino, but
the the plot thickens when Rankin tells Val that his assistant, Akers, is
using this letter to blackmail him. Val is appalled by the thought of
blackmail...but that letter sounds juicier all the time. Returning to
Rankin's mansion after the party, Val finds Rankin sitting at his desk with
a pistol in his hand, looking at Akers's dead body on the floor.

Valentino's in a quandary. He'd love to see that letter, but he can't. He's
gotten his girlfriend--who works for the police--in trouble, so his love
life is, pardon the expression, shot to hell. Worse yet, the building
inspector has kicked him out of his unfinished living space in the Oracle,
so he takes his life in his hands and moves in with his eccentric mentor,
the elderly, insomniac Professor Broadhead. No love, no sleep, no
letter--life isn't fair!

Family Album
by Penelope Lively
Published 2009 by Viking Books

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780670021246
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
A novel of family intrigue from "one of the most accomplished writers of
fiction of our day" ("The Washington Post")

All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with
summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home.
Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a
real "old-fashioned family life." But beneath its postcard sheen, the
picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison's inexplicable emotional
outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years,
Alison's adult children have protected her illusion of domestic
perfection-but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their
current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth.

Penelope Lively's novels of history, memory, and character have earned her a
loyal readership. Like Ian McEwan's "Atonement," this novel is a measured,
thoughtful look at how events of the past, both small and large, seen and
unseen, deeply inform character and the present. Quietly provocative and
disturbing, "Family Album" is a highly nuanced work that showcases a master
of her craft.

Haiku
by Andrew Vachss
Published 2009 by Pantheon Books

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780307378491
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
From the author of the acclaimed Burke series: a searing new novel that
follows a band of homeless outcasts on a journey to recover what each has
lost.

Ho was a revered sensei, but when his dismissive arrogance caused the death
of a beloved student, he renounced not only his possessions but also his
role as a master, and now roams the streets in search of a way to atone.
Drawn by his presence, a group forms around him: Michael, an addicted
gambler who has lost everything, including himself; Ranger, a Vietnam
veteran with a tenuous grip on reality; Lamont, a once-fearless street-gang
warlord turned hopeless alcoholic; Target, a relentless "clanger" who speaks
only by echoing the sounds of others; and Brewster, an obsessive collector
of hardboiled paperbacks he stashes in an abandoned building even vermin
avoid.

Late one night, Michael spots a woman in a white Rolls-Royce throwing
something into the river. Convinced that the woman is a perfect blackmail
target, he attempts to recruit the others to search for her. But news that
Brewster's library is slated for demolition turns this halfhearted effort
into a serious mission to find the ultimate problem-solver: money, and with
it a new home for Brewster's precious collection.

Each frantic knock opens another barred door as the building's destruction
draws nearer. And the answers to each man's questions trigger shocking
explosions that hit you with all the visceral power we have come to expect
from this fierce and dynamic writer.

The Humbling
by Philip Roth
Published 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780547239699
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth's
startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his
generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his
assurance. His Falstaff and Peer Gynt and Vanya, all his great roles, "are
melted into air, into thin air." When he goes onstage he feels like a
lunatic and looks like an idiot. His confidence in his powers has drained
away; he imagines people laughing at him; he can no longer pretend to be
someone else. "Something fundamental has vanished." His wife has gone, his
audience has left him, his agent can't persuade him to make a comeback. Into
this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation
bursts a counterplot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft
life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and
gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day's
journey into night, told with Roth's inimitable urgency, bravura, and
gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of our solidity, all our
life's performances--talent, love, sex, hope, energy, reputation--are
stripped off. "The Humbling" is Roth's thirtieth book.

The System of Vienna: From Heaven Street to Earth Mound Square
by Gert Jonke
Published 2009 by Dalkey Archive Press

Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781564785503
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
Half philosopher and half clown-prince, Gert Jonke is Austria's comic gift
to contemporary fiction. An astonishing and fantastical autobiographical
novel-reminiscent of Italo Calvino and Laurence Sterne-The System of Vienna
details Jonke's travels through Vienna by streetcar, reporting the bizarre
and frustrating encounters he experiences as he progresses-and meanwhile
moving not just from trolley-stop to trolley-stop, but through life as well,
from innocence to disillusionment, birth to death. Jonke meets a paranoiac
fish wholesaler who believes he is directing all of Austrian politics from
his little stall, a stamp collector in such deadly earnest he hopes to be
appointed to a professorship in philately, and a compulsive talker who has
developed a rigorous economic philosophy out of the most common objects to
be found in a Vienna neighborhood. Slowly increasing the comic and fantastic
elements in his story until they overwhelm all pretense to
autobiography-culminating in a strangely touching love scene between Jonke
and a caryatid-The System of Vienna reminds us that the very act of
describing a life turns it into fiction.

Map of the Invisible World
by Tash Aw
Published 2010 by Spiegel & Grau

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780385527965
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
From the author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning The Harmony
Silk Factory comes an enthralling new novel that evokes an exotic yet
turbulent and often frightening time and place. Map of the Invisible World
is the masterly, psychologically rich tale of three lives indelibly marked
by the past--their own and Indonesia's.

Sixteen-year-old Adam is an orphan three times over. He and his brother,
Johan, were abandoned by their mother as children; then Adam watched as
Johan was adopted and taken away by a wealthy couple; and now Adam is hiding
because Karl, the man who raised him--and who is Dutch but long ago turned
his back on the country of his ancestors--has been arrested by soldiers
during Sukarno's drive to purge 1960s Indonesia of its colonial past.

All Adam has to guide him in his quest to find Karl are some old photos and
letters, which send him to the colorful, dangerous capital, Jakarta, and to
Margaret, an American whose own past is bound up with Karl's. Soon both have
embarked on journeys of discovery that seem destined to turn tragic.

Woven hauntingly into this page-turning story is the voice of Johan, who is
living a seemingly carefree, privileged life in Malaysia, but one that is
careening out of control as he struggles to forget his long-ago betrayal of
his helpless, trusting brother.

Map of the Invisible World confirms Tash Aw as one of the most exciting
young voices on the international literary scene.

The Outcast
by Sadie Jones
Published 2009 by Harper Perennial

Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780061374043
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
Jones tells the story of a boy who refuses to accept the polite lies of a
tightly knit community that rejects love in favor of appearances. Written
with nail-biting suspense, "The Outcast" is an emotionally powerful
testament to the powers of love and understanding. In 1957 Lewis Aldridge,
newly released from prison, returns home to Waterford, a suburban town
outside London. He is nineteen years old. A decade earlier his father's
homecoming at war's end was greeted with far less apprehension by the staid,
tightly knit community--thanks to Gilbert Aldridge's easy acceptance of
suburban ritual and routine. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife
counters convention, but the entire community is shocked when, after one of
their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her. No one in Waterford wants Lewis
back--except Kit, a young woman who sympathizes with his grief and
burgeoning rage. But in her attempts to set them both free, Kit fails to
foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into
the open. The consequences for Lewis, his family, and the tightly knit
community are devastating.

Ransom
by David Malouf
Published 2010 by Pantheon Books

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780307378774
Find this book in our catalog.
Jacket Notes:
A tale of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, "Ransom" is a retelling of one
of the most famous stories in all of literature--Achilles's slaughter and
desecration of Hector, and Priam's attempt to ransom his son's body in
Homer's "The Iliad." In his first novel in more than a decade, David
Malouf--arguably Australia's greatest living writer--gives us a stirring
reimagination of one of the most famous passages in all of literature:
Achilles' rageful slaughter and desecration of Hector, and Priam's attempt
to ransom his son's body in Homer's "The Iliad."

A moving novel of suffering, sorrow and redemption, "Ransom" tells the story
of the relationship between two grieving men at war: fierce Achilles, who
has lost his beloved Patroclus in the siege of Troy; and woeful Priam, whose
son Hector killed Patroclus and was in turn savaged by Achilles. Each man's
grief must confront the other's for surcease and resolution: a resolution
more compelling to both than the demands of war. For when the wizened father
and the vicious murderer of his son meet, "the past and present blend,
enemies exchange places, hatred turns to understanding, youth pities age
mourning youth."*



-- 
Jamie in Michigan

Currently Reading: Miss Julia Strikes Back by Ann B. Ross

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