Summer 2015 Book Recommendations
Here are a few of the books the library staff are reading this summer. What’s on your list? Leave us a comment with your summer reading suggestions!
For more information about each of these titles, just click on one of the following book covers.
From Kitty Stephens. Publisher description: In this revised and updated edition of the book that thousands of cooks have turned to when they have a question, the science authority Howard Hillman provides the latest findings about everything from cooking methods, equipment, and food storage to nutrition and health concerns.
From Vanessa Anderson. Publisher description: When Special Agent Lacey Sherlock foils a terrorist attack at JFK airport, she thinks her job is done and turns the reins over to the New York FBI. But stopping the grenade-carrying crazy was only the beginning. Another plot unfolds nearly simultaneously with a bomb at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The terrorist at JFK refuses to speak to anyone but Sherlock. She heads back with counterterrorist Special Agent Cal McLain to try to get him to talk. Meanwhile, Savich—with the help of Agent Griffin Hammersmith—has his hands full trying to track an elusive murderer who looks like a Hollywood Dracula. When Dracula’s attempts to kill Savich collide with Sherlock’s terrorist case, very strange things happen. Who is really behind the bombing attack at St. Patrick’s? How does Savich’s mysterious killer fit into Sherlock’s terrorism investigation? Savich and Sherlock race against the clock, as more lives are in danger with every passing minute.
From Vanessa Anderson. Publisher description: At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated? Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!”…But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically…In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
From Ben Keele. Publisher description: Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on American pop songs ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), resulting in the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang and bankrupting the whole universe. Nick has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly. Thankfully, this unlikely galaxy-hopping hero does know a thing or two about copyright law. Now, with Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick has forty-eight hours to save humanity—while hoping to wow the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.
From Miriam Murphy. Publisher description: The imperial powers of the nineteenth century, having weakened one another in World War I, destroyed themselves in World War II. In the aftermath of the war, Europe was in shambles. Nearly all of France, Germany, Italy, and Poland had been devastated. Bridges and roads were gone. Rivers and canals were clogged with sunken ships and fallen bridges. Unexploded bombs and shells littered fields. Postwar inflation whipsawed the survivors: cigarettes, coffee, and chocolate were better currencies than Deutsche marks. Prices rose in Italy to thirty-five times their prewar level. Before the year was over, disastrous harvests across the continent would leave Europeans hungry, and, in some places, even starving. Only two great powers remained strong enough to consider taking over, or materially influencing, Europe – the United States and the Soviet Union. United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall had a plan. Here’s the story of that plan and the fascinating man who put it together.
From John Davis. Publisher description: For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships. But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment. No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location…Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.
From Laura Summers. Here’s why I recommend it: Aside from shamelessly spotlighting a fantastic writer and the brilliant Kimberling clan, I particularly want to read this book to help myself make some sense of having lived–and grown up some–in Indiana. Rated a “Best Book of the Year” by NPR in 2013, this book seems to have been waiting for the right time on my list of summer reads as I face moving out of the Midwest. Written in vignettes, this book also reads more like a coherent collection of short stories which will be perfect for summertime pick-up and go. Snapper centers on a young ornithologist who navigates through love, childhood roots, and the world beyond the environment he has always known. He explores the landscape of Indiana from Evansville to ties with Indiana University, and is met with the fascinating folks who move both transient and committed to this state. While this book is admittedly a coming-of-age story, Kimberling’s unique styling and voice tailors his fictionalized memoir in such a way that it transcends into something universal that I look forward to carrying around with me into my own new chapter.
From Richard Humphrey. Publisher description: Two River-Running Authors Take Us on a Gripping Tour of All Known Fatal Mishaps in the Most Famous of the World’s Natural Wonders Aside from being the most famous and most visited of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders, Grand Canyon also holds the reputation of being Mother Nature’s most impressive death trap. How well deserved is this reputation? Why does this reputation seem so credible? And what, exactly, are the most lethal dangers that Grand Canyon poses? Are they its soaring cliffs, or its heat, or its bewildering maze of unscalable rock leading to “nowhere?” Or instead is it the “Killer Colorado” rushing through its Inner Gorge? Grand Canyon’s death toll below the rims leaves Mount Everest’s appalling record in the dust. This ambitious, well researched, and absolutely gripping book Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon explores every Canyon danger and chronicles every fatal error made by those who failed to respect them.
From Kitty Stephens. Publisher description: New York Times bestseller, now adapted for young readers, Flags of Our Fathers is the unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history: the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America. In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima–and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island’s highest peak. And there, they raised a flag. The son of one of the flag raisers has written a powerful account of six very different men who came together in the heroic battle.
From Tarica LaBossiere. Publisher description: In Chelsea Cain’s bestselling series debut, Portland detective Archie Sheridan has spent years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. In the end she was the one who caught him, but after torturing him for days she mysteriously let him go and turned herself in. Since then the she has been locked up, leaving Archie damaged but alive in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days or Gretchen off his mind. When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets, Archie has to pull himself together to head up a new task force, but even then he can’t stop him without getting information from Gretchen—an encounter that may destroy him. With Susan Ward, a hungry young newspaper reporter, profiling Archie and his team, Archie, the killer, and Gretchen enter into a dark and deadly game. Each novel in Chelsea Cain’s scorching series leaves readers wanting more of the twisted and destructive relationship introduced in Heartsick.
From John Davis. Publisher description: In The Nine, acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin takes us into the chambers of the most important—and secret—legal body in our country, the Supreme Court, revealing the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land. An institution at a moment of transition, the Court now stands at a crucial point, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, and church-state relations. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and with a keen sense of the Court’s history and the trajectory of its future, Jeffrey Toobin creates in The Nine a riveting story of one of the most important forces in American life today.
From Susan deMaine. Publisher description: It all starts with a school essay. When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens-called Boov-abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod? In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion. Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel from best-selling author Adam Rex.
From Catherine Lemmer. I couldn’t resist picking up this book after hearing Nicholas Carr give the keynote address at the 2015 ABA Tech Show in Chicago earlier this spring. In The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, Carr continues his exploration of the idea that technology and automation separate us from our very humanness. If this is not enticement enough – perhaps reading that a major car manufacturer fired a robot to hire a human will be incentive enough to pick up this very readable and thought provoking discussion of our relationship with technology. If you enjoyed his previous work, The Shallows, this work will not disappoint.
From Catherine Lemmer. This is the third memoir I’ve read by Alexandra Fuller. Having thoroughly enjoyed Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, I paid full price for the recently released hardback of Leaving Before the Rains Come and was not disappointed. Fuller’s journey has taken her from England to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) to Wyoming. Her quest for place and belonging continue in this honest and often heart-rending memoir about her divorce and life in the United States.
From Allan Celik. Publisher description: From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes an electrifying thriller in which a shocking accusation of sexual harassment triggers a gripping psychological game of cat and mouse and threatens to derail a brilliant career.
From Yvonne Smith.
From Miriam Murphy. Publisher description: The third and fourth presidents have long been considered proper gentlemen, with Thomas Jefferson’s genius overshadowing James Madison’s judgment and common sense. But in this revelatory book about their crucial partnership, both are seen as men of their times, hardboiled operatives in a gritty world of primal politics where they struggled for supremacy for more than fifty years. With a thrilling and unprecedented account of early America as its backdrop, Madison and Jefferson reveals these founding fathers as privileged young men in a land marked by tribal identities rather than a united national personality. Esteemed historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg capture Madison’s hidden role—he acted in effect as a campaign manager—in Jefferson’s career. In riveting detail, the authors chart the courses of two very different presidencies: Jefferson’s driven by force of personality, Madison’s sustained by a militancy that history has been reluctant to ascribe to him. Supported by a wealth of original sources—newspapers, letters, diaries, pamphlets—Madison and Jefferson is a watershed account of the most important political friendship in American history.
From Richard Humphrey. Publisher description: For much of his adult life, Saul Bellow was the most acclaimed novelist in America, the winner of, among other awards, the Nobel Prize in Literature, three National Book Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. The Life of Saul Bellow, by the literary scholar and biographer Zachary Leader, marks the centenary of Bellow’s birth as well as the tenth anniversary of his death. It draws on unprecedented access to Bellow’s papers, including much previously restricted material, as well as interviews with more than 150 of the novelist’s relatives, close friends, colleagues, and lovers, a number of whom have never spoken to researchers before. Through detailed exploration of Bellow’s writings, and the private history that informed them, Leader chronicles a singular life in letters, offering original and nuanced accounts not only of the novelist’s development and rise to eminence, but of his many identities—as writer, polemicist, husband, father, Chicagoan, Jew, American.
From Miriam Murphy. Publisher description: To imagine the United States without John and Abigail Adams and their descendants would be impossible. The indefatigable Adams family has managed to be close to the heartbeat of America’s political and intellectual life across more than two centuries. Adams: An American Dynasty tells the epic story of the Adamses of Massachusetts. From the great political and philosophical contributions of the founding father, John Adams, to the present generation of inheritors of the family legacy who continue to serve the country, the reader follows the dramatic careers of John’s stoutly independent son, the diplomat and sixth President, John Quincy Adams; the pre-Civil War “Voice of Honor,” Charles Francis Adams; the famous authors, Henry and Brook Adams; and those who have carried on the dynasty’s tradition in giving leadershp in many fields of American endeavor,from scholarship and intellectual pursuits to statesmanship and business.
From Susan deMaine. Publisher description: Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.