Wednesday, August 31, 2016

first fiction

The next Genre Reading Group meeting will be Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 pm and the topic up for discussion will be “Myth & Legend.”  The display is up at the 2nd floor Reference Desk and is of…mythic proportions (see what I did there?). 

We have a Poetry & Yoga series with Marie Blair coming up September and October!  What do poetry and yoga have in common? A call to pay attention, an exploration of self, and invitation to notice.  Yoga teacher and librarian Marie Blair brings movement and words together in a four-week series. Bring your curiosity and wear comfortable clothes!  September 17 & 24, October 8 & 29, 10am-12:30pm FREE

Also, if you and your friends/family are wine connoisseurs, you DEFINITELY don’t want to miss the Western Supermarkets Fall Wine & Food Festival on Friday, September 30th 6-9pm at the Birmingham Zoo.  Tickets are available at the Library, Western Supermarket locations, and online at http://westernsupermarkets.tixclix.com/2262.  Proceeds from the event benefit Emmet O’Neal Library, Birmingham Zoo, East Lake Initiative, and Junior League of Birmingham

This week, GRG met to discuss debut novels!  There’s something fresh and untried about an author’s first book.  Stephen King started with Carrie, Khaled Hosseini with The Kite Runner, John Grisham with A Time To Kill, and Harper Lee with To Kill a Mockingbird.  Some of the authors we discussed went on to multi-book deals, while some stuck with one (or two) or are just starting out in their careers.  It was a great discussion!

Image result for security wohlsdorf book cover
Security by Gina Wohlsdorf
Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world--at least those with the means to afford it--will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one.

Writing in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, and with a deep bow to Daphne du Maurier, author Gina Wohlsdorf pairs narrative ingenuity and razor-wire prose with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security isgrand guignol storytelling at its very best.

A shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a multifaceted love story unlike any other, Security marks the debut of a fearless and gifted writer.

Image result for you should pity us instead book coverYou Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine
You Should Pity Us Instead explores some of our toughest dilemmas: the cost of Middle East strife at its most intimate level, the likelihood of God considered in day-to-day terms, the moral stakes of family obligations, and the inescapable fact of mortality. Amy Gustine exhibits an extraordinary generosity toward her characters, instilling them with a thriving, vivid presence.

Image result for once a crooked man book cover
Once a Crooked Man by David McCallum (YES! Ducky from CSI!)

Crime pays. And pays well.
Sal, Max and Enzo Bruschetti have proved this over a lifetime of nefarious activity that they have kept hidden from law enforcement. Nowhere in any file, on any computer is there a record of anything illegal from which they have profited. But Max has a problem. His body is getting old and his doctor has told him to take it easy. Max has decided that the time has come for the family to retire.
But when young actor Harry Murphy overhears the Bruschetti brothers planning changes to their organization, including the murder of a man in London who knows too much, the Bruschetti's plans begin to unravel.
After Harry makes the well-intentioned if egregious mistake of trying to warn the Bruchetti's intended victim he finds himself alone in a foreign country, on the wrong side of the law, with a suitcase full of cash and a dangerous man on his trail. And while his good looks, charm and cheerful persistence may prove assets in the turbulent events that follow, none of Harry's past roles have prepared him for what happens next.
At turns tense and funny, Once a Crooked Man is infused with the infectious charm that has made David McCallum one of television's longest running, most-beloved stars.

Image result for tale of genji book cover
The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler’s superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. Supplemented with detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative, this comprehensive edition presents this ancient tale in the grand style that it deserves.

Image result for ecko rising book cover
Ecko Rising by Danie Ware
In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.

When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of 'magic', he must confront his own percepions of reality and his place within it.

A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another. Author Danie Ware creates an immersive and richly imagined world that readers will be eager to explore in the first book in this exciting new trilogy.


Image result for somnium johannes kepler
Somnium (Latin for “The Dream”) by Johannes Kepler
According to Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, Kepler´s "Somnium" ("The Dream"), written around 1611, should be considered the first science-fiction novel ever. The eminent astronomer Johannes Kepler imagines a trip to the moon and speculates about its inhabitants and astronomy.

Image result for headmaster's darlings book cover
The Headmaster’s Darlings: A Mountain Brook Novel by Katherine Clark
The Headmaster's Darlings is a satirical comedy of manners featuring the morbidly obese Norman Laney, an unorthodox, inspirational English teacher and college counselor for an elite private school in Mountain Brook, a privileged community outside of Birmingham. A natural wonder from blue-collar Alabama, Laney has barged into the exclusive world of Mountain Brook on the strength of his sensational figure and its several-hundred-pound commitment to art and culture. His mission is to defeat "the barbarians," introduce true civilization in place of its thin veneer, and change his southern world for the better. Although Laney is adored by his students (his "darlings") and by the society ladies (also his "darlings") who rely on him to be the life of their parties and the leader of their book clubs, there are others who think he is a larger-than-life menace to the comfortable status quo of Mountain Brook society and must be banished.

When Laney is summoned to the principal's office one day in November 1983, he expects to be congratulated for a recent public-relations triumph he engineered on behalf of the school. Instead his letter of resignation is demanded with no explanation given. Faced with an ultimatum and his imminent dismissal, Laney must outflank the principal at his own underhanded game, find out who said what about him and why, and launch his current crop of Alabama students into the wider world--or at least into Ivy League colleges.

In her debut novel, Katherine Clark casts a comical eye on southern society and celebrates the power of great teachers and schools to transform the lives of young people and lift up their communities. Surrounded by a colorful cast of his colleagues, his young protégés and Mountain Brook's upper echelon, Laney emerges as a heroically idiosyncratic character with Falstaffian appetites, an inimitable wit and intellect, and a boundless generosity toward his students that reshapes their lives in profound, unexpected ways.

Image result for all the governor's men book cover
GENERAL DISCUSSION: Clark’s second novel, All the Governor’s Men, is also available.
It’s the summer of George Wallace’s last run for governor of Alabama in 1982, and the state is at a crossroads. In Katherine Clark’s All the Governor’s Men, a political comedy of manners that reimagines Wallace’s last campaign, voters face a clear choice between the infamous segregationist, now a crippled old man in a wheelchair, and his primary opponent, Aaron Osgood, a progressive young candidate poised to liberate the state from its George Wallace–poisoned past. 

Daniel Dobbs, a twenty one-year-old Harvard graduate and South Alabama native, is one of many young people who have joined the campaign representing hope and change for a downtrodden Alabama. A political animal himself, Daniel possesses so much charm and charisma that he was nicknamed “the Governor” in college. Nowhe is engaged in the struggle to conquer once and for all the malignant man Alabamians have traditionally called “the Governor.” 

This historic election isn’t the only thing Daniel wants to win. During his senior year, he fell in love with a freshman girl from Mountain Brook, the “Tiny Kingdom” of wealth and privilege, a world apart from his own Alabama origins. A small-town country boy, Daniel desperately wants to gain the favor of his girlfriend’s family along with her mentor, the larger-than-life English teacher Norman Laney. Daniel also wants to keep one or two ex-girlfriends firmly out of the picture. In the course of his summer, he must untangle his complicated personal life, satisfy the middle-class dreams of his parents for their Harvard-educated son, decide whether to enter law school or launch his own political career, and, incidentally, help his candidate defeat George Wallace, in a close and increasingly dirty race.
 
All the Governor’s Men is a darkly comic look at both the political process in general and a significant political chapter in Alabama history. This second novel in Katherine Clark’s Mountain Brook series depicts the social and political landscape of an Alabama world that is at once a place like no other and at the same time, a place like all others.

Image result for neuromancer gibson book cover
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Image result for pattern recognition gibson book cover
GENERAL DISCUSSION: Pattern Recognition is another great Gibson novel.
Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected. 

Still, Cayce is her father's daughter, and the danger makes her stubborn. Win Pollard, ex-security expert, probably ex-CIA, took a taxi in the direction of the World Trade Center on September 11 one year ago, and is presumed dead. Win taught Cayce a bit about the way agents work. She is still numb at his loss, and, as much for him as for any other reason, she refuses to give up this newly weird job, which will take her to Tokyo and on to Russia. With help and betrayal from equally unlikely quarters, Cayce will follow the trail of the mysterious film to its source, and in the process will learn something about her father's life and death.


The Bronte sisters all published their first novels at the same time, under pseudonyms

Image result for wuthering heights book cover
Emily Bronte = Ellis Bell: her only published novel was Wuthering Heights
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

Image result for jane eyre book cover
Charlotte Bronte = Currer Bell: her first novel was Jane Eyre
Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

Image result for agnes grey book cover
Anne Bronte = Acton Bell: her first novel was Agnes Grey
The novel follows Agnes Grey, a governess, as she works in several bourgeois families. Scholarship and comments by Anne's sister Charlotte Brontë suggest the novel is largely based on Anne Brontë's own experiences as a governess for five years. Like her sister Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre, it addresses what the precarious position of governess entailed and how it affected a young woman. The choice of central character allows Anne to deal with issues of oppression and abuse of women and governesses, isolation and ideas of empathy. An additional theme is the fair treatment of animals. Agnes Grey also mimics some of the stylistic approaches of bildungsromans, employing ideas of personal growth and coming to age, but representing a character who in fact does not gain in virtue.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: There are several great museums dedicated, or holding collections dedicated, to the Bronte sisters. The Morgan Library & Museum and the Bronte Parsonage Museum.  

A Wuthering Heights musical tribute


Image result for nelly dean book cover
Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison Case
Young Nelly Dean has been Hindley’s closest companion for as long as she can remember, living freely at the great house, Wuthering Heights. But when the benevolence of the master brings a wild child into the house, Nelly learns she must follow in her mother’s footsteps, be called "servant" and give herself over completely to the demands of the Earnshaw family.
But Nelly is not the only one who finds her life disrupted by this strange newcomer. As death, illness, and passion sweep through the house, Nelly suffers heartache and betrayals at the hands of those she cherishes most, tempting her to leave it all behind. But when a new heir is born, a reign of violence begins that will test even Nelly’s formidable spirit as she finds out what it is to know true sacrifice.
Nelly Dean is a wonderment of storytelling and an inspired accompaniment to Emily Bronte’s adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.

What are YOU reading?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

feel the music

Just a reminder that the library and surrounding lots will be closed on Wednesday, August 3rd for HVAC replacement!

The next GRG meeting will be on Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30pm and the topic up for discussion is one of my favorites, debut novels! 

Last week, the GRG discussed music and the music industry.  We kicked things off with a rousing discussion of the evolution of portable music from the wax record to the current MP3 market.  The discussion jumpstarted because one member found that each character from a favorite TV show, Halt & Catch Fire, had been given a playlist by Spotify, an online music streaming service.


80’s Tech (History Channel documentary)

Remember "brick" cell phones, Pac-Man, Rubik's Cube, Sony Walkman, and the first music CDs? Remember all the new and exciting gadgets of the 1980s? Join us as we investigate the transition from Industrial to Information Age--a digital decade dedicated to ergonomics and entertainment. The microchip ushered in an era that revolutionized the way we work, play, and communicate. And we tour Silicon Valley--birthplace of some of the greatest inventions from an amazing time of change, including the modern personal computer. Steve "Woz" Wozniak tells us about the evolution of Apple computers, and we talk to Sony--makers of the Walkman, Betamax, and the first CD players. A visit to the Computer History Museum shows fun technological "artifacts", primitive by today's standards. At Intel, makers of the first microchips, we learn why technology moves at such a fast pace. We also take a ride in a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car--few things moved faster.

Playback is the first book to place the fascinating history of sound reproduction within its larger social, economic, and cultural context-and includes appearances by everyone from Thomas Edison to Enrico Caruso to Dick Clark to Grandmaster Flash to Napster CEO Shawn Fanning. In a narrative that begins with Edison's cylinder and ends with digital music, the ubiquitous iPod, and the file-sharing wars, this is a history we have all experienced in one way or another. From the Victrola, the 78, the 45, and the 33 1/3 to the 8-track, cassette, compact disc, DAT, and MP3, the story of Playback is also the story of music, and the music business in the twentieth century and beyond.

We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups . . . But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of cultural, ecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?

Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity―the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement's invocations of medievalism―never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?


U2: Rattle and Hum (rockumentary)

A concert movie on an unprecedented scale. Rattle And Hum captures U2 - on and off the stage - during their triumphant Joshua Tree tour.


Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams (rockumentary)


Decadent rock star, 70s survivor, gypsy songbird, white-winged dove the inimitable Stevie Nicks has entranced millions of fans worldwide with her poetic lyrics, sultry singing and featherand-lace style. In 2010 Nicks embarked on the recording of solo album, In Your Dreams, produced by former Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart. With cameras in tow, documentarian Stewart and diva Nicks set up shop in her home studio and reveal their collaborative creative process. Shifting dynamically among video formats, painstaking recording sessions and revealing interviews, this magic-tinged musical journey is a loving and tuneful portrait of the eternally bewitching Gold Dust Woman.


The Doors (DVD)

Oliver Stone’s biopic of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.


M Train by Patti Smith

From the National Book Award–winning author of JustKids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.

Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith.

Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today.


On Bowie by Rob Sheffield

From the New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape, a thoughtful and loving meditation on the life of the late David Bowie that explores his creative legacy and the enduring and mutual connection he enjoyed with his fans

Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries, but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives.

When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016 broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.
In this concise and penetrating book, featuring color photographs, highly regarded Rolling Stone critic, bestselling author, and lifelong Bowie fan Rob Sheffield shares his own feelings about the passing of this icon and explains why Bowie’s death has elicited such an unprecedented emotional outpouring from so many lives.


Amy (rockumentary)

From BAFTA award--winning director Asif Kapadia (SENNA), AMY is the incredible story of six--time Grammy(R) award winner Amy Winehouse - in her own words. Featuring extensive never-before-seen archival footage and previously unheard tracks, this strikingly modern, moving, and vital film shines a light on the world we live in, in a way that very few can.


From acclaimed musician and author Dave Bidini comes a brilliantly original look at a folk-rock legend and the momentous week in 1972 that culminated in the Mariposa Folk Festival.

July, 1972. As musicians across Canada prepare for the nation's biggest folk festival, held on Toronto Island, a series of events unfold that will transform the country politically, psychologically--and musically. As Bidini explores the remarkable week leading up to Mariposa, he also explores the life and times of one of the most enigmatic figures in Canadian music: Gordon Lightfoot, the reigning king of folk at the height of his career. Through a series of letters, Bidini addresses Lightfoot directly, questioning him, imagining his life, and weaving together a fascinating, highly original look at a musician at the top of his game. By the end of the week, the country is on the verge of massive change and the '72 Mariposa folk fest--complete with surprise appearances by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and yes, Lightfoot--is on its way to becoming legendary.


Chronicling the rise of the Black Metal subculture and the terrifying violence by its fans, Lords of Chaos takes readers on a tour of this antisocial, occult-influenced ideology that encourages violence and murder.

What are YOU reading?



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

salon discussion

Last night marked the 8th anniversary of the Genre Reading Group!  Here's to many more years of good reading and great conversation!  

We met for one of our biannual salon discussions where there is no assigned topic.  What a reading free for all! Our next meeting will be earlier in July than normal, on Tuesday, July 19th and the topic up for discussion will be music.

A few housekeeping items first:

The Library will be closed Saturday-Monday, July 2-4 in observance of Independence Day.
Some exciting programs are coming up in July and August as our Adult Summer Reading program winds down!  The French Film Series continues on Wednesday July 13 and Wednesday August 17, both at 6:30pm.  Call the Reference Desk at 205-445-1121 for film titles and information.  We’re honored to once again host the Birmingham Arts Journal issue release reception and reading on Thursday, July 28th at 6:30pm. Drop by on Saturday, July 30th at 2pm to learn about using solar energy in your home.  The Adult Summer Reading Finale is on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30pm and it will be fan favorite, Bad Art Night.  Enjoy dinner and explore your worst creative ideas!  We can hardly wait to award our summer reading Grand Prizes!

The Library and surround lots will be closed on Wednesday, August 3rd for HVAC installation. (Dates may change depending on the weather).   Follow us on Facebook that week (and all the time!) for updates on closures and access.

On to the reading list!


In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition? 

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton

Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners. 

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue―and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.


Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.


Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.


Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It's time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo's bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt--and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about: 

Family drama
Having a "bikini body"
Iceland
Co-workers' opinions, pets, and children
And other bullsh*t!

And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!


Enter the "completely captivating" (Jimmy Ryan, Spoiler TV) world of Mr. Robot. Cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, Elliot finds himself at a crossroads when the mysterious leader of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world. Now, watch all 10 Season One episodes back-to-back and uninterrupted of the psychological thriller that critics rave is "damn near perfect" (Jessica Rawden, Cinemablend).


From the creator of "Weeds" comes a heartbreaking and hilarious new series set in a women's prison. Based on Piper Kerman's acclaimed memoir, "Orange Is the New Black" follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman, whose wild past comes back to haunt her and results in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.


Sarah is a streetwise outsider, currently on the run from a bad relationship and painfully separated from her own daughter. When an eerily lookalike stranger commits a shocking suicide right in front of her, Sarah sees a potential solution to all her problems by assuming the dead woman’s identity and clearing out her bank account. But instead, she stumbles headlong into a kaleidoscopic thriller mystery, and soon uncovers an earth-shattering secret: she is a clone. As Sarah searches for answers, she soon learns there are more like her out there, genetically identical individuals, nurtured in wildly different circumstances. And someone is trying to kill them off, one by one.


Masters of Sex stars Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award nominee Michael Sheen and acclaimed actress Lizzy Caplan, who portray the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, Dr. William Masters and VirginiaJohnson. The series chronicles the unusual lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of Masters and Johnson and the effect their research had on the family and colleagues around them. Their study ignited a sexual revolution and took them from a Midwestern teaching hospital in St. Louis to the cover of Time magazine. 


Alice Howland, a linguistics professor, receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzhiemer’s disease and finds her family bonds wholly tested.


Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test--charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined.

The Machine (not in the PLJC system)

Two computer programmers create the first-ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, but things go terribly wrong when the British Government steals their breakthrough and teaches it to become a robotic weapon.

Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz

June 8, 1954. Several English nationals have defected to the USSR, while a witch hunt for homosexuals rages across Britain. In these circumstances, no one is surprised when a mathematician by the name of Alan Turing is found dead in his home in the sleepy suburb of Wilmslow. It is widely assumed that he has committed suicide, unable to cope with the humiliation of a criminal conviction for gross indecency. But a young detective constable, Leonard Corell, who once dreamed of a career in higher mathematics, suspects greater forces are involved.

In the face of opposition from his superiors, he begins to assemble the pieces of a puzzle that lead him to one of the most closely guarded secrets of the war: the Bletchley Park operation to crack the Nazis’ Enigma encryption code. Stumbling across evidence of Turing’s genius, and sensing an escape from a narrow life, Corell begins to dig deeper. But in the paranoid, febrile atmosphere of the Cold War, loose cannons cannot be tolerated and Corell soon realizes he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge. He is also about to be rocked by two startling developments in his own life, one of which will find him targeted as a threat to national security.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight’s account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivaled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.


On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette.

Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carried the aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette's hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with minimal supplies across the endless ice pack.

Enduring everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled madness and starvation as they struggled desperately to survive. With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.


Join in the adventures of the quirky Yamada family -- from the hilarious to the touching -- brilliantly presented in a unique, visually striking comic strip style. Takashi Yamada and his wacky wife Matsuko, who has no talent for housework, navigate their way through the ups and downs of work, marriage, and family life with a sharp-tongued grandmother who lives with them, a teenage son who wishes he had cooler parents, and a pesty daughter whose loud voice is unusual for someone so small. Even the family dog has issues! Experience the little victories in life with MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS -- featuring the voice talents of comedic stars Jim Belushi and Molly Shannon.


With Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, Werner Herzog takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes. The acclaimed filmmaker presents this visually stunning documentary about the life of indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. Deep in the wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat. There's no telephone, running water or medical aid, The locals, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, live according to their own values and cultural traditions. With insightful commentary written and narrated by Herzog, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga follows one of the Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.


When his orchestra disbands, Daigo Kobayashi moves back to his hometown and takes a job preparing corpses for burial. Too embarrassed to admit his new career to his family, Daigo keeps his profession a secret, until he’s faced with the death of someone close to him. Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Film.


Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. 

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, ThomasEdison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.


Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-nominatee Kate Winslet light up the screen as Jack and Rose the young lovers who find one another on the maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic. But when the doomed luxury liner collides with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic their passionate love affair becomes a thrilling race for survival. From acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron comes a tale of forbidden love and courage in the face of disaster that triumphs as a true cinematic masterpiece.



The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. 

What are YOU reading/watching/listening to?