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KFOR Book Chat Selections

Starting in April 2002, a panel of library staff members (primarily from the Anderson, Bethany and Gere branches) have appeared somewhat regularly on Cathy Blythe's Problems and Solutions program on radio station KFOR 1240 AM in a segment called "Book Chat," sharing information about books and upcoming library programs. Here is a list of the books discussed in 2012:

November 15, 2012

Book Cover  The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, From Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore [809.933]

An exploration of classic heroines and their equally admirable authors, The Heroine's Bookshelf shows today's women how to tap into their inner strengths and live life with intelligence and grace. Jo March, Scarlett O'Hara, Scout Finch—the literary canon is brimming with intelligent, feisty, never-say-die heroines and celebrated female authors. Like today's women, they placed a premium on personality, spirituality, career, sisterhood, and family. When they were up against the wall, authors like Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott fought back—sometimes with words, sometimes with gritty actions. In this witty, informative, and inspiring read, their stories offer much-needed literary intervention to modern women. Full of beloved heroines and the remarkable writers who created them, The Heroine's Bookshelf explores how the pluck and dignity of literary characters such as Jane Eyre and Lizzy Bennet can encourage women today. Each legendary character is paired with her central quality—Anne Shirley is associated with irrepressible "Happiness," while Scarlett O'Hara personifies "Fight"—along with insights into her author's extraordinary life. From Zora Neale Hurston to Colette, Laura Ingalls Wilder to Charlotte BrontË, Harper Lee to Alice Walker, here are authors and characters whose spirited stories are more inspiring today than ever.
Book Cover  Frozen Heat by Richard Castle [Castle]

The fourth Nikki Heat novel is one of the strongest in this on-going police thriller series, and it stands well on its own as a straight-forward mystery novel. However, the fact that it is supposedly written by a character on a television series -- Richard Castle, the character played by Nathan Fillion on ABC's Castle (Monday nights), adds extra layers of interest. The plot is twisty and convoluted, the dialog is snappy and smart, the encounters between Nikki Heat and her journalist boyfriend Jameson Rook are hot. This one has something for nearly everyone, but will most strongly appeal to fans of the Castle TV series!
Book Cover  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce [Joyce]

Harold Fry is an introverted British man -- a recent retiree from a job working for a brewery, whose settled into a predictable and ordinary life with his wife in a small southern England community. When Harold receives a letter from a former female co-worker, letting him know she's a terminal cancer patient at a hospice at the north of England, Harold decides to send her a brief letter in response. But on the walk to the neighborhood postal drop box, Harold makes a sudden and life-changing decision...he's going to walk to see Queenie -- the entire length of the country. This is a wonderful character-driven story, as Harold trods the back roads and highways of England, and looks back at the life he's had and the broken relationships that have made him who he is. The quirky and colorful cast of characters Harold encounters on his journey are typical of modern British fiction, and this book should appeal to anyone who likes colorful narratives and personal introspection.
Book Cover  Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories by Marlene Koch [641.563 Koc]

The hardest foods to give up are the ones you love best - but Marlene Koch says,"you don't have too!" Marlene Koch, author of the bestselling cookbook Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories, has been dubbed a "magician in the kitchen" when it comes to slashing sugar, calories and fat, but never great taste - and here she delivers with over 200 brand-new super satisfying guilt-free recipes (under 350 calories!) that everyone will love! From Mile High Meatloaf and Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy to Stuffed Black and Blue Steak Burgers to Pizza Pasta Pie and Red Velvet Cupcakes, whether the foods you love are creamy, cheesy and fried, or fresh and fit, you'll find them here - not only healthier - but more delicous than ever! Here Marlene delivers more; more comfort foods like Sour Cream and Onion Smashed Potatoes and quick and easy Macaroni and Cheese Muffins, more restaurant classics like Chicken Fettucine Alfredo (330 calories versus the usual 1,400!!) and P.F. Chang-Style Mongolian Beef, more slow cooker recipes like Lazy Day Lasagna, more quick 'n' easy recipes like 15-Minute Shrimp Fettucine and Quick-Fix Carmelized Onions, and LOTS more desserts including her Amazing Pecan Pie Cups (with under a teaspoon of sugar in each!), Raspberry Oat Bars, and 90-Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes.
Book Cover  Jack 1939: A Novel by Francine Mathews [Mathews]

Charming. Reckless. Brilliant. Deadly. A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war. It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy. It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose. In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.
Book Cover  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [Morgenstern]

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Book Cover  Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean [636.737 Orl]

He believed the dog was immortal. So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from abandoned puppy to movie star and international icon. Spanning almost one hundred years of history, from the dog’s improbable discovery on a battlefield in 1918 to his tumultuous rise through Hollywood and beyond, Rin Tin Tin is a love story about "the mutual devotion between one man and one dog" (The Wall Street Journal) that is also a quintessentially American story of reinvention, a captivating exploration of our spiritual bond with animals, and a stirring meditation on mortality and immortality.
Book Cover  The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean [635.934 OrcYo]

A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. From Florida’s swamps to its courtrooms, the New Yorker writer follows one deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man’s possibly criminal pursuit of an endangered flower. Determined to clone the rare ghost orchid, Polyrrhiza lindenii, John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America’s strange flower-selling subculture, along with the Seminole Indians who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean–and the reader–will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.
Book Cover  The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss [Biography Dumas]

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature. Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat. The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
Book Cover  Black Fridays by Michael Sears [Sears]

Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects. Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big – there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed. But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, “the Kid,” from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him. The things Stafford discovers about himself in the process are every bit as gripping as his investigation, and when the two threads of his life come together – the results are unforgettable. Black Fridays marks the arrival of a remarkable new writer.

July 19, 2012

Book Cover  Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis

In this novel, as the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes—and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling. Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick—and Dumpling—find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table—one delicious dish at a time…
Book Cover  Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill

The launch of a brand new series by the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Coroner’s Lunch. With worldwide critical acclaim, Colin Cotterill is one of the most highly regarded “cult favorite” crime writers today. Now, with this new series, Cotterill is poised to break into the mainstream. Set in present day rural Thailand, Cotterill is as sharp and witty, yet more engaging and charming, than ever before. Jimm Juree was a crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail with a somewhat eccentric family —&nbp;a mother who might be drifting mentally; a grandfather—a retired cop—who rarely talks; a younger brother obsessed with body-building, and a transgendered, former beauty pageant queen, former older brother. When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she’s convinced her career—maybe her life—is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer’s field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple’s monk and nun the only suspects. Suddenly Jimm’s new life becomes somewhat more promising—and a lot more deadly. And if Jimm is to make the most of this opportunity, and unravel the mysteries that underlie these inexplicable events, it will take luck, perseverance, and the help of her entire family
Book Cover  Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich, mega-bestselling author of the beloved Stephanie Plum series, is back and better than ever. Her novels, hailed by GQ as “among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction,” deliver rollicking adventure with crackling wit and hilarious mayhem. And, now, one of the hottest writers today returns with dynamic duo Lizzy and Diesel to prove that when hunting down bad guys, the real fun is in the chase. When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction. Janet Evanovich does it again and gives us another exciting un-put-down-able read that is striking a chord with readers everywhere!
Book Cover  The Food Lover's Guide to Kansas City by Sylvie Hogg Murphy [917.784 Mur]

Engaging and entertaining guide to the emerging and explosive culinary scene in Kansas City, just 4 hours south of Lincoln. As an avowed "foodie" who lived in New York City, San Francisco and Italy, Murphy's only concern upon marrying a Kansas Citian and moving to Missouri was whether she'd have to live on BBQ alone. She needed have worried...Kansas City has a vibrant "foodie" scene. Murphy explores the town, better known as the Barbeque Capitol, uncovering dozens of unique stand-alone restaurants in the city's various suburbs and neighborhoods. She also highlights where the best markets are to pick up your own fresh ingredients, and where you'll find the quirky speciality shops for gourmet items. Each entry goes into detail about unusual dishes or commodities, and provides a rough price guide. If you only ever eat at the national chain restaurants, and are looking to sample some fare that's uniquely Kansas City, this guide is a great place to start.
Book Cover  Doctor Who: The Lost Episode - Shada by Gareth Roberts

Fans of both the long-running television series Doctor Who, as well as fans of the late Douglas Adams' wry, humorous, off-the-wall writing style, will both enjoy this unusual tv tie-in novel. Turned into novel form by Gareth Roberts, this is Doctor Who's "lost episode" -- an episode that began filming for the series' 17th season in 1979, but was halted by a BBC strike, and was then never completed. Featuring the 4th Doctor (the Doctor in the current series on BBC America is the 11th), this story's plot is filled with humor, danger, adventure and megalomaniacs. Throw in senile but genial time travelers, robot dogs, and a surprisingly romance, and you've got quite a mix. Oddly, Douglas Adams took the central idea of this storyline and modified it to create his own novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, once the Shade episode was obviously not going to be completed. But it's fascinating to finally see what the entire Shade plot would have been!
Book Cover  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Sheryl Strayed [Biography Strayed]

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Book Cover  The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters's trilogy of Victorian novels Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, and Fingersmith earned her legions of fans around the world, a number of awards, and a reputation as one of today's most gifted historical novelists. With The Little Stranger, Waters revisits the fertile setting of Britain in the 1940s-and gives us a sinister tale of a haunted house, brimming with the rich atmosphere and psychological complexity that have become hallmarks of Waters's work. The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline-its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his. Abundantly atmospheric and elegantly told, The Little Stranger is Sarah Waters's most thrilling and ambitious novel yet

May 17, 2012

Book Cover  The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

A spirited young maid on board the Titanic captures the attentions of two men including a kindhearted sailor and an enigmatic Chicago millionaire and barely escapes with her life before witnessing media scorn targeting her famous designer mistress.
Book Cover  I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words by George Beahm [Biography Jobs]

"A collection of direct quotes from Steve Jobs on topics related to business, technology, Apple, and life".
Book Cover  How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown [523.492 Bro]

The astronomer who inadvertently triggered the "demotion" of Pluto in his effort to officially recognize the solar system's tenth planet describes the ensuing debates and public outcry while revealing the behind-the-scenes story of his discovery.
Book Cover  Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell [155.92 Gla]

The best-selling author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance, and why the Beatles earned their fame.
Book Cover  Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

When his father and sister are injured in an accident that has rendered his father comatose, estranged son Edward wants to stop his father's life support so that his organs can be donated, a choice his sister urges him to reconsider.
Book Cover  The Witness by Nora Roberts

Having had a traumatic experience 12 years prior, Abigail Lowery lives in a remote area, holed up on a house with high-tech security measures, a fierce guard dog and a cache of weapons, but this only serves to further inrtrigue police chief Brooks Gleason, who aims to protect Abigail from what she fears.
Book Cover  The Tehren Initiative by Joel Rosenberg

With the stakes high and few viable options left, the president of the United States orders CIA operative David Shirazi and his team to track down and sabotage Iran's nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.

March 15, 2012

Book Cover  Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch [Aaronovitch]

First in a new series by this British author, this volume introduces UK probationary constable Peter Grant, whose abilities to sense and interact with the paranormal ends up leading him to an apprenticeship to Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the only wizard on the London police force. Midnight Riot crosses the popular urban fantasy genre, popularized by Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine and Jim Butcher, with the police procedural form of mystery -- Think Ed McBain's 87th precinct, or the cops from TV's Law and Order. Throw in a dollop of obscure mythology and a strong sense of place -- the UK edition is titled "The Rivers of London", and the book has a very strong British flavor -- and a heavy dose of character-based humor, and you've got a compulsively readable series, with two volumes out already and third due this summer.
Book Cover  MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche [Biography Bertsche]

When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever. In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life is, you’ve gotta have friends.
Book Cover  The Garner Files by James Garner and Jon Winokur [Biography Garner]

As an actor, he's played two of the most recognizable characters in television history -- Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford. He's had major roles in feature films from the 1950s through the present day, including such noteworthy movies as Darby's Rangers, Move Over Darling, The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Grand Prix, Support Your Local Sheriff, Victor/Victoria, Murphy's Romance, and The Notebook. In his first and only authorized autobiography, Garner shares moments from his life with his fans -- both positive and negative. While he doesn't "dish dirt", he tells it like it his, including tidbits about many of his co-stars you might not want to have heard. Garner's "voice" -- that of a crusty but loveable curmudgeon -- comes through very effectively, and the book concludes with an extensive collection of commentaries from various of his friends and co-workers over the years.
Book Cover  Wings Over Nebraska: Historic Aviation Photographs by Vince Goeres [629.14 qGoe]

Published in 2010, this book is the perfect companion to the current exhibit "Pioneering Aviators in Flyover Country", which can be viewed at the Nebraska History Museum (15th & "P") through October 26th. Longtime volunteer researcher Goeres has spent years pouring over the museum's photography archives to assemble an evocative book that captures the rich aviation history of Nebraska from the 1910s through the 1950s. Whether you're interested in Charles Lindbergh's connection to Nebraska, the mail delivery industry across the state, The Lincoln Airplane and Flying School, the history of women aviators in our state, Nebraska's WWII airfields, or the history of airplane crashes in Nebraska, you'll find a wealth of image and information in this excellent volume.
Book Cover  Taft 2012 by Jason Heller [Heller]

He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his peaceful, progressive practicality. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. And all the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is. There’s just one problem. He is William Howard Taft...and he was already president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012? A most extraordinary satire, Jason Heller’s debut novel follows the strange new life of a presidential Rip Van Winkle: a man who never even wanted the White House in the first place, yet finds himself hurtling toward it once more—this time, through the media-fueled madness of 21st-century America.
Book Cover  Below Stairs by Margaret Powell [Biography Powell]

A tale of domestic life in domestic service told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye. From the gentleman with a penchant for stroking housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlourmaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress's nephew, this book evokes the long vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs. This is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman, who, though her position was lowly, never stopped aiming high.
Book Cover  The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay [Rosnay]

Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand. Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...
Book Cover  Divergent by Veronica Roth [YA Roth]

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves...or it might destroy her.
January 19, 2012

Book Cover  More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon by Stephen Davis [Biography Simon]

Carly Simon has won two Grammys and an Academy Award, and her albums have sold more than forty million copies. Her music has touched countless lives since her debut in the 1970s, yet her own life story has remained unpublished-until now. Tapping private archives, family interviews, and a forty-year friendship with the legend herself, Stephen Davis at last captures Carly Simon's extraordinary journey from shy teenager to superstar. More Room in a Broken Heart candidly covers everything her fans want to know.

Book Cover  The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill [Hill]

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate.
Book Cover  The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz [Horowitz]

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place. Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase -- the House of Silk -- a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

Book Cover  Eisenhower, the White House Years by Jim Newton [Biography Eisenhower]

America’s thirty-fourth president was belittled by his critics as the babysitter-in-chief. This new look reveals how wrong they were. Dwight Eisenhower was bequeathed the atomic bomb and refused to use it. He ground down Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism until both became, as he said, "McCarthywasm." He stimulated the economy to lift it from recession, built an interstate highway system, turned an $8 billion deficit in 1953 into a $500 million surplus in 1960. (Ike was the last President until Bill Clinton to leave his country in the black.)

Book Cover  The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart [Stuart]

Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London. Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erot­ica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens.

Book Cover  The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin [338.272 Yer]

In this gripping account of the quest for the energy that our world needs, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Prize. A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future. The drama of oil-the struggle for access, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it-continues to profoundly affect our world.. Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market and the surge in oil prices, the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive mergers that transformed the landscape of world oil. Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year.


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