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August 2014 Staff Picks
Donna
Bet Me
Jennifer Crusie
Bet MeSynopsis: Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all--true love.

Donna Says: Have you been reading from the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Man Booker Prize lists and wondering if there is any joy and fun left in the world? I know I have; and since it is still summer, I want a humorous romance. My recommendation is this older title from Jennifer Crusie, which also won a 2005 Rita Award, so you can still be reading from an award list.

Call Number: ROM F CRU

Elizabeth


Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead
Seating ArrangementsSynopsis: Winn Van Meter is heading for his family’s retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne. The wedding has been planned with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust. Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; The weekend turns into a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life.

Elizabeth Says: Seemly a light summer read, this book is slightly more than meets the eye. It is mostly told from the point of view of Winn: a man lost in a sea of women he can barely comprehend. Winn isn't exactly a likable but he is sympathetic in his own way. A new England wedding is the perfect back drop for this story of the upper middle class behaving badly. Seating Arrangements is a smart and darkly funny social satire.

Call Number: F SHI

Magen
A Hundred Summers
Beatriz Williams
A Hundred SummersSynopsis: Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily's friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction...and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.

Magen Says: In 1938 an epic storm is brewing out in the Atlantic. At the same time, Lily Dane is dealing with a storm of her own filled with lies, betrayal and long lost love; all of which are violently pushing their way to the surface. The beautiful beach front community of Seaview, Rhode Island is the stage where these two disasters will collide leaving very little in their wake. Beatriz Williams does a wonderful job of creating the intricate turbulence that makes this novel explosive and provocative.

Call Number: F WIL

Nina
The Silkworm
Robert Galbraith
The SilkwormSynopsis: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

Nina Says: J.K. Rowling was maybe a bit gun-shy about her newest project after the reception of Casual Vacancy. So Robert Galbraith was born. And he received a lot of good reviews for his debut mystery, The Cuckoo’s Calling. By any name, the writing’s stellar and only gets better in book two. If you love a good old-fashioned British sleuth, Galbraith offers him up in one Cormoran Strike: gruff, smart, wounded both inside and out. His young sidekick Robin (yes, there is a sense of Cormoran as her Batman) compliments him well, and you’ll love watching their relationship grow (to be romantic? Time will tell) as the mystery deepens.


Call Number: MYS F GAL



Randall
Rogues
George R.R. Martin & Gardner R. Dozois
Rouges

Synopsis:
If you’re a fan of fiction that is more than just black and white, this latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R.R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire. Follow along with the masters of literary sleight-of-hand, in this rogues gallery of stories that will plunder your heart—and yet leave you all the richer for it.


Randall Says: Unreliable narrators, double-crosses, plot twists, and general skullduggery abound in this latest anthology from Martin and Dozois. There are some big names here, but I really enjoyed the contributions by several authors that were new to me. Since the stories vary greatly in terms of style and tone, this is one collection that never feels stale. Rogues has some absolute gems: highly recommended.

Call Number: F ROG




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DonnaElizabethMeganNinaRandall
 
 
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