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Adult Services Staff Picks
Ordinary Grace
William Kent Krueger

Synopsis: New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms. When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

Amy Says: Ordinary Grace is a beautifully written novel whose nostalgic narrative voice will pull you in as Frank Drum looks back as an adult to recount the summer of 1961. This is easily a coming of age story, but also a mystery with engaging characters. Krueger’s story movingly portrays the universal ideas of friendship, secrecy, innocence, grief, and the bonds and importance of family.

Call Number: F KRU

The Thicket
Joe R. Lansdale

Synopsis: Jack Parker thought he’d already seen his fair share of tragedy. His grandmother was killed in a farm accident when he was barely five years old. His parents have just succumbed to the smallpox epidemic orphaning him and his younger sister, Lula. Then catastrophe strikes on the way to their uncle’s farm, when a traveling group of bank-robbing bandits murder Jacks grandfather and kidnap his sister. With no elders left for miles, Jack must grow up fast and enlist a band of heroes the likes of which has never been seen if his sister stands any chance at survival.

Donna Says: There are multiple reasons to recommend this piece of historical fiction. First, the characters and the dialogue are worth your time. Second, it is a version of Charles Portis’ classic, True Grit, set in east Texas. Third, it was on the American Library Association’s 2014 short list for historical fiction. However, the final reason is that Peter Dinklage, a fan favorite in the series Game of Thrones, has been selected to play the bounty hunter, Shorty. Dinklage is also co-producing the movie. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a gritty, yet humorous western.

Call Number: F LAN

A New Dawn
John Jackson Miller

Synopsis: Ever since the Jedi were marked for death and forced to flee Coruscant, Kanan Jarrus has devoted himself to staying alive rather than serving the Force. Wandering the galaxy alone, from one anonymous job to another, he avoids trouble at all costs. So when he discovers a deadly conflict brewing between ruthless Imperial forces and desperate revolutionaries, he's not about to get caught in the crossfire. Then the brutal death of a friend at the Empire's hands forces the ex-Jedi to make a choice: bow down to fear, or stand up and fight. But Jarrus won't be fighting alone. Unlikely allies, including a bomb-throwing radical, a former Imperial surveillance agent, a vengeful security officer, and the mysterious Hera Syndulla an agent provocateur with motives of her own team up with Jarrus to challenge the Empire. As a crisis of apocalyptic proportions unfolds on the planet Gorse, they must stand together against one of the Emperor's most fearsome enforcers for the sake of a world and its people.

Elizabeth Says: September is big month for Star Wars fans. The build up to December 18 (the date of the new movie's premiere) will be in full swing. The new toys and hitting the stores and the Expanded Universe is hitting the reset button. And to celebrate I give you A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. A New Dawn is the prequel to the cartoon series Rebels, covering how Hera and Kanan team up. The story is fun and I really enjoyed that the main villain was a motivational speaker. The Star Wars audio books are always really well produced and this is no exception.

Call Number: F STA (Audiobook) 

The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield

Synopsis: Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels. Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in a strange and troubling story.

Megan Says: The Thirteenth Tale will completely possess your imagination. Just when you think you have figured it all out Setterfield will throw a curve ball and send you spinning with astonishment. This is one perfectly messed up, beautifully written story.

Call Number: F SET

The Heist
Janet Evanovich and Lee GoldbergAuthor

Synopsis: FBI Special Agent Kate OHare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the worlds most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. While Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name shes cared about is Nicolas Fox an international crook she wants in more ways than one. Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail particularly Kate OHare, who has been watching his every move. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate OHare. Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker whos hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test OHares patience and Foxs skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kates dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a days work if OHare and Fox dont kill each other first.

Nina Says: This month marks the release of the fourth Fox and O’Hare book (The Scam), the perfect time to start this White Collar meets Miss Congeniality series if you haven’t already. Goldberg gives the story its structure, but the voice is all Evanovich. Her humor, her pacing, her zany characters. Which is great, especially if you initially loved Stephanie Plum but dropped it because Stephanie never grows. Kate O’Hare is competent and knows how to handle her business. The humor is rooted instead in her being taken out of her comfort zone by her new roguish partner in cons. More mild suspense than mystery, but a highly entertaining read.

Call Number: MYS F EVA

The Shotgun Arcana

R.S. Belcher

Synopsis: 1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party and the dawn of humanity. Sheriff Jon Hightower and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few days’ time, the town and its people will be tested as never before--and some of them will never be the same.

Randall Says: Author R.S. Belcher returns to the frontier town of Golgotha, Nevada – a place that seems to be a magnet for the supernatural. Although preceded by The Six Gun Tarot, this book stands on its own. Charismatic characters (good, bad, and ugly) and an engaging story will keep you turning the pages until the grisly conclusion. A dark, weird western with Lovecraftian influences.

Call Number: SFF F BEL
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