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Adult Services Staff Picks

A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove
Fredrick Backman

Synopsis: Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has stanch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be biter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.so when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidently flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is a lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

Christy Says: We all know at least one, a grumpy old man who wants everything done the right way (his way). Ove is such a man, a man who lives upon a strict foundation of values, rules and regulations that cannot be shaken. He is most unlikeable…at first. You’ll soon begin to see another side of old Ove, however, and it will pull at your heart strings and make you smile and laugh. Possibly even cry. This is a great read if you’re in the mood to uncover the human side of life and distract yourself from the inconsequential non-events we get so wrapped up in on a daily basis.

Call Number: F BAC


Lies of Locke LamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora
Scott Lynch

Synopsis: An orphan's life is harsh-and often short-in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains-a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans-a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful-and more ambitious-than Locke has yet imagined.

Donna Says: This is the first entry in Lynch's The Gentleman Bastard series. This is the book to choose if you are in the mood to begin a wickedly fun series that is highly recommended by Patrick Rothfuss and Rick Riordan. I describe it as a mashup of Oliver Twist, The Godfather and Robin Hood. If that appeals to you this August, then give it a try.

Call Number: SFF F LYN


Mansfield ParkMansfield Park
Directed by Patricia Rozema

Synopsis: At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt’s husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral compass, she becomes especially close to Edmund, Thomas’ younger son. Fanny is soon possessed of beauty as well as a keen mind and comes to the attention of a neighbor, Henry Crawford. Thomas promotes this match, but to his displeasure, Fanny has a mind of her own, asking Henry to prove himself worthy. As Edmund courts Henry’s sister and as light shines on the link between Thomas’ fortunes and New World slavery, Fanny must assess Henry’s character and assert her heart as well as her wit.

Elizabeth Says: Released in 1999, Mansfield Park is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel by the same name. The film takes a few liberties for the source material but I think the changes work well and give the characters an added dimension. Some elements of Jane Austen’s life are superimposed on the character of Fanny and the screenwriter does an excellent job of adapting the novel. It is a delightful little film, starring Johnny Lee Miller and Frances O’Connor.

Call Number: ADVD MAN


The AlienistThe Alienist
Caleb Carr

Synopsis: The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, psychologist, or “alienist.” On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan’s infamous brothels. The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler’s intellect and Moore’s knowledge of New York’s vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology – amassing a psychological profile of the man they’re looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before – and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Megan Says: Forensic fans will love reading this book. You really get to delve deep into criminal psychological profiling. I felt like one of the super sleuths crunching clues to solve the crime. But I must warn you, the details in the case are deeply disturbing and the journey that the investigators must pursue takes them to the seediest of locations. This is not a book for the faint of heart reader. However, if you possess the courage to tag along, you will not be disappointed.

Call Number: THR F CAR

Botticelli SecretThe Botticelli Secret
Marina Fiorato

Synopsis: When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn't mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece "Primavera." But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting - only to find that someone is ready to kill her to get it back. What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Venice together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting's secrets.

Nina Says: Fiorato pens her own masterpiece set in the height of Medici power. Renaissance Italy comes alive in brilliant sights and sounds from marbled halls to filthy sewers. Luciana is irrepressible, unabashed and an absolute hoot while Guido foils her nicely as the learned, noble Holmes to her Watson. Political intrigue is deftly woven through, allowing readers to try their best sleuthing.

Call Number: MYS F FIO


Library at Mount CharThe Library at Mount Char
Scott Hawkins

Synopsis: Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library--and with it, power over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price--because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.

Randall Says: Hawkins’ debut novel is one you won’t soon forget. The world is unique and fascinating, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, but with an extra dose of horror. The cast of characters (which includes god-like librarians and several lions) is equally compelling. David, the principle antagonist, master of murder and war, is the front-runner for my villain of the year. Hawkins has a wry sense of humor and there are some truly funny scenes amid all the violence and surrealism.

Call Number: SFF F HAW

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