Monday, August 5, 2013

Mountain Park Branch Staff Picks

August's staff picks come to us from the staff of the Mountain Park branch, who have four very diverse recommendations for your reading pleasure. Happy reading!

An American Autopsy
by Charlie LeDuff

Readers of true crime and biographical sketches will enjoy Detroit. LeDuff, a former reporter for The Detroit News and The New York Times, chronicles his return home amid his former city's calamitous decline. He takes a job with a Detroit newspaper and pursues stories of corrupt politicians, a spiraling murder rate, and some compassionate firefighters and other underpaid city workers performing their jobs proudly despite everything. The city of Detroit and its suburbs loom large and graphic, while LeDuff, himself fighting demons from the past, gives us a riveting story of the vibrant people who dwell in a distressed world, surviving one day at a time. LeDuff has written a real-life tragedy, sleek and dark but sprinkled with a measure of hope. Reminiscent of HBO series where the city serves as character (e.g. The Wire, Treme, etc.), Detroit will leave readers rooting for one of America's oldest cities to come out on top.

The Light Between Oceans
by M. L. Stedman

Fans of atmospheric, character driven novels will love this great debut. Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia from the horrors of World War I determined to keep people at a distance while he copes with the losses he has suffered. He takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock 100 miles off the coast. Before he leaves for his new post, Tom meets lighthearted Isabel and soon marries her. They live in harmony with the place and each other, their happiness gradually marred by Isabel’s despair over two miscarriages and a stillborn birth. Then, to Isabel, a miracle happens: a boat containing a dead man and a healthy baby is washed ashore. This is such a human story. The novel explores the grey areas between absolutes and the consequences of choice. It’s very suspenseful and a great blend of the historical time and place.

Me Before You
by Jo Jo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life until she takes a job as a care assistant for a man who has been paralyzed for over two years following a horrible skiing accident. Will Traynor, used to living large and excelling in business, is now deeply depressed and angry. He does not wish to continue life as a quadriplegic and very much wants to exercise his right to die. Louisa vows to improve the situation and quickly discovers that she enjoys spending time with Will, who in turn begins to encourage her to start doing things that he can no longer do. When Will makes a stunning admission, Louisa hatches a plan to convince Will that life is worth living no matter what. Louisa and Will develop a deep fondness for each other, and when the story takes a turn no one expects it is almost guaranteed to make you cry. Readers will find it hard to put this one down.

by Joe Hill

If you didn't know that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, you might guess that this vampire story with a twist was written by King. In fact, Joe writes more like his father than his father does. The vampire protagonist has the unique ability to blend the inner scape of the mind with reality. He kidnaps children and takes them to a place in his imagination where he drains them not just of their sorrows, but also of their humanity and their conscience. This keeps him young but turns the kids into monsters. Then he comes into conflict with another who, like himself, can bend reality and go places in the mind. The two stalk each other, and the ending is certainly satisfying and truly "vintage King." A good read for anyone looking for fresh King material.

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