Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Norcross Branch Staff Picks

September's staff picks come from the good folks at the Norcross Branch, who offer a really intriguing handful of titles for your reading pleasure.
The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker

Suppose you woke up one Saturday morning and found that the rotation of the earth had suddenly started to slow down? As time passes the days grow to 20, 30 then 40 hours long, and life changes radically for residents of one California suburb. The environment serves as a major testing ground for maintaining relationships and establishing stability. People struggle to figure it out whether live by clock time or to adjust their lives to movement or lack of movement of the earth. This story is told through the eyes of Julia, a 6th-grade girl who valiantly navigates changes within her family, her friendships and her own coming-of-age. Highly recommended for modern day fantasy lovers.

Between Two Fires
by Christopher Buehlman

The setting is medieval France in 1348. Thomas, a disgraced, faithless but warmhearted knight finds an angelic orphan girl who seems to be much more than Thomas can comprehend. She convinces Thomas to lead her over the depraved landscape to Avignon, where she will fulfill her mission to confront the evil that has overcome mankind. You see, the final war is coming and strange, unholy things walk the face of the Earth. This book is epic in scope, emotionally draining for the characters (and readers alike) and is definitely exhilarating. Recommended for readers who like to take the scariest ride at the amusement park.

Leviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey

Corey, the pen name for Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, delivers a rollicking good space opera about the people of the solar system (Earth, Mars and the Asteroid Belt) coming face to face with the gruesome infectious evidence of a far flung alien civilization. Highly recommended for fans of more human-centered Science Fiction.

Maisie Dobbs series
by Jacqueline Winspear

Mystery is my favorite genre, and a little history in the plot makes it even better. I especially like to read book series in order. When I reach the last book available in a series, I am at a loss until I find a character in a new series to follow. I found my new historical mystery series in Maisie Dobbs. The series is set in World War I-era  England and begins with Maisie Dobbs as a young girl earning her living as servant. She serves as a nurse during the Great War, witnessing firsthand the terrible loss and suffering from trench warfare and nerve gasses. After the war she becomes a strong, independent woman who runs her own private investigation agency. As the series develops, Maisie solves mysteries that come from the troubles of the war, which highlights the compelling human cost of war as well as the social issues of the era.

The Scent of Darkness
by Margot Berwin

Eva, also known as Evangeline takes a journey of self discovery from Cyril, New York to the fragrant and otherworldly bayous of Louisiana and back. After inheriting her grandmother's home, Eva discovers a vial of perfume in a hidden room where her Grandmother, an "aromata," created scents. Gabriel, a young medical student who has been using the home as a quiet study, is present when she empties the vial upon herself and is transformed from invisible and lackluster into a force whose presence is felt as soon as she steps foot in New Orleans. Evangeline’s presence transforms strangers, animals, Gabriel (who represents good) and Michael Bon Chance (who represents evil and wants to possess her power). Evangeline is drawn to both men but even more so to the mystery of the scent, which does not wash off or wear off and has changed life as she knew it. Highly recommended for those who enjoy Magical Realism.

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