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A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  The trilogy is now complete with July’s publishing of The Book of Life, and the series is so consistently great that really, we think you should read all three. These books are a fantastic combination of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, suspense and adventure. Our staff member thought they were like a more accessible (and fantasy instead of science fiction) Neal Stephenson.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism” –Taken from Goodreads.com

The Library has these in regular and large type, as well as audiobooks.  Please note, the large type works are on order and should be in soon.

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

 

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This week’s staff pick of the week is The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.  A mildly futuristic fantasy that our staff member wasn’t sure they’d like, but they were “ensnared” after the first few pages.  An excellent novel about a strong young woman trying to figure out who she is and how to fix a kingdom.  There are thieves, assassins, kidnappings… and no romance.  The first of a trilogy, this was a great read, and it’s already been optioned into a movie.

“Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive.”–Taken from Goodreads.com

 


The Queen Of The Tearling: A Novel

Erika Johansen

Published: Jun 26, 2014 by Harper
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Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

 

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2013 was a phenomenal year for books, and there are a lot of “best of 2013” lists.  If you don’t know what to read this summer, why don’t you check out one of last year’s best?

Andrew Carnegie Medal Shortlist & Similar Works

Best of the Best Books List: 2013 Critics’ Top Picks from TheDailyBeast.com

The Best New Books of 2013 from Barnes and Noble

NPR’s Book Concierge

You can also look at our Staff Pick of the Week Blog Posts (collected here on Facebook) or Bookmarks when you visit the library!

Don’t forget that everything you read counts towards our Summer Reading program!

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“Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is summarily shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine’s deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the “Delicious Guarantee”-a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries-until further notice. What she doesn’t know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.

Delicious! carries the reader to the colorful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors, and from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine’s library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu’s letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu’s courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues-the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truths about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love.”–Goodreads.com

Our staff member was lucky enough to get their hands on an advanced reading copy, and they devoured this in less than a day.  Now, they can’t stop talking about it.  A great vacation read, or one for that stage before the end of the year where you need a distraction but not one that requires a lot of brain power like Neal Stephenson.

Check it out today!

Delicious!: A Novel

Ruth Reichl

Published: May 06, 2014 by Random House
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The Weight of Blood: A Novel by Laura McHugh

Published: Mar 11, 2014 by Spiegel & Grau

Find in the Library

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.

The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy’s family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family’s influence, Lucy—darkly beautiful as her mother was—is always thought of by those around her as her mother’s daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls—the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t save—and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri’s death.

What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier.

The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.