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Archive for July, 2012

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo is a thriller set in Amish Country.  Kate Burkholder was raised Amish, but she left that life behind to pursue a career in law enforcement.  Now the Chief of Police in her small hometown, she is often called upon by regional authorities to help in cases involving a community that is suspicious of outsiders.  In this fourth book in the series, Kate is investigating the disappearance of several young women who are participating in rumpringa, the time in which Amish teens are allowed to get a taste of life outside the confines of their religion.  Following contradictory leads , Kate teams up with State Agent John Tomasetti  to stop an evil that has spread into their innocent community.  Linda Castillo has once again given readers a tense and twisted thriller that is sure to keep them wanting more.

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Enchantment: the Life of Audrey Hepburn by Donald Spoto

When we think of Audrey Hepburn several different associations come to mind. Naturally, film fans fondly remember her as a talented actress whose career achievements earned her recognition from the members of the prestigious American Film Institute as their selection as the third greatest female screen legend of all time.   She was nominated for an Academy Award or Oscar five times and won once. She also won an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Grammy Award.  While those awards indicate her creative or performing talents, her average box office gross was 23 million dollars per film which clearly indicates her commercial appeal as well.  On the other hand even people who do not care for films probably recall Audrey as a fashion icon that immortalized the little black dress, popularized the kitten heel, and was selected for induction into the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame.  Even her much celebrated updo from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was recently named as the most influential hairstyle ever by the Hairdresser’s Council.  While these well deserved accolades are impressive, Hepburn’s selfless humanitarian work deserves equal recognition.  Donald Spoto is best known for his biographies of Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly but he has also written about theological subjects. In his 2006 biography of Audrey Hepburn, he manages to depict the actress in a manner that draws upon both of his areas of expertise. He describes Hepburn’s flaws including various affairs while also maintaining an almost reverent respect for her talent, influence, and humanitarian work.  The end result is a well-written biography that manages to avoid sensationalism while motivating the casual reader to seek out some of Audrey Hepburn’s  films or reflect upon the way she set an example of using her fame to draw attention to human suffering in Africa long before anyone had heard of “Brangelina!”

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New Fiction

The Third Gate by Lincoln Child

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Judgment Call by J. A.  Jance.

The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

Forever Friends by Danielle Steel

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Saving Grace by Lee Smith

New Non-Fiction

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

Global Weirdness

New Paperbacks

Sidewinders: Texas Bloodshed

Darkness  Devours by Keri Arthur

Secrets and Speed dating by Leah Ashton

All That Bleeds by Kimberly Frost

Age of Aztec by James Lovegrove

Die Job by Lila Dare

Hometown Girl by Mariah Stewart

Dark Crossings by Karen Harper

If Ever I Return Pretty Peggy-O by Sharyn McCrumb

Keeping Score by Regina Hart

The Unholy by Heather Graham

Ghost Walk by Heather Graham

Caught in the Act by Jill Sorenson

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Shelf Life: After-Life on the Cyber-ssippi
By Tod Owens

While there are countless websites on the internet devoted to topics ranging from the scholarly to the ridiculous, it strikes me as particularly amusing that Mark Twain has his own website. It’s not just a site about him. It is proudly and perhaps defiantly labeled as the “Official Website of Mark Twain!” Now, we all know he once said that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated but I didn’t expect a 177 year old man to be so cyber savvy! According to the site map, Twain launched his page in 2000 and last updated it in 2010. I suppose for a dead man, he’s been busy the last couple of years and hasn’t had a chance to fill us in on his more recent activities. You’d think that a man who wrote so much might have at least set up a simple daily blog to keep his fans informed. Twain was always interested in making money so it makes sense that his website features a section for shopping in which users may buy posters or find links to Ebay auctions on items like “Mark Twain bubble gum” which is described as “like new.” A separate section of the Twain page is headed “business” and users may click on that link to learn about how they may submit their ideas for ways in which enterprising companies may license the use of Mark Twain’s name or image. I suppose the guy selling the bubble gum was one of the earlier licensees! You may also follow a link to the Legends gallery which contains links to individual photos of Twain and other luminaries like Ty Cobb, John Belushi, and Marilyn Monroe! This makes perfect sense since I can imagine the three of them hanging around together at Starbucks.
Twain was always interested in technology and more than one of his attempts to secure his personal fortune failed because of bad investments in dubious inventions like an automatic typesetting machine called the Page Compositor which contained over 18,000 parts and weighed 5,000 pounds! He often complained that he was forced to write various books in order to pay his debts or finance some of his bad investments. For that reason he probably would not approve of his estate’s efforts to capitalize on his legacy and make a quick buck although since his only grandchild Nina died without having any children, I’m not certain exactly who benefits from all those cyber endorsements! There is yet another website (www.marktwainonline.com) that contains photos and information about some of his more indirect descendents.Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) is not the only dead celebrity who became a commodity after his death. Some of the wealthiest estates belong to deceased musicians like Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and Elvis Presley. While that doesn’t mean, the Twain estate will be releasing any previously undiscovered CDs featuring the author warbling “Dixie”, it does mean that through internet marketing even authors who are far more obscure than Mark Twain may acquire a perpetual “cyber life” that preserves or capitalizes on their works long after their deaths.
There is a comprehensive website called Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet which contains links of annotated websites with information ranging from the bard’s family tree data to an index of literary criticism for each of his works. The site features links to reviews of DVDs or books about Shakespeare but doesn’t seem to have a link for merchandize. I suppose Will’s not as interested in making a fast buck as Twain is. Perhaps, we should update one of Shakespeare’s quotes. “He who steals my purse steals trash but he who rips off my site domain will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!”

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Blackout by Mira Grant

I just finished reading BLACKOUT, the final book in the Newsflesh trilogy.  What an awesome set of books.  This trilogy has it all, action, suspense, government conspiracy, love, loss, and above all zombies caused by virus mutation!!!  I highly recommend this set for any zombie book lover!

 

Another good zombie book I just finished was PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry.

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New Books in Marion 7-17-12

Non-Fiction

Beagle Smart Owner’s Guide

The Complete Guide to Dog Training

Sceola and the Great Seminole War by Thom Hatch

Marilyn Monroe the Final Years by Keith Badman

Weight Loss Boss by David Kirchhoff

Nurse’s Quick Check Diseases

2013 College Handbook

Eat & Run by Scott Jurek

How to Prune Stem Cell Now

Butterflies of North America

Adele the Biography by marc Shapiro

Frommer’s Hawaii Day By Day

Now Eat This! By Rocco Dispirito

National Geographic Backyard Birds

Fodor’s Australia

The Art of Intelligence by Henry Crumpton

Southern Living: 1001 Ways to Cook Southern

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney

You Have No Idea by Vanessa Williams

 

Fiction

The Fear Artist by Timothy Halliman

When In Doubt Add Butter by Beth Harbison

Creole Belle by James Burke

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva

The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott

Fire Season by Jon Loomis

Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Hell or High Water by Joy Castro

Some Like It Hawk by Donna Andrews

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

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The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Ruth Saunders knows too well that nothing in life is perfect.  Scarred from an automobile accident that took the lives of her mother and father, Ruth grew up in a world of hospitals and surgeries with her grandmother at her side.  She sought solace in the TV world of “The Golden Girls” and “Friends,” and after graduation she moved with her grandmother to Hollywood to follow her dream of being a screenwriter.  That’s when Ruth’s real education begins—she gets her heart broken, loses her job, and learns how to swim with the Hollywood sharks without losing her best qualities.  In The Next Best Thing, author Jennifer Weiner draws on her own writing experiences to create believable characters with real-life struggles set in the backdrop of the unreality of Hollywood.  A stand-out in the “chick lit” genre, Weiner does not disappoint with this new look into the lives of real women

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