Book Chat Selections for 6/15/17

These books were featured on P & S 6/15/17. To see the past Book Chat selections all the way back to 2002, go here:  http://lincolnlibraries.org/bookguide/kfor

Appearing with Cathy on this episode: Scott C., Becky W.C., Lisa V., and producer Lizz B.

One Book - One LincolnMoonglow
by Michael Chabon [Chabon]

Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure–and the forces that work to destroy us.

In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact–and the creative power–of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator’s grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.

From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,” the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most moving and inventive.

[A 2017 One Book – One Lincoln finalist]
A Scone to Die For
by H.Y. Hanna [Hanna]

When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in her quaint Oxfordshire tearoom, Gemma must solve the mystery with the help of the nosy Old Biddies and a mischievous little feline named Muesli. But between her bossy, matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love as a handsome CID detective, Gemma soon has her hands full and her head spinning!

Murder is bad for business, especially when customers think your scones are more deadly than delicious. With the body count rising and her tearoom going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?

[Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries.]
Tough as They Come
by Staff Sgt. Travis Mills with Marcus Brotherton [Biography Mills]

Thousands have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five have survived quadruple amputee injuries. This is one soldier’s story.

Thousands of soldiers die every year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost–Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation.

Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter.

Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest. With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school.

Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded. “I’m just a man with scars,” he says, “living life to the fullest and best I know how.”


The Dangerous Ladies Affair
by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini [Muller]

For the firm of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services, stopping extortionists is not only grand, but excitingly lucrative.

When a pleasant afternoon’s bicycling through Golden Gate Park with a friend ends with the revelation of threatening letters, followed by a gunshot in a mansion garden, Sabina Carpenter knows this is a case that demands her immediate and undivided attention.

The questions her partner John Quincannon has to unravel are not difficult: Wrixton, a wealthy banker, has met his extortionist’s first demand, but the order to pay another $5,000 is too much to face. The banker’s real problem is something he doesn’t want to reveal. That was fine with the detective, and when he was informed that some private letters were involved and Wrixton absolutely needed them back, there was nothing more Quincannon needed in the way of background. As with so many of San Francisco’s elite, the bedroom doors never seemed to stay shut.

That was the easy ∂ far more difficult was the matter of the dead courier, murdered most foully in a locked room within a locked room, creating a trail that will take John Quincannon through most of San Francisco’s less savory places and end with a riverboat trip that is anything but a relaxing cruise.

The Dangerous Ladies Affair is the next thrilling installment in this charming historical mystery series from MWA Grand Masters Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini.


By Gaslight
by Steven Price [Price]

A literary tour de force of a detective’s ceaseless hunt for an elusive criminal

By Gaslight is a deeply atmospheric, haunting novel about the unending quest that has shaped a man’s life.

William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of the most notorious detective of all time, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead on the fabled con Edward Shade. William’s father died without ever finding Shade, but William is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows.

Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London to find her. What he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried.

A fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and s#65533;ance halls ensues, creating the most unlikely of bonds: between Pinkerton, the great detective, and Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

Steven Price’s dazzling, riveting By Gaslight moves from the diamond mines of South Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War, on a journey into a cityscape of grief, trust, and its breaking, where what we share can bind us even against our darker selves.


The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar
by Matt Simon [578.4 Sim]

A fascinating exploration of the awe-inspiring, unsettling ingenuity of evolution

On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators.

These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar , a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love.

Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award.


A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles [Compact Disc Towles]

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility –a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

[A 2017 One Book – One Lincoln finalist]
Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People
by Vanessa Van Edwards [ On Order ]

Do you feel awkward at networking events? Do you wonder what your date really thinks of you? Do you wish you could decode people? You need to learn the science of people.

As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone—and a completely new approach to building connections.

Just like knowing the formulas to use in a chemistry lab, or the right programming language to build an app, Captivate provides simple ways to solve people problems. You’ll learn, for example…

· How to work a room: Every party, networking event, and social situation has a predictable map. Discover the sweet spot for making the most connections. · How to read faces: It’s easier than you think to speed-read facial expressions and use them to predict people’s emotions. · How to talk to anyone: Every conversation can be memorable—once you learn how certain words generate the pleasure hormone dopamine in listeners.

When you understand the laws of human behavior, your influence, impact, and income will increase significantly. What’s more, you will improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation—negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches. You’ll never interact the same way again.

[Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries.]