Featured Book Chat Selections 11/2/17

Here is a list of the books discussed in the most recent show: November 2, 2017

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

Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories
by Agatha Christie [Christie]

At last, a single volume that gathers together all of the short stories featuring Agatha Christie’s most famous creation: Hercule Poirot. The dapper, mustache-twirling little Belgian with the egg-shaped head and curious mannerisms has solved some of the most puzzling crimes of the century–and, in his own humble opinion, is “probably the greatest detective in the world.” In this complete collection of stories, ranging from short tales to novellas, Poirot faces violent murders, poisonings, kidnappings, and thefts–all solved with his characteristic panache. Only Agatha Christie could have devised cases worthy of Hercule Poirot’s skill and “little gray cells.”

The libraries’ Just Desserts mystery book discussion group just held a Hercule Poirot discussion to end our 2017 meetings on October 26th, 2017. If you’d like some Hercule Poirot resources, or would like to share your opinion about Christie’s Poirot stories, visit the following links:

Discussion post on the Just Desserts Blog (to leave comments)
Hercule Poirot complete book and story list
Hercule Poirot novels with Descriptions

Little Grey Cells: The Quotable Poirot
by Agatha Christie [not in library collection]

Marvelous little hardback collection of quotes from Agatha Christie’s famed Belgian sleuth, taken from the 33 novels and more than 50 short stories that featured that detective. Organized by topical categories…if you’re looking for a quick pearl of wisdom from the fussy but brilliant little crime-solver this is a fun way to find it!

Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie [Christie]

One of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author’s own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931. While traveling to Paris, a wealthy American is stabbed to death in his cabin on the Orient Express. With the train stuck in a snowdrift, there is no easy escape for the killer. Fortunately, detective Hercule Poirot is aboard and launches a clever investigation into the curious assortment of passengers, of whom each seems to have a motive. Coming out November 10th in an all-new feature film, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, with an all-star cast!

Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk
by Michelle Derusha [Biography Luther]

Their revolutionary marriage was arguably one of the most scandalous and intriguing in history. Yet five centuries later, we still know little about Martin and Katharina Luther’s life as husband and wife. Until now. Against all odds, the unlikely union worked, over time blossoming into the most tender of love stories. This unique biography tells the riveting story of two extraordinary people and their extraordinary relationship, offering refreshing insights into Christian history and illuminating the Luthers’ profound impact on the institution of marriage, the effects of which still reverberate today. By the time they turn the last page, readers will have a deeper understanding of Luther as a husband and father and will come to love and admire Katharina, a woman who, in spite of her pivotal role, has been largely forgotten by history. Together, this legendary couple experienced joy and grief, triumph and travail. This book brings their private lives and their love story into the spotlight and offers powerful insights into our own twenty-first-century understanding of marriage. [Note: Katharina Derusha is a local, Lincoln, NE author!]
The Half-Drowned King
by Linnea Hartsuyker [Hartsuyker]

The first installment in a debut trilogy, The Half-Drowned King tells the compelling story of the political intrigues, battles, and struggles for power that led to the rise of King Harald the Fair-Haired, first king of Norway, seen through the eyes of the young man who became his most trusted warrior and advisor. Conjuring a bloodthirsty, superstitious, and thrilling ancient world (9th century), this debut novel is for fans of Game of Thrones, the Vikings TV series, and Outlander.

Pet Sematary
by Stephen King [King]

“”Sometimes dead is better….”” When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

A Quiet Life in the Country: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery
by T.E. Kinsey [not in library collection]

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.

Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone
by Phaedra Patrick [Patrick]

In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone lives out the stagnant life of an unhappily married jeweler, until the daughter of his estranged brother arrives from America and turns his whole life upside down.

The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago
by Douglas Perry [364.152 Per]

Chicago, 1924. There was nothing surprising about men turning up dead in the Second City. Life was cheaper than a quart of bathtub gin in the gangland capital of the world. But a pair pf murders that spring had something special.

For intrepid ‘girl reporter’ Maurine Watkins, a minister’s daughter from tiny Crawfordsville, Indiana, big city life offered unimagined excitement. Newspaperwomen were supposed to write about clubs, cooking and clothes, but within weeks of starting at the Chicago Tribune, Watkins found herself embroiled in two scandalous sex-fuelled murder cases. The first involved Belva Gaertner, the witty, sophisticated millionaire divorcee who feared returning to the poverty of her childhood. Then there was Beulah Annan a Kentucky farm girl turned jazz baby whose wistful beauty obscured an ice-cold narcissism. Both had gunned down their lovers under mysterious circumstances.

In Chicago, Watkins learned, the all-male juries didn’t convict women-especially beautiful women. The young reporter was determined to change that. She mocked ‘Stylish Belva’ and ‘Beautiful Beulah’ on the front page and made them the talk of the town. But the public reaction was not what she expected. Love-struck men sent flowers to the jail; newly emancipated women sent impassioned letters to the newspapers. Soon more than a dozen ‘murderesses’ preened and strutted in Cook Country Jail as they awaited trial, desperate for the same attention that wa being lavished on Watkins’s ‘favourites.’ None of these women-nor the police, the reporters, or the public-could imagine the bizarre way it would all end

Douglas Perry vividly captures the sensationalized circus atmosphere that gave Chicago its most famous story. Fueled by rich period detail and a cast of characters who seemed destined for the stage. The Girls of Murder City is crackling social history that simultaneously presents the freewheeling spirit of the Jazz Age and its sober repercussions.

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
by Joel Sartore and Kwame Alexander [jP Alexander]

A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird–pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world. Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature’s markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore’s lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.

The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals
by Joel Sartore [779.59 Sar]

This book of photography represents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major cross-platform initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals — especially those that are endangered. His message: to know these animals is to save them. Sartore intends to photograph every animal in captivity in the world. He is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. He has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal. This book showcases his animal portraits: from tiny to mammoth, from the Florida grasshopper sparrow to the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Paired with the prose of veteran wildlife writer Douglas Chadwick, this book presents an argument for saving all the species of our planet.

Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark
by Joel Sartore [DVD 591.68 Rar]

Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark travels with renowned photographer Joel Sartore as he photographs at-risk and rare species in the wild, in zoos, and in nature preserves. The 3-part series explores his Photo Ark initiative, which aims to document every species at risk of extinction. This captivating and visually stunning special will reveal why ensuring species future matters to us all.