Books & More
"The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age."
— Benjamin Disraeli
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Fun with history
Title: My Lady Jane
By: Cynthia Hand
1553 turns out to be a very interesting year in England. King Edward VI has been poisoned and apparently is dying. Soon, his cousin Lady Jane Grey will take the throne—but for only nine days. You see, there is also the issue of the Edians, who can change from a human into an animal and who are both feared and respected. One of Edward’s closest advisors, John Dudley, is plotting to get rid of Edward and marry his son Gifford to Lady Jane.
Edward, who has been locked in a tower, manages to escape. Meanwhile, Jane learns that her new husband Gifford is an Edian horse who becomes human at night. (Of course, Jane is the last to know.) Edward’s sister Mary, angry that the line of succession has skipped her, removes Jane from the throne by showing up with an army and imprisoning her. As Jane and Gifford sit in the tower of London, they learn that Edward is still alive. They escape imprisonment and set out to find him and help him do away with Mary. Edward eventually makes it to his grandmother’s house, far away from London. In the course of his journey, he gets help from a Scottish girl named Gracie and his sister Elizabeth, who insists that they ask the French for help.
With a growing army of Frenchmen and a group of unsavory Edians whom Gracie knows, the time has come to take back Edward’s throne from a power-hungry queen.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Title: Dark Jenny
By: Alex Bledsoe
This is a smooth-talking, Arthurianesque, noir-edged mystery featuring a hard-knuckled sword jockey P.I. Audie Award-winning narrator Stefan Rudnicki presents the story in a pleasingly low and gravelly voice with excellent rhythm.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
By: Leslie Calderoni
I'm really excited that we were able to get Charms, the first book of local author Leslie Calderoni’s Tempest Trinity trilogy, onto the shelves at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
Set in Santa Cruz, Charms takes us to favorite spots like Marini's (Martini's in the book), bonfires on the beach, and cruising along West Cliff. The main characters are three sisters, Emerald, Mia and Terra. Respectively, they can: manipulate the laws of physics to control time; talk to people that are no longer living; and manipulate the string vibrations that make up the universe. These young women work hard and have fun as their summer begins to really pick up speed with two out-of-town hotties and a surprising gift from a friend. With its themes of Girl Power and family bonds, and its lack of bad language and violence, Charms is a fun book for a wide age range, though its focus audience is teens.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Title: Version control
By: Dexter Palmer
"Their minds were merely elsewhere, absconded to new and shining places with strange geometries."
A wryly humorous, futuristic tale that is almost upon us. This chewy, richly detailed story follows a couple closely, eavesdropping on their work lives and marital issues. Philip works in a physics lab, inventing a “causality violation device” which, he always reminds people, is not a time machine. Rebecca works in customer support for an internet dating service where she excels in up-selling additional services to frustrated customers. A pivotal tragedy in their past provides the impetus for a life-changing action; it’s like a modern version of an ancient Greek tragedy. The author piqued my interest by incorporating consumer technologies currently under development and projecting these in an entirely believable and sometimes hair-raising manner. (No details here; I wouldn't want to reveal too much!)
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Title: The outside circle
By: Patti Laboucane-Benson
The Outside Circle is, simply put, amazing. It has what you'd expect of a great graphic novel—a wonderful story and lovely art—but what makes it stand out for me, someone who reads at least 2-3 graphic novels a week, is how it made me feel. All good graphic novels make you feel connected to the story, but this one was SO relatable on the emotional level, it resonated with my soul. The relationship dynamics, the descriptions of how people react and feel… they're so accurate, so true to being human, I sat in the break room at work during lunch, reading this story, and allowed myself to cry. My coworkers kept asking me if I was ok, and I kept saying, "This graphic novel is just SO good. I'm all right, this is the good kind of crying." I think that everyone who reads this will have to make the same explanation to anyone who sees them. It's that good.
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