Reading Room Blog
Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence, Superintendent Battle--all of these detectives, some amateurs, some professional--are the creation of one woman, Agatha Christie.
Jenna's mother vanished ten years ago without a trace. In Jody Picoult's latest novel Leaving Time, the precocious 13-year-old is on a mission to crack the mystery and locate her missing parent. Her father Thomas, now committed to a mental institution, can barely recognize his daughter, let alone assist her in her quest. Instead, Jenna solicits the help of Virgil, a washed-up private investigator—one of two former cops who actually worked her mother’s case—and Serenity—a once famous psychic, now fallen from grace.
Obsessive fans: any well-known author’s worst nightmare. Especially when they begin sending emails or letters, begging for another continuation of their favorite book series. But what happens when a captivated fan takes things too far?
Eduardo and Ciro watched their beautiful, bereft mother leave them behind, not looking back once. Surely, they were now orphans. Abandoned to be raised at a nunnery in the Italian Alps, they would grow into good if very different young men with only one hope—to see their mother again.
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A fugitive English forester and mercenary defender saves young novitiate Melisande and, defending himself from a vengeance-seeking rapist priest and Melisande's father, finds himself slogging his way to Agincourt as an archer in King Henry V's army. (catalog summary)
It is the winter of 1537 and England is divided into those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the King and the newly established Church of England. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar-general, crusades against the old Church with savage new laws, rigged trials, and a vast network of informers. Queen Anne Boleyn has been beheaded and monasteries are being dissolved-their treasures pillaged and their lands eyed greedily by courtiers and country gentry. But having put down one people's rebellion, Cromwell fears another might topple the realm. So, when one of his commissioners is murdered in the monastery at Scarnsea on the south coast of England, he enlists his fellow reformer, Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," to head the inquiry. When Shardlake and his young clerk and protégé, Mark Poer, arrive at Scarnsea, the two are greeted with thinly veiled hostility and suspicion as their investigation quickly uncovers evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason. While the community of brothers is revealed to be far less pious than they would seem, Shardlake himself is shocked to discover truths about Cromwell that undermine his own beliefs and threaten to cost him his faith, and even his life. But when a novice is poisoned and a year-old corpse dredged up from a nearby pond, Shardlake must act quickly to prevent the killer from murdering again. (catalog summary)
A life-threatening health condition led Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, to make some unorthodox life decisions. In seeking the traditional American dream of being a homeowner, she buys a house—one with great potential, but in need of extensive TLC. Dee, a farm girl, is not intimidated by hard work, and gradually she transforms her fixer-upper into charming digs, complete with a lavish garden. Between maintaining her abode and traveling for her job as a state hazardous waste inspector, she has no time to simply luxuriate in little day-to-day pleasures. It’s not until she is diagnosed with heart failure in her early forties that she realizes how vital it is to change her priorities. She is no longer content to be a slave to house and yard work.
Science fiction offers a rich history and has gone through many changes since its birth almost 200 years ago. The genre is so much more than mere aliens, robots, and time travel. It allows us to address complex issues in an accessible way.
Confession time: I am news junkie. Obsessed to the core with headlines, bylines, and editorials, I love starting my morning with a hot cup of coffee, a good podcast, and the online editions of my favorite papers.
You will find wisdom and comfort in this sweet, funny, and smart story. Counselor Maggie Brennan specializes in helping her patients in a special type of loss: the anguish of the loss of a four-legged friend. Her insight into the loss of this special bond moves her grieving patients who are often embarrassed and confused about the emotional turmoil caused by the loss of their pets: loss is loss and love is love. Her patients are not “Dog Crazy” but “Dog Normal.”