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Mattel Wants Your Ideas to Create the Perfect Barbie

Good news, amateur toy makers, Mattel is now teaming up with a company called Quirky to crowdsource ideas for real products.






'Sounded Like a Jet Engine': 11 Hurt in Calif. Gas Explosion

The explosion sparked several small fires, leaving three people critically injured with burns and eight people with minor injuries.






Could Mixing up Taser and Gun Really 'Happen to Anyone'?

"You must believe me," the reserve deputy said. "It can happen to anyone."






Born in the USA: Inside the Minds of ISIS Wannabes

A new study says U.S. residents accused of supporting the terror gang are drawn in by the fantasy, and not necessarily an urge to attack Americans.






Gas Pipeline Explosion Shuts Down Part of Highway

The explosion occurred at the Fresno County Gun Range Friday afternoon.






Towing Company Says Go Easy on ESPN's Britt McHenry

Britt McHenry was suspended from ESPN for a week after a video showing her insulting the physical appearance and intelligence of a clerk was posted.

Plane Makes Crash-Landing Along Texas Highway

The pilot and two passengers on board the twin-engine plane suffered minor injuries after the plane bound for Houston landed along U.S. 59.






'No Water, No Workers': Town Shrinks Amid Historic Drought

The land in Stratford, California, isn't sinking as it has in some towns, but business is drying up as the town is ravaged by an historic drought.






Musician Twin Shadow's Tour Bus Crashes in Colorado

A dozen people were injured when a tour bus collided with another tour bus and two trucks on a fog-blanketed stretch of a Colorado highway Friday.






Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Murder on a Girls Night Out
by Anne George

Publishers Weekly A refreshingly different heroine, retired Alabama schoolteacher Patricia Anne Hollowell, is drawn into a murder investigation after her colorful sister, Mary Alice, buys a country-western club. When the previous owner is found gruesomely murdered, the suspects include the club's cook, one of Patricia Anne's former prize students. Sprightly dialogue and a humorous eye for detail get this mystery off to a promising start. However, once the offbeat characters are introduced, they and their relationships fail to change or deepen. The dialogue becomes repetitive, and the telling domestic observations lapse into trivia. Clues accumulate more through coincidence than through investigation, with the conclusion weighed down by a welter of implausible connections and old secrets. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Desert Angel
by Price, Charlie

Publishers Weekly Price (The Interrogation of Gabriel James) delivers a visceral thriller that starts with the murder of 14-year-old Angel's mother and ratchets up the tension from there. Angel finds her mother's body and vows to escape Scotty, the latest in a line of abusive men her mother had been involved with. After Scotty's failed attempt to burn her alive in his trailer, in the remote southwestern desert, Angel makes her way to a neighboring home, where she soon finds help in the form of Rita, a Head Start worker in a nearby town who takes in a reluctant Angel. The story doesn't shy away from the horror of the violence Scotty inflicts, killing animals and those who help Angel, while she contemplates taking revenge on her mother's murderer and worries about the repercussions of drawing Scotty closer to her newfound family. Price's pacing is tight, aided by direct, clipped prose that underscores Scotty's brutality and Angel's fragile emotional state. Both the best and worst of humanity shine through in this gripping novel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Angel's life is a nightmare. Her mother drinks and does drugs and her mother's boyfriend, Scotty, sexually abuses her. One morning after a night of hiding from him in the desert, Angel returns home to find that he has killed her mother and has been waiting so he can murder her, too. Angel barely escapes, but since Scotty is an expert tracker, the hunt has only just begun. During her flight, she meets people who put themselves in danger to protect her, acts of kindness that the untrusting 14-year-old cannot understand. As these caring folks keep shielding her from Scotty, who always seems to know where she is, Angel struggles with the danger she's putting them in and she wonders if she would be better off on her own. She begins to realize that no matter how worthless she feels, she needs and deserves love and that she is important to others. The story is a fast-paced adventure with an interesting premise, but at times it's hard to believe that so many strangers would risk their lives to hide the teen in their homes. Fans of dramatic, high-adrenaline books with hard-knocked protagonists might enjoy the basic premise.-Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list From Night of the Hunter to countless westerns, the theme of a bad man coming is a powerful one: there is an unstoppable force on its way to deliver a brutal reckoning, and the fun is in watching the heroes try (in vain) to avoid the final battle. Price's fast, sharp, unsentimental contribution follows 14-year-old Angel, on the run since a villain named Scotty (ominously kept offstage for almost the duration of the book) murdered her mother and is now coming after Angel to wipe up the last bit of evidence. After racing across the desert, Angel stumbles into the lives of an extended family of immigrants some legal, some not who want to help the shell-shocked, rage-filled girl without putting their own loved ones in danger. Price's biggest curve is turning the hunted into the hunter after Angel decides that she must find Scotty first. Never showy, this is hard, gritty realism, and Price's depiction of the twitchy psyche of an abused girl is dead-on. Serious thriller fans will be more than satisfied.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene 'Bull' Connor
by Larry Dane Brimner

Book list *Starred Review* Bombed, beaten, banned, and imprisoned, Reverend Fred. L. Shuttlesworth led the civil rights struggle for equality in Birmingham, Alabama, using nonviolent action to protest segregation in schools, stores, buses, and the hiring of police officers. He pressed his congregation to register to vote and to cast their ballots for civil rights supporters. Eugene Bull Connor, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, became a symbol of racist hatred and violence as he organized the southern segregationists to rally against Shuttlesworth. With a spacious design that includes archival pictures and primary source documents on almost every page, this accessible photo-essay recounts the events in three sections, which focus first on the preacher, then on the commissioner, and finally, on their confrontation. For readers new to the subject, the biographies will be a vivid, informative introduction, but even those who have some familiarity with the landmark events will learn much more here. Thorough source notes document the sometimes harrowing details and provide opportunities for further research, as does a list of suggested reading. Never simplistic in his depictions, Brimner shows the viewpoints from all sides: some middle-class blacks resented Fred's heavy-handed style fiery, confrontational, dictatorial even if they agreed with the goals; some whites in Birmingham did wish to see an end to segregation, though their voices were drowned out. A penetrating look at elemental national history.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 6 Up-The relative fame of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks tends to obscure other primary, important players in the Civil Rights Movement. One of these was the Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a Baptist minister who served churches in Alabama from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Committed to his belief in the equality of all people before God, he was the driving force in bringing about the integration of Birmingham; and in this endeavor, he had help from a most unexpected source. Eugene "Bull" Connor was the Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety and strong proponent of the city's segregation ordinances. His enforcement techniques were legendary: dogs, fire hoses, brutality. Klan supported and driven by a set of beliefs as strong as, but counter to, Shuttlesworth's, Connor was in large part responsible for turning the tide of public opinion in favor of civil-rights progress. In this highly pictorial book, Brimner limns the characters of both men and the ways in which their belief systems and personalities interacted to eliminate segregation from the Birmingham statutes. Black-and-white pages and red sidebars containing supporting information on topics such as the murder of Emmet Till and Autherine Lucy's attempt to integrate the University of Alabama make this a visually arresting book. The writing style is lively and informative. A brief bibliography, excellent source notes, and a sound index round out this volume, which can stand alongside Russell Freedman's Freedom Walkers (Holiday House, 2006) and Brimner's own Birmingham Sunday (Calkins Creek, 2010) as fine examples of both civil-rights history and photo-biographies.-Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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British Crime Writers' Assoc.
Click to search this book in our catalog A Small Death in Lisbon
by Robert Wilson

Library Journal Klaus Felsen, a Berlin businessman forced into the SS against his will in 1941, has been assigned to Portugal. From there, he ships the Germans wolframDa mineral desperately needed by Hitler's war machineDand, near the end of the war, smuggles Nazi gold in the other direction, ultimately betraying the men who control him. Over 50 years later, Inspector Ze Coelho works to solve the murder of a young girl near Lisbon and in doing so unravels a tangled skein that ties the corruption of the past to the tragedy of the present. Wilson's fifth novel, winner of England's Golden Dagger for Best Crime Novel, richly deserves both the acclaim it has garnered overseas and a wide audience in this country. Using story lines that converge in time, Wilson skillfully weaves an engrossing and complex tale, characterized by an atmospheric evocation of past and present Portugal, fascinating characters of great psychological depth, a brilliant plot that grips the reader to the last word, and an immensely satisfying mastery of craft and language. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.DRonnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list This winner of Britain's Golden Dagger for best crime novel juggles two stories, both set in Lisbon. Klaus Felsen is a German businessman forced into the SS in 1941 and assigned the task of smuggling a crucial tungsten alloy from Portugal to Germany. In the late 1990s, a melancholy Lisbon cop, Inspector Ze Coelho, must investigate the shocking murder of a promiscuous teenager. Wilson moves effortlessly between the two seemingly unrelated plots, drawing them together finally when Coelho's investigative trail leads to a long-suppressed scandal involving Portugal's ties to the Nazis. Wilson's skill at interweaving narrative threads shines brightly, and Coelho and Felsen both emerge as compelling, multilayered characters who defy our expectations. Wilson is clearly a major talent, though the massive scope of his novel--the multiple story lines, converging time frames, and enormous cast--eventually drains some intensity, leaving us more impressed with the story's complexity than overwhelmed by its power. If Wilson's reach exceeds his grasp just a bit this time, he establishes himself as a writer to watch very closely. ^-Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly The real star of this gripping and beautifully written mysteryDwhich won the British Crime Writers' Golden Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel last yearDis Portugal, whose history and people come to life on every page. Wilson tells two stories: the investigation into the brutal sex murder of a 15-year-girl in 1998, and the tangled, bloody saga of a financial enterprise that begins with the Nazis in 1941. Although the two stories seem unrelated, both are so strong and full of fascinating characters that readers' attentionDand their faith that they will eventually be connectedDshould never waver. The author creates three compelling protagonists: middle-aged detective Jose Coelho, better known as Ze; Ze's late British wife, whom he met while exiled in London with his military officer father during the anti-Salazar political uprisings of the 1970s; and Ze's wise, talented and sexually active 16-year-old daughter. The first part of the WWII story focuses on an ambitious, rough-edged but likeable Swabian businessman, Klaus Felsen, convinced by the Gestapo to go to Portugal and seize the lion's share of that country's supply of tungsten, vital to the Nazi war effort. Later, we meet Manuel Abrantes, a much darker and more dangerous character, who turns out to be the main link between the past and the present. As Ze sifts through the sordid circumstances surrounding the murder of the promiscuous daughter of a powerful, vindictive lawyer, Wilson shines a harsh light on contemporary Portuguese society. Then, in alternating chapters, he shows how and why that society developed. All this and a suspenseful mysteryDwho could ask for more? (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Saint George and the Dragon
by Margaret Hodges

Publishers Weekly : This adaptation of The Faerie Queen features illustrations that ``glitter with color and mesmerizing details,'' said PW. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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Edgar Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog California Girl
by T. Jefferson Parker

Library Journal Besides telling a killer story, Parker's latest thriller hauntingly evokes a time (the 1960s) and a place (Southern California). The Becker boys (Andy the homicide reporter, Nick the cop, and David the minister; Clay was killed in Vietnam) grew up near the Vonns, a troubled, abusive family burdened with more than its share of tragedy. When 19-year-old beauty queen Janell Vonn, the essence of a California girl, is found beheaded in the abandoned SunBlesst packing house, the Becker brothers begin their separate quests to find her killer, finally bringing him to justice while realizing redemption for themselves. But 40 years after a conviction, it becomes apparent that the Beckers were wrong, very wrong. Drenched in lust, love, betrayal, and unfulfilled promise, California Girl features masterly plotting, smart prose, and memorable characters. Another excellent work from the author of Cold Pursuit; highly recommended. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 6/1/04.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Since the Edgar-winning Laguna Beach in 1985, Parker has been known for his literate mysteries set in Southern California. This latest involves a very cold case from the 1960s. The story is framed by the elegiac meditations of Nick Becker, former L.A. cop, who deeply regrets lost youth and opportunities, but the bulk of the story suggests that Nick hasn't missed all that much. The core experience of his youth, his first case as an L.A. sheriff's officer, involved standing over the body of a neighbor girl, staring at it with his reporter brother, Andy. The girl, whom they knew had been molested and drugged by her brothers and later became a local beauty queen and Playboy cover girl, was found brutally murdered on the floor of a packinghouse. Before readers get to this core incident, which took place in 1968, the novel lurches through chapters depicting the Becker family in 1954, 1960, and 1963. It's obvious Parker wants to recapture the '60s, but he does so in an extremely heavy-handed, lugubrious fashion, hitting readers over the head with ways in which the times touched the family. The mystery itself moves extremely slowly, relying for its partial solution on an extremely corny deus ex machina device. Parker devotees will stick with him, but this one won't attract new fans. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Set during the politically, culturally, and sexually charged 1960s, Parker's 12th novel is an emotional tale of three brothers who band together over the murder of a young local woman. The Edgar Award-winning writer lives in Fallbrook, CA. Five-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti
by Amy Wilentz

Library Journal Haiti has been marked by colonial oppression, revolution, dictators, and foreign occupation by American imperialism-to say nothing of widespread poverty, social and political turmoil, disease, and the crippling earthquake in 2010. Caught in the remarkable prose of Wilentz (The Rainy Season) the tragedy is told through the eyes of Fred Voodoo, Haiti's fictional everyman, a figure who fits invisibly in Haitian society but whose insight is unmatched. The author's fluid and engaging narrative delves into Haiti's history and focuses on the current plight of a nation of ten million living in stark poverty. Sean Penn, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Jimmy Carter, and dozens of other personages appear across her pages, as do the voodoo priests and the Tonton Macoutes, Duvalier's personal police force. VERDICT Tragic, ironic, humorous, scary, and fascinating, the book is a remarkable achievement and a must read for those interested in Caribbean affairs. An overwhelming positive recommendation.-Boyd Childress, formerly with Auburn University Libs., AL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Zestfully candid, award-winning journalist Wilentz began her love affair with Haiti in 1986, and she has been exploring the country and its unique culture, history, and torrid relationship with the U.S. ever since. The catalyst for this ripping inquiry is what Wilentz observed during her sojourns in the wake of the horrific 2010 earthquake. Attuned to all the irony of her white outsider status even as she draws on her deep knowledge of Haiti's strength and struggles, she picks her way through the heartbreaking ruins and wretchedly inadequate camps, listening to post-quake hip-hop in the midst of chaos, blood, and misery and taking stern measure of international do-gooders. Wilentz is fierce in her criticism of missions of self-aggrandizement rather than aid and the pornographic aspects of media coverage. Writing with brandishing intensity, wit, skepticism, and indignation, Wilentz exposes systemic corruption, attends a voodoo ceremony, considers zombies and dictators, and marvels over everyday survival. She profiles two seriously committed and effective American heroes, physician Megan Coffee and Sean Penn, while her portraits of Haitians instruct and humble us.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In this bracing memoir, Wilentz (The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier) revisits Haiti, as she describes a complex nation, following the cataclysmic 2010 earthquake. The world's first black republic is neither French nor completely Caribbean nor a protectorate of the United States, but rather, Wilentz writes, something akin to French West Africa. Readers get a stimulating immersion course in Haiti's culture, history, and political machinations. She introduces a fantastical cast of characters who inhabit the many layers of Haitian society and those individuals who flocked to the island following the earthquake, burdened with motives ranging from the base self-promotion or redemption of sundry celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or Charlie Sheen to those who came to help such as Doctor Coffee, whom Wilentz calls "an all-purpose medical phenomenon." Though many pontificate on the country's unrelenting despair, poverty, and corruption, Wilentz's remarkable narrative strives to alter these perceptions. She writes, "But in fact, this depression and hopelessness come from experts who don't understand Haiti, don't acknowledge its strengths (and don't know them), don't get its culture or are philosophically opposed to what they assume its culture is, and don't know its history in any meaningful way." An unsentimental yet heartfelt journey to a country possessing the power to baffle some, yet beguile others. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Stranger
by Harlan Coben

Library Journal Adam Price's biggest concern is whether his son will be part of the high school's traveling lacrosse team. During a team draft meeting, a stranger approaches Adam, giving him devastating news about his wife, Corinne. When Adam confronts Corinne, she asks him to give her some time and disappears, leaving him a cryptic text message. This begins Adam's nightmare as he tries to find out the truth, protect his sons, and find his wife. He must also come to realize what Corinne had told him: it isn't what he thinks, and many things are not what they seem. Coben (Missing You) deftly weaves many seemingly disconnected characters into one cohesive tale of suspense, with an expertly realized New Jersey setting. Verdict Coben's latest stand-alone is a great story for people who like to examine the ephemeral nature of those strings that bind our dreams to our reality. And while it is a slight departure from his usual type of thriller, this book will be enjoyed as well by Coben's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.]-Elizabeth Masterson, Mecklenburg Cty. Jail Lib., Charlotte, NC (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-History and fiction marry beautifully in this lively debut novel. It's as if readers jump off the train in Manifest, KS, in 1936 with Abilene Tucker, 12, the feisty, likable, and perceptive narrator. She is there to live with Pastor Shady Howard, her father's friend, while her father works on the railroad back in Iowa. An equally important story set during World War I is artfully intertwined. Since her mother went off on her own 10 years earlier, Abilene and Gideon have been alone. Though their life together is unsettled, their bond is strong. Shady's place is shabby, but he is welcoming. The mystery about Manifest and Gideon unfolds after Abilene finds a box filled with intriguing keepsakes. It includes a letter dated 1917 to someone named Jinx from Ned Gillen that has a warning, "THE RATTLER is watching." This starts Abilene, with the help of new friends Ruthanne and Lettie, on a search to learn the identity of the pair. The story cleverly shifts back and forth between the two eras. Abilene becomes connected to Miss Sadie, a "diviner" who slowly leads her through the story of Ned and Jinx. Though the girl is lonely, she adjusts to her new life, feeling sure that her father will come for her at summer's end. The Ku Klux Klan and its campaign against the many immigrants working in the coal mines and the deplorable conditions and exploitation of these men provide important background. This thoroughly enjoyable, unique page-turner is a definite winner.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* After a life of riding the rails with her father, 12-year-old Abilene can't understand why he has sent her away to stay with Pastor Shady Howard in Manifest, Missouri, a town he left years earlier; but over the summer she pieces together his story. In 1936, Manifest is a town worn down by sadness, drought, and the Depression, but it is more welcoming to newcomers than it was in 1918, when it was a conglomeration of coal-mining immigrants who were kept apart by habit, company practice, and prejudice. Abilene quickly finds friends and uncovers a local mystery. Their summerlong spy hunt reveals deep-seated secrets and helps restore residents' faith in the bright future once promised on the town's sign. Abilene's first-person narrative is intertwined with newspaper columns from 1917 to 1918 and stories told by a diviner, Miss Sadie, while letters home from a soldier fighting in WWI add yet another narrative layer. Vanderpool weaves humor and sorrow into a complex tale involving murders, orphans, bootlegging, and a mother in hiding. With believable dialogue, vocabulary and imagery appropriate to time and place, and well-developed characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet. --Isaacs, Kathleen Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Set in 1936, this memorable coming-of-age story follows 12-year-old Abilene Tucker's unusual summer in her father's hometown of Manifest, Kans., while he's away on a railroad job. Having had an itinerant upbringing, Abilene is eager to connect to her father's childhood, a goal that proves difficult. The immigrant town has become rundown, but is populated with well-developed, idiosyncratic characters and has a dynamic past involving the KKK, an influenza scare, and a bootlegging operation. Manifest's history emerges in stories recounted by Miss Sadie (a Hungarian medium) and in news columns written in 1917 by Hattie Mae Harper, "Reporter About Town." With new friends Lettie and Ruthanne, Abilene pieces together the past, coming to understand, as Miss Sadie says, that "maybe what you're looking for is not so much the mark your daddy made on this town, but the mark the town made on your daddy." Witty, bold, and curious, Abilene is as unforgettable as the other residents of Manifest, and the variety of voices allows the town's small mysteries to bloom. Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights, while giving insight into family and community. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Corrections
by Jonathan Franzen

Library Journal: As her husband's health deteriorates, Enid faces the disappointments in her life including her three grown children.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: If some authors are masters of suspense, others postmodern verbal acrobats, and still others complex-character pointillists, few excel in all three arenas. In his long-awaited third novel, Franzen does. Unlike his previous works, The 27th City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992), which tackled St. Louis and Boston, respectively, this one skips from city to city (New York; St. Jude; Philadelphia; Vilnius, Lithuania) as it follows the delamination of the Lambert family Alfred, once a rigid disciplinarian, flounders against Parkinson's-induced dementia; Enid, his loyal and embittered wife, lusts for the perfect Midwestern Christmas; Denise, their daughter, launches the hippest restaurant in Philly; and Gary, their oldest son, grapples with depression, while Chip, his brother, attempts to shore his eroding self-confidence by joining forces with a self-mocking, Eastern-Bloc politician. As in his other novels, Franzen blends these personal dramas with expert technical cartwheels and savage commentary on larger social issues, such as the imbecility of laissez-faire parenting and the farcical nature of U.S.-Third World relations. The result is a book made of equal parts fury and humor, one that takes a dry-eyed look at our culture, at our pains and insecurities, while offering hope that, occasionally at least, we can reach some kind of understanding. This is, simply, a masterpiece. Agent, Susan Golomb. (Sept.)Forecast: Franzen has always been a writer's writer and his previous novels have earned critical admiration, but his sales haven't yet reached the level of, say, Don DeLillo at his hottest. Still, if the ancillary rights sales and the buzz at BEA are any indication, The Corrections should be his breakout book. Its varied subject matter will endear it to a genre-crossing section of fans (both David Foster Wallace and Michael Cunningham contributed rave blurbs) and FSG's publicity campaign will guarantee plenty of press. QPB main, BOMC alternate. Foreign rights sold in the U.K., Denmark, Holland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. Nine-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Lindbergh
by A. Scott Berg

Library Journal Berg, whose biographies of Max Perkins and Sam Goldwyn are central texts in their fields, restores some luster to complicated aviator hero Charles Lindbergh by presenting his very full life?from his lonely rural childhood to the enormity of his Spirit of St. Louis accomplishment; the kidnapping of his baby son, which led to the "Trial of the Century"; his enthusiastic state visits to Hitler's Germany; and his Pulitzer Prize and later conservation work. For the generation that has mostly known Lindbergh through his child's murder and a profoundly stupid speech he later made, this big, thoroughly researched book is a fine work of restorative storytelling.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Lindbergh, writes Berg, was "the most celebrated living person ever to walk the earth." It's a brash statement for a biography that makes its points through a wealth of fact rather than editorial (or psychological) surmise, but after the 1927 solo flight to Paris and the 1932 kidnapping of his infant son, most readers will agree. Berg (Max Perkins) writes with the cooperation, although not necessarily the approval, of the Lindbergh family, having been granted full access to the unpublished diaries and papers of both Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The result is a solidly written book that while revealing few new secrets (there are discoveries about Lindbergh's father's illegitimacy and Mrs. Lindbergh's 1956 affair with her doctor, Dana Atchley) instructs and fascinates through the richness of detail. There are no new insights into the boy flier, no new theories about the kidnapping, but there is a chilling portrait of a man who did not seem to enjoy many of the most basic human emotions. Perhaps more attention to Lindbergh's near-worship of the Nobel Prize-winning doctor, Alexis Carrel, would have explained more about his enigmatic character. Berg details Lindbergh's prewar trips to Nazi Germany at the request of the U.S. government; his leadership in the America First movement; his role in first promoting commercial aviation; and, during WWII, improving the efficiency of the Army Air Corps. As the book reaches its conclusion, however, it's the sympathetic portrait of Mrs. Lindbergh creating a life of her own while her husband chooses to be elsewhere that gives the biography the emotional scaffolding it lacked. The writing is workmanlike and efficient, and the story, familiar as it may be, encapsulates the history of the century. Photos. (Sept.) FYI: Putnam was said to have paid a seven-figure advance for Lindbergh in 1990.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal A prize-winning biographer offers the definitive look at an American hero.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

School Library Journal Gr 3-7?The gripping story of a ten-year-old Danish girl and her family's courageous efforts to smuggle Jews out of their Nazi-occupied homeland to safety in Sweden. Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery. (Mar. 1989)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Declare
by Tim Powers

Publishers Weekly Powers (The Anubis Gates, etc.), known hitherto as an expert fantasy writer, has created a mind-bending mix of genres here, placing his gifts for extreme speculative fiction in service of a fantastical spy story involving rivalries between no fewer than four intelligence services: British, French, Russian and American. In 1963, Andrew Hale is summoned to reenter the secret service. He has a past embracing anti-Nazi activities in Occupied ParisÄwhere he fell in love with Elena, a Spanish-born Communist operativeÄand a spectacularly unsuccessful mission on Mount Ararat in 1948, the purpose of which only gradually becomes clear. Powers posits that the mountain, as the speculative last home of Noah's Ark, is also the dwelling place of many djinns, supernatural beings that often take the form of rocks in the Arabian deserts. The father of British spy Kim Philby, a noted Arabist, had been a keen observer of these phenomena and taught his son about them. Now it seems that a supernatural power, manifesting itself as an old woman, is safeguarding the Soviet Union, and if fragments of a destroyed djinn can be introduced into Moscow, they could destroy her protection and make the Soviet Union susceptible to normal human laws. This is Hale's mission. In 1948 it failed, and most of his commando force was destroyed. On his return 15 years later, with Philby, Hale succeeds in shooting fragments of djinn into Philby, who then returns to Moscow. Upon Philby's death many years later, the Soviet Union duly collapses. The styles of spy fiction, with dense counterplotting and extremes of caution, and the spectacular supernatural scenes simply do not blend. It's all offbeat and daringly imaginative, but ultimately rather foolish entertainment. (Jan. 9) Forecast: This original novel, despite its strengths, is unlikely to satisfy fully fans of either spycraft or fantasyÄand such is the pitfall of genre-bending. A 6-city author tour plus vigorous promotion online and off could give the book some turbo power, though. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Library Journal As a young man, Alan Hale, working for British Intelligence, failed to stop a mysterious Soviet mission on Mt. Ararat and re-entered civilian life. Twenty years later, he must return to Turkey to accomplish the mission that has haunted him since the end of World War II. Powers (Earthquake Weather), known for his complex fantasy tales, here turns in a classic spy novel with a supernatural twist that ties Lawrence of Arabia to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Fans of John le Carr will appreciate the authentic period detail, meticulous descriptions of the business of espionage, and portraits of actual spies, such as Kim Philby; others will enjoy the suspense and chilling atmosphere of Cold War antics, as well as Powers's intricate chronology and plotting. [The publisher is marketing this as Powers's mainstream breakout novel.DEd.]DDevon Thomas, Hass Assoc., Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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