Historical Fiction

Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life. With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy. Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.
 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Richard A. Serrano's new book American Endurance: The Great Cowboy Race and the Vanishing Wild West is history, mystery, and Western all rolled into one. In June 1893, nine cowboys raced across a thousand miles of American prairie to the Chicago World's Fair. For two weeks they thundered past angry sheriffs, governors, and Humane Society inspectors intent on halting their race. Waiting for them at the finish line was Buffalo Bill Cody, who had set up his Wild West Show right next to the World's Fair that had refused to allow his exhibition at the fair. The Great Cowboy Race occurred at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: many believed the frontier was settled and the West was no more. The Chicago World's Fair represented the triumph of modernity and the end of the cowboy age. Except no one told the cowboys. Racing toward Buffalo Bill Cody and the gold-plated Colt revolver he promised to the first to reach his arena, nine men went on a Wild West stampede from tiny Chadron, Nebraska, to bustling Chicago. But at the first thud of hooves pounding on Chicago's brick pavement, the race devolved into chaos. Some of the cowboys shipped their horses part of the way by rail, or hired private buggies. One had the unfair advantage of having helped plan the route map in the first place. It took three days, numerous allegations, and a good old Western showdown to sort out who was first to Chicago, and who won the Great Cowboy Race.
 

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, built an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project when it was already well along, and, in desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship—at the time, the single most complicated machine ever made. Abraham Lincoln himself was closely involved with the ship’s design. 

Killer instinct : a novel by Joseph Finder
Also available in: audiobook | large print

Jason Steadman is a thirty-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for a electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's been sidelined.But all that will change one evening when Jason meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq. Looking for a decent pitcher for the company softball team, Jason gets Kurt, who was once drafted by the majors, a job in Corporate Security. Soon, good things start to happen for Jason - and bad things start to happen to Jason's rivals. His career suddenly takes off. He's an overnight successOnly too late does Jason discover that his friend Kurt has been secretly paving his path to the top by the most "efficient" - and ruthless - means available. After all, Kurt says, "Business is war, right?"But when Jason tries to put a stop to it, he finds that his new best friend has become the most dangerous enemy imaginable. And now it's far more than just his career that lies in the balance.A riveting tale of ambition, intrigue, and the price of success, Killer Instinct is Joseph Finder at his best.

If the font is bigger, it stands to reason the book will be bigger as well, right? That large print titles seemingly defy basic logic makes this one of the most prevalent misconceptions. In fact, large print titles are often the same size or smaller than their hardcover or trade paperback counterparts and weigh about the same as a traditional hardcover book. The common reaction to learning this fact is, “Well, to be the same size or smaller, they must be abridged.” This is also false. The magic here lies in the combination of printing on a thinner, higher quality paper and laying out the text to maximize the use of white space.

Shoot [large print] by Loren D. Estleman

Valentino, a mild-manner film archivist at UCLA and sometime film detective, is at the closing party for the Red Montana and Dixie Day museum when he is approached by no less than his hero and man-of-the-hour Red Montana, western film and television star. Red tells Valentino that he is being blackmailed over the existence of a blue film that his wife, now known throughout the world as the wholesome Dixie Day and the other half of the Montana/Day power couple, made early in her career. With Dixie on her deathbed, Red is desperate to save her the embarrassment of the promised scandal, and offers Valentino a deal-find the movie, and he can have Red's lost film, Sixgun Sonata, that Red has been hiding away in his archives. Don't accept, and the priceless reel will go up in flames. Feeling blackmailed himself, Valentino agrees and begins to dig. In the surreal world of Hollywood, what is on screen is rarely reality. As he races to uncover the truth before time runs out, his heroes begin their fall from grace. Valentino desperately wants to save Sixgun Sonata-- but at what cost?.

Also available in: e-book

"In his first official book published as Pope, in celebration of his Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here addresses all humanity in an intimate and personal dialogue. At the center of this book is the subject closest to his heart--mercy--which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy. These pages resonate with a desire to reach all those souls who are looking for meaning in life, a road to peace and reconciliation, and the healing of physical and spiritual wounds"--Amazon.com.

Breaking wild [large print] by Diane Les Becquets

It is the last weekend of the season for Amy Raye Latour to get away. Driven to spend days alone in the wilderness, Amy Raye, mother of two, is compelled by the quiet and the rush of nature. But this time, her venture into a remote area presents a different set of dangers than Amy Raye has planned for and she finds herself on the verge of the precarious edge that she's flirted with her entire life. When Amy Raye doesn't return to camp, ranger Pru Hathaway and her dog respond to the missing person's call. After an unexpected snowfall and few leads, the operation turns into a search and recovery. Pru, though, is not resigned to that. The more she learns about the woman for whom she is searching, and about Amy Raye's past, the more she suspects that Amy Raye might yet be alive. Pru's own search becomes an obsession for a woman whose life is just as mysterious as the clues she has left behind.

The Mystery Writers of America have announced Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart as the 2017 Grand Masters, an award that recognizes “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.” It is the highest honor the association bestows.

Better dead by Max Allan Collins

Better Dead: The latest Nathan Heller Thriller from Max Allan Collins! It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. Heller will have to play both sides to do this, and when McCarthy also tasks Heller to find out what the CIA has on him, Heller reluctantly agrees. His main lead is an army scientist working for the C.I.A. who admits to Heller that he's been having misgivings about the work he's doing and elliptically referring to the Cold War making World War II look like a tea party. And then the scientist goes missing.

Return to Perdition by Max Allan Collins
Also available in: video

In the 1970s, Michael Satariano, Jr., returns to the United States from a Laos prison camp and is told that his whole family has been killed by mobsters and that he was listed as a casualty of the Vietnam War. Sent by the Justice Department to infiltrate organized crime and assassinate certain people, Michael is set on a road that will lead him to love and to Perdition, Kansas, where his family legacy lies waiting for discovery.

Hallowed murder by Ellen Hart

Jane Lawless is a woman at a crossroads - her lover has left, she has finally recovered from a vicious attack sustained last year, and the holidays are closing in. With no one to help her ring in the new year, Jane reluctantly agrees to accompany her good friend Cordelia Thorn on a peculiar holiday trip: Cordelia's estranged sister, Broadway star Octavia Thorn, has asked them to attend her wedding. Octavia getting married is no surprise - she's done it three times before - but her candidate for hubby #4 certainly is. Roland Lester is a reclusive eighty-three-year-old retired Hollywood director, a relic from the golden age of Tinseltown with a controversial past. No one can understand how the two met, much less fell in love. When the bodies start to drop, Jane realizes it might not be love at all that brought the young diva and the aged director together, but something much deeper, and perhaps more sinister. Delving deep into film history, Jane finds unsettling connections between Roland and a murder that was never solved. Finding out what happened 40 years ago could be the key to unlock the mystery of Octavia's curious marriage, but laying bare such long-buried secrets also promises grave consequences for everyone involved.

The Canton Seniors Book Group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month (except in November) from 2:00-3:00PM in the Friends' Activity Room.  We read a variety of fiction and non-fiction selections. Copies of the month's selection are distributed at the book discussion or request a copy at Canton Public Library's Information Desk.  Join us in this open, no-registration-required conversation.

January 27, 2017

The prophet by Michael Koryta

Two brothers in a small Midwestern town--one the high school's beloved football coach on the verge of a state championship and the other one scraping by as a bail bondsman--have been at odds since their sister was abducted and murdered when they were teenagers. Now a new killing with ties to each of them forces a painful and adversarial reunion.

February 23, 2017

The following Fiction titles were chosen as CPL librarians' favorites of 2016. Check them out today!

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

From one of America's greatest comic novelists, a hilarious new novel about aging, family, loneliness, and love The Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws, and same-sex spouses. But families don't just grow, they grow old, and the clan's matriarch, Joy, is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would have wished. When Joy's beloved husband dies, Molly and Daniel have no shortage of solutions for their mother's loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy's college days. And they didn't count on Joy herself, a mother suddenly as willful and rebellious as their own kids. The New York Times -bestselling author Cathleen Schine has been called "full of invention, wit, and wisdom that can bear comparison to [ Jane] Austen's own" ( The New York Review of Books ), and she is at her best in this intensely human, profound, and honest novel about the intrusion of old age into the relationships of one loving but complicated family. They May Not Mean To, But They Do is a radiantly compassionate look at three generations, all coming of age together.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

"Has Laurie King followed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's footsteps and killed off her protagonist? Sherlock Holmes is back in the latest in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child has hailed as "the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today"--but is Mary Russell? When the novel opens, the shabby carpet of 221B Baker Street is drenched in blood--and no one knows the fate of Mary Russell. Could this be the final performance for the world's best-known Holmesian author?"--.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: February 23, 2017

Please join the Canton Seniors Book Discussion to discuss:

"Has Laurie King followed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's footsteps and killed off her protagonist? Sherlock Holmes is back in the latest in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child has hailed as "the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today"--but is Mary Russell? When the novel opens, the shabby carpet of 221B Baker Street is drenched in blood--and no one knows the fate of Mary Russell. Could this be the final performance for the world's best-known Holmesian author?"--.

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, February 23 -
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Friends' Activity Room

Large print is not just a bigger font size that makes reading accessible for the visually impaired. It’s also proven to improve letter and word recognition, aid reading comprehension, and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction when reading. That makes it perfect for beginning or reluctant readers and ESL/ELL students. Large print books are an essential resource for any literacy program.

Art restorer, assassin, and spy Gabriel Allon finds himself poised to become the chief of Israel's secret intelligence service, but not before answering the French government's request to eliminate the person responsible for detonating a massive bomb in Paris.

Blood orange [large print] by Susan Wittig Albert

"In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital... It's mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband, Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell. At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly's knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do. But on her way to China's house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it's up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover--who happens to be the sister of China's friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice? China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth--but she may be putting her own life at risk.."--.

"As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends on Minneapolis, Detective Nikki Liska is restless, already bored with her new assignment to the cold case squad. She misses the rush of pulling an all-nighter and the sense of urgency of hunting a desperate killer on the loose. Most of all she misses her old partner, Sam Kovac. Kovac is having an even harder time adjusting to Liska's absence, saddled with a green new partner younger than most of Sam's wardrobe. But Kovac is distracted from his troubles by an especially brutal double homicide: a prominent university professor and his wife, bludgeoned and hacked to death in their home with a ceremonial Japanese samurai sword. Liska's case--the unsolved murder of a decorated sex crimes detective--is less of a distraction: Twenty five years later, there is little hope for finding the killer who got away. Meanwhile, Minneapolis resident Evi Burke has a life she only dreamed of as a kid in and out of foster homes: a beautiful home, a family, people who love her, a fulfilling job. But a danger from her past is stalking her idyllic present. A danger bent on destroying the perfect life she was never meant to have. As the trails of two crimes a quarter of century apart twist and cross, Kovac and Liska race to find answers before a killer strikes again.".

 

Hamilton’s America will air on PBS on October 21. A powerful musical, if you haven’t heard it you can borrow a copy of the broadway soundtrack on CD or stream it on Hoopla. You might find that the music inspires you to explore further into our early nation. If so, try some of these additional resources that span fact and fiction from throughout the library. This assorted list includes items from the children’s collection that might be of wide interest, followed by denser materials from the adult collection. Don't find yourself saying, "What'd I Miss?" 

Aaron and Alexander by Don Brown

Explains how political differences between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton escalated their Revolutionary War-era rivalry and culminated in the most famous duel in American history. The final line of this beautifully illustrated picture book should sing out to fans of the musical.

Also available in: e-audiobook | video | e-video

Sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.

A key figure in the American War for Independence, the marquis de Lafayette was an exuberant youth from France who convinced the fledgling United States to volunteer for their army. If you love America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman, this book gives his backstory.

What's a good cozy mystery without humor and recipes?

Kernel of truth by Kristi Abbott

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson's bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she's ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business:naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia 'Coco' Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses. a But when Coco's niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn't so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy! a Includes popcorn related recipes! 

White colander crime by Victoria Hamilton

A tourist-trade boon boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter. Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries--and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie's beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie's not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she's going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas--especially with the real killer ready to kill again. INCLUDES RECIPES!

Merry market murder by Paige Shelton

Bailey's Farmers' Market is this season's go-to holiday destination, but not all the vendors are feeling the Christmas spirit... Jam and preserve maker Becca Robins is excited about the extra business that the Ridgeway Christmas Tree Farm is bringing to the market this holiday season. But when a competing tree farmer, Reggie Stuckey, arrives with a truck full of trees, angrily barking that he has exclusive selling rights at the market, Becca finds herself pining for more goodwill toward men. After Reggie is found with a tree stake in his chest, she wonders when the Christmas tree business turned so deadly. Now Becca has to use the only clues she has to the killer's identity--mysterious ornaments that begin to show up in her stall--to hook a sinister Scrooge who will go to any lengths to drive home a point...
 

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook | large print

"This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain--a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present"--.

Also available in: e-book

Advances in technology are creating the next economy and enabling us to make things/do things/connect with others in smarter, cheaper, faster, more effective ways. But the price of this progress has been a decoupling of the engine of prosperity from jobs that have been the means by which people have ascended to (and stayed in) the middle class. Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent four years traveling the country and asking economists, futurists, labor leaders, CEOs, investment bankers, entrepreneurs, and political leaders to help picture the U.S. economy 25 to 30 years from now. He vividly reports on people who are analyzing and creating this new economy--such as investment banker Steve Berkenfeld; David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell International; Andy Grove of Intel; Carl Camden, the CEO of Kelly Services; and Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone. Through these stories, we come to a stark and deeper understanding of the toll technological progress will continue to take on jobs and income and its inevitable effect on tens of millions of people. But there is hope for our economy and future. The foundation of economic prosperity for all Americans, Stern believes, is a universal basic income. The idea of a universal basic income for all Americans is controversial but American attitudes are shifting. Stern has been a game changer throughout his career, and his next goal is to create a movement that will force the political establishment to take action against something that many on both the right and the left believe is inevitable. Stern's plan is bold, idealistic, and challenging--and its time has come.

n the early nineteenth century, the United States turned its idealistic gaze southward, imagining a legacy of revolution and republicanism it hoped would dominate the American hemisphere. From pulsing port cities to Midwestern farms and southern plantations, an adolescent nation hailed Latin America's independence movements as glorious tropical reprises of 1776. Even as Latin Americans were gradually ending slavery, U.S. observers remained energized by the belief that their founding ideals were triumphing over European tyranny among their "sister republics." But as slavery became a violently divisive issue at home, goodwill toward antislavery revolutionaries waned. By the nation's fiftieth anniversary, republican efforts abroad had become a scaffold upon which many in the United States erected an ideology of white U.S. exceptionalism that would haunt the geopolitical landscape for generations. Marshaling groundbreaking research in four languages, Caitlin Fitz defines this hugely significant, previously unacknowledged turning point in U.S. history.

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