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Pearl's Picks for October 2009

The Night Inspector: A Novel - by Frederick Busch
Frederick Busch's novel The Night Inspector isn't nearly as well known as it should be. (In fact, I fear that Busch himself is known to a relatively small group of readers.) The Night Inspector will please fans of historical fiction, those who simply love good writing, and anyone interested in the life and times of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick and other works. The novel takes place mainly in Manhattan, just after the end of the War Between the States. The main character, Will Bartholomew, spent his army years as a Union sharpshooter, until the day a bullet from an enemy's gun horribly disfigured him. Because most of his face was shot away, Bartholomew now wears a papier-mâché mask at all times. Along with Herman Melville, now working as a customs inspector with his writing career apparently at an end, and Jessie, a beautiful Creole prostitute, Bartholomew concocts a plan to rescue a group of black children who are still being held by their owners, despite the abolishment of slavery. Busch has captured in vivid, evocative prose New York of the late 1860s, with its chasms between social classes, its casual cruelties, and its myriad of pleasures and dangers. At the same time, the flashbacks describing Bartholomew's experiences during the Civil War are graphic enough to give most readers nightmares. Sadly, Frederick Busch died when he was only 65; the literary world lost a great teacher and a productive, imaginative writer. If you've never read anything by him, drop everything and start now. Two of my favorite books of his are Girls and Harry and Catherine, but Don't Tell Anyone is an amazing collection of short stories. In fact, except for Busch's Closing Arguments, a novel which somewhat freaked me out, I can honestly recommend without reservation everything that Busch wrote.

Lyn Hamilton Passed On

Lyn Hamilton, author of the Lara McClintoch series passed away last month on September 10.  Ms. Hamilton's Arthur Ellis Award nominated series featured Canadian antiques dealer and amateur detective,  Lara McClintoch. 

Repairman Jack

F. Paul Wilson's latest Repairman Jack book, Ground Zero, will be released this week. In his recent newsletter, Wilson described the book: "A woman has been posting anonymously on 9/11 Truther sites...you know, the folks (like Van Jones) who think the Trade Tower attack was all a government conspiracy. Well, she says they're right about the conspiracy, but it wasn't Bush or Cheney manufacturing a second Pearl Harbor to get us into Iraq...and it wasn't Big Oil...and it wasn't the New World Order… The truth is stranger, darker, and more evil than anyone can imagine. Those behind the plot will do anything to stop her. But they've made a fatal miscalculation. They don't know about Jack. ...They don't know this woman has a guardian who is armed to the teeth and can be just as cold-blooded as they. Maybe more so. Many Truths are revealed in GROUND ZERO .

Thriller/Suspense: An Audiobook Selection

Do you need something to keep your mind awake and alert during a long commute? Or perhaps a thrilling tale to make your boring household tasks go by a bit more quickly? These suspenseful audiobooks are just the thing to keep you  on the edge of your seat.

Teen Action Adventure Fantasy Books

So, you liked Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. You like a good fantasy with some adventure to it, some excitement. No slow, bogged down stories where nothing really happens for you. Well, check out these titles for a little magic thrill:

Cozy Mystery Authors: An Audiobook Selection

Do you enjoy mysteries where the oddest things keep happening in the most charming of villages? If so, you are probably a fan of cozy mysteries. The following list links some popular authors in this genre to audiobook holdings at CPL. So put on your headphones and have fun!

Are You Hungry For More Hunger Games?

Book two in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire is here! If you have yet to read Hunger Games now is time! Book three in the series is expected to be out sometime in fall 2010.

'Cool Canadian Crime'

For several months now David Cole has been interviewing Canadian writers of crime, mystery, and/or suspense for Mystery Fanfare in his column Cool Canadian Crime. Cole recently interviewed Vicki Delany, a favorite of mine. Scare the Light Away Delany's debut novel was highly acclaimed when it was published in 2005.

2009 Dagger Awards Announced

The Crime Writers Association has announced the 2009 CWA Gold Dagger Awards' shortlist.  The winners will be announced on October 21, 2009 at the SpecSavers Crime Thriller Awards in London and will be shown on ITV3 later in the month.

Murder Will Out - Agatha Christie Read-Alikes

If you like mysteries where all of the main characters are stuck in some kind of confined environment (a large, scary, old house) trying to solve some kind of crime or love the Agatha Christie novels when Poirot dramatically explains the crime's solution at the end of his books to the group of suspects, should enjoy these authors/characters:

Margery Allingham's
Albert Campion 

Carolyn Hart's Henrie O'

M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin 

Books by Mail

Are you a Canton resident who is unable to come to the library due to a permanent or long-term illness or disability? Are you an older adult (65+) without a way to get to the library? The Canton Public Library offers Books by Mail service to Canton residents. Every month a librarian will select 4 books based upon your reading preferences, to be delivered to your home postage free. Read the books, then return them to the Canton Public Library in the postage-paid mailer provided. To enroll you will need a Canton Public Library card and complete the Books by Mail application available at the Adult Reference Desk, by mail, or online.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The greatly-anticipated sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo proved to be well worth the wait. The new release of The Girl who Played with Fire was a fascinating Summer read, with a heart-stopping ending. This book will keep you up late into the night and missing your "Z's."

Author Stieg Larsson, who was born in Sweden, completed three novels and submitted them shortly before his death in 2004. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the last book of this talented author. He's not for the faint-hearted. Agatha Christie fans should probably pass by or be prepared to have their heart rates go up.

Wonderful Weirdos Day!

Did you know that September 9th marks Wonderful Weirdos Day? Celebrate this wacky holiday by reading a book in one of my favorite wonderfully "weird" series: Dan Gutman's My Weird School Daze. There are plenty of titles to choose from, so pick one up to enjoy after thanking some of the wonderfully "weird" people that make your life more fun!

Hero Tales

O.K., you can officially be excited now; Hiromu Arakawa, the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, has a new manga coming stateside this October: Hero Tales. It's an historical fiction / fantasy action series about a boy who's destined to be a hero and the magical sword he's questing after. Yeah, you've heard that set up before, but this is Hiromu Arakawa we are talking about! I for one can't wait to see what surprises are in store for this...

Kerrytown BookFest 2009

The 7th Annual Kerrytown BookFest is coming to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market on Sunday, September 13 from 11:00AM-5:00PM. Jane & Michael Stern, authors of Roadfood will speak at Noon and at 2:00PM Aunt Agatha's presents Mysteries to Cook By with JoAnna Carl, Julie Hyzy, and Miranda Bliss a.k.a. Casey Daniels. Featured guest, Jeffery Deaver will speak at 4:00PM.

The White Queen

Philippa Gregory has done it again! If you enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl, you will enjoy her newest novel, The White Queen. It takes place earlier than the Tudors and has all the same great elements she is famous for romance, family "scheming" for power, and lots of insight to a period of history you may not have known about. Read it and enjoy!

email@cantonpl.org

You might be able to help us save some of your tax dollars by allowing us to put your email address in your patron record. We won’t send you anything except circulation notices — the item you put on hold is ready to be picked up, the library materials you have out will be due back in two days, reminders of materials you haven’t returned yet — that we would otherwise have to send by printed notices or telephone message. In fact, our “courtesy notices”, those messages we send two days before your items are due back to the library, can only be sent by email — and you’re missing out (and possibly paying overdue fines) if we don’t have your email address. Using email to contact you is also GREEN! We won’t be using paper or postage if we can contact you by email. Just stop at the Checkout Desk and give a staff member your email address, and if you don’t have an email address, ask a librarian at the Reference Desk how you can get started.

September Tween Book Discussion

There's still plenty of time for 5th and 6th graders to register for this month's Tween book discussion. We're reading The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen, the story of a girl trying to figure out how to fit in with both her American and Indian cultures. We're meeting to discuss the book over a pizza lunch from 1-2pm on Saturday, September 12. Once you sign-up online, come to the Children's reference desk to pick up a copy of the book. Hope to see you there!

Outside Our Borders

If you are interested in reading about new cultures or how we adapt or don't adapt may we suggest...