Fiction

This year marks the 100th awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes. The 2016 winners include:

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the Fiction Category, this is a gripping spy novel, a moving story of love and friendship, and a layered portrayal of a young man drawn into extreme politics,The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

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

In 1937, Shanghai is a city of great wealth and glamour. Thanks to the financial security provided by their father's prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. In order to repay his debts he sells the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. Join us as we discuss the 2016 Everyone's Reading title on Thursday, April 14 at noon.

International Women's Day is a worldwide celebration created in the nineteen-teens to recognize the equal rights of women specifically in labor and suffrage. Today, this celebration takes many forms in different countries. In honor of this day which also takes place during Women's History Month, we offer the following list of historical dramas on these themes of labor, suffrage, and equal rights.

A semi-documentary of the year-long struggle by Chicano zinc miners in New Mexico striking against unsafe working conditions. When an injunction is issued against the workers from picketing, the wives take up battle with a fury, leaving the husbands to care for home and children. They finally overcome the forces of the mine owner and the law that backs them up.

Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life..

This month's selections include a variety of formats and topics, fiction and non-fiction.

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.

Brotherhood in death by J. D. Robb
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather's magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head. Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD's top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there's nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze. As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed-- and locked-- doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can't go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

The  Agatha Christie Awards nominees for best mysteries published in 2015 reflect a wide range of authors, publishers, styles, and themes. In the contemporary category, award-winning favorites Margaret Maron, Louise Penny, and Hank Phillipi Ryan share the honoree podium with newcomer Annette Dashofy and Catriona McPherson. The winners will be announced at Malice Domestic 28, which will be held April 29-May 1, 2016.  Check out what is available at Canton Public Library.

Best Contemporary Novel

Long upon the land by Margaret Maron
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case. Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer. But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion.

Umberto Eco, the Italian author and scholar most know for his 1980 book turned movie "The Name of the Rose," passed away at the age of 84 in Milan, Italy on February 19th, 2016. We have a number of his fiction and nonfiction titles available as well as the 1986 film adaptation starring Sean Connery.

Investigating the deaths of two monks, a visiting brother discovers a secret library containing rare books considered lost to the world and dangerous to the Catholic faith.

The name of the rose by Umberto Eco

Harper Lee died in 2016 at the age of 89. Her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, debuted in 1961 with immediate critical success and went on to become an American classic. A movie version starring Gregory Peck opened at the theaters in 1962. Lee did not publish another book until the July 2015 release of Go Set a Watchman. Michael Morrison, her publisher at HarperCollins US, said: “The world knows Harper Lee was a brilliant writer but what many don’t know is that she was an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility and kindness. She lived her life the way she wanted to – in private – surrounded by books and the people who loved her.” 

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

The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined". Join us on Thursday, March 10 at noon.

In a world where supermen rule comics, video games, and film, we offer a list of graphic novels created by women that range from dark to whimsical and otherworldly to all too similar to everyday life.

Exquisite corpse by Pénélope Bagieu

Zoe looks for escape from her mediocre existence in the arms of a shut-in harboring a big secret.

A collection of observations and oddities in stunning color.

There are a number of books that deal with similar stories or events in history that have been adapted for younger audiences. Several other topics are covered by multiple ages for multiple age ranges. Pick one of these for yourself and one for your child, and discuss aspects of history as a family.

 

 

Extraordinary Zoo Stories During WWII

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw-- and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.

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