Thursday, November 20, 2014

Women and Mental Illness Book List #2

Still searching for that book that makes you think? Want something that isn't plainly obvious? Check out these books....


1) "Sybil" by Flora Rheta Schreiber

More amazing than any work of fiction, yet true in every word, it swept to the top of the bestseller lists and riveted the consciousness of the world. As an Emmy Award-winning film starring Sally Field, it captured the home screens of an entire nation and has endured as the most electrifying TV movie ever made. It's the story of a survivor of terrifying childhood abuse, victim of sudden and mystifying blackouts, and the first case of multiple personality ever to be psychoanalyzed.

You're about to meet Sybil-and the sixteen selves to whom she played host, both women and men, each with a different personality, speech pattern, and even personal appearance. You'll experience the strangeness and fascination of one woman's rare affliction-and travel with her on her long, ultimately triumphant journey back to wholeness.



2) "Musical Chairs" by Jen Knox
Musical Chairs explores one family's history of mental health diagnoses and searches to define the cusp between a '90s working-class childhood and the trouble of adapting to a comfortable life in the suburbs. In order to understand her restlessness, Jennifer reflects on years of strip-dancing, alcoholism, and estrangement. Inspired by the least likely source, the family she left behind, Jennifer struggles towards reconciliation. This story is about identity, class, family ties, and the elusive nature of mental illness.



3) "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova
Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind...

Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind, Ordinary People and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Still Alice packs a powerful emotional punch and marks the arrival of a strong new voice in fiction.



4) "The Woman In White" by Wilkie Collins

Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins's psychological thriller has never been out of print in the 140 years since its publication.



5) "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.
Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.



6) "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women" by Courtney E. Martin

This eye-opening look at twenty-first century culture and its impact on women reveals how food and weight obsession, driven in no small part by images of celebrities openly wasting away, threatens a new generation of girls as the feminist exhortation that ?you can do anything? is twisted into ?you must do everything.? It also inspires readers to consider what wonderful things might happen if the madness stopped once and for all.



7) "Finding Alice" by Melody Carlson

Sliding into the Rabbit Hole… Would She Ever Return?

On the surface, Alice Laxton seems no different from any other college girl: bright, inquisitive, excited about the life ahead of her. But for years, a genetic time bomb has been ticking away. Because of Alice’s near-genius intelligence, teachers and counselors have always made excuses for her “little idiosyncrasies.” But during a stress-filled senior year at college, a new world of voices, visions, and unexplainable “knowledge” causes Alice to begin to lose her grip on reality.

As Alice’s schizophrenia progresses, she experiences a disturbing religious “awakening,” believing that God and angels and demons are speaking to her. When others attempt to intervene, Alice is subjected to a wide range of “treatments” even more frightening and painful than her illness.

Powerfully raw and brutally honest, Finding Alice is a story of individual suffering and hope, a family’s shared ordeal, and a search for true mental and spiritual healing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crime Book List #2

Enjoy crime novels? But want something more than what is currently on the best seller's list? Well, search no more and check out this book list....



1) "Red Dragon" by Thomas Harris

A second family has been massacred by the terrifying serial killer the press has christened ?The Tooth Fairy.? Special Agent Jack Crawford turns to the one man who can help restart a failed investigation?Will Graham. Graham is the greatest profiler the FBI ever had, but the physical and mental scars of capturing Hannibal Lecter have caused Graham to go into early retirement. Now, Graham must turn to Lecter for help.



2) "In the Woods" by Tana French

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.



3) "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.



4) "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" by Agatha Christie

In her first published mystery, Agatha Christie introduced readers to her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. When the wealthy mistress of Styles Court is murdered, Poirot is on hand to wade through the confusing clues and long list of suspects! A classic whodunit.



5) "The Bone Collector" by Jeffery Deaver

Lincoln Rhyme was once a brilliant criminologist, a genius in the field of forensics—until an accident left him physically and emotionally shattered. But now a diabolical killer is challenging Rhyme to a terrifying and ingenious duel of wits. With police detective Amelia Sachs by his side, Rhyme must follow a labyrinth of clues that reaches back to a dark chapter in New York City’s past—and reach further into the darkness of the mind of a madman who won’t stop until he has stripped life down to the bone.



6) "The Talented Mr. Ripley" by Patricia Highsmith

Since his debut in 1955, Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath. Here, in this first Ripley novel, we are introduced to suave Tom Ripley, a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante. A dark reworking of Henry James's ?The Ambassadors?, ?The Talented Mr. Ripley? serves as an unforgettable introduction to this smooth confidence man, whose talent for murder and self-invention is chronicled in four subsequent Ripley novels.



7) "No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy

In No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines.



8) "Eye of the Needle" by Ken Follett

One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin—code name: "The Needle"—who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory. Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is coming to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

Ken Follett's unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart—Eye of the Needle


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Best Mermaid Book List

Love the ocean? Love to read about mermaids? Well, this book list is for you...



1) "Forgive My Fins" by Tera Lynn Childs
Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but for Lily Sanderson, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily has a secret, and it’s not her huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid—she’s a Thalassinian princess. When she discovered three years ago that her mother was actually a human, Lily finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been going to Seaview High ever since. Living on land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type—when they bond, it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.



2) "Of Poseidon" by Anna Banks

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help—no matter what the risk.

Of Poseidon is the start of The Syrena Legacy series by Anna Banks.



3) "Rising" by Holly Kelly

In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea-humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou-the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean-is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there's one small thing he needs to do... kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn't start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she's a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She's a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren't so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet... Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.



4) "Ingo" by Helen Dunmore

A whisper on the tide

Sapphire's father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea. But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.

In a novel full of longing, mystery, and magic, Helen Dunmore takes us to a new world that has the power both to captivate and to destroy.



5) "Sirena" by Donna Jo Napoli
In Donna Jo Napoli's beautiful prose, the tragic love story between a mermaid and a mortal comes to life for young readers. When Sirena meets Philoctetes, Hercules' friend, she falls in love. But the young warrior must return home to fight the Trojan War and leave his magical love behind.



6) "Tangled Tides" by Karen Amanda Hooper
Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters--until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people--until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process--or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.



7) "Lost Voices" by Sarah Porter

Fourteen-year-old Luce reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on
the cliffs outside of her grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she
tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation
and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost
girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is
thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable
desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the
rocks. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?



8) "The Call of the Deep" by Tracy Lane

At the ripe age of 21, happily single Mericle Edwards discovers that her body – her human body – is only a temporary fix. Born in the Deep as a princess with fins and gills, she was hidden amongst the humans, so her father – a corrupt sea king – could not use her to his advantage, or worse, destroy her in order to keep his position as ruler of a kingdom in the North Atlantic. A mysterious visit from a crystal-eyed stranger, along with the onset of startling abilities brings Meri to a realization that her life is in for a drastic change. Expectations are high and duties aren’t taken lightly in the Deep. Thankfully, Meri’s true form knows exactly what’s expected of it. With the guidance of her mentor and his unmatched ‘charm’, and a few others along the way, Meri will have to make some tough decisions. Will she fulfill her dream of becoming a small town veterinarian or give it all up to save a world and a lifestyle she remembers nothing about? Is there someone she’s destined to be with after all? Will her deadly fear of water be a problem?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best Elf or Fairy Book List

Want a fantastical fairy story? Want to see something besides the typical Tinker Bell take on fairies and elves? Well, search no more and check out this book list....


1) "Wicked Lovely" by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.



2) "Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale" by Holly Black
Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.



3) "Lament: the Faerie Queen's Deception" by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.



4) "The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa
MEGHAN CHASE HAS A SECRET DESTINY—ONE SHE COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth.

For Meghan is the daughter of a mythical faery king…and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



5) "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius-and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.

Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them but then they stop playing by the rules.



6) "Wings" by Aprilynne Pike
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

Laurel's life is the very definition of normal . . . until the morning when she wakes up to discover a flower blooming from her back. As it turns out, nothing in Laurel's life is what it seems. Now, with the help of an alluring faerie sentry who holds the key to her true past, Laurel must race to save her human family from the centuries-old faerie enemies who walk among them.



7) "War for the Oaks" by Emma Bull

Acclaimed by critics and readers on its first publication in 1987, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel, Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is one of the novels that has defined modern urban fantasy.

Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.

By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that’s as much about this world as about the other one. It’s about real love and loyalty, about real music and musicians, about false glamour and true art. It will change the way you hear and see your own daily life.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Edgar Award Book List

Edgar Allan Poe Awards honors the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in that particular year.
Want to read some exceptional mystery books? Check out this book list filled with award winning titles....



1) "Ordinary Grace" by William Kent Krueger

“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.”

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family—which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.



2) "One Came Home" by Amy Timberlake
In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.

But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of "pigeoners" trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha's blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.



3) "Ketchup Clouds" by Annabel Pitcher

Dear Mr. S. Harris,

Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . .


I know what it's like.


Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance.



4) "America Is Elsewhere: the Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture" by Erik Dussere
America is Elsewhere provides a rigorous and creative reconsideration of hard-boiled crime fiction and the film noir tradition within three related postwar contexts: 1) the rise of the consumer republic in the United States after World War Ii 2) the challenge to traditional notions of masculinity posed by a new form of citizenship based in consumption, and 3) the simultaneous creation of "authenticity effects" -- representational strategies designed to safeguard an image of both the American male and America itself outside of and in opposition to the increasingly omnipresent marketplace. Films like Double Indemnity, Ace in the Hole, and Kiss Me Deadly alongside novels by Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler provide rich examples for the first half of the study. The second is largely devoted to works less commonly understood in relation to the hard-boiled and noir canon. Examinations of the conspiracy films from the Seventies and Eighties -- like Klute and The Parallax View -- novels by Thomas Pynchon, Chester Himes and William Gibson reveal the persistence and evolution of these authenticity effects across the second half of the American twentieth century.



5) "The Hour of Peril: the Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War" by Daniel Stashower

“It's history that reads like a race-against-the-clock thriller.” —Harlan Coben
Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar award–winning author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, uncovers the riveting true story of the “Baltimore Plot,” an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War in THE HOUR OF PERIL.

In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a “clear and fully-matured” threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.

As Lincoln’s train rolled inexorably toward “the seat of danger,” Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln’s life—and the future of the nation—on a “perilous feint” that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy—and, later, mired in controversy—the story of the “Baltimore Plot” is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.



6) "The Wicked Girls" by Alex Marwood

On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives—and unknowing families to protect—will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?



7) "Red Sparrow" by Jason Matthews
In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Young Adult Must Read Book List

Enjoy young adult books but don't want to read the same thing over and over again? Well, despair no more and check out this book list....




1) "A Latent Dark" by Martin Kee

Skyla has lived secretly within the city walls of Bollingbrook for eleven years, playing among the airship factories and trainyards. As one of the Gutter District’s nameless destitute, it has gone undiscovered that she has a unique talent: when Skyla looks at a person’s shadow she sees through it and into another world. She can see people’s fears, desires, their past sins--all as swimming, living creatures. Her mother has never told her the real reasons why they must remain hidden, never explained the true dangers that exist outside the city walls. But when her mother’s past catches up with them both, Skyla finds she must flee out of the city and into a world still recovering from a second Dark Age, a world of adults with secrets only she can see. For a stranger has recently moved into Bollingbrook, a man some call the Pope of the South, a witch hunter to some and a hero to others. When more children begin to disappear, suspicions are raised and an unlikely search party is formed to find Skyla in the hopes that they aren’t already too late.



2) "Starters" by Lissa Price

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie.
Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter.
Callie soon discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than she could ever have imagined. . . .
Includes Portrait of a Spore, a never-before-published short story that takes place in the world of STARTERS.



3) "Real Vampires Don't Sparkle" by Amy Fecteau
Matheus Taylor didn't ask to be murdered. To be fair, the percentage of people actually asking to be murdered is probably small enough to be safely ignored, but he felt it was worth stating regardless. His life might have been ordinary, but it was his life and he wasn't done with it yet. Quin didn't care. A seventeen-hundred old Roman, Quintus Livius Saturnius had a different view of morality than most people. Killing Matheus and hijacking his undead existence seemed perfectly acceptable to him. Now, Matheus spends his nights running for his life, questioning his sexual orientation, and defying a mysterious new threat to the vampires within his city. Not that he set out to do any defying; he just wanted to be left alone. Unfortunately, that was never going to happen.



4) "Of Poseidon" by Anna Banks

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help—no matter what the risk.

Of Poseidon is the start of The Syrena Legacy series by Anna Banks.



5) "Paper Towns" by John Green
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.



6) "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”


16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.

What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?



7) "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Mass

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top 100 Movies of All Time Part Two

Looking for another great movie? Don't want to have to spend a lot of money going to the theaters? Never fear...here are the next ten movies on the list....



1) Lawrence of Arabia

An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in Dorset at the age of 46, then flashbacks to recount his adventures: as a young intelligence officer in Cairo in 1916, he is given leave to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I. In the desert, he organizes a guerrilla army and--for two years--leads the Arabs in harassing the Turks with desert raids, train-wrecking and camel attacks. Eventually, he leads his army northward and helps a British General destroy the power of the Ottoman Empire.

Director: David Lean
Writers: T.E. Lawrence (writings), Robert Bolt(screenplay), 1 more credit »
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1962



2) The Godfather: Part II

The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay), Mario Puzo(screenplay), 1 more credit »
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1974



3) Psycho
Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Joseph Stefano (screenplay), Robert Bloch(novel)
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1960



4) Sunset Blvd
The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent-screen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness.

Director: Billy Wilder
Writers: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, 1 more credit »
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim| See full cast and crew »
Released: 1950



5) Vertigo

Former Police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson was asked by a friend to investigate his wife named Madeleine since he was afraid that she might attempt to kill herself due to probable insanity as she thinks that she might be possessed by a dead woman. Scottie agrees and ended up falling in love with her. Unfortunately for him, Madeleine died and he was left alone until a woman named Judy came along and things start to unfold.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Alec Coppel (screenplay), Samuel A. Taylor(screenplay), 3 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes |See full cast and crew »
Released:1958



6) On the Waterfront
Terry Malloy dreams about being a prize fighter, while tending his pigeons and running errands at the docks for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny's thugs, and later meets the dead man's sister and feels responsible for his death. She introduces him to Father Barry, who tries to force him to provide information for the courts that will smash the dock racketeers.

Director: Elia Kazan
Writers: Budd Schulberg (screenplay), Budd Schulberg(based upon an original story by), 1 more credit »
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1954



7) Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His 'mama' teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, create the smiley, write bumper stickers and songs, donating to people and meeting the president several times. However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran. Who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Winston Groom (novel), Eric Roth (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1994



8) The Sound of Music
In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become ...

Director: Robert Wise
Writers: George Hurdalek (with the partial use of ideas by), Howard Lindsay (from the stage musical book by), 3 more credits »
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker| See full cast and crew »
Released: 1965



9) West Side Story
West Side Story is the award-winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet". The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs- the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff's best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo's younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop their love. Maria and Tony begin meeting in secret, planning to run away. Then the Sharks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway - whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what's happened, tragedy strikes and doesn't stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Writers: Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Arthur Laurents(book), 2 more credits »
Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1961



10) Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope

A young boy from Tatooine sets out on an adventure with an old Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi as his mentor to save Princess Leia from the ruthless Darth Vader and Destroy the Death Star built by the Empire which has the power to destroy the entire galaxy.

Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher |See full cast and crew »
Released: 1977