New & Notable on the Truckee Friends of the Library shelf
The Friends of the Library book rental program is a great way to access best-selling and recently published books. While the regular library copies may have long waiting lists attached to them, the Friends of the Library copies circulate for one week (read ’em fast!), do not carry waiting lists and do not travel to other library branches. Blockbuster bestsellers such as Patterson, Evanovich and Grisham are always featured as well as more esoteric offerings and even some non-fiction. Here is a selection of those more esoteric offerings currently on our Friends of the Library book shelves to entice you:”Sunnyside” by Glen David Gold blends reality and fiction, war drama and Hollywood glamour, according to Publishers Weekly. Gold sets into motion his cameo-heavy, multi-pronged plot with a bizarre incident in the winter of 1916, when Charlie Chaplin is spotted simultaneously in 800 places across the country, causing mass hysteria and panic. The primary storyline follows Chaplin’s struggles with women, creativity, film budgets and his opposition to the war. Two other intersecting storylines help provide dramatic narrative of chance and coincidence.”Martyr” by debut novelist Rory Clements delves even deeper into history. William Shakespeare’s older brother, John, plays sleuth in this Elizabethan thriller. While Queen Elizabeth hesitates to sign the death warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots, her spymaster, Sir Francis Wallsingham, fears the Spanish have sent as assassin to England to kill the country’s greatest naval hero, Sir Francis Drake. This tale of murder and conspiracy succeeds brilliantly as both historical fiction and a crime thriller.One of the oddest selections on the FOL bookshelves in recent memory is “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” According to Booklist, this may be the most wacky by-product of the busy Jane Austen fan-fiction industry. In what has been described as an “expanded edition” of “Pride and Prejudice,” 85 percent of the original text has been preserved but fused with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.” For more than 50 years, England has been overrun by zombies, prompting people like the Bennets to send their daughters away to China for training in the art of deadly combat. Added to the familiar plot turns that bring Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy together is the fact that both are highly skilled killers, gleefully slaying zombies on the way to their happy ending (!).NPR foreign correspondent Eric Weiner’s “Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World” is a fascinating read. Weiner travels to countries like Iceland, Bhutan, Qatar, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand and India to try to figure out why residents tell positive psychology researchers they’re actually quite happy. As Publisher’s Weekly explains, Weiner is confronted with a few inconvenient truths. Contrary to expectations, neither greater social equality, nor greater cultural diversity is associated with greater happiness. In the end, Wiener realizes happiness isn’t about economics or geography.
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