LAPL Staff

  • Book cover for The crane wife : a novel

    The crane wife : a novel

    by Ness, Patrick, 1971-

    February 3, 2014

    Call Number:

    Patrick Ness, who has been writing marvelous young adult fiction for several years now, has written his first adult novel, The Crane Wife, and it's a lovely book.George is a middle-aged divorced man who runs a small printing shop in London. He’s a quiet, pleasant man, the sort you wouldn’t notice if you passed him on the street. That affability is starting to work against him, though; he’s so genially low-key that he doesn’t inspire much passion in anyone (or have much passion about anything), and women rarely get beyond seeing him as a good friend.That... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Lookaway, lookaway

    Lookaway, lookaway

    by Barnhardt, Wilton.

    December 2, 2013

    Call Number:

    Wilton Barnhardt's Lookaway, Lookaway is a marvelous novel, following one family over the course of a decade as scandals unfold, financial fortunes rise and fall, and secrets (old and new) are revealed.The Johnstons are one of the most respected families in Charlotte. Duke's a former city councilman; his wife, Jerene, manages the family art collection for the city's museum. Jerene's brother, Gaston, writes a popular series of Civil War romances (though the critics wish he'd kept writing the more respectable, if less commercial, literary fiction with which he... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Three graves full

    Three graves full

    by Mason, Jamie.

    October 15, 2013

    Call Number:

    “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.”That’s how Jamie Mason introduces us to the central character of Three Graves Full.  Jason Getty is not a man who grabs life by the horns and lives with gusto, but one who watches as life happens to him.  He has had precisely one moment of assertiveness in his life, a confrontation with a con man, and that’s how Jason wound up with a body in his backyard.  A year later, he's just beginning to get over his paranoia about being caught when landscapers turn up not one,... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The wild duck chase : inside the strange and wonderful world of the Federal Duck Stamp contest

    The wild duck chase : inside the strange and wonderful world of the Federal Duck Stamp contest

    by Smith, Martin J., 1956-

    August 5, 2013

    Call Number: 383.173 S655

    I've always been fond of books that give you a peek into an obscure subculture, and Martin J. Smith's The Wild Duck Chase is a good one.  The world into which Smith takes us is that of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the only art contest run by the federal government.  Unless you are a duck hunter, you're most likely to have heard of the duck stamp from the movie Fargo, which ends with Marge's husband telling her that he... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Flagrant conduct : the story of Lawrence v. Texas : how a bedroom arrest decriminalized gay Americans

    Flagrant conduct : the story of Lawrence v. Texas : how a bedroom arrest decriminalized gay Americans

    by Carpenter, Dale, 1966-

    July 23, 2013

    Call Number: 301.415709764 C295

    The state of gay rights in the United States is changing so rapidly that we forget sometimes how quickly change has come. It was only in 2003, for instance, that the Supreme Court struck down state bans on sodomy in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. Dale Carpenter's book Flagrant Conduct looks at how that case came to the Supreme Court, and how it was won. It's not only a fine piece of journalism, but entertaining reading as well.John Lawrence and Tyson Garner were arrested by Houston police in 1998 when they were discovered having sex in the bedroom of Lawrence's apartment... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Red planet blues

    Red planet blues

    by Sawyer, Robert J.

    June 3, 2013

    Call Number: SF

    Robert J. Sawyer is one of our best science fiction writers, and here he tackles one of the genre's bigger challenges -- the SF/mystery hybrid.

    The potential pitfalls in mixing the two, I think, have to do with reader expectations. SF readers enjoy -- and yes, this is a broad generalization -- the surprise of new gadgets, gizmos, concepts, technology. They'll let an author introduce something new six pages from the end of the book if it makes for an exciting finish. Mystery writers, to make an equally broad generalization, want a fair chance to solve the puzzle, so they... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Heading out to wonderful : a novel

    Heading out to wonderful : a novel

    by Goolrick, Robert, 1948-

    April 15, 2013

    Call Number:

    World War II has only recently ended, and life has started to return to normal in sleepy Brownsburg, Virginia. Charlie Beale arrives, looking for a place to finally settle down, and with his natural charm, he’s quickly accepted as a member of the community. When he meets the beautiful young Sylvan Glass, it’s love at first sight, and Sylvan is more than ready to be swept off her feet by a handsome and dashing beau. She has dreams of Hollywood, glamour, and the movies – dreams that she feared had died for good when her family married her off to the town's richest man.... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president

    The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president

    by Millard, Candice.

    March 12, 2013

    Call Number: 92 G231Mi

    You might not think there would be much point to a book about James Garfield. His was the second-shortest Presidency, after all, at a mere 200 days, and almost half of that was spent in his death bed after being shot by Charles Guiteau. But Candice Millard's Destiny of the Republic makes the story of Garfield's assassination more interesting than you might have expected.Garfield was the savior of a sharply divided Republican party in 1880. His nomination speech for one of the declared candidates was so riveting that a deadlocked convention eventually turned to him as its... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Some kind of fairy tale : a novel

    Some kind of fairy tale : a novel

    by Joyce, Graham, 1954-

    February 22, 2013

    Call Number:

    The woods near Tara Martin's village have always been a mysterious place. Some would say haunted, some would say enchanted, but strange things happen there. But it's still a shock when 16-year-old Tara disappears without a trace from those woods. It's even more of a shock when she turns up at her parents' door 20 years later, seeming to have barely aged a day. The mystery of what happened to Tara is at the heart of Graham Joyce's Some Kind of Fairy Tale, a novel that combines fairy tale imagery with magical realism and outright fantasy.Tara's story is far-... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The rook : a novel

    The rook : a novel

    by O'Malley, Daniel.

    January 20, 2013

    Call Number:

    We open with a woman waking up in a London park. She is surrounded by dead bodies, and cannot remember who she is or how she got there. Fortunately, in her coat pocket she finds a letter from her pre-amnesia self, which answers some of her questions. She is, the letter explains, Myfanwy Thomas, and she is a Rook, a high-ranking official in the Chequy, the spy organization tasked with protecting Britain from supernatural threats. And someone in the Chequy is trying to kill her.From that premise, O'Malley spins a delightful comic-thriller that reads like a Douglas Adams' version of a... Read Full Review