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New Staff Picks

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Staff Picks -  January / February 2017

  Book cover for Britt-Marie was here  Book cover for Turbo Twenty-three  Book cover for The Necessary War  Book Cover for Peter O'Toole: the definitive biography  Book cover for The Chosen  Book cover for Contagious why things catch on  Book cover for The Spy who came for Christmas  DVD Cover for Miss Peregrine's peculiar children

 

Are you interested in what some of the QWPL staff are reading, watching or listening to? Here is a sampling of staff reviews of materials available to library users in our community. We hope that you find these informative and entertaining.  Look for new reviews each month.

 

Britt- Marie Was Here
By: Frederik Backman
Recommended by Pauline

Britt-Marie can't stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.
But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.
As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village's youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She's the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.
Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?
Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing. 

This title is available in Regular Print and Book on CD formats.

Turbo Twenty-Three
By:  Janet Evanovich
Recommended by Kim

In the heart of Trenton, N.J., a killer is out to make sure someone gets his just desserts.

Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body--frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.
As fate would have it, Stephanie's mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who's putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It's going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It's also going to be hard to explain to Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs--who are naked and afraid--and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have "virtually no marketable skills," these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best. 

This title is available in Regular Print, Large Print, Book on CD and Downloadable eBook.

The Necessary War
By: Tim Cook
Recommended by Robert

I do believe that since the death of Pierre Berton, we have had few Canadian historians who have been able to tackle topics in Canadian history and make them interesting for the non-academic reader. One who has succeeded in doing so is the writer, Tim Cook, historian at the Canadian War Museum and professor at Carleton University. After a number of award winning tomes about World War I, Professor Cook has produced a two volume history on Canada's participation in World War II. Tim Cook is uniquely qualified to do this; his experience as a curator of the Museum's war exhibit has given him access to a large amount of original resources. In the first volume, "The Necessary War", Tim takes us from a quite reluctant and unprepared Canada in 1939 to Canada's role in the Italian campaign on 1943. While Mr. Cook does a very good job portraying how its leader MacKenzie King maneuvered this nation of 12,000,000 into becoming an important part of the Allied efforts against the Axis powers, it is his description of the experiences of Canadian service men and women that will capture the reader's imagination. We really feel the intensity of Canadian airmen defending British skies during the Battle of Britain and sense the desperation of those Canadian battalions who made a hopeless defense against the invasion of Hong Kong by the Japanese. We live with tired, young sailors on corvettes escorting convoys providing needed goods to Britain. The author describes in terrifying detail the experiences of Halifax and Wellington bomber pilots trying to evade German fighters and air defenses. The reader will be disheartened by the Cook's portrayal of the Dieppe, the folly of its poor planning and the ensuing slaughter of young Canadian soldiers.  As Canadian troops invade a sweltering Sicily, they begin to match their prowess against experienced German defenders. Crossing into mainland Italy, they meet and withstand the severe challenges of the well-entrenched Germans. The author continues to effectively describe each battle and uses the memories of participants to make us feel the cold, the pain and loss of friends.
Throughout this book, we meet largely unprofessional soldiers challenged by the experienced soldiers of the Reich and Japan. While a few significant disasters occur due to poor planning, these Canadian soldiers, sailor and airmen prove their mettle and often surprise the enemy. By the end of this first volume, Canadians had, in concert with their Allies, pushed forward from Sicily to Ortona. Great losses were suffered, but Canadian troops had become an important and identifiable force in the push to wrest Europe form the control of the Axis powers.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Tom Cook has taken Canada's involvement in World War II and humanized this history with the stirring memories of actual combatants. I certainly look forward to reading volume 2. 

Recommended for Canadian war history buffs.

This title is available in Regular Print, Downloadable AudioBook and eBook formats.

Peter O'Toole : the definitive biography
By: Robert Sellers
Recommended by Emily

Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life.
With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy.
Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.

This title is available in Non-Fiction Regular Print.

(From an overview on Barnes And Noble)

The Chosen        
By: Kristina Ohlsson
Recommended by Marilyn

A series of horrific crimes against Stockholm's Jewish community has its roots in the Holy Land, which has never seemed less holy than it does here.
Has someone declared war on the Solomon Community? Efraim Kiel, sent from Israel to recruit a new security chief, offers the job to Peder Rydh, who was kicked off the Stockholm police after shooting his brother's killer, if he can start immediately. But immediately isn't nearly soon enough. While the body of Josephine, a preschool teacher gunned down by a sniper in front of her building as children and the parents picking them up looked on in horror, is still cooling, 10-year-old Simon Eisenberg and his friend Abraham Goldmann are kidnapped on their way to play tennis by an abductor who locks them in a freezing car overnight before taking them out and executing them early the next morning. Analyst Fredrika Bergman, rejoining Peder's old boss DCI Alex Recht after a hiatus of two years (The Disappeared, 2014, etc.), hardly knows where to begin. The two crimes couldn't be more different in their modus operandi, yet they've both targeted members of an extremely small community, and the same gun, it turns out, was used to kill all three victims. Even more disturbingly, Efraim Kiel, counterterrorist chief Eden Lundell, and the parents of the murdered boys all seem to know more than they're willing to share with the police about the Paper Boy, an Israeli bogeyman from a previous generation who casts a disturbingly long shadow. Following the trail of violence and retribution from the Paper Boy to the present will take Fredrika to Israel and back and produce a tangled, gripping, memorable, and ultimately shattering tale.

Warning to the squeamish: things turn out much worse than you could have expected. In retrospect, it's hard to see how it could have been otherwise. (Kirkus review)

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable Audiobook formats.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On
By: Jonah Berger
Recommended by Krista

This book is written by an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania who has been written about in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post as well as many others.  Jonah Berger methodically researches what makes information go viral.  He looks at why does one social media post or advertising campaign blow up and one falls flat. Or why the song "Friday" went viral when it is generally considered a bad song and better songs aren't successful? This book answers these fascinating questions in an engaging and easy to read manner. 

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.

The Spy Who Came for Christmas
By:  David Morrell
Recommended by Janet

This is a holiday thriller with a unique twist.

It's Christmas Eve in Sante Fe but among the revelers on snow-banked Canyon Road a decidedly unholy scene is taking place. A desperate undercover agent, Paul Kagan, feverishly seeks refuge for himself and the squirming bundle he holds tightly against his chest, a baby who has the power to change the course of global events.
He is pursued by his former colleagues---members of the Russian mafia who will stop at nothing to reclaim the child.
Just a short distance away Kagan enlists the help of a mother and her son who huddle together in fear inside their home after an incident of domestic violence. Their phone lines have been cut and they have no means of transportation.
In the course of a wild and violent night, with the generosity and courage of the woman and her disillusioned son, Kagan, the ultimate professional assassin discovers within himself the strength of the Christmas spirit.

This title is available in Regular Print Format.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
DVD
Recommended by Rachel

From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers...and their powerful enemies. Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special "peculiarity" can save his new friends.

This title is available in DVD, Young Adult Fiction, Downloadable Audiobook and eBook formats.

Review from amazon.com

 

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