Welcome to the Punch

Welcome to the Punch

Writer/director Eran Creevy found the sweet spot between action and psychological thriller with "Welcome to the Punch." Starring James MacAvoy as obsessed cop Max Lewinsky and Mark Strong as criminal mastermind Jacob Sternwood, the typical cat and mouse game takes unexpected turns. During Sternwood's last big heist, Lewinsky almost catches him single-handed.  While Lewinsky sees himself as a failure, Sternwood lives in spectacular luxury until Sternwood's son ends up in police custody. Both men will go to any length to triumph over the other, but the situation becomes far more complicated than mere self-sacrifice. Lewinsky navigates bureaucratic machinations and tangles with a new partner. Sternwood needs to ferret out the people his son was working for. The film features the expected shoot outs, chase scenes, and explosions but there are also issues of grief, self-worth, and a murder in the shadows. In the "making of" feature, MacAvoy says "Welcome to the Punch" is really a character piece.

The Pope's Last Crusade

"The Pope's Last Crusade," Peter Eisner

While Pius XII is most commonly considered the "World War II Pope," his predecessor, Pius XI, fought the rise of Hitler and Mussolini from the start. In his book, "The Pope's Last Crusade," Peter Eisner discusses how Pius XI enlisted the aid of an American priest to write a papal condemnation of their ideologies. The effort was done largely in secret to avoid political infighting, yet Eisner's version includes backroom intrigue among the few Vatican officials who were in the know. There were justifiable concerns about provoking Hitler and about Mussolini's Italian government, which was just outside the Vatican's front door. Much of this story was unknown until the 1970s and is still the cause of debate and speculation. 

What’s for Dinner?

Have you ever foraged for a meal? Before gathering leaves sprouting from the cracks in the sidewalk to make a salad, check out these books on what to look for, where to look, and how to prepare your harvest.

"Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat" by Ellen Zachos focuses on plants often found in urban and suburban areas. It includes color photographs for identification and tips on how to avoid pesticides.

Samuel Thayer's book "Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants" also offers detailed plant descriptions along with helpful photos and drawings highlighting features that distinguish edible plants from the poisonous plants they might resemble.


If you like the idea of reading dozens of interesting life stories in one manageable volume, I recommend "The Socialite Who Killed a Nazi with Her Bare Hands and 143 Other Fascinating People Who Died This Past Year." This second annual compilation of selected New York Times obituaries includes deaths that occurred from August 2011 through July 2012. The eye-catching title is a vast improvement over last year's compilation which was simply titled "The Obits 2012."

These diverse personalities are linked only in that they were all notable, and that they all died in the same twelve-month period. The profiles include newsman Mike Wallace, entertainer Andy Griffith, dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, and St. Louis' own Bob Cassilly.

New Historical Romance

"Once Upon a Tower" by Eloisa James

Checkout the newest historical romance releases from St. Louis County Library. Reserve your copy today!

Tessa Dare - "Any Duchess Will Do"-- When her son refuses to marry, his mother bets him she can turn any woman he picks into a Duchess. As their carriage pulls into Spindle Cove, he spots Kate, a simple store clerk covered in flour and with a mountain of responsibilities. He knows Kate is perfect! Not for him, of course...but she'll serve as a lesson for his mother and make her regret ever pressuring this rake to marry. 

Elosia James "Once Upon a Tower"--James revamps the traditional tale of "Rapunzel" and matches a passionate cello player with a Duke. Gowan must woo his new bride Eddie out of her tower if he ever wants a chance at winning her heart, and getting back in her bed. 


"Hunted" by Kevin Hearne
Kevin Hearne's new book is "Hunted : the iron druid chronicles." It's an action-packed romp through various supernatural pantheons. The author masterfully juggles various subplots, intense action, comedy and gore to make this one of his best books yet.
In an earlier book, our hero, Atticus O'Sullivan offends the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods. He has two goddesses of the hunt, Artemis and Diana, chasing  him, his apprentice Granuaile, and his dog Oberon on a mad dash across Europe. Add to the mix a cast of allies/enemies including vampires, elves, dark elves, werewolves, a life leech, and the leader of the Wild Hunt and you have a paranormal smorgasbord of delight.

What’s New in Romance

"Heart of Obsidian" by Nalini Singh

Checkout the newest contemporary and paranormal romance releases from St. Louis County Library. Reserve your copy today!

Finding love is as easy as 1, 2, 3 in Susan Mallery's latest installment in the Fool's Gold series: "Just One Kiss," "Two of a Kind," "Three Little Words".  

 Jill Shalvis was the keynote speaker at the Romance Writer's of America Librarian's Day. Her stories are funny, move fast and full of heart. "It Had to Be You" is the latest in her Lucky Harbor series featuring a burnt out cop and an a falsely accused thief. 

War Stories

Each year the Pritzker Military Library honors a living author for a body of work that enriches knowledge of American military history. This Lifetime Achievement Award offers more than just prestige. Winners receive a $100,000 honorarium (and a medallion!). The 2013 winner is novelist and short story writer Tim O'Brien.

Deadly Forecast

"Deadly Forecast" by Victoria Laurie


"Deadly Forecast" is the latest book in the Psychic Eye series by Victoria Laurie featuring psychic sleuth, Abby Cooper. All the usual characters are back as Abby and Dutch plan their wedding. Comic relief is provided in the form of Abby's sister who has usurped the wedding and is out of control.

On a more somber note, Abby's psychic radar is foretelling doom for Dutch if he remains too close to her. To complicate matters, their FBI team is investigating a serial bomber who is using innocents to carry his bombs. Dutch and Abby's relationship is put to the test in their most dangerous adventure to date.

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