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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.
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" 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.
If you're over a certain age or have cable, you may know the television show "The Waltons." The show had a 9-year run starting in the early '70s. Plots followed the lives of three generations of Waltons who lived together in rural Virginia during the Depression and WWII.
Among the actors was Mary McDonough, who portrayed Erin Walton. Her 2011 book is called "Lessons from the Mountain: what I learned from Erin Walton." The book is a recollection of her life as an actor, a mother, a patient and a citizen. There are no shocking revelations about her fellow Waltons, so if that's what you're after, skip this book. It would seem that the cast had genuine respect for one another, so portraying a close-knit family was not difficult.
For those converted by Flyleaf's self-titled debut, "New Horizons" will be a parting gift from lead singer, Lacey Sturm, who announced her departure from the band. "New Horizons" is loaded with fiery guitars and fierce drums supporting Sturm's ability to do hairpin turns with her voice from screaming to keening to a roar. The wonder of Flyleaf is they never sacrifice their aggressive rock and roll for their visceral lyrics, but have found a rare balance between the two. "Cage on the Ground," one of the standouts from their latest CD, offers the following:
If you are a fan of Evanescence and Paramour, you may want to check out Flyleaf's "New Horizons." We will have to be patient hear how new vocalist, Kristen May, sounds on their next release.
--Cindy F., Headquarters
Are you tired of post-apocalyptic fiction? Perhaps you might enjoy some pre-apocalyptic fiction. "Countdown City" by Ben H. Winters is the second book in "The Last Policeman" series. It is a fast-paced and thoughtful read.
The hero is Henry Palace, former policeman in Concord, New Hampshire. Palace and his fellow citizens are living in strained circumstances. A large asteroid is set to collide with Earth in 77 days. People disagree about what exactly will happen, but everyone agrees that it will mean the end for humans on earth.
Chaos reigns in society. Many people have left their homes, choosing to live out their last months wandering, skydiving, or using drugs. Others are stockpiling weapons and food. Some are terrorizing their fellow citizens.
In the 50th anniversary editions of Anthony Burgess's "A ClockworkOrange," Americans can read the controversial twenty-first chapter that was not published in U.S. editions. While the rest of the world read the entire novel, we missed how it really ends.
Burgess insisted that his decision to structure the novel with 21 chapters was a deliberate reference to the coming of age of his protagonist. In this respect, "A Clockwork Orange" is an unbridled celebration of youth, if not also a eulogy to its passing.
Andrew Biswell edits the new "Restored Edition," to incorporate Burgess's manuscript corrections and notes. He presents a history of the book's inception and publication and shares insights into the author's creative personality. Also included are facsimile manuscript pages with illustrations and annotations by the author.
Last year was a good year for tough female heroines in action films. Worth considering if strong females don't make you quake are "Hanna" and "Haywire." "Hanna" stars Saoirse Ronan. Raised by Eric Bana in the Arctic Circle, she is homeschooled out of an encyclopedia and trained to take down a grown elk and a grown man with deadly efficiency. She wants out of their lonely existence, but may soon regret it once she learns people are out to kill her and her father. Bana and Cate Blanchett are strong in their supporting roles. As the tension ratchets up, you watch them calculating the collateral damage. Action-packed, "Hanna" has both physical feats and psychological thrills.