11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant, read by Helen, on 12/30/2012

Endeavoring to build a life for herself in a dying early nineteenth-century New England town, Judy Rhines struggles with feelings of profound loneliness and impacts the lives of Black Ruth, a freed slave who dresses as a man and works as a stone mason.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Helen, Horror

The Stand by Stephen King, read by Helen, on 12/31/2012

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.

Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Editionincludes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.

For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King’s gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Mystery

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, read by Helen, on 12/30/2012

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Horror

Hater by David Moody, read by Helen, on 12/30/2012

A modern take on the classic “apocalyptic” novel, Hater tells the story of Danny McCoyne, an everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad, as society is rocked by a sudden increase in violent assaults. Christened “Haters” by the media, the attackers strike without warning and seemingly without reason. Within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. As the carnage mounts, one thing soon is clear: everyone, irrespective of race, gender, age, or class, has the potential to become either a Hater or a victim. At any moment, even friends and family can turn on one another with violent intent. In the face of this mindless terror, all McCoyne can do is secure his family, seek shelter, and watch as the world falls apart. But when he bolts the front door, the question remains: Is he shutting the danger out or locking it in?

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

Ironweed by William Kennedy, read by Helen, on 12/30/2012

Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers’ strike. He ran away again after accidentally — and fatally — dropping his infant son.

Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and the present.

“A powerfully affecting work, abounding in humor and heartbreak.” (Chicago Tribune Bookworld)

IRONWEED is last in the Albany Trilogy, preceeded by LEGS and BILLY PHELAN’S GREATEST GAME.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Thriller/Suspense

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, read by Helen, on 11/30/2012

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.”

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Mystery

The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime by Mark Haddon, read by Helen, on 11/30/2012

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, fifteen-year-old Christopher is autistic and everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, read by Helen, on 11/30/2012

Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell – a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Helen

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, read by Helen, on 10/30/2012

It is the French Riviera in the 1920s. Nicole and Dick Diver are a wealthy, elegant, magnetic couple. A coterie of admirers are drawn to them, none more so than the blooming young starlet Rosemary Hoyt. When Rosemary falls for Dick, the Diver’s calculated perfection begins to crack.

As dark truths emerge, Fitzgerald shows both the disintegration of a marriage and the failure of idealism. Tender is the Night is as sad as it is beautiful.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Horror

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, read by Helen, on 10/30/2012

In the summer of 1960 in Elm Haven, Illinois, five 12-year-old boys forge the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. An ancient, sinister evil lurks in the dark, and when a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the deepest night, the people know it marks the beginning of terror. Now Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a fraternal war of blood against an arcane abomination.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen

Somebody's Darling by Larry McMurtry, read by Helen, on 10/30/2012

Pulitzer Prize-winning Larry McMurtry writes like no one else about the American frontier. In Somebody’s Darling, the frontier lies farther west, in Hollywood, where his subject is the strange world of the movies — those who make them and those who play in them.
Somebody’s Darling is the story of the fortunes of Jill Peel. Jill is brilliant, talented, and disciplined, and one of the best female directors in Tinseltown, or anywhere else. She’s got it all together, except where the men in her life are concerned: Joe Percy and Owen Oarson. Joe is a womanizing, aging screenwriter, cheerfully cynical about life, love, and art and the pursuit of all three. But he’d rather be left alone with the young, oversexed wives of studio moguls. Owen is an ex-Texas football player and tractor salesman turned studio climber and sexual athlete. He’ll climb from bed to bed in pursuit of his starry goal: to be a movie producer. Between the two of them and a cast of Hollywood’s most unforgettable eccentrics, Jill Peel tries to create some movie magic.
Full of all the grit and warmth of his best work, Somebody’s Darling is Larry McMurtry’s deft and raunchy romp behind the scenes of America’s own unique Babel: Hollywood.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Helen

The sound and the fury by William Faulkner, read by Helen, on 10/30/2012

The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Thriller/Suspense

The Basement by Stephen Leather, read by Helen, on 09/30/2012

New York City. With a population of almost nineteen million people, it’s easy to remain anonymous even if you’re a serial killer, torturing and murdering beautiful young women. The killer has another victim right now, locked in a basement somewhere in the city. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, it’s their job to sift through those nineteen million and narrow their list to the one before it’s too late. And they’re sure they have the right man in their sights. Fusing alternating viewpoints with devastating precision, Leather’s top-notch thriller dives deep into the mind of a demented killer as tension mounts immeasurably. Turner and Marcinko’s prime suspect is screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller. He is becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of success and the cops think he might be channeling his anger into murder ? yet he doesn’t seem to be at all concerned that they are hot on his trail. As Turner and Marcinko close in on Waller they have to wonder: is he the killer? And if he isn’t ? who is? Only time will tell ? and time is one thing they do not have. An unrelenting vice-grip of suspense and fear, The Basement is the ultimate shocker with a shattering climax that will leave you battered, bruised, and broken.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Mystery

Damage by John Lescroart, read by Helen, on 09/30/2012

The Curtlees are the most powerful family in San Francisco, unscrupulous billionaires who ve lined every important pocket in the Bay Area in pursuit of their own ascent. So when the family’s heir, Ro Curtlee, was convicted of rape and murder a decade ago, the fallout for those who helped to bring him to justice was swift and uncompromising. The jury foreman was fired from his job and blacklisted in his industry. The lead prosecutor was pushed off the fast track, her dreams of becoming DA dashed. And head homicide detective Abe Glitsky was reassigned to the police department s payroll office. Eventually, all three were able to rebuild their fragile, damaged lives.

And then Ro Curtlee’s lawyers won him a retrial, and he was released from jail.
Within twenty-four hours, a fire destroys the home of the original trial’s star witness, her abused remains discovered in the ruins. When a second fire claims a participant in the case, Abe is convinced: Ro is out for revenge. But with no hard evidence and an on-the-take media eager to vilify anyone who challenges Ro, can Abe stop the violence before he finds himself in its crosshairs? How much more can he sacrifice to put Ro back behind bars? And just how far across the line is he prepared to go in pursuit of justice?

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, Helen, Memoirs, NonFiction

Most Talkative by Andy Cohen, read by Helen, on 09/30/2012

The man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show

From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo’s reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie’s Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that everyone didn’t know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television.

The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today’s celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens Live, Andy tells tales of absurd mishaps during his ten years at CBS News, hilarious encounters with the heroes and heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind The Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Helen

The curious case of Benjamin Button : and other tales of the jazz age by F. Scott Fitzgerald, read by Helen, on 09/30/2012

Recently the basis for a major motion picture starring Hollywood golden boy Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was written in 1922 by the golden boy of early twentieth-century American fiction, F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of such era-defining masterworks as The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. The tale follows the travails and triumphs of the title character, who is born in the body of an elderly man and becomes progressively younger over the course of his life.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Helen, Informational Book, NonFiction

Doing Social Media so it Matters by Laura Solomon, read by Helen, on 09/30/2012

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn: it’s difficult enough to keep abreast of social media Web sites, let alone understand how they fit into today’s library. This practical resource brings together current information on the topic in a concise format that’s easy to digest. Laura Solomon is a librarian with more than a decade of experience in Web development, design, and technology, and her timely guide Provides context on the social media phenomenonOffers practical advice on how libraries can choose, use, and monitor these tools effectivelyIdentifies additional resources and best practicesSolomon has written a unique, to-the-point guidebook for those ready to jump into the deep end of the pool and commence or improve their library’s tweeting, posting, and friending.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, read by Helen, on 08/30/2012

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt a passionate man with his own dark secrets has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.
With echoes of “Wuthering Heights” and “Rebecca,” Robert Goolrick’s intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, read by Helen, on 08/30/2012

They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. Since its first publication, The Things They Carriedhas become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction

Pretty Boy Floyd by Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana, read by Helen, on 08/30/2012

The time is 1925. The place, St. Louis, Missouri. Charley Floyd, a good-looking, sweet-smiling country boy from Oklahoma, is about to rob his first armored car.
Written by Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry and his writing partner, Diana Ossana, Pretty Boy Floyd traces the wild career of this legendary American folk hero, a young man so charming that it’s hard not to like him, even as he’s robbing you at gunpoint. From the bank heists and shootings that make him Public Enemy Number One to the women who love him, from the glamour-hungry nation that worships him to the G-men who track Charley down, Pretty Boy Floyd is both a richly comic masterpiece and an American tragedy about the price of fame and the corruption of innocence.