July 29 - August 4:
Title/Author? A Farewell to Legs by Jeffrey Cohen
Reason for selection? Commemorating the end of National Anti-Boredom Month (July)
Work-at-home dad, devoted husband, hustling freelance writer, aspiring screenwriter—all ways to describe the unwilling sleuth Aaron Tucker, whom one reviewer dubbed a combination of “Bart Simpson and James Bond.” In A Farewell to Legs, the second installment of the Aaron Tucker Mystery Series, Aaron is back on the trail again, this time trying to ferret out the murderer of a former high school classmate, a D.C. lobbyist whose enemies finally stick it to him, literally—with a six-inch steak knife. The deceased leaves behind a bombshell of a widow, a secret bankroll of $13 million, and a cloud of political controversy, all of which lead Aaron to a barrel of red herrings.
But in the life of Aaron Tucker, one mystery is never enough (though he’d be quick to tell you otherwise). He’s also been delegated the odious task of tracking down Buzbee School’s secret stink-bomber. And, much to Aaron’s consternation, his wife, the beautiful attorney Abby Stein, is being stalked by a former client. All in a day’s work for the 5’4” freelance writer, who, as procrastinator extraordinaire, would rather be doing anything but investigating.
Title/Author? Queens of All the Earth by Hannah Sternberg
Genre? literary YA
Reason for Selection? For Sister’s Day (August 5)
As her freshman classmates move into dorms at Cornell University, Olivia Somerset suffers a nervous breakdown. When months of coaxing and analyzing fail to rouse Olivia from her stupor, big sister Miranda decides the sisters should fly off to Barcelona for some “vacation therapy.”
When a mistake at their Barcelona hostel leaves the Somersets in a large co-ed dorm room, Olivia and Miranda are saved by kindly Mr. Brown and his son Greg, who happily volunteer to surrender their private room. But while Olivia feels an instant connection with brooding Greg Brown, Miranda sides with fellow guest and cocky American travel writer Lenny:
The Browns are just plain weird, and must be avoided at all costs.
In the midst of urbane Peruvian priests-in-training and Scottish soccer fans, from the shops of La Rambla to the waters of the Mediterranean to the soaring heights of Montjuic, Miranda works to protect her still-fragile sister while Olivia struggles to understand her burgeoning adulthood, her feelings for Greg, and the fear that makes the next step in her life so impossible to take.
Inspired by E. M. Forster’s classic novel A Room with a View, debut author Hannah Sternberg’s Queens of All the Earth is a poetic journey of young love and self-awakening set against the beauty of Catalonia. Adults and teenagers alike will be riveted and moved by this literary coming-of-age novel about the conflicting hearts and minds of two very different sisters.
Title/Author? The Deadly Trade by Ken Morris
Reason for Selection? As part of Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month (August)
Financial thriller pioneer Ken Morris has returned with a novel faster, scarier, and more current than even his highly-acclaimed debut, Man in the Middle.
Tim Mack is a financial analyst running from a past full of death and drink. But when he leaves the Wall Street rat race hoping to slow down his life in San Diego, he finds that a calm and peaceful existence is just not in the cards. While researching a local biotechnology firm that has just exploded into flames, Tim begins to untangle a lethal web of deceit. A frightening, secret triumvirate of mass murder intricately combines a high-finance broker, a Middle-Eastern terrorist organization, and a dying biotechnology firm willing to do anything to keep afloat.
How far will this alliance go? Tim soon finds out that a bug that “makes AIDS look like a hangnail” might only be the beginning. He teams up with Betsy O’Brien, his spunky and beautiful coworker; Joe Mack, his wheelchair-bound brother who’s a former DEA agent; and Detective Bob Moore, an aging but tenacious cop in charge of leading the formal, but furtive, investigation.
Together, they devise a plan to stop the release of the mutated virus—a plan that brings the lives of Tim, his loved ones, and the rest of the country down to the bare wire. The Deadly Trade pulls on our own worst fears, inspired by the news of yesterday and almost sure to make the headlines of tomorrow. The anthrax scare of 2001 pales in the light of Ken’s terrifying vision. What legendary sportscaster Charlie Jones said about Man in the Middle is even truer about The Deadly Trade: “It can happen—perhaps it already has. And, if hasn’t happened yet, it will.”
Title/Author? A Cry Unheard: New Insights into the Medical Consequences of Loneliness by Dr. James J. Lynch
Genre? medical nonfiction
Reason? For Senior Citizen’s Day (August 21)
It is one of the most perplexing paradoxes of modern life. As technology dramatically expands our ways of communicating, loneliness has become one of the leading causes of premature death in all technologically advanced nations. The medical toll is made heavier by powerful social forces—school failure, family and communal disintegration, divorce, the loss of loved ones. And while loneliness, the lack of human companionship, the absence of face-to-face dialogue, and the “disembodiment” of human dialogue have all been linked to virtually every major disease—from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease, from tuberculosis to mental illness—the link is particularly marked in the case of heart disease, the nation’s leading killer. Every year, millions die prematurely, lonely and brokenhearted, no longer able to communicate with their fellow human being. Drawing on a lifetime of his own medical research, Dr. James Lynch provides in A Cry Unheard a groundbreaking sequel to his best-selling The Broken Heart.
August 26 - September 1:
Title/Author? Gradebusters: How Parents Can End the Bad Grades Battle by Stephen Schmitz
Reason? Back to School
Throughout his long and varied career as an educator, Steve Schmitz has been told one story, and asked one question, more than any other: “I know my child is in grade trouble at school, Dr. Schmitz, and it’s making my life hellish at home. I’ve tried everything, and nothing works. What do I do now?” From three decades as a counselor, Schmitz knows that most parents deeply want to help their children at school. But he knows all too well how powerless most parents feel in turning their lackluster learners around. And he knows, from long experience, how often, and how bitterly, parents clash with their children during “you’ve got to do better” periods. To keep household conflict from escalating, and to show concerned parents how to be part of the solution, Schmitz put down in book form all the successful advice he’s been dispensing for thirty years. In Gradebusters: How Parents Can End the Bad Grades Battle, he shares his practical methods with parents disturbed about their kids’ low levels of academic achievement.