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New at the library

July 14, 2012
The Mining Journal

Whether you are planning a trip to camp, Europe, or the beach, don't forget to pack a few good books. The following titles are some of the very newest to the Peter White Public Library collection. All are suitable for reading on the plane, train, porch swing or beach towel.

Retreat is the theme of The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri. Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of her husband's infidelity. Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters and takes refuge on Burke's Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place spiced with superstition and magic.

The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan tells the story of four very different young women, roommates at Harvard until their graduation in 1989. Twenty years later, their lives are in free fall. Like all Harvard grads, they've kept abreast of one another via the red book, a class report published every five years, containing brief autobiographical essays by fellow alumni. But there's the story we tell the world, and then there's the real story, as these former classmates will learn during their reunion weekend.

As he did in "Robopocalypse," Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. This technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities - and rights - of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world-or destroy it.

In An Unexpected Guest by Anne Kolkeakivi, Clare Moorhouse, the American wife of a high-ranking diplomat in Paris, is arranging an official dinner crucial to her husband's career. As she shops for fresh stalks of asparagus and works out the menu and seating arrangements, her day is complicated by the unexpected arrival of her son and a random encounter with a Turkish man, whom she discovers is a suspected terrorist. Korkeakivi brilliantly weaves the complexities of an age into an act as deceptively simple as hosting a dinner party.

In her debut novel, The Green Shore, award-winning writer Natalie Bakopoulos illuminates a seminal yet little-explored moment in Greek history: the 1967 military coup d'tat, which ushered in a seven-year period of brutality and repression. The story follows the adventures of one family, whose love and resistance play out against the backdrop of this turbulent period. As the years pass and the dictatorship's oppressive rule continues unchallenged, their lives unfold in surprising ways, each seeking and finding love and fulfillment as they struggle to make their own peace with when to stay silent and when to act.

It's July 4, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. But this is no ordinary holiday. The family has gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings, an intrepid journalist and adventurer who was killed on that day in 2004, while on assignment in Iraq. The parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief. Their 40-year marriage is falling apart. Each of Leo's sisters is immersed her own set of problems. And Thisbe?-Leo's widow and mother of their three-year-old son-has come from California bearing her own secret. Set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War, The World Without You by Joshua Henkin is ultimately a novel about the true meaning of family.

It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, and the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he's coming. For their purposes, Fredric Stahl is a perfect agent of influence, and they attack him. What they don't know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, has become part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris. Alan Furst's Mission to Paris includes beautifully drawn scenes of romance. But always at the center of the novel is the city of Paris-its alleys and bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it was their last.

Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide-ranging as Frank Deford's remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium. From the Mad Men-like days of SI in the '60s, and the "bush" years of the early NBA, to Deford's visit to apartheid South Africa with Arthur Ashe, and his friend's brave and tragic death, Over Time is packed with intriguing people and stories. Interwoven through his personal history, Deford lovingly traces the entire arc of American sportswriting.

In 1923 Eva English and her sister Lizzie set off as missionaries for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Though Lizzie is on fire with her religious calling, Eva's motives are not quite as noble, but with her green bicycle and a commission from a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, she is ready for adventure. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson explores the fault lines that appear when traditions from different parts of an increasingly globalized world crash into one other.

When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and son, Charlie, are devastated. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island. Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Captivated by the island's natural charms and inspired by colorful Lowcountry lore-lively stories of Blackbeard and his pirates and of former resident Edgar Allan Poe-mother, daughter, and grandson share a memorable, illuminating summer in Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank.

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star, 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Kansas to study dance in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she's in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful, is known for her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever. Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, '30s, and beyond - from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women - Laura Moriarty's The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time.

- Ellen Moore

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