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Saxton Reads! & Reviews

We invite the public to post reviews to our catalog by logging into our online catalog. Reviews will then be posted to this blog. Comments can be added to existing posts or may be added as separate reviews on our catalog
FEBRUARY 27, 2011
This is Dedicated

Dewey : a small-town library cat who touched the world
Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Grand Central Publishing, C.2008

To Gran, Mom and Jodi~
three amazing women who loved
Dewey almost as much as I do

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FEBRUARY 22, 2011
the Healer ~ Carol Cassella

The Healer ~ Carol Cassella
I've added Carol Cassella to my favorite authors list. I had read and loved Cassella's debut novel, Oxygen and hoped that this book would live up to the first. I am pleased to say if anything, Healer is better. Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist. This gives her a lot of insight to the medical world and health care issues. These are blended throughout Healer in a way that draws the reader in. Her characters are interesting studies of people who seem so real that you might know them. Her exploration of love, marriage and family facing financial ruin is compelling. Additional themes of immigration, drug testing and class, make for one great read. A medical novel for those wanting something less frightening and more thought provoking than the usual medical thriller.

Add it to your pile!

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FEBRUARY 16, 2011
Rottweiler ~ Ruth Rendell

Rottweiler by Ruth Rendell

   If I gave myself any challenge this reading year it was to try some of the grand dames of mystery writing. I feel almost guilty that I have never read a Rendell book. I'm not mentioning any others until I actually read a book by those authors. I preferred to try a stand alone and recent novel rather than one of the Wexford's. I feel I have more chance of reading another of these as I'm not much for series fiction.

I knew going in that that I would use McDermid and Walters as my benchmarks for enjoyment, as they are suggested as readalikes for Rendell and are authors that I have read. So how did Ms. Rendell measure up in this particular story?

I liked the characters, flaws and all. I think she did a great job creating psychological suspense and a particularly dreary atmospheric picture of London and the characters alike. I respect the twist which is not a secret but may still be considered a spoiler, that the killer is revealed early on. This in no way makes the story less enjoyable, maybe more so in the end as it's fun to watch how this character develops when the jig is up. I wouldn't call it a fast paced thriller as a good psychological tale should be sipped and appreciated like a good wine. In the end I give Rottweiler 3.5 stars; will try another and will feel more confident in recommending Rendell to friends. 

If you've read Rendell which do you suggest I read next?
If you've       

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FEBRUARY 14, 2011
Sami Rohr Award for Jewish Literature

The Jewish Book Council
has recently named the 5 finalists for the fifth  Sami Rohr Award for Jewish Literature. This award is given to emerging authors of promise and will be given in New York City on May 31st  this year.
About Sami Rohr from the Jewish Book Council website
”After spending his early years in post WWII Europe, Sami Rohr moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he was a leading real estate developer for over 30 years. He currently lives in Floridaand continues to be very active in various business endeavors internationally. His philanthropic commitment to Jewish education and community-building throughout the world is renowned. This prize is a gift by his family to honor his love of Jewish writing, and to help encourage the continuation of the magnificent legacy of the People of the Book.”
Stations West – Allison Amend
Cosmopolitans – Nadia Kalman
Invisible Bridge – Julie Orringer
The Jump Artist – Austin Ratner
Curable Romantic – Joseph Skibell
Please feel free to interlibrary loan any of the above titles that our library does not own.

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FEBRUARY 13, 2011
This is Dedicated...
The House of Stag
Kage Baker
Tom Doherty Associates, A Tor Book, c2008.

In loving memory of
Gone where the oaks are green

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FEBRUARY 11, 2011
2011 Barry Awards Nominees
Named for Barry Gardner, the Barry Awards are given by Deadly Pleasures Magazine for excellence in crime writing. The 2011 nominees below offer a wide variety of great fiction, many of which our library owns. The awards will be presented in September at Boucheron, The World Mystery Convention.
From comments I hear at our desk, Columbiareaders have really enjoyed Bury Your Dead by Louis Penny and Nowhere to run by C. J. Box. I wrote a review about Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and really liked this. If you’ve read any Gone Baby Gone, Lehane’s sequel to it, Moonlight Mile, is a must and top notch.
If I were voting now for the best, I’d be hard pressed to give just one award but Crooked Letter would probably be my pick. How about you?
Best Novel

NOWHERE TO RUN, C. J. Box (Putnam)
THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
MOONLIGHT MILE, Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
BURY YOUR DEAD, Louise Penny (Minotaur)
SAVAGES, Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)

Best First Novel

GUTSHOT STRAIGHT, Lou Berney (Morrow)
ROGUE ISLAND, Bruce DeSilva (Forge)
THE POACHER'S SON, Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
SHERLOCKIAN, Graham Moore (Twelve)
THE HOLY THIEF, William Ryan (Minotaur)
ONCE A SPY, Keith Thomson (Doubleday)

Best British Novel

STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
BLOOD HARVEST, S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
NIGHT WHISPERS, John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE WOODCUTTER, Reginald Hill (HarperCollins)
THREE SECONDS, Roslund & Hellstrom (Quercus)
FOURTH DAY, Zoe Sharp (Allison & Busby)

Best Paperback Original

THE HANGING TREE, Bryan Gruley (Touchstone)
THE DEAD LIE DOWN, Sophie Hannah (Penguin)
EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS, Julie Hyzy (Berkley)
FEVER AT THE BONE, Val McDermid (Harper)
THE RHETORIC OF DEATH, Judith Rock (Berkley)

Best Thriller

13 HOURS, Deon Meyer (Grove Atlantic)
AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Vince Flynn (Atria)
THE BRICKLAYER, Noah Boyd (Harper)
BOLT ACTION, Charles Charters (Hodder U.K.)
ON TARGET, Mark Greaney (Jove)
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, Daniel Silva (Putnam)

Best Short Story

Mitch Alderman, "Requiem for Antlers" (AHMM Jan.-Feb. 2010)
Robert Barnard, "Family Values" (EQMM Feb. 2010)
Caroline Benton, "The Body in the Dunes (EQMM Jan. 2010)
Loren D. Estleman, "The List" (EQMM May 2010)
Terence Faherty, "The Seven Sorrows" (EQMM Mar.-Apr. 2010)
Ellen Larson, "When the Apricots Bloom" (AHMM July-Aug. 2010)

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FEBRUARY 9, 2011
Getting Graphic....
Our young adult section has lots of graphic novels, but you might not realize that our adult section has a few graphics too. Subject matter that is a bit, well, more graphic might find a place in the adult stacks. These graphics seem to get lost there. It's hard for library staff to tell if you, our readers want us to purchase graphic novels and if so, where you think they should be in the library. Presently they are inter-filed with fiction. Most do not have graphic in the call number. Instead, you'd have to do a subject search for graphic novels and then weed out those that are in our J or YA collections. I'm playing with the idea of separating them out and placing them at the beginning of the fiction collection just like the location of our young adult graphics.

I haven't read many graphic novels but this past summer I was determined that I would pick one to try. I picked Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto. Though this book easily could have been written as a memoir, the graphic format seems the perfect format for Marisa's story as she is a cartoonist for The New Yorker. It's hard to say I loved this book which is an illustrated look at Marisa's battle with breast cancer, but love it I did. From the cover art of a super strong woman kicking cancer in the chops, to her candid portrayal of diagnosis to cure, this book is stunning. Here's a spunky Manhattanite, a proclaimed bachelorette who meets Silvano, the owner of a trendy restaurant with oh, so good food. Marisa can't resist his charms nor his delicious cooking and soon agrees to marry him. On the eve of her wedding, she discovers The Lump. Will Silvano still love her? Will she survive? What about her hair? Can she beat this thing called cancer? Put this one on your list. Cancer Vixen is a triumphant memoir of a woman who will not be a victim. 

I heard about this next book listening to a podcast on Books On The Nightstand. We don't own it but it really caught my attention. Have any of you read this one?

Y The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn 

In Y The Last Man Book One by Brian K. Vaughn, something catastrophic happens and every male, both human and animal, anything with a Y chromosome, die instantaneously. Everyone except for one man, Yorick Brown and his capuchin monkey, Ampersand. It takes Yorick a bit of time to realize he is the last man standing and also to realize the ramifications of this new reality. Michael Kindness of BOTN points out just a few of truths of this new world. "Most pilots are male, so planes are crashing all over the place, the president is man, much of his cabinet is too, so who steps up to the plate?" Living in New York at the time of this incident, Yorick tries to lay low and keep his identity unknown as he plans to get to New Zealand where his girl friend resides. He quickly realizes what being the last man on earth could mean. Some may want him dead, others may see him as the remaining hope to repopulate the world. In Michael's point of view, he feels the author does a superior job of painting this picture of what would happen if everything was taken away, if 50%, give or take of the world's population is annihilated , the voids that must be filled, the absolute mess that is our world. Initially set up as a sixty segment story with beginning, middle in end, Y The Last Man has been published in 10 issues. For us, the reader, that means we could easily read the whole series without interruption or having to wait for the next segment to be published. 

Have any graphics to recommend? Chime in, we'd love to hear from you.

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FEBRUARY 6, 2011
This is Dedicated...

The Girls with the Grandmother Faces: A Celebration of Life's Potential for Those Over 55
Frances Weaver
Hyperion, c1996.



When in the Course of Human Events...

The others my age are all talking "retire"
While I'm just getting a start.
My friends are ready to hang it all up
And I'm just shifting from "park"
My family's all shouting, "Go after it, Mom!"
My mother says, "Why should you go?"
Back off a bit, folks--let me find my own way!

 I'm lucky as hell just to see the brass ring,
To find a direction--a role--
A way to play catch-up now my other work's done
And I 'm fee to consider a goal.
A room of my own, as Virginia Woolf said,
Where I can be thinking aloud
While my whole world looks on as I seek my own place.
I just hope God they'll be proud.

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FEBRUARY 3, 2011
Igloo Reading

 Photo credit: Katarina Krek.

Fourth-grader, cozy in igloo, reads Barbara O'Connor's HOW TO STEAL A DOG.

If a picture is worth a thousand words this one is surely priceless. Considering that the northeast is battered with snow and ice these past few weeks, I couldn't help but chuckle at this photo.

Read the whole story at Publisher's Weekly's Shelf Talker as posted by Elizabeth Bluemle.

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FEBRUARY 2, 2011
Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
 comments by Candice

I had listened to Garden Spells on CD, and I loved it, so when I got a copy of this book, I was sure I would like it a lot, too - and I did! Like [author: Alice Hoffman}, Allen includes a hint of magic in her books. They are perhaps a bit lighter than Hoffman's, but no less enjoyable. The Sugar Queen is the story of Josey Cirrini, a 27-year-old who lives with her mother in a small town in the western North Carolina mountains, and who harbors a secret crush on their mailman. Her bedroom closet is full of secret stashes of candy. Josey's uneventful life is turned upside down one day when she opens her closet to find a woman inside. Della Lee, a tough, no-nonsense waitress has some advice for Josey. And gradually Josey breaks out of her shell, makes friends, and enjoys life. Other memorable characters include Chloe, a young woman who attracts books, and Josey's mother, who harbors a secret of her own.


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