By Marcia Allen, Collection Development
There’s always a bounty of wonderful new adult books at the library in the spring. With so many to choose from, it’s difficult to narrow your picks to just a special few. Here’s a very limited sampling of what has recently arrived:
- “Inside the O’Briens” by Lisa Genova. Genova, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard, became an instant celebrity when she released “Still Alice,” a heartbreaking novel aboutAlzheimer’s disease. This time, she focuses on the effects of Huntington’s disease, often called the “cruelest disease known to man.” Joe O’Brien, a veteran Boston police officer, earns his family’s concern when he begins stumbling and when he exhibits wild mood swings. Once diagnosed, he learns that there is a 50% chance that his four grown children may also develop symptoms. This novel is a realistic look at a fatal disease with horrendous effects.
- “Reykjavik Nights” by Arnaldur Indridason is the latest from one of Iceland’s most recognized mystery writers. A number of well-written mysteries about Inspector Erlendur have featured the patient detective unraveling tales of murder, but this book differs in time period. This story, the puzzling account of two perhaps unrelated murders, features a much younger Erlendur when he was a police officer. Already displaying the dogged curiosity and interest in missing persons that Indridason’s many readers enjoy, our determined officer wants to know why a misplaced earring, a missing woman, and the drowning of an old alcoholic are connected.
- “The Siege Winter” by Ariana Franklin is a nice piece of historical fiction. Franklin, the author of the bestselling “Art of Death” mystery series, wrote this new tale to convey the horror and uncertainty of the year 1141, when King Stephen and Empress Matilda fought each other for the throne of England. It is now the year 1180, and the dying Abbot of Perton has arranged for a scribe to record the events that took place some forty years earlier. Important players in the story from the past include Gwil, an archer bent on revenge, and Penda, a brutalized child who becomes a very talented archer.
- “Bill O’Reilly’s Legends & Lies of the Old West” by David Fisher serves as a companion piece to the Fox News series for the Bill O’Reilly docudrama. This is a must-have for those readers who can’t get enough about the real West. Colorful characters like David Crockett and Doc Holliday have dedicated chapters, while O’Reilly and Fisher expose the myths and answer mysterious questions about the now-famous westerners. We learn, for example, more about Crockett’s self-promotion, as well as the probable cause of his unwitnessed death at the Alamo.
- “Into the Nest” by Laura Erickson and Marie Read is absolutely outstanding. If you like birds, this book will entrance you for hours. Subtitled “Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds,” this is an encyclopedia of photographs and descriptions of all our favorites. The passages on the Ruby-throated hummingbird, for example, describe the dive displays the male uses to court the female. It also displays a typical nest, often located 40 feet above the ground atop a branch. And these swift little birds, we learn, migrate an amazing 500 miles when autumn nears.
- “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough needs no introduction. This is the long-awaited next title from the author of such magnificent books as “Mornings on Horseback” (National Book Award title) and “John Adams” (Pulitzer Prize winner). Lauded by “The New York Times Book Review,” “Publishers Weekly,” and “The Economist,” this book is destined, like so many other McCullough titles, to become an instant bestseller.
Still puzzled by what to read next? Come browse the new book shelves in the adult collection to find your next winner. You’re bound to find something that grabs your attention.