The Old Buzzard had it Coming by Donis Casey
An ugly abusive drunk is murdered, and Alafair Tucker is an Oklahoma farm mother who discovers an ability to figure out "whodunit," just when her family needs her help the most.
This is the first book in a series of historical fiction novels by Casey set in Oklahoma in the years between 1912 and 1920. Her work paints a vivid picture of farm life in this era, while entertaining us with a mystery that needs untangling. The characters are homespun and hard-working, and some of Alafair’s favorite farm recipes are also included.
Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast is one of the most interesting characters in suspense fiction today. He is the creation of co-authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. These authors have written 12 novels in which Pendergast appears. Aloysius X. Pendergast is a Special Agent of the FBI from New Orleans. He is described as corpse pale, with white blonde hair, silver eyes, is fairly tall, but has a slight frame. He wears only black suits, and drives a pair of 1959 Silver Rolls Royces. He is in the FBI but only takes a salary of $1 per year, as he comes from old Louisiana money. He has been in the Special Forces, holds a double doctorate from Oxford, and is also an expert in the eastern art of Chongg Ran. A master of disguise, Pendergast has the ability to solve puzzles that rivals Sherlock Holmes.
We met him first in Relic, 1995, followed by Reliquary, 1997, both set in the New York Museum of Natural History. The newest Pendergast book is Two Graves, 2012, which moves from New York’s Dakota building to the jungles of Brazil. The books often have a supernatural aspect to them and are always page turners. So pick up the first Pendergast and enjoy!
The Light Between Oceans: a Novel by M. L. Stedman
In the aftermath World War I, Tom Sherbourne is still recovering psychologically from the war when he takes the job as lighthouse keeper on tiny Janus Island off the coast of Australia. He hopes the solitude and steady job will help him recover from the devastating memories of the wounded, the dying and the killing.
He never expected a young woman from the mainland town to be attracted to him, let alone want to marry him. Tom and Isabel are deeply in love when they marry and settle on the remote island. Life goes relatively well until she suffers 2 miscarriages and then a stillborn birth. Shortly after, a boat washes up on the shore and inside it Tom and Isabel find a baby girl and a dead man. Undone from her losses, she begs Tom to let her have time with the baby before they notify the authorities. Against his better judgment, he relents but this decision and subsequent actions will lead to a family and to a love that he never knew he could feel. It will also lead to his downfall and ruin. This first novel brilliantly persuades us to suspend any simple judgments of how a good man could make such a wrong decision.
The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny nation forgotten by the world, struggles to cope with a financial crisis and with the modern world. The humorous novels chronicling the Duchy of Grand Fenwick’s inventive solutions and international misadventures were written during the frigid depths of the Cold War. The “Mouse” novels brought the welcome release of laughter to readers who were themselves trying to cope with frightening times. These satiric novels offer new generations of readers insightful, humorous views of life in a time of fear and international intrigue that still ring true today.
Leonard Wibberley, a prolific 20th century Irish author, spent much of his writing life in the United States and his 100+ works included fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, short stories, articles and screenplays. Wibberley is perhaps best known for his book The Mouse that Roared, the first in the satiric “Mouse” series. The book was later made into a motion picture starring Peter Sellers and Jean Seberg.
In addition to printed books available for checkout from JCPL, some of Wibberley’s short stories and articles are available for reading online through JCPL’s Ebscohost database.
Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, children of Leonard, are also writers, and some of their works are available through JCPL.
If you like watching westerns, you might try some of the following DVDs:
The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales stars Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales. Josey refuses to surrender to Union soldiers after the war. He returns home to find his family murdered and that is where his quest for revenge begins. This is one of my favorite westerns because Clint Eastwood gives a great performance as Josey Wales.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid stars James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan. Pat Garrett is the new lawman in town and he is in charge of capturing Billy the Kid, his former partner in crime. Who will win – the lawman, backed by cattle interests, or the outlaw, backed by the people? Watch the DVD to find out!
3:10 to Yuma
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star in this newest version of 3:10 to Yuma. Daniel Evans, a small farmer, is struggling to keep his land when he gets a chance to make $200 transporting the famous outlaw, Ben Wade, to justice. After losing a great deal of confidence and part of his leg in the Civil War, Daniel Evans is struggling to redeem himself in the eyes of his teenage son. Is Daniel able to save his land and restore the image his son has of him? I guess you will have to watch 3:10 to Yuma to find out!
In The Professionals, a rich Texan rancher hires four mercenaries to rescue his wife from a revolutionary in Mexico. However, not everything is as it seems, as the mercenaries soon find out. The Professionals was made in 1966 and although it has it serious moments, it is a fun and lighthearted western. Jack Palance gives a great performance, along with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin.
As scientists uncover more and more secrets of the brain, that knowledge is making its way into books to be read and enjoyed by all. Below is an assortment of some of the most popular; from personal stories to improving your own life to shedding light on events in history.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, 2011
This book is listed on many best books of 2011 lists. Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The author reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. Reading this book will surely change the way you think about thinking.
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, 2012
With his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination, present in us all, is a vital part of the human condition.
Brain on Fire: my month of madness by Susannah Cahalan, 2012
The story of twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan and the life-saving discovery of the autoimmune disorder that nearly killed her -- and that could perhaps be the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history.
The Brain that Changes Itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science by Norman Doidge, 2007
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the author traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed - people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable.
The Age of Insight: the quest to understand the unconscious in art, mind, and brain: from Vienna 1900 to the present by Eric R. Kandel, 2012
Age of Insight takes readers to Vienna in 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind--our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions--and how mind and brain relate to art. It is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities.