We Recommend… The Fever by Megan Abbott

The FeverThe Fever
Megan Abbott

The Fever by Megan Abbott is a psychological thriller that keeps us wanting answers.  We follow the inner dialogues of Deenie, her brother, Eli, and their father, Tom, along with Deenie’s two best friends.  When her friend Lise suddenly is struck down with a terrible seizure in class, and remains in a coma, and other girls in the school also seem to be struck with a strange illness, the whole town erupts in accusations, first about the toxic lake that glows in the dark, and then about the HPV vaccine that most of the girls were given.  Almost until the very end we cannot be sure what is causing the strange illnesses, but, finally, there is an answer, and it is a complete surprise.  This novel is a fascinating look into where desire can lead, wreaking havoc on the lives it touches.

On the web:

Author Website
Publisher Website
New York Times Book Review

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Pinal County Library District Cataloger

We Recommend… Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin

woman with a gunWoman With A Gun is the newest novel by Phillip Margolin.  This is a murder mystery, plain and simple.  Well, not so simple since there are numerous suspects and the original murder is not solved until the very end of the book.  The photograph of the woman with a gun on the front cover is a photograph that the author saw in a restaurant, and he was so taken with it that he bought it and wrote this novel around it.  There are a number of main characters, one of whom is the young woman novelist who sees the photograph at the Museum of Modern Art and is so excited by it that she wants to write a novel about it.  Yes, just like Margolin!  We are taken back in years to the original murder when the photograph was taken, and then the author dips into the lives of the different characters here and there through the years, finally returning to the young writer who probes in just the right places to solve everything.   This novel is well written and totally engrossing and the photograph really is begging to tell a story.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Cataloger, Pinal County Library District

We Recommend… Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

Neil Shubin’s Shubin Inner fishbook, Your Inner Fish: A Journey in the 3.5-Million-Year History of the Human Body, was published in 2009 and in 2014 he hosted a three-part series by the same title on PBS. Prof. Shubin, a paleontologist and professor of anatomy, tells the story of evolution by tracing the various parts of the human body back millions years. One example that I found fascinating was that the structure of our hands resembles that of fish fins.

You don’t need to be a scientist to read his book or to enjoy the PBS series, and the story of his discoveries is both exciting and thought provoking. Reviewer Oliver Sacks calls Shubin’s work “an exhilarating and compelling scientific adventure story that will change forever how you understand what it means to be human” and I agree.

Review by Shirley, Pinal County Library District Outreach Librarian

Find it at your library!

Learn more:
Your Inner Fish on PBS

Other Reviews:
Publisher’s Weekly

More by Neil Shubin:
The Universe Within

We Recommend… Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Dear Daughterdear daughter
by Elizabeth Little

Dear Daughter is the first novel by Elizabeth Little, and it definitely hits the mark.  It opens with the release of Janie Jenkins on a technicality after ten years in prison for killing her mother.  Did she do it?  She really can’t remember, but what little she does remember from that night causes her to doubt her own guilt, and go on a search for the real murderer.  Not that she got along with her mother, but … could she have killed her?  Add to all of this the fact that she is a celebrity living in Beverly Hills, so when she gets out of prison, everyone is looking for her, some want to kill her, almost everyone still thinks she was guilty of her mother’s murder.  So Janie sets off on her search, in disguise, and tells no one where she is going.  She discovers her mother’s background and in the process makes many more discoveries about who her mother was, and who she is, herself.  She is funny, and determined and a very resourceful character.  The story has many twists and turns and by the end, there is one last surprise.  This is an engrossing mystery that many will find hard to put down.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Pinal County Library District Cataloger 

We Recommend… How Jesus Became God by Bart D. Ehrman

How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacherhow jesus became god
By Bart D. Ehrman

Have you ever asked yourself just how did Jesus become God? I admit this isn’t something I’ve thought much about but I became increasingly fascinated by the question as Professor Ehrman lead me through the various paths to divinity that were commonly present in the ancient world.  According to Booklist, “Ehrman writes very personally, especially in the beginning, and this approach draws the reader into a subject that is littered with curves and contradictions… This fascinating discussion will engage—and provoke—a wide audience.” I agree with this assessment. The book is both well written and well documented yet is completely accessible to the average person.

Book Reviews:
Harper Collins
Catholic Answers
The Catholic Humanist

On the Web:
Author’s Website
Excerpt on NPR

Post by Shirley, Pinal County Library District Outreach Librarian

We Recommend… The Last Policeman

The Lathe last policemanst Policeman
By Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman is the first book in a pre-apocalyptic trilogy. Detective Hank Palace is a newly appointed detective trying to solve a murder against incredible odds. Palace is confronted with some hard questions as, in the course of his investigation, he runs into plenty of obstacles and a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Discover magazine calls his book “darkly intriguing” and I completely agree. This novel will appeal to mystery readers who appreciate a good police procedural as well as fans of apocalyptic literature. And it will also appeal to those who enjoy pondering some of life’s deeper questions such as “What is the meaning of Life?” and “What would I do?” This book is sure to start a lively conversation and would be a great book club read.

Reading Guides:
Quirk Books
Includes Reader’s Group Guide, Excerpt and Book Trailer & Book Groupies’ Bucket List

Other reviews:

On the Web:
Author’s website

Post by Shirley, Pinal County Library District Outreach Librarian

National Library Week & Library Worker’s Day, 2014


Today marks the second day of National Library Week, which falls between Sunday, April 13th to Saturday, April 19th this year.

National Library Week is a national observance week sponsored by the American Library Association with the intent to celebrate libraries and promote all they do for our communities. This year’s theme is “Lives Change @ Your Library“, and the Honorary Chair of National Library Week is best-selling author and intellectual freedom advocate Judy Blume.

In order to share your love for libraries, the ALA encourages you to print their speech bubble prop (click here for download) and write down how libraries have changed your life. Share your images on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr and tag them #LivesChange or #NLW14 to spread the word!

Additionally, National Library Worker’s Day falls on the 15th. This day is a day to recognize the value of library staff, administrators, and Friends groups. Here at Pinal County we’re exceptionally proud the staff of the 13 affiliate libraries within our district. We encourage you to get to know the people who help make your local library great by visiting our National Library Week Facebook album.

Has a library worker within Pinal County provided you with exceptional service? If so, share your story with us on our Facebook page, or write to us at @PinalLibraries on Twitter.


We Recommend… The Polaris Protocol by Brad Taylor

The Polaris Protocolthe polaris protocol
by Brad Taylor

The Polaris Protocol by Brad Taylor is the author’s newest Pike Logan thriller.  If you enjoy lots of hard to believe adventure, then the Pike Logan novels are a must read.  In this novel, Pike and his team travel to Mexico, but the action is not about drugs, it is about a hacker who works for the government who develops a program that can cause all or some of the satellites that control GPS to change coordinates—which causes planes to crash, cars to get lost, and has the potential to stop the military from finding their targets.  The adventures follow one after another as the team starts unwinding the movements of all the players, and there is hardly time to draw breath in between.  Lots of great action and edge of the seat excitement in this newest page turner from the author.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Pinal County Library District Cataloger

We Recommend…. Watching You by Michael Robotham

Watching Youwatching you
by Michael Robotham

Watching you by Michael Robotham is his ninth book and if you haven’t read any of them yet, you are in for a thrill.  In this novel the suspense grows as Marnie, a mother of two whose husband has disappeared leaving her with a gambling debt to a very bad man, scrambles around trying to keep rent paid and food on the table while a year passes with no word and the police cannot find a single clue.  She is forced into doing things she never would have imagined, and as time passes, her life seems to be falling more and more apart.  Someone has been watching her most of her life, though, and when things really turn into a person’s worse nightmare, his reason is finally revealed.  The ending is quite surprising, although the author starts to give hints as the tension builds and arrives at last at the shocking conclusion.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Pinal County Library District Cataloger

We Recommend… I Hear the Sirens in the Street

I Hear the Sirens in the StreetI hear the sirens
by Adrian McKinty

I Hear the Sirens in the Street, book two of The Troubles Trilogy, by Adrian McKinty, continues the series following Detective Sean Duffy of Carrickfergus, Ireland.  This second novel takes place in 1982 near Belfast, and McKinty follows his quirky characters through the bombings and shootings that occur daily and nightly in and around Belfast.  There is an unidentified murder victim found in a suitcase and Duffy and crew have to identify him from a headless torso lacking arms and legs, then discover why he might have been killed.  Along with the mystery, we are given a real feel for what it might have been like to be a member of the police in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.  Book three, In the Morning I’ll Be Gone will be published early in March and there is a rumor that McKinty might be writing a fourth book, which means this will no longer be a trilogy.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Pinal County Library District Cataloger