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September 2014 Theme Week 5
Monday, September 29, 2014

Blackout by Connie Willis

In Blackout, and its sequel, All Clear, sci-fi novelist Connie Willis follows three young time traveling historians from the year 2060 as they visit the time of the London Blitz.  As witnesses to and observers of history as it occurs in real time, they must never take any action which might alter the course of events.  Despite their efforts to be impartial and not interfere, they begin to realize that history is not unfolding as it should and something is wildly amiss.  And when it becomes clear that they are trapped in 1940 war ravaged Britain, they understand that air raids and falling bombs may not be their greatest fears.  Will they be forever marooned in the wrong century, or can they find their way home through time and space?  

The Cusanus Game by Wolfgang Jeschke

After a cataclysmic nuclear accident in Central Europe the Earth has suffered irreparable damage. Desolation and destruction of the landscape extends for miles. Human and animal loss and genetic deformities abound. Climate change has also accelerated bringing more difficulties and parts of the world are now underwater requiring the population to shift as never before. The African continent has shifted north and now touches the Eurasian continent. A small secret project has been funded by the Vatican to travel back in time with the attempt to gather healthy plants and seeds to restore the Creations of God. At the same time small changes in the past are enacted to prevent future accidents and damage that affect the present.

From Time to Time by Jack Finney

This sequel to Jack Finney’s Time and Again does not disappoint. In the book Time and Again Jack Finney’s main protagonist, Simon Morley chose to stay in the 1800’s after falling in love and marrying. In this sequel, From Time to Time, he is asked by agent Reuben Prien at the secret, government-sponsored Project to leave his home in New York in the 1880’s and time travel to 1912. Simon’s mission: to protect an aide to President Taft. Simon must ensure safe passage to the States from Ireland for Major Archie Butt, who is on a crucial diplomatic mission. The problem is that Butt is sailing on the Titanic-and Simon, who joins him on the ship's maiden voyage, must desperately try to stay the hand of fate and keep it from sinking.  He finds himself drawn into a desperate attempt to alter the events of history. Will Simon make it back to his wife, or will he be another name on the list of the doomed passengers on the infamous Titanic?

September 2014 Staff Picks Week 4
Monday, September 22, 2014

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine is a piece of realistic fiction that combines mystery, love, growth, and justice into one beautifully disheartening story. Amid the bigotry and intolerance of the rural foothills North Carolina, Shine tells the story of Patrick, a gay teenager who is viciously beaten into a coma, and his former best friend Cat, who won’t rest until she finds out the truth.

As Cat begins to unravel the events of the night Patrick was attacked, she is forced to face not only the demons that haunted her friend’s past, but her own as well. In a small town plagued by poverty and meth, Cat is forced to confront friends, neighbors, her own brother, and a boy who assaulted her years ago. In order to help Patrick and find her own way out, Cat is forced to plunge deeper into a world from which she had formerly chosen to exile herself.
Don’t have time to read the book? Shine is also available in audiobook, performed by Elizabeth Evans. Complete with dialect and accent, the audiobook of Shine masterfully captures the essences and spirit of the characters within. Shine may be one book that is better to listen to than read!

September 2014 Staff Picks Week 3
Monday, September 15, 2014

Night Film: a novel by Marisha Pessl

Black magic, psychiatric hospitals, and cult movies.  Mix classic noir with an artsy thriller and the end result is Night Film.  A beautiful, talented young woman is found at the bottom of an elevator shaft in an abandoned warehouse and is labeled as a suicide.  Her death compels disgraced investigative journalist Scott McGrath to seek out the last people to see her alive, partly because he was one of the last people to see her alive.

Partly because the woman was Ashley Cordova, former piano prodigy and daughter of legendary reclusive director Stanislas Cordova, known for his dark and disturbing “night films” – available to fans only through secret underground screenings or black market tape trades.  The same infamous director who slapped him with a libel lawsuit years ago regarding false accusations concerning children, which ultimately cost McGrath his reputation, family, and a small fortune.  Ashley’s suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to strike a severely cursed dynasty. Cordova’s life itself is a mystery: not seen in public since 1977, there are conspiracies, madness, disappearances, actors who refuse to discuss their experiences working with him, and now another unexplained death.  Coincidence?  McGrath can’t resist reexamining the family’s secrets and is determined to restore his career by uncovering what Cordova did to cause his daughter to end her life, validating his claim that there is something seriously sinister involved. 

This book is appropriately cinematic and evokes a constant creep factor; the ambiance of a horror flick suspended over every revelation, confession, trace of clue and dead end.  Propelled by piecing together the events of Ashley’s last days, there is intricate plotting and careful pacing that keep the audience guessing until the end.   Additionally, Pessl effectively takes a mixed-media approach using photographs, website ‘screenshots,’ newspaper articles, police reports, letters, movie scripts, medical records, satellite maps, and more to enhance the mystery and make the reader feel part of the investigation. 

September 2014 Staff Picks Week 2
Monday, September 08, 2014

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (1996)

Fantasy lovers and Game of Thrones fans will love Robin Hobb, author of Assassin’s Apprentice.  The first in a trilogy, followed by 2 more trilogies, her style is anything but cliché. 

Filled with fresh characters and a clever approach on magic and the ability to read minds, the story follows illegitimate young Fitz on his journey to becoming a secret assassin for his royal family.  Inquisitive and courageous, but morally complex and shy, Fitz’s narrative gives insight into the lives of the characters and the world around him.

The characters Hobb creates are multi-faceted, interesting, and unique.  In a genre often bogged down by formulaic plots and two-dimensional characters, her works border on epics with many lively characters and overarching themes of destiny, good and evil, and true identity.  The intrigue will bring you in, but the characters will make you stay.

Graphic Novel Book Club Minimize
Graphic Novels/Comics Book Club
Ashburn Library
Dec 3, 7:00 pm

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
For adults.

(Book Clubs)

Graphic Novels/Comics Book Club
Ashburn Library
Nov 5, 7:00 pm

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
For adults.

(Book Clubs)

Graphic Novels/Comics Book Club
Ashburn Library
Oct 1, 7:00 pm

Locke and Key: Vol. 1 Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
For adults.

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Adult Book Club
Cascades Library
Oct 6, 7:00 pm

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, the 2014 selection for the Loudoun County Public Library 1book 1community program. For adults.
Sponsored by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund.

Romance Writers' Workshop with a Panel of Successful Romance Authors moderated by Christyna Hunter
Cascades Library
Jan 31, 1:00-5:00 pm

The panel will debate the differences and commonalities of publishing through a small press and a traditional publisher. Writing techniques and how to reach a niche audience will also be discussed.
Christyna Hunter writes reviews of romance novels for USA Today and Library Journal Online.
Mary Behre is the author of the Tidewater series, paranormal romantic suspense novels. Spirited (March 2014) and Guarded (August 2014)
Tracey Livesay is the author of The Tycoon's Socialite Bride (February 2014), Book One in the In Love with a Tycoon series.
Lynne Silver writes the Coded for Love series, Desperate Match (March 2014) and other contemporary romance novels. Love, Technically (July 2013)

For adults.

Adult Book Club
Rust Library
Dec 23, 1:30 pm

The Vanishing  Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
For adults.

(Book Clubs)

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