Fiction newsletter for February

Welcome to the March Fiction Newsletter where you will find many hours of wonderful entertainment. We have chosen the best recommendations from our monthly genre selections of recently received new material. Translated novels are the feature of this month’s ‘Other Genre’ category, giving insight into other cultures, places and histories.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

The highlights from our recently received new Contemporary fiction illustrate the variation in plot, location and time period, that provide exciting, great reading.

Syndetics book cover A dictionary of mutual understanding : a novel / Jackie Copleton.
“When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn’t believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki. But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora’s Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Bird : a novel / Noy Holland.
“This is a novel about the persistence of longing in which the twin lives of the title character blur and overlap. Bird puts her child on the bus for school and passes the day with her baby. Interwoven into the passage of the day are phone calls from a promiscuous, unmarried friend, and Bird’s recollection of the feral, reckless love she knew as a young woman. It’s a day infused with fear and longing, an exploration of the ways the past shapes and dislodges the present.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover My name is Lucy Barton : a novel / Elizabeth Strout.
“Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lies the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters.” (Adapted from Book cover)

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Graphic novels

Be amazed by the selection of new Graphic Novels recently added to our collection. Truly this collection always continues to astound, and enthral readers with the sheer diversity of content.

Syndetics book cover Postal. Volume 1 / created by Matt Hawkins ; Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, writers ; Isaac Goodhart, artist.
“The townsfolk of Eden, Wyoming wake up to the first official murder the town has seen in 25 years. Their reaction to this isn’t normal and there’s a reason for that. Eden operates as a haven for fugitive criminals who remain here while new identities, often including facial reconstruction, are created for them. There is zero tolerance for any illegal activity that might draw attention to the town and an “official murder” is the last thing they want. A single, tight-knit family runs Eden with the youngest oddball son Mark Shiffron overseeing the postal branch, the only means of shipping in or out of the city. THE FBI has repeatedly been foiled trying to insert an undercover here; they see Mark as the weak link to exploit. This murder gives them a new opportunity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover How to pass as human : a guide to assimilation for future androids / by Nic Kelman ; illustrations by Pericles Junior.
How to Pass As Human is an attempt on the part of the world’s first android to understand the irrational, unpredictable, eclectic creatures known as human beings. In this field guide, complete with sketches, graphs, flow charts, and other reference materials, Android Ø (a.k.a. Zach) has compiled a variety of useful information for future androids on how to pass undetected as human beings. Along the way, he also attempts to solve the mystery of his own creation with the help of Andrea, who has taken an interest in him that may be more than friendly, which eventually leads him to meet his maker (literally) and discover the surprising purpose of his existence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Annihilator / Grant Morrison, writer ; Frazer Irving, illustrator ; Bob Schreck, editor.
“Washed-up Hollywood screenwriter Ray Spass is caught in a downward spiral of broken relationships, wild parties and self-destruction. Out of luck and out of chances, he’s one failed script away from fading into obscurity. Little does he know he’s about to write the story of his life. As his imagination runs rampant, Ray must join forces with his own fictional character Max Nomax on a reality-bending race to stop the entire universe from imploding, without blowing his own mind in the process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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The Man on the Washing machine by Susan Cox, awarded the Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel award for 2014, is included in this selection from this month’s new mystery novels. There are also new mysteries from many favourite writers.

Syndetics book cover The man on the washing machine / Susan Cox.
“When former party girl and society photographer Theophania Bogart flees to San Francisco to escape a high-profile family tragedy, a series of murders drags her unwillingly out of hiding. In no time at all she discovers she’s been providing cover for a sophisticated smuggling operation, she starts to fall for an untrustworthy stranger, and she’s knocked out, tied up and imprisoned. The police are sure she’s lying. The smugglers are sure she knows too much. Her friends aren’t sure what to believe. The body count is rising and Theo struggles to find the killer before she’s the next victim or her new life is exposed as an elaborate fraud.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Home by nightfall / Charles Finch.
“It’s London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter, as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is a foot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The treacherous net / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargy.
“The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, naked and horrifically scarred. Then there’s the mummified body that is discovered bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site, not to mention the city’s ongoing problem with gang violence. With the sudden influx of cases and one detective out on maternity leave, everyone is stretched thin and on the edge. To make matters worse, Irene feels more than a little intimidated and put off by the new superintendent, Efva Thylqvist, who uses her sex appeal and smooth talking to skirt issues and bend the predominately male staff to her will.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Alternative histories, murder investigations, and themes about climate change, radiation, cloning, and of course magic, every imaginable future situation can be found among the new titles recently added to the Science Fiction and Fantasy collection.

Syndetics book cover Death wave / Ben Bova.
“In Ben Bova’s previous novel New Earth, Jordan Kell led the first human mission beyond the solar system. They discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. But one alien AI survived, and it revealed to Jordan Kell that an explosion in the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy has created a wave of deadly radiation, expanding out from the core toward Earth. When Kell and his team return to Earth, many years after their departure, they find that their world has changed almost beyond recognition. Few people want to face Jordan Kell’s news. He must convince Earth’s new rulers that the human race is in danger of extinction unless it acts to forestall the death wave coming from the galaxy’s heart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Our lady of the ice / Cassandra Rose Clarke.
“In Argentine Antarctica, Eliana Gomez is the only female PI in Hope City, a domed colony dependent on electricity (and maintenance robots) for heat, light, and survival in the icy deserts of the continent. When an aristocrat hires Eliana to protect an explosive personal secret, Eliana finds herself caught up in the political tensions threatening to tear Hope City apart. In the clash of backstabbing politicians, violent freedom fighters, a gangster who will stop at nothing to protect his interests, and a newly sentient robot underclass intent on a very different independence, Eliana finds her job coming very difficult, just as the electricity that keeps Hope City from freezing begins to fail.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Thunderbird / Jack McDevitt.
“A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden ; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way. The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national, if not planetary security.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

This month with Translated novels as the feature in our ‘Other Genres’ category the reader will be introduced to some fantastic international novels, translated from seven different languages.

Syndetics book cover Simone : a novel / Eduardo Lalo ; Translated by David Frye.
“This novel won the 2013 Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize and is set on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Simone begins with the writer’s frustrated, satiric observations on his native city and the banal life of the university where he teaches, forces utterly at odds with the sensuality of his writing. As mysterious messages and literary clues begin to appear, scrawled on sidewalks and walls, inside volumes set out in bookstores, left on his answering machine and under his windshield wiper, Simone progresses into a cat-and-mouse game between the writer and his mystery stalker. When the eponymous Simone’s identity is at last revealed, the writer finds in the life of this Chinese immigrant a plight not dissimilar to his own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The girl who wrote loneliness / Kyung-sook Shin ; translated from the Korean by Ha-yun Jung.
“Homesick and alone, a teen-aged girl has just arrived in Seoul to work in a factory. Her family, still in the countryside, is too impoverished to keep sending her to school, so she works long, sun-less days on a stereo-assembly line, struggling through night school every evening in order to achieve her dream of becoming a writer. This novel is set during Korea’s industrial sweatshops of the 1970′s and takes on the extreme exploitation, oppression, and urbanization that helped catapult Korea’s economy out of the ashes of war.” (Adapted from (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The big green tent / Ludmila Ulitskaya ; translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon.
“An orphaned poet, a gifted pianist and a budding photographer meet in a mid-20th-century Moscow school and eventually embody the heroism, folly, compromise and hope of the Soviet dissident experience.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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