eBook Temptations

Recently added to our Overdrive collection of eBooks is a selection of well-known prize winning authors and debut novel writers. Lionel Shriver tackles the question of mortality in a carousel of possibilities facing an aging couple. First time novel from Emily Austin utilises warmth and deadpan humour, as her morbid, queer, atheist protagonist stumbles from an advertised church therapy session into unexpected ecclesiastical employment as she searches for answers on how to live with death. Our other first time author, Gustaf Skordeman, introduces a Swedish police detective Sara Nowak. This juggernaut of a thriller calls the reader to question all versions of the truth.

The question of what really matters in life comes to us from Japan 1937, in the first time english translation of How do you live? Author Genzaburo Yoshino takes a young man on a journey of discovery.  Becky Chambers’ new Monk and robot series ventures into this territory asking, “in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?”

And so close to Mary Shelley’s birthday is a rendition of the gruelling eleven days it took to produce her. Told from the perspective of Mary Wollstonecraft’s midwife, Love and Fury, details the constraints and prejudices of the late 18th century.  Explore the renown and newly discovered with your library card. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Emily Austin (ebook)
“Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration – and the expiration of those you love – is the only certainty”.  (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How Do You Live?, Genzaburo Yoshino (ebook)
“Publishing in English for the very first time, Japan’s beloved coming of age classic on what really matters in life. The streets of Tokyo swarm below fifteen year-old Copper as he gazes out into the city of his childhood. Struck by the thought of the infinite people whose lives play out alongside his own, he begins to wonder, how do you live? Considering life’s biggest questions for the first time, Copper turns to his dear uncle for heart-warming wisdom. As the old man guides the boy on a journey of philosophical discovery, a timeless tale unfolds, offering a poignant reflection on what it means to be human”.  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Becky Chambers (ebook)
It’s been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.
One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honour the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.  But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Should We Stay or Should We Go, Lionel Shriver (ebook)
“Both healthy and vital medical professionals in their early fifties, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many of their elderly NHS patients in similar states of decay. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal: they should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned eighty. Weaving in a host of contemporary issues – Brexit, mass migration, the coronavirus – Lionel Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn deceased characters, because they’ll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Love and Fury, Samantha Silva (ebook)
“August, 1797. Midwife Parthenia Blenkinsop has delivered countless babies, but nothing prepares her for the experience that unfolds when she arrives at Mary Wollstonecraft’s door. Over the eleven harrowing days that follow, as Mrs. Blenkinsop fights for the survival of both mother and newborn. Wollstonecraft’s urgent story of loss and triumph forms the heartbreakingly brief intersection between the lives of a mother and daughter who will change the arc of history and thought”. (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Yield, Tara June Winch (ebook)
“The yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land. In the language of the Wiradjuri yield is the things you give to, the movement, the space between things: baayanha. Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather’s death. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land.”  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Geiger, Gustaf Skördeman (ebook)
“The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’… For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means. Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple. The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Songbirds, Christy Lefteri (ebook)
“Nisha has crossed oceans to give her child a future. By day she cares for Petra’s daughter; at night she mothers her own little girl by the light of a phone.
Nisha’s lover, Yiannis, is a poacher, hunting the tiny songbirds on their way to Africa each winter. His dreams of a new life, and of marrying Nisha, are shattered when she vanishes. No one cares about the disappearance of a domestic worker, except Petra and Yiannis. As they set out to search for her, they realise how little they know about Nisha. What they uncover will change them all.”  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Personal Librarian, Marie Benedict (ebook)
“A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.  The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy.” (Overdrive description)



Debut novelist Rachel Kerr’s NaNoWriMo tips!

NaNoWriMo celebrates the power of creativity, and is the ideal way of firing up your writing neurons. It also connects you to fellow writers, focuses your writing efforts by setting milestones and is a fantastic way to help budding writers create new worlds and stories!

To help you begin, we asked various authors to share their tips, hints and general advice for new writers. First up: debut novelist Rachel Kerr, who shares her advice on both the writing process and also how to get published.

Rachel’s book Victory Park revolves round a young mum who lives in council flats with her young son. The truth of her daily existence is that it is threadbare and unpromising. That is until the mysterious Bridget moves in to the flats, bringing with her unexpected friendship, glamour and wild dreams. But is all as it seems?

Rachel said that when she heard that Victory Park had arrived from the printer, she grabbed a carry bag and jumped on a bus and came straight down. “Nothing like holding your first novel in your hands and realising the words you sweated over for years are there, locked in, ready for others to read”.

Below is a short video with Rachel’s tips. We’d like to extend our thanks to Rachel for doing this!

Victory Park has now been published and will soon be available to borrow from our libraries–and is of course available from all good bookshops.

NaNoWriMo runs throughout the month of November in many of our branches. For full details see below.

Branches hosting “Come Write In” spaces for NaNoWriMo:

  • Newtown Library  Special one off event on Monday 9th November 4.00pm
  • Kilbirnie  Special one off on Monday the 16th at 4.00pm
  • Te Awe Library – Monday – Friday 5.30pm – 7.30pm; Saturday – Sunday 12.00 – 2.00pm
  • Arapaki Library – Thursdays and Fridays 5.00 – 7.00pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library – Wednesdays 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library – Tuesdays 4.00 – 6.30pm and Sundays 10.00am – 4.00pm
  • Karori Library – Fridays 3.00pm – 5.00pm and Saturdays 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library – Mondays 5.00pm – 7.00pm and Wednesdays 2.00 – 5.00pm

Below is a selection of the many writing guides available from our collection that may help you on the way. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover How Not to Write a Novel, Howard Mittelmark (ebook)
“How not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers . As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore. (Adapted Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Write Your Novel in a Month, Jeff Gerke (ebook)
One of these days, I’m going to sit down and write that novel…. Everyone thinks about doing it, yet most people who do start a novel end up stalling after a few chapters. Where do these would-be novelists go wrong? Are the characters dull and cliched? Did the story arc collapse? Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or simply hoping to complete a draft over winter break, this book covers the entire scope of writing a novel. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, Jessica Brody (ebook)
Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story, this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate—and a novel that will sell. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

How to write short stories and get them published / Lister, Ashley
How to Write Short Stories and Get Them Published is the essential guide to writing short fiction. It takes the aspiring writer from their initial idea through to potential outlets for publication and pitching proposals to publishers. Along the journey this guide considers the most important aspects of creative writing, such as character, plot, point of view, description and dialogue. All of these areas are illustrated with examples of classic fiction, and accompanied by exercises that will help every writer hone their natural skill.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to this month’s Fiction Newsletter where we have chosen the best of the best, to tempt your reading habit. We hope you will find much to enjoy while the winter weather takes hold.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Plague and Cholera, the title of the European prize winning novel by Patrick Deville is highly recommended and leads a great selection of most recently received New Contemporary fiction this month.

Syndetics book coverPlague and cholera / Patrick Deville ; translated from French by J.A. Underwood.
“Paris, May 1940. As Nazi troops storm the city, at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, he had a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, he sailed to Asia. A true traveler of the century, he wanted to comprehend the universe, ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a genius, against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress and decadence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIrène / Pierre Lemaitre ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
“For Commandant Verhoeven life is beautiful: he is happily married, expecting his first child with the lovely Irène. But his blissful existence is punctured by a murder of unprecedented savagery. Worse still, the press seem to have it in for him, his every move is headline news. When he discovers that the killer has killed before, that each murder is homage to a classic crime novel, the fourth estate is quick to coin a nickname, The Novelist. With both men in the public eye, the case develops into a personal duel, each hell-bent on outsmarting the other. There can only be one winner, whoever has the least to lose.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverAll that is solid melts into air / Darragh McKeon.
“Russia, 1986. In a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old piano prodigy practices silently for fear of disturbing the neighbours. In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, trying to hide her dissident past. In the hospital, a surgeon immerses himself in his work to avoid facing his failed marriage. And in a rural village in Belarus, a teenage boy wakes up to a sky of the deepest crimson. Outside, the ears of his neighbour’s cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened. Now their lives will change forever.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

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Graphic novels

The epic Encyclopaedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg is highly recommended. Just one of the best selected from the new Graphic Novels recently added to the collection.

Syndetics book coverHyperbole and a half : unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened / Allie Brosh.
“Autobiographical cartoonist Allie Brosh impresses with this confessional collection of essays, adapted in part from her popular blog of the same name. Most pieces deal with Brosh’s struggle with depression, an experience rarely expressed so clearly and specifically in other media as it is here. Even those unfamiliar with trials of such a condition will find this humorous depiction enlightening. The writer frequently details her relationship with two dogs, each as dysfunctional as herself, whom she must take care of while tending to her own serious mental issues. “(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe encyclopedia of Early Earth : a graphic novel / by Isabel Greenberg.
“This is an epic work of fiction, detailing the many tales and adventures of one lonely storyteller, on a quest for Enlightenment and True Love. The many stories, big and small, cover themes such as Gods, monsters, mad kings, wise old crones, shamans, medicine men, brothers and sisters, strife, mystery, bad science, worse geography, and of course true love.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverScience fiction / Joe Ollmann.
“High-school science teacher Mark is practical, sensible, and grounded, sharing a happy if routine life with his girlfriend, Sue. That is, until a throwaway science fiction B movie changes his life completely. As the movie unfolds, Mark has a panic-fueled meltdown. He claims that the film triggered previously repressed memories of an alien abduction, and they lead to his descent into isolation and paranoia. The real story, though, is the disintegration of Mark and Sue’s relationship.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

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Leading the new Mystery novel selection this month is the rebirth of the iconic character Phillip Marlowe from Benjamin Black in his novel titled, The Black-eyed Blonde.

Syndetics book coverThe black-eyed blonde : a Philip Marlowe novel / Benjamin Black.
“Despite Robert B. Parker’s lengthy experience in the PI genre, his sequel to The Big Sleep, Perchance to Dream, pales in comparison with Black’s pitch-perfect recreation of the character and his time and place. As for the language, Black nails Chandler’s creative and memorable similes and metaphors. When Marlowe shakes hands with someone, “It was like being given a sleek, cool-skinned animal to hold for a moment or two.” The title character, Clare Cavendish, wanders into Marlowe’s office to ask him to trace her lover, Nico Peterson, who disappeared two months earlier. The case appears to wrap up quickly after Marlowe learns that Peterson was the victim of a hit-and-run, but Cavendish has some major revelations in store. While the mystery is well plotted, Black elevates it beyond mere thoughtful homage with a plausible injection of emotion in his wounded lead.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverChilled to the bone / Quentin Bates.
“In her third outing, Iceland police sergeant Gunnhildur (Gunna) Gisladottir investigates the murder of a businessman found tied to a bed in an upscale Reykjavik hotel. He’s not the first man to be similarly abandoned midway through a paid-for tryst. To make matters worse, a laptop containing sensitive government data was stolen from one of the rooms. All this would be pressure enough for Gunna, but there’s someone else looking for the disappearing dominatrix Baddo, a thug just returned to Iceland after an eight-year prison stint in Lithuania… A solid police procedural with some genuinely rewarding surprises at the end. When it comes to frosty crime novels, Iceland may just be the new Sweden.” (Abridged from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverThe killing. III / David Hewson.
“Detective Inspector for homicide, Sarah Lund, is contacted by old flame Mathias Borch from National Intelligence. Borch fears that what first appeared to be a random killing at the docks is the beginning of an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Troels Hartmann. The murder draws attention towards the shipping and oil giant, Zeeland, run by billionaire Robert Zeuthen. When Zeuthen’s 9-year-old daughter, Emilie, is kidnapped the investigation takes on a different dimension as it soon becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to the murder of a young girl in Jutland some years earlier. Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign, made all the more turbulent because of the mounting financial crisis. He needs Zeeland’s backing. Lund needs to make sense of the clues left by Emilie’s perpetrator before it’s too late. And can she finally face the demons that have long haunted her?” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Augmented reality, gravitational waves, imaginary wars and alien encounters, just some of the themes in this month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.

Syndetics book coverWolves / Simon Ings.
“Augmented Reality uses computing power to overlay a digital imagined reality over the real world. Whether it be adverts or imagined buildings and imagined people with Augmented Reality the world is no longer as it appears to you, it is as it is imagined by someone else. Two friends are working at the cutting edge of this technology and when they are offered backing to take the idea and make it into the next global entertainment they realise that wolves hunt in this imagined world. And the wolves might be them. A story about technology becomes a personal quest into a changed world and the pursuit of a secret from the past, a secret about a missing mother, a secret that could hide a murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwenty trillion leagues under the sea / Adam Roberts ; illustrated by Mahendra Singh.
“It is 1958 and France’s first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, one of the navy’s most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers and scientists. The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down. Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond. The pressure builds the hull protests; the crew prepare for death as the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds nothing. Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth gauge is useless. They have gone miles down, hundreds of miles, thousands, and so it goes on. On board the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInflux / Daniel Suarez.
“A tale set in a world in which technological advances have been suppressed finds particle physicist Jon Grady helping to innovate a device capable of reflecting gravity only to be targeted by a shadowy organization from the future.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Debut novels are the feature in this month’s ‘Other Genre’ Fiction selection, some fabulous writing from new exciting authors.

Syndetics book coverViper wine : a novel / Hermione Eyre.
“At Whitehall Palace in 1632, the ladies at the court of Charles I are beginning to look suspiciously alike. Plump cheeks, dilated pupils, and a heightened sense of pleasure are the first signs that they have been drinking a potent new beauty tonic, Viper Wine, distilled and discreetly dispensed by the physician Lancelot Choice. Famed beauty Venetia Stanley is so extravagantly dazzling she has inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting, provoking adoration and emulation from the masses. But now she is married and her “mid-climacteric” approaches, all that adoration has curdled to scrutiny, and she fears her powers are waning.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourting Greta / Ramsey Hootman.
“Samuel Cooke, a 34-year-old crippled computer geek joins a Northern California high school’s faculty to teach programming classes after taking a 10% stake in the successful software firm that formerly employed him. Despite being warned against gym teacher Greta Cassamajor, a 46-year-old who towers over and outweighs him, he feels strangely attracted to her. Recognizing Greta’s prickly nature and uncompromising attitude, Samuel nonetheless sets out to navigate a relationship with her. He has the outward social graces she lacks, but hidden underneath is fear, anger, and self-pity, particularly over the congenital birth defect that forces him to use elbow crutches and ankle braces. While Samuel faces the school’s unprincipled principal, outdated computers, and difficult students, Greta proves remarkably perceptive and caring.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe undertaking / Audrey Magee.
“Peter Faber, a German soldier on the Russian front, is pledging his life to a stranger thousands of miles away in Berlin. Having never met, Peter and Katharina are getting married, a contract of business rather than of love, he earns ten days respite from the war for his ‘honeymoon’ while she is promised a widow’s pension if he dies. In only ten days the two strangers fall in love and commit themselves to a future together living under the bright promises of Nazism. However, when Peter rejoins his unit in Russia, the bitter winter rapidly chills the heat of his politics. As his comrades begin to die, he loses sight of why Berlin has sent so many young men to their deaths in the snow drifts outside Stalingrad. Meanwhile, goaded on by her desperate and self-delusional parents, Katherina is ruthlessly working her way up the Nazi Party hierarchy, wedding herself and her young husband to a regime that will bury them if it ever falls.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Fiction Newsletter for September

Welcome to the September Fiction newsletter. We have selected the best of the new fiction selected for this month’s Recent Picks. New Other Genre selection this month features Debut Novels from some amazingly talented writers, and judging by these their first published works, future successful literary careers seem certain.

New novels from well known popular authors feature in all our Recent Picks which include contemporary fiction, science fiction & fantasy, mysteries and graphic novels. So there will be many ‘must reads’ for most avid fiction readers.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

IA great selection of new contemporary fiction has been added to our collection this month, with new titles from many popular authors. Highly recommended is the very different suspense thriller from Liz Jensen titled, The Uninvited.

Syndetics book coverMaya’s notebook : a novel / Isabel Allende ; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.
“Abandoned by her parents as a baby, Maya has been brought up by her tough grandmother Nini and her gentle grandfather Popo. At school though, teenage Maya finds herself drawn towards the wrong crowd. Before she knows what’s happened, Maya’s life has turned into one of drug addiction and crime. Things go from bad to worse as Maya disappears into the criminal underworld. To save her from her old associates, Nini sends Maya to a remote island off the coast of Chile. Here she lives among a traditional rural people, the Chilote, who have remained untouched by the materialism of the modern world. Basking in the warmth of the Chiloé community, Maya feels compelled to write her story and slowly she begins to heal. But can she move beyond her pain, find forgiveness and learn to live with the scars of the past?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe uninvited / Liz Jensen.
“A gripping apocalyptic thriller, this one told from the point of view of a British man with Asperger’s syndrome who works for a consulting firm. Hesketh Lock isn’t sure what to make of an unsettling pattern that’s emerging around the world: formerly loyal employees are taking their own lives after committing acts of corporate sabotage. As the cases pile up, Hesketh tries to find a link between them while also making note of an even more terrifying trend: children are turning on their families, often resulting in fatal attacks.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack Venus : a novel / James MacManus.
“Set in bohemian Paris in the late nineteenth century, Black Venus follows the rise and fall of the poet and translator Charles Baudelaire and his tempestuous relationship with his Haitian mistress, Jeanne Duval. Muse of many Parisian artists, Duval sits for paintings by Manet and inspires some of Baudelaire’s finest erotic poems, becoming one of the most mysterious beauties of her time. Meanwhile, Baudelaire seeks to defend his famous collection of poetry, Les Fleurs du Mal, against public charges of obscenity while at the same time sinking into an opium- and alcohol-induced depression.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

This month all the graphic novels selected were anthologies or collections of stories by one author. Included was the New Zealand graphic novel anthology titled, Faction: kiwi comic anthology, a great collection of local talent.

Syndetics book cover‘Tain’t the meat… it’s the humanity! : and other stories / illustrated by Jack Davis ; written by Al Feldstein, Otto Binder and Carl Wessler.
“With a mix of terror and mocking humor, each of these tales is introduced by the pun-obsessed Crypt-Keeper, greedy businessmen, jealous husbands, and cheating wives meet grisly fates, graphically depicted, at the hands of their revenge-seeking victims or from werewolves or vampires.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFaction : kiwi comic anthology. 1 / [edited by Damon Keen and Amie Maxwell].
“Featuring a ripping collection of some of New Zealand’s best comic creators, Faction showcases and celebrates the enormous talent that exists in this neglected Kiwi art form. Stories range from deep space, to the Arctic Circle and from ancient Greece to the far future. Faction is New Zealand’s first crowd funded comic anthology – printed with the support of fans on PledgeMe.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new American splendor anthology / by Harvey Pekar ; [art by Chester Brown et al.]
“American Splendor is the series that sparked a revolution in comics and brought graphic novels to the attention of post-adolescent readers everywhere. This anthology is the best of American Splendor and other comics by Harvey Pekar, including never-before-seen material.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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In our section of new mysteries this month we highlight the most recent novels from the always popular writers, Jeffery Deaver, R. J. Ellory, and Walter Mosley

Syndetics book coverThe kill room : a Lincoln Rhyme novel / Jeffery Deaver.
“Lincoln Rhyme and partner Amelia Sachs investigate a controversial, politically charged case involving the assassination in the Bahamas of a U.S. citizen at the behest of the director of the National Intelligence and Operations Service (NIOS). Although Moreno, a New York City resident, long harbored hatred for the U.S. exploitation of the Central and South American economies, Nance Laurel, the New York assistant district attorney, will not permit the U.S. government to abuse, ignore, and avoid the law; hence, the extensive search for witnesses. However, NIOS director Shreve Metzger learns of the investigation and, in turn, orders his assassin, Jacob Swann, to systematically minimize and/or eliminate anyone aware of his Special Task Order…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe devil and the river / R.J. Ellory.
“When the rains came they found the girl’s face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared…On a perfect summer evening in 1954, sixteen-year-old Nancy Denton walked into the woods of her hometown of Whytesburg, Mississippi. She was never seen again. Two decades on, Sheriff John Gaines witnesses a harrowing discovery. A young woman has been unearthed from the riverbank, her body perfectly preserved, yet she bears evidence of a brutal ritualistic killing. Nancy has come home at last, but her return does not bring closure to her family, nor to the townsfolk of Whytesburg. Already haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, Gaines must now stretch his abilities to the limit, pushing himself ever closer to breaking point. What really happened to the beautiful and vivacious Nancy? And why do her friends refuse to talk? As Gaines closes in on the truth, he is forced to not only confront his own demons, but to unearth secrets that have long remained hidden. And that truth, so much darker than he could ever have imagined, may be the one thing that finally destroys him…” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverLittle Green / Walter Mosley.
“In 2007’s Blonde Faith, set in 1967, Easy Rawlins drove drunkenly off a cliff in what his creator indicated was likely his last appearance. Now, after two months of sliding in and out of consciousness, Easy begins the long journey back to the living, in Mosley’s superb 12th mystery featuring his iconic sleuth. Saved by Ray “Mouse” Alexander and the ministrations of Mama Jo, Easy is asked by Mouse to find Evander “Little Green” Noon, who went clubbing on the Sunset Strip and disappeared. Weakened but determined to keep moving, Easy is buoyed by Mama Jo’s potent brew she calls “Gator’s Blood” and the support of numerous friends, including Martin Martins and Jackson Blue…(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Included in the Science Fiction and Fantasy novel selection this month are the latest novels from most popular writers, Brian Aldiss, Ben Bova, and Terry Brooks.

Syndetics book coverFinches of Mars / Brian Aldiss.
“Set on the Red Planet, this book follows the stories of a group of colonists and the problems they have in setting up a new society. Life can be sustained by technology but new life will not prosper as the women on the planet only ever give birth to stillborn children.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Earth / Ben Bova.
“The discovery of another Earth-like planet causes the launch of an exploratory team to study the planet now called “New Earth.” Upon arrival, however, the team discovers a welcoming committee of creatures indistinguishable from humans. Mission leader Jordan Kell comes to trust these inhabitants, but other team members suspect a sinister motive beneath the friendly facade.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWitch wraith : the dark legacy of Shannara / Terry Brooks.
“This is the third and final book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series. For centuries, the Four Lands enjoyed freedom and peace, protected by a magical barrier from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding. But now the unthinkable is happening: the ancient wards securing the border have begun to erode and the monstrous creatures imprisoned there are poised to spill forth, seeking their revenge. Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the means to close the breach, but her efforts may be doomed when she is taken captive. The only hope lies with her determined sister Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic. Now the fate of their world rests upon her shoulders.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

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Other genres

New Other Genre novels this month focused on Debut Novels, show casing the talent and skill of new authors. Highly recommended is Eugen Ruge’s novel titled, In Times of fading Light: the story of a family.

Syndetics book coverThe humorist / Russell Kane. “Survivor, genius, critic, and murderer. Meet Benjamin White, blessed since his infancy with an extraordinary gift; to understand humour at its deepest level. Yet Benjamin is cursed, too; in all his life he has never laughed or smiled. At the height of his profession as a comedy critic, yet lacking any kind of human empathy, Benjamin discovers a formula that will allow him to construct the most powerful joke the world has ever known a joke that has the power to kill.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe other typist / Suzanne Rindell.
“New York City in the 1920s is a time of speakeasies and bathtub gin, an era when women smoke in public and bob their hair. An orphan raised by nuns, Rose Baker has learned to follow the rules as a means of self-preservation. Now employed as a typist in a New York City police precinct, she transcribes confessions that will eventually become irrefutable evidence in court. When an enchanting typist named Odalie joins the precinct, everything changes. Despite her better judgment, Rose is soon under Odalie’s spell. Rose quickly learns that there are several versions of Odalie’s past, and much to Rose’s chagrin, the importance of knowing which is true becomes increasingly less important as time goes on. What begins for Rose as the promise of the close friend she never had quickly becomes a complicated mess of lies, deceit, and insanity.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn times of fading light : the story of a family / Eugen Ruge ; translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
“This evocative family chronicle spans nearly 60 years and begins in 2001 as Alexander Umnitzer, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaves behind his ailing father to fly to Mexico, where his grandparents lived as exiles in the 1940s.The novel then takes us both forward and back in time, creating a panoramic view of the family’s history: from Alexander’s grandparents’ return to the GDR to build the socialist state to his father’s decade spent in a Gulag for criticising the Soviet regime to his son’s desire to leave the political struggles of the twentieth century in the past.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

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