Friday, November 04, 2011

Family Matters

Aunts and uncles and cousins, oh my! Whether visiting or living together, families both drive each other crazy and provide lots of love. These children's stories involve characters interacting with their extended families.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which, along with uncles and another cousin, is en route to visit their grandfather in England.

Finding Family by Tonya Bolden

Raised in Charleston, West Virginia, at the turn of the twentieth century by her grandfather and aunt on off-putting tales of family members she has never met, twelve-year-old Delana is shocked when, after Aunt Tilley dies, she learns the truth about her parents and some of her other relatives.

Fair Weather by Richard Peck

In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World's Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.

A Corner of the Universe by Ann Martin

The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Your Medical Mind

Dr. Groopman has already proved himself an exceptional guide to the inner workings of the doctor's mind in his bestselling How Doctors Think. Now he and Hartzband, his wife and colleague at Harvard Medical School, get inside the patient's mind. The result is a chronicle of how ordinary people, landing at a medical crossroads, must decide about care, who should provide it, and for how long. They present tales of patients who must face conflicting information or uncertain outcomes and choose a course of action: a consultant finds his usual "objective” reasoning doesn't apply to the decision to undergo a bone-marrow transplant with possibly debilitating side effects; and a dying woman's change of mind about end-of-life care illustrates how unpredictable our response to death can be. The authors also illustrate the toll illness takes on a patients' loved ones as they strive to make decisions for incapacitated relatives. There are no easy answers here, no prescriptions for the "right” decision, but rather an illuminating look at how different people think about their options and the emotions and experiences that help shape their decisions. This remarkable survey can help make the uncertainty of illness and treatment seem just a bit more manageable and less lonely.

From Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 30

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Literary Thrillers

Readers will find all the appeal of typical Thrillers here: action, danger and a sense of menace. As an added bonus, these titles present sophisticated literary puzzles that revolve around mysteries of the past or intellectual challenges. Grab one today!

The Faculty Club by Danny Tobey

Enjoying a prestigious first year in law school marked by a coveted job with a top professor and a relationship with a beautiful Rhodes scholar, Jeremy Davis is admitted into a mysterious club that promises him phenomenal successes and hides a deadly ancient secret.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Offered a coveted job to analyze and conserve a priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the volume's ancient binding that reveal its historically significant origins..

Abandon by Blake Crouch

A history professor and his daughter embark on an investigation into the abrupt disappearance of every citizen from a gold-mining town over a century earlier, even though they are aware that the last people who attempted to solve the mystery was never heard from again.

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond

Twenty years after the unsolved murder of her sister Lila, Ellie's chance meeting with the man accused of the crime leads to the discovery of Lila's secret notebook, filled with mathematical equations that lead to other enigmas in her sister's life.