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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand

Library Journal The author of Seabiscuit now brings us a biography of World War II prisoner of war survivor Louis Zamperini (b. 1917). A track athlete at the 1936 Munich Olympics, Zamperini became a B-24 crewman in the U.S. Army Air Force. When his plane went down in the Pacific in 1943, he spent 47 days in a life raft, then was picked up by a Japanese ship and survived starvation and torture in labor camps. Eventually repatriated, he had a spiritual rebirth and returned to Japan to promote forgiveness and healing. Because of the author's popularity, libraries will want this book both for general readers who like a good story and for World War II history buffs; however, it's not essential reading for those who read Zamperini's autobiography, Devil at My Heels, with David Rensin, in its 2003 edition. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/10.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly From the 1936 Olympics to WWII Japan's most brutal POW camps, Hillenbrand's heart-wrenching new book is thousands of miles and a world away from the racing circuit of her bestselling Seabiscuit. But it's just as much a page-turner, and its hero, Louie Zamperini, is just as loveable: a disciplined champion racer who ran in the Berlin Olympics, he's a wit, a prankster, and a reformed juvenile delinquent who put his thieving skills to good use in the POW camps, In other words, Louie is a total charmer, a lover of life-whose will to live is cruelly tested when he becomes an Army Air Corps bombardier in 1941. The young Italian-American from Torrance, Calif., was expected to be the first to run a four-minute mile. After an astonishing but losing race at the 1936 Olympics, Louie was hoping for gold in the 1940 games. But war ended those dreams forever. In May 1943 his B-24 crashed into the Pacific. After a record-breaking 47 days adrift on a shark-encircled life raft with his pal and pilot, Russell Allen "Phil" Phillips, they were captured by the Japanese. In the "theater of cruelty" that was the Japanese POW camp network, Louie landed in the cruelest theaters of all: Omori and Naoetsu, under the control of Corp. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, a pathologically brutal sadist (called the Bird by camp inmates) who never killed his victims outright-his pleasure came from their slow, unending torment. After one beating, as Watanabe left Louie's cell, Louie saw on his face a "soft languor.... It was an expression of sexual rapture." And Louie, with his defiant and unbreakable spirit, was Watanabe's victim of choice. By war's end, Louie was near death. When Naoetsu was liberated in mid-August 1945, a depleted Louie's only thought was "I'm free! I'm free! I'm free!" But as Hillenbrand shows, Louie was not yet free. Even as, returning stateside, he impulsively married the beautiful Cynthia Applewhite and tried to build a life, Louie remained in the Bird's clutches, haunted in his dreams, drinking to forget, and obsessed with vengeance. In one of several sections where Hillenbrand steps back for a larger view, she writes movingly of the thousands of postwar Pacific PTSD sufferers. With no help for their as yet unrecognized illness, Hillenbrand says, "there was no one right way to peace; each man had to find his own path...." The book's final section is the story of how, with Cynthia's help, Louie found his path. It is impossible to condense the rich, granular detail of Hillenbrand's narrative of the atrocities committed (one man was exhibited naked in a Tokyo zoo for the Japanese to "gawk at his filthy, sore-encrusted body") against American POWs in Japan, and the courage of Louie and his fellow POWs, who made attempts on Watanabe's life, committed sabotage, and risked their own lives to save others. Hillenbrand's triumph is that in telling Louie's story (he's now in his 90s), she tells the stories of thousands whose suffering has been mostly forgotten. She restores to our collective memory this tale of heroism, cruelty, life, death, joy, suffering, remorselessness, and redemption. (Nov.) -Reviewed by Sarah F. Gold (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list A second book by the author of Seabiscuit (2001) would get noticed, even if it weren't the enthralling and often grim story of Louie Zamperini. An Olympic runner during the 1930s, he flew B-24s during WWII. Taken prisoner by the Japanese, he endured a captivity harsh even by Japanese standards and was a physical and mental wreck at the end of the war. He was saved by the influence of Billy Graham, who inspired him to turn his life around, and afterward devoted himself to evangelical speeches and founding boys' camps. Still alive at 93, Zamperini now works with those Japanese individuals and groups who accept responsibility for Japanese mistreatment of POWs and wish to see Japan and the U.S. reconciled. He submitted to 75 interviews with the author as well as contributing a large mass of personal records. Fortunately, the author's skills are as polished as ever, and like its predecessor, this book has an impossible-to-put-down quality that one commonly associates with good thrillers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This departure from the author's previous best-seller will nevertheless be promoted as necessary reading for the many folks who enjoyed the first one or its movie version.--Green, Roland Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini

Book list *Starred Review* Saboor, a laborer, pulls his young daughter, Pari, and his son, Abdullah, across the desert in a red wagon, leaving their poor village of Shadbagh for Kabul, where his brother-in-law, Nabi, a chauffeur, will introduce them to a wealthy man and his beautiful, despairing poet wife. So begins the third captivating and affecting novel by the internationally best-selling author of The Kite Runner (2003) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). An immense, ancient oak stands in Shadbagh, emblematic of the complexly branching stories in Hosseini's vital, profound, and spellbinding saga of family bonds and unlikely pairings forged by chance, choice, and necessity. We meet twin sisters, one beautiful, one plain; one an invalid, the other a caretaker. Two male cousins, one a charismatic wheeler-dealer; the other a cautious, introverted doctor. A disfigured girl of great valor and a boy destined to become a plastic surgeon. Kabul falls and struggles to rise. Shadbagh comes under the rule of a drug lord, and the novel's many limbs reach to Paris, San Francisco, and a Greek island. A masterful and compassionate storyteller, Hosseini traces the traumas and scarring of tyranny, war, crime, lies, and illness in the intricately interconnected, heartbreaking, and extraordinary lives of his vibrantly realized characters to create a grand and encompassing tree of life. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The immense popularity of Hosseini's previous books ensures a high-profile promotional campaign and mounting word-of-mouth excitement in anticipation of the release of his first new novel in six years.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Hosseini's third novel (after A Thousand Splendid Suns) follows a close-knit but oft-separated Afghan family through love, wars, and losses more painful than death. The story opens in 1952 in the village of Shadbagh, outside of Kabul, as a laborer, Kaboor, relates a haunting parable of triumph and loss to his son, Abdullah. The novel's core, however, is the sale for adoption of the Kaboor's three-year-old daughter, Pari, to the wealthy poet Nila Wahdati and her husband, Suleiman, by Pari's step-uncle Nabi. The split is particularly difficult for Abdullah, who took care of his sister after their mother's death. Once Suleiman has a stroke, Nila leaves him to Nabi's care and takes Pari to live in Paris. Much later, during the U.S. occupation, the dying Nabi makes Markos, a Greek plastic surgeon now renting the Wahdati house, promise to find Pari and give her a letter containing the truth. The beautiful writing, full of universal truths of loss and identity, makes each section a jewel, even if the bigger picture, which eventually expands to include Pari's life in France, sometimes feels disjointed. Still, Hosseini's eye for detail and emotional geography makes this a haunting read. Agent: Elaine Koster, Elaine Koster Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal This bittersweet family saga spans six decades and transports readers from Afghanistan to France, Greece, and the United States. Hosseini (The Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns) weaves a gorgeous tapestry of disparate characters joined by threads of blood and fate. Siblings Pari and Abdullah are cruelly separated at childhood. A disfigured young woman, Thalia is abandoned by her mother and learns to love herself under the tutelage of a surrogate. Markos, a doctor who travels the world healing strangers, avoids his sick mother back home. A feminist poet, Nila Wahdatire, reinvents herself through an artful magazine interview, and Nabi, who is burdened by a past deed, leaves a letter of explanation. Each character tells his or her version of the same story of selfishness and selflessness, acceptance and forgiveness, but most important, of love in all its complex iterations. VERDICT In this uplifting and deeply satisfying book, Hosseini displays an optimism not so obvious in his previous works. Readers will be clamoring for it. [See Prepub Alert, 11/04/12.]-Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Estero, FL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The Hero and the Crown
by Robin McKinley

Book list Gr. 7-10. Tauntingly called ``Lady Aerin, Dragon-Killer'' for the small, dog-size dragons she killed, the princess and her skills are tested when she faces the monstrous, malevolent Black Dragon. A Newbery award winner.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list Gr. 7-10. Tauntingly called ``Lady Aerin, Dragon-Killer'' for the small, dog-size dragons she killed, the princess and her skills are tested when she faces the monstrous, malevolent Black Dragon. A Newbery award winner.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog What Can't Wait
by Perez, Ashley Hope

School Library Journal Gr 10 Up-Marisa Moreno, a Houston high school senior, is the goody-goody younger sister of Cecelia, who had a child at 17, and macho brother Gustavo, who calls her nerda. Although Marisa earns A's, her acceptance letter to an Austin university sits hidden away in a kitchen drawer stuffed with her mother's prayer cards, an example of the narrative's rich and carefully observed detail. Afraid to let go of her younger daughter, Ma equates the distance to not-so-far-away Austin with Germany because the only other young woman who left their neighborhood is stationed there with the army. Ma's geography may be weak, but her logistical argument is solid. Marisa babysits her niece, Anita; works at a supermarket; and cooks for the family: Who will replace her? With little spare time, the teen's attempts at having a social life are flimsy; her best friend, Brenda, and boyfriend Alan provide comic relief and support. A short scene about an attempted sexual assault is too quickly drawn to be convincing. The real dynamic is among the members of this nuclear family, particularly involving its five-year-old scene stealer, Anita. The love of Marisa's life, she's someone for whom one would gladly struggle to build a future, even if it means learning to put your own needs before those of the family. This strong first novel makes an excellent choice for populations with large numbers of immigrant students.-Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Marisa loves AP calculus, and she is good at it. But her overbearing father, a Mexican immigrant, always reminds her that familia comes first. That means picking up extra shifts at the grocery store, where she works to help pay bills, and babysitting her adorable niece, who distracts from schoolwork. This is Marisa's senior year, and she has a shot at a great engineering school, but her supportive teacher doesn't seem to comprehend the cultural conflict she is creating by pushing Marisa's college dreams. Even Marisa's new boyfriend doesn't understand her struggle to aim for a better life. Although it has the potential to become a book version of Stand and Deliver, by focusing on Marisa's determination in the face of quiet disapproval from her mother and outright opposition from her father, Perez removes the cliche and creates a relatable character who is unraveling under the pressure to support her family at the expense of her dreams. This solid debut deftly explores the daily struggle of some students to persevere in the face of long odds.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 10 Up-Marisa Moreno, a Houston high school senior, is the goody-goody younger sister of Cecelia, who had a child at 17, and macho brother Gustavo, who calls her nerda. Although Marisa earns A's, her acceptance letter to an Austin university sits hidden away in a kitchen drawer stuffed with her mother's prayer cards, an example of the narrative's rich and carefully observed detail. Afraid to let go of her younger daughter, Ma equates the distance to not-so-far-away Austin with Germany because the only other young woman who left their neighborhood is stationed there with the army. Ma's geography may be weak, but her logistical argument is solid. Marisa babysits her niece, Anita; works at a supermarket; and cooks for the family: Who will replace her? With little spare time, the teen's attempts at having a social life are flimsy; her best friend, Brenda, and boyfriend Alan provide comic relief and support. A short scene about an attempted sexual assault is too quickly drawn to be convincing. The real dynamic is among the members of this nuclear family, particularly involving its five-year-old scene stealer, Anita. The love of Marisa's life, she's someone for whom one would gladly struggle to build a future, even if it means learning to put your own needs before those of the family. This strong first novel makes an excellent choice for populations with large numbers of immigrant students.-Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Independence Day
by Richard Ford

Publishers Weekly In this sequel to The Sportswriter, Ford follows his middle-aged American everyman, Frank Bascombe, through the transformative events of a Fourth of July weekend. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The cruelest month : a Three Pines mystery
by Louise Penny.

Book list For such a small, pleasant place, the Quebec village of Three Pines has a surprising amount of big-time crime. In the third Armand Gamache novel, the Surete Chief Inspector is once again confronted with a baffling mystery, this one coming after an Easter séance results in murder. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves. Readers familiar with the preceding two novels in the series Still Life (2006) and A Fatal Grace (2007) will be champing at the bit to get their hands on this one, and those who haven't yet met Armand Gamache will wonder what took them so long. Pair this with L. R. Wright's Karl Alberg series, starring a Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant and his librarian wife.--Pitt, David Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal An impromptu seance at a haunted house turns deadly, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds himself hampered by an unlikely killer and his own investigative team in this third case by Arthur Ellis Award winner Penny, who lives in Montreal. Five-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Quebec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a seance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Surete du Quebec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name. Arthur Ellis Award-winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the French-Canadian village, its inhabitants and a determined detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans as a 21st-century version of Hercule Poirot. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal The Quebecois village of Three Pines (first introduced in Still Life and Fatal Grace) is once again the scene of a perplexing murder, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team have caught the case. Madeleine Favreau, a cheerful and well-liked village resident, collapsed and died at an impromptu seance at a local house thought to be haunted. The cause of death is pronounced a high dose of ephedrine and fright. But Madeleine wasn't dieting, so who slipped her the ephedrine? Gamache is an engaging, modern-day Poirot who gently teases out information from his suspects while enjoying marvelous bistro meals and cozy walks on the village common. His team is an unlikely troupe of departmental misfits who blossom under his deft tutelage, turning up just the right clues. Penny is an award-winning writer whose cozies go beyond traditional boundaries, providing entertaining characters, a picturesque locale, and thought-provoking plots. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 11/1/07.]--Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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