So I told myself on Saturday that the word of the day was “restraint.” Restraint from getting more library books when I already have two stacks on my night table. I counted the books I have out – 13. But … well … I couldn’t resist these from the New Releases shelf.
Synopsis (from bn.com)
Lucy’s Tavern is the best kind of small-town bar. It has a good jukebox, a bartender with a generous pour, and it’s always open, even in terrible weather. In the raw and beautiful country that makes up Rebecca Barry’s fictional landscape, Lucy’s is where everyone ends up, whether they mean to or not. There’s the tipsy advice columnist who has a hard time following her own advice, the ex-con who falls for the same woman over and over again, and the soup-maker who tries to drink and cook his way out of romantic despair.
Theirs are the kinds of stories about love and life that unfold late in the evening, when people finally share their secret hopes and frailties, because they know you will forgive them, or maybe make out with them for a little while. In this rich and engaging debut, each central character suffers a sobering moment of clarity in which the beauty and sadness of life is revealed. But the character does not cry or mend his ways. Instead he tips back his hat, lights another unfiltered cigarette, and heads across the floor to ask someone to dance. A poignant exploration of the sometimes tender, sometimes deeply funny ways people try to connect, Later, at the Bar is as warm and inviting as a good shot of whiskey on a cold winter night.
the rain before it falls – by Jonathon Coe
Synopsis (from bn.com)
Following The Rotters’ Club and its sequel, The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe now offers his first stand-alone novel in a decade, a story of three generations of women whose destinies reach from the English countryside in World War II to London, Toronto, and southern France at the turn of the new century.
Evacuated to Shropshire during the Blitz, eight-year-old Rosamond forged a bond with her cousin Beatrix that augured the most treasured and devastating moments of her life. She recorded these memories sixty years later, just before her death, on cassettes she bequeathed to a woman she hadn’t seen in decades. When her beloved niece, Gill, plays the tapes in hopes of locating this unwitting heir, she instead hears a family saga swathed in promise and betrayal: the story of how Beatrix, starved of her mother’s affection, conceived a fraught bloodline that culminated in heart-stopping tragedy—its chief victim being her own granddaughter. And as Rosamond explores the ties that bound these generations together and shaped her experience all along, Gill grows increasingly haunted by how profoundly her own recollections—not to mention the love she feels for her grown daughters, listening alongside her—are linked to generations of women she never knew.
Matters of Faith, by Kristy Kiernan
From the author of Catching Genius, a novel of a young man’s search for faith-and its unintended consequences.At age twelve, Marshall Tobias saw his best friend killed by a train. It was then that he began his search for faith-delving into one tradition, then discarding it for another. His parents, however, have little time for spiritual contemplation. Their focus has been on his little sister Megan, who suffers from severe food allergies. Now Marshall is home from college with his first real girlfriend, but there is more to Ada than meets the eye-including her beliefs about the evils of medical intervention. What follows is a crisis that tests not only faith, but the limits of family, forgiveness, and our need to believe.
you won’t remember this: stories, by Kate Blackwell
Synopsis from bn.com
The twelve stories in Kate Blackwell’s debut collection illuminate the lives of men and women who appear as unremarkable as your next-door-neighbor until their lives explode quietly on the page. Her wry, often darkly funny voice describes the repressed underside of a range of middle-class characters living in the South.
So that wasn’t too bad, right? Only four books? Weeellllllll … as we made our way to the circulation desk, these two caught my eye, newly shelved on the New Releases shelf.
Rex: A Mother, Her Autistic Child, and the Music That Transformed Their Lives, by Cathleen Lewis
The inspiring story of Rex, a boy who is not only blind and autistic, but who also happens to be a musical savant.
How can an 11-year old boy hear a Mozart fantasy for the first time and play it back note-for-note perfectly-but struggle to navigate the familiar surroundings of his own home? Cathleen Lewis says her son Rex’s laugh of total abandon is the single most joyous sound anyone could hear, but his tortured aversion to touch and sound breaks her heart and makes her wonder what God could have had in mind. In this book she shares the mystery of Rex and the highs, lows, hopes, dreams, joy, sorrows, and faith she has journeyed through with him.
Out of all of these, Rex is probably the one I will read first. I may actually bump that up higher on the TBR pile on my night table.
From Publishers Weekly:
Do Americans really spend that much time surfing porn sites? Which demographic visited Anna Nicole Smith’s Web site most frequently? Who reads Perez Hilton? More than mere trivia nuggets, the answers to these questions define online behaviors among a varied mix of Internet users. Tancer, who leads global research at Hitwise, an online market research company, guides the reader through the search patterns among 10 million Internet users, challenging myths and making new discoveries about the psychology of consumers, illustrating that clicks speak louder than words and can reveal unspoken truths about individual drives that are not expressed via other forms of media.
Everyone from marketing managers who want to know how much power social networking sites wield in the online market to political pollsters trying to decipher the disconnect between exit polls and election results would be advised to heed his research. Witty and invaluable in its insights, this book is destined to become a primer for online marketers and usability experts while shedding new light on the mindset and curiosities of the average Web surfer, i.e., your friends and neighbors.
There won’t be a library visit next weekend, due to my being away on a scrapbooking retreat, so I am guessing the 13 books I already have out and these will have to hold me over for awhile. (Ya think?)