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In the stacks: New large print fiction

Posted: January 23, 2014 - 1:03am

The public libraries have a growing collection of large print fiction for readers who like a little larger font size. Look for new bestsellers from Catherine Coulter, Sarah Paretsky, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, and Tom Clancy, as well as the titles below. And remember – if you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask us.

“Life after Life,” by Jill McCorkle.

In a series of vignettes, McCorkle introduces readers to the variety of personalities living at the Pine Haven retirement center. Each story highlights a resident, relative, or caregiver, connecting one to another with the subtle finesse for which McCorkle is known. Readers meet Joanna, a nurse at the center, the town’s Patron Saint of Divorce, whose life was saved by a dog named Tammy and recreated by Tammy’s owner. And Rachel, who left the town her husband was buried in and moved to Pine Haven to spend her last years near her lover’s grave. And there’s Harley, a huge friendly cat who went from beloved to feared by many residents after the stories about another nursing home with a cat who predicted death, and Sadie, in many ways the center’s central resident. This is not for those who want action in their books, instead, it’s for all who love to meet new people and get to know them.

“Claws of the Cat,” by Susan Spann.

Master ninja Hiro’s undercover assignment to protect Father Mateo gets complicated when the Portuguese priest vows to protect a beautiful entertainer who is accused of murder. It is 1564 in Kyoto when the body of a samurai is found in a teahouse with his throat raggedly slashed. Sayuri was the last to see him alive and tradition will sentence her to death if no one steps in. Father Mateo is given three days to investigate before he and Sayuri are both executed, so Hiro steps in to help. Between the three of them, they unravel a convoluted plot that could change the course of Japan’s history.

“Flora,” by Gail Godwin.

When Helen’s father works at ending World War II, the ten year old is confined to an aging family estate in the south under the supervision of her 22-year old cousin, Flora. Helen’s mother died when she was three, and she has been raised by her beloved grandmother, who passes away just as the story opens. Now the headstrong little girl is grieving even though she doesn’t want to acknowledge it. Helen is bright and she knows it, but not old enough to understand Flora’s kind devotion – she mistakes it for simplemindedness and treats Flora with condescension. Things only get worse when the two are quarantined to the house during fears of a polio outbreak and see only Finn, a young war veteran. And then tragedy strikes and Helen discovers the truth about Flora.

“The Love Song of Jonny Valentine,” by Teddy Wayne.

Jonny Valentine may be a lonely eleven-year old, but at least he’s a superstar. That’s what his mom seems to think, anyway. Jonny isn’t sure what he thinks. It might be nice to go to a regular school, have friends his own age, and not be swarmed by fans whenever he goes out, but he doesn’t think he’ll get the chance to find out. Instead, Jonny’s touring the country with his addicted but mostly-functional mom, lip-syncing to his own music, and trying not to get too weirded out about his first zit. While his mom is looking for a way to use his encroaching puberty to up his album sales, Jonny sets about surreptitiously tracking down his absent father. Part inside scoop on stardom, part family drama, Jonny’s story is all about the transition we all have to make from our child to our adult selves.

•••

Tonight (Thursday, Jan. 23) marks the return of TEDx talks at the Downtown library. Join us at 6 p.m. for video essays and conversation about creativity.

And, tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 24) the Teen Manga Club is meeting at 5 p.m. at the Zach Gordon Youth Center – come along and bring some of your favorite manga and anime to share. For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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