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In the Stacks: new fiction

Posted: March 19, 2014 - 11:01pm

New fiction for adult readers at the public libraries includes “Apocalypse Cow,” by Michael Logan (joint winner of the first Terry Pratchett prize), and “Fatal Descent,” by Beth Groundwater (latest in the RM Outdoor Adventures Mysteries), as well as the titles below.

“The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination,” edited by John Joseph Adams.

These 22 short stories from the twisted brains of writers we know and love (Diane Gabaldon, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove to name a few) take the villains’ points of view and run with it, creating sometimes poignant, often fun looks at the way the “other half” lives. Meet the daughters of mad scientists, living together in an old house in London because it’s only among each other that they feel understood. Get inside the mind of a man plotting to use an asteroid as a bomb to destroy Washington, D.C. And listen in on an interview between an untrustworthy journalist and an odd, brilliant teenage inventor. The stories’ contents, tone, and styles vary greatly, so if you like the theme but dip into a story you don’t care for, flip a few pages and try another.

“The King’s Jar,” by Susan C. Shea.

Dani O’Rourke, the chief fundraiser for the prestigious Devor Museum of Art and Antiquities in San Francisco, is currently in New York for a gala event honoring generous donors. She’s well-used to emergencies and upsets in the fundraising world, but is completely unprepared to have the honored piece, an African artifact called the King’s Jar, go missing and an archaeologist associated with it turn up dead. Before she knows it, she’s up to her ears in well-heeled murder suspects, three would-be paramours, and a very odd timeline of events leading up to the disappearance of the Jar. This second in a new mystery series stands alone, but if you’ve already read “Murder in the Abstract,” you’ll be looking forward to this already.

“Misery Loves Company,” by Rene Gutteridge.

After Jules Belleno’s husband is killed by a stray bullet in the line of duty, she becomes a recluse, venturing out to buy groceries and books, and going home to write reviews on her blog. When she recognizes Patrick Reagan, her favorite author, at the grocery store, she excitedly introduces herself – and that’s the last thing she remembers before waking up in a strange room, in a strange house, with Patrick, who is behaving very strangely indeed. Though he acts the perfect gentleman towards her, he’s pushing Jules relentlessly to open her eyes and see what’s around her. And slowly, Jules does. Part Stephen King homage, part Jodi Picoult human-interest.

“Sugar Pop Moon,” by John Florio.

Jersey Leo is a bartender in a speakeasy run by the mob in Hell’s Kitchen, New York when he gets a great deal on a case of Sugar Pop Moon — moonshine made by a man who only sells by the glass. But darn his luck: the first bottle he opens shows Jersey that he’s spent his bosses’ money on counterfeit booze and now he has just a few days to set things right before he’s caught. After a visit to a Christmas-tree farm and an encounter with a madman, Jersey is suddenly a wanted man in two cities. The only person he can turn to is his father, a black ex-boxer who’s perpetually disappointed that his half-white, half-black, all-albino son is working for the mob. And with his father involved, secrets start coming out of the woodwork.

“Horses of God,” by Mahi Binebine.

How are suicide bombers created? This compelling novel (made into a film in 2012) explains how one boy and his big brother grew up in a loving home in the slums of Casablanca. Yachine is a great soccer player, but not as bold as his brother Hamid, whom he trusts to protect him from real violence, and together they collect a small family of other soccer-playing boys. But as they grow up and their soccer-playing days come to an end, other things fill their time. Like wondering why their community, though close-knit, never gets a break. And what it might mean to stand up and make changes for the better, even if it means their deaths.

•••

The Teen Manga Club meets tomorrow, Friday, March 21, at 5 p.m. at the Zach Gordon Youth Center.

Have you ever wanted to watch weavers, beaders, and other crafters at work on their arts? Join library staff for the first Living Art Exhibit at the Douglas Library, Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m,. and Sunday, March 23, from 1-5 p.m.

For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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