Look for new audiobook titles by Diana Gabaldon, W.E.B. Griffin and Dean Koontz, among others, on both CD and cassette.
"The Judas Strain," by James Rollins, read by Peter Jay Fernandez (cassette). Sit back and enjoy this Sigma Force page turner whose premise reaches back to the time of Marco Polo. Adventurers investigating a luminescent patch of water out in the Indian Ocean become the first modern victims of an ancient plague that hasn't been encountered in hundreds of years. As the scientists of Sigma Force rush to find the cure they believe is hidden in the human genetic makeup, they come up against the Guild, which wants to control and weaponize the plague. Fast-paced and light, this will help you take your mind off your frozen toes.
"North River," by Pete Hamill, read by Henry Strozier (cassette). When Dr. James Delaney arrives home from his New York clinic one day, he finds that his daughter has abandoned her 3-year old son, Carlito, at his doorstep and returned to Mexico to play at being a revolutionary. His wife left months before, and so Delaney employs an illegal immigrant, Rose, to care for Carlito and himself in this Depression-era love story. By the time Delaney saves an old friend who happens to be a mob leader, inadvertently involving himself in gang warfare, he has become part of a family again, with lots to lose. Hamill writes in loving detail about historical New York, creating a world in which happy endings are uncertain but fairly won.
"Duma Key," by Stephen King, read by John Slattery (cassette). King's newest novel continues to explore creativity and the demands it places on one's life and psyche. Edgar Freemantle has uncovered new and unrelentingly angry depths in himself, the result of an accident that cost him an arm, his mind, and now, his marriage. In an attempt to help him heal, his therapist recommends a change of scenery and activity, so he leaves his construction business in the Twin Cities for a slice of beach on Florida's Duma Key. He rents a house from an old woman and takes up painting, an activity he used to love, astonished to find skills coming back to him at a frightening pace with otherworldly and powerful results. Skillfully paced and plotted, this is hailed by many as King at the top of his game.
"The Elves of Cintra," by Terry Brooks, read by Phil Gigante (CD). In post-armageddon Seattle, Logan Tom has his hands full protecting a band of street urchins while searching for their former leader, whose destiny is humankind's salvation. Meanwhile, Angel Perez has joined with elves in a quest for the Elfstones that may help them prevail in the coming battle against demonkind. Those who have read other books in the Shannara series will appreciate the deepening of several longstanding characters' backgrounds; if you are new to the series, start with "Armageddon's Children," available as a downloadable audio file.
"The Spellman Files," by Lisa Lutz, read by Christina Moore (CD). Heads up, Stephanie Plum fans. Meet 28 year-old Izzy Spellman, a "Get Smart" rerun addict and the oldest daughter of a family of private investigators who practice their craft by tailing and wiretapping each other. Izzy is through with the family business and makes a deal with her parents: after she solves a 15 year-old cold case, she'll be free to pursue whatever career she wants. But then her younger sister disappears while tailing Izzy and the case gets much more personal in this light and funny mystery.
"Finn," by Jon Clinch, read by Ed Sala (CD). Taking his cue from the scene in Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" where Finn and Jim find a body in a floating house, Clinch builds the story of Huck's father, whose character is as grim as Huck's is sunny. Pap Finn is a violent, racist, alcoholic who despises but cannot live without his lover (and Huck's mother), a former slave named Mary. By the time Pap is found dead, surrounded by oddities, readers have shared his life and come to know the luckless man and his loathsome family and will be eager to read (or reread) Twain's story with this added dimension.
High school exchange students from Norway, Costa Rica and Hong Kong will talk about their homes and what it's like for them to live in Juneau during a presentation at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at the Mendenhall Valley library. The public can also meet Juneau students who have returned from an exchange year and host families. For more information, call 789-0125
For information about any Juneau Public Libraries programs or to place a hold on any material, visit us at www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.