Monthly Archives: November 2014

Coming to Calarco: November Edition

coming soon




Keep an eye out for these new and noteworthy books.

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future -by A.S. King

Alan Turing: The Enigma -by Andrew Hodges

(the book that inspired the upcoming film The Imitation Game)

Midwinter Blood -by Marcus Sedgwick

The 5th Wave -Rick Yancey

The Eye of Minds -by James Dashner

Belzhar -by Meg Wolitzer

The Rithmatist -by Brandon Sanderson

Revival -by Stephen King

The Children Act -by Ian McEwan

The Strange Library -by Haruki Murakami

Here, Bullet -by Brian Turner

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite -by Suki Kim

My Life as a Foreign Country -by Brian Turner

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books -by Azar Nafisi

New Books News

Welcome to New Books News, a semi-regular column featuring new additions to the Calarco Library. This fall, we are highlighting some popular new items as well as books that should be popular, but aren’t getting very much play.

For a full list of new books, please visit Calarco’s What’s New LibGuide.

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The Goblin Emperor -Katherine Addison

Need convincing? Read Mr. Gette’s book review.

The Magician’s Land -Lev Grossman

EVERYONE thinks this book is the best installment in Grossman’s trilogy. Need convincing? Read the NYT review.

Ancillary Sword -Ann Leckie

A sequel to Ancillary Justice (which won all the awards).

We Were Liars -E. Lockhart

John Green gave Lockhart’s newest book his stamp of approval. Last time Green did that, it was Eleanor & Park. The guys is usually right.

Station Eleven -Emily St. John Mandel

A National Book Award finalist

The Winter People -Jennifer McMahon

Ghosts + Vermont farmhouses + creepiness = a promising story

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen -Garth Nix

Fans of the Old Kingdom series will be quick to read this prequel. Interested in starting the series? Check out the Nix’s other installments.

Lock In -John Scalzi

Check out Mr. Gette’s book review. The short version is, “This book is awesome.”

Nora Webster -Colm Toibin

This guy is such a heavyweight that it is always worth checking out his latest book.

The Paying Guests -Sarah Waters

After reading The Little Stranger, I’m ready to read anything by Waters.

Frog Music -Emma Donoghue

If you loved Room, you should give Donoghue’s new (and very different) book a try.

Everything Rick Riordan

Graphic Novels

Smile -Raina Telgemeier

Sisters -Raina Telgemeier

Follow Raina’s story in this graphic novel series.

Book Review: Lock In, by John Scalzi

I’ve been meaning to read something by John Scalzi for a while – something other than his blog and his twitter feed, that is. I almost picked up Redshirts after it won the Hugo, but I wasn’t sure I knew enough about Star Trek to really appreciate it.

And then Lock In came out, to general acclaim, and I knew I had to read it. Earth-based sci-fi? Check. A global virus, with far-reaching effects? Check. Solid world-building? Check. Murder mystery? Check, done, sold.

In the near future, a flu-like virus has left a certain percentage of its victims “locked in”: still conscious, still aware, but unable to move or speak. These people are called Hadens, and many of them move through an interact with the world through threeps, robot bodies they can control with their minds. Other flu victims (called Integrators) escaped being locked in, but were left with the ability to connect with Hadens and act as flesh and blood threeps. Chris Shane was locked in at age 2, and has been a poster child for Hadens ever since. Now an adult and an FBI agent, Chris’s first case is a murder – and the suspect is an Integrator who may or may not have been integrated at the time of the murder.

From there the story involves disability rights, a giant virtual reality space called the Agora, the Navajo, programming, government funding, and what it means to be human when all your interactions are through a machine.

It’s really good.

Read if you like: Sci-fi, mysteries, robots, cops, robot cops.

Don’t read if you don’t like: property damage.

-Signing off, James Gette (who wants to be a FBI Robot Cop (not really)).

Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep

before sleep

Christine can remember how to brush her teeth and cook a meal, but she can’t remember most of her life. Sometimes she wakes up as a 20 year-old, other times as a child, but never as the 47 year-old woman she is. During the day, Christine can learn facts about her life and store new memories, but she can’t recall the memories herself. Anything Christine learns or discovers is lost when she goes to sleep. Christine lives in the present, and she is fully dependent on the man she wakes up next to every morning – her husband, Ben. But is Ben telling the whole story? Not long after entering Christine’s reality do we learn that she has been secretly meeting with a doctor, and she has been keeping a private journal. What would a woman with no memory need to hide from the one person she is supposed to trust?

A premise like this, well, it comes cheap. The “trust no one” approach has been rehashed and reused countless times. What makes Watson’s noir a gripping read is his handling of the premise. The reader only knows what Christine knows, and her knowledge fluctuates. The twists to Christine’s story are not out of left-field (a la Gone Girl), but carefully hidden underneath the surface. When Christine discerns a carefully concealed truth, her moments of clarity are reflected in the reader. Sometimes the narration is bogged down when Christine re-remembers parts of her life, but those re-rememberings quickly turn into a narrative tool that propels the story forward.

Final Verdict: The story moves quickly and the plot twists (especially the doozy at the end) are tough to spot.

Read if: you liked Gone Girl and want a story with similar pacing and feel, OR if you hated Gone Girl and want a noir read with plot twists that are actually feasible.

-Signing off, Jenny Barrows (who loves being able to use the word “noir” in a sentence)