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2017-11-16

By the Book at the Bandera Library

by Michael Garr

Book Reviews
by Michael Garr,
Bandera Library Director

As we near the end of 2017 and head into the approaching holiday season, authors and their publishers rush out books for the buying and gift-giving season. With that in mind, let’s review some recent releases, most of which already have landed on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Starting at No. 1 is Dan Brown’s fifth installment of the Robert Langdon series. “Origin,” which was previously reviewed in this column, is never long on the shelf, but the Bandera Library has two copies in English, one copy in Spanish and an unabridged audio book for those people on the move.
Also previously reviewed and No. 2 on the bestseller list is “Deep Freeze,” 10th in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series. We have two print copies as well as an unabridged audio book in our collection, perfect for the long drive to Grandma’s house for turkey.
A new first-time author is actor Tom Hanks, who presents a series of short stories called “Uncommon Type,” where a typewriter appears in each story. It resides at No. 3 and is getting good reviews from our patrons, including myself.
Stephen King and his son Owen claim the No. 4 spot with “Sleeping Beauties,” a story about women who fall asleep in mysterious cocoons while the men battle each other.
Skipping to No. 6 is Ken Follett’s “A Column of Fire,” a love story set in 1558. This is the third book in Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” trilogy.
I recently read No. 7 on the list, a book by Jennifer Egan called, “Manhattan Beach.” It is being considered for a National Book award. The story is about a woman who works in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, her father, who disappears from her life, and a Mob boss who tries to do the right thing. It made me want to read other books by Egan.
Next on the list at No. 8 is “Don’t Let Go” by Harlan Coben. I haven’t gotten my hands on this title yet, as it continues to fly off the shelf. In fact, one library patron checked it out on Monday and returned it the next day, having read it non-stop to its conclusion. He described it as “a real page-turner.”
The final three books on the NY Times Bestseller List in our collection are No. 9, “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye,” by Stieg Larsson; No. 11, “Cuban Affair,” by Nelson Demille; and No. 13, “Little Fires Everywhere,” by Celeste Ng. Reviews for each of these popular books can be found in By the Book archives on the Bandera County Courier website. Many of these popular titles can be reserved if you don’t see them on the bookshelves. Stop by or give us a call at 830-796-4213.
I spent last weekend power-reading through two new books that will immediately hit the Bestseller list next week. The first was Michael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch mystery, “Two Kinds of Truth,” released on Oct. 31. As with many of these books, Harry is working several cases simultaneously and even gets to go undercover in his pursuit of justice for victims. It was a great read and makes me want Amazon to release season four of the 10-episode “Bosch” video series earlier than 2018.
The second book of my 2-book weekend binge —Lee Child’s 22nd book in the Jack Reacher series, “Midnight Line,” released on Nov. 7. This book starts with Reacher finding an old West Point female graduation ring in a pawnshop and deciding that he must find the owner and return it. If Reacher facing down six motorcycle tough guys and sending them all to the hospital doesn’t warm your heart, then his unyielding pursuit of the missing female major, a veteran of five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq just might.
The Bandera Library has two print copies of each of these crime fiction thrillers, and audio book versions of each. The books are also available as e-books for the digitally minded patron. I wonder which book makes it to No 1 first. … Maybe No. 1 and No. 1a?
On the social calendar for the Bandera Library, you may have missed the Hill Country Memorial Hospital dinner and presentation called “Restore” this past Tuesday evening. They promised us to return with different programs quarterly, so keep an eye on the Library website, Facebook or articles in the Courier for their next offering. Today, Nov. 16, at noon, the Madrona Garden and Social Club is hosting a program called “BUGS-the Good, the Bad and the Ugly around us.” Bring a bag lunch, if you would like to hear the presentation by Michael Haynes in the lower level Library Conference Center. Program starts at noon. Until next time, Read Well and Be Safe.