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Library News

By: Sheila Hoffmeyer, President
For: Red Rock News
Date: August 7, 2009

Sizzling Summer Reads Waiting for You at the Library

"Roll out those lazy, hazy days of summer. Those days of soda and pretzels and books." Yes, we've taken a little license in these lyrics from that old Nat King Cole favorite. If, however, you're looking to find a shady spot and while away an August afternoon, check out a book from the Sedona Public Library to keep you company. Many of these books can be found in the Popular Collection available only to patrons who visit the Library; the others can be reserved by logging onto and using the "search catalog" function.

American Wife
Curtis Sittenfeld
Published last summer, American Wife debuted to mixed reviews. This story reputedly based on the life and thoughts of former First Lady Laura Bush, asks provoking questions about marriage, loyalty and responsibility. The main characters are Alice, a rather naive young woman, who falls for Charlie, a charming, rakish Ivy Leaguer from a family of privilege, who years later finds himself elected President. Alice suddenly is living in the White House as first lady supporting her husband whose disdain for news and a habit of making flubs when speaking in public closely parallel the former president.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a stunning debut novel of simple romance and innocence set in the tremulous and war-torn period of World War II America. This well written tale is crafted with flashbacks between 1986 and the War years and takes place in Seattle's Chinatown and Japan town. Caught between his Chinese father and an America reacting to the horrors of Pearl Harbor, Henry helplessly watches as his love Keiko's Japanese family is uprooted and forced into an internment camp. The novel begins 40 years later, as Henry is confronted with painful memories when the long forgotten belongings of 37 Japanese families are discovered in the Panama Hotel's basement.

Ann Patchett
Those who fell under the spell of Patchett's characters in Bel Canto should feel a similar experience with Run. This is a delicate and honest story of two adopted boys who lost their beloved adopted mother when they were preschoolers, and then are suddenly confronted by their previously unknown birth mother as college-age adults. In this strong and compelling book, Patchett paints a beautiful picture of family.

The Associate
John Grisham
Grisham fans won't be disappointed with the fast pace of "The Associate." Twenty-five year old law associate Kyle McAvoy is being blackmailed into pirating documents in a big law suit. He pretends to go along with the villains in fear of having his dark secret from college revealed while building a strategy to outwit the guys dogging his every move. The Associate contains all the twists and turns that have made Grisham one of the best known storytellers in the world.

The Cheater
Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
A poolside thriller and a fairly easy, fast read is The Cheater. Nancy Taylor Rosenberg returns to one of her most beloved characters, Lily Forrester, who finds herself in yet another set of bizarre circumstances that lead her in pursuit of a vicious criminal mind. In The Cheater you'll also meet FBI Agent Mary Stevens. Stevens is a recent recruit and determined to prove herself quickly to senior agents. She discovers the link between the men who were murdered while cheating on their wives and the trail leading to their killer.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Jeffrey Toobin
Although this book was published in 2007, with the news surrounding the confirmation hearings for nominee Sonia Sotomayor, it is very timely. Toobin, a New Yorker legal writer, examines the Court from the Reagan administration to present day, as the justices face cases on abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gay rights and church-state separation. Toobin aims his microscope on the individual judges and presents and dissects the issues through their perspectives.

The Scarecrow
Michael Connelly
One of the best U.S. police procedural writers Michael Connelly set this book in Arizona, Nevada, and California. It contains contemporary issues that enhance rather than detract from the exciting storyline. Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to use his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career. He focuses on a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that the boy's so-called confession is bogus. He begins tracking a killer who operates completely below police radar - and with perfect knowledge of any move against him.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
David Wroblewski
David Wroblewski grew up in rural central Wisconsin, not far from the Chequamegon National Forest, where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is set. A 2008 selection by Oprah?s Book Club, I actually read this book last summer but every time I see it on the Library's shelves, I remember how caught up I was in this story. You don't have to be a lover of dogs or boys growing up on a farm under challenging circumstances to become enchanted by the story. Some may be daunted by the size of the book but Wroblewski skillfully crafts his debut novel. I found myself deciding just how much I would read each day to savor the book as long as possible. In fact, I've decided to read it again this month, and fortunately, the Library has multiple copies of this best seller.

Sheila Hoffmeyer
Sheila Hoffmeyer, author of this week's article,
is President of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.