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Starting in April 2002, a panel of library staff members (primarily from the Anderson, Bethany, Gere and Eiseley branches) have appeared somewhat regularly on Cathy Blythe’s Problems and Solutions program on radio station KFOR 1240 AM in a segment called “Book Chat,” sharing information about books and upcoming library programs.

Here is a list of the books discussed in the most recent show: March 9, 2017

Appearing with Cathy on this episode: Scott C., Becky W.C., Lisa V. and show producer Lizz B.

City of the Lost
by Kelley Armstrong [Armstrong]

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey’s best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana’s husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it’s time for the two of them to disappear again. Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you’re accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. As a murderer, Casey isn’t a good candidate, but she has something they want; she’s a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn’t the only secret Rockton is hiding– in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.


Alice I Have Been
by Melanie Benjamin [Benjamin]

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland . Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole-and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year-the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice-he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.


The Andromeda Strain
by Michael Crichton [Crichton]

The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere.

Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to “collect organisms and dust for study.” One of them falls to earth, landing ina desolate area of Arizona.

Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town’s inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.

The terror has begun…


Breaking Creed
by Alex Kava [Kava]

This 2015 volume by Omaha thriller writer Alex Kava introduces her new series protagonist, ex-soldier and current K9 trainer, Ryder Creed. When Creed and one of his dogs break up a child trafficking scheme, and then rescue a young drug mule, he and his family of co-workers are put in the cross-hairs of a vengeful drug lord with a deadly assassin in his hire. Meanwhile, FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell (Kava’s previous series star) crosses paths with Creed, and their cases intertwine.


Dogs of War: The Stories of FDR’s Fala, Patton’s Willie and Ike’s Telek
by Kathleen Kinsolving [636.755 Kin]

Dogs of War is a treasure trove of marvelous anecdotes, scintillating tidbits, and delightful photographs of three beloved dogs sharing the limelight with Roosevelt, Patton, and Eisenhower as they battled together in their efforts to save the world from fascism. It includes such stories as Fala accompanying FDR on board the USS Augusta, where the President and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlanta Charter; Willie, who shuddered with fear at the sounds of gunfire during combat but traveled with Patton everywhere; and Telek, who garnered front page coverage in the British tabloid media when he and “wife” Caacie, pregnant with puppies, were photographed at a kennel during a six-month quarantine after returning home with Ike from Algiers.Dogs of War celebrates the unconditional, loving bond for man and his best friend, pays tribute to World War II history as our nation approaches the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and resurrects the tremendous thrill of a forbidden wartime romance. Fala, Willie, and are three incredible dogs who will undoubtedly capture the world’s heart!


Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond
by Larry McMurtry [Biography McMurtry]

In a lucid, brilliant work of nonfiction — as close to an autobiography as his readers are likely to get — Larry McMurtry has written a family portrait that also serves as a larger portrait of Texas itself, as it was and as it has become.

Using as a springboard an essay by the German literary critic Walter Benjamin that he first read in Archer City’s Dairy Queen, McMurtry examines the small-town way of life that big oil and big ranching have nearly destroyed. He praises the virtues of everything from a lime Dr. Pepper to the lost art of oral storytelling, and describes the brutal effect of the sheer vastness and emptiness of the Texas landscape on Texans, the decline of the cowboy, and the reality and the myth of the frontier.

McMurtry writes frankly and with deep feeling about his own experiences as a writer, a parent, and a heart patient, and he deftly lays bare the raw material that helped shape his life’s work: the creation of a vast, ambitious, fictional panorama of Texas in the past and the present. Throughout, McMurtry leaves his readers with constant reminders of his all-encompassing, boundless love of literature and books.


100 Photographs: The Most Influential Photos of All Time
by the Editors of Time Magazine [779.1 One]

Since its inception, TIME magazine has been synonymous not just with outstanding journalism, but also with outstanding photography. Now, to mark the 175th anniversary of photography and the birth of photojournalism, the Editors of TIME magazine are publishing this companion book to the groundbreaking digital celebration of photography that TIME.com will be mounting online, displaying the most influential photographs of all time.

While they may not be the most famous or well-known photographs, each one is unique for the way in which it changed, influenced, or commemorated a particular world event. From the first sports photograph to ever win the Pulitzer Prize – that of Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium to the photograph of Student Neda Agha-Soltan’s death during Iran’s 2009 election protests, each of the photographs in 100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time is significant in how it forever changed how we live, learn, communicate, and in many cases, view the world.


The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O’Neill [O’Neill]

With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans -in love with each other since they can remember-whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love. Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes -after years of searching and desperate poverty -the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same. With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.


Other KFOR Book Chat pages:

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