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The BookGossip

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March Mystery Madness

March 7, 2018

Who says that only basketball players can participate in March Madness? This month is the Elgin County Library’s Mystery March Madness! While the ice and snow is melting away and we are getting prepared for Spring, these variety of mystery books are the perfect solution to the transition. If you like psychological thrillers, suspense, twists, or mysteries that keep you guessing until the last page, these books are for you!

A missing child, a murder, and a community torn apart. This is a complicated story that shows off Lackberg's successful mix of soap opera and crime. When a four year old girl disappears in the woods just outside Fjllbacka, the community is horror struck, especially when they realize they could be harbouring a murderer in their midst. Thirty years ago, a young girl from the community went missing from the exact same spot and was later discovered murdered, coincidence? This story is irresistible for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

Anna has been trapped inside her home. She can’t bring herself to take a single step outside. No grocery shopping, no walking through the park, not even to pick up a package from the front stoop. Anna is agoraphobic (the extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places). When she witnesses an attack in the home across the street, no one believes her, not her neighbours, or even the police. Anna then begins to question herself… Was it the side effects of her medications? This fast-paced psychological thriller has a twist you’ll never see coming…

From the author of the best-selling novels “I Let You Go” and “I See You” comes a new psychological thriller. Anna Johnson is a new mother and desperately wishes her infant daughter could meet her own mother, Caroline. Both of Anna's parents, Caroline and Tom, committed suicide within months of each other, leaving behind a tragic loss and unanswered questions. As she struggles to understand why her seemingly happy, well-adjusted parents would end their lives, she begins to question whether it really happened at all. Most distressingly, someone else seems to think there's more to her parent's deaths and begins sending Anna cryptic clues that could lead to the truth, but is the truth even more horrible?

Crime thriller queen Lisa Gardner returns with the 9th book in the Detective D.D. Warren series. This mystery tells the story of a murder of a family. Juanita Baez, her two kids Lola and Manny, and her live-in boyfriend Charlie are shot to death in a home invasion. The only survivor is sixteen-year-old Roxy. The question is: was she lucky to escape or is she the killer? And, in any case, where is she? Detective D.D. Warren and Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl’s life, or bring her to justice. A great, entertaining crime read that crime fiction fans will absolutely enjoy.

“My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me, I'm in a coma, my husband doesn't love me any more, and sometimes I lie.” Amber wakes up but she can't move a muscle, not even to open her eyes. She soon realizes she's in a coma, totally lucid but unable to move. She can hear everything that is happening around her and gradually discovers she had a car accident and is in the hospital in a coma. She has no memory of the accident. What follows is a narrative by Amber, with the chapters alternating between the week before the accident and the current day with Amber trying to regain her memory and make sense of the conversations of the staff and family members who visit her. Interspersed among these two timelines are childhood diary entries. This must read thriller is full of multiple twists throughout the entire novel. This is one of those books that will mess with your head and have you thinking about it long after you have finished it.

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose” ~ Stephen King
The BookGossip

True Love

February 9, 2018

February has a nip in the air but these titles will warm your heart. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I have selected some books about true love – stories based on actual people and events. Cuddle up with your favourite drink, coziest blanket and read to your heart’s delight.

Mildred and Richard Loving embody the spirit of true love. The Lovings’ fight with the State of Virginia to be together is beautifully photographed in The Lovings: an intimate portrait with photographs by Grey Villet and text by Barbara Villet. If you wish to view a 2013 DVD documentary, we have The Loving story [DVD], an HBO Documentary directed by Nancy Buirski. Elgin County Library also has the 2017 movie Loving [DVD], written and directed by Jeff Nichols.

Based on an incredible true love story, this book is set during WWII. Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. wed after a whirlwind romance. With the horrors of war around them, they find it difficult to keep their marriage alive.

Inspired by a true story about love and friendship – and set during the 1909 Seattle world's fair – an orphaned young boy, moving from home to home is offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair in order to find a forever home. A madam of a brothel wins the raffle and the boy becomes a houseboy. He is befriended by the madam’s daughter and a young Japanese girl and finally gets the family he never had.

The story revolves around a young poet, Walter Scott in the early 1800’s Scotland. He falls in love with young Mina and believes this love will last forever until she rejects his marriage proposal. Walter leaves for London and meets a twenty-six year old Charlotte Carpenter. She believes she will never find love, being a Catholic-born Frenchwoman. As the story continues, the three collide and Walter has to decide between his first love or his best love.

This non-fiction title discusses the perfect fairy tale romance of anxious, heart pounding passion. The reader is guided to recognize loves complexities and decide for themselves how to love. What Love Is explores what it means to say "I love you."

Set in 15th century Italy: the beautiful Simonetta is educated and an ardent reader of poetry. Her beauty and brains make her desirable. She finds herself in a societal circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. Although she is married, her heart yearns for Botticelli. She and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
The BookGossip

New year, new aspirations!

January 11, 2018

As we get into the groove of 2018, many people take the fresh start of a new year to set goals and ambitions for things they would like to improve in their lives.  Among the most popular resolutions are those centered on health and wellness.  While many people aspire to new resolutions, few actually stick to that goal beyond February.  We’ve got lots of health and wellness books to keep you motivated and give you the tools you need to succeed!  Here are just a few…

This book covers all your health ambitions and describes how sleeping, eating, moving and thinking in a more conscious way can contribute to both a well balanced and healthier life.  Synthesizing modern and traditional approaches, Wells gives you small tools you can implement that ‘ripple’ into a bigger change.

If you want to learn to cook, Jamie Oliver is a fan favourite for recipes in the kitchen and his newest cookbook does not disappoint! Over 130 simple 5-ingredient recipes in a variety of categories for quick, easy and creative dishes.  Each is accompanied by a visual ingredient guide, serving size and nutritional information and the gorgeous photos are sure to inspire you and make your tummy rumble. 

The goal of setting a New Year’s resolution is to keep it!  Rubin has written extensively on happiness and habits and her newest book explains a personality framework that helps to make those things easier to attain.  Learn about your ‘tendency’ (are you an: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner or Rebel?) and how this will help you stick to your goals and help those around you reach their potential. 

If your goal in health is to be happier then you may want to take tips from the Danes (the happiest nation in the world).  In my opinion, anything that marries living well with getting cozy gets two big thumbs up!  Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) originates from the Norwegian word that means ‘well-being’.

“Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life.” --Goodreads

Want to alleviate stress, fatigue and negative emotions?  Start your wellness journey with the power of breath.  Coach Rebecca Dennis offers tips and exercises that she has used to help clients through anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem as well as to expand their creativity and improve sleep.  See how breathing more deeply can transform you into your best self!

Happy New Year!  We wish you health and happiness in 2018,
The BookGossip