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Karen Ostertag's blog

'Investigating Mysteries' cancelled this Monday

The "Investigating Mysteries" book group meeting for Monday, Nov. 10th has been cancelled due to a death in the family.

December's meeting will continue as scheduled.

Hair-Raising Horror: Tales to Terrify

terrified man - photospin 963_4483691With Halloween only a week away, I'm sure many readers are looking for that perfect book to get them into the spooky spirit. I have the ideal list-- a blood-chilling blend of recent and classic horror, thrillers, dark graphic novels, and even a little non-fiction.

Although... hm. I can't really call this a recommended reading list. To be honest, while many of these titles are critically-acclaimed masterworks of horror, I wouldn't personally recommend any of them. I'm a horror wimp, and I like being able to sleep at night.

Instead, let's call this a warning list. As in, WARNING: The books on this list are terrifying. No, I'll go even farther than that-- they're downright disturbing.  Epically creepy, and (in some cases) grotesquely gory. (That's another warning, by the way-- splatterpunk (which is as icky as it sounds) is well-represented here.)

In short: THESE BOOKS WILL MESS YOU UP.

Graphic Content

CBLDF BBW Jeff Smith posterEvery year, libraries and bookstores around the country set aside the last week in September for Banned Books Week.  In this week, we seek to remind everyone of the benefits of free and open access to information.  We underscore the dangers of censorship.  And we honor a right we never, ever want to lose: our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom to read. 

Young(ish) love: New Adult romance

A new, fast-growing category of romance has emerged in the last few years.  It's called "New Adult," and it's aimed at readers in their late teens to mid-twenties (college-aged to early adulthood). 

So, what exactly is a "New Adult"?  The protagonists in these books still bear some resemblance to their younger cousins in Young Adult romances-- they haven't entirely escaped the throes and drama of teen angst.  But they've achieved some distance from it, and gained the perspective and insight that younger characters often lack.  There's a marked change in maturity level, and the expected maturity of its readership. 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Reading Break

Black Friday is behind us at last, but alas! That only means the holiday shopping season is just ramping up for many of us.  Don't get me wrong-- I love to shop.  I love making lists (and checking them twice), and I love finding gifts for the special people in my life.  I enjoy all the other things that go with this time of year, too-- baking and decorating and special events.  (I could do without the traffic, but hey, that's Rockland for you.) 

What does bother me is the sense of a looming December deadline that seems to have grown with my adulthood. 

Graphically Novel

The teens did it first.  Then the children.  (Our younger collections have always been precocious.)  Now, at last, our adult collection graphic novels have broken free of the stacks! 

The collection's been given a new home (and room to grow) next to the Speculative Fiction paperbacks.  The books have a "Graphic Novel" label on the spine, and are shelved alphabetically by author (just like the prose novels).  New graphic novel acquisitions are now listed monthly on the New Speculative Fiction page.  Some things haven't changed: books about the medium-- artists' manuals, encyclopedias, reading guides, works about writers or artists, or literary criticism (yes, there really is literary criticism on Batman)-- are still under 741.5.

New Romance Fiction for October 2013

In paperback:

High Passion by Vivian Arend (2, Adrenaline) C, M, E
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley (1, Dream Man) C, M
Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger (1, Execution Underground) C, S, M
The Trouble with Being a Duke by Sophie Barnes (1, At the Kingsborough Ball) H
Blue Forever by Nina Bruhns (3, Men in Uniform) C, M
Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun C, E
Office Affair by Jess Dee C, E, M/F/M
High Octane Heroes: Erotic Romance for Women by Delilah Devlin, ed. C, E (Pbk-Romance High)
Winter of Wishes by Charlotte Hubbard (3, Seasons of the Heart) C, I

New Speculative Fiction for October 2013

New to our shelves:

Four Summoner's Tales by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry H (Horror Four)
      (contains Suffer the Children, Pipers, The Good-Natured Man, and Alive Day)
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (3, MaddAddam trilogy) SF, A
Box Office Poison by Phillipa Bornikova (2, Linnet Ellery) F, M, H
Big Egos by S. G. Browne SF
The Best Horror of the Year2013 by Ellen Datlow, ed. (5, Best Horror of the Year) H (Horror Best 2013)
Crucible by Troy Denning (Star Wars) SF
Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan (24, Dark/Carpathians) F, H, R

New Romance Fiction for September 2013

In paperback:

I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe (1, Prince Catchers) H, M
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh (2, The Survivor's Club) H
Burn by Maya Banks (3, The Breathless trilogy) C, E
Surrender to Sultry by Macy Beckett (3, Sultry Springs) C
Seduction in Silk by Jo Beverley (13, The Mallorens) H, S
A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clophon,
      Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher H, I (Pbk-Romance Bride)
      (contains And Then Came Spring, An Ever After Summer, Winter Wedding Bells, and Autumn's Angel)

New Speculative Fiction for September 2013

New to our shelves:

Omens by Kelley Armstrong (1, Cainsville/Omens and Shadows) F, M, R
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker F, A, R
New Earth by Ben Bova (15, Planet: The Grand Tour of the Universe) SF, M
Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets by Sam Cabot (a.k.a. Carlos Dews and S.J. Rozan) H, M, R
Undead and Unsure by MaryJanice Davidson (12, Queen Betsy) H, R
Wrath-Bearing Tree by James Enge (2, A Tournament of Shadows) F, M
Heaven's Fall by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt (3, Heaven's Shadow) SF, M (SF Goyer)
Quick Fix by Linda Grimes (2, In a Fix) F, M, R

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