In 1988, Thomas Edison sued George Westinghouse over one word. For a billion dollars. Edison said that he owned the patent for the light bulb. Westinghouse stated that he owned the patent on a light bulb, and he hired newly-minted and untested Columbia Law School attorney Paul Cravath to sort it all out. Author Graham Moore mashes this historical fiction with a legal thriller and peppers it with real people - J.P. Morgan and the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla join Edison and Westinghouse in this fascinating look at ambition, science, high-society, and the race to light up America.
Vivienne Cally is thirty years old, charming, beautiful, and very wealthy - but in name only. The Cally name is an old and respected one in Houston oil-money society, but Vivienne must marry and marry very, very well if she wants to maintain her status. Preston Duffin is shirking his gentlemanly duty by pursuing his passion for architecture school. And while he's both known and loved Vivienne for most of his life, he finds himself both drawn and repelled by Texas tradition and the people who uphold it. This is a 'comedy of errors' novel, inspired by Edith Wharton's House of Mirth, and I found the peek into Houston's rather closed old-money society fascinating.
Celine is a successful Hollywood makeup artist, but on a trip home for the holidays she learns from her mother that her grandmother, Ondine, once cooked for Pablo Picasso who had hidden himself away in the south of France to re-inspire his art. Spurred on by both her mother's stories and hints of family secrets, Celine travels to France for both a rigorous cooking class and clues to her spirited grandmother's life and choices.
Aubray unrolls Celine and Ondine's stories in dual-time narrative, and her lush descriptions of both food and 1930s France are particularly lovely.
Cam Smith has it all - he's graduating from a prestigious prep school, has just been accepted to Princeton (the school of his dreams), and has a beautiful and brilliant girlfriend. Unfortunately, he also has a past. His real name is Skip O'Rourke and he comes from a family of...thieving weasels. And his Uncle Wonderful has just shown up at school to ask why Skip took off with $100,000 of the family 'earnings' to start his new life. And to strongly suggest that Skip assists with one last con...or Uncle Wonderful will turn Cam Smith back into Skip O'Rourke, who will not be invited to attend Princeton.
This YA novel is full of colorful characters and funny plot twists as Cam/Skip attempts to con the cons. And how much fun is the title? Hysterical.
My daughter and I share a (quite small) handful of mutual likes. But when it comes to style, my taste is definitely tailored and hers is....covered in glitter. Which leads to this book, which (not surprisingly) I didn't purchase for myself but as a little 'slip into a moving box' gift as she packs to return to school. It's a surprise, so please don't tell her. This is the first book by the popular British vlogger Louise Pentland, and is full of fun ideas for adding ease and happiness to one's life with tips on travel, crafting, beauty, decorating, and friendship. The writing is breezy, the illustrations are fun, and the book is altogether delightful - even to a pretty un-sparkly mother.
Pete Thorsen hadn't seen his flamboyant Army buddy in thirty years - until Jimmy Ray Evans showed up on his doorstep and uncharacteristically tried to keep a low profile, despite his ebullient personality and bright yellow vintage Cadillac DeVille. When Jimmy Ray is suddenly arrested for crimes he insists he didn't commit, Pete feels obligated by their former friendship to investigate, and finds himself enmeshed in a dirty plot to frame his friend. This is the sixth book in Wangard's Pete Thorsen series, which is set in the Crystal Lake area of Michigan. And since he was here for a signing, we have autographed copies!
Ruddy McCann is back - and so is Alan Lottner, former real estate agent, future father-in-law, and current voice in Ruddy's head. The hapless repo man now has a beautiful fiancee' and a job he's pretty good at. But his boss has died under odd circumstances, Katie suddenly needs some space, his newly-appointed court-ordered psychiatrist insists he take his meds, and a strange woman is telling him that the tragedy that derailed his football career and life may have been a lie - and Ruddy is just trying to juggle it all with the help of his lazy basset hound Jake and the assistance of Alan's running commentary. This is the second in Bruce Cameron's set-in-Kalkaska series, and it's just as fun and funny as the first. Be sure to stop by during Bruce's visit on Saturday, August 27th, from 11:30am until 1:30pm.
I picked up this little book with absolutely no prior experience with a physics class (disclaimer - I took a LOT of English lit in high school and as little science as possible. Also? Art major. No science there, either). Rovelli, a theoretical physicist, breaks down the art of physics into brief and easy to understand explanations as he covers the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, particles, gravity, and other fun subjects. The chapter on black holes? Mind blown. This was absolutely riveting.
Madeleine was trapped in a life she agreed to but never wanted. She tamps down her ambitions to paint by becoming a museum docent, and tries to live up to her domineering husband, critical mother, and memory of her elegant and reserved grandmother, but she begins to understand from where her black sheep tendencies come when she discovers her grandmother's diary and learns that she spent one brave, carefree, and exciting summer in 1920s Paris - supporting herself, writing in cafes, dreaming, falling in love, and inspiring Madeleine to embrace her own life and passions. If you missed Eleanor Brown's visit this week, we have signed copies of this charming and not-to-be-missed book.
An Amish settlement in rural upstate New York has long been headed by a charismatic but largely shadowy man, but when rumors of child endangerment start leaking out the traditionally closed society, the sheriff recruits Kate Burkholder - formerly Amish herself and still the Chief of Police of her hometown - to go undercover. Her boyfriend, State Agent John Tomasetti, is very much against the assignment, as Kate's communication and backup will be dangerously limited, but Kate knows her skill set is uniquely suited to infiltrating the secretive group. This is Castillo's eighth book in the series, and she still keeps her characters and mysteries fresh.
I used to reread my favorite books quite often, but that was before I began working here, and the advances, author visit titles, and new releases started piling up at an alarming rate. It's a great problem to have, but I rarely find time to revisit old and much-loved books. This week though, I've become eleven again as I indulge in the Anne series, and actually have gained a greater appreciation for the flowery descriptions and literary references I had no patience for as a preteen. But the red-haired orphan heroine is every bit as fanciful and charming, Prince Edward Island as beautiful, and Anne's nemesis-turned-true-love as clever and handsome as ever, and I will never ever get through chapter 37 without tears. Grab a childhood favorite - Anne or otherwise - and enjoy a visit with an old friend.