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Recent additions to our collection 


What’s New at Skidompha              February 2017

New Non-Fiction
Bunting, W.H. et al     Maine on Glass:  The early twentieth century in glass plate photography
It was a bustling time in Maine, from 1909 through the early 1950s, with boomtowns and migrant labor camps, people at work on farms and in factories, and a robust economy for lobstermen, loggers, ship builders, hoteliers, hunt/fish guides, quarry operators, school teachers, carpenters and ferrymen.  The activity is captured in 200 photographs in this book, selected from the tens of thousands of glass plate negatives created by the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast, Maine, America’s largest manufacturer of glass plate photo postcards.  The rare negatives are now housed at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.

Kyo, Maclear     Birds, Art, Life
A seeker of the exotic, the author was surprised to discover joy in the ordinary seasonal birds that find their way into view in city parks and harbors, along eaves and on wires.  In a world that values big and fast, she looks to the small, the steady, the slow accumulations of knowledge, and the lulls that leave room for contemplation. Peering into the inner landscape as much as the outer one, her deeply personal year-long inquiry explores big themes: love, waiting, regrets and endings.

Preston, Douglas     The Lost City of the Monkey God
Seventy-five years after a journalist returned from the Honduran interior with artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City rumored since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes to contain immense wealth, Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything:  a highly advanced, classified device that could map the terrain under the densest rain forest canopy.  In an unexplored valley ringed by mountains, that fligh revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis.  Was it the Lost City?

Calipari, John     Success Is the Only Option:  The art of coaching extreme talent
The Kentucky basketball coach highly regarded for his unparalleled ability to recruit the country’s top high-school talent distills his team-building methods in ways that will inspire CEOs, business owners, coaches, teachers and leaders of all kinds.  Character matters, in these lessons for anyone seeking to inspire talented individuals to reach for their best selves and contribute to a greater good.

Isenberg, Nancy     White Trash:  The 400-year untold history of class in America
A dimension of American culture since the time of the earliest British colonial settlement, the wretched and landless poor persist, exploding our comforting myths about equality and social mobility in America, about success guaranteed by hard work.  This book recounts the history of the poor, generation after generation, in the land of opportunity.

Ricca, Brad     Mrs. Sherlock Holmes:  The true story of New York City’s greatest female detective and the 1917 missing-girl case that captivated a nation
This true story of Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer who solved the famous cold case of an 18-year-old who disappeared in 1917, recounts her adventures as a traveling detective during a time when no women were practicing law or detection. Advocating for victims, she changed the way the country viewed the problem of missing girls,
and as the first female U.S. District Attorney made ground-breaking investigations into modern slavery.  

Vonn, Lindsey     Strong Is the New Beautiful
One of the best skiers in the world turns our focus away from losing pounds to building strong bodies.  She interweaves her training and diet regimen with compelling stories of growing up in small-town Minnesota, her love of skiing, the challenges she's faced—including injuries, illness, and depression—and her secrets to wellness, fitness, and recovery.  Supported by cutting-edge science and the latest studies on health and exercise, her plan is illustrated with dozens of workout shots and photos from her own collection.

New Fiction
Delaney, J.P.     The Girl Before  
After a traumatic assault, a young woman feels safe only at a minimalist-masterpiece of a house that comes at a price she can afford.  The only catch is that the architect/landlord has an extensive list of rules forbidding any personalization – no photos, no art – as he believes the space should transform the tenant, not vice versa. Once in, she soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to her in age and appearance. She recognizes that she follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

Woods, Stuart     Below the Belt
Newly ensconced in Santa Fe with a lovely female companion, an attorney receives a call from a friend requesting a delicate favor, one requiring him to step into the circle of a charming and ambitious gentleman with friends in high places.  But in the fickle circles of power, fortunes rise and fall on the turn of a dime, and it may be that the attorney will hold the key not just to one man’s fate, but to the fate of the nation.

Bohjalian, Chris     The Sleepwalker
When a Vermont mother who sleepwalks in ways both bizarre and devastating disappears early one morning, a search party combs the nearby woods.  The police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, which causes them to suspect that the woman is dead.  But one detective continues to call, continues to stop by the family’s home, and the daughter finds herself drawn to him. She asks herself why the detective knows so much about her mother, and why her mother left her bed only when her father was away, and if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Ryan, Dot     Hesterwine, Texas, 1943
Two young women, one black, one white, run out of bus ticket money in a small Texas town and are threatened by the bigoted sheriff.  They are rescued by elderly spinster sisters who take them to their once opulent old mansion. Turns out the sisters might lose their ancestral home to a calculating banker with an eye for their property and whose son-in-law, the sheriff (both men have ties to the Ku Klux Klan), helps him block every effort made by the young women and friends from town to earn money to pay the elderly sisters' mortgage. Meanwhile, a fifty-year-old rift between the elderly sisters simmers just beneath the surface, a rift generated by an unusual love triangle, a rift that will come to a shocking end.

Corridan, Shawn     Goliath
In the Bering Sea, on the largest oil tanker ever built, an engineer discovers a defect, seemingly minor, but one with disastrous potential. Despite his attempts, a fire erupts, contained at first, then rapidly spreading out of control, consuming the behemoth ship. A Mayday call alerts a ragtag crew some two hundred miles from the burning ship, who see this as an opportunity to save their failing salvage business. But another salvage company, the largest in northern Alaska, also hears the call, and a brutal race is on to claim the burning ship before it sinks or runs aground, contaminating the entire North Pacific Rim―and not only with oil.

Swanson, Peter     Her Every Fear
Suffering from full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life, a young London woman happily enters into a temporary apartment swap with her cousin on Beacon Hill in Boston.  Soon after arriving, she discovers that her cousin’s next-door neighbor has been murdered. When she encounters a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists her cousin did the deed on the night that he left for London, then finds disturbing objects hidden in the apartment, she begins to wonder whether her cousin is in fact a killer.  But the danger she imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what is about to happen.

Hawley, Noah     Before the Fall
On a foggy summer night, ten privileged people and one down-on-his-luck painter depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens, odd coincidences pointing to a conspiracy. As events spiral out of control, the fragile relationship between the painter and the young boy glows at the heart of the story, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Harris, Robert     Conclave
The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election to select a new pope. They are holy men, but men of ambition, men with rivals. Over the next 72 hours, after Machiavellian maneuvers to derail one contender after another during the Conclave, one must be elected, who will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

Saunders, George     Lincoln in the Bardo
In February 1862, with the Civil War less than one year old, fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, the boy dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery, and a grief-stricken Lincoln repeatedly returns, alone, to the crypt to hold his child’s body.  In this story, historical truth breaks free to produce a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over Lincoln’s son’s soul.

Block, Lawrence     Resume Speed
A man on his way by bus from North Dakota to Washington state is derailed by a Help Wanted sign in a diner.  Hoping to escape old demons, he takes the job, but the memories of his actions the night before will continue to haunt him.

Hulin, Rachel     Hey Harry, Hey Matilda
This is the story, told entirely in humorous e-mails, of fraternal twins as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship. She is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). He is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When she invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when her brother makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, the twins set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are.

New Mysteries
Sykes, S. D.     The Butcher Bird
In 14th-century England, with the feudal system in tatters after the Black Death has decimated the population, the superstitious survivors blame all bad fortune on ‘possessed’ women – from aristocratic ladies blocked from inheriting their family lands and titles, to impoverished mothers worn out from giving birth to too many children who are now dying of hunger.  The villagers’ fear engenders a rumor that a huge bird is killing children.  A reluctant young lord of the manor, fresh out of the monastery and clueless about running an estate, knows he must discover what is really happening in order to prevent innocent women from being punished, but can expect no help at all from his snobbish mother or scheming sister.

Hurwitz, Greg     The Nowhere Man
A former government assassin now living in anonymity who helps people with no one else to turn to is kidnapped and held in captivity by a wily fellow intending to sell the captive to whichever of his long list of enemies is willing to pay the highest dollar.  The captive, however, has other plans. And the captors have no idea they’ve locked themselves in with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on Earth.

Tursten, Helene     Who Watcheth
A woman is found dead in a cemetery, strangled and covered in plastic, just a few days after she received a flower, an unintelligible note, and a photograph of herself. A Swedish detective inspector and her colleagues have neither clue nor motive to pursue, and when similar murders follow, their search for the killer becomes increasingly desperate. Meanwhile, strange things have been going on at home for the d.i.:  first the rose bush in her garden is mangled, then she receives a threatening package with no return address. Is she being paranoid, or is she next on the killer’s list?

Gardner, Lisa     Right Behind You
When the call comes in of a double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon, a retired FBI profiler and his partner race to assist.  As they pursue the killer, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: that the shooter may very well be the brother of a 13-year-old girl the profiler is preparing to adopt.  Eight years previously, the boy beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives.  He was her hero.  Is he now a killer? 

Airth, Rennie     Death of Kings
On a hot summer day in 1938, a beautiful actress is murdered on the grand estate of a close friend of the Prince of Wales. The arrest of an ex-convict and his subsequent confession swiftly bring the case to a close, but in 1949, the reappearance of a jade necklace raises questions about the murder. Was the man convicted and executed the decade before truly guilty? A retired detective persuaded to investigate the case afresh will search the idyllic English countryside, the post-war streets of London, and the criminal underworld of the Chinese Triad to uncover the truth.

Gordon, Alexia     Murder in G Major
Stranded in the Irish countryside with no money to get home to Virginia, a musician takes a job at a local school, charged with turning a group of boys into a prize-winning orchestra in six weeks. House-sitting the former residence of a famous Irish composer, she feels inspired, but discovers that the composer’s ghost still inhabits the house.  He lets her know he wants her to solve the mystery of his death and his wife’s. Twenty five years earlier, he claims, he was poisoned and his wife thrown off the cliffs, but police never bothered to investigate.  It now appears that a long-dormant killer is stirring again.

Blair, Janie     Deadly Dog Days
An Indiana woman separating from her husband after four years does battle with her resentful mother-in-law, until a bigger problem emerges:  she discovers the body of a young woman in the town’s canal.  The victim had been seen with the woman’s estranged husband, and so she becomes the prime suspect.  Determined to exonerate herself, she teams up with a group of local eccentrics including the town drunk, an elderly kleptomaniac, a local handyman, and her estranged husband’s daughter.  She decides to adopt the victim’s five dogs, adding to the mayhem in her old house.  

Scott, Darcy     Matinicus
Steeped in Maine island lore, this century-spanning double mystery pits a renegade fishing community against an unhappy child bride of the 1820s, a conflicted twenty-first century teenager, and a hard-drinking botanist whose arrival on-island triggers a string of murders linked to an old diary whose secrets threaten to tear the island apart.

Turnbull, Peter     A Cold Case
A recently retired d.c. returns to Scotland Yard to look into a cold case, the murder of a 12-year-old boy whose body was left floating in a pond.  The d.c., a maverick not very concerned with the rules, will have to ruffle some feathers when he finds a connection between the dead boy and the brutal killing of a sex worker on that very same night.

Eldridge, William     Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess
Somewhere in Maine, a middle-aged woman with a hectic nursing career is having a serious temper tantrum:  she is drowning in family and work demands and hormones, and her doctor has just told her to cut out caffeine. Then, while attempting to do a good deed, her life spins out of control, and not even dark chocolate can fix the mess.

Perry, Thomas     The Old Man
A man seems to be a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most sixty-year-old widowers don’t have multiple driver’s licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and two Berettas stashed in a closet. He has spent decades on the run, because 35 years ago, as a hotshot in army intelligence, he made the wrong decision while covertly assisting a rebel army in Libya.  Just as he is now starting to feel safe, it becomes clear that someone wants him dead.  In memory of Parker Carey.

Barry, Brunonia     The Fifth Petal
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, married to a gifted lace reader, wonders if there is a connection between this death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night?  And again here and now?

New in Large Print
Colgan, Jenny     Little Beach Street Bakery
In a quiet seaside resort in Cornwall, an abandoned bakery and a small flat await a young woman arriving into town fleeing a ruined relationship. To keep her mind off her troubles, she throws herself into breadmaking, working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and local honey—courtesy of a neighboring beekeeper.  A very handsome neighboring beekeeper.

Moore, Liz      The Unseen World
Reared by her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston, a child, home-schooled, accompanies him to work every day.  By 12, she is a painfully shy prodigy.  As the lab begins to gain acclaim, her dad’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving the young woman virtually an orphan, she is taken in by her father’s colleague. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets, a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood, and into a virtual universe.

New Audiobooks
Coates, Ta-Nehisi     Between the World and Me
In a series of essays written as a letter to his son, the author confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history.  Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society.

Meyer, Stephanie     The Chemist
An employee of an agency so clandestine that it has no name is an expert in her field.  In spite of that, the agency  deems her a liability, and goes after her without warning. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat.  When her former handler offers her a way out, he realizes that it means taking one last job for her ex-employers.  And that will cause her to apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Burnett, Carol      In Such Good Company:  Eleven years of laughter, mayhem and fun in the sandbox
The popular entertainer recounts little-known stories of her guests, the sketches and antics that made her TV program legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive.  She traces the show’s evolution from its original conception to its final achievement as one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.

Wohlsdorf, Gina     Security
Someone is always watching as a gleaming new 20-story resort is constructed, a palace of opulence and unparalleled security for those who have the means to reside there.  That someone is determined the resort will never open.  First step:  to kill off the staff, one by one.

Mullen, Thomas     Darktown
Forced in 1948 to begin hiring black officers for the Atlanta Police, the departmental managers forbid the new cops to arrest white suspects or drive squad cars, or even use police headquarters – they must operate out of the basement of a gym.  When a black woman turns up fatally beaten, only the new officers seem to care.  They will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their lives to investigate her death and bring her some justice.

Ephron, Delia     Siracusa
When a well-known writer and a journalist, both from New York, travel to the sun-drenched coast of Italy with their friends from Maine (a couple and their daughter), it’s a matter of time before the journalist and the husband from Maine are drawn to each other.  As the story unfolds, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present.  The 10-year-old daughter, precociously drawn into an adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage.

New Films
Light Between Oceans          A lighthouse keeper and his radiant, spirited young bride live in bliss on a remote, rugged island off the coast of Australia. But their windswept world is turned upside down when they learn that she's unable to bear a child. One day, a drifting lifeboat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying baby. The dilemma the couple now face will echo far beyond the island, engulfing and irrevocably impacting their world, and that of a stranger, in a passionate story about love, hope, and a fateful choice.

The Islander          Off the coast of Maine, in families who have lived and worked the sea for generations, birthright is akin to law, and men (and now women) inherit their fishing territories. For one of these lobstermen, a tragic accident at sea, for which he is responsible, causes him to lose everything. After five years in prison he returns determined to win back his way of life, but now he is an outcast, his ex-wife wants nothing to do with him, and fishermen see him as a harbinger of bad luck. Only one man, an old, weathered and gruff fisherman, will give him a chance to become an Islander again.  In memory of Parker Carey.

Loving          This is the story of the couple behind the 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, which overturned laws against interracial marriage in the U.S. In 1958, in Virginia, interracial marriage was not just considered immoral to many: it was also illegal. At that time, a white man and black woman fell in love, got married, and were promptly arrested. They pushed their case all the way to the Supreme Court, and made history.

Lillies          A plunge into the harsh yet sometimes joyous and always vivid life among Liverpool's working class, this series is set just after WWI. A loyal and honorable family has lost one son in the war, a second was wounded and suffering from survivor's guilt, and the three sisters and a widower struggle to put food on the table while keeping their heads high. One sister dutifully runs the household, another works as a maid but longs to perform on stage, and the youngest sells corsets and trains for the Olympics. They do battle with poverty, passions, and disappointments, sustained by the fortifying power of family.

Shetland, Season 3          When a young man disappears on the overnight ferry to Shetland, a d.i. and his team embark on a challenging case that leads them from the suspicious, close-knit communities of the remote Shetland Islands to the detective's old stomping grounds in Glasgow. As they start to pick apart a complex conspiracy, the d.i. is aided by, and becomes romantically involved with, an enigmatic police official. All are unprepared for the ruthlessness of adversaries who are willing to sacrifice many lives to protect their own interests.

Denial          In this tense courtroom drama, a famed historian is sued for libel by a Holocaust denier. Speaking out against his falsification of history, she discovers that the stakes are higher than ever in the battle for historical truth. Now faced with a libel lawsuit in British court, she and her attorney have the heavy burden of proving that the Holocaust actually happened, in a riveting legal fight with stunning consequences.

Book and film descriptions are excerpted from dust jackets, publisher info, and book and film reviews.

If you’re in a book club, or would like to start one, take a look at our new “Book Club in a Bag.”  It’s a tote filled with 10 copies of the same book, along with a discussion leader’s guide, and the whole bag checks out on your library card like a book.  You have several titles to choose from.  Ask us about it!

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