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Library Happenings – More staff picks announced (Dec. 31, 2014 issue)

The library will close at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. We will be closed on Thursday, Jan. 1 and open our normal business hours on Friday and Saturday. We wish you all a happy and safe New Year!
Staff picks for 2014
Last week we unveiled two of our favorite books of the year. Now we will reveal the remainder, starting with Leanne’s choice. She calls this recent release the most respectful nod to Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, she has ever read.
Have you ever wondered whether authors of literary classics were inspired by current events the way some modern writers are? That is the premise behind Lynn Shepherd’s “Charles Maddox” novels. In Shepherd’s most recent opus, “The Pierced Heart”, the Victorian detective travels from England to Austria. A Baron Von Reisenberg, about whom very little is known, has offered a princely donation to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and Maddox is recruited to check him out.
When Maddox finally meets Reisenberg, he finds a gentleman with polished manners and a bent for scientific experimentation. Although there appears to be no evidence against the Baron, the nobleman is the subject of frightened rumors among the residents of his neighborhood. Maddox soon finds his sleep troubled by nightmares, and then the truth is revealed. He flees to London and discovers the city is reeling from a series of gruesome deaths. The victims have bite marks on their necks and have been drained of blood. Given his recent encounter with Baron Von Reisenberg, Maddox has an idea about what – or who – is responsible.
Since she is a fairly young library cat, Story chose one of her favorite tales from the books in our recent juvenile book order. Mice are endlessly fascinating to cats, and Creepella von Cacklefur is an “enchanting and mysterious mouse” whose father runs a funeral home. I suppose it should come as no surprise that she lives in a cemetery and drives a hearse. Creepella is an aspiring journalist who solves mysteries with the help of her pet bat, Bitewing. You can see how “Ride for Your Life!” by Geronimo Stilton would appeal to Story and to children in grades 2 through 4.
Leanne has just showed me another book that apparently has intrigued Story. It is “The Story Keeper” by Lisa Wingate. The title naturally appealed to her, but it was the quote on the cover that sealed the deal. Author Colleen Coble wrote about Wingate’s book “A novel of remarkable depth and power. Not since ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has a story impacted me like this.” I rather suspect Story will be stalking the stacks for Harper Lee’s novel next.