RHC Nighstand Titles

Posted on January 23, 2013. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

During Spring Orientation week at Oakton Community College in Skokie, many of the employees of the college met to discuss what they are reading at our “What’s on My Nightstand”. These are the books that were discussed.

Remember, if Oakton doesn’t own the book or our copy is checked out,  you can order a copy to be sent from one of our consortium libraries for FREE! Most books take less than a week to arrive.

Fiction Titles

book cover for A Dark and Lonely PlaceA Dark and Lonely Place
by Edna Buchanan

“A century ago, when Indians and alligators roamed frontier Miami, the legendary John Ashley was accused of murder and sentenced to hang. He went on the run with his sweetheart, Laura. Their crime spree lasted years longer and became far more deadly than the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde a decade later. This is their true story of prison breaks, bootlegging, bank robberies, and piracy on the high seas.

Their saga of love, passion, and violence is juxtaposed with the story of their fictional descendants who share the same love and dangers a hundred years later. In today’s Miami, Homicide Sergeant John Ashley investigates a millionaire’s spectacular murder and instantly recognizes a stunning model linked to the case as the girl who has haunted his dreams since childhood. The homicide case goes bad, Ashley is falsely accused of murder, and the new lovers go on the run as history repeats itself. The question is, how powerful is the past?” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for DreadnoughtDreadnought
by Carrie Priest

“Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy’s husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she’ll catch a train over the Rockies and – if the telegram can be believed – be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.

Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.

What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can’t imagine why they’re so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?

Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she’ll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Fox TracksFox Tracks
series: Sister Jane Foxhunting, #8
by Rita Mae Brown

“While outside on Manhattan’s Midtown streets a fierce snowstorm rages ferociously, nothing can dampen the excitement inside the elegant ballroom of Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel. Hunt clubs from all over North America have gathered for their annual gala, and nobody is in higher spirits than Sister Jane, Master of the Jefferson Hunt in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Braving the foul weather, Sister and her boyfriend, Gray Lorillard, pop out to purchase cigars for the celebration at a nearby tobacco shop, finding themselves regaled by the colorful stories of its eccentric proprietor, Achilles Alonzo. Yet the trip’s festive mood goes to ground the next morning with the grisly discovery of Alonzo’s corpse. The tobacconist was shot in the head but found, oddly enough, with a cigarette pack of Smoky Mountain Smokes laid carefully over his heart.

When a similar murder occurs in Washington, D.C., Sister’s horse sense tells her there’s a nefarious plot afoot, one that’s winding its way from the South’s aromatic tobacco farms to the wood-paneled boardrooms of power brokers hellbent on profit. When Sister voices her suspicions, she too becomes a target. Fortunately for her, the Master of the Jefferson Hunt may rely upon the wits and wiles of her four-legged friend – including horses Keepsake and Lafayette, and even the crabby fox Aunt Netty!” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for GyppedGypped
series: Regan Reilly Myster, #18
by Carol Higgins Clark

“When Regan Reilly returned to the West Coast, where she began her career as a PI, she never imagined that her unsuccessful appearance on a game show seven years earlier would throw her trip totally off course!

Regan Reilly is in Los Angeles with her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. After Jack finishes his meetings with the LAPD, the couple may head north to the wine country, or may head south to Baja. Their only plan is to see which way the wind blows.

The first day back, Regan goes shopping at an upscale new mall in West Hollywood. To her surprise, she runs into Zelda, a woman she’d become friendly with seven years before at a television studio in Burbank, when they were waiting to appear on the game show Puzzling Words. They haven’t seen each other since.

Zelda and Regan didn’t win much money, but Zelda made up for it! A year ago an elderly neighbor she barely knew left Zelda eight million dollars. She has been enjoying her newfound wealth but is aware of the need to give back. At a recent fundraiser, she bid on a week’s stay in an old Hollywood Hills estate and was the lucky winner. She’s currently in residence there and invites Regan to a party at the mansion.

While Jack attends a business dinner, Regan goes to Zelda’s by herself, unaware that she is being followed. Regan is more than surprised at the run-down condition of the house and grounds. People should be paid to stay here, she thinks. Zelda introduces Regan to a colorful cast of characters, including her old neighbors, friends from her yoga class, a filmmaker, Zelda’s financial adviser, her bookkeeper, and her personal assistant. It’s all good fun. As the guests are leaving, Zelda asks Regan to stay for a cup of tea. They’ve barely sat down to chat when Zelda falls ill. A worried Regan doesn’t want to leave Zelda alone and decides to spend the night at the isolated, aging estate. It’s not long before Zelda asks Regan to investigate people in her life, starting with her father’s new wife, Bobby Jo. The couple said “I do” in the back of a cab at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas after only three months of togetherness.

Has Zelda’s windfall put her in danger? Regan is determined to find out, not knowing that she’s a target herself!” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for postmistressThe Postmistress
by Sarah Blake

“Filled with stunning parallels to today’s world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.

On the eve of the United States’s entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn’t deliver a letter.

In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.

The residents of Franklin think the war can’t touch them- but as Frankie’s radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen.

The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during war­time, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Monday the Rabbie Took OffMonday The Rabbi Took Off
series: Rabbi Small, #4
by Harry  Kemelman

“Monday takes Rabbi David Small on a private exodus to Israel for a much needed rest. But as usual, trouble follows the Rabbi. While his congregation at home is busy plotting his dismissal, the Rabbi is up against the Wall – in an international incident involving a young American student, Israeli intelligence, and a group of Arab terrorists with murder on their minds . . .” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Oscar Wilde and a Game Called MurderOscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder
series: Oscar Wilde, #2
by Gyles Brandreth

“It’s 1892, and Wilde is the toast of London, riding high on the success of his play Lady Windemere’s Fan. While celebrating with friends at a dinner party he conjures up a game called “murder” that poses the question: Who would you most like to kill? Wilde and friends – including Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and poet Robert Sherard (the novel’s narrator) – write the names of their “victims” on pieces of paper and choose them one by one. After leaving the party, Wilde scoffs at the suggestion that he may have instigated a very dangerous game indeed….

The very next day, the game takes an all-too-sinister turn when the first “victim” turns up dead. Soon Wilde and his band of amateur detectives must travel through the realms of politics, theatre, and even boxing to unearth whose misguided passions have the potential to become deadly poisons…not only for the perpetrator of the seemingly perfect crimes but also for the trio of detectives investigating them” (Barnes and Noble).

book cover for Seize the DaySeize the Day
by Saul Bellow

‘Fading charmer Tommy Wilhelm has reached his day of reckoning and is scared. In his forties, he still retains a boyish impetuousness that has brought him to the brink of chaos: He is separated from his wife and children, at odds with his vain, successful father, failed in his acting career (a Hollywood agent once cast him as the “type that loses the girl”), and in a financial mess.

In the course of one climactic day he reviews his past mistakes and spiritual malaise, until a mysterious, philosophizing con man grants him a glorious, illuminating moment of truth and understanding, and offers him one last hope…” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead
by Robert Kirkman
illustrated by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, and Tony Moore

“An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled. There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV.

Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Non-Fiction Titles

book cover for ImagineImagine: How Creativity Works
by Jonah Lehrer

“Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration, and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.

You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation. Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind, and its essential role in our increasingly complex world” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilMidnight in The Garden of Good And Evil
by John Berendt

“Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.

John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Sky's the LimitThe Sky’s The Limit
by Wayne Dyer

“Dr. Dyer first puts into words, the reasons why you set limits on anything you want or need to do. He then, through examples in nature, physics, and common sense, makes the most valid arguments as to why ANYONE can remove those limits, and not only achieve, but grow. The book is not religious, but it is spiritual in an almost cosmic sense. Beware, this book may cause you to change the way you live and look at life, in a way that most people only dream of” (Amazon).

book cover for Transformed!Transformed!: The Science of Spectacular Living
by Judith Wright

“In the radical new book Transformed!, bestselling author Dr. Judith Wright and acclaimed speaker Dr. Bob Wright explore how individuals can achieve lifelong transformation—in their careers, their relationships, and their lives.

Transformed! integrates cutting-edge findings across many fields with groundbreaking research about the highest performing students at the Wright’s internationally recognized leadership training institute, who didn’t just make exceptional improvements in their lives but took remarkable leaps forward. This study, combined with over 30 years of feedback and program development, is crafted into an effective and compelling six-phase process for growth and transformation, the heart of which is a person’s deepest yearning and the pathway to finding it.

Providing a powerful breakthrough to understanding why most self-help and personal development programs don’t work, Transformed! profiles individuals who have attained deep fulfillment in every aspect of life and illustrates how anyone, by following this proven process, can achieve lasting, revolutionary transformation” (Barnes and Noble).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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Ha Ha, RHC reads more than DP. We won.

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