Ian Fleming’s James Bond; John Le Carre’s George Smiley; Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne: the espionage shelves are packed with male spies by male writers. Which makes the following gripping titles and series penned by women a welcome change of pace.
Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht.
A different sort of spy story full of anticipation with an almost sultry atmosphere as we wait along with Vera Kelly. Set in 1960’s Buenos Aires, Knecht captures the classic Cold War struggle between the CIA and revolutionary, nationalist communists that personified an entire era. Interwoven within the story is how Vera Kelly found herself as a lone spy observing a dangerous coup. An utterly compelling read that is hard to put down. Continue reading “Women Spy Writers!”
February may be a short month, but it packs in a lot of new fiction releases. From quirky family sagas, to stories of immigrants at home and abroad, to some powerhouse fantasy novels, it’s a great month to find something you know you’ll love or to branch out in new directions. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, February 2019”
Coordinated by the American Library Association, each year a group of librarians from across the country form The Reading List Council with the goal to identify the year’s best books across eight genres. Here are the 2019 winners (for books published in 2018) in Adrenaline, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Women’s Fiction, plus the short list of runners up in each category. Find new titles in the genre you love, or branch out and find something new to try. You can also find this full list in our library catalog.
Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman
Managing CIA safe houses in 1979 West Berlin, Helen overhears a secret conversation that sends her on the run. Thirty-five years later, a tragedy leads Helen’s daughter to dig into her mother’s secret past, unaware that her mother’s old enemies are still watching. Continue reading “The best of genre reading in 2018”
Lisbeth Salander; Gone Girl‘s Amy Elliott-Dunne; Rachel Watson from The Girl on the Train: these are just a few of the latest in a long line of compelling antiheroines stretching back to the dawn of literature. Here are some of our favorites from the past few millennia.
For all their democratic ideals, the Ancient Athenians had a terror of strong women. Witness Medea. Was Jason madly in love with her, or was it just her Golden Fleece? He learns the hard way not to leave a witch in the lurch. For two strikingly different modern takes, try Crista Wolf’s Medea: A Modern Retelling or David Vann’s Bright Air Black. And then there’s Clytemnestra. Aeschylus’ play may be called Agamemnon, but it is his bloodthirsty wife-cum-widow who steals the show. To be fair, her husband sacrificed their daughter, and then went away for a decade; it was never going to be a warm homecoming. Colm Tóibín provides a haunting, poetic retelling in The House of Names. Continue reading “Beyond “Bad Girls” – Great Antiheroines of Literature”
There’s something about cold weather and dark nights that make me want to find a book full of snow and curl up on the couch. If you feel the same, check out one of these recent titles.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – In early 1900s Russia, young Vasya roams her father’s rural estate on the edge of the forest, communing with the spirits of her house and woods. When her father remarries, her devout stepmother Anna prohibits the family from practicing the rites that honor the household spirits. As the town priest supports Anna and the townfolk follow their lead, the helpful spirits weaken and the frost-king returns, with only Vasya capable of helping. Continue reading “Winter Reads”