Science Fiction Fridays: 5 sci-fi reads that would make great summer blockbusters

extinctionExtinction by Mark Alpert
The Chinese military have created an artificial intelligence that is tired of being under the government’s thumb and only Jim Pierce, an ex-military officer, and his computer hacker daughter stand between mankind and total assimilation. This near-future thriller feels both cutting edge and frighteningly Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: 5 sci-fi reads that would make great summer blockbusters”

Science Fiction Fridays: Just for the thrill of it

Even though it is October, I don’t feel it’s quite time to unleash my lists of great horror science fiction and fantasy. But I’ve got a three great science fiction and fantasy thrillers that are sure to hit that reading sweet spot that always occurs (well, for me at least!) post-Labor Day but pre-Halloween. Make sure you don’t need to get a lot of sleep if you start these winners at night. Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: Just for the thrill of it”

If You Like Daniel Silva… (he’s coming to the Library!)

Come see #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva in conversation with Warren Etheredge at the Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium, at 7 p.m., Monday, July 23.

Daniel SilvaI love July for the warmth and light to read a good book in the evening on the porch, and the sure and certain knowledge that I’ll have another installment of Daniel Silva’s superlative series featuring Israeli spy and assassin cum art restorer Gabriel Allon. (This July The Fallen Angel takes us all inside the walls of the Vatican, where I expect a much more interesting and realistic experience than my last literary visit there – sorry Dan Brown). Whether he’s ferreting out art treasures stolen by the Nazis, facing off against Russian arms dealers, or infiltrating jihadist terrorists, Allon never fails to provide a convincing and compelling focus for beguiling and complex tales of international intrigue. Silva manages to combine all the fun of a series hero with the style and thought-provoking moral complexity that readers expect from literary fiction.

If you’ve never tried Silva, you’re in for a treat. If you have, and grow wearing of waiting for Allon’s next adventure, here are some other authors of stylish and complex espionage that may help you through the other ten months of the year.

  • A Very Private Gentleman, by Martin Booth. He dreams of retirement, collecting butterflies and finding love in a small Italian town. The deadly assassins who are his clients have another plan.
  • A Spy by Nature, by Charles Cummings. Promising young marketing consultant Alec Milius finds a novel way up the corporate ladder, by becoming a private sector spy.
  • Requiem for an Assassin, by Barry Eisler. John Rain is a seasoned professional assassin, but don’t think he doesn’t have his doubts. This is Rain’s sixth adventure: will it be his last?
  • The Good Son, by Michael Gruber. When a group of pacifists is kidnapped in Pakistan, psychologist Sonia tries to connect with her captors, while her son attempts to rescue her from without.
  • Bloodmoney, by David Ignatius. This look at private sector spies infiltrating Pakistani terrorists has Ignatius’ hallmark: authentic detail and complex real world intrigue.
  • Istanbul Passage, by Joseph Kanon. As World War II comes to a close, Leon Bauer is given one last job by the allies, to smuggle a refugee to safety. But is he a Nazi war criminal?
  • The Silent Oligarch, by Chris Morgan Jones. As the man who launders the money for a corrupt Russian minister, Richard Lock likes to keep out of sight, but lately he’s started to attract attention.
  • Timebomb, by Gerald Seymour. In Russia, everything’s for sale, so who was the highest bidder for a newly discovered suitcase nuke buried since the Cold War?

You’ll find more suggested titles right here in our catalog. Come join us on July 23 for Silva’s live interview with Warren Etheredge. Books will be for sale, and Silva will be signing. Oh, and here are some reading suggestions from Daniel Silva himself:

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Finding a Hit Man at your Public Library

Image of Man Reading courtesy of Pianetatschai via FlickrThe seasoned professionals at your library pride ourselves on helping our patrons with their every need. We are highly skilled at cleaning up messes and tying up loose ends, at rubbing out your troublesome irritations, and making problems go away. So we have a certain grudging admiration for the skilled operators seen plying their deadly trade in the following list of our favorite Hit Men in literature. Here, then, is our own lethal little version of Angie’s List:

  • Raven, from Graham Greene’s 1936 novel A Gun for Sale (aka This Gun for Hire). Stamped with a harelip that makes him rather too conspicuous for his line of work, this paid assassin is also a pitiable misfit. Caught in a losing game by chance and circumstance, betrayed by his shady employers and relentlessly pursued by the law, it is hard not to sympathize with this stone cold killer. Check out Alan Ladd’s classic portrayal of the cat-loving killer, in the 1942 film. Continue reading “Finding a Hit Man at your Public Library”

If you like Lee Child and his ‘Jack Reacher’ novels …

lee-child-sigrid-estradaJack Reacher, a consummate loner and star of Lee Child’s novels, is a thinking person’s action hero. Intelligent, witty and unencumbered by possessions, Reacher drifts into a new town and meets injustice head on. He’s equal measure Dirty Harry and James Bond, always outwitting his opponents.  Child’s swift, cinematic thrillers continue to be among the finest of our time.

Lee Child reads from Gone Tomorrow,  the 13th novel in the Jack Reacher series, on Tuesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library. If you’re a fan of Lee Child, you need no further enticement for this event, but you may be wondering what to read when you’re done with all 13 Reacher novels.

Consider these authors and titles for your summer reading:

Michael Connelly:
You can’t go wrong with any in the Harry Bosch (L.A. detective) series, but standouts include Echo Park and the most recent Bosch novel, The Brass Verdict.  I also loved The Lincoln Lawyer and The Scarecrow; as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with any of his novels (just head to “Connelly” in the Mystery and Fiction shelves).

Peter Abrahams: A terminal diagnosis leads Roy Valois to take a sneak peek at his New York Times obituary, where he encounters a Continue reading “If you like Lee Child and his ‘Jack Reacher’ novels …”