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Nancy's Notes - March 20, 2014

Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

NEIBORS is our library’s resource with which one can download audio and e-books to your computer, transfer to your e-book reader or portable MP3 player, or burn to a CD.  NEIBORS ( can be accessed with your library card.  Three titles can be checked out for a two week period of time.  The service is free, easy-to-use, and available anytime from anywhere.  The titles I am writing about this week are available through NEIBORS, but also are available at our library for those who prefer to hold a book in their hands!

Jonathan Kellerman has just released what is said to be his most stunning thriller to date.  Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel is crime fiction at its best, featuring hard-boiled cynical characters.  Psychologist and Police Consultant Dr. Alex Delaware finds himself in a toxic web of pathology when he becomes embroiled in a bizarre custody battle between the sophisticated and successful Dr. Constance Sykes and her sister.  Sykes v. Sykes erupts into cold, calculating murder with a growing number of victims.  When the little girl at the center of the case is kidnapped, Alex knows he must work with longtime friend Detective Milo Sturgis, braving many obstacles, in order to save an innocent life.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage is part literature and part memoir. In essay form, Ann Patchett tells stories from her childhood to the present day and from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one.  She covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, the joy and hard work of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.  She creates both a portrait and a philosophy of life.  She uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with the reader.  The happy marriage part proves to be metaphor as well as a fact.

Lastly, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) returns to fiction with the book, The Signature of All Things.  The reader is introduced to the Whittakers, a family of botanical explorers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Henry Whittaker is born a poor Englishman,but manages to amass great wealth by the time his daughter, Alma, is born in the 1800 new world.  Ultimately, Alma becomes a brilliant botanist herself.  As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with Ambrose Pike, a painter, who draws her in the exact opposite direction which is spiritual, divine, and magical.  Alma is a clear-minded scientist and Ambrose isan artist.  The unlikely couple finds common ground in their desperateneed to understand the workings of this world as well as the mechanisms behind all life.  The story takes the reader across the globe where he/she is introduced to unforgettable characters.  Most memorable, though, is Alma Whittaker, who was born in the Age of Enlightenment and lives well into the Industrial Revolution.Check out NEIBORS or stop in and see us (or, do both!)  Our library hours are: Monday through Wednesday:  Noon to 8:00; Thursday and Friday: 10am-5pm; Saturday:  10am - 3pm.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.