by Kerry Hanahan,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Author Louise ErdrichOn Tuesday, September 9, 2014, the PEN American Center announced Louise Erdrich as the winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow prize. The prize is for lifetime achievement in America literature and includes a $25,000 cash award. Judges included authors E.L. Doctorow, Zadie Smith, and Edwidge Danticat. Erdrich’s most recent novel, The Round House, won the National Book Award for fiction in 2012.

The Plague of Doves
DB 66886 / CL 15276
The long-ago murder of a white family and subsequent mob lynching of innocent Native Americans still haunt the town of Pluto, North Dakota, and the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Evelina, her grandfather Mooshum, Judge Coutts, and Doctor Lochran, whose lives intertwine, are unknowingly affected by the past. Some violence. Bestseller. 2008.

The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories, 1978-2008
DB 69544 / CL 14387
Thirty-six tales by award-winning novelist Erdrich. In “Knives” a homely, thirtysomething butcher’s assistant has an affair with an unsuccessful, unstable traveling salesman. Includes “The Fat Man’s Race,” “Father’s Milk,” “Naked Woman Playing Chopin,” “Pounding the Dog,” and the title story. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2009.Cover for The Round House

The Round House
DB 75641
North Dakota, 1988. Thirteen-year-old Joe Coutts’s mother Geraldine, a tribal enrollment specialist, is brutally raped at the Ojibwe Round House. Joe and his father, a judge, each search for Geraldine’s attacker to bring him to justice. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. National Book Award. Bestseller. 2012.

Best of BARD: August 2014

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Sandford vs. Coulter. Brown vs. Evanovich. McKenzie waiting in the wings, jumping at the chance to join the elites in this month’s Top Five. The heavy hitters kept King Patterson away from the crown for the second month in the row, as us adventure readers kept it up with the latest Lucas Davenport by Sandford, and Evanovich’s most recent Stephanie Plum antics. Throw in a couple classics (The Maze making a repeat appearance, despite being 17 years old!), and an unknown like McKenzie in the loop and we got ourselves a fine looking booklist. Keep up the reading, keep up the BARDin’, and let’s find out what September downloads hold in store for us next time in the Top Five.

Field of Prey
by John Sandford
DB 78933/ CL 15350
Lucas Davenport and other BCA agents work with local law enforcement after the discovery of several bodies in an abandoned Minnesota farmyard cistern–the work of a local serial killer who has been murdering one victim every summer for years. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2014.

The Maze
by Catherine Coulter
DB 44814/ CL 6509
FBI Agent Lacey Sherlock gave up her goal of becoming a concert pianist seven years ago when her sister Belinda was murdered by a serial killer. Now a member of Dillon Savich’s special FBI unit, Lacey can spend her free time investigating her sister’s case. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1997.

The WitnessCover for The Witness by Brown
by Sandra Brown
DB 40616/ CL 5696
After the crash, Kendall Deaton takes her baby to safety and then drags the driver out of the car. When he awakens with amnesia, Kendall claims he is her husband. He realizes she is probably lying and appears to be running from someone, so he decides to stick close to her. Meanwhile, Kendall thinks back over the bizarre, frightening months she spent after marrying into the Burnwood family. Strong language, violence, and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1995.

Top Secret Twenty-One: a Stephanie Plum Novel
by Janet Evanovich
DB 78831/ CL 15376
New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer Jimmy Poletti was caught selling a lot more than used cars. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. But leads keep turning into dead bodies. UNRATED. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

by Grant McKenzie
DB 79078
Security guard Sam White’s life falls apart when he arrives home to a smoking ruin with the bodies of his wife and daughter inside. Then he receives a phone call from a stranger who claims that his wife and child are actually alive and Sam can still save them. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2008.

The Man With Two Hats

by Amanda Johnson,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Have you read anything by John Irving? When someone ordered A Prayer for Owen Meany (DB 29012) last week, I flashed back. I was surprised that I had forgotten about him.

Author John Irving poses at his desk

I read many of Irving’s books over ten years ago and considered him a favorite author in my late teens. I remember his characters as complicated, compelling, and full of layers.  I never knew what to expect or where the plot would go. Irving’s books took me to metropolis India, to a logging town in New Hampshire, and into the internal conflicts of a number of troubled writers and grappling adolescents.  It was all compelling fiction. I was disappointed only once, near the end of Last Night in Twisted River, when the story turned too fantastic for my taste.

Recently, I learned that when he wasn’t busy maneuvering through plot lines in his books, Irving was out maneuvering men on the mat. According to his website, John Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. The Hall of Fame has a category for Outstanding Americans, people who came from a foundation of discipline in wrestling and went on to excel in another discipline, such as writing.  Two of his books feature wrestling coaches or enthusiasts, and one of those is The World According to Garp.

The World According to Garp
DB 11764 
The fictional life and times of T.S. Garp, famous writer and son of Jenny, an early feminist leader. Named after a father he never sees, Garp grows up to be a fiercely independent, determined individual and his mother’s equal. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

The Cider House Rules
DB 21531
Set in rural Maine at the turn of the century, this is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, saint, obstetrician, orphanage director, ether addict, and abortionist. His medical practices are hindered and abetted by his favorite orphan, Homer Wells. The novel is based on documents left by the author’s physician grandfather. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 1985.

Last Night in Twisted River
DB 70798
Dominic Baciagalupo and his twelve-year-old son Danny live in a New Hampshire logging camp where Dominic cooks for the crew. When Danny accidentally kills someone, the two begin a nomadic life. Danny eventually attends college and becomes a writer, using their experiences as plots. Strong language. 2009.

Books for the Dogs

by Kerry Hanahan,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Service dog patch

September is National Service Dog Month!  It was founded in 2008, inspired by American actor Dick Van Patten‘s trip to Guide Dogs of the Desert ( California. Here are some great books we have about guide dogs:

Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan! A Love Story
by Lloyd Burlingame
DB 75550
Blind Broadway set designer and artist Burlingame adopts the point of view of his dogs, Hickory and Kemp, to recount their adventures in New York City. Describes training at The Seeing Eye guide-dog school, and includes e-mails exchanged between Hickory, near the end of his service, and successor Kemp. 2012.

Confessions of a Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind
by Mark Carlson and Musket
DB 75126
Author recounts how, like his father and brother, he gradually became legally blind because of retinitis pigmentosa. Describes the relationship that developed between him and his guide dog Musket and the work and home life they have shared since meeting in 2002. 2011.

Cover for Thunder Dog by HingsonThunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero
by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory
DB 73300
Michael Hingson, an executive who worked in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, recounts his escape after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Hingson, blind since birth, describes what he and his guide dog Roselle experienced as she led him down seventy-eight flights of stairs to safety. 2011.

America’s Game

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Dear readers, tonight marks the much hyped and anticipated return of “America’s Game”, more commonly referred to in decent households as the NFL, or simply put, football. The Seattle Seahawks look to defend their Super Bowl title, which is very rarely done in the modern age, while our respective Pennsylvania teams the Steelers and the Eagles are on the rebound from disappointing ends to the previous season. Football is a complicated time for me, as it is marks the end of the baseball season and not quite the beginning of hockey (my personal bread and butter of sport), so perhaps I need to get more in the spirit with a couple good reads on the history and lore of the game. I’ll start here. Hut one:

Fireworks go off over Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ before a football game
Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football
by Nicholas Dawidoff
DB 77752
Reporter Dawidoff chronicles the year he spent with the New York Jets, when he attempted to portray day-to-day life in the National Football League. Describes scouting, the draft, practices, and strategy meetings. Discusses the personalities of the general manager, coaches, and players. UNRATED. Commercial audiobook. 2013.

The Best Game Ever: Giants Vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL
by Mark BowdenCover for The Best Game Ever by Bowden
DB 67157
A play-by-play account of the December 28, 1958, NFL championship between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts, the first-ever overtime game to be broadcast on national television. Highlights players such as Frank Gifford and Johnny Unitas and describes the game’s effect on football’s popularity. Some strong language. 2008.

Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity
by Drew Brees
DB 71908
NFL quarterback Drew Brees describes overcoming obstacles to achieve professional and personal success. Discusses his mother’s suicide, the potentially career-ending shoulder injury he sustained while playing for the San Diego Chargers, and his role in delivering the Saints’ Super Bowl victory as New Orleans recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Bestseller. 2010.

Go Steelers.

Labor Day

A reminder that LBPH will be closed on Monday, September 1st in celebration of Labor Day. We resume normal hours for the rest of the week on Tuesday the 2nd.

Further BARD Maintenance

A further update from NLS concerning BARD users:

BARD is currently offline for system maintenance. We’re still working on the problem some folks are having with BARD mobile playing downloaded materials. The problem was a consequence of the system outage this weekend. We do not have an estimate right now when BARD will be back on line, but we are working on the problem with the utmost of urgency.