Sunday, July 24, 2011

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

In the not-too-distant future, the first true artificial intelligence, Archos. awaken. in a computer research center in northwest Washington State and decides that humanity's dominion over the planet has ended and the time of the machine has begun. Archos, unlike SkyNet in the Terminator movies, prefers more mundane but creepier methods: instead of using cyborg Arnold Schwarzeneggers as instruments of destruction, Archos relies on children's toys, battlefield pacification units, domestic service robots, and pleasure dolls to do its dirty work. In one unsettling scene, a little girls Baby-Comes-Alive doll tries to get out of the toy box so it can massacre the entire family.

But even in the face of almost certain defeat against the growing hordes of electronic killers in the New War, humanity unites to kick some serious robot butt. The author, who holds a doctorate in robotics, shows great promise as a worthy successor to Michael Crichton as Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes.

--Gannon, Michae. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Friday, July 22, 2011

Then Came You: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner

A modern day fairy tale.....

"Weiner's latest outing chronicles the plight of four women who are brought together when one of them decides to have a baby. At 43, India knows her hopes of having a child naturally are slim, and the in vitro fertilization she and her older, wealthy husband, Marcus, have been trying isn't working. So India and Marcus decide to go another route: they select an egg from a donor and choose a surrogate to carry the baby. Weiner introduces us to both: Jules is a stunning college student who decides to donate her eggs so she can pay for her father to go to rehab, and Annie, a young mother of two, chooses to become a surrogate to help support her family. The only one not happy with India's plan is Bettina, Marcus' adult daughter, who is secretly hoping her parents will reunite. In this warm and winning yarn, Weiner draws readers into the lives of each woman, and brings them together in an unexpected and ultimately rewarding way."

~ -Huntley, Kristin. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel by S. J. Watson

"Forty-seven-year-old Christine Lucas awakens each morning believing she is still in her twenties and single. She suffered a terrible accident that has severely impaired her memory. She doesn't recognize Ben, the man who tells her he is her husband; she doesn't remember that she had a son; and, worst of all, she does not feel comfortable in her own skin, appalled by her wrinkled face and old-lady clothes.

But it turns out she has been getting some help with her memory problem. Dr. Nash calls her every day after Ben leaves for work to tell her where to retrieve her journal, which contains key details about her previous life and work. The most upsetting thing she learns from her journal, however, is that certain facts don't match the story Ben has been telling her. But how can she be sure he is deceiving her when she can barely hold on to the threads of her own life? This mesmerizing, skillfully written debut novel from a British author works on multiple levels. It is both an affecting portrait of the profound impact of a debilitating illness and a pulse-pounding thriller whose outcome no one could predict."

--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

Note: Also available in large print.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Kirkus Reviews named Tolstoy and the Purple Chair an outstanding debut novel of 2011 and gave it a starred review: “This celebration of the richness of reading will reward anyone who loves to read…Intelligent, insightful and eloquent, Sankovitch takes the reader on the literary journey…even the well-read reader will be inspired to explore some of the books from this magical year.”

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

"When Sankovitch lost her older sister to cancer, she was determined to "live her life double" in order to make up for her family's painful loss. But after three years spent at a frenetic pace, Sankovitch decided to slow down and rediscover the pleasure of books in order to reconnect with the memory of her sister. Despite the day-to-day responsibilities of raising four sons-and the holidays, vacations, and sudden illnesses that accompany a large family-Sankovitch vowed to read one book a day for an entire year and blog about it. In this entertaining bibliophile's dream, Sankovitch (who launched and was profiled in the New York Times) found that her "year of magical reading" was "not a way to rid myself of sorrow but a way to absorb it." As well as being an homage to her sister and their family of readers, Sankovitch's memoir speaks to the power that books can have over our daily lives. Sankovitch champions the act of reading not as an indulgence but as a necessity, and will make the perfect gift from one bookworm to another."

~ Publishers Weekly, (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved