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Archive for September, 2012

In the ever evolving world of eBooks and eBook devices, there’s always a new way to go about acquiring and/or reading them. Nancy C. shared this site that has a new approach toward getting indie published books by new ebook writers into the hands of potential readers. The site is called StoryBundle, and the basic idea is to bundle stories from the same genre or by a theme together and then leave it up to the user to pay what they want to for the stories and for the user to decide how much of what they pay should go to the authors or to StoryBundle! The current “Bundle” features The Second Degree Bundle — seven crime stories and thrillers. Also, fyi — there is no digital rights software on these ebook files. Click on their logo to check this out

(There’s a link on their page called “What is StoryBundle” to read what they have to say about themselves. Could be fun!

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Murder Among Friends News FlashThe Awards page has been updated to not only give you the list of 2012 Anthony Award nominees in each category — but links to Lisle Library’s copies of these books, as well as links to the authors’ web sites! The Anthony Awards are given out at the Bouchercon — also known as the World Crime Convention, which honors all forms of mystery genres: Private Eye, Thriller, Amateur Detective, Traditional, Police Procedurals , etc. They are named for venerated mystery critic and author, Anthony Boucher, who is also the source for the name Bouchercon. You can learn more about the con and Anthony Boucher by going to either the Awards tab and clicking on the Bouchercon 2012 logo, or by going to our Mystery Cons tab and clicking the logo link there. Click our NewsFlash icon to go to the top of the Anthony Award Nominee list if you want to go there now!

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And the Lisle Patch has helped to spread the word! Click on our HorrorWeen graphic to get see the article and get the details on each of the classic horror movies specialist Richard Flint will be showing and talking about at Lisle Library. HorrorWeen Classic Monster Movie graphic

Click here to go to our web calendar, to see which films Richard will be presenting in October and when.

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Robert B. Parker

Proving once again that he can draw an audience, there were quite a few of us – including some new faces! — at the discussion on Robert B. Parker’s The Godwulf Manuscript.  For some, reading the book was a nice opportunity to revisit a favorite author, while others were reading the book and learning about the author for the first time. We talked about the world Spenser entered in the mid-1970s and how Parker’s use of details really helped the urban Boston university campus (loosely based on Northeastern where he was an English professor) come to life. Some found this kept the story from being more fast-paced, but all agreed it was a very fast and enjoyable read.

In the course of solving the case, Spenser occasionally acts more violently than he’s comfortable with – and it preys on his conscience.  We read a quote from the scene where Spenser has smacked a college student to get key information.  Spenser goes to a restaurant to get something to eat:

“Halfway through my steak I caught sight of myself in the mirror above the bar. I looked like someone who ought to eat alone. I didn’t look in the mirror again.”  So we explored the question: Does Spenser deserves to eat alone?

The answer was a resounding “no”.  In fact, the highlight for all was in the character of Spenser himself. We meet him for the first time in this novel, and his key traits are fully realized here: smart, smart-alec, tough yet caring – and always following his own code to get to the resolution that matters to him. In this case, it is saving the young female co-ed who has been arrested for a murder she did not commit.  During the course of the case he may do things that don’t sit right with his conscience – but that conscience is what keeps him this side of vigilantism. We also speculated that knowing that Spenser has a code and conscience is what enables Quirk to – cautiously – become friends with Spenser. We talked about the partnership they form helping both to give information and work with each other in ways that let them maintain their respective positions. We also noted that when Hawk enters the scene – he dances a lot closer to the edge of vigilante than either Spenser or Quirk are willing to go. We agreed that adding Hawk especially, but Susan too — added unique layers to the classic, Chandler-inspired P.I. that this initial Spenser lacked, and that together they keep Spenser a viable and interesting character to read through the rest of this very long and successful series.

We noted that Spenser for Hire, the TV series based on the books, was a fun series – but that we thought Parker himself looked more like Spenser that Robert Urich (though several folks are very fond of him too!) We also thought the fact that there was a spin-off “A Man Called Hawk” spoke to Parker’s skill in creating memorable and strong secondary characters, as well as actor Avery Brooks’s ability to channel Hawk.

Fondness for the characters and the sad loss of Robert B. Parker led to a lively exchange on whether or not publishers and estates should have someone else continue a series or not.  Several members strongly felt that only the original author should write stories using these characters, and that the voice of a different author can never be the same as the author who created them.  It was acknowledged – though not universally agreed with – that there are readers (who make it worth the estates’ and publishers’ time) who love the characters so much, that they are willing to read new stories by a new author that feature them.  We all agreed that if the quality isn’t good enough, these readers won’t stay with the series either.

The entire group came away from the book with a fondness for Spenser. New readers are planning to continue the series, and others relating how they’ve followed Spenser through the end of the books written by Parker and are glad that they did.

Are you a Spenser fan? We welcome your comments too!

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Murder Among Friends News Flash Chicago author, Jamie Freveletti has just confirmed that she will indeed be joining us on Thursday, Oct. 18th for our discussion on Running From The Devil and to talk about her latest venture into the world of Robert Ludlum’s Cover One through her just released novel, The Janus Reprisal.
Our discussion on Running from the Devil will begin at 7:00 p.m. when we will discuss all of the book [and its possible “spoilers”]. We’ve asked Jamie to join us at 7:30— at which point we will open discussion to all patrons. So if you want to talk about the ending, or other revealing pieces about the story or characters, bring it up during the 7:00 – 7:30 group-only time.  We’re also arranging to have copies of Jamie’s books available for everyone to purchase and have her sign them!This meeting is also special because of its location — we’ll meet in the YS Activity Room upstairs in Youth Services (YS).  (The library will be having the Fall Book Sale starting that Thursday.) The room is just beyond the YS internet computers, and shares a wall with them. Staff can direct you to it as well.

Jamie Freveletti

Click on Jamie’s photo to check out her web site!

Click on the book cover to go to the library’s catalog and request it!

Our discussion book, Running from the Devil, was chosen as a “Notable Book” by the Independent Booksellers of America, awarded “Best First Novel” by the International Thriller Writers, awarded a Barry Award for “Best First Novel” by Deadly Pleasures Magazine, and nominated for a Macavity Award for” Best First Mystery” by the Mystery Readers International and “Favorite First Novel of 2009” by Crimespree Magazine. In addition to her successful writing, Jamie is a trial attorney, marathon runner, black belt in aikido. All together, there’ll be a lot to talk about with her!

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