Off the Shelves – January 7

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information, visit


“Bazaar of Bad Dreams” by Stephen King

Storyteller Stephen King delivers a collection of short stories, some new, some previously published. The stories feature themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past.

“Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again.

A columnist is able to kill people by writing their obituaries in “Obits.”

An old judge in “The Dune” canoed to a deserted island and saw names of people who had died in freak accidents written in the sand.

In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win. King says, “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”


“The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel: A Story of Marriage and Money in the Early Republic” by Margaret Oppenheimer

Betsy Bowen was born into grinding poverty, raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and confined to a workhouse when her mother was in jail. Seizing opportunities, she reinvented herself as Eliza Jumel, obtained a fortune from her first husband and nearly lost it to her second, vice president Aaron Burr. Divorcing Burr amid charges of adultery, she lived on to the age of 90.

When she died, “Madame Jumel” was one of New York’s richest women, with servants, an art collection, a mansion, a summer home and several hundred acres of land. After her death, a battle over her estate went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Family members told of a woman who earned the gratitude of Napoleon I and shone at the courts of Louis XVIII and Charles X. Their opponents painted a picture of a prostitute who bore George Washington’s illegitimate son, a wife who defrauded her husband and perhaps even plotted his death. Now, Eliza Jumel’s real story is finally been told.


“Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman

When a boyfriend tricks Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) into delivering a briefcase to a supposed business contact, the once-carefree student is abducted by thugs who intend to turn her into a drug mule.

She is surgically implanted with a package containing a powerful chemical, but it leaks into her system, giving her superhuman abilities, including telekinesis and telepathy. With her former captors in pursuit, Lucy seeks out a neurologist (Morgan Freeman), who she hopes will be able to help her.