Off the Shelves – March 17

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit


“Honky Tonk Samurai” by Joe R. Lansdale

The story starts when Hap, a former 1960s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough black, gay Vietnam vet, work together on a freelance surveillance job in east Texas.

The stakeout is coming to an end when the pair witnesses a man abusing his dog. Leonard takes matters into his own hands, and now the bruised dog abuser wants to press charges.

A week later, a woman named Lilly Buckner drops by their new PI office with a proposition: find her missing granddaughter, or she’ll turn in a video of Leonard beating the dog abuser. The pair agrees to take on the cold case and soon discovers that the used car dealership where her granddaughter worked is actually a front for a prostitution ring.


“Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation’s Leaders” by Brady Carlson

Author Brady Carlson takes readers to presidential gravesites, monuments and memorials from sea to shining sea. In a mix of history and contemporary reporting, Carlson recounts the origin stories of the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, Grant’s Tomb and JFK’s Eternal Flame.

He explores whether William Henry Harrison really died of a cold, how an assassin’s bullet might not have been what killed James A. Garfield and why Zachary Taylor’s remains were exhumed 140 years after he died.

He also explains why “Hooverball” is still played in Iowa, why Millard Fillmore’s final resting place is next to that of funk legend Rick James and why “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” became a running gag for Groucho Marx.

As Carlson sees it, the way we remember dead presidents tells us a great deal about ourselves. For American presidents, there is life after death — it’s just a little weird.


“Finding Fortune” by Delia Ray

Running away isn’t as easy as Ren thinks it will be. She isn’t running very far — just a few miles away to the ghost town of Fortune, where there’s an abandoned school on the outskirts with cheap rooms for rent.

Ren knows her plan sounds crazy, but with only a few weeks until Dad comes home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, she knows she has to do something drastic so Mom will come to her senses and stop seeing that creep, Rick Littleton, for good.

From the moment she enters the school’s shadowy halls, Ren finds herself drawn into its secrets.