Off the Shelves – August 18

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 hcplibrary.org.

Adult Fiction

“High Dive: A Novel,” by Jonathan Lee

In September 1984, a bomb was planted at the Grand Hotel in the seaside town of Brighton, England, set to explode in 24 days when the British prime minister and her entire cabinet would be staying there. “High Dive” takes us inside this assassination attempt by weaving together fact and fiction, comedy and tragedy as the story switches among the perspectives of the characters: Dan, a young IRA explosives expert; Moose, a former star athlete gone to seed, who is now the deputy hotel manager; and Freya, his teenage daughter, trying to decide what comes after high school. Over the course of four weeks, as the prime minister’s arrival draws closer, each of their lives will be transformed forever.

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Adult Nonfiction

“The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City,” by Laura Tillman

On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas, John Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building where the crimes took place was already rundown, and a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer. Journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for The Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters of humanity.

Audio Book

“Barkskins,” by Annie Proulx

From Annie Proulx, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, comes “Barkskins,” a novel about the immigrants who first settled this country. In the 17th century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters — barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman, and their descendants live trapped between two cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the feudal lord, becomes a fur trader and then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years — their travels across North America, to Europe, China and New Zealand and the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks and cultural annihilation.