Off the Shelves – August 17

New items are available at the Hancock County Public Library.

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

“Little Deaths,” by Emma Flint

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In a working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, Ruth Malone — a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress — wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Cindy’s body is found in an abandoned lot a half mile from her home, strangled; and 10 days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth’s life is exposed. The empty bourbon bottles which litter her apartment, her provocative clothing style, letters from countless men and Ruth’s little black book of phone numbers make her appear to be a drunk, a loose woman — and a bad mother. The lead detective believes Malone took her children’s lives but a rookie tabloid reporter thinks there’s something more to the story.

Adult Nonfiction

“Jonathan Swift: the reluctant rebel,” by John Stubbs

One of Europe’s most important literary figures, Jonathan Swift was also an inspired humorist and a conscientious Anglican minister as well as a hoaxer and a teller of tales. His anger against abuses of power would produce the most famous satires of the English language: “Gulliver’s Travels,” “The Drapier Papers” and “Modest Proposal” in which he imagined the poor of Ireland farming their infants for the tables of wealthy colonists. Stubbs’ biography captures the dirt and beauty of a world that Swift both scorned and sought to amend. It follows Swift through his many battles against authority as a priest who sought to uphold the dogma of his church; as a man who defied convention with an unshakable attachment to an unmarried woman; and as a writer whose vision showed that no single set of beliefs holds all the answers.