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New Chess books in the library June 2023

Victor Korchnoi. My life for chess 794.15 K85my

Although technically this is a replacement for vol. 1 of the FritzTrainer DVD released in 2005, this 2022 DVD includes features the original one did not have, such as a database of over 5,000 of Kornoi's games and both volumes on one disc. You can expect to see a lot of Korchnoi's infamous bluntness in his analysis of his most memorable games, although he does lavish praise on his opponents when they play in a manner he deems worthy. He works quite a lot of chess history into his lessons as well.


Vladimir Tukmakov. Risk & bluff in chess : the art of taking calculated risk 794.1 T916r

“Winning in chess is impossible without taking risks. Winning requires courage and psychology but above all: calculation. No matter how deep you calculate, you will always reach a point where you must come to an assessment, deal with uncertainties, and take a decision. When your main aim is to derail your opponent's calculation by weaving a web of deception, you engage in the highest form of risk: bluff.” Renowned chess coach Vladimir Tukmakov presents more than 100 practical ways that masters and grandmasters have used to push beyond the limits of calculation and take a deliberate risk. He shows how to trick your opponent into believing your bluff. This is the first attempt to understand the nature of risk in chess. After studying this book, you will think twice before wasting an opportunity to do what even the greatest players have done: bluff your way to victory."--Publisher's description

Valeri Beim.  The enigma of chess intuition : can you mobilize hidden forces in your chess? 794.1 B422e

Valeri Beim deeply analyzes and dissects how chess players think and demonstrates that each of us has the power of making intuitive decisions. You will learn how you can train and develop this human gift. He uses plain language and illustrates his findings with tales about Capablanca, Tal, Fischer, Carlsen, and other greats in chess. Beim provides practical guidance with a large number of examples from instructive games. -- Adapted from publisher’s description. 

Experts on the Anti-Sicilian / edited by Jacob Aagaard & John Shaw. 794.1225 B20 E966

Playing against the Sicilian defense often proves a bit challenging even for experienced players. An "Anti-Sicilian" variation takes a very aggressive approach, side-stepping the main lines.  In this book, several chess grandmasters present state-of-the-art analysis of lines where White meets the Sicilian by avoiding the Open variations.  -- Adapted from publisher’s description.

Posted on Jul. 17, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

Hidden Gems - The Lives of Harry Lime (Radio show as eAudiobook)

Although many consider the role of Harry Lime to be Orson Welles’ most memorable performance, he only spent about 10 minutes onscreen in the movie The Third Man. Despite Lime's obviously sociopathic nature, Welles made him an irresistibly likable anti-hero. The film won an academy award and along with this recognition its title character enjoyed enormous popularity with audiences. 


In the early 1950’s, a young radio show producer named Harry Alan Towers had the same agent as Graham Greene, the author of the book that provided the basis for the movie. Through that connection Greene was able to obtain the rights to the Harry Lime character. Earlier, for Towers' radio show production of Sherlock Holmes stories, Welles played (you guessed it) Moriarity. Having already worked together once before, Towers managed to convince Welles to join his production of radio shows based on the infamous Harry Lime. Obtaining the rights to the character and then persuading Welles to portray him again led to the creation of one of the most entertaining radio shows in Mechanics Institute Library's collection. 


Since Lime meets his end in the sewers of Vienna in the movie, Towers, with Welles' involvement, decided to make the radio show a prequel. Produced in England and recorded in London's IBC Studios, The Lives of Harry Lime, it has an authentic continental flavor, with adventures taking place in such exotic locales as Paris, Rome, Venice, Tangiers, and the French Riviera. 


Thanks to brilliant scripts, expertly performed by Welles and a stock company of talented actors, we follow the underworld activities of Harry Lime and his always-questionable associates by way of sharp repartee and by listening to Lime deliver one delightfully sardonic narration after another. We all already know he's going to outsmart and double-cross everybody: The fun comes from finding out how. 


The eAudiobook The Lives of Harry Lime, available on the web or the Libby app, contains 10 episodes. Each one runs about 24-25 minutes -- the perfect length for me to listen to a complete episode during one of my morning walks (although passers by likely think me a bit strange for laughing and giggling as I go).  


Note: some of the above description has been adapted from the publisher's promotional summary.

Posted on Jul. 12, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

New chess books in the library May 2023

Vinay Bhat How I became a chess grandmaster 794.1092 B575

The first recipient of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club's "Falconer Award" (a cash prize given to the highest rated junior player under Age 18 in Northern California), Vinay Bhat has gone on to overcome various challenges to earn the title of Grandmaster. In this book, you can follow his path to improvement and the struggles he had to go through which might inspire you to carve out your own path to improvement and achieve your chess goals.

Vinay Bhat will give an author talk here at the Mechanics Institute on June 20, 2023 6:00 P.M. in the Chess room. (No registration required). 


Benjamin Katz Chess bootcamp : beyond the basics 794.1 K1977

An excellent book for those only just starting out to improve their game. It explains fundamental tactics with great clarity then follows up each chapter with exercises. A good structured approach to learning chess.


I. Maĭzelis The Soviet chess primer 794.1 M232

A bit more advanced than the preceding title, lya Maizelis' masterpiece is the definitive introduction to the game of chess. It has inspired generations of Russians to take up the game, including arguably the two greatest players of all time, the 12th and 13th World Champions. In the original Russian, this landmark work is simply called Chess --  no other explanation was considered necessary. This is a modern English translation of Maizeliss witty introduction to the royal game. This new edition of a timeless classic includes an original foreword from the 2nd World Champion, Emanuel Lasker, as well as an introduction from the most celebrated chess trainer of modern times, Mark Dvoretsky.


Julian Voloj and William Wagner Black & white : the rise and fall of Bobby Fischer 794.1092 F52v

A graphic novel biography of the life and legacy of Bobby Fischer, from his life as a child prodigy in the tenements of Brooklyn to his world championship against Boris Spasky in 1972. The artists adroitly show Fischer's talent and artistry on the chessboard. They also describe how his intense animosity toward Soviet dominance of the game increased the Cold War stakes of his one-man battle against the Russians.   -- (adapted from description on Publisher's Weekly) [


Viktor Khenkin 1000 checkmate combinations 794.12 H389

Players who like to study the game by working out combinations will enjoy another Russian chess classic newly translated into English.  


Axel Smith The woodpecker method 794.12 S642w

"The Woodpecker Method is the name given by Axel Smith to a training system developed by his compatriot and co-author Hans Tikkanen. After training with his method in 2010, Tikkanen achieved three GM norms within a seven-week period. The quick explanation of the Woodpecker Method is that you need to solve a large number of puzzles in a row; then solve the same puzzles again and again, only faster. It's not a lazy shortcut to success - hard work is required— but the reward can be a re-programming of your unconscious mind. Benefits include sharper tactical vision, fewer blunders, better play when in time trouble, and improved intuition. This book contains everything you need to carry out your own Woodpecker training. Smith and Tikkanen explain how to get the maximum benefit from the method before presenting over 1100 puzzles and solutions, all of which have been checked and double-checked for accuracy and suitability."  -- (from back cover)


Michael Song The chess attacker's handbook 794.12 S698

"Life is too short to play boring chess!" That's the mantra of the two young authors of this book, and as you read their energetic and insightful words, you may find yourself caught up in their enthusiasm for direct attacking play. Song and Preotu consider the role of maneuvering and prophylactic thought, and examine attacks in the endgame, as well as more standard topics such as play on color complexes and when and how to launch the pawns in an all-out assault. And because life's too short to read a boring chess book, the text is packed with advice, study suggestions and anecdotes as well as quotes and references to philosophy and other 'real-world' topics. Their examples are drawn from their own practice and their super grandmaster trainer as well as modern classics and older gems. Most of their material you will not have seen before; the rest you will not have seen explained this way before. -- Adapted from description on


Cyrus Lakdawala The Greatest attacker in chess : the enigmatic Rashid Nezhmetdinov 794.15 N499L

Rashid Nezhmetdinov (1912-1974) played fearless attacking chess. His games, full of tactical pyrotechnics, are his legacy and have reached an ever-growing audience. Nezhmetdinov's shocking strategic queen sacrifice in 1962 against Chernikov has become famous among millions or chess players. In this book, Cyrus Lakdawala shows in more than one hundred impressive and instructive games and positions how Nezhmetdinov fought for the initiative, how he bluffed and sacrificed, and how he kept his cool to out-calculate his opponents. -- (Adapted from publisher description).

Posted on Jun. 15, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

Hidden Gems - Working Stiff (in print and eAudiobook)

Want to get away with murder? Kill someone that New York City police and DAs do not consider important. This was only one of the more disconcerting "take-aways" I found in Judy Melinek's Working Stiff : two years, 262 bodies, and the making of a medical examiner.  During a time when T.V. shows and movies have so glamorized forensic science to the point that real-life juries now have completely unrealistic demands and expectations, I urge us all to make an effort to educate ourselves to understand what medical examiners actually do and what forensic science can (and more importantly) cannot tell us about a crime. This book will make a good start. 

I remember listening to this as an eAudiobook while commuting to my previous job as a medical librarian at Stanford. Melinek shows a gift for story-telling, as this book presents a series of stories about her experience in New York City's office of the Medical Examiner at the turn of the century. In pretty much the same manner as medical doctors who go on from Medical School to treat live patients, medical doctors who go into forensics also serve as interns and "residents." Starting out under close supervision but later doing more and more on her own, in case after case that Melinek describes, we see the good and the bad, and everything in between. Not every case is a gripping story of crime and clever murderers worthy of an episode of "C.S.I." In one shockingly prosaic case she discovers that a patient died because the surgeon never learned how to tie a proper knot. (Not kidding: because of having read this I seriously considered asking the surgeon who performed my heart surgery to show me how he ties a knot during our pre-op zoom meeting. But I decided that since he did this procedure over a hundred times a year and had a 1% mortality rate that he or his surgical team probably knew how to sew me back together properly).

Writing this last paragraph I really do not want to include any spoilers. Let me just say that Melinek fully understands the need for structure in narrative and has a keen grasp on what to tell the reader and most importantly when to tell the reader. The end of the book contains some of the most compelling writing of events by an active participant as I have ever read. I will leave it to you to find out for yourself, because any attempt to summarize here will ruin the experience for you.

Posted on Jun. 9, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

Hidden Gems -- Copenhagen

Everyone recognizes the name Albert Einstein, but the 20th century was "the century of physics," and we have many other brilliant people who made enormous contributions to our understanding of the universe at the atomic, or quantum, level. Here, we have a play about two of them: Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg.  Although only about 16 years apart in age, many referred to Heisenberg as "Niels Bohr's eldest son." 

They met in Göttingen in 1922. According to one anecdote, after Bohr finished a lecture Heisenberg had a contentious exchange with him during the question and answer session, perhaps a case of a young man trying to show off. Bohr looked past the youthful hubris, realizing that the young scientist had demonstrated an understanding of the higher level physics Bohr pioneered in order to be able to ask sharp questions. Bohr approached Heisenberg afterwards and asked if they could talk more. From that day forward, the two men spent much time together, mostly taking hours long walks, talking about concepts in physics that only they and about a hundred other people in the world understood. 

Then World War II started. Heisenberg belonged to a non-observant German Lutheran family, while Bohr was a Danish Jew. Although not a Nazi, Heisenberg headed Germany's atomic energy program. The two met for the last time in Bohr's home in Copenhagen in 1941. Heisenberg left very soon after arriving. Neither of them nor Bohr's wife gave a clear account of what transpired between them. Playwright Michael Frayn created a fascinating speculative history dramatizing this last encounter that I found at once engaging, suspenseful and  educational. In addition to the drama of an old friendship disintegrating and the frightening prospect of Nazi Germany acquiring the atomic bomb, you also come away from this play with a pretty good lay person's understanding of quantum physics and the construction of the atomic bomb. Frayn even covers the speculation over the years that Heisenberg secretly sabotaged the Nazi atomic program.  

The Mechanics Institute Library has three versions of Michael Frayn's brilliant play, Copenhagen:

The original script in our book collection: Copenhagen 822 F847c

The TV adaptation of the play starring Daniel Craig and Stephen Rea DVD

The Radio play adaptation by L. A. Theatre Works as an eAudiobook

Posted on May. 23, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

What book(s) are you reading right now?

A few months ago, I read a quote from Carl Sagan's book, The Demon-haunted World, that the writer Paul Ratner claimed predicted, back in 1995, our present-day social, technological and political conditions. 

“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

(From p. 25 in A Demon-Haunted World, quoted in A disturbing 1995 prediction by Carl Sagan accurately describes America today)

This led me to check out the book from our collection. As of this writing, I have read about three quarters and find Sagan's prescience quite inspiring. He also shares insights into human behavior I never encountered before. He starts out tracing superstition in Western culture as far back as Europe of the Middle Ages to the present - one could probably go back further, but Sagan limits the beginning of his overview to that place and point in time. Among the fascinating insights he shares along the way comes when he neatly "connects the dots" from medieval sightings of saints, angels and the Virgin Mary to contemporary UFO abductees. He also quoted, of all people, Leon Trotsky, "Not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside the 20th century the 13th." (p.16). 

In the middle of the book, various forms of pseudoscience come under his scrutiny. He recounts corresponding with people claiming they are in contact with extraterrestrials. The people making such claims invite Sagan to "ask them anything, they'll relay the answer back to him." Sagan always asked for the proof for Fermat's last theorem. No one ever relayed E.T.'s answer.  (Fermat's last theorem is a mathematical challenge solved while Sagan was writing this book. He described it as a question we have not yet answered but would recognize a correct answer should we see one). 

By far my favorite chapter I have read so far is "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection." This chapter has proven so popular that many blogs and web publications have excerpted the list of "tools" in his baloney detection kit. (The one in The Marginalian gives the best rendering of this that I can find outside of the book itself). 

Sagan stands as one of the most impressive thinkers and writers of the 20th century.  I also find myself impressed by the clarity and honesty of his writing. He readily admits to having believed in the supernatural and falling for pseudoscientific claims during his pre-college youth. He explains how he out-grew believing nonsense. He developed a keen and perceptive mind, and most importantly, the key attribute of science and scientific thought is verification; and prediction stands as the most powerful form of verification. Reading the passage quoted above, we can see his prediction, made the year before his death in 1996, and judge for ourselves the truth of what he saw coming.  


Posted on May. 19, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

Hidden Gems - The Music of Bela Bartok

In the 1920s, when he was in his 40s, no less, Bela Bartok and a friend carried a reel to reel tape recorder, and big heavy batteries to power it, into the Carpathian Mountains! Among the first of what we now call ethnomusicologists, Bartok recorded Hungarian peasants playing their traditional instruments and singing songs passed down through generations. Whenever I think of what Bartok accomplished, a line from an old Jane Sibbery song, The Empty City, runs through my head: 

Because if no one gets this down -- then it's gone forever. 

Bartok saved an enormous body of music from loss through industrialization and modernity. Because the people creating the music were not educated in a music conservatory, they also did not have the limits a formal education could impose. What we called "modern" in the 20th century -- dissonance, atypical rhythms and meters, deviations from the Western standard diatonic scale -- we can hear in Bartok's music, inspired by and borrowed from the music that Bartok recorded on that heavy, cumbersome reel-to-reel tape recorder in the 1920s. He did similar research in Turkey in the 1930s and later worked at Columbia University Libraries with his wife classifying Serbian and Croatian folk music. 

Bartok immigrated to the United States in 1940, having antagonized the Hungarian government with his outspoken anti-fascist views. In the last 5 years of his life, his music did not enjoy much popularity, although he did earn some money from concerts. He died of leukemia in 1945. 

In the 1950s, another Hungarian-American, the comedian Ernie Kovacs, in an episode of his innovative television show, staged a wordless New York City street scene to Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. This segment, so unusual and wonderful, came out of that period of television programming in which brilliant people explored the possibilities of the new medium.  

Ernie Kovacs' Street Scene / Béla Bartók "Concerto for Orchestra"

In the 21st century, Bartok's music continues to appear on concert programs and new recordings and interpretations of his works have come out on CD and on classical music streaming services. Mechanics Institute Library has 13 Music CDs of Bartok's compositions.

Posted on May. 17, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

New and Improved Online Catalog

The Mechanics’ Institute Library has implemented an improved online catalog, providing members with a new and better way to find the materials they seek. This new version lets users narrow their searches interactively and intuitively. Our staff will be happy to assist you - you can call the reference desk (415-393-0102), and we can walk you through the various ways you can now search our catalog. 

The old "Classic" catalog will not go away -- you will see links to the Classic catalog throughout the new one. 


New Features 

You can check out eBooks and eAudiobooks from the catalog directly and see the electronic books you borrowed listed in your account. 

Fiction readers can explore what books we have by the various genres -- see what combinations you can find! Maybe you are looking for a mash-up of historical fiction and detective and mystery fiction?

You can narrow your search by "Place" -- The geographic area related to the book (e.g.: where a story takes place, or the geographic attribute of a given nonfiction book).

Other advanced searches available in the Classic catalog are also included in the new one. 


Mobile Devices

Please keep in mind that our new catalog does not work on mobile devices. If you have not already, we suggest that you bookmark (favorite) the URL for our "Classic" catalog:

We would like to thank everyone who volunteered to beta test this new interface, and we did our best to act on your suggestions.

Posted on May. 17, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

New Chess books for March & April 2023

Nathan Rose Chess opening names : the fascinating & entertaining history behind the first few moves 794.1 R79

Impress new people you meet at cocktail parties! Well, maybe not. But definitely worth reading if you're a chess player and a "student of the game." Rose writes whimsical and amusing short histories of the best known openings. The Catalan opening resulted from a contest. The Scandinavian defense did not come from Scandinavia. And who was Ruy Lopez anyway?  Rose takes more than a "just the facts" approach. For example, he tells a rather unusual story in his introduction about a wife's growing suspicions after overhearing her husband speaking in a strange, coded language. Then, in one of his chapters, he makes a more-or-less cogent comparison between the Sicilian defense and the Godfather movies. (Is it really that cogent? You decide). 

Vladimir Barsky Korchnoi and his chess grandchildren 794.15 K84ba

This is a collection of 25 of Viktor Korchnoi's best games, annotated by him and others, interspersed with numerous interviews with top players -- his chess "grandchildren" -- sharing personal anecdotes and talking about his influence.

Mihail Marin Learn from Bent Larsen 794.15 L33m

Selected and annotated games of the famous Danish Grandmaster. He earned a reputation for creativity and turning around "drawish" games. 

Junior Tay Ivanchuk, move by move 794.15 I932t

Another in the "Move by move" series examines selected games of the Grandmaster in minute detail.

Steve Giddins Nimzowitsch, move by move 794.15 N71g

Although sometimes derided by 21st century players, Aaron Nimzowitsch broke new ground in his day and most consider him the founder of the "hypermodern" school of chess. Hypermodern chess developed after World War I by challenging some of the assumptions of the 19th century masters, demonstrating new ways to control the center of the board. 

Savielly Tartakower The hypermodern game of chess 794.12 T19

The first English translation of the second edition of this seminal work in chess theory (revised to algebraic notation). As a result of the popularity of the first edition published in 1924, the second edition soon followed with corrections and additional material. This second edition stands as Tartakower's major contribution to chess theory of the early 20th century, and, according to the forward by Has Ree, "It is also a light-hearted book; a treasure of aphorisms, photos and brief biographical sketches of the great players, and contemplations about the world outside chess."

Tigran Petrosian. Python strategy 794.15 P49q

During one of his Tuesday Night Marathon lectures our Grandmaster in Residence, Nick de Firmian, told the story of his post-game discussion with World Champion Gary Kasparov. While reviewing the game and looking at a particularly bad position Kasparov had managed to get himself into, he said to Nick, "Well, I was glad that at least I wasn't playing this position against Petrosian." Nick continued, somewhat plaintively, "But I won the game!" Kasparov would still rather not play that position against Petrosian -- get into a bad position against Petrosian and there was no getting out. Although the title of his classic book translates directly from the Russian as "The Strategy of Soundness," this new English translation takes its title from the more evocative quote from Grandmaster and World Champion Max Euwe: "Petrosian is not a tiger that pounces on its prey, but rather a python that smothers its victim." 

Karsten Mueller Chess endgames 1 : basic knowledge for beginners 794.124 M95fr v.1

One of the FritzTrainer series, a 5 hour instructional DVD to teach beginners how to use the pawn in endgames. 

Judit Polgar and Andras Toth Master your chess with Judit Polgar : inspirational lessons from the all-time best female chess player 794.1 P769

The youngest of the 3 Polgar sisters, her father gave all of them chess lessons in early childhood as part of a years long experiment in child development and education. Judit Polgar was the first child to beat Bobby Fischer's record as the youngest person to become a Grandmaster then she had a 26 year-long career in competitive chess. Together with prize-winning coach, International Master Andras Toth, she has created a course based on the training she received growing up. 

Lubomir Kavalek Life at play : a chess memoir 794.1092 K21

The life of a Czech Grandmaster won two national championships before fleeing Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion that ended the "Prague Spring" of 1968. This posthumously published memoir includes over 50 games as well as his account of his experiences during the cold war.

Posted on May. 2, 2023 by Steven Dunlap

Noteworthly new books and DVDs April 2023

The Mechanics Institute Library acquires new books each week. You will find some on the new books tables, but members often check out some of the most popular books right away. If you do not know how to place a hold on a book, please call us at 415-393-0102 (or send a message to [email protected]). 




Jeffrey Lieberman Malady of the mind : schizophrenia and the path to prevention


With his first book, Shrinks, Lieberman established that he can write a very engaging book that explains science to the non-scientist. In Malady of the mind he gives a broad historical overview of schizophrenia then describes some of the present-day complexities that make diagnosis and treatment rather challenging. We've come a long way since medieval belief in demonic possession, but still have a long way to go. Among the recent discoveries we now understand the vital importance of early detection because (from the review in Kirkus) "schizophrenia is progressive, and once it reaches a certain stage, permanent brain damage is almost inevitable. Lieberman provides a list of symptoms to watch for, and a program that he has developed has had a good success rate." 


Brian Cox Black holes : the key to understanding the universe


Another of the best science writers presently living, Brian Cox's books do very well with MI members. Some may recall Why does E=mc2 (and why should we care?) and his other books in our collection. His latest work updates our astronomy collection with new and fascinating information about black holes. Werner Heisenberg once remarked that "The universe is not just stranger than we imagine -- it's stranger than we can imagine."  Find out why. 


Mike Brown How I killed Pluto and why it had it coming


Whimsically humorous account by the astronomer who inadvertently triggered the "demotion" of Pluto in his effort to officially recognize the solar system's tenth planet. A good, readable description of how science is done. 


New Magazine subscription




Catamaran Literary Reader, founded in 2012, is located in the Tannery Art Center in Santa Cruz. This beautiful, high quality, full-color quarterly magazine features fine art, poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The contributing artists and writers come from California and beyond. It has a loyal following of readers who celebrate culture, arts, books and museums. Catamaran also features a poetry prize for West Coast poets and an annual Catamaran Writing Conference during the summer. Visit the website at




Aaron Becker The tree and the river


A strange and wonderful book. No text, only a series of paintings of the same spot along a river stretching across each pair of pages. If you only casually thumb through it then you'll be done in a minute. But you need to look. Notice. Think. With each turn of the page you see the same place differently, moving through time. As you progress through the ages you see a civilization rise, technology advance, the river's course altered. But the civilization does not resemble anything on Earth -- not exactly, anyway. Each picture has rich detail and stunningly beautiful colors. In 2021 the Library started to class such books in "U" (for "Universal") to replace  "children's." Some books are for everyone, not just for children. This book shows you why. 




C.J. Box Storm Watch  


All of C.J. Box's novels have a high number of checkouts, indicating that he is among the most popular authors with our fiction readers. The 23rd "Joe Pickett" novel has the title character and his best friend Nate Romanowski, dealing with a murder, extremists, government agents and possibly finding themselves on opposite sides for the first time. 


Walter Mosley  Every man a king 


Another very popular author with our members, Mosley's mysteries have proven very entertaining with numerous colorful characters. This is the second novel featuring his newly created main character: private investigator Joe King Oliver. "When friend of the family and multi-billionaire Roger Ferris comes to Joe with an assignment, he's got no choice but to accept, even if the case is a tough one to stomach. White nationalist Alfred Xavier Quiller has been accused of murder and the sale of sensitive information to the Russians. Ferris has reason to believe Quiller's been set up and he needs King to see if the charges hold. Even with the help of bodyguard and mercenary Oliya Ruez, the machine King is up against proves relentless and unsparing. As King gets closer to exposing the truth, he and his loved ones barrel towards grave danger."  -- Publisher description.


Zadie Smith  The wife of Willesden


A prolific author and essayist, Smith "brings to life a comedic and cutting twenty-first century translation of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic The Wife of Bath. The Wife of Willesden follows Alvita, a Jamaican-born British woman in her mid-50s, as she tells her life story to a band of strangers in a small pub on the Kilburn High Road. Wearing fake gold chains, dressed in knock-off designer clothes, and speaking in a mixture of London slang and patois, Alvita recalls her five marriages in outrageous, bawdy detail, rewrites her mistakes as triumphs, and shares her beliefs on femininity, sexuality, and misogyny with anyone willing to listen."  -- Publisher’s description.




Father Ted Seasons 1,2, and 3. 


OMG! Father Ted! In the Library! If you have never heard of this TV show before you're in for a treat. Three Catholic priests live together in a crumbling old house on an Island off the coast of Ireland. One priest, old and senile, another young and, well, if not also senile then pretty close, and the third, Father Ted, has to keep the other two from wrecking the place or wreaking havoc. Sounds pretty silly and it is -- and also hilarious. 


Taxi Seasons 1 and 2


The great comedy show of the 70s and 80s launched the careers of beloved comedic actors such as Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, and Andy Kaufman. Season 2 has my favorite episode (Reverend Jim : a space odyssey) in which Reverend Jim takes his driving test. 

Posted on Apr. 27, 2023 by Steven Dunlap