Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September Reading Theme: Regional Fiction

The Greater Pittsburgh region may not strike everyone as a tourist destination, but we have plenty of history, culture, and natural beauty to offer. Hopefully September's featured book display in The Reading Room inspires an appreciative look at the many opportunities we enjoy here in western PA. 

Our featured titles this month:

Equilibrium by Elizabeth Lydia Bodner
"[Bodner's] first book, Uncompromising: Family Style... looked at the late 1800s and early 1900s through the eyes of immigrants passing through her grandmother's hotel in East Pittsburgh. Equilibrium [brings] the characters through to the next tumultuous century, maintaining the same family stability and strength." (Publisher's summary; we have Bodner's first book, too!)

Coal Bones by Karen Rose Cercone
"Karen Rose Cercone brings readers back to 1906 Pittsburgh, where a mysterious death in a coal mine involves Detective Milo Kachigan and reporter Helen Sorby in a case that pits big business, organized labor, and poor immigrant workers against each other in a deadly web of conflict." (Publisher's summary)

Steel Ashes by Karen Rose Cercone
"In the Pittsburgh of 1905, the burning of a rundown tenement and the deaths of two poor immigrants barely make the evening papers. But there are two courageous figures who refuse to let the murders go unsolved. One is the detective handling the case. The other is a social worker. Apart, they can barely scratch the surface of Pittsburgh's corrupt political machine. Together, they fight the discrimination that threatens to forever shield a sinister cover-up." (Publisher's summary)

The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes by K.C. Constantine
"Mario Balzic is one of those police chiefs so close to his people that nothing moves or even sits still in his town without his knowing how and why. His town is Rocksburg, a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania where most of the coal has run out.... If you've not met this Serbo-Italian, profoundly American cop, it's time you did." (Publisher's summary)

The White Rocks by Alonzo F. Hill
"A fictionalized account of an actual murder case in Fayette County in the 1850's." (Publisher's summary)

The Fall-Down Artist by Thomas Lipinski
"Lipinski... presents a rather ordinary Pittsburgh private eye who specializes in insurance fraud cases. Carroll Dorsey maintains an adversarial relationship with his disappointed father (an ambitious attorney) but has found a sympathetic ear in lover Gretchen Keller, an M.D. Dorsey happens upon a vast insurance fraud conspiracy centered on steel mill closings that soon turns personally dangerous." (Library Journal review)

Julie by Catherine Marshall
By the author of the classic Christy. "Set in the last part of the Great Depression, a story of Julie Wallace and her family - of adventure and romance, of courage and commitment, of triumph and tragedy in a flood-prone town in western Pennsylvania." (Publisher's summary)

Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan
"Arty Parkinson, the protagonist of this fine first novel, returns one Christmas to his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania, to confront his haunting past-specifically, the winter of 1974, when he turned 15 and two terrible things happened: his family fell apart, and Annie Marchand, the young neighbor who had once been his baby-sitter, was murdered." (Library Journal review)

Two Cities by John Edgar Wideman
"A young woman who has lost her husband and her sons to street violence finally allows herself to love again, then ends up probing the death of an eccentric whose photographs document a half-century of African American history." (Library Journal review)

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