Collection Development: New & Noteworthy eBooks

Sat, 11/07/2015 - 12:00pm -- Redwood Staff

The Redwood Library’s extensive 3M eBook catalog grants patrons access to nearly 800 titles in popular fiction, mystery and non-fiction. Here, the Redwood Staff recommend a few must-read titles.

Frontrunner by Felix Francis

In his role as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, Jeff Hinkley is approached by a multi-time champion jockey to discuss the delicate matter of losing races on purpose. Little does he know that the call will set off a lethal chain of events, including the apparent suicide of the jockey and an attempt on Hinkley’s own life. Never one to leave suspicious events alone, Hinkley begins investigating the jockey and the races he may have thrown. But there are others out there who intend to prevent his inquiry from probing further . . . at any cost.

“Entertaining,” says Publishers Weekly. “Francis again offers an imaginative variant on the racetrack-related thriller plots of his father.”

Booklist calls it “a stunner” with an “absolutely propulsive plot that will remind Dick Francis fans of his classic nail-biters

The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606  by James Shapiro

Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in England in 1606 affected Shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year—King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra.

In the years leading up to 1606, since the death of Queen Elizabeth and the arrival in England of her successor, King James of Scotland, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed, and it may have seemed to some that his prolific genius was a thing of the past. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn—King Lear—then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

"Shapiro demonstrates once again his skill in shaping quantities of research into a brisk and enjoyable narrative,” says The Guardian.

“Shapiro takes a closer look at the political and social turmoil that contributed to the creation of three supreme masterpieces,” explains The Washington Post. “Exciting and sometimes revelatory."

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd


Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

“A textured masterpiece,” says NPR, “quietly yet powerfully poking our consciences and our consciousness . . . leaves us feeling uplifted and hopeful.”

“Kidd has managed to avoid both condescension and cliché,” adds The Boston Globe, “creating an unforgettable character in the slave Handful, the emotional core of her utterly engaging third novel.”