The mathematician in the debut novel Mathematician’s Shiva is Rachela Karnokovitch, a fictional professor at the University of Wisconsin who was a Polish-born Soviet defector and formidable woman of intellect. This is an enjoyable book for those who like to read humorous and heartwarming stories with a Wisconsin connection. The story is told by her son Sasha as he looks back on the time in January 2001 when she died, and the family observed shiva, the Jewish custom of 7 days of mourning.
Can a gamer save the world? In Ernest Cline’s rollicking novel, Ready Player One, 18-year-old Wade Watts escapes the bleakness of the year 2044 to spend his time in OASIS, a multiplayer virtual reality world.
Summer is winding down and beach season is almost over. In a feeble attempt to hold on to those last days of summer I grabbed On the Rocks by Erin Duffy off of the new fiction shelves. The cover picture displays what looks like a tranquil afternoon spent on the beach, but this book was anything but tranquil. On the Rocks is a well written and highly amusing look at one woman's attempt to put her life back together after a very public breakup - via Facebook.
Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark is a satirical debut novel about the food additives industry. In 1973 David is a young flavor chemist or flavorist hired by a big company to research an artificial sweetener called Sweetness #9. He notices that the lab rats and monkeys being fed Sweetness #9 are becoming obese and showing behavioral problems. Before he gets very far with his concerns, he is fired.
Being a true Southerner means keeping up appearances at all costs. As a result, many Southern couples put on pretenses and sometimes lead double lives. In The Stories We Tell by Patti Callahan Henry, Eve and Cooper Morrison are that golden couple, seemingly leading the ideal life as the cream of Savannah society. But, things are not always as they seem. This powerful novel about the value of truth focuses on the Morrison family and the one night that changed the dynamics of their family forever.