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Self’s punishment

From Publishers Weekly

The successful film adaptation of Schlink’s The Reader should give a boost to his third mystery to feature aging German PI Gerhard Self (after 2007’s Self’s Deception). On his way home to Mannheim during a snow storm, Schlink helps a stranded driver, Bertram Welker, who on learning Self’s profession offers him a job. A partner in the region’s oldest private bank, Welker is writing its history and asks Self to identify a silent partner in the bank. What appears to be a straightforward assignment becomes a double murder inquiry once Self comes to doubt Welker’s account of how his wife perished in a hiking accident the year before and the bank’s unofficial archivist dies in a suspicious car crash after handing Self a briefcase full of money. Crisp prose and some well-handled plot complications, which include the emergence of a man claiming to be Self’s son, will keep readers turning the pages. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Starred Review This stellar series debut presents former Nazi prosecutor turned private investigator Gerhard Self in an unsettlingly matter-of-fact style. Instead of the brooding and tortured soul readers might expect–or even demand–Gerd (as his many friends call him) comes across as wry and likable as he hustles up cases, flirts with attractive women of all ages, and worries about slipping into old age with only his cat for company. It’s the early 1980s, and Self has been hired by a boyhood friend to smoke out a hacker who’s playing havoc with the computers at Rhineland Chemical Works. But after Self springs a trap that gets the troublemaker murdered, he gradually faces the guilt he still carries for his youthful embrace of National Socialism. His simple refusal to let himself off the hook and step back into his old public prosecutor’s role after the war doesn’t seem like penance enough anymore. “I had planned to live at peace with my past,” he muses. “Guilt, atonement, enthusiasm and blindness, pride and anger, morality and resignation–I’d brought it all together in an elaborate balance. The past had achieved abstraction.” But Self’s unwitting participation in the new crime drives him to pursue the path of justice wherever it may lead. A fascinating exploration of how people often manage to carve out normal lives even after being complicit in terrible acts. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Self’s deception

From Publishers Weekly

In German author Schlink’s meandering second crime novel available in English to feature aging PI Gerhard Self (after Self’sPunishment), a man named Salger hires Self to locate his missing daughter, Leonore. With little help from the father, Self tracks the missing girl to an insane asylum outside Heidelberg, where he’s informed by a doctor that Leo has recently died there in an accident. Self quickly learns, among other details, that the death report is untrue, Leo’s father is not really her father and that the case is connected to a top-secret government investigation. Self can be completely off the wall one minute—he lies outrageously to anyone who might have information and breaks-and-enters without compunction—and the next he’s as comfortable as an old shoe, having a glass of Riesling and hanging out with his cat, Turbo. The eccentric detective is the big draw, with the less than action-packed investigation coming in a distant second. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A sophisticated, chilling and superbly written thriller.”
—Michael Dibdin, author of Back to Bologna

“A delightfully unique protagonist, a marvelous complex mystery.”
—Mike Lawson, bestselling author of The Second Perimeter

“Immensely pleasurable and deeply intriguing. Schlink has crafted a novel rich with the comforts of insight and humanity.”
—Dan Fesperman, author of The Prisoner of Guantá_namo _

“From this highly gifted writer another delightfully winding crime story, told with bleak and bitter irony.”
—Håkan Nesser, author of The Return

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick

SUMMARY: Philip K. Dick was a master of science fiction, but he was also a writer whose work transcended genre to examine the nature of reality and what it means to be human. A writer of great complexity and subtle humor, his work belongs on the shelf of great twentieth-century literature, next to Kafka and Vonnegut. Collected here are twenty-one of Dick’s most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers. In “The Days of Perky Pat,” people spend their time playing with dolls who manage to live an idyllic life no longer available to the Earth’s real inhabitants. “Adjustment Team” looks at the fate of a man who by mistake has stepped out of his own time. In “Autofac,” one community must battle benign machines to take back control of their lives. And in “I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon,” we follow the story of one man whose very reality may be nothing more than a nightmare. The collection also includes such classic stories as “The Minority Report,” the basis for the Steven Spielberg movie, and “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” the basis for the film Total Recall. Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a magnificent distillation of one of American literature’s most searching imaginations. “From the Hardcover edition.”

Selected Stories of Anton Chekov

SUMMARY: The Death of a ClerkOne fine evening the no less fine office manager Ivan Dmitrich Cherviakov1 was sitting in the second row of the stalls, watching The Bells of Corneville2 through opera glasses. He watched and felt himself at the height of bliss. But suddenly . . . This “but suddenly” occurs often in stories. The authors are right: life is so full of the unexpected! But suddenly his face wrinkled, his eyes rolled, his breath stopped . . . he put down the opera glasses, bent forward, and . . . ah-choo!!! As you see, he sneezed. Sneezing is not prohibited to anyone anywhere. Peasants sneeze, police chiefs sneeze, sometimes even privy councillors sneeze. Everybody sneezes. Cherviakov, not embarrassed in the least, wiped his nose with his handkerchief and, being a polite man, looked around to see whether his sneezing had disturbed anyone. And now he did become embarrassed. He saw that the little old man sitting in front of him in the first row of the stalls was carefully wiping his bald head and neck with his glove and muttering something. Cherviakov recognized the little old man as General Brizzhalov,3 who served in the Department of Transportation.”I sprayed him!” thought Cherviakov. “He’s not my superior, he serves elsewhere, but still it’s awkward. I must apologize.”Cherviakov coughed, leaned forward, and whispered in the general’s ear:”Excuse me, Yr’xcellency, I sprayed you . . . I accidentally . . .””Never mind, never mind . . .””For God’s sake, excuse me. I . . . I didn’t mean it!””Ah, do sit down, please! Let me listen!”Cherviakov became embarrassed, smiled stupidly, and began looking at the stage. He looked, but felt no more bliss. Anxiety began to torment him. In the intermission he went up to Brizzhalov, walked around him, and, overcoming his timidity, murmured:”I sprayed you, Yr’xcellency . . . Forgive me . . . I . . . it’s not that I . . .””Ah, come now . . . I’ve already forgotten, and you keep at it!” said the general, impatiently twitching his lower lip.”Forgotten, but there’s malice in his eyes,” thought Cherviakov, glancing suspiciously at the general. “He doesn’t even want to talk. I must explain to him that I really didn’t mean it . . . that it’s a law of nature, otherwise he’ll think I wanted to spit. If he doesn’t think so now, he will later! . . .”On returning home, Cherviakov told his wife about his rudeness. His wife, it seemed to him, treated the incident much too lightly. She merely got frightened, but then, on learning that Brizzhalov served “elsewhere,” she calmed down.”But all the same you should go and apologize,” she said. “He might think you don’t know how to behave in public!””That’s just it! I apologized, but he was somehow strange . . . Didn’t say a single sensible word. And then there was no time to talk.”The next day Cherviakov put on a new uniform, had his hair cut, and went to Brizzhalov to explain . . . Going into the general’s reception room, he saw many petitioners there, and among them was the general himself, who had already begun to receive petitions. Having questioned several petitioners, the general raised his eyes to Cherviakov.”Yesterday, in the Arcadia, if you recall, Yr’xcellency,” the office manager began, “I sneezed, sir, and . . . accidentally sprayed you . . . Forg . . .””Such trifles . . . God knows! Can I be of help to you?” the general addressed the next petitioner.”He doesn’t want to talk!” thought Cherviakov, turning pale. “That means he’s angry . . . No, it can’t be left like this . . . I’ll explain to him . . .”When the general finished his discussion with the last petitioner and headed for the inner rooms, Cherviakov followed him and murmured:”Yr’xcellency! If I venture to trouble Yr’xcellency, it’s precisely, I might say, from a feeling of repentance! . . . It wasn’t on purpose, you know that yourself, sir!”The general made a tearful face and waved his hand.”You must be joking, my dear sir!” he said, disappearing behind the door.”What kind of joke is it?” thought Cherviakov. “This is no kind of joke at all! A general, yet he can’t understand! If that’s the way it is, I won’t apologize to the swaggerer any more! Devil take him! I’ll write him a letter, but I won’t come myself! By God, I won’t!”So Cherviakov thought, walking home. He wrote no letter to the general. He thought and thought, and simply could not think up that letter. So the next day he had to go himself and explain.”I came yesterday to trouble Yr’xcellency,” he began to murmur, when the general raised his questioning eyes to him, “not for a joke, as you were pleased to say. I was apologizing for having sneezed and sprayed you, sir . . . and I never even thought of joking. Would I dare joke with you? If we start joking, soon there won’t be any respect for persons . . . left . . .””Get out!!” barked the general, suddenly turning blue and shaking.”What, sir?” Cherviakov asked in a whisper, sinking with terror.”Get out!!” the general repeated, stamping his feet.Something in Cherviakov’s stomach snapped. Seeing nothing, hearing nothing, he backed his way to the door, went out, and plodded off . . . Reaching home mechanically, without taking off his uniform, he lay down on the sofa and . . . died.July 18831. The name Cherviakov comes from the Russian word cherviak (“worm”).2. A popular operetta by French composer Robert Planquette (1843-1903).3. The name Brizzhalov suggests a combination of bryzgat (“to spray”) and briuzzhat (“to grumble”).From the Trade Paperback edition.

Seize the Night

SUMMARY: There are no rules in the dark, no place to feel safe, no escape from the shadows. But to save the day, you must…Seize the Night. At no time does Moonlight Bay look more beautiful than at night. Yet it is precisely then that the secluded little town reveals its menace. Now children are disappearing. From their homes. From the streets. And there’s nothing their families can do about it. Because in Moonlight Bay, the police work their hardest to conceal crimes and silence victims. No matter what happens in the night, their job is to ensure that nothing disturbs the peace and quiet of Moonlight Bay…. Christopher Snow isn’t afraid of the dark. Forced to live in the shadows because of a rare genetic disorder, he knows the night world better than anyone. He believes the lost children are still alive and that their disappearance is connected to the town’s most carefully kept, most ominous secret—a secret only he can uncover, a secret that will force him to confront an adversary at one with the most dangerous darkness of all. The darkness inside the human heart.

The Seeker

When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about — Jared, Ian, her brother Jamie and her Uncle Jeb, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

The Seeker

Trained by the mystical Villichi in the Way of the Druid and the Path of the Preserver, Sorak the elfling sets out to find the mysterious and reclusive wizard known only as the Sage. Guided by a spell scroll and his own tormented inner voices, Sorak must cross a lethal, rock-strewn wasteland no one has ever survived and make his way to Nibenay, where he must seek out the secret Veiled Alliance. Together with Ryana, the beautiful Villichi priestess who has forsworn her vows in order to follow him upon his quest, and the lovely, pampered daughter of a sorcerer-king whom they have stolen from a noble’s caravan, Sorak braves the unknown dangers of the wild, Athasian desert… pursued by a cruel, relentless noble who will stop at nothing to regain the princess who was stolen from him.

Seeing Stars

SUMMARY: Ruth Rabinowitz believes. She believes that her daughter, Bethany, is a terrific little actress, so they have come to Hollywood, where dreams come true. Ruth’s husband and Bethany’s father, who thinks their quest for stardom is delusional, has been left behind in Seattle. Joining Bethany Rabinowitz in Hollywood’s often toxic waters are fellow child actors Quinn Reilly, who has been cast adrift by his family and excels only on Hollywood sets; beautiful Allison Addison, who is misled by her powerful need for love; and Laurel Buehl, who brings a desperate secret to LA that makes the stakes impossibly high. As talent managers, agents, coaches, directors, and teachers nurture–and feed on–their ambitions, stars will be made, hearts will be broken, children will grow up, and dreams will both be realized and die.

Seeing further: the story of science & the Royal Society

SUMMARY: Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, and with contributions from Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, David Attenborough, Martin Rees and Richard Fortey amongst others, this is a remarkable volume celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society.On a damp weeknight in November, 350 years ago, a dozen or so men gathered at Gresham College in London. A twenty-eight year old ‘ and not widely famous ‘ Christopher Wren was giving a lecture on astronomy. As his audience listened to him speak, they decided that it would be a good idea to create a Society to promote the accumulation of useful knowledge. With that, the Royal Society was born.Since its birth, the Royal Society has pioneered scientific exploration and discovery. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, John Locke, Alexander Fleming ‘ all were members. Bill Bryson’s favourite member was Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes’ theorem. Whilst it had little practical use in Bayes’ lifetime, today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics and stock market analysis. A milestone in mathematical history, it only exists because the Royal Society decided to preserve it ‘ just in case.The Royal Society continues to do today what it set out to do all those years ago. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix, the electron, the computer and the World Wide Web. Truly international in its outlook, it has created modern science. ‘Seeing Further’ celebrates its momentous history and achievements, bringing together the very best of science writing. Filled with illustrations of treasures from the Society’s archives, this is a unique, ground-breaking volume that you’ll want to pick up again and again.

Seduced by a Highlander

Tristan MacGregor is famed throughout the Highlands as a silver-tonged seducer and an unrepentant rogue. Bold and charming, he’s dallied with many women, yet none as mysterious as the lass he steals a kiss from at king’s court. Little does he know this beauty is one of his clan’s greatest enemies.
Isobel Fergusson has despised the bloodthirsty MacGregors ever since they murdered her father. She’s horrified to learn that the handsome stranger she kissed is of this clan. But Tristan means to possess her at any cost and Isobel’s body turns traitor at his touch. Can a man she’s sworn to hate be the only one she can ever love?

LORD OF SEDUCTION: Pitch perfect medieval romance. This outing proves that relative newcomer Quinn is an author to watch. –Publishers Weekly (starred review) Expertly crafted historical romance. –Booklist
(source: Bol.com)

Sed & Awk

*sed & awk* describes two text processing programs that are mainstays of the UNIX programmer’s toolbox.
*sed* is a “stream editor” for editing streams of text that might be too large to edit as a single file, or that might be generated on the fly as part of a larger data processing step. The most common operation done with *sed* is substitution, replacing one block of text with another.
*awk* is a complete programming language. Unlike many conventional languages, *awk* is “data driven” — you specify what kind of data you are interested in and the operations to be performed when that data is found. *awk* does many things for you, including automatically opening and closing data files, reading records, breaking the records up into fields, and counting the records. While *awk* provides the features of most conventional programming languages, it also includes some unconventional features, such as extended regular expression matching and associative arrays. *sed & awk* describes both programs in detail and includes a chapter of example *sed* and *awk* scripts.
This edition covers features of *sed* and *awk* that are mandated by the POSIX standard. This most notably affects *awk*, where POSIX standardized a new variable, CONVFMT, and new functions, *toupper*() and *tolower*(). The CONVFMT variable specifies the conversion format to use when converting numbers to strings (*awk* used to use OFMT for this purpose). The *toupper*() and *tolower*() functions each take a (presumably mixed case) string argument and return a new version of the string with all letters translated to the corresponding case.
In addition, this edition covers GNU *sed*, newly available since the first edition. It also updates the first edition coverage of Bell Labs *nawk* and GNU *awk* (*gawk*), covers *mawk*, an additional freely available implementation of *awk*, and briefly discusses three commercial versions of *awk*, MKS *awk*, Thompson Automation *awk* (*tawk*), and Videosoft (VSAwk).

Secrets to the Grave

**#1 *New York Times* bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with her second thriller in the*Deeper than the Dead* microseries, exploring the early days of forensic investigation, the characteristics of innocence-and the nature of evil.**
Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.
When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother’s bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child’s voice saying, “My daddy hurt my mommy.”
Sheriff’s detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won’t fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne’s life is hectic enough-she’s a newlywed and a part- time student in child psychology, and she’s the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne’s heart is stolen.
As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham’s life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: *Marissa Fordham never existed.*

(source: Bol.com)

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

SUMMARY: Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

Secret Weapon Spouse


By day, quiet and reserved Samantha Peters worked for a high-end wedding planner. By night she was a top-notch agent with Miami Confidential. Then she met sexy Alex Graham after tragedy struck outside the Weddings Your Way salon, and Samantha had trouble keeping her two lives separate. Being with Alex brought out Samantha’s protective instincts–and the wild side she tried so hard to keep hidden–when she and Alex became the targets of a dangerous enemy. Samantha had to remain focused, or jeopardize the work and the team. After all, forming attachments to victims was wrong…even if being with Alex felt so right….
(source: Bol.com)

The Secret Spanish Love-Child

New boss love-child scandal! When plain-Jane Alex McGuire indulged in an innocent flirtation with a staggeringly perfect stranger, she never expected their paths to cross again. Meek and dowdy Alex was the ideal distraction for Gabriel Cruz in his heady playboy days But, since running the Cruz family business has beckoned, frivolous distractions are a thing of the past So on Alexs first day of her new job she not only finds her perfect stranger is her boss but she must tell him that their short affair left a lasting impression!

The Secret River

Moving between the slums of nineteenth-century London and the convict colonies of Australia, a compelling historical novel chronicles the lives and fortunes of the early pioneers of New South Wales, in a volume based on the author’s own family history. Reader’s Guide available. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

A vivid evocation of the rawest kind of colonialism. — Jem Poster * * Books * * Winner of the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction with The Idea of Perfection, Grenville’s latest, beautifully written novel concerns William Thornhill, a 19th-century convict from London deported to Australia, where he staked a claim on ancient Aboriginal lands – with tragic consequences. * * Financial Times * * In one stroke the author captures both Sullivan’s emotional dependence and Will’s compassion. Will’s relationship with Sal is frequently fortified by such psychological insights. Their mutual awareness gives the couple a convincing weight as well as engaging the reader’s sympathy and deepening the narrative tension. By this stage, what started as a sumptuous historical with its brilliantly atmospheric depiction of Georgian London’s Stygian gloom, has developed into a profound journey of self discovery. * * Independent on Sunday * * Ambitious new novel… Grenville’s skill is to turn what could have been too obviously a representative moral fable into a rich novel of character. * * Sunday Telegraph * * We have had to wait five years for The Secret River but the wait has been worth it….Splendidly paced, passionate and disturbing. * * The Times * *
(source: Bol.com)