OCTOBER 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out these books we are discussing in October! Pick up a copy today @ the Harnish Adult Services desk!

BOOK CLUBBERS

A Spool of Blue Thread

By: Anne Tyler

Date: Thursday, October 5th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . . . ” This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor.

SPINE CRACKERS

In a Dark, Dark Wood

By: Ruth Ware

Date: Friday, October 6th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.

BOOKALICIOUS

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

By: A.S. King

Date: Monday, October 9th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

CLASSICS

All the King's Men

By: Robert Penn Warren

Date: Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

More than just a classic political novel, Warren’s tale of power and corruption in the Depression-era South is a sustained meditation on the unforeseen consequences of every human act, the vexing connectedness of all people and the possibility—it’s not much of one—of goodness in a sinful world. Willie Stark, Warren’s lightly disguised version of Huey Long, the onetime Louisiana strongman/governor, begins as a genuine tribune of the people and ends as a murderous populist demagogue. Jack Burden is his press agent, who carries out the boss’s orders, first without objection, then in the face of his own increasingly troubled conscience. And the politics? For Warren, that’s simply the arena most likely to prove that man is a fallen creature. Which it does.

NITE READERS

The Translation of Love

By: Lynne Kutsukake

Date: Thursday, October 19th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Thirteen-year-old Aya Shimamura is released from a Canadian internment camp in 1946, still grieving the recent death of her mother, and repatriated to Japan with her embittered father. They arrive in a devastated Tokyo occupied by the Americans under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Aya's English-language abilities are prized by the principal of her new school, but her status as the "repat girl" makes her a social pariah--until her seatmate, a fierce, willful girl named Fumi Tanaka, decides that Aya might be able to help her find her missing older sister. Beautiful Sumiko has disappeared into the seedy back alleys of the Ginza. Fumi has heard that General MacArthur sometimes assists Japanese citizens in need, and she enlists Aya to compose a letter in English asking him for help.
Corporal Matt Matsumoto is a Japanese-American working for the Occupation forces, and it's his overwhelming job to translate thousands of letters for the General. He is entrusted with the safe delivery of Fumi's letter; but Fumi, desperate for answers, takes matters into her own hands, venturing into the Ginza with Aya in tow.

SEPTEMBER 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Looking for something new to read? Why not try one of our book club titles? Come in and grab a copy at the Harnish Adult Services desk today and join in on the September discussion later!

SPINE CRACKERS

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

By: Melanie Benjamin

Date: Friday, September 1st, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends—the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman—a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.
Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t his to tell.

BOOK CLUBBERS

The Lake House

By: Kate Morton

Date: Thursday, September 7th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories.
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as a novelist. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old Edevane estate—now crumbling and covered with vines. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.

BOOKALICIOUS

Fahrenheit 451

By: Ray Bradbury

Date: Monday, September 11th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

CLASSICS

Main Street

By: Sinclair Lewis

Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

The first of Sinclair Lewis’s great successes, Main Street shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire of narrow-minded provincialism. Reflecting his own unhappy childhood in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lewis’s sixth novel attacked the conformity and dullness he saw in midwestern village life. Young college graduate Carol Milford moves from the city to tiny Gopher Prairie after marrying the local doctor, and tries to bring culture to the small town. But her efforts to reform the prairie village are met by a wall of gossip, greed, conventionality, pitifully unambitious cultural endeavors, and—worst of all—the pettiness and bigotry of small-town minds.

NITE READERS

It Can't Happen Here

By: Sinclair Lewis

Date: Thursday, September 21st, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

The only one of Sinclair Lewis's later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith, It Can't Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression when America was largely oblivious to Hitler's aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press. Now finally back in print, It Can't Happen Here remains uniquely important, a shockingly prescient novel that's as fresh and contemporary as today's news.

AUGUST 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

There's still time to read another book before Summer Reading ends on July 31st! Stop by the Adult Services desk @Harnish to pick up a book club book and join an August discussion!

BOOK CLUBBERS

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

By: Mitch Albom

Date: Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.
He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappear just before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us. 

SPINE CRACKERS

The Light Between Oceans

By: M.L. Stedman

Date: Friday, August 4th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

BOOKALICIOUS

Salt to the Sea

By: Ruta Sepetys

Date: Monday, August 14th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

CLASSICS

The Red and the Black

By: Stendhal

Date: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Rênal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime—and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien—the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions—is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.

NITE READERS

Saving Sophie

By: Ronald H. Balson

Date: Thursday, August 17th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Jack Sommers was just an ordinary accountant from Chicago-that is, until his wife passed away, his young daughter was kidnapped, and he became the main suspect in an $88 million dollar embezzlement case. Now Jack is on the run, hoping to avoid the feds long enough to rescue his daughter, Sophie, from her maternal grandfather, a suspected terrorist in Palestine. With the help of investigative team Liam and Catherine, and a new CIA operative, a secret mission is launched to not only rescue Sophie but also to thwart a major terrorist attack in Hebron. But will being caught in the crossfires of the Palestine-Israeli conflict keep their team from accomplishing the task at hand, or can they overcome the odds and save countless lives, including their own?

June 2017 Library Reads Picks

Magpie Murders
by Anthony Horowitz

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.”

-Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL

 

Silver Silence
by Nalini Singh

“Silver Silence is a new chapter in the Psy/Changeling series. As the world tries to adjust after a peace accord, Silver Mercant takes center stage. As head of an aid organization reacting to rampant terrorism, she’s an obvious target. But Alpha Valentin Nikolaev has already decided she’s his to protect. Valentin and Silver start tracking down deadly shadow factions that want to undermine the Trinity Accords. Diverse and fascinating world-building are on full display along with a bumped up level of humor in the face of adversity.”

- Jessica Trotter, Capital District Area Libraries, Lansing, MI

The Waking Land
by Callie Bates

“Lady Elanna Voltai flees her adopted homeland when the king, who raised her like a daughter, dies under mysterious circumstances and Elanna is accused of murder. Forced to return to the magical homeland of her birth and her estranged father who was branded a traitor for inciting rebellion, Elanna must come to terms with the life she left behind and her destiny. I loved watching Elanna find her voice and her strength, and the rich world of magic around her makes this story even more fantastic!”

-Jessica Perham, Schaumburg Township Library, Schaumburg, IL

Down Among The Sticks And Bones
by Seanan McGuire

“In Every Heart a Doorway we met Jack and Jill, two sisters bound together yet alienated. In this installment, we learn how these two girls escape their parents when they exit the world we know for a realm of fairy-tale horror via a magic stairway, appearing in a trunk in a locked room. This is a story about two young women and the trauma that shapes them; a story about love, hate, and the thin line between. A captivating and emotional novella that irresistibly sweeps the reader along.”

-Tegan Mannino, Monson Free Library, Monson, MA

Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel
by Maile Meloy

“Liv and Nora, who are cousins, decide to take their families on a cruise. Both have an eleven-year-old and a younger child as well. At one of the ports, the moms take the children out with another family they met on the ship. All goes well until the children, in a brief moment, aren’t observed and disappear. From here the nightmare begins, and the story alternates between what is happening to the children and the adults. The story is gripping and the characters are well-developed. The book explores family and marital dynamics, race, privilege, guilt, and responsibility.”

-Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

The Alice Network: A Novel
by Kate Quinn

“Outstanding fictional account of the Alice network, women spies in World War I, tough and determined to defeat the Germans. The story centers on Eve Gardiner, aka Marguerite, a young woman trained to spy on the Germans, and Charlie St. Clair, a young woman post WWII, pregnant, lost and finding her direction. The two meet and the story alternates chapters as Charlie is determined to find her cousin, Rose presumed dead after the war, while Eve’s story of the Alice network unfolds. A fantastic book with strong female characters.”

-Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Child
by Fiona Barton

“When a baby skeleton is unearthed at a construction site, reporter Kate Waters thinks it is a story worth investigating. As she digs into the mystery of the child, she uncovers more than she bargained for. Told from the viewpoints of various characters, Barton tells an intriguing tale about the newborn baby and all the characters involved, leaving it up to the readers to put together the connections until the very end.”

-Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, NC

 

The Little French Bistro: A Novel
by Nina George

“Terribly depressed by the emptiness of her long marriage, Marianne decides to end it all by jumping off a Paris bridge. Her unwanted rescue and ensuing marital abandonment jolt Marianne into ditching her tour group and setting out for Finistere, the westernmost coast of Brittany. Keeping body and soul together by working at a seaside bistro, Marianne finds herself healing through the company of a diverse group of quirky locals. The Little French Bistro is merveilleux. It refreshes like the sea breeze sweeping the Breton coast.”

-Sarah Nagle, Carver County Library, Chaska, MN

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a delightful tale of old Hollywood, so full of detail, that you’ll swear Evelyn was a real actor. Monique Grant is tasked with writing an article about the famous woman, so she interviews Evelyn who tells us all about her career, starting in the 1950s — and her many marriages. This novel will enchant you, and Evelyn will stay with you long after you finish reading.”

- Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel
by Matthew Sullivan

“Lydia Smith is enjoying her comfortable life. She has a job she loves at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Then one of her favorite “bookfrogs” (code word for eccentric bookstore regulars) commits suicide and leaves her his small horde of books. She discovers a strangely methodical defacement which is a kind of code. A delicate spiderweb of connections leading back to a murderous incident in Lydia’s childhood is revealed. This pushed me into reading ‘just one more chapter’ until late into the night.”

- Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park, NJ

JULY 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out these books we are discussing in July! Pick up a copy today @ the Harnish Adult Services desk!

BOOK CLUBBERS

Seating Arrangements

By: Maggie Shipstead

Date: Thursday, July 6th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Winn Van Meter has a Harvard education, membership in all the right clubs, a pedigreed wife, and a tastefully understated summer home on a pristine New England island where the wedding of his eldest daughter, Daphne, is about to take place. The weather is idyllic and so, it would seem, is the gathering. But the three-day wedding weekend soon turns into a complete social disaster in every way imaginable.

SPINE CRACKERS

No Book Selection!

Everyone read a favorite book and share over lunch @Harnish!

Any questions? Ask for Elena 🙂

Date: Friday, July 7th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

 

 

 

BOOKALICIOUS

The Truth Commission

By: Susan Juby

Date: Monday, July 10th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

As a project for her "creative non-fiction module" at a school for the arts, Normandy Pale chronicles the work of the Truth Commission, through which she and her two best friends ask classmates and faculty about various open secrets, while Norm's famous sister reveals some very unsettling truths of her own.

CLASSICS

The Tin Drum

By: Günter Grass

Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II , The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and who, as the novel begins, is being held in a mental institution. Willfully stunting his growth at three feet for many years, wielding his tin drum and piercing scream as anarchistic weapons, he provides a profound yet hilarious perspective on both German history and the human condition in the modern world.

NITE READERS

At the Edge of the Orchard

By: Tracy Chevalier

Date: Thursday, July 20th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck--in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut, while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life. 1853: Their youngest child, Robert, is wandering through gold rush California. Restless and haunted by the broken family he left behind, he has made his way alone across the country. In the redwood and giant sequoia groves he finds some solace, collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England. But you can run only so far, even in America, and when Robert's past makes an unexpected appearance he must decide whether to strike out again or stake his own claim to a home at last.

JUNE 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out these books we are discussing in June! Pick up a copy today @ the Harnish Adult Services desk!

BOOK CLUBBERS

Nine Women, One Dress

By: Jane Rosen

Date: Thursday, June 1st, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .

SPINE CRACKERS

Small Great Things

By: Jodi Picoult

Date: Friday, June 2nd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

A woman and her husband admitted to a hospital to have a baby request that their nurse be reassigned - they are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is black, to touch their baby. The hospital complies, but the baby later goes into cardiac distress when Ruth is on duty. She hesitates before rushing in to perform CPR. When her indecision ends in tragedy, Ruth finds herself on trial, represented by a white public defender who warns against bringing race into a courtroom. As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear.

 

BOOKALICIOUS

Positive: A Memoir

By: Paige Rawl

Date: Monday, June 12th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth--but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role. On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status--and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS, " first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the "drama, " and her principal said she couldn't protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills--one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story; instead, it was only the beginning.

NITE READERS

Crooked Heart

By: Lissa Evans

Date: Thursday, June 15th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

When Noel Bostock--aged ten, no family--is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge--a thirty-six-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she's unscrupulous about how she gets it. Noel's mourning his godmother, Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years and raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war's provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs--and what she's never had--is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, she's a disaster. With Noel, she's a team. Together they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to turn a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money off the war and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn't actually safe at all...

CLASSICS

So Big

By: Edna Ferber

Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and widely considered to be Edna Ferber's greatest achievement, So Big is a classic novel of turn-of-the-century Chicago. It is the unforgettable story of Selina Peake DeJong, a gambler's daughter, and her struggles to stay afloat and maintain her dignity and her sanity in the face of marriage, widowhood, and single parenthood. A brilliant literary masterwork from one of the twentieth century's most accomplished and admired writers, the remarkable So Big still resonates with its unflinching view of poverty, sexism, and the drive for success.

May 2017 Library Reads Picks

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine:A Novel
by Gail Honeyman

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.”

- Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
by Kate Moore

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Since We Fell: A Novel
by Dennis Lehane

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.”

- Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

The Leavers: A Novel
by Lisa Ko

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.”

- Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis MO

Ginny Moon: A Novel
by Benjamin Ludwig

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.”

- Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Saints For All Occasions: A Novel
by J. Courtney Sullivan

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

- Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI

White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel
by Ilona Andrews

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!”

- Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL

 

Sycamore: A Novel
by Bryn Chancellor

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.”

- Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY

Astrophysics For People In A Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

The Jane Austen Project: A Novel
by Kathleen A. Flynn

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.”

- Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY

April 2017 Library Reads Picks

Anything Is Possible: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Beartown: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.”

- Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Waking Gods: Book 2 of the Themis Files
by Sylvain Neuvel

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.”

- Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX

Miss You: A Novel
by Kate Eberlen

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.”

- Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

The Stars Are Fire: A Novel
by Anita Shreve

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.”

- Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR

American War: A Novel
by Omar El Akkad

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.”

- Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.”

- Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The Shadow Land: A Novel
by Elizabeth Kostova

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.”

- Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

A Twist In Time: A Novel
by Julie McElwain

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.”

- Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC

Gone Without a Trace
by Mary Torjussen

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.”

- Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

MAY 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out these books we are discussing in May! Pick up a copy today @ the Harnish Adult Services desk!

BOOK CLUBBERS

Wonder

By: R.J. Palacio

Date: Thursday, May 4th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

SPINE CRACKERS

The Nightingale

By: Kristin Hannah

Date: Friday, May 5th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

France, 1939. In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive. Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth.  While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

BOOKALICIOUS

The Alex Crow

By: Andrew Smith

Date: Monday, May 8th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow.

CLASSICS

The Way of All Flesh 

By: Samuel Butler

Date: Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Written between 1873 and 1884 and published posthumously in 1903, The Way of All Flesh is regarded by some as the first twentieth-century novel. Samuel Butler's autobiographical account of a harsh upbringing and troubled adulthood shines an iconoclastic light on the hypocrisy of a Victorian clerical family's domestic life. It also foreshadows the crumbling of nineteenth-century bourgeois ideals in the aftermath of the First World War, as well as the ways in which succeeding generations have questioned conventional values. Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as "one of the summits of human achievement," this chronicle of the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex spans four generations, focusing chiefly on the relationship between Ernest and his father, Theobald. Written in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species, it reflects the dawning consciousness of heredity and environment as determinants of character. Along the way, it offers a powerfully satirical indictment of Victorian England's major institutions—the family, the church, and the rigidly hierarchical class structure.

NITE READERS

Flight of Dreams

By: Ariel Lawhon

Date: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.

 

APRIL 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out what our book clubs are discussing in April! Stop by the Adult Services desk @ Harnish to pick up a copy!

BOOK CLUBBERS

The Summer Before the War

By: Helen Simonson

Date: Thursday, April 6th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00pm

It's the summer of 1914 and life in the sleepy village of Rye, England, is about to take an interesting turn. Agatha Kent is expecting an unusual candidate to be the school's Latin teacher: Beatrice Nash, a young woman of good breeding in search of a position after the death of her father. Agatha's nephews, meanwhile, have come to spend the summer months, as always, both with dreams of their own. When Hugh is sent to pick up Beatrice from the train station life, of course, changes. Here, these characters and others we come to love and root for become characters we hope and pray for when the shadow of the Great War looms ever closer to home.

 

SPINE CRACKERS

The Book That Matters Most

By: Ann Hood

Date: Friday, April 7th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00am

Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood--one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.

BOOKALICIOUS

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

By: Teresa Toten

Date: Monday, April 10th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00pm

When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he is drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. He's determined to protect and defend her--to play Batman to her Robyn--whatever the cost. But when you're fourteen and the everyday problems of dealing with divorced parents and step-siblings are supplemented by the challenges of OCD, it's hard to imagine yourself falling in love. How can you have a "normal" relationship when your life is so fraught with problems? And that's not even to mention the small matter of those threatening letters Adam's mother has started to receive . . .

 

CLASSICS

The Invisible Man

By: H.G. Wells

Date: Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00pm

With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin--the new guest at the Coach and Horses--is at first assumed to be a shy accident victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however, and when Kemp refuses to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.

 

NITE READERS

Quartet: Four Tales from the Crossroads

By: George R.R. Martin

Date: Thursday, April 20th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00pm

Quartet is a short story collection by George R.R. Martin and contains the following stories: The Skin Trade, Blood of the Dragon, Black and White and Red All Over, and Starport.