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.

 

March 2017 Library Reads Picks

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: A Novel
by Hannah Tinti

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter. Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood. And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.”

- Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX

The Women in the Castle: A Novel
by Jessica Shattuck

“Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, this book is narrated by each of the women, giving us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. This story examines the human side of war, where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.”

- Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

The Wanderers
by Meg Howrey

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.”

- Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA

The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

“Fifteen-year-old Tea discovers that she has a power that sets her apart from the other witches in her village and will incur their hatred. She is a “bone witch” who can raise the dead. Aware that a darkness is coming, Tea agrees to leave her home and family so she can learn to save the very people who hate her. Her training, outlined in rich and fascinating detail, includes the courtly arts of singing and dancing, as well as classes in fighting. Told in short chapters, Tea reflects on her life, revealing how she becomes a courageous warrior. Although written for young adults, this will equally appeal to adults. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers eager for the promised sequel.”

- Trisha Perry, Oldham County Public Library, Lagrange, KY

The Hearts of Men: A Novel
by Nickolas Butler

“In the summer of 1962, we are introduced to popular Jonathan and social outcast, Nelson, aka ‘The Bugler.’ The only thing the two seem to have in common is that they both spend a few weeks of one summer at Camp Chippewa in the woods of Wisconsin. Yet, over the course of decades, their lives and the lives of those they love the fiercest are intertwined. This wonderful novel peels back the layers of male friendship and shows what loyalty, compassion, and selflessness looks like.”

- Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien CT

Eggshells
by Caitriona Lally

“Whimsical and different, this novel’s humor hooked me. Vivian is an eccentric, living in Dublin and searching for a place where she can feel she belongs. How can you help but love a character who checks every wardrobe for Narnia and every yellow road for an Emerald City? This novel movingly explores the outcasts and the different among us, showing that they are only hoping to fit in and find a friend.”

- Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Say Nothing: A Novel
by Brad Parks

“Fans of crime fiction and fans of domestic drama will find much to love in Parks’ genre-blending thriller. Judge Scott Sampson is a devoted family man and a respected jurist thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare: his 6-year-old twins are kidnapped, and the kidnappers blackmail Scott into increasingly immoral legal decisions. Cue marital meltdown, ethical dilemmas, paranoia, and a thrill ride that suspense lovers will race through to learn what happens next. It’s a departure from the author’s lightly snarky Carter Ross series, but a welcome one for readers of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz.”

- Donna Matturri, Pickertington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
by Michael Finkel

“There are three types of hermits in the world, according to Finkel: protesters, pilgrims, and pursuers. But Christopher Knight doesn’t seem to fit any of these categories. So why, at the age of 20, did he drive into a forest in Maine and disappear for 27 years, his only human interaction a single ‘hi’ with a passing hiker? This book uses the incredible but true story of Knight, ‘the last true hermit,’ to explore themes of solitude, introversion and the meaning of life.”

- Megan Tristao, San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
by Lisa See

“Li-Yan and her family, devote their lives to farming tea. Like her mother, Li-Yan is being groomed to become a midwife in her Chinese village. She yearns for more and is allowed to pursue her schooling. The arrival of outsiders seeking the Pu’er tea of Yunnan brings the modern world into this isolated village. When Li-Yan finds herself alone and pregnant, she leaves her child, wrapped with a tea cake, at an orphanage. Her daughter is adopted by a couple from California, but she is drawn to the study of tea. A sweeping historical novel that juxtaposes ancient China with its modern incarnation.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

If Not For You: A Novel
by Debbie Macomber

“High school music teacher, Beth, and tattooed auto mechanic, Sam, are set up by mutual friends, but neither sees a relationship developing. Their mutual disinterest quickly turns into friendship and then develops into much more. Just as their romantic relationship truly begins, Beth’s controlling mother and Sam’s hidden past get in the way and threaten to break them apart. As fans have grown to expect from Macomber, this tale tugs the heartstrings in every direction but is ultimately uplifting. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her characters.”

- Jenna Friebel, Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

February Library Reads Picks

I See You
by Clare Mackintosh

“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website. At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.”

- Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman

“After reading Gaiman’s account of Norse mythology, I doubt that I will ever forget how the gods of Asgard acquired their treasures. Thor’s hammer that never misses its mark, Frey’s incredible ship that shrinks to the size of a pocketable silk scarf, Odin’s powerful spear, all came to be because of Loki’s mischief. Above all, I will not forget the ill-gotten and ill-treated children of Loki who bring about Ragnarok, the end of earth and heaven and the death of the gods. Everything feels very real and very now when told by someone who has obviously drunk of the ‘mead of the poets.’”

- Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL

My Not So Perfect Life
by Sophie Kinsella

“Katie Brenner has moved from her family’s farm to the big city. She goes to great lengths to present the face that she thinks the world wants to see. When she’s fired from her job and forced to return home she helps her family get their new venture up and running. Learning the truth about herself and those around her leads to the realization that nobody’s life is as perfect as it seems from the outside. Kinsella never loses her sense of humor, even when her characters are facing serious situations. She makes you believe in them and leaves you wanting to know what happens next.”

- Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE

All Our Wrong Todays
by Elan Mastai

“Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller.Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the one you and I know. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.”

- Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

A Piece of the World
by Christina Baker Kline

“Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” would immortalize a young woman. This is the story of Christina and her life. After almost dying as a child of an undiagnosed illness, her legs are twisted, making her stumble as she walks. As she ages, the effects of this illness get much worse leaving her with a shrinking world. This book immerses us in the life on her farm and into the heart of a young woman. A fantastic, and touching story by this author that brings to life the story behind a painting and the life of a young girl who always wanted more than she was given, but accomplished so much despite her handicap.”

- Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Gilded Cage
by Vic James

“Welcome to a world where magic grants you access to all the benefits of wealth and power. This is the story of two families, one from magic and one not. When Abi comes up with a plan to help her family by having them serve one of the most powerful magical families, she thinks it will save them. But when her brother is sent to one of the harshest work camps, the plan seems less likely to keep them alive. Her brother must face the dangers of slavery while Abi and the others will see grandeur and wealth but also see the rotten core that is gilded in gold.”

- Suzanne Christensen, Spanish Fork Public Library, Spanish Fork, UT

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
by Jennifer Ryan

“The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a powerful story of both hope and despair. Told through diary entries, this is a wonderful glimpse into life in a small British town during WWII. Ryan is a skilled writer who gives each diary entry a clear voice: Mrs. Paltry is dishonest and scheming, Venetia, the self-centered young woman in love with a mysterious man, Kitty, the love struck teenager with big dreams, and Mrs. Tilling, the midwife and moral compass of the town. Through their entries, you really see them grow. The power of music brings them strength that they didn’t know that they had.”

- Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI

Setting Free the Kites
by Alex George

“Robert stands watching the demolition of the old paper mill that stood in the center of town and served as a constant reminder of his friend, Nathan. The reader is transported from present day to 1970s Maine, where Robbie finds his friendship with Nathan a literal escape from the bullying at school, and a figurative way of coping with his brother’s struggle with muscular dystrophy. The portrayal of family dynamics in the wake of tragedy is reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng but with an anchoring of boyhood friendship in this coming of age tale.”

- Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO

We Were the Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter

“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can. How this group of people manages to survive years of persecution and imprisonment is astounding. It is an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.”

- Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT

Garden of Lamentations
by Deborah Crombie

“Picking up where To Dwell In Darkness left off, Crombie’s new mystery resolves unresolved issues from that book while telling a compelling new story. Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery. Another fine entry in this excellent series.”

- Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

MARCH 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out the books we're discussing for March! 

BOOK CLUBBERS

The Queen of the Night

By: Alexander Chee

Date: Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer's chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.  As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress's maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

SPINE CRACKERS

Uprooted

By: Naomi Novik

Date: Friday, March 3rd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows--everyone knows--that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn't, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

BOOKALICIOUS

Out of Darkness

By: Ashley Hope Pérez

Date: Monday, March 13th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

“This is East Texas, and there’s lines. Lines you cross, lines you don’t cross. That clear?”

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive. Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion–the worst school disaster in American history–as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.

CLASSICS

Go Set a Watchman 

By: Harper Lee

Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Twenty years after the trial of Tom Robinson, Scout Finch returns home to Maycomb to visit her father Atticus and struggles with personal and political issues as her small Alabama town adjusts to the turbulent events beginning to transform the United States in the mid-1950s.

 

 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

By: Harper Lee

Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.

 

NIGHT READERS

What is Visible

By: Kimberly Elkins

Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

At age two, Laura Bridgman lost four of her five senses to scarlet fever. At age seven, she was taken to Perkins Institute in Boston to determine if a child so terribly afflicted could be taught. At age twelve, Charles Dickens declared her his prime interest for visiting America. And by age twenty, she was considered the nineteenth century's second most famous woman, having mastered language and charmed the world with her brilliance. Not since The Diving Bell and the Butterfly has a book proven so profoundly moving in illuminating the challenges of living in a completely unique inner world.

FEBRUARY 2017 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Start off the new year by joining one of our book clubs! Check out which books we're discussing in February! Stop by the Adult Services desk @ Harnish and pick up a copy today!

BOOK CLUBBERS

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

By: Ransom Riggs

Date: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

SPINE CRACKERS

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By: Elizabeth Gilbert

Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

Gilbert offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives; uncover the "strange jewels" that are hidden within each of us.

 

BOOKALICIOUS

Everything, Everything

By: Nicola Yoon

Date: Monday, February 13th, 2017 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

CLASSICS

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

By: Mark Twain

Date: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

A Yankee mechanic, knocked out in a fight, awakens at Camelot in A.D. 528. He saves himself from prison and death by posing as a magician and becoming minister to King Arthur. But when he attempts to help out the peasants, he meets opposition.

NIGHT READERS

The Cellist of Sarajevo

By: Steven Galloway

Date: Thursday, February 16th, 2017 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

While a cellist plays at the site of a mortar attack to commemorate the deaths of twenty-two friends and neighbors, two other men set out in search of bread and water to keep themselves alive, and a woman sniper secretly protects the life of the cellist as her army becomes increasingly threatening.

January 2017 Library Reads Picks

The Girl Before: A Novel
by JP Delaney

“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.

- Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL

The Bear and Nightingale: A Novel
by Katherine Arden

“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.”

- Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

The Dry: A Novel
by Jane Harper

“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself. At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.”

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Behind Her Eyes: A Novel
by Sarah Pinborough

“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Books For Living
by Will Schwalbe

“‘Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?’ Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, focuses on a personal collection of books that changed his life. Each book he selects provides a lesson, a reminder as to how to live his life. Readers will remember favorite books, find new books to try, and lessons to think about. Schwalbe’s book is warm, charming, and very personal. It’s a book for all avid readers.”

- Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN

The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel
by Susan Rivers

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.”

- Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

The Fifth Petal: A Novel
by Brunonia Barry

“Barry takes her readers back to Salem with a mesmerizing tale filled with familiar characters from her previous works and new ones as well. Towner Whitney and John Rafferty come to the aid of Callie Cahill as they attempt to piece together the circumstances surrounding the brutal murder of her mother while trying to keep herself from becoming a victim as well. This is a beautifully written story, full of twists and turns. Fans of The Lace Reader will love The Fifth Petal, though the book stands on its own and can be recommended to all readers.”

- Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel
by Lindsey Lee Johnson

“Not for the faint of heart, Johnson’s first book is a beautifully crafted work that delves into the perils of teen-dom in a wealthy, insulated California neighborhood. The story opens with the suicide of an outcast middle-school boy. Fast forward to high school, where seemingly minor struggles of both teens and adults expose themselves to be deeply ominous, leaving few untouched by the ensuing tragedies. As the plot slowly builds, the intricate web of relationships that intertwine the lives of characters and the events that they experience become apparent, ultimately returning full circle.”

- Amy Christiansen, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO

Her Every Fear: A Novel
by Peter Swanson

“Kate Priddy is moving to Boston to swap apartments with her cousin. Haunted by an abusive ex, she wants to leave behind her previous life. But when her neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is murdered, Kate is drawn into a web of fear even darker than her past. Varying points of view add new perspectives to the narrative as the book goes on; the mystery of what really happened to Audrey is just a part of the intrigue as we delve into the minds of imperfect, broken people. As a fan of Swanson’s previous work, I was not disappointed.”

- Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH

Heartstone
by Elle Katharine White

“A fun take on Pride and Prejudice in a fantasy setting. Merrybourne Manor has a gryphon infestation and has contracted with a band of Riders to kill them. As you can imagine, the main Rider is a little haughty and our heroine has a long memory. Familiar trials and tribulations occur with some detailed world-building, laying the groundwork for a sequel. Good for readers who don’t mind literary re-imaginings, love P&P, and Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels.”

- Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Library Reads Favorites of 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat.”

- Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

Commonwealth
by Ann Patchett

“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.”

- Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

My Name is Lucy Barton: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout

“Set in the mid-1980s, Lucy Barton, hospitalized for nine weeks, is surprised when her estranged mother shows up at her bedside. Her mother talks of local gossip, but underneath the banalities, Lucy senses the love that cannot be expressed. This is the story that Lucy must write about, the one story that has shaped her entire life. A beautiful lyrical story of a mother and daughter and the love they share.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
by Katarina Bivald

“Sara arrives in the small town of Broken Wheel to visit her pen pal Amy, only to discover Amy has just died. The tale of how she brings the love of books and reading that she shared with Amy to the residents of Broken Wheel is just a lovely read. Any book lover will enjoy Sara’s story and that of the friends she makes in Broken Wheel. If ever a town needed a bookstore, it is Broken Wheel; the healing power of books and reading is made evident by this heartwarming book.”

- Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

A Great Reckoning: A Novel
by Louise Penny

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.”

- David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

The Nest
by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

“If you think your family is dysfunctional, move over, because here come the Plumbs. Suddenly faced with the dismantling of the nest egg they’ve counted on to solve their financial woes, the four Plumb siblings have to grow up, and fast. But though they all do some terrible things in the name of ambition, there’s something lovable about the Plumbs. You can’t fail to be moved by the beating heart of this novel, which seems to say that family, for good or ill, unites us all.”

- Mary Kinser, Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham, WA

Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys

“Titanic. Lusitania. Wilhelm Gustloff. All major maritime disasters, yet the last is virtually unknown. Ruta Sepetys changes that in her gripping historical novel. Told in short snippets, Salt to the Sea rotates between four narrators attempting to escape various tragedies in 1945 Europe. Powerful and haunting, heartbreaking and hopeful–a must read.”

- Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

The Summer Before the War: A Novel
by Helen Simonson

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

- Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Lilac Girls: A Novel
by Martha Hall Kelly

“This is story of the Ravensbruck Rabbits: seventy-four women prisoners in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Using alternating first-person narratives, the characters relate their experiences from 1939 through 1959. Drawing upon a decade of research, Hall reconstructs what life was like in Ravensbruck. More than a war story, this is a tale of how the strength of women’s bonds can carry them through even the most difficult situations. Lilac Girls is a solid, compelling historical read.”

- Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty

“A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one pivotal moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. In trademark Moriarty style, the story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences, creating a delicious momentum for the reader as the tension builds and the pieces fall into place. Moriarty has another sure-fire winner with this look at the complexities of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships.”

- Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

November 2016 Library Reads Picks

Faithful:A Novel
by Alice Hoffman

“With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible.”

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

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel
by Erika Johansen

“It’s been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about–community, leadership, the use and abuse of power–and makes me want to reread all three books.”

- Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel
by Lee Child

“Child goes back to the well and gives readers another glimpse into Jack Reacher’s past as a military cop — and what a worthwhile trip it is. It’s 1996 — after Reacher receives a Legion of Merit medal, he’s sent to “Night School” with two other men, one from the FBI and another from the CIA. Soon the trio learns that they’ve been selected for a covert mission. Child layers his page-turning story with careful and sometimes dryly humorous details.This suspense series keeps getting better — it’s a joy to read.”

- Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

When All The Girls Have Gone
by Jayne Ann Krentz

“Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer’s sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best.”

- Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN

I’ll Take You There: A Novel
by Wally Lamb

“I’ll Take You There is delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars. Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era. She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society.”

- Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, WI

Swing Time
by Zadie Smith

“Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith’s new novel is a charming account of one woman’s coming-of-age. Smith’s unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child lives in one of London’s many low-end housing units. She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and “brown” in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey’s final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction.”

- Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire
by Julia Baird

“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.”

- Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

Moonglow: A Novel
by Michael Chabon

“A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.”

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Normal: A Novel
by Warren Ellis

“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel
by Carol Birch

“Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can’t get past what they see because Julia’s face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be “other,” to always be on the outside looking in.”

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