August 2016 Library Reads Picks

A Great Reckoning: A Novel
by Lousie 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 Couple Next Door
by Shari Lapena

“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.”

- Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS

Watching Edie
by Camilla Way

“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.”

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

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
by Louise Miller

“Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers.”

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

The Dollhouse: A Novel
by Fiona Davis

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!”

- Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel
by Ann Hood

“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.”

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

Arrowood: A Novel
by Laura McHugh

“Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris

“On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end.”

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

First Star I See Tonight: A Novel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

““First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.”

- Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI

Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery
by Donna Andrews

“Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly Summerball baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery.”

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

National Book Lover’s Day

national-book-lovers-day

August 9th is National Book Lover’s Day!

Observed each year on August 9, (and sometimes on the first Saturday in November) bibliophiles and bookworms get to celebrate on National Book Lovers Day! Although it is unclear when the holiday originated, it is a day for all those who love to read. National Book Lovers Day encourages you to find your favorite reading place, a good book (whether it be fiction or non-fiction) and treat yourself to some quality reading time.

Historically, the very first books used parchment or vellum (calf skin) for the book pages, and the covers were made of wood and often covered with leather. These were then also sometimes fitted with clasps or straps. Public libraries first appeared in the Middle Ages. Because books at this time were written and often illustrated by hand, they were very valuable: they were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft!

In modern times, we now have digital or e-books. E-books (electronic book) are book-length publications in digital format, usually available through the Internet or a library database like OverDrive. E-books and e-audiobooks are read either by computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Nook or Kindle, or via a compatible smartphone device.

Studies have shown that reading can be not just entertaining, but can also have many health benefits. Reading helps reduce stress, keep the brain sharp, and can even help you sleep better. Scientists have also found that those who read are much more likely to be empathetic and understanding of others.

So whatever format of book you choose to enjoy, whatever genre, today you can just sit back, relax and READ! Use #NationalBookLoversDay to post on social media and spread the word.

Olympic Inspiration


The Rio Olympic Games are almost here, with the Opening Ceremonies commencing on August 5, 2016. As anticipation and excitement for the games build, now is the time to pick up an inspiring book or movie to get in an Olympics state-of-mind. Extraordinary true stories, fascinating history, as well as fun fictional stories -- we have it all! See below for a sampling of our offerings and click on a title if you'd like to place it on hold. Stop by the library today to find some Olympic inspiration!

Cover image for The end of the perfect 10 :

The end of the perfect 10 : the making and breaking of gymnastics' top score--from Nadia to now
by Dvora Meyers

Just in time for the 2016 Olympic Games and the fortieth anniversary of Nadia Comaneci’s “Perfect 10,” an exciting and insightful account of the controversial world of gymnastics, the recent changes of the scoring system, and why those changes will drive American gymnasts to the top of the sport in the twenty-first century.

Gymnastics insider Dvora Meyers examines the evolution of elite women’s gymnastics over the last few decades. With insight, flair, and a boundless love for the sport, Meyers answers questions that gymnastics fans have been asking since the last perfect score was handed out over twenty years ago. She reveals why successful female gymnasts are older and more athletic than they have ever been before, how the United States became a gymnastics powerhouse, and what the future of gymnastics will hold.

Cover image for The Games :The Games
by David Goldblatt

Renowned sportswriter David Goldblatt has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal for writing "with the expansive eye of a social and cultural critic" In The Games Goldblatt delivers a magisterial history of the biggest sporting event of them all: the Olympics. He tells the epic story of the Games from their reinvention in Athens in 1896 to the present day, chronicling classic moments of sporting achievement from Jesse Owens to Nadia Comăneci, the Miracle on Ice to Usain Bolt. He goes beyond the medal counts to explore how international conflicts have played out at the Olympics, including the role of the Games in Fascist Germany and Italy, the Cold War, and the struggles of the postcolonial world for recognition. He also tells the extraordinary story of how women fought to be included on equal terms, how the Paralympics started in the wake of World War II, and how the Olympics reflect changing attitudes to race and ethnicity.

 

 Cover image for The boys in the boat :The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans.

 

  Cover image for RaceRace
(DVD)

The incredible true story of Olympic legend Jesse Owens. In his epic quest to be the greatest athlete in history, Owens chooses to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he must overcome not only elite competition, but also the brutal racial climate of Adolf Hitler's Germany. A film about courage, determination, tolerance, friendship and trust.

 

by Duncan Hamilton
The untold and inspiring story of Eric Liddell, hero of Chariots of Fire, from his Olympic medal to his missionary work in China to his last, brave years in a Japanese work camp during WWII. -- Amazon.com

 Cover image for The gamesThe Games
by James Patterson

Two years ago Morgan - the head of the renowned worldwide investigation firm Private - was in charge of security for the World Cup in Brazil. During the championship final, the action nearly spilled from the field into the stands. Fortunately, Jack and his team averted disaster on football's biggest stage. Now he has returned to Rio to secure the Olympics. But before the torch is lit, the threats come fast and furious as Jack discovers that someone is trying to sabotage the games. A lethal plan put in motion during the World Cup is set to decimate Rio, and turn the Olympics from a worldwide celebration into a horrifying spectacle. Click here to find more titles in the Private series.

Cover image for Brazil's dance with the devil :Brazil's dance with the devil : the World Cup, the Olympics, and the fight for democracy
by Dave Zirlin

The people of Brazil celebrated when they learned that in the space of two years their country would host the world's two largest sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades.

Dave Zirin relies on fieldwork from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, exposing how sports and politics have collided in spectacular fashion. One of the Boston Globe 's "Best Sports Books of 2014," this edition has been newly updated to assess the final tally of debt and displacement that accompanied the 2014 World Cup, eyewitness accounts of the militarized police crackdown, and new reporting on the pre-Olympic plans furthering immiseration in cities across Brazil.

Cover image for Gold

Gold
by Chris Cleave

IF your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe—who has everything to lose—to get it. Now her child is facing a life-threatening illness, and the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams? -- Goodreads
 

Cover image for Off balance :Off Balance
by Dominique Moceanu

At fourteen, Dominique Moceanu was the youngest member of the 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastic team, the first and only American women's team to take gold at the Olympics. Her pixie-like appearance, passion for the sport, and ferocious competitive drive quickly earned her the status of media darling. But behind the fame, the flawless floor routines, and the million-dollar smile, her life was a series of challenges and hardships. From her stubborn father and long-suffering mother, to her notorious coach, Bela Karolyi, Off Balance reveals how each of the dominating characters contributed to her rise to the top. She shares the stories of competition, her years of hiding injuries and pain out of fear of retribution, and how she hit rock bottom after being publicly scorned by her father. But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside, the most unique aspect of her life is the family secret that Moceanu discovers, opening a new and unexpected chapter in her adult life.--From publisher description.

Cover image for Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher
(DVD)

Mark and Dave Schultz, U.S. Olympic Wrestling champions, join Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - but John's emotional self-destruction threatens to consume them all. -- IMDb

Cover image for Triumph :Triumph
by Jeremy Schaaf

At the 1936 Olympics, against a backdrop of swastikas and goose-stepping storm troopers, an African-American son of sharecroppers won a staggering four gold medals and single-handedly demonstrated that Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy was a lie. The story of Jesse Owens at the Berlin games is that of an athletic performance that transcends sports. It is also the intimate and complex tale of one remarkable man's courage. Drawing on unprecedented access to the Owens family, previously unpublished interviews, and exhaustive archival research, Jeremy Schaap transports us to Germany and tells the dramatic tale of Owens and his fellow athletes at the contest dubbed the Nazi Olympics. -- Amazon

August 2016 Book Discussions

Looking for something new to read? Check out what our book clubs are reading for August! All are welcome to attend our book discussions. You don't need to register. Simply stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up copies of the current month's book selections.

SPINECRACKERS

SPINECRACKERS AUGThe Language of Flowers

By: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Date: Friday, August 5th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 AM

The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.

BOOK CLUBBERS

Lock In

By: John Scalzi

Date: Thursday, August 4th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

A pandemic results in millions of paralyzed people locked inside their minds.  Science provides a way for them to interact with the rest of humanity, but this science fiction plot turns into a thriller with a police procedural/medical mystery twist.

BOOKALICIOUS

Dumplin

By: Julie Murphy

Date: Monday, August 8th, 2016 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 PM

Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

CLASSICS BOOK CLUB

CLASSIC AUG

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

By: Ken Kesey

Date: Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

A criminal feigns insanity and is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse.

 

NIGHT READERS

NIGHT READERS AUG2

Our Souls at Night

By: Kent Haruf

Date: Thursday, August 18th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness, but soon they are exchanging confidences and memories.

 

July 2016 Library Reads Picks

Dark Matter: A Novel
by Blake Crouch

“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.”

- Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

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. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!”

- Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

The Last One: A Novel
by Alexandra Oliva

“The Last One tells the story of twelve contestants who are sent to the wilderness in a Survivor-like reality show. But while they’re away, the world changes completely and what is real and what is not begins to blur. It’s post-apocalyptic literary fiction at it’s best. With a fast pace and a wry sense of humor, this is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of literary fiction and genre fiction alike. It points out the absurdity of reality television without feeling condescending. As the readers wake up to the realities of a new world, it becomes difficult to put down.”

- Leah White, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, IL

Among the Wicked: A Kate Burkholder Novel
by Linda Castillo

“In the small Amish locale of Painters Mill, police chief Kate Burkholder decides to take an undercover assignment in a community where the death of a young girl was reported. Her long time love, Agent John Tomasetti, is reluctant with her decision because of the lack of communication he will have with her. Burkholder begins to unfold the true horrors on the local farm and unearths the dangers the town officials suspected. She finds herself trapped in a life threatening cat and mouse game. This ongoing series is a true gem and a personal favorite.”

- KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

The Unseen World: A Novel
by Liz Moore

“The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. The core of the novel explores the relationship between Ada and her scientist father David. When a tragedy upends their routine lives, Ada embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will eventually lead her to new truths. Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book.”

- Janie Hermann, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ

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

All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel
by Wendy Walker

“A dark, twisty, intricately-plotted psychological thriller about a teen girl, assaulted after a party, as she tries to regain her memories of the event after taking a controversial drug that erases traumatic memories. Walker’s many plot and character threads are carefully placed, and she weaves them all together into a satisfying, shattering conclusion. I’m betting we’ll be seeing this title in a LOT of beach bags over the summer.”

- Gregg Winsor, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS

The Hopefuls: A Novel
by Jennifer Close

“When Beth and Matt, an aspiring politician, move from NYC to DC, Beth initially hates it. But things start to turn around for her when they befriend another “transplant” couple, Ashleigh and Jimmy. Beth’s loyalty is tested when she is forced to admit to herself that Matt is just not quite as attractive, magnetic or charismatic as his rival-friend, Jimmy…..who harbors similar political aspirations. The Hopefuls is on point in its descriptions of young marriage, career ambition, and complicated friendships. The characters are completely compelling. I was overdue for a great read and this was it!”

- Amy Lapointe, Amherst Town Library, Amherst, NH

Siracusa
by Delia Ephron

“Michael and Lizzie are vacationing with another couple and their daughter, named Snow. As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to infidelities. Ephron does a tremendous job in exposing the frailties of relationships and it feels like being intimate with other people’s problems but without the guilt. Engaging and tough to put down. Great summer read!”

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel
by Jane L. Rosen

“Nine Women, One Dress sends the reader on a journey with many characters and the little black dress of the season. From the soon-retiring dress designer and the first-time runway model, to the retail salespeople and an actor, this book relates how the dress touches and, often profoundly, changes the lives of all. Even though there were many characters in this book, the author immersed the reader into their lives. Romance, humor, and irony spark the plot as the dress travels from one life to another. A charming read!”

- Kristin Fields, Farnhamville Public Library, Farnhamville, IA

JULY 2016 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Looking for something new to read? Check out what our book clubs are reading for July!  All are welcome to attend our book discussions.   You don't need to register.  Simply stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up copies of the current month's book selections.

SPINECRACKERS BOOK CLUB

launguage of flowersThe Language of Flowers
By: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Date: Friday, July 1st, 2016 @ Harnish
Start Time: 10:00AM

The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.

BOOK CLUBBERS

good luckThe Good Luck of Right Now
By: Matthew Quick

Date: Thursday, July 7, 2016 @ Harnish
Start Time: 7:00PM

When his mother dies, 38-year-old Bartholomew Neil, who doesn't know how to be on his own, discovers a letter in his mother's underwear drawer that causes him to write a series of highly intimate letters to actor Richard Gere, while embarking on a quest to find out where he belongs.

BOOKALICIOUS

ill give you the sun

I'll Give You the Sun
By: Jandy Nelson

Date: Monday, July 11, 2016 @ Village Vintner
Start Time: 7:00PM

A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artist Jude and her twin brother Noah.

CLASSIC BOOK CLUB

a tale of two cities

A Tale of Two Cities
By: Charles Dickens

Date: Wednesday, July, 20, 2016 @ Harnish
Start Time: 7:00PM

Set before and during the French Revolution in the cities of Paris and London, A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr. Manette's release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with daughter, Lucie. A French aristocrat, Darnay, and English lawyer, Carton, compete in their love for Lucie and the ensuing tale plays out against the menacing backdrop of the French Revolution and the shadow of the guillotine.

NIGHT READERS BOOK CLUB

maraudersThe Marauders
By: Tom Cooper

Date: Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ Harnish
Start Time: 7:00PM

When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf Coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte.

June 2016 Library Reads Picks

Vinegar Girl
by Anne Tyler

“The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman

“Directed by powerful librarians, agents roam alternate realities searching out special volumes for their mysterious library’s collections. Irene is a spy for the library but something is a little off about her current mission; there’s something strange about her new assistant that she can’t quite put her finger on and worse, the requested volume has already been stolen. Cogman’s engaging characters and a most intriguing imagined world are sure to delight readers, especially bibliophiles.”

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

Under the Harrow: A Novel
by Flynn Berry

“Nora leaves London to visit her sister, Rachel, in the countryside often. But this trip is different – a silent house, a dead dog hanging from the railing and so much blood. Nora stays, trying to help the police solve the case. She thinks it might have something to do with the unsolved attack on Rachel when she was just a teen but it could be someone new. This story is thrilling and quietly gripping. We become as obsessed as Nora in finding her sister’s killer and what if he strikes again?”

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

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
by Mary Roach

“With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a fascinating topic few of us would openly explore. She writes about the issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Roach brings to our attention the amazing efforts of science to tackle all the challenges of modern warfare. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating

revelation.”

- Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA

Homegoing: A Novel
by Yaa Gyasi

“An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.”

- Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

Missing, Presumed: A Novel
by Susie Steiner

“This is a thoughtful police procedural about a missing person case and the secrets that come to the surface when a feisty detective becomes relentless in finding the truth. Edith is a successful college student from a well-known family, but all is not what it seems. Detective Manon Bradshaw is feeling the pressure to quickly resolve the case. What sets this apart from other detective stories is how the lead character is brought to life; she exposes her melancholy and it adds a satisfying mix to the thrills. Recommended for fans of Tana French.”

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

Stiletto: A Novel
by Daniel O’Malley

“In the long-awaited sequel to The Rook, negotiations between two highly secret organizations, one based on science and reason and the other on the supernatural, are continuing. Odette and Pawn both come to the forefront of the story as we get more of the history of the groups and why mortal enemies would want to join forces. With its blend of intricate world-building and fantastical situations, Stiletto both surprised me and made me laugh.”

- Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA

We Could Be Beautiful: A Novel
by Swan Huntley

“Wealthy art collector Catherine spends her time fussing over her tiny boutique card shoppe so that she can feel like a productive member of society. She meets the handsome and refined William Stockton, yet something seems just a little too good to be true. The plot thickens as long hidden family secrets emerge. Huntley certainly knows how to build up the suspense. This debut novel includes some nice plot twists and Catherine’s character evolves favorably. Recommended for fans of psychological fiction.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley

“Rowley has lovingly captured what it is like to be totally invested in caring for another life, another heart. This book is a true gift for anyone who has experienced the loss of a dog, but especially for those of us who have nursed a beloved dog through an illness even though you both knew it was going to be a losing battle. A special bond is formed there, and the story of Lily and Ted illustrates it so perfectly.”

- Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

Widowmaker: A Novel
by Paul Doiron

“Doiron delivers a novel of intensifying suspense. The brooding and flawed Bowditch deals with a newly revealed family secret that sets him off on a search for the truth. His personal mission leads him into danger as he chases a vigilante through the wintry Maine woods. Doiron perfects his storytelling with a richly detailed setting and admirable sense of timing. You’ll want to go back to the previous Bowditch adventures while awaiting the next installment. Highly recommended for fans of Nevada Barr and C.J. Box.”

- Mamie Ney, Auburn Public Library, Auburn, ME

May 2016 Library Reads Picks

Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman

“Britt-Marie is a woman who is used to her life being organized. But when she leaves her cheating spouse and takes a temporary job as caretaker of the recreation center in the tiny town of Borg, her life changes in unpredictable ways. With its wonderful cast of oddball characters and sly sense of humor, this novel is sure to capture readers’ hearts. Highly recommended.”

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

The Fireman: A Novel
by Joe Hill

“The Fireman is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others.This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven
by Chris Cleave

“Set during World War II and loosely based on the author’s own grandparents, this was a strikingly honest look at the changes that war creates on a country’s landscape and its people. These changes were so strongly shown by the progressive style of this novel. Bit by bit, we are privy to each character’s transformation. What a great tribute to what they endured. War gives birth to many endings, also to many beginnings. Bittersweet.”

- Lori Elliott, Kershaw County Library, SC

Sweetbitter: A Novel
by Stephanie Danler

“At her new job at one of NYC’s posh restaurants, Tess falls for a mysterious bartender and negotiates the politics of the service industry while building a social life. Danler drew from her own experience and the writing is vivid and stimulating.I’m always interested in a story about a girl trying to find her place in the world and her adventures, but anyone who appreciates writing that pulses with life will drink this down.”

- Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL

I Let You Go
by Clare Mackintosh

“Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming.”

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Smoke: A Novel
by Dan Vyleta

“In an alternate historical London, people who lie reveal themselves by giving off smoke but the rules of how this works are complicated.There are some people who can lie and not trigger any smoke and this lends an interesting element to the story. The rules we are given are changeable. The setting lends itself well to the story.The writing is descriptive, and the tone is atmospheric. Similar authors that come to my mind were Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. This is a dark, delicious tale.”

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

Redemption Road: A Novel
by John Hart

“In Hart’s new suspense novel, we meet veteran detective Elizabeth Black, who is facing possible suspension for a suspicious shooting. At the same time, former police officer Adrian Wall is released from prison after serving time for the murder of Julia Stange. Stange’s son wants Adrian dead. Adrian has always claimed his innocence, but after his release, a couple of new bodies turn up at the church. This is a thrilling page-turner that starts at a rapid-fire pace and doesn’t let up. Great book for literary and thriller lovers alike.”

- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

City of the Lost: A Thriller
by Kelley Armstrong

“When Casey Duncan and her friend are invited to Rockton, a town for people who need to disappear, she’s skeptical. Could it really be the haven it promises? She soon finds that Rockton has its own particular set of problems, including a designer drug and a murderer. As the town’s new detective, Casey is soon plunged into the hunting of a killer in a town built on secrets. Armstrong introduces a fascinating setting and an intriguing cast of characters. Readers will find themselves hooked.”

- Elena Gleason, Coos Bay Public Library, Coos Bay, OR

Wilde Lake: A Novel
by Laura Lippman

“As Lu, the newly elected state’s attorney in Howard County, prepares for a trial of a woman found murdered in her apartment, she begins to uncover secrets from her past. Bringing her back to the night her brother saved a life at the cost of another, Lu begins to question everything she’s known about the events and her childhood. Lippman’s newest standalone is sure to be another hit, perfect for mystery fans.”

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

Sweet Lamb of Heaven: A Novel
by Lydia Millet

“An arresting story about a wife manipulated and what she goes through to escape her husband’s desperate means to keep her. When her daughter is born, Anna starts hearing a voice in her head that may suggest the supernatural or the divine. She and her daughter hole up in a motel where all the guests seem to hear a similar voice in their heads. The author jolts the reader into reading something unexpected and the effect is eerie and memorable. Highly recommended for book discussions.”

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

May 4th is Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you!

May the 4th Be With You

May the 4th Be With You

Why is May the 4th called Star Wars Day?

Star Wars Day is always celebrated on May the Fourth, because of a famous quote from the hugely popular science fiction series blockbuster is “May the Force (Fourth) be with you.” Say “May the 4th Be With You” out loud and you’ll hear the pun that Star Wars fans worldwide have turned into a rallying cry to proclaim their love of the saga. It’s the worldwide day to say “May the Force be with you” to all, and celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.

While the idea of May the 4th did not start with Lucasfilm, the film company that created Star Wars has fully embraced the spirit of fandom that makes the day so special. StarWars.com as well as the official Star Wars social media channels (hashtag #StarWarsDay) help spread the word and showcase fan activity. More and more official partners have offered sales, giveaways and exclusives, and have hosted parties and other activities to mark the day.

May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans. The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25, 1977). The month of May also includes George Lucas’ birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort.

With the exciting launch of a new trilogy of movies beginning with Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie that was just released to DVD, this day is to celebrate the saga and its amazing fans, and is certain to become even bigger each year.

How will you celebrate Star Wars Day?

Check out these Star Wars related crafts: http://www.starwars.com/news/tag/star-wars-crafts

chewbacca-bookmark

Just in time for Star Wars Day, follow these easy steps to create your own Chewbacca bookmark

And some Star Wars related recipes: http://www.starwars.com/search?q=recipes

star-wars-mocktail

To help celebrate May the 4th, here are some recipes for Star Wars-themed mocktails. Each drink combines fun Star Wars elements into something delicious to drink

And get your first look at Rouge One: A Star Wars Story in theaters this December by checking out the Official Teaser Trailer!

The Best Brontë Books & Movies (Both New & Old):

The Brontë sisters’ books have once again been gaining in popularity, and there have lately been several popular new takes on the classic novels. Here’s a list of some of the best Brontë books and movies, both new and old:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre [videorecording (DVD)]

Jane Eyre [videorecording (DVD)]

Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights [videorecording (DVD)]

Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights [videorecording (DVD)]

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Adèle: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant

Adèle: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë by Laura Joh Rowland

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë by Laura Joh Rowland

Jane Eyre [sound recording (CD)] by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre [sound recording (CD)] by Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Jane Steele: A Confession by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele: A Confession by Lyndsay Faye

The Madwoman Upstairs: A Novel by Catherine Lowell

The Madwoman Upstairs: A Novel by Catherine Lowell

Emily's Ghost : [A Novel of the Brontë Sisters] by Denise Giardina

Emily's Ghost : [A Novel of the Brontë Sisters] by Denise Giardina

Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontës by Jude Morgan

Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontës by Jude Morgan

Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

Jane Eyre [videorecording (DVD)]

Jane Eyre [videorecording (DVD)]

Wuthering Heights [sound recording (CD)] by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights [sound recording (CD)] by Emily Brontë

Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison A. Case

Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison A. Case

The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR by Jennifer Vandever

The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR by Jennifer Vandever

Romancing Miss Brontë : A Novel by Juliet Gael

Romancing Miss Brontë : A Novel by Juliet Gael

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller