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

DECEMBER 2016 BOOK CLUB DISCUSSIONS

Looking for something new to read? Join one of our book clubs for an engaging and lively discussion! Pick up a copy today at the Adult Services desk @ Harnish!

BOOK CLUBBERS

forgotten-seamstressThe Forgotten Seamstress

By: Liz Trenow

Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

A shy girl with no family, Maria knows she's lucky to have landed in the sewing room of the royal household. Before World War I casts its shadow, she catches the eye of the Prince of Wales, a glamorous and intense gentleman. But her life takes a far darker turn, and soon all she has left is a fantastical story about her time at Buckingham Palace.

Decades later, Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother's attic. When she can't figure out the meaning of the message embroidered into its lining, she embarks on a quest to reveal its mystery, a puzzle that only seems to grow more important to her own heart. As Caroline pieces together the secret history of the quilt, she comes closer and closer to the truth about Maria.

SPINECRACKERS

christmas-listThe Christmas List

By: Richard Paul Evans

Date: Friday, December 2nd, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, three weeks before Christmas. James Kier looked back and forth between the newspaper headline and the photograph of himself, not sure if he should laugh or call his attorney. It was the same photograph the Tribune had used a couple of years earlier when they featured him on the front page of the business section. While the photograph was the same, the headlines could not have been more different. Not many people get to read their own obituary. Kier put the paper down. He had no idea what the article was about to set in motion.

BOOKALICIOUS - A NOT SO YA BOOK CLUB

popularPopular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

By: Maya Van Wagenen

Date: Monday, December 12th, 2016 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?

 

NIGHT READERS

wind-in-the-willowsThe Wind in the Willows

By: Kenneth Grahame

Date: Thursday, December 15th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Meet little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. Over one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they've become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers' imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie.

CLASSICS

the-sea-the-seaThe Sea, The Sea

By: Iris Murdoch

Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors-some real, some spectral-that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

NOVEMBER 2016 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Interested in joining a book club? Take a look at what our book clubs are discussing in November! Stop by the Adult Services desk @ Harnish for a copy today and drop in for the book club discussion later! Happy reading 🙂

BOOK CLUBBERS

turner-houseThe Turner House

By: Angela Flourney

Date: Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

The Turners live on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house sees thirteen children get grown and gone—and some return; it sees the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. Despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs, the house still stands. But now, as their powerful mother falls ill and loses her independence, the Turners might lose their family home. Beset by time and a national crisis, the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called back to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts might haunt—and shape—their family's future.

SPINECRACKERS

little-paris-book-shopThe Little Paris Bookshop

By: Nina George

Date: Friday, November 4th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00 AM

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

BOOKALICIOUS

elsewhereElsewhere

By: Gabrielle Zevin

Date: Monday, November, 14th, 2016 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00 PM

Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.
Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

CLASSICS

Winesburg, Ohiowinesburg-ohio

By: Sherwood Anderson

Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

Sherwood Anderson’s unforgettable story cycle has long been considered one of the finest works of American literature. The central character is George Willard, a young artist coming of age in a quiet town in the heart of the Midwest, but his story is no more extraordinary than those of friends and neighbors such as Kate Swift, a lonely schoolteacher whose beauty inspires lust and confusion; Wing Biddlebaum, a recluse whose restless hands are the source of both his new name and the terrible secret that led him to abandon the old one; and Doctor Reefy, who hides his personal suffering by pouring it onto scraps of paper.

NIGHT READERS

some-we-loveSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat

By: Hal Herzog

Date: Thursday, November 17th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00 PM

Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can we learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoyed a better quality of life—the chicken on a dinner plate or the rooster who died in a Saturday-night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on more than two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human–animal relations, Hal Herzog offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world.

October 2016 Library Reads Picks

News of the World: A Novel
by Paulette Jiles

“Readers fortunate enough to meet Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an old ex-soldier who makes a living reading the news to townspeople in 1870s Texas, and Joanna, the Indian captive he is charged with returning to her relatives, will not soon forget them. Everything, from the vividly realized Texas frontier setting to the characters is beautifully crafted, right up to the moving conclusion. Both the Captain and Joanna have very distinctive voices. Wonderful storytelling.”

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

The Trespasser: A Novel
by Tana French

“Aislinn Murray is beautiful, lives in a picture-perfect cottage, and has a boy she’s crazy about. Antoinette Conway is a tough member of the Dublin Murder Squad who knows no one likes her and says she doesn’t care. When Aislinn is murdered, Conway and her partner Steve Moran take the case and start listening to all the stories about Aislinn. Which ones are true? Was she in love and with whom? Are the stories we tell ourselves and others anywhere near the truth? Great read from Tana French.”

- Kathryn Hassert, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Small Great Things: A Novel
by Jodi Picoult

“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.”

- Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

Crosstalk
by Connie Willis

“Crosstalk is the perfect romantic comedy for the digital age. Briddey works for a cell phone provider that is constantly searching for the next great way to help people “connect” – nevermind that she is already inundated by calls, texts, social media, and unannounced visits from her colleagues, friends, and nosy family. When she undergoes a procedure to telepathically sense the emotions of her seemingly perfect boyfriend, things go awry and she ends up connected to the wrong person. A perfect screwball comedy from a master writer!”

- Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

The Other Einstein: A Novel
by Marie Benedict

“Einstein. Just hearing that name likely brings a smile to your face, as you picture the mischievous wild-haired scientist with the twinkle in his eye. In The Other Einstein, readers get a view of the woman behind the genius, his first wife Mileva Maric, a strong willed and brilliant physics student who refused to let society dictate her life’s path, but who lost her way when love came on the scene. Benedict has penned an engaging tale that will likely inspire readers to investigate the true story behind Maric’s genius and her personal and professional relationship with Einstein.”

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

The Mothers: A Novel
by Brit Bennett

“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothers asks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives.The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.”

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

Today Will Be Different
by Maria Semple

“I went into Today Will Be Different expecting the mockery of Seattle’s ridiculous idiosyncrasies What I got was different, but just as good. Eleanor is sympathetic and the story revolves around family conflicts and disappointments, as well as Eleanor’s awareness of the inevitability of aging and its effects on herself and marriage. Her relationships with those closest to her are also the ones with the most secrets, and with the potential for the most harm and the most hope. I’d recommend this to readers who love family-centric women’s fiction with a sharp eye for the quirks of marriage and parenting.”

- Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

All The Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery
by Charlaine Harris

“The narrative of Aurora Teagarden was thought to be over. In a surprising, but welcome return,All the Little Liars picks up right where we left off with Roe. Newly remarried, Roe is dealing with a plethora of issues. With a missing brother and troublesome father in town, Roe is searching for answers. Pregnancy, family problems, and more make for a suspenseful, fast, and comforting read. Harris’ writing shines best when she portrays the minutiae of small-town lives and the inner workings of families, friends, and relationships. I can’t wait for the next book.”

- Mei-Ling Thomas, Rochester Hills Public Library, Rochester, MI

Smoke and Mirrors
by Elly Griffiths

“Thrilled for another opportunity to enjoy DI Stephens and Max Mephisto joining forces against crime and intrigue. It may appear light hearted with its theatrical/magician twist, but these detective stories are full of dark happenings. Solving the gruesome murder of two local children dampens the holiday spirit in this small town. The lead characters are very enjoyable and the theater setting so unique. I enjoyed the love interest/overprotected daughter story line as well! Very much looking forward to the next installment.”

- Carol Ward, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Solon, OH

The Motion of Puppets: A Novel
by Keith Donohue

“A young couple find themselves caught in a web of magic and horror. Kay is an acrobat and goes missing. Her husband cannot believe that she has disappeared and searches the city in vain all the while not guessing that she has been spirited away by a puppet master in the toy shop that fascinated her during their walks. Kay begins life anew as a puppet and soon begins to befriend the other puppets at night when they come to life. Will the evil that has charmed Kay be stronger than her husband’s love? Donohue writes a frightening account reminiscent of Grimm’s fairy tales and it will keep you up reading til dawn.”

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

OCTOBER 2016 BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Check out what our book clubs are reading for October!!

BOOK CLUBBERS

oregon-trailThe Oregon Trail : a new American journey

By: Rinker Buck

Date: Thursday, October 6th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00PM

Buck's epic account of traveling the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way--in a covered wagon with a team of mules, an audacious journey that hasn't been attempted in a century--tells the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country.

SPINECRACKERS

physickbookThe physick book of Deliverance Dane: a novel

By: Katherine Howe

Date: Friday, October 7th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 10:00AM

While readying her grandmother's abandoned home for sale, Connie Goodwin discovers an ancient key in a seventeenth-century Bible with a scrap of parchment bearing the name Deliverance Dane.  In her quest to discover who this woman was and seeking a rare artifact--a physick book--Connie begins to feel  haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials and fears that she may be more tied to Salem's past than she could have imagined.

 

BOOKALICIOUS

forest-of-handsThe Forest of hands and teeth

By: Carrie Ryan

Date: Monday, October 10th, 2016 @ Village Vintner

Start Time: 7:00PM

Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

 

CLASSICS

vanity-fairVanity fair : a novel without a hero

By: William M. Thackeray

Date: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00PM

Thackeray's most well-known work, Vanity Fair is a satirical epic of love and social adventure. The story follows the trials and tribulations of two young women Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. After leaving the shelter of Miss Pinkerton's Academy, they come to Vanity Fair where the charming and amoral Becky and sweet Amelia, along with an interesting and varied cast of victims and villains, suffer through elopements and betrayals, fortunes made and lost, and battles, both military and domestic.

NIGHT READERS

improbabilityThe Improbability of Love

By: Hannah Rothschild

Date: Thursday, October 20th, 2016 @ Harnish

Start Time: 7:00PM

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’. Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

 

Celebrate Banned Books Week: Stand Up For Your Right to Read!

banned-books-banner

Celebrate Banned Books Week 2016: September 25 through October 1

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.infographictopten2015-long_

Since 1982, Banned Books Week has rallied librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types to celebrate and defend the freedom to read. After years of advocating Banned Books Week and protecting readers’ rights and liberating literature, ALA is pleased to unveil this interactive timeline of significant banned and challenged books, highlighting one book banned or challenged in each particular year. In most cases these books presented significant controversy spanning multiple years. The timeline presents only a sample of particularly notable challenges to particularly notable books during this period.

How will you celebrate Banned Books Week and stand up for your right to read?

 

September Library Reads Picks 2016

Leave Me: A Novel
by Gayle Forman

“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!”

- Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Bookshop on the Corner: A Novel
by Jenny Colgan

“Despite losing her job as a librarian who liked to put the right book into a patron’s hands, Nina continues her mission by moving to rural Scotland, purchasing a van, converting it into a bookmobile,and taking to the road. The plot revolves around the romance of the road, the romance of books and reading, and just plain old romance. Another marvelous book by Colgan! A gem of a book!”

- Virginia Holsten, Vinton Public Library, Vinton, IA

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

The Tea Planter’s Wife: A Novel
by Dinah Jefferies

“When Gwendolyn Hooper comes to Ceylon as a young bride, she has no idea that she’s entering a region on the cusp of political upheaval or that she’s living with a widower and his secret-filled past. The Tea Planter’s Wife has all of the elements that I’m looking for in historical fiction: compelling characters, an evocative setting, a leisurely pace, and a plot that unfolds like the petals of a flower, or, in this case, the tea plant.”

- Amy Lapointe, Amherst Town Library, Amherst, NH

Daisy in Chains: A Novel
by Sharon Bolton

“Another great book from Bolton! Convicted serial killer Hamish Wolfe has proclaimed his innocence from the beginning and has solicited the help of lawyer Maggie Rose who is known for her ability to get convictions overturned. The story unfolds in alternating chapters from the past to the present and keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a twist you won’t see coming! Highly recommended!”

- Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Darktown: A Novel
by Thomas Mullen

“In Atlanta in the late 1940s, the integration of black police officers into the force is proving to be challenging. White civilians don’t respect their authority, and black civilians don’t trust that they can protect them. Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith are men with heavy burdens on their shoulders. Every move they make is examined. When the body of a young black woman is found, they will put everything on the line to gain justice for a woman who turns into a symbol of all that is wrong with their town. Despite its historical setting, so many elements of this tale seem timely, and readers will have much to think about after turning the last page.”

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

The Masked City
by Genevieve Cogman

“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.”

- Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d: A Flavia DeLuce Novel
by Alan Bradley

“Flavia deLuce has returned from Canada to find her father in the hospital and her sisters distant. When she is sent to deliver a message for the vicar’s wife, she steps into another mystery – one she is determined to solve, preferably before Inspector Hewitt can do the same. Flavia is once again a fun, science-loving protagonist. Flavia arrives at a turning point in her life and how she handles what happens next will tell much about the path that she will take into adulthood.This series entry ends on a note that begs for the next story.”

- Chris Andersen, Stow Munroe Falls Public Library, Stow, OH

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America
by Patrick Phillips

“Phillips digs into the history of a series of events in his hometown in Georgia. After a series of crimes were blamed on some of the area’s young black men, the citizens of the town saw fit to run off the entire African American population. Phillips researches the crimes and the mob mentality that followed, and shows how certain citizens of Forsyth County continued to intimidate and assault African Americans who wandered across their border for almost eighty years.This is the type of history that is far too important ever to forget.”

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

The Secrets of Wishtide: A Novel
by Kate Saunders

“A charming mystery introduces Laetitia Rodd, a widow who moonlights as a sleuth in 1850s London. She’s tapped to help uncover the mysterious past of a prospective bride, but the more Laetitia digs, the more certain individuals want to keep their secrets buried. And when those secrets turn deadly, Laetitia may be in danger herself. Saunders nails the raucous world of Victorian London, capturing the Dickens-like characters from the lowest of society to the lofty ranks of the wealthy. A fine read for those who love vivid settings and memorable characters.”

- Katie Hanson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

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