January 2016 Library Reads

My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout

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

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
by Katarina Bivald

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

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

The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel
by Melanie Benjamin

“Benjamin transports readers to 1960s Manhattan. This story gives us the chance to spy on Truman Capote’s close friendship with Babe Paley and his society “swans,” and the betrayal and scandal that drove them apart. I loved the description of the Black and White Ball.”

- Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Ashley Bell: A Novel
by Dean Koontz

“This is a thrilling novel that caught me by surprise. Bibi Blair was diagnosed with brain cancer and astounds her doctor by being cured the day after her diagnosis. Why was she saved? A girl named Ashley Bell can provide the answers she seeks. Reality and dreams mix together in this unique narrative. Readers will be compelled to rush through to get to the ending.”

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

American Housewife: Stories
by Helen Ellis

“In a series of short stories, Helen Ellis picks up the rock of American domesticity and shows us what’s underneath. While it’s not always pretty, it is pretty hilarious, in the darkest, most twisted of ways. The ladies in these stories seem to be living lives that are enviable in the extreme, but then slowly, the layers are pulled away, and the truth is revealed.”

- Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain
by Bill Bryson

“A slightly more curmudgeonly Bill Bryson recreates his beloved formula of travel writing and social commentary. This book is a lovely reminder of all the amazing natural beauty and historically significant sites found in the United Kingdom. Even though Bryson extols the virtues of his adopted homeland, he never lets up on the eccentricities and stupidity he encounters. Bryson’s still laugh-out loud funny and this book won’t disappoint.”

- Susannah Connor, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ

The Things We Keep: A Novel
by Sally Hepworth

“A sweet story of love and loss set in a residential care facility. Two of its youngest residents, a man and a woman both diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, fall in love. Their story is intertwined with the stories of other residents and employees at the facility, including a recently widowed cook and her seven-year-old daughter. A moving and improbably uplifting tale.”

- Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

Ornaments of Death: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery
by Jane K. Cleland

“The Josie Prescott mystery series–featuring likable characters and fascinating facts about antiques–continues to please in this latest entry. Josie is dealing with her annual Christmas party while trying to unravel the mystery of a missing relative and the disappearance of two valuable seventeenth-century miniatures. A nicely twisted mystery in a fun and festive setting.”

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

Even Dogs in the Wild
by Ian Rankin

“Readers rejoice! John Rebus has come out of retirement. Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are working an important case and ask for his help. Then an attempt is made on the life of his longtime nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. Are the cases connected? A top notch entry in a beloved series.”

- Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

What She Knew: A Novel
by Gilly Macmillan

“Rachel Jenner is out for a walk with her son Ben when, after allowing him to run ahead to a swing, he vanishes. The investigation focuses on Rachel due to her recent divorce, and as a result, Rachel becomes undone. This is a psychological thriller full of suspense that will have you guessing until the very end. When all is revealed, the characters and action of the crime will stay with you long after you read the final page. I recommend this book to every fan of the genre.”

- Annice Sevett, Willmar Public Library, Willmar, MN

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