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

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