June 2017 Library Reads Picks

Magpie Murders
by Anthony Horowitz

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.”

-Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL

 

Silver Silence
by Nalini Singh

“Silver Silence is a new chapter in the Psy/Changeling series. As the world tries to adjust after a peace accord, Silver Mercant takes center stage. As head of an aid organization reacting to rampant terrorism, she’s an obvious target. But Alpha Valentin Nikolaev has already decided she’s his to protect. Valentin and Silver start tracking down deadly shadow factions that want to undermine the Trinity Accords. Diverse and fascinating world-building are on full display along with a bumped up level of humor in the face of adversity.”

- Jessica Trotter, Capital District Area Libraries, Lansing, MI

The Waking Land
by Callie Bates

“Lady Elanna Voltai flees her adopted homeland when the king, who raised her like a daughter, dies under mysterious circumstances and Elanna is accused of murder. Forced to return to the magical homeland of her birth and her estranged father who was branded a traitor for inciting rebellion, Elanna must come to terms with the life she left behind and her destiny. I loved watching Elanna find her voice and her strength, and the rich world of magic around her makes this story even more fantastic!”

-Jessica Perham, Schaumburg Township Library, Schaumburg, IL

Down Among The Sticks And Bones
by Seanan McGuire

“In Every Heart a Doorway we met Jack and Jill, two sisters bound together yet alienated. In this installment, we learn how these two girls escape their parents when they exit the world we know for a realm of fairy-tale horror via a magic stairway, appearing in a trunk in a locked room. This is a story about two young women and the trauma that shapes them; a story about love, hate, and the thin line between. A captivating and emotional novella that irresistibly sweeps the reader along.”

-Tegan Mannino, Monson Free Library, Monson, MA

Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel
by Maile Meloy

“Liv and Nora, who are cousins, decide to take their families on a cruise. Both have an eleven-year-old and a younger child as well. At one of the ports, the moms take the children out with another family they met on the ship. All goes well until the children, in a brief moment, aren’t observed and disappear. From here the nightmare begins, and the story alternates between what is happening to the children and the adults. The story is gripping and the characters are well-developed. The book explores family and marital dynamics, race, privilege, guilt, and responsibility.”

-Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

The Alice Network: A Novel
by Kate Quinn

“Outstanding fictional account of the Alice network, women spies in World War I, tough and determined to defeat the Germans. The story centers on Eve Gardiner, aka Marguerite, a young woman trained to spy on the Germans, and Charlie St. Clair, a young woman post WWII, pregnant, lost and finding her direction. The two meet and the story alternates chapters as Charlie is determined to find her cousin, Rose presumed dead after the war, while Eve’s story of the Alice network unfolds. A fantastic book with strong female characters.”

-Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Child
by Fiona Barton

“When a baby skeleton is unearthed at a construction site, reporter Kate Waters thinks it is a story worth investigating. As she digs into the mystery of the child, she uncovers more than she bargained for. Told from the viewpoints of various characters, Barton tells an intriguing tale about the newborn baby and all the characters involved, leaving it up to the readers to put together the connections until the very end.”

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

 

The Little French Bistro: A Novel
by Nina George

“Terribly depressed by the emptiness of her long marriage, Marianne decides to end it all by jumping off a Paris bridge. Her unwanted rescue and ensuing marital abandonment jolt Marianne into ditching her tour group and setting out for Finistere, the westernmost coast of Brittany. Keeping body and soul together by working at a seaside bistro, Marianne finds herself healing through the company of a diverse group of quirky locals. The Little French Bistro is merveilleux. It refreshes like the sea breeze sweeping the Breton coast.”

-Sarah Nagle, Carver County Library, Chaska, MN

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a delightful tale of old Hollywood, so full of detail, that you’ll swear Evelyn was a real actor. Monique Grant is tasked with writing an article about the famous woman, so she interviews Evelyn who tells us all about her career, starting in the 1950s — and her many marriages. This novel will enchant you, and Evelyn will stay with you long after you finish reading.”

- Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel
by Matthew Sullivan

“Lydia Smith is enjoying her comfortable life. She has a job she loves at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Then one of her favorite “bookfrogs” (code word for eccentric bookstore regulars) commits suicide and leaves her his small horde of books. She discovers a strangely methodical defacement which is a kind of code. A delicate spiderweb of connections leading back to a murderous incident in Lydia’s childhood is revealed. This pushed me into reading ‘just one more chapter’ until late into the night.”

- Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park, NJ

May 2017 Library Reads Picks

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine:A Novel
by Gail Honeyman

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.”

- Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
by Kate Moore

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Since We Fell: A Novel
by Dennis Lehane

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.”

- Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

The Leavers: A Novel
by Lisa Ko

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.”

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

Ginny Moon: A Novel
by Benjamin Ludwig

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.”

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

Saints For All Occasions: A Novel
by J. Courtney Sullivan

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

- Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI

White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel
by Ilona Andrews

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!”

- Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL

 

Sycamore: A Novel
by Bryn Chancellor

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.”

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

Astrophysics For People In A Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

The Jane Austen Project: A Novel
by Kathleen A. Flynn

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.”

- Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY

April 2017 Library Reads Picks

Anything Is Possible: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.”

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Beartown: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.”

- Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Waking Gods: Book 2 of the Themis Files
by Sylvain Neuvel

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.”

- Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX

Miss You: A Novel
by Kate Eberlen

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.”

- Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

The Stars Are Fire: A Novel
by Anita Shreve

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.”

- Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR

American War: A Novel
by Omar El Akkad

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.”

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

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.”

- Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The Shadow Land: A Novel
by Elizabeth Kostova

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.”

- Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

A Twist In Time: A Novel
by Julie McElwain

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.”

- Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC

Gone Without a Trace
by Mary Torjussen

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.”

- Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

March 2017 Library Reads Picks

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

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

- Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX

The Women in the Castle: A Novel
by Jessica Shattuck

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

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

The Wanderers
by Meg Howrey

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

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

The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

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

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

The Hearts of Men: A Novel
by Nickolas Butler

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

- Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien CT

Eggshells
by Caitriona Lally

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

- Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Say Nothing: A Novel
by Brad Parks

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

- Donna Matturri, Pickertington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

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

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

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

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
by Lisa See

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

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

If Not For You: A Novel
by Debbie Macomber

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

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

February Library Reads Picks

I See You
by Clare Mackintosh

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

- Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman

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

- Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL

My Not So Perfect Life
by Sophie Kinsella

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

- Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE

All Our Wrong Todays
by Elan Mastai

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

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

A Piece of the World
by Christina Baker Kline

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

- Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Gilded Cage
by Vic James

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

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

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
by Jennifer Ryan

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

- Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI

Setting Free the Kites
by Alex George

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

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

We Were the Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter

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

- Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT

Garden of Lamentations
by Deborah Crombie

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

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

January 2017 Library Reads Picks

The Girl Before: A Novel
by JP Delaney

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

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

The Bear and Nightingale: A Novel
by Katherine Arden

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

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

The Dry: A Novel
by Jane Harper

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

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Behind Her Eyes: A Novel
by Sarah Pinborough

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

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Books For Living
by Will Schwalbe

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

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

The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel
by Susan Rivers

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

- Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

The Fifth Petal: A Novel
by Brunonia Barry

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

- Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

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

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

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

Her Every Fear: A Novel
by Peter Swanson

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

- Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH

Heartstone
by Elle Katharine White

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

- Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Library Reads Favorites of 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

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

- Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

Commonwealth
by Ann Patchett

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

- Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

My Name is Lucy Barton: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout

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

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
by Katarina Bivald

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

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

A Great Reckoning: A Novel
by Louise Penny

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

- David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

The Nest
by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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

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

Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys

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

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

The Summer Before the War: A Novel
by Helen Simonson

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

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

Lilac Girls: A Novel
by Martha Hall Kelly

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

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

Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty

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

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

November 2016 Library Reads Picks

Faithful:A Novel
by Alice Hoffman

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

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

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel
by Erika Johansen

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

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

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel
by Lee Child

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

- Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

When All The Girls Have Gone
by Jayne Ann Krentz

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

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

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

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

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

Swing Time
by Zadie Smith

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

- Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

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

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

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

Moonglow: A Novel
by Michael Chabon

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

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Normal: A Novel
by Warren Ellis

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

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel
by Carol Birch

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

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

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

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