June 2016 Library Reads Picks

Vinegar Girl
by Anne Tyler

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

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman

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

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

Under the Harrow: A Novel
by Flynn Berry

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

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

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

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

revelation.”

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

Homegoing: A Novel
by Yaa Gyasi

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

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

Missing, Presumed: A Novel
by Susie Steiner

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

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

Stiletto: A Novel
by Daniel O’Malley

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

- Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA

We Could Be Beautiful: A Novel
by Swan Huntley

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

- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley

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

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

Widowmaker: A Novel
by Paul Doiron

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

- Mamie Ney, Auburn Public Library, Auburn, ME

February 2016 Library Reads

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

Black Rabbit Hall
by Eve Chase

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”

- Deborah Margeson, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On: A Novel
by Debbie Macomber

“Leanne and her daughter-in-law Nichole both leave cheating husbands to start over. They learn that it is never easy and that hardships abound, but they meet many wonderful people on their way to happily-ever-after. Believable characters and an enjoyable story made this perfect for relaxing reading—definitely one of Macomber’s best. An excellent choice both for long-time fans of the author and for those who have never read her novels.”

- Linda Tilden, Cherry Hill Public Library, Cherry Hill, NJ

Be Frank With Me: A Novel
by Julia Claiborne Johnson

“Meet Frank. Frank is an odd 9-year-old boy who has a higher IQ than Einstein’s and dresses as if he were on a movie set in the early 1920s–and he is someone with whom you are sure to fall in love. Frank’s reclusive mother is an author whose publisher has just sent Alice Whitley to serve as an assistant and ensure the next book is completed. The relationship between Frank and Alice is magical. Readers will devour this book and want more. Just magical.”

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

Flight of Dreams: A Novel
by Ariel Lawhon

“Flight of Dreams chronicles an author’s imagined scenario on the ill-fated last flight of the Hindenburg, which was shrouded in mystery. Lawhon does a masterful job by giving meticulous detail of the ship and delving into the lives of many of the characters on board. I read with mounting dread and intensity as the storyline of the disaster unfolded. Historical detail and wonderful storytelling make this a must read for historical fiction lovers.”

- Kristin Fields, Farnhamville Public Library, Farnhamville, IA

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
by Mona Awad

“Everyone loves Lizzie–she is the confidant, the late night go-to, and she is always there and hungry for attention. Lizzie becomes even more obsessed and needy when she no longer feels insecure about being overweight and it becomes painfully obvious that she will always feel bad about herself. It is a candid and sad look at how we mistreat people with different body types.”

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

Fighting Dirty: An Ultimate Novel
by Lori Foster

“What. A. Ride! I absolutely loved this book. I loved finally getting Armie and Merissa’s story. I also enjoyed being able to go back and revisit past characters and getting to know future ones! The story was fast-paced and dreamy. Armie’s fight with himself over his emotions wasn’t drawn out, nor did it get tedious to read. All around, this book was an absolute pleasure, and I can’t wait to read more from Foster!”

- Jessica McCroskey, Holston River Regional Library, Johnson City, TN

Find Her: A Novel
by Lisa Gardner

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

- Allie Williams, Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL

The Opposite of Everyone: A Novel
by Joshilyn Jackson

“Fans of Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story will be pleased to see William’s acerbic friend Paula take center stage. A successful divorce lawyer, Paula’s carefully constructed life starts to fracture when family secrets come to light, forcing her to try to come to terms with the power of her story to hurt and heal, and a growing need for family connections. A wonderful cast of offbeat, memorable characters make this book a winner.”

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

The Girl in the Red Coat
by Kate Hamer

“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”

- Kim Dorman, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ

Need Something Different for Book Club?

Try The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue.  The protagonist, Razi, is a spirited, independent women.  Not so unusual in today’s world, but in the 1920’s she was quite a maverick.   Driven in her focus to attend medical school at Northwestern, Razi also finds it her mission to educate women on their reproductive rights in secret “boyless” meetings.

The story centers on her passionate love affair that ends abruptly when she dies in a tragic accident.   Razi, now “in-between” the physical world and the hereafter, spends her time searching for her lost love.  After almost 70 years “in-between” she finds herself tugged into the life of Amy and Scott.   Razi manipulates their world in all the eerie ways a ghost can in an effort to get Amy to unleash the secrets that are keeping her from having a happy, fulfilling marriage.

It is a great mixture of romance, mystery and the spiritual world that provoked lively discussions of feminism, great loves, and, of course…ghosts.

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

November 2015 Library Reads

The Japanese Lover: A Novel
by Isabel Allende

“Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man’s inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story.”

- Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Improbability of Love: A Novel
by Hannah Rothschild

“The engaging, totally unexpected story of Annie, a lonely young woman who wanders into a junk shop and buys a painting. The painting turns out to have a long and storied past, with powerful people searching high and low for it. Unpredictable and fascinating; I loved the peek into the cutthroat art world and watching Annie blossom as she discovers her true calling.”

- Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC

Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living
by Jason Gay

“This was a quick, enjoyable read that offers a refreshing perspective on some of the trivialities we all find ourselves caught up in. I enjoyed the tone and humor throughout. A standout for me was Gay’s list of recommendations for his child’s future baseball team. His open letter to this imagined future team envisions a team that can just let kids be kids. My only disappointment with this book was that there wasn’t more of it–it seemed to end all too soon.”

- Lindley Homol, Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA

 

Crimson Shore: A Novel
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

In the latest installment in the Special Agent Pendergast series, Pendergast and Constance Greene investigate a theft of a wine cellar in an ancient village on the coast north of Salem, only to discover during their investigation the entombed remains of a tortured man. “I always thoroughly enjoy the Pendergast novels, and the interaction between Pendergast and Constance in this book was very intriguing.”

- Shari Brophy, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA

The Muralist: A Novel
by B.A. Shapiro

“This art-filled story following the young life and disappearance of Alizee Benoit is heartbreaking and thoughtful. Not only does the novel give an entertaining education on the WPA and abstract artists, but it also gives eerily relevant commentary on refugees and the cold-heartedness of government. Alizee’s story will pull you along as you try to grasp how this bright light of the art community vanished.”

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

The Girl With Ghost Eyes
by M.H. Boroson

“In San Francisco during the late 1800s, a young Chinese widow tries to keep her father alive, and win a place in his heart she doesn’t realize she already owns. This story is filled with wonderful detail from Chinese folklore and mythology, and plenty of action as two tongs battle to control Chinatown. The very best fantasy employs strong characters who are real people with real problems. I enjoyed every page.”

- Janet Martin, Southern Pines Public Library, Southern Pines, NC

Along the Infinite Sea: A Novel
by Beatriz Williams

“When Pepper Schuyler–on the run from a powerful politician and desperate to protect her unborn child–sells her newly restored classic car to an enigmatic and very wealthy woman, she not only finds unexpected refuge but also tantalizing hints of a mystery. With vivid European settings, colorful characters and intricate plotting that skillfully weaves past and present together, Along The Infinite Sea is a treat for fans of Beatriz Williams.”

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

A Likely Story: A Library Lover’s Mystery
by Jenn McKinlay

“A Likely Story is just as addictive as the rest of the Library Lover’s mysteries! McKinlay has written some of the most authentic library characters that I’ve come across in the cozy mystery genre. I can’t wait to find out what the employees and patrons of Briar Creek Public Library (especially Sully) are up to next!”

- Michelle Ross, Kanawha County Public Library, Charleston, WV

Dear Mr. You
by Mary-Louise Parker

“Parker has created a unique and poetic memoir through a series of letters–some of appreciation, some of apology, some simply of acknowledgement–to the men in her life. Ranging from a taxi driver to a grandfather she never knew, each man has left an imprint and shaped her into the person she has become. Full of feeling, growth, and self-discovery, Parker’s book has left me longing to write my own letters.”

- PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

A Wild Swan: And Other Tales
by Michael Cunningham and Yuko Shimizu (Illustrator)

“These are fairy tales that have slightly more insight, for the discerning adult. “The Wild Swans” was actually my favorite when I was young, next to “The Little Mermaid.” These are a continuation of what happens after those stories end and are set, in some instances, in the modern world. Packed with humor, this is an easy gift for those who like to be read to at night or feel too old for idealistic fairy tales.”

- Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

October 2015 Library Reads List

City on Fire: A Novel
by Garth Risk Hallberg

“WOW! An excellently executed work with intricate plot lines and fascinating characters. It’s a story of how the stories of many different people of New York City in the late seventies crash into each other like waves on rocks. This work may encapsulate the whole of New York City, as it has wealth, love, filth, passion, aimless angst, and the myriad of other aspects of humanity swirling in that amazing city.”

- Racine Zackula, Wichita Public Library, Wichita, KS

After You: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes

“I loved Me Before You and thought it ended in the perfect place, but any doubts I had about continuing the story were quickly erased when I started this sequel. Jojo Moyes is a master at tugging on your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried, and I nearly threw my Kindle against the wall at one point. Give this to anyone in your life who has experienced a tragic loss. With a box of tissues.”

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

A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel
by Elizabeth George

“Still reeling from a previous fall from grace, police detective Barbara Havers has a chance to redeem her standing–if she can unravel the very twisted threads that led to the murder of a prominent English feminist. Meanwhile, her superior officer Thomas Lynley pursues a love interest even as he keeps a sharp lookout for any slip-ups by Havers. This is the strongest addition to the series in years.”

- Starr Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, Falls Church, VA

Slade House: A Novel
by David Mitchell

“Every nine years, Slade House appears in a little alley in London, and every nine years, someone disappears into it, never to be seen again. Fans of The Bone Clocks will inhale this compact, six-part work that draws on Mitchell’s established mythology and reintroduces a familiar character or two. New readers, however, won’t be lost. Literary fiction, fantasy, and a dose of horror combine here to make a deeply satisfying book.”

- Jenny Arch, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

The Heart Goes Last: A Novel
by Margaret Atwood

“The premise of Atwood’s latest is interesting, grounded strongly in current social and economic issues. The writing is as elegant and beautiful, as always with Atwood. I recommend this book because it is a wonderful and thought-provoking novel. People who have enjoyed other Atwood works should definitely take a look at this one.”

- Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ

The Secret Chord: A Novel
by Geraldine Brooks

“Brooks does it again, in this fascinating and richly detailed fictionalized account of the life and times of King David. We see David as he might actually have been: a charismatic leader of men, both brutal and conflicted. This is perfect for historical fiction readers who enjoy lots of detail and believable characters. It transports you to the times and places inhabited by David.”

- Marilee Cogswell, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

From the creators of the popular podcast about a nameless town where the supernatural and strange are commonplace comes a new mystery novel. “This is classic Night Vale in written form. It’s an absolute must for Night Vale fans, and will possibly provide an introduction for those who haven’t found this snarky little podcast yet.”

- Debra Franklin, York County Public Library, Rock Hill, SC

In Bitter Chill
by Sarah Ward

“Great new mystery set in the atmospheric Peak District of England. When a woman’s suicide is found to be related to an unsolved case of a missing girl, the police must reinvestigate a long cold case. I hope this book will be the first in a new series!”

- Pamela Wiggins, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA
by Roberta Kaplan, Edie Windsor and Lisa Dickey

“The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this landmark case gives the story behind the headlines. Kaplan integrates personal narrative with legal strategy throughout, combining her own struggles with a fascinating look at the brave and unconventional life led by her client. This is a heartwarming and inspiring account of one widow’s pursuit of justice and dignity.”

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

We Were Brothers: A Memoir
by Barry Moser

“Moser’s deeply personal memoir of his volatile relationship with his brother in the segregated south is thoughtful and beautifully written. Strong differences of opinions divided the brothers. Late in life, reconciliation came, but only after years of heartache. There is much to ponder from this work, which is timely given current racial tensions.”

- PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

June 2015 Library Reads Picks

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel by Laura Dave

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel                                                                                                                       

by Laura Dave

“Take your time and savor the family dynamics. Enjoy the romantic twists in this tale of a career-minded young woman circling back to her roots at a California winery. The appeal is broader than that of a romance since it delves into the complexities of various relationships — parent to parent, parents and children, even winery and owner. This is an excellent summer read!”

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

The Truth According to Us: A Novel
by Annie Barrows

“It is 1938 in a rural West Virginia town and a young woman arrives to write the town’s history. Layla doesn’t really know what to expect from the town, and the town doesn’t know what to make of her. This is the heart of the South, the soul of small towns, where everyone looks out for you and knows your history. Sweet story tailor-made for fans of Billie Letts, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee.”

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

 

The Book of Speculation: A Novel
by Erica Swyler
Published: 6/23/2015/2015 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250054807

“A roller coaster of a read! This is the story of a librarian from a splintered family with a tragic past who is gifted a mysterious book that leads him to dive deep into his family’s history, all while his present life seems to be falling to pieces around him. If you loved Morgenstern’s The Night Circus or Kostova’s The Historian, this is a book for you.”

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

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel
by Nina George

“Quirky and delightful, Nina George’s book focuses on Jean Perdu, owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn’t know he needed.”

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

The Invasion of the Tearling: A Novel
by Erika Johansen

“The Mort are coming! Johansen introduces new characters and enticing bits of history, with the second volume of her intriguing tale of fantasy, mystery and royal politics. Kelsea, the new Tearling Queen, has broken the Red Queen’s treaty and prepares to suffer the consequences as her nation is about to be invaded. Readers will be eager for the final volume in the Tearling saga.”

- Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO

 

In the Unlikely Event: A Novel
by Judy Blume

“The obvious ‘unlikely events’ of Judy Blume’s latest — the three plane crashes afflicting Elizabeth, NJ in one horrifying winter — set the framework for everyday unlikely events around love, family, friendship, relating all that can go so wrong, and so right, with all three. Readers will enjoy the period detail and relatable characters that feature in this hybrid domestic/disaster tale.”

- Becky Bowen, Kenton County Public Library, Independence, KY

 

The Rumor: A Novel
by Elin Hilderbrand
Published: 6/16/2015 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316334525

“Elin Hilderbrand has done it again! Grace is married to Fast Eddie, a successful real estate broker on the island. They live with their twin teenage daughters in a beautiful house with three manicured acres overlooking the harbor. Financial troubles, affairs or supposed affairs, teenage angst and shady deals kick the rumor mill on the island in high gear. The Rumor is the ideal beach book for this summer!”

- Claudia Silk, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

 

The Precipice: A Novel
by Paul Doiron

“When two women go missing while hiking a difficult part of the Appalachian Trail, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch helps in trying to determine where the women were last seen. Mike then discovers there is no shortage of people whose behaviors make them suspicious. With a puzzle that keeps the reader guessing, and a main character that you can’t help but empathize with, The Precipice is another home run for Doiron.”

- Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman
Published: 6/16/2015 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501115066

“From the author of one my favorite books of last year, A Man Called Ove, this book packs a similar emotional punch at the end, but has some significant differences. It is told from the point of view of Elsa, a seven-year-old child who loves Harry Potter, fairy tales, and her grandmother. Once I stopped trying to make the story fit my adult view of the world and entered into Elsa’s world, I had a whale of a time.”

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

 

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship
by Robert Kurson

“This is the journey of Tracy Bowden, John Chatterton, and John Mattera as they follow a quest to find the sunken pirate ship named the Golden Fleece. I think anyone would be interested in the treasure of a famous buccaneer, Joseph Bannister. Many people, including me, have dreamed of digging up a treasure chest of gold. What could be more fun than traveling along with treasure hunters to find a lost pirate ship?”

- Linda Payne, Lake Placid Memorial Library, Lake Placid, FL

 

May Library Reads Picks

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

Uprooted
by Naomi Novik

“A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches. Fast-paced, with magic, mystery and romance, Novik’s stand-alone novel is a fairy tale for adults.”

- Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas

“The human world is in peril. Feyre, a semi-literate girl, hunts for her family’s survival. After she kills an enormous wolf, a fierce fey shows up at her doorstep seeking retribution. Feyre is led to beautiful eternal springs, but the journey is not without danger. Maas masterfully pulls the reader into this new dark fantasy series which feels like a mix of fairy tales, from Beauty and the Beast to Tam Lin.”

- Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH

A God in Ruins: A Novel
by Kate Atkinson

“In A God in Ruins, we become reacquainted with Teddy Todd, the beloved little brother of Ursula from Atkinson’s last book. As with Life After Life, this novel skims back and forth in time, and we see the last half of the 20th century through Ted’s eyes and the eyes of his loved ones. At times funny and at others heartbreaking, Atkinson revels in the beauty and horror of life in all its messiness.”

- Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

The Water Knife: A Novel
by Paolo Bacigalupi

“Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.”

- Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

The Knockoff: A Novel
by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

“The Knockoff is a digital-age mash-up of old-school movies The Women and All About Eve, set in the Devil Wears Prada world of a high fashion magazine. I absolutely loved this fresh, charming, addictive and ultimately heroic story of 40-something cancer survivor Imogen’s quest to rescue and rebuild her career, despite the machinations of a younger tech-wiz rival.”

- Janet Schneider, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY

Early Warning: A Novel
by Jane Smiley

“In the second book of the Langdon trilogy, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist follows the next generation of the unforgettable Iowa family introduced in Some Luck. Beginning with the death of the patriarch Walter in 1953, Smiley chronicles the social consciousness in America of the 1960s. The book goes up to events in the 1970s and early 1980s that touch each family member in unforeseen ways.”

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Seveneves: A Novel
by Neal Stephenson

“Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.”

- Keith Hayes, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

The Ghost Fields
by Elly Griffiths

“Griffiths has written another strong entry in her excellent Ruth Galloway series. Here, Ruth is called in when a World War II plane is excavated, complete with pilot–but the pilot is in the wrong plane. Strong characters combine with an absorbing puzzle to create a hard-to-put-down mystery.”

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

Our Souls at Night: A Novel
by Kent Haruf

“Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed.”

- Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

Little Black Lies
by Sharon Bolton

“Set in the Falkland Islands, this novel grabs you from the opening paragraph. A child is missing, and he’s not the first. The incident sets off a chain of events leading to multiple characters confessing to murder. Accustomed to living in an idyllic community, fear and anger escalate among the locals. Bolton has created a page-turner of a story with a surprise ending.”

- Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

February 2015 Library Reads List

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

 

A Spool of Blue Thread
by Anne Tyler

“In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks–a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book’s timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale.”

- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

A Touch of Stardust: A Novel
by Kate Alcott

“With the background of the making of Gone with the Wind, this is a delightful read that combines historical events with the fictional career of an aspiring screenwriter. Julie is a wide-eyed Indiana girl who, through a series of lucky breaks, advances from studio go-fer and assistant to Carole Lombard to contract writer at MGM. A fun, engaging page-turner!”

- Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ

My Sunshine Away
by M.O. Walsh

“A crime against a 15-year-old girl is examined through the eyes of one of her friends–a friend who admits to being a possible suspect in the crime. This is a wonderful debut novel full of suspense, angst, loyalty, deceit, and most of all, love.”

- Alison Nadvornik, Worthington Libraries, Columbus, OH

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
by Julia Quinn

“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard’s motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.”

- Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT

Half the World
by Joe Abercrombie

“Fifteen-year-old Thorn, determined to become a king’s soldier, is fighting not just physical opponents, but her world’s social mores. Girls are supposed to desire nothing more than a wealthy husband. Period. Thorn’s struggles to achieve her dream make for a riveting read. Second in a series, this book reads very well as a standalone.”

- Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX

Finding Jake: A Novel
by Bryan Reardon

“Stay-at-home dad Simon Connelly receives the call every parent dreads: there’s been a shooting at his children’s school. Through flashbacks and present-day narratives, he mines his memory for clues to what may have happened. This is a refreshing take on the well trodden “bad kid” novels, and an excellent thriller to recommend to all who liked Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

- Alissa Williams, Pekin Public Library, Pekin, IL

A Darker Shade of Magic
by V. E. Schwab

“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.”

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

A Murder of Magpies
by Judith Flanders

“Loved this mystery! The acerbic narrator is 40-year-old British book publishing editor Samantha, whose best author goes missing after writing a tell-all book about a famous French fashion designer who died under suspicious circumstances. Very funny, and great secondary characters as well.”

- Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR

The Siege Winter: A Novel
by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman

“I couldn’t have been more excited when I learned Franklin wrote a new book. This wonderfully written novel takes place during King Stephen and Empress Matilda’s tumultuous civil conflict to claim England, no matter what cost to themselves or their subjects. The story conveys the brutality of the period without sacrificing the complex nature of the time and the people.”

- Elizabeth Carroll, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
by Laurie R. King

“Considering that King is one of the finest mystery authors writing today, it’s no surprise that the latest in the Russell/Holmes series is an engaging read. Intrigue follows the duo as they board a liner bound for Japan and meet up with a known blackmailer and a young Japanese woman who is not all that she seems. Great historical research and rich atmosphere!”

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

LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2014

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry:
A Novel
by Gabrielle Zevin

“A middle-aged bookseller mourning his lost wife, a feisty publisher’s rep, and a charmingly precocious abandoned child come together on a small island off the New England coast in this utterly delightful novel of love and second chances.”

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

The Rosie Project: A Novel
by Graeme Simsion

“Don Tillman, a brilliant geneticist, thinks that having women fill out a six-page, double-sided questionnaire before a date is logical and reasonable. Rosie Jarman, an impetuous barmaid, thinks Don should loosen up and learn to live a little. Follow the unlikely pair in this laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of unexpected joys, discovery and love.”

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

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
by Anthony Doerr
Published: 5/6/2014 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781476746586

“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”

- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

“At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath’s journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell’s previous novel, Eleanor & Park.”

- Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

“Fans of The Secret History will rediscover the Tartt they loved back in 1992. Readers who love the novelist for her richly developed, dark, multi-layered characters and thoroughly researched topics will not be disappointed. Tartt pulls together many threads of a story across a long span of pages and into a complete masterpiece.”

- Kim Dorman, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart

“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction, and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”

- Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Station Eleven: A Novel
by Emily St. John Mandel

“An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before a cataclysmic event changes the future of everyone on Earth. What will be valued and what will be discarded? Will art have a place in a world that has lost so much? What will make life worth living? These are just some of the issues explored in this beautifully written dystopian novel. Recommended for fans of David Mitchell, John Scalzi and Kate Atkinson.”

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

One Plus One: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes
Published: 7/1/2014 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780525426585

“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”

- Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH

Landline
by Rainbow Rowell

“Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.”

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

Longbourn: A Novel
by Jo Baker

“Using Pride and Prejudice’s familiar setting and characters, Baker tells a very different story of family, love and self-discovery. Bold and intelligent, Sarah is an orphaned housemaid whose days are filled with hard, body-punishing work. Baker doesn’t sugar-coat. A beautiful, uplifting novel full of mystery, hope and romance. Highly recommended for Austen fans and historical fiction readers.”

- Jenifer May, Secaucus Public Library, Secaucus, NJ