Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wish You Well by David Baldacci

The Evening Adult Discussion Group chose this title for their October meeting.  I really enjoyed reading this story.   This is the first David Baldacci book I have read and look forward to reading more of his titles.A family journey of life in the Virginia Mountains starting in the I940s.  This is the story of the Cardinal family, seen through the eyes of twelve year old Louisa Mae Cardinal.  A story of friendship, forgiveness and hope.  -- submitted by Michelle

Friday, September 25, 2015

October LibraryReads list

Announcing the 
October 2015 

LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and October's LibraryReads Favorite is:
 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

And now, the rest of the LibraryReads October Top 10:

After You: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes
(Pamela Dorman Books)

“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
(Random House)
“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
(Nan A. Talese)
“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
(Harper Perennial)

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
(Minotaur Books)                              

“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 with Lisa Dickey
(W.W. Norton & Company)
“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
(Algonquin Books)

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


Monday, September 21, 2015

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Kline's novel "Orphan Train" is a story of teenage Molly who is in the foster care system in Maine. Having been moved around in various homes she now finds herself at 17 and soon to be phased out of the system. She is a good student and is encouraged to go to college by her teacher but when she finds herself in trouble for stealing a library book, she has to do community service. Her boyfriend finds her a place to do the service for an elderly lady, Vivian, for whom his mother does house work. Molly and Vivian hit it off and have a common thread in their lives. Both are orphans. Molly gets Vivian to tell her story and the paper she writes about the orphan trains wins her an award. The book moves back and forth telling both Molly's story and Vivian's story.

I don't know why I waited so long to read this book. I guess I thought that I had already read it. In fact what I had read previously was the non-fiction "Orphan Trains: the story of Charles Loring Brace and the children he saved and failed" by Steven O'Conner. The two books go hand in hand and would be a great pair for a book discussion group. Both are very good and make you wonder at how many orphans there must have been in New York in the 1930s for them to have to transport them west to find homes with just anyone who would take them.

Oh and if you are interested check out NPR's podcast of the book review which discusses the actual Children's Aid Society's Orphan Trains.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb

I believe that Gottlieb truly captured the essence of what life may be like for many autistic people and their families through his character Todd Aaron. Very good! I recommend this book.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

As you can probably guess this novel is about an old wealthy Kentucky bourbon family and all their money, society, and marriage/affair problems a plenty.
Not my usual cup of tea but Ward's new tawdry series is a pure page turner and is steamier than Dallas, Dynasty, or Falcon Crest. Oops, I'm probably showing my age by mentioning those old TV series. Any way it is a quick read and diversion from everyday life, so enjoy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September LibraryReads

Announcing the September 2015 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and September's LibraryReads Favorite is:
The Art of Crash Landing: A Novel
by Melissa DeCarlo
(Harper Paperbacks)
“At once tragic and hilarious, this book is a roller coaster of a read. You'll find yourself rooting for the snarky and impulsive but ultimately lovable Mattie. At the heart of this tale is a beautifully unraveled mystery that has led Mattie to her current circumstances, ultimately bringing her to her first real home.”
Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads September Top 10:
Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel 
by Lee Child
(Delacorte Press)
“Jack Reacher is back. Jack gets off a train at an isolated town. Soon, he is learning much more about the town, and its residents are learning not to mess around with Jack Reacher. Readers new to this series will find this book a good starting point, and fans will be pleased to see Jack again.”
Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Did You Ever Have A Family
by Bill Clegg

(Gallery/Scout Press)
“Clegg’s devastatingly beautiful fiction
debut is the portrait of a community in the aftermath of a tragedy. June Reid, the broken woman at the epicenter of the novel, is struggling with a loss so profound that she is unable to see beyond her grief, unaware
that it has touched many people. Clegg tells their stories with heartbreaking sensitivity
and insight.”
Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
by Jonathan Evison
(Algonquin Books)
”Harriet Chance receives word that her recently deceased husband, Bernard, has won an Alaskan cruise. Deciding to go on the trip, she is given a letter from her close friend Mildred, with instructions not to open it until she is on the cruise. The contents of this letter shatter Harriet and she begins to reevaluate her life and her relationships."
Arleen Talley, Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation, Annapolis, MD
House of Thieves: A Novel
by Charles Belfoure
(Sourcebooks Landmark)
“Belfoure's intriguing novel is set in Gilded Age New York City. John Cross, head of the family, finds an unexpected talent for
planning robberies, while his wife and children also discover their inner criminals. The historical details and setting evoke old New York. I enjoyed every minute of their escapades.”
Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

The Gates of Evangeline
by Hester Young
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)
"Journalist Charlie Cates goes to gloomy, swampy Louisiana to write a book about the disappearance of a young child. Her research uncovers family secrets, lies, and clandestine affairs. This first book in a new series is incredibly suspenseful, with a vivid setting, a supernatural tinge, and an intricate plot that keeps you guessing until the end."
Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

Girl Waits With Gun
by Amy Stewart

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
“When the Kopp sisters and their buggy are injured by Henry Kaufmann’s car, Constance Kopp at first just wants him to pay the damages.  As she pursues justice, she meets another of Kaufmann’s victims, the young woman Lucy. Stewart creates fully developed   characters, including the heroine, Constance, who is fiercely independent as she faces    down her fears. The time period and setting are important parts of the story as well,   providing a glimpse of 1914 New Jersey.”
Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA
Fates and Furies: A Novel
by Lauren Groff
(Riverhead Books)
"Fates and Furies is a modern portrait of marriage. Lotto Satterwhite is the center, the hub around which all the characters revolve in the first half of the book. In the second half of the book, the lens turns to Lotto's wife Mathilde, and her side of the lopsided partnership gives us a totally different view. Groff is a master of language. It's not a gentle read. But it's magnificent."
Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Furiously Happy
A Funny Book About Horrible Things
by Jenny Lawson
(Flatiron Books)
“Lawson’s hilarious memoir is a romp between absurdity and despondency.  Passages alternate from ridiculously funny stories of her life to episodes of her sometimes debilitating depression. Lawson embraces living life, rather than merely surviving it. Why be just happy when you can be furiously so?  Recommended to fans of David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley.”
PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

The Scribe: A Novel
by Matthew Guinn
(W.W. Norton & Company)
“A shunned detective is pulled back to Atlanta to solve some brutal murders that seem to be the work of a serial killer. Political intrigue, a fascinating time in this country's history, and a good old-fashioned murder mystery make this one fascinating read. This book asks the question: when a man has had everything taken away, will he still fight for what is right?”
Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX