Monday, October 17, 2016

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

This is a story of Andres Egger a strong Austrian, living a life in the mountains. His was not a particularly happy life but the mountains were his home. The story reminds me a bit of Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome", which I also recently read. Another story of a lonely man who's hard existence relies on his strong sense of place in the world. The two novellas together could make for an interesting book discussion.

Monday, October 10, 2016

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A very good historical fiction story. It takes place after the Civil War and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has created a job for himself traveling from town to town in Texas reading the news of distant places to folks. While in northern Texas he finds himself charged with returning a 10 year old girl back to her family. She had been held captive by the Kiowa for four years and was recently recovered. This turns out to be a more challenging task than he first thought. The slow journey south finds them not only in different predicaments but getting to know each other.
If you enjoy this story then read Jiles' other excellently researched historical novels " The Color of Lightning", "Enemy Women" and "Stormy Weather", I recommend them all.

Monday, October 3, 2016

LibraryReads list October 2016

Announcing the 
October 2016

LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and 
October's LibraryReads Favorite is:
News of the World
A Novel
by Paulette Jiles
(William Morrow)

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

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
(Ballantine Books)

“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

by Connie Willis
(Del Rey)

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
(Sourcebooks Landmark)

“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
(Riverhead Books)
“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
(Little, Brown and Company)

“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
(Minotaur Books)                               
“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
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

“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 theatre setting so unique. I enjoyed the love interest/overprotected daughter storyline 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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Darktown is a mystery. A different kind of mystery that takes place in the era of Jim Crow laws, specifically in Atlanta. Boggs and Smith, partners, are part of the new black precinct in Darktown (the black section of Atlanta). When they find a murdered girl in a trash heap they take it upon themselves to solve the mystery after finding out the name of the white ex-cop they last saw her with was wiped off their report. I thought it was an excellent story!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

A sweeping novel about three generations of a family on an island off the coast of Italy. The Espositos own the old "House at the Edge of Night" which is covered in bougainvillea vines and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the village piazza on the other. It is a story of legends, miracles, secrets, love, patience and place in the community. A joy to read.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

 An auto accident prevents agent Lane Coolman from being present during his TV client's (Buck) interview at a bar in the Florida Keys. Buck manages to start a bar room brawl by insulting the locals and goes missing. The redhead who rear-ended Lane mistook the car he was driving for one that she was supposed to hit in a kidnapping scheme.
A very humorous story full of wacky and quirky characters and a quick read. If you need a diversion from your everyday life this laugh-out-loud story will do the trick.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X, AKA "Nowhere Man", AKA Evan, was raised by a government handler to become a silent killer and a man that does not exist on paper. His handler, the closest thing to a father he knew, tried to train him so that he retained a bit of humanity. Now years later, he works on his own to help people who are desperately in trouble. The Orphan program realizes that he still exits and wants him terminated. So begins the story of Evan in a deadly bait and switch game between professional killers.
A quick read, very entertaining, and in the works to be a motion picture.