Friday, December 19, 2014

January 2015 Library Reads

Announcing the
 January 2015 LibraryReads list!

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

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust:
A Flavia de Luce Novel

by Alan Bradley (Delacorte Press)
“After the unexpected recovery of her mother's body brings the de Luce’s family secrets to light, Flavia’s life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term--and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!”
Lizzie Gall, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI
You can download the PDFs of this month's list incolor or black & white--get your patrons excited about the new year of books to come!

And now, the rest of the LibraryReads January Top 10:
The Rosie Effect: A Novel
by Graeme Simsion
(Simon & Schuster)

“Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT

Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
(Del Rey)
“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There's so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow's eyes. It's exhausting, thrilling, and heartwrenching!”
Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD 

Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel by Priya Parmar 
(Ballantine Books)
“Told uniquely as part diary, part epistolary novel, Parmar focuses on the relationship of Vanessa (later Bell) and Virginia (later Woolf) Stephens, one filled with unspoken jealousy and a fierceness of love that will ultimately destroy their kinship. This well-researched novel with gorgeous prose brings the characters to life with a unique perspective.”
Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Magician's Lie: A Novel
by Greer Macallister
(Sourcebooks Landmark)
“Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder--or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.”
Paula Jones, Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA 

The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel 
by Menna van Praag 
(Ballantine Books)
“Tidy, romantic, and fine escapism. All the characters here have interesting back stories: Cora is believable as a no-nonsense gal trying to rebuff sweet Walt's advances, and Etta is someone I'd like to meet in real life. Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.”
Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA 

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen 
(St. Martin's Press)
First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney's teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen's previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman, and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.”
Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ

The Girl on the Train: A Novel 
by Paula Hawkins 
“Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman's disappearance. In the vein of Gone Girl, this dark psychological thriller is fast-paced and features some very unreliable narrators.”
Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

The Bishop’s Wife 
by Mette Ivie Harrison 
(Soho Crime)
“As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop's wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop's wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.”
Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA 

Full Throttle 
by Julie Ann Walker 
(Sourcebooks Casablanca)
"Readers can always count on Walker to deliver a suspenseful, action-packed read, and she delivers on all counts. However, it isn't the heart-pounding adventure that makes this a fabulous story--it's the characters. Abby and Steady, college friends who were torn apart by a mutual loss, have great chemistry. Walker has created a complete and suspenseful narrative."
Vanessa Gempis, Dallas Public Library, Hampton-Illinois Library, Dallas, TX

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wine and War: the French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Don and Petie Kladsrtup

If you are familiar with "The Monuments Men", you will find this a fascinating tale of how the French people tried to protect their famed wineries and vineyards from the epic battle taking place in France during World War II. The story involves spies and skulduggery, the French underground, and greedy Nazi leaders who want all the best wines for their own cellars. How the vintners fooled the Nazis and saved their wines makes an interesting read.
-- submitted by Joan

Monday, December 15, 2014

Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The story of young men from Washington state who not only struggled with the effects of the Great Depression, trying to maintain good grades, and the extreme effort needed to row competitively, but also with personal trials.  This book explains in detail the training and physical prowess necessary to excel in this sport, and the skill and craftsmanship in creating the beautiful sculls used in racing. Even though one knows the end result, it still is a compelling and fascinating read.
--- submitted by Joan

Friday, December 12, 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Two women who suffered from early trials brought on by becoming orphans meet and become friends. One is elderly and in need of assistance, the other young and frequently in trouble.  In some respects a depressing tale, but certainly a story of the human ability to overcome great obstacles.   This is based on true situations involving children, many of whom were children of poor immigrants, who were sent out to foster families who often abused them, and used them as unpaid laborers.
--- submitted by Joan

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kept by James Scott

A very dark story that just when you think nothing could get worse for 12 year old Caleb -- it does.
Raised on a remote farm in upstate New York, (late 1800's) Caleb lives in the barn with the animals, feeling more comfortable with them than with his family after witnessing his father kill and bury a man. It is the one thing that saves him but throws him into the next part of his life that no child should have to face.

This is a first novel and it was a real page turner for me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Escaping an abusive father, 1953 teenager Boy, takes a bus as far from New York as her money will get her and ends up in a small town in Vermont to start a new life.

A good book and a quick read. It has an "I didn't see that coming" that had me Gobsmacked! Not once, but twice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2014


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry:
A Novel

by Gabrielle Zevin

Published: 4/1/2014 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616203214
“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

Published: 10/1/2013 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476729084
“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



by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 9/10/2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250030955
“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

Published: 10/22/2013 by Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316055437
“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

Published: 5/13/2014 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385741262
“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

Published: 9/9/2014 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385353304
“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



by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 7/8/2014 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250049377
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

Published: 10/8/13 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385351232
“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