Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Library Reads List

Announcing the August 2015 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and August's LibraryReads Favorite is:
Best Boy: A Novel
by Eli Gottlieb
“What happens when someone on the autism spectrum grows up, and they aren't a cute little boy anymore? Gottlieb's novel follows the story of Todd Aaron, a man in his fifties who has spent most of his life a resident of the Payton Living Center. Todd begins to wonder what lies beyond the gates of his institution. A funny and deeply affecting work.”
Elizabeth Olesh, Baldwin Public Library, Baldwin, NY
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads August Top 10:
The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel 
by Louise Penny
(Minotaur Books)
“Louise Penny set the bar high with her last two books, but she had no trouble clearing it with this one. All our old friends are back in Three Pines where a young boy with a compulsion to tell tall tales tells one true story with disastrous results. But which story is the truth and why is it so threatening? Exquisitely suspenseful, emotionally wrenching and thoroughly satisfying.”
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Everybody Rise
by Stephanie Clifford

(St. Martin's Press)
“Stephanie Clifford’s debut novel takes us into the world of NYC high society in 2006. Evelyn Beegan, who’s always been on the fringes of the smart set, meets It girl Camilla Rutherford, and her ambition and desire to belong get the best of her. Evelyn's deceptive effort to keep pace with Camilla wreaks all kinds of havoc with her finances, her family, and her sense of self. With a sympathetic main character and a fascinating look into how the other half lives, this astute tale is irresistible.”
Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense 
by Julia Heaberlin
(Ballantine Books)
"in 1995, Tessie went out for a run, and she went missing. She was found eventually, a surviving victim of the Black-Eyed Susan       serial killer. The supposed killer is in prison, yet Tessie is still being plagued by mysterious Black Eyed Susan flowers blooming where they shouldn't. The viewpoint shifts between Tessie in the present day and teenage Tessie     in 1995, and was quite clever. I think this novel will appeal to fans of Gone Girl."
Shannon Fukumoto, Kapolei Public Library Kapolei, HI
A Window Opens: A Novel
by Elisabeth Egan
(Simon & Schuster)
“Alice Pearce has a pretty great life. She has a loving family and works part-time as an editor for a magazine. When her family’s financial situation takes a drastic turn, Alice finds that she needs to step up to the plate and contribute more, and she finds this comes at a cost. I think many women will see themselves in Alice’s character. I recommend this book to moms who need a little time to themselves; they might realize that maybe things aren’t so bad for them after all.”
Rosanna Johnson, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

The Fall of Princes: A Novel
by Robert Goolrick
“I loved this novel about the rise and fall of a man in NYC during the 80s, when money was easy to make and easy to spend. What happens when you can get anything you want, and what does it really end up costing you? The story of the people working in the financial industry during that time is interwoven with the reality of AIDS, cocaine and the changes going on in society.  So many sentences were so well-written that I found myself stopping to take them in and relish them.”
Jennifer Cook, Cheshire Public Library, Cheshire, CT

Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery
by Donna Andrews

(Minotaur Books)
“It’s Halloween in Caerphilly and the town    has come up with another festival to bring in the tourists.  Meg Langslow is heading up the “Goblin Patrol”, there’s trouble at the      Haunted House, and body parts are being found at the zoo. Meg is once again called in      to save the day and solve the crime.  If you enjoy your mysteries packed with humor and fun, don’t miss this return to Caerphilly with Meg and her zany family and friends.”
Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman
(Simon & Schuster)
"Exquisite...Alice Hoffman's finest work to date. The Marriage of Opposites is a beautiful love story of a man and woman and a mother and child intricately woven together to capture the author's true message: Love more, not less."
Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

In a Dark, Dark Wood 
by Ruth Ware
(Gallery/Scout Press)
"Leonora Shaw is a crime writer who lives a solitary life in London until she receives an invitation to a hen party for a friend she hasn't seen in nearly ten years. The party takes place in a remote location with spotty phone service. Are you nervous yet? We know from the opening pages that something horrible happens, but just what, and to whom, how, and why will keep readers guessing -- and flipping the pages. Recommended for fans of The Girl on the Train."
Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books
by Michael Dirda
"This collection of Dirda's musings on writers, book collecting and the literary landscape is a must read for all bibliophiles. Michael Dirda won a Pulitzer for his work at the Washington Post and has been called "the best-read person in America." I always learn something new when I read his work, and this book is no exception. Great fun for all book nerds!"
Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard, OH

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I originally had misgivings about reading this book but was pleasantly surprised.

The central character is definitely the spitfire Scout we came to know in "To Kill a Mockingbird". Here 26 year old Jean Louise goes back home to visit her now much older arthritic father Atticus.
Her perceptions of who people are in her home town and family are maybe different from what she remembers as a child and leaves her wondering where she was all those years. Learning to accept people with all their faults but holding on to her own identity becomes the struggle.
A couple of characters that I got a better picture of in this book are her Aunt Alexandra and her Uncle Jack Finch.
                                     I recommend this book!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich

This story is a debut novel by Panowich that takes place in the Appalachians of Georgia. The Bourroughs family has owned Bull Mountain for generations making a living by bootlegging whiskey. Now instead of working stills they grow marijuana and make Meth. An FBI agent is on to them and intends to bring the whole family down. He enlists the help of the local sheriff who is also a Bourrouhgs.  Panowich throws a twist into the story 2/3rd s of the way through that you don't see coming.
I liked this book. An easy read.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Evergreen by Rebecca Rasmussen

A quick to read novel that spans 3 generations and their trials and tragedy's of living in rural northern Minnesota. All loving the outdoors and living off the land. Best friends and neighbors who are integral in survival of both mind and body living across the river from each other struggle with the secrets of the past and the longing for a mother's love. Excellent!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Hannah's historical novel is about two sisters who follow very different paths during the occupation of France. Vianne, the older one is married, has a daughter and lives outside a small town. Her husband has gone off to fight and Vianne finds herself in the position of having her house requisitioned by German officers. Her best friend and neighbor is Jewish. The younger sister, Isabelle who has either left or gotten kicked out of every school she was sent, uses her youthful recklessness to join the French resistance and becomes the "Nightingale". It is a story of love, heartbreak, family and unbreakable spirit.
Very good!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Library Reads July 2015

Announcing the July 2015 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and July's LibraryReads Favorite is:
by J. Ryan StradalKitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel
 (Pamela Dorman Books)
“This novel is  quirky and colorful. The story revolves around chef Eva Thorvald and the people who influence her life and her cooking. With well-drawn characters and mouthwatering descriptions of meals, Kitchens of the Great Midwest will appeal to readers who like vivid storytelling. Foodies will also enjoy this delicious tale.”
Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads JulyTop 10:
Circling the Sun: A Novel 
by Paula McLain
(Ballantine Books)
“I couldn’t stop reading this fascinating portrayal of Beryl Markham, a complex and strong-willed woman who fought to make her way in the world on her terms. McLain paints a captivating portrait of Africa in the 1920s and the life of expats making their home there. Highly, highly recommended.”
Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

Speaking in Bones
by Kathy Reichs

“This book lives up to all the expectations we have for a new book by Kathy Reichs. A compelling and dangerous mystery, lots of medical details, and good characterization make this a title that will be easy to recommend!”
Leslie Johnson, Jefferson County Public Library, Lakewood, CO

Crooked Heart: A Novel
by Lissa Evans
Crooked Heart is a rewarding, addictive read. Orphaned ten-year-old bookworm Noel, sent away to rural St. Albans, finds himself under the reluctant guardianship of Vee, aka Mrs. Vera Sledge. Amidst a chaotic background of bombings and uncertain futures, Vee and Noel gradually form a powerful bond. I highly recommend this darkly humorous, honest, and complex story. It is book club heaven.”
Janet Schneider, Oceanside Library, Oceanside, NY
Kiss Me: A Novel
by Susan Mallery
(HQN Books)
“As always, Ms. Mallery has given us a fantastic read. As soon as I pick up her titles, I can't put them down until I have finished them. They are feel-good, heartwarming--I need more synonyms. I love seeing all the previous characters, the friendships and families that have formed since Chasing Perfect came out five years ago. Thanks, Ms. Mallery, for another amazing read.
Jenelle Klavenga, Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA

Those Girls
by Chevy Stevens
(St. Martin's Press)
Those Girls follows the lives of the Campbell sisters. After running away from their alcoholic father, they find themselves caught in a worse situation when they are kidnapped. Those Girls is a tale that will captivate readers and show just how strong the bond between family members can be.”
Annice Sevett, Willmar Public Library, Willmar, Minnesota

Love Lies Beneath: A Novel
by Ellen Hopkins

(Atria Books)
“An intriguing tale of sex, romance and deception. Tara is a brilliant, sexy forty-something. She's enjoying being single until Cavin, a handsome doctor, enters her exam room. They have a hot and steamy romance, of course, but there is much, much more to this story. Ellen Hopkins commands each word on the page, from her prose to verse.”
Laura Hartwig, Meriden Public Library, Meriden, CT
Second Chance Summer: A Novel
by Jill Shalvis 
(Grand Central Publishing)
“As always, Ms. Mallery has given us a fantastic read. As soon as I pick up her titles, I can't put them down until I have finished them. They are feel-good, heartwarming--I need more synonyms. I love seeing all the previous characters, the friendships and families that have formed since Chasing Perfect came out five years ago. Thanks, Ms. Mallery, for another amazing read.
Jenelle Klavenga, Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA

Maybe in Another Life 
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(Washington Square Press)
"Hannah Martin has just moved back to LA after ending a relationship. Her best friend, Gabby, takes her out to a bar on her first night home. Enter Ethan, the One Who Got Away, and suddenly, Hannah has to decide if she'll leave with Ethan or Gabby. We follow Hannah after choosing both options, alternating chapters to explore the consequences of each. A must for anyone who loves a hankie with their books!"                        
Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill NC

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/day 
by Leanne Brown
(Workman Publishing Company)
“Wow! This is a great looking book. Great for beginners with its details about ingredients and kitchen tools. Best of all, each recipe is made from ingredients that most everyone has; t here were only two ingredients in the whole book that I don't own. This book is just what my Doctor ordered, literally. I am a basic cook and like simple and tasty. This book is OUTSTANDING!
Nancy Chalk, Charlton Public Library, Charlton, MA

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I'm reading

I seem to be into mysteries right now. Here are three I recommend.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
I just finished the latest installment of Alan Bradley's Flavia series.
In this one Flavia gets shipped off to a Girls school in Canada and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery the night she arrives when a body slips out of the fireplace chimney in her room.
Always fun.

The Escape by David Baldacci
This military spy ring mystery has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
The indomitable FBI Agent Pendergast is back helping his protegee after she gets herself in some serious trouble in a wealthy Colorado ski town while trying to gather information on some old bones from bodies that were supposedly killed and eaten by a bear in the 1800's. Another mystery for Pendergast to solve unfolds as a wealthy family is murdered by being set on fire inside their home.