Thursday, September 18, 2014

October Library Reads list

             
Announcing the
 October 2014 LibraryReads list!


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


A Sudden Light: A Novel 
by Garth Stein (Simon & Schuster)
"Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses."
Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT 
This month, LibraryReads is celebrating its first anniversary! Hearty thanks to all reading this email for their support, be it in the form of votes, recommendations, tweets, and displays. Next week we will be sending a survey that will let you select your favorite of all of the last year's LibraryReads picks--keep an eye out and join in the celebration!

And now, the rest of the LibraryReads October Top 10:
Leaving Time: A Novelby Jodi Picoult(Ballantine) 
Leaving Time is a love story - love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna's mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms--the good, bad and the ugly--and it is brilliant.”
Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Some Luck: A Novel
by Jane Smiley

(Knopf)
"Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.”
Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO
Reunion: A Novel
by Hannah Pittard

(Grand Central)

“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.”
Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden, foreword by Rob Reiner(Touchstone)
“Even if you don't have a crush on Cary Elwes, you'll enjoy this vivid behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Princess Bride. His stories, especially those involving Andre the Giant, will leave you in stitches. Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and others also recount their experiences. An amusing account of a group of performers who came together to make a heartfelt film that is loved by many.”
Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, IN
The Boy Who Drew Monsters:
A Novel 
by Keith Donohue

(Picador)
“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack's parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack's only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.”
Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN
Malice: A Mystery
by Keigo Higashino;
translated by Alexander O. Smith

(Minotaur Books)
“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.”
Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
Not My Father's Son: A Memoir
by Alan Cumming

(Dey Street Books)
“This memoir focuses on Cumming's reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK's Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming's maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.”
Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL

       
The Life We Bury

by Allen Eskins

(Seventh Street Books)
“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!”
Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery
by Ashley Weaver

(Minotaur Books)
“Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on holiday at the English seaside. What starts out as a lark, intended to make Amory Ames's misbehaving-but-oh-so-delicious husband jealous, turns into a dangerous and deadly game of whodunit for Amory and her friends. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre's golden age.”
Vanessa Walstra, Kent District Library, East Grand Rapids, MI

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom



Bloom spins an unbelievable story of stepsisters (Iris and Eva) who in the 1940s bond after losing their mothers and discovering their father steals all the money they earn from entering contests. From Ohio to Hollywood and back across America to New York, the calamitous pair of girls continue to con their way into jobs and through life while using others to achieve some semblance of a family life.
A quick read.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks



This novel takes place in Montana during the 1950's. A young Catherine Lemay is sent to survey a canyon for the Smithsonian and a wealthy business man that wants to build a power generating dam. When Catherine finds evidence of ancient artifacts she finds out who she really is working for. Along the way she meets a cowboy, John H, who has a unique understanding of the wild horses he paints. A great depiction of the landscape and a glimpse of how the open wilds of the United States get altered for both good and bad. I recommend this book.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bees by Laline Paull


Bees is a novel about the life cycle of a hive of honey bees told from the perspective of one of the worker bees named Flora. Flora was born to be a sanitation worker in the hive but worked her way up to be a forager, one who brings nectar and pollen to the hive. She is larger that most bees in the hive and a fierce fighter. She knows she is different that the other bees but this doesn't deter her from giving everything she's capable of for the good of the hive even when she lays an egg and tries to keep it alive while hiding it.
An easy read and good narrative moves the story along and reveals social classes in the hive.

Friday, August 22, 2014

September Library Reads List

             
Announcing the
 September 2014 LibraryReads list!


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


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: 
And Other Lessons from the Crematoryby Caitlin Doughty (W. W. Norton & Company)
“Part memoir, part exposé of the death industry, and part instruction manual for aspiring morticians. First-time author Doughty has written an attention-grabbing book that is sure to start some provocative discussions. Fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff and anyone who enjoys an honest, well-written autobiography will appreciate this quirky story.”
Patty Falconer, Hampstead Public Library, Hampstead, NH
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads September Top 10:
Station Eleven: A Novel  
by Emily St. John Mandel(Knopf) 


“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
The Children Act
by Ian McEwan

(Nan A. Talese)

“Judge Fiona Maye is at a difficult point in her marriage. Taking refuge in addressing other people’s problems in family court, Fiona extends herself more than usual, meeting a boy whose future is in her hands. McEwan is a masterful observer of human distress. With a simple story and flawed, genuine characters, this novel is poignant and insightful.”
Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, MO
The Paying Guests
by Sarah Waters

(Riverhead)

“You can almost bet that a situation with long-term guests--paying or not--is not going to turn out well. This novel by Waters, who many know from her earlier books Tipping the Velvet and The Little Stranger, will keep you turning the page to see just how tense things can get, and how far fear and passion can push someone.”
Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY
The Secret Place
by Tana French(Viking Adult)
“French has broken my heart yet again with her fifth novel, which examines the ways in which teenagers and adults can be wily, calculating, and backstabbing, even with their friends. The tension-filled flashback narratives, relating to a murder investigation in suburban Dublin, will keep you turning pages late into the night.”
Alison McCarty, Nassau County Public Library System, Callahan, FL

The Distance: A Thriller  
by Helen Giltrow

(Doubleday)

“Imagine a modern-day Robin Hood who deals not in money, but identity. Karla, the protagonist of The Distance, is a tech guru with a conscience, and the security of several nations’ dependent on her. This nuanced book kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait until the next one comes out.”
Cathy Scheib, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN

The Witch with No Name
by Kim Harrison

(Harper Voyager)
“In this book, Harrison ends her long-running Hollows series, featuring witch Rachel Morgan, vampire Ivy, and pixy Jenks. Rachel's come a long way; now, she and her friends attempt the impossible and face their toughest battle yet. Harrison skillfully wraps up many plot points, leaving readers sad that the series is over but satisfied by its ending. Fans will surely cheer Rachel on and shed a tear or two.”
Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
Rooms: A Novel
by Lauren Oliver
(Ecco)

“A family comes to terms with their estranged father’s death in Oliver’s first novel for adults. Told from the perspective of two ghosts living in the old house, this unique story weaves characters and explores their various past connections. Great book!”
Rachel Fewell, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO



Horrorstor: A Novel 
by Grady Hendrix
(Quirk Books)
“You know how some horror movies would work better as novels? Horrorstoris that book, perfectly capturing everything that is terrific about the horror genre. In its catalog-style pages, you'll find a hefty dose of satire, as a Scandinavian furniture store is transformed overnight into a prison. With characters that you're rooting for and terror that creeps up on you,Horrorstor will keep you up all night in the best possible way.”
Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

Season of Storms
by Susanna Kearsley

(Sourcebooks Landmark)
“Once again, Kearsley introduces you to a cast of characters who will quickly hold a special place in your heart. Celia and Alex mirror lovers from decades past, sharing similar secrets and passions. Flashbacks are woven seamlessly into the storyline, and the strong family component is handled beautifully, with surprising twists and turns.”
Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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


“Sometime books don’t find us until the right time” from the Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

This is a story that the Evening Book Club chose for the August meeting.  I would never have chosen to read this title on my own, but I am glad it was the pick of the month.  Filled with interesting characters about a man that owns a bookstore. A love story about A.J Fikry who finds a mysterious package left in his bookstore that gives him the opportunity to change his life around.
A good story to read if you like bookstores……

This is one reason why I belong to a book club, I read interesting books that I wouldn't normally select for myself and end up loving the stories. -- submitted by Michelle P.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman



This is a first novel for Backman and I hope there are more to come. It is a terrific story of a grumpy old man (well really not so old) and his relationship with his neighbors in a block of row houses in Sweden. Backman's story takes you through a range of emotions and in the end you understand and love his character, the man called Ove.
Truly one of the best books I've read this year!