Monday, January 26, 2015

February Library Reads List

Announcing the February 2015 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and February's LibraryReads Favorite is:
A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel
by Anne Tyler (Knopf)
“In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks--a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book’s timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads February Top 10:
A Touch of Stardust: A Novel
by Kate Alcott
“With the background of the making of Gone with the Wind, this is a delightful read that combines historical events with the fictional career of an aspiring screenwriter. Julie is a wide-eyed Indiana girl who, through a series of lucky breaks, advances from studio go-fer and assistant to Carole Lombard to contract writer at MGM. A fun, engaging page-turner!”
Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ

Half the World
by Joe Abercrombie

(Del Rey)
“Fifteen-year-old Thorn, determined to become a king’s soldier, is fighting not just physical opponents, but her world’s social mores. Girls are supposed to desire nothing more than a wealthy husband. Period. Thorn's struggles to achieve her dream make for a riveting read. Second in a series, this book reads very well as a standalone.”
Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders
“Loved this mystery! The acerbic narrator is 40-year-old British book publishing editor Samantha, whose best author goes missing after writing a tell-all book about a famous French fashion designer who died under suspicious circumstances. Very funny, and great secondary characters as well.”
Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR

My Sunshine Away
by M.O. Walsh
(Putnam Adult)
“A crime against a 15-year-old girl is examined through the eyes of one of her friends--a friend who admits to being a possible suspect in the crime. This is a wonderful debut novel full of suspense, angst, loyalty, deceit, and most of all, love.”
Alison Nadvornik, Worthington Libraries, Columbus, OH

Finding Jake: A Novel
by Bryan Reardon
(William Morrow)
“Stay-at-home dad Simon Connelly receives the call every parent dreads: there’s been a shooting at his children’s school. Through flashbacks and present-day narratives, he mines his memory for clues to what may have happened. This is a refreshing take on the well trodden “bad kid” novels, and an excellent thriller to recommend to all who liked Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
Alissa Williams, Pekin Public Library, Pekin, IL

The Siege Winter: A Novel by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman
(William Morrow)
“I couldn’t have been more excited when I learned Franklin wrote a new book. This wonderfully written novel takes place during King Stephen and Empress Matilda’s tumultuous civil conflict to claim England, no matter what cost to themselves or their subjects. The story conveys the brutality of the period without sacrificing the complex nature of the time and the people.”
Elizabeth Carroll, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
by Julia Quinn
“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard's motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.”
Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT

A Darker Shade of Magic
V. E. Schwab
“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.”
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
by Laurie R. King
“Considering that King is one of the finest mystery authors writing today, it’s no surprise that the latest in the Russell/Holmes series is an engaging read. Intrigue follows the duo as they board a liner bound for Japan and meet up with a known blackmailer and a young Japanese woman who is not all that she seems. Great historical research and rich atmosphere!”
Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Favorite books of2014

We would love to hear what your favorite books of 2014 were. Please comment to this post below. You may make anonymous posts anytime.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

Smithy a 40 something man from Rhode Island finds himself on a bicycle road trip after his parents are killed in an auto accident. He finds a letter from California police that his father had received identifying a body as that of his crazy sister Bethany. With his life at loose ends, he spies his old bicycle in the garage and sets off out of the blue for California to claim his sister's body. The trip becomes a life journey meeting people along the way and freeing him from his past life but yet returning him to the neighbor girl who was always there.
Very good - easy read.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A 17 year old nerd Quentin goes to a professor's house for an interview to get into an elite school. He shows up and finds the professor is dead but is handed an envelope with his name on it by the EMT. As he is walking home the wind takes the paper and when chasing it he magically ends up at a school of magic along the Hudson. He of course goes to and graduates from this magic school but then what.? What are he and the friends he has made at the school supposed to do with their lives? How are the "Fillory" fantasy novels he read as a kid directing his magical path?
This is the first in a trilogy. I will read the second to find out how Quentin ends up using the gift of magic he has been given. Will it be for good or evil?

Friday, January 2, 2015

41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

A biography by an obviously biased person - a loving son! George (43) talks about his father both as a family man and a political person and it all sounds pretty good. There are places where the son tries to justify some of his father's mistakes; admitting that he made them must have been hard for George (43).
He also slips in a few justifications for some of his own presidential activities, which gives this book the feeling of being off topic once in a while. An interesting and easy book to read.
--- submitted by Joan

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