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January 2015 Library Reads

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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 Do…

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

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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

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

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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

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

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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

Kept by James Scott

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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.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

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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.

LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2014

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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/…

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

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Cain's new character Kick is my current favorite heroine crime fighter. Having survived being kidnapped as a child, Kick, now grown up, is still struggling with those years she was held captive. Ever on the alert and determined to never be a victim again she reluctantly teams up with a man of means to find other captive children. What's his angle?  A quick and engaging read. Can't wait for the next book!

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

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Jane Smiley does a good job of depicting a typical Iowa farm family with a German immigrant background. Her story follows the family from 1920-1953 raising children and caring for parents and neighbors, surviving the wars and depression along with personal struggles of their own and their children's. Marveling at the difference in each one. Each one set on his or her own path. A father, Walter, wanting them to be satisfied with a farm life and stay close, a mother, Rosanna, wanting more for her children than being tied to the land.

High Divide by Lin Enger

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Gretta Pope doesn't know what to think when her husband of seventeen years up and leaves without a word. Eli and Danny take off after their Dad looking for an explanation. Gretta travels to visit relatives for clues and finds out her husband's name is not Pope and that he fought in not only the Civil War but also later under Custer in the Plains Indian war. What else has he not told her and where did he go?
This book will take you from the plains of Minnesota to the Montana badlands. From  a small farming community to Buffalo hunting. From a broken family to strong bonds of faith, growth and love.
I recommend this book.

Lilia by Marilynne Robinson

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Lila a neglected, half starved, toddler was taken from her family and raised by Doll, a homeless lady who protected and cared for her until she was an adult. Now on her own, trying to find her place in the world, Lila begins a new life with a kind old pastor in the small town of Gilead, Iowa.
I found it to be charming, compassionate story.

November Library Reads List

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Announcing the November 2014 LibraryReads list!
You voted, we counted, and November's LibraryReads Favorite is:

Us: A Novel
by David Nicholls (Harper) “Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that makes you wish you could meet the characters in real life. This is the case with Us, the poignant story of a middle-of-the-road British family spiraling out of control, and one man’s attempt to win back their love. Quirky, delightful and unpredictable, the novel delves into what makes a marriage, and what tears it apart.” Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
You still have a few days left to vote for the longlist of the LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites!Get your vote in by October 15 and keep an eye out for the finalists.

And now, the rest of the LibraryReads November Top 10:

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels

by Sarah MacLean 
(Avon) 

“Having lost her innocence in a teenage love affair, Lady Georgiana is a social pariah. Trying to save the t…

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta

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A high adventure murder mystery. Young Jace is witness to murders at the abandoned quarry just behind his house. His parents send him to a mountain wilderness survival program run by Ethan Serbin and his wife Allison. It is fire season in those mountains and the brutal Blackwell brothers have more than a boy to contend with when they hunt down the witness who could put them away.
Very good and an easy read.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

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A coming of age story, Trevor travels with his father to the family's estate outside of Seattle, Washington. Riddle House was built by his great uncle Ben and great great grandfather Elijah, who made the family's fortune in logging. Trevor never expects to uncover hard truths about his family's past exploring the old decaying log mansion with the help of the ghost of his great uncle Ben.

A "couldn't put it down" book with an ending that was meant-to-be but will bring you to tears.

Belle Cora by

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This historical fiction story looks back on the life of an aging on-again-off-again madam of the 1800's and how she came to be a wealthy lady of San Francisco. Annabelle is a strong female character who makes the most of the harsh life she has been dealt, staying a true protector of her troubled little brother and smart manipulator of men.
Good but a bit long at almost 600 pages.

October Library Reads list

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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: