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Best Books of 2017, Part 2: LibraryReads

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Favorite of Favorites 2017

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Published: 9/12/2017

by Penguin Press
ISBN: 9780735224292

Little Fires Everywhere delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb…until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence!”

Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO


The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

by Kate Moore

Published: 5/2/2017 by Sourcebooks
ISBN: 9781492649359

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point” their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel

by Gail Honeyman

Published: 5/9/2017 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780735220683

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.”

Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC


News of the World: A Novel

by Paulette Jiles

Published: 10/4/2016 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062409201
“Readers fortunate enough to meet Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an old ex-soldier who makes a living reading the news to townspeople in 1870s Texas, and Joanna, the Indian captive he is charged with returning to her relatives, will not soon forget them. Everything, from the vividly realized Texas frontier setting to the characters is beautifully crafted, right up to the moving conclusion. Both the Captain and Joanna have very distinctive voices. Wonderful storytelling.”

Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY


Glass Houses: A Novel

by Louise Penny

Published: 8/29/2017 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250066190

“A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it was before it was corrupted under the previous regime. Choices are made that will forever change our hero in ways we can only begin to imagine. The next book can’t get here fast enough.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH


Small Great Things: A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Published: 10/11/2016 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345544957

“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.”

Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO


Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz

Published:6/6/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062645227

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.”

Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

Published: 4/18/2017 by Doubleday
ISBN: 978o385534246

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma.  Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.”

Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA


The Dry: A Novel

by Jane Harper

Published: 1/10/2017 by Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250105608

“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself.  At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


Beartown: A Novel

by Fredrik Backman

Published: 4/25/2017 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501160769

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown.  He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship.  Weighty themes are explored.  How high a price is too high for success?  How deadly is silence?  Who can you trust with your secrets?  How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship?  There are no easy answers.  A great book club choice.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

 Courtesy of LibraryReads.org

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Snow-ence Fiction

Massachusetts just had its first big snow of the season – but not its last! We greet snow with a unique mixture of delight and misery. Our mixed feelings produce a sense of mystical wonder surrounding white-frosted pines, falling flakes of crystal ice, and yeti. This may be why snow features so prominently in speculative fiction. If you just can’t get enough stark, ominous white snowscapes in your life, try these reads.

 

snowpiercer_vol_1_the_escape_coverSnowpiercer by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette

This list would not be complete without this graphic novel classic, which was recently turned into a gripping, atmospheric film. Humanity is doomed: worldwide arctic temperatures have made the planet uninhabitable. The last survivors travel endlessly on a train that represents the last vestige of the technological marvel that was civilization. But there *is* a kind of society: one that privileges the few first-class travelers and grinds the rest underfoot. When the third class passengers revolt, the first class discovers that there’s nowhere to run…

 

01The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Young Lyra, a child of mysterious nobility, haunts the Oxford halls with her daemon. But a great conspiracy is afoot that threatens the very essence of humanity, and Lyra is at its heart. In order to prevent disaster, she will have to journey into the Arctic north, befriending armored polar bears and witches.

 

 

41mckp1f7fl-_sx332_bo1204203200_Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Also published as Let the Right One In, this book has been the subject of two films. There’s a new girl next door. Oskar is immediately fascinated, and not only because she seems old beyond her years. Eli only comes out at night…and she’s interested in Oskar for a much darker reason. As snow falls on Sweden, a young boy will come to know that some horror resides in which promises you make and keep.

 

 

6068551Shiver by Maggie Steifvater

The wolves behind Grace’s house watch her every winter. But one in particular is more than just hungry. In the summer, he’ll turn into a human, and when that happens, he and Grace will meet again. This time, sparks will fly. Steamy romance will…romanticate. This book draws a lot of valid comparisons to Twilight. It’s Twilight with snow and a wolf. So if you love Stephanie Meyers, you’ll love this. If not, well, better go with Snowpiercer.


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Bookish Confessions: Reducing Stess through Audiobooks

Well, here it is, my annual stressor, the “holidays”. Between the reduction in light and the advance of the cold…not to mention the state of the country and its leaders, I’m feeling a little on edge right about now.

How to take the stress down a notch and save a little of myself for my family? For me the answer has been the audiobook. I’ve turned off the news, stopped listening to the same songs over and over whether on the radio or my playlist. I’m using my commute, which can range from twenty minutes to 70 minutes depending on day and time and whether they’ve decided it’s a good night to do some construction, to go somewhere else through the auspices of a good book. Drive time is now a pleasure, if not a pleasure at least not as much of a drag.

Most times I download a book to my phone through Axis 360 (an eBook provider through the Mass eCollection) and listen to it through the speakers in the car. I’ve tried science fiction, fantasy, true crime, historical fiction, and they all allow me to have that break and come home refreshed instead of tense. To be sure I have been tempted to drive around the block a time or two when the story has me really intrigued…but don’t tell my husband!

Here are a few of my favorite listens:

The TerraCover image for Master Thievesnauts by T. C. BoyleCover image for The Underground Railroad

Master Thieves by Stephen Kurkjian

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

 

∼ Kirsten


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Best Books of 2017, Part 1

Now that 2017 is coming to a close, all the purveyors of books, reading choices, and good taste have tallied up their votes for their favorite books of the year.  For those of us listmongers who can’t pass up another list of books, check out the links below to find out what people enjoyed reading this year.

Warning:  have your library account open to request books, or your book journal ready, and/or your “want to read” goodreads screen open because you’re going to find books you want to read in 2018!

Cover image for PriestdaddyPublisher’s Weekly Best Books 2017 lists top Fiction and Non-Fiction along with genre heavy hitters, teen, children’s and picture books.

New York Times “The 10 Best Books of 2017” lists their professional reviewers favorites and NYT’s Readers Recommendation Their Favorite Books of 2017 takes into account their reader’s choices.

NPR’s Best Books of 2017 has a dazzling visual display of 350 titles NPR staff and critics loved this past year.  Use the filters on the left bar to zone in on your interests.

The votes are in for 2017 GoodReads Choice Awards,  “the only major book awards decided by readers.”  Check out the Nevins Library’s GoodReads page to see what we’ve been reading this past year!

Elle Magazine’s list of their Best Books of 2017 range from “hysterically curmudgeonly essays to raw novels about love and loss”.

What were your favorite reads of 2017?  Inquiring minds want to know!


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Order online from B&N and support the Nevins Library

Image result for barnes & noble bookfairIt’s not too late to order items online from Barnes & Noble and support the Nevins Library. Even if you missed the grand event on Dec. 2nd at the Salem, NH Barnes & Noble store, you can still order items online from B&N today and a percentage of the proceeds will go to benefit the Friends of the Library.

All you have to do is visit bn.com/bookfairs and enter Bookfair ID 12252177 at checkout.  It’s a win-win situation!

Last year the library was able to purchase a replacement set of Shakespeare plays, more how-to books, and extra bestsellers with the proceeds from the previous year’s B&N book fair.

I know many of my friends and family will be getting books from me for Christmas this year! 🙂