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LibraryReads September 2018: top ten books librarians love!

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September 2018  LibraryReads

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

by Stuart Turton

Published: 9/18/2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781492657965

“Imagine the movie Groundhog Day, except this time Aiden Bishop wakes up each day in a deteriorating manor house, as a different person, and must work out who he is and how he relates to everyone else at the party commemorating the long ago death of a child. If he can’t solve the murder that occurs at the party, he is doomed to continue the loop every eight days. A riveting page turner.”

Becky Bowen, Kenton County Public Library, Erlanger, KY


Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

by Christina Lauren

Published: 9/4/2018 by Gallery Books
ISBN: 9781501165856

“Hazel is the eccentric, exuberant friend who’ll make you fall in love with her, and she’s not interested in being ‘dateable.’ Josh is busy being a workaholic, trying to make a long distance relationship work, and not pursuing romance with anyone else. But when his sister’s best friend Hazel blows back into his life, he is powerless to resist her genuine joie de vivre. If you’re looking for your next perfect read after The Kiss Quotient, look no further! A lovely slow burn.”

Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI


Lies

by T.M. Logan

Published: 9/11/2018 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250182265

“When Joe unwittingly discovers that his wife has been having an affair with her friend’s husband, his life starts to unravel. It seems that her lover now wants Joe out of the picture. Follow the cat-and-mouse plot as it explodes with a shocking finish! Great fun for those readers who love a good psychological thriller.”

Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI


Night and Silence

by Seanan McGuire

Published: 9/4/2018 by DAW
ISBN: 9780756414764

“Toby is back in this latest installment of the October Daye series. Still reeling and recovering from the events of the last book, Toby and company are laying low. When her human daughter goes missing (again), Toby embarks on a twisty-turny race against time to find her. A solid entry and good choice for libraries with a strong demand for fantasy and urban fantasy.”

Mei-Ling Thomas, Rochester Hills Public Library, Rochester, MI


Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

by Sarah Bird

Published: 9/4/2018 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250193162
“A fascinating work of historical fiction about Cathay/Cathy Williams, a former slave turned Buffalo Soldier in post-Civil War America. Her raw and powerful story is sure to be popular with book clubs.”

Sarah Fetterman, Upper St. Clair Township Library, Upper St. Clair, PA

 


Lake Success: A Novel

by Gary Shteyngart

Published: 9/4/2018 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812997415

“Shteyngart delivers another painfully funny novel about ambition, disappointment, and the darker side of the American dream. For fans of witty, offbeat, satirical humor.”

Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO

 


The Dinner List: A Novel

by Rebecca Serle

Published: 9/11/2018 by Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250295187

“If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? On her thirtieth birthday, Sabrina finds herself at dinner with her best friend, her ex-fiance, her long lost father, her college mentor and Audrey Hepburn, all with something to say to her. A charming combination of magical realism and romance.”

Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC


Transcription: A Novel

by Kate Atkinson

Published: 9/25/2018 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316176637

“In WWII era London, Juliet Armstrong is working as an espionage monitor for MI5. Ten years later she suddenly finds herself targeted by dangerous individuals from her past. For fans of smart, witty, suspenseful, historical or spy fiction and authors like Tana French, Laurie R. King, and John Le Carre.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC


When the Lights Go Out

by Mary Kubica

Published: 9/4/2018 by Park Row Books
ISBN: 9780778330783

“After her mother’s death, Jessie is trying is trying to rebuild her life. In her way is her debilitating insomnia and a secret that shakes the core of her identity. Psychological suspense with an unreliable narrator. This one’s for you Gone Girl fans.”

Diane Gring, Chester County Library & District Center, Exton, PA

 


Hitting the Books

by Jenn McKinlay

Published: 9/11/2018 by Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN: 9780451492678

“McKinlay’s Lindsay Norris is back for another adventure in Briar Creek. As a fellow librarian, I appreciate her spot on observations of the library world. An upbeat cozy mystery with great characters and strong sense of place. For fans of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries and the Isabel Dalhousie mysteries.”

Carly Budzynski, Salem Public Library, Salem, VA

 

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org

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My First ALA Conference Experience

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend my first American Libraries Association Annual Conference.  This Conference is the largest conference for librarians, with nearly 20,000 librarians in attendance from around the world.  This is the prime opportunity to meet and network with colleagues, see the latest products available for libraries, check out what great things other libraries are doing, meet great authors and illustrators, and hear some wonderful and inspiring speakers.

Leading up to the conference, the schedule starts becoming available in bits and pieces so that before I knew it – I had “favorited” 4 things to attend all at the same time over and over again!  Therefore, as the conference drew closer, I refined my personal “schedule” to something more manageable that kept in line with my conference goals.  My goals including finding out more about participating in round tables, award juries, and other committees as well as professional development sessions and meeting a few vendors for our library.  At the conference, I found that it was great to have my personal “schedule” as a guideline – but the locations of said events really matter as some were about a half mile away within the conference center, or located in a hotel somewhere else in Chicago.  So that was a learning experience.

I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to meet with the Feminist Task Force, which I hope to become more involved with as well as the EBSCO Scholarship winners – a scholarship for which I had the pleasure of serving on the jury last year.  I hope to serve on a jury again in the future.  I spent a good deal of time in different sessions, during which librarians from all over the country created panels on various topics and shared what they were doing in their libraries.  I also went to the “Ignite Sessions” in which different librarians spoke for 5 minutes each on what they were doing, but each speaker was in no way connected to the other.  I loved these Ignite sessions, and hope to bring some of these ideas home to our library.  As a side note, one thing I learned was to get to any of these sessions early unless I wanted to sit on the floor!  The Exhibit Hall itself was huge.  I had specific vendors that I needed to speak with for various reasons, but I always swept by the publishers to see which pre-published books they might be handing out or what authors were signing books.

Chicago itself is a wonderful city!  I had never been before, and spent a few hours on either end of the trip doing some walking around and sightseeing.  I didn’t get to see or do everything of course, but my three favorite things were to go to the top of the Sears Willis Tower and step out onto the glass ledges, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, and take an architectural boat tour.  I highly recommend all of these things!

Overall, the conference was more than I expected.  I was overwhelmed and exhausted a good amount of the time, but I really felt plugged into the great library conversation taking place across the country (and world!).  I came back not just with ideas of things to do here in Methuen, but with a sense of confidence about my own librarianship and professional philosophies.  I’m still a pretty young librarian, professionally speaking, and I will always love to learn and experience new things.  I hope that I will be able to continue to attend conferences like this throughout the rest of my professional life.

 


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LibraryReads May 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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May 2017  LibraryReads List

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


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


Since We Fell: A Novel

by Dennis Lehane

Published: 5/9/2017 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062129383

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.”

Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC


The Leavers: A Novel

by Lisa Ko

Published: 5/2/2017 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616206888

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.”

Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis MO


Ginny Moon: A Novel

by Benjamin Ludwig

Published: 5/2/2017 by Park Row Books
ISBN: 9780778330165

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.”

Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA


Saints For All Occasions: A Novel

by J. Courtney Sullivan

Published: 5/9/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780307959577

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI


White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel

by Ilona Andrews

Published: 5/30/2017 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062289254

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!”

Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL


Sycamore: A Novel

by Bryn Chancellor
Published: 5/9/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062661098

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY


Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Published: 5/2/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN:   9780393609394

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX


The Jane Austen Project: A Novel

by Kathleen A. Flynn

Published: 5/2/2017 by Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780062651259

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.”

Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library,Batavia, NY

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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LibraryReads April 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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April 2017  LibraryReads List

Anything Is Possible:
A Novel

by Elizabeth Strout

Published:4/25/2017 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812989403

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX


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


Waking Gods: Book 2 of the Themis Files

by Sylvain Neuvel

Published: 4/4/2017 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9781101886724

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX


Miss You: A Novel

by Kate Eberlen

Published: 4/4/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062460226

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.”

Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN


The Stars Are Fire: A Novel

by Anita Shreve

Published: 4/18/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385350907

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.”

Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR


American War: A Novel

by Omar El Akkad

Published: 4/4/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780451493583

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.”

Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI


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 Shadow Land: A Novel

by Elizabeth Kostova
Published: 4/11/2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345527868

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.”

Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH


A Twist In Time: A Novel

by Julie McElwain

Published: 4/4/2017 by Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781681773643

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.”

Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC


Gone Without a Trace

by Mary Torjussen

Published: 4/18/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780399585012

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.”

Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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LibraryReads January 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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March 2017  LibraryReads List

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley:  A Novel

by Hannah Tinti

Published:3/28/2017 by The Dial Press
ISBN: 9780812989885

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter.  Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood.  And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.”

Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX


 The Women in the Castle: A Novel

by Jessica Shattuck

Published: 3/28/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062563668

“Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, this book is narrated by each of the women, giving us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. This story examines the human side of war, where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


The Wanderers

by Meg Howrey

Published: 3/14/2017 by Putnam
ISBN: 9780399574634

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.”

Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA


The Bone Witch

by Rin Chupeco

Published: 3/7/2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492635826

“Fifteen-year-old Tea discovers that she has a power that sets her apart from the other witches in her village and will incur their hatred. She is a “bone witch” who can raise the dead. Aware that a darkness is coming, Tea agrees to leave her home and family so she can learn to save the very people who hate her. Her training, outlined in rich and fascinating detail, includes the courtly arts of singing and dancing, as well as classes in fighting. Told in short chapters, Tea reflects on her life, revealing how she becomes a courageous warrior. Although written for young adults, this will equally appeal to adults. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers eager for the promised sequel.”

Trisha Perry, Oldham County Public Library, Lagrange, KY


The Hearts of Men: A Novel

by Nickolas Butler

Published: 3/7/2017 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062469687

“In the summer of 1962, we are introduced to popular Jonathan and social outcast, Nelson, aka ‘The Bugler.’ The only thing the two seem to have in common is that they both spend a few weeks of one summer at Camp Chippewa in the woods of Wisconsin. Yet, over the course of decades, their lives and the lives of those they love the fiercest are intertwined.  This wonderful novel peels back the layers of male friendship and shows what loyalty, compassion, and selflessness looks like.”

Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien CT


Eggshells

by Caitriona Lally

Published: 3/14/2017 by Melville House
ISBN: 9781612195971

“Whimsical and different, this novel’s humor hooked me.  Vivian is an eccentric, living in Dublin and searching for a place where she can feel she belongs. How can you help but love a character who checks every wardrobe for Narnia and every yellow road for an Emerald City?  This novel movingly explores the outcasts and the different among us, showing that they are only hoping to fit in and find a friend.”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT


Say Nothing: A Novel

by Brad Parks

Published: 3/7/2017 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781101985595

“Fans of crime fiction and fans of domestic drama will find much to love in Parks’ genre-blending thriller. Judge Scott Sampson is a devoted family man and a respected jurist thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare: his 6-year-old twins are kidnapped, and the kidnappers blackmail Scott into increasingly immoral legal decisions. Cue marital meltdown, ethical dilemmas, paranoia, and a thrill ride that suspense lovers will race through to learn what happens next. It’s a departure from the author’s lightly snarky Carter Ross series, but a welcome one for readers of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz.”

Donna Matturri, Pickertington Public Library, Pickerington, OH


The Stranger in the Woods:
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

by Michael Finkel

Published: 3/7/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101875681

“There are three types of hermits in the world, according to Finkel: protesters, pilgrims, and pursuers. But Christopher Knight doesn’t seem to fit any of these categories. So why, at the age of 20, did he drive into a forest in Maine and disappear for 27 years, his only human interaction a single ‘hi’ with a passing hiker? This book uses the incredible but true story of Knight, ‘the last true hermit,’ to explore themes of solitude, introversion and the meaning of life.”

Megan Tristao, San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

by Lisa See

Published: 3/21/2017 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781501154829

“Li-Yan and her family, devote their lives to farming tea. Like her mother, Li-Yan is being groomed to become a midwife in her Chinese village. She yearns for more and is allowed to pursue her schooling. The arrival of outsiders seeking the Pu’er tea of Yunnan brings the modern world into this isolated village. When Li-Yan finds herself alone and pregnant, she leaves her child, wrapped with a tea cake, at an orphanage. Her daughter is adopted by a couple from California, but she is drawn to the study of tea. A sweeping historical novel that juxtaposes ancient China with its modern incarnation.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA


 If Not For You: A Novel

by Debbie Macomber

Published: 3/21/2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780553391961

“High school music teacher, Beth, and tattooed auto mechanic, Sam, are set up by mutual friends, but neither sees a relationship developing. Their mutual disinterest quickly turns into friendship and then develops into much more. Just as their romantic relationship truly begins, Beth’s controlling mother and Sam’s hidden past get in the way and threaten to break them apart. As fans have grown to expect from Macomber, this tale tugs the heartstrings in every direction but is ultimately uplifting. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her characters.”

Jenna Friebel, Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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LibraryReads February 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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February 2017  LibraryReads List

I See You

by Clare Mackintosh

Published:2/21/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9781101988299

“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website.  At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT


Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

Published: 2/7/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393609097

“After reading Gaiman’s account of Norse mythology, I doubt that I will ever forget how the gods of Asgard acquired their treasures. Thor’s hammer that never misses its mark, Frey’s incredible ship that shrinks to the size of a pocketable silk scarf, Odin’s powerful spear, all came to be because of Loki’s mischief. Above all, I will not forget the ill-gotten and ill-treated children of Loki who bring about Ragnarok, the end of earth and heaven and the death of the gods. Everything feels very real and very now when told by someone who has obviously drunk of the ‘mead of the poets.’”

Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL


My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel

by Sophie Kinsella

Published: 2/7/2017 by The Dial Press
ISBN: 9780812998269

“Katie Brenner has moved from her family’s farm to the big city. She goes to great lengths to present the face that she thinks the world wants to see. When she’s fired from her job and forced to return home she  helps her family get their new venture up and running. Learning the truth about herself and those around her leads to the realization that nobody’s life is as perfect as it seems from the outside. Kinsella never loses her sense of humor, even when her characters are facing serious situations. She makes you believe in them and leaves you wanting to know what happens next.”

Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE


All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel

by Elan Mastai

Published: 2/7/2017 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781101985137

“Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller.Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the one you and I know. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.”

Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC


A Piece of the World: A Novel

by Christina Baker Kline

Published: 1/10/2017 by Algonquin
ISBN: 9781616205812

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.”

Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL


Gilded Cage

by Vic James

Published: 2/14/2017 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780425284155

“Welcome to a world where magic grants you access to all the benefits of wealth and power. This is the story of two families, one from magic and one not. When Abi comes up with a plan to help her family by having them serve one of the most powerful magical families, she thinks it will save them. But when her brother is sent to one of the harshest work camps, the plan seems less likely to keep them alive. Her brother must face the dangers of slavery while Abi and the others will see grandeur and wealth but also see the rotten core that is gilded in gold.”

Suzanne Christensen, Spanish Fork Public Library, Spanish Fork, UT


The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir: A Novel

by Jennifer Ryan

Published: 2/14/2017 by Crown
ISBN: 9781101906750

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is  a powerful story of both hope and despair. Told through diary entries, this is a wonderful glimpse into life in a small British town during WWII. Ryan is a skilled writer who gives each diary entry a clear voice: Mrs. Paltry is dishonest and scheming, Venetia, the self-centered young woman in love with a mysterious man, Kitty, the love struck teenager with big dreams, and Mrs. Tilling, the midwife and moral compass of the town. Through their entries, you really see them grow. The power of music brings them strength that they didn’t know that they had.”

Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI


Setting Free the Kites

by Alex George

Published: 2/21/2017 by Putnam
ISBN: 9780399162107

“Robert stands watching the demolition of the old paper mill that stood in the center of town and served as a constant reminder of his friend, Nathan. The reader is transported from present day to 1970s Maine, where Robbie finds his friendship with Nathan a literal escape from the bullying at school, and a figurative way of coping with his brother’s struggle with muscular dystrophy. The portrayal of family dynamics in the wake of tragedy is reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng but with an anchoring of boyhood friendship in this coming of age tale.”

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


We Were the Lucky Ones

by Georgia Hunter

Published: 2/14/2017 by Viking
ISBN: 9780399563089

“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can.  How this group of people manages to survive years of persecution and imprisonment is astounding.  It is an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.”

Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT


Garden of Lamentations: A Novel

by Deborah Crombie

Published: 2/7/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062271631

“Picking up where To Dwell In Darkness left off, Crombie’s new mystery resolves unresolved issues from that book while telling a compelling new story. Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery. Another fine entry in this excellent series.”

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

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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LibraryReads January 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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January 2017  LibraryReads List

girlbeforeblog

The Girl Before

by J.P. Delaney

Published:1/24/2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780425285046

“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.

Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL


bearandthenightingaleblog The Bear and Nightingale: A Novel

by Katherine Arden

Published: 1/10/2017 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9781101885932

“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH


The Dthe-dryblogry: 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


behind-her-eyesblog

Behind Her Eyes: A Novel

by Sarah Pinborough

Published: 1/31/2017 by Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250111173

“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX


booksforlivingblog

Books For Living

by Will Schwalbe

Published: 12/27/2016 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385353540

“‘Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?’ Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, focuses on a personal collection of books that changed his life. Each book he selects provides a lesson, a reminder as to how to live his life. Readers will remember favorite books, find new books to try, and lessons to think about. Schwalbe’s book is warm, charming, and very personal. It’s a book for all avid readers.”

Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN


Forman_LeaveMe_ 06_06_alt_prnt.inddThe Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel

by Susan Rivers

Published: 1/10/2017 by Algonquin
ISBN: 9781616205812

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.”

Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL


fifth-petal-blog

The Fifth Petal: A Novel

by Brunonia Barry

Published: 1/24/2017 by Crown
ISBN: 9781101905609

“Barry takes her readers back to Salem with a mesmerizing tale filled with familiar characters from her previous works and new ones as well. Towner Whitney and John Rafferty come to the aid of Callie Cahill as they attempt to piece together the circumstances surrounding the brutal murder of her mother while trying to keep herself from becoming a victim as well.  This is a beautifully written story, full of twists and turns. Fans of The Lace Reader will love The Fifth Petal, though the book stands on its own and can be recommended to all readers.”

Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY


most-dangerousblogThe Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel

by Lindsey Lee Johnson
Published: 1/10/2017 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812997279

“Not for the faint of heart, Johnson’s first book is a beautifully crafted work that delves into the perils of teen-dom in a wealthy, insulated California neighborhood. The story opens with the suicide of an outcast middle-school boy. Fast forward to high school, where seemingly minor struggles of both teens and adults expose themselves to be deeply ominous, leaving few untouched by the ensuing tragedies. As the plot slowly builds, the intricate web of relationships that intertwine the lives of characters and the events that they experience become apparent, ultimately returning full circle.”

Amy Christiansen, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO


hereveryfearblogHer Every Fear: A Novel

by Peter Swanson

Published: 1/10/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062427021

“Kate Priddy is moving to Boston to swap apartments with her cousin. Haunted by an abusive ex, she wants to leave behind her previous life. But when her neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is murdered, Kate is drawn into a web of fear even darker than her past. Varying points of view add new perspectives to the narrative as the book goes on; the mystery of what really happened to Audrey is just a part of the intrigue as we delve into the minds of imperfect, broken people. As a fan of Swanson’s previous work, I was not disappointed.”

Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH


heartstone-blogHeartstone

by Elle Katharine White

Published: 1/17/2017 by Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780062451941

“A fun take on Pride and Prejudice in a fantasy setting. Merrybourne Manor has a gryphon infestation and has contracted with a band of Riders to kill them.  As you can imagine, the main Rider is a little haughty and our heroine has a long memory. Familiar trials and tribulations occur with some detailed world-building, laying the groundwork for a sequel. Good for readers who don’t mind literary re-imaginings, love P&P, and Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels.”

Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org