September 2014 LibraryReads List

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:
And Other Lessons from
the Crematory

by Caitlin Doughty

Published: 9/15/2014
by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393240238

“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

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Station Eleven: A Novel

by Emily St. John Mandel

Published: 9/9/2014 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385353304

“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


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The Secret Place

by Tana French

Published: 9/2/2014 by Viking Adult
ISBN: 9780670026326

“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


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Rooms: A Novel

by Lauren Oliver

Published: 9/23/2014 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062223197

“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


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The Children Act

by Ian McEwan

Published: 9/9/2014 by Nan A. Talese
ISBN: 9780385539708

“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


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The Distance: A Thriller

by Helen Giltrow

Published: 9/9/2014 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385536998

“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


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Horrorstor: A Novel

by Grady Hendrix

Published: 9/23/2014 by Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594745263

“You know how some horror movies would work better as novels? Horrorstor is 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


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The Paying Guests

by Sarah Waters

Published: 9/16/2014 by Riverhead
ISBN: 9781594633119

“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


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The Witch with No Name

by Kim Harrison

Published: 9/9/2014 by Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780061957956

“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


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Season of Storms

by Susanna Kearsley

Published: 9/2/2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781402258732

“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


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August 2014 LibraryReads List

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One Kick: A Novel

by Chelsea Cain

Published: 8/19/2014
by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476749785

“Kick Lannigan survived being kidnapped as a child. Now, at twenty-one, determined never to be a victim again, she has reinvented herself. Martial arts and weapons handling are just a few of the skills she has learned over the years. Kick catches the attention of John Bishop, a mystery man with access to unlimited funds, and together they go after a cabal of child pornographers. A read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.”

Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

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Lucky Us: A Novel

by Amy Bloom

Published: 7/29/2014 by Random House
ISBN: 9781400067244

“Is a family the people you are born to, or the people who you find along the way? That’s what Bloom explores in this novel set in pre- and post-WWII Ohio, Los Angeles, New York and Germany. The story follows resourceful Eva, who was abandoned by her mother at an early age, and her sister Iris, an aspiring actress who tries to find love at a time when her kind of love must be secretive. Every character is beautifully drawn, warm, and believable.”

Kathryn Hassert, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, Chester Springs, PA


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Heroes Are My Weakness: A Novel

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Published: 8/26/2014 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062106070

“Any Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel is going to make it onto my must-read list, but this one is particularly wonderful, and here’s why: she creates, then cheerfully destroys, the romance cliche of the brooding hero with a dark secret who lives in a crumbling mansion and captivates a plucky heroine. The hero is a horror novelist, and the heroine a failed actress-turned-puppeteer. This warm, witty, comedy-drama is a perfect summer read.”

Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH


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Lock In

by John Scalzi

Published: 8/26/2014 by Tor
ISBN: 9780765375865

“There’s been a good run of fantasy and science fiction books this year. Joining the list of great fantastical reads is John Scalzi’s Lock In. Scalzi is best known for his military SF (especially the Old Man’s War series), so his latest is a change of pace. A blending of SF and police procedural that hits every note just right.”

Jane Jorgenson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI


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The Miniaturist: A Novel

by Jessie Burton

Published: 8/26/2014 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062306814

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”

Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY


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Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

Published: 7/29/2014 by Amy Einhorn/Putnam
ISBN: 9780399167065

“A horrible act of violence occurs at the Pirriwee Public School’s trivia night fundraiser for parents, but what happened and who was involved? The novel begins six months before that fateful evening and lets us in on the lives of single mother Jane, twice-married Madeline, and Celeste, who secretly suffers from domestic abuse. Big Little Lies is another page-turning read from Moriarty that had me gasping with surprise at the end.”

Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL


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The Truth about Leo

by Katie MacAlister

Published: 8/5/2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 9781402294457

“I always adore Katie MacAlister! Her sense of humor is outstanding, and her heroines have real bodies. This is another installment in the delightful historical Noble series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Fans of humor with their romance are sure to enjoy this regency romp.”

Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH


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An Unwilling Accomplice

by Charles Todd

Published: 8/12/2014 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062237194

“Bess Crawford, a courageous World War I battlefield nurse, is faced with another complex mystery. A patient about to receive a high honor from the King manages to disappear on Bess’s watch, sending her life into a tailspin. In order to clear her name, she must find the missing patient and find out why he is now accused of murder. Intelligent and fantastic, just like the others in this series!”

Monicah Fratena, La Porte County Public Library, La Porte, IN


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The Magician’s Land: A Novel

by Lev Grossman

Published: 8/5/2014 by Viking Adult
ISBN: 9780670015672

“Even if you haven’t read the first two books in the wonderful Magicians Trilogy, you will enjoy the escapades of Quentin Coldwater. Now 30 years old, Quentin finds himself back at Brakebills, experiencing school from the teacher’s side of the desk. But his adventures are far from over! Although I’m not generally a fantasy reader, I’ve been rooting for Quentin ever since I first picked up this series and am sad to see it end.”

Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN


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The Story Hour: A Novel

by Thrity Umrigar

Published: 8/19/2014 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062259301

“Another beautifully written novel by Thrity Umrigar. A relationship develops between Maggie, a psychologist, and Lakshmi, a troubled Indian woman. As their stories develop, it is hard to figure out which woman does more to impact the other’s life. Highly recommended.”

Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY


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July 2014 LibraryReads List

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Landline

by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 7/8/2014
by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250049377

Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.”

Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

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One Plus One: A Novel

by Jojo Moyes

Published: 7/1/2014 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780525426585

“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”

Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH


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The Black Hour

by Lori Rader-Day

Published: 7/8/2014 by Seventh Street Books
ISBN: 9781616148850

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”

Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI


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The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel

by Erika Johansen

Published: 7/8/2014 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062290366

“The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read!”

Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK


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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel

by Chris Bohjalian

Published: 7/8/2014 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385534833

“Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past.”

Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA


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World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III

by Ben H. Winters

Published: 7/15/2014 by Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594746857

“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.”

Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA


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California: A Novel

by Edan Lepucki

Published: 7/8/2014 by Little Brown
ISBN: 9780316250818

“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.”

Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH


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Dollbaby: A Novel

by Laura Lane McNeal

Published: 7/3/2014 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780670014736

“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.”

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


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The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee

by Marja Mills

Published: 7/15/2014 by Penguin Press
ISBN: 9781594205194

“A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful!”

Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT


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Dry Bones in the Valley: A Novel

by Tom Bouman

Published: 7/7/2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393243024

“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


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