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

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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


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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

by Anthony Doerr

Published: 5/6/2014 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781476746586

“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”

Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN


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Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 9/10/2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250030955

“At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath’s journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell’s previous novel, Eleanor & Park.”

Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR


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The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

Published: 10/22/2013 by Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316055437

“Fans of The Secret History will rediscover the Tartt they loved back in 1992. Readers who love the novelist for her richly developed, dark, multi-layered characters and thoroughly researched topics will not be disappointed. Tartt pulls together many threads of a story across a long span of pages and into a complete masterpiece.”

Kim Dorman, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ


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We Were Liars

by E. Lockhart

Published: 5/13/2014 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385741262

“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction, and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”

Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT


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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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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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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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Longbourn: A Novel

by Jo Baker

Published: 10/8/13 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385351232

“Using Pride and Prejudice’s familiar setting and characters, Baker tells a very different story of family, love and self-discovery. Bold and intelligent, Sarah is an orphaned housemaid whose days are filled with hard, body-punishing work. Baker doesn’t sugar-coat. A beautiful, uplifting novel full of mystery, hope and romance. Highly recommended for Austen fans and historical fiction readers.”

Jenifer May, Secaucus Public Library, Secaucus, NJ


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November 2014 LibraryReads List

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Us: A Novel

by David Nicholls

Published: 10/28/2014
by Harper
ISBN: 9780062365583

“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

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

by Sarah MacLean

Published: 11/25/2014 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062068514

“Having lost her innocence in a teenage love affair, Lady Georgiana is a social pariah. Trying to save the tatters of her reputation, she must marry and marry well. By night, she is Anna, the most powerful madame in London, and a powerful seductress in her own right. Will Georgiana succeed in re-entering society, or will her past catch up with her once and for all?”

Emily Peros, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO


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Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble

by Marilyn Johnson

Published: 11/11/2014 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062127181

“Johnson takes a fascinating look at the field of archeology, profiling a number of archaeologists at work. She visits sites as diverse as an army base, Rhode Island, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Peru, but the best part of this book is learning about the archaeologists and their passions. A fun, interesting read that may cause an uptick in field school applications.”

Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA


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The Burning Room

by Michael Connelly

Published: 11/3/2014 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316225939

“In this page-turning procedural, the veteran Harry Bosch is paired with a rising star in the cold case department. Bosch may be nearing the end of his service in the LAPD, but he still has many tricks of the trade to pass along to his young partner, who has a personal stake in one of their investigations. Another great entry in the Bosch series.”

Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY


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Mortal Heart: His Fair Assassin Trilogy #3

by Robin LaFevers

Published: 11/4/2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780547628400

“Annith has been forbidden from leaving the convent of St. Mortain, so she breaks the rules to find out why. On her journey, she meets someone unexpected: the leader of the Hellequin, a group of dead souls repenting for their past wrongs and trying to track down those who are left wandering the earth in order to help them cross over. This is the best of all three books!”

Hannah Berry, Aurora Public Library, Aurora, IL


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The Ship of Brides: A Novel

by Jojo Moyes

Published: 10/28/14 by Penguin
ISBN: 9780143126478

“Moyes presents a different take on the war bride novel, telling the story of four Australian women who must travel to their husbands in England at the end of World War II. It is a difficult journey under the best circumstances, but for the 650 brides making the trip, it is almost unbearable. These four are among the last of the brides to be shipped out on a fully staffed Navy aircraft carrier. A sweeping, multilayered book with honest voices that holds the reader’s attention through the voyage from the bride’s homeland of Australia to the shores of their new home in the UK.”

Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ


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The Forgers

by Bradford Morrow

Published: 11/4/2014 by Mysterious Press
ISBN: 9780802123213

“Narrator Will and Adam Diehl have something in common: they are both forgers, able to produce and sell authentic-looking inscriptions of Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry James’ books. When Adam is found bludgeoned and missing his hands, Will is inevitably drawn into the murder investigation. The clues and horror mount until realization bursts upon the reader at the end.”

Nancy Russell, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH


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In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon

edited by Leslie S. Klinger and Laurie R. King

Published: 11/24/2014 by Pegasus
ISBN: 9781605986586

“A unique, engaging collection of short stories written in honor of Sherlock Holmes. It’s wonderful reading all of the different styles with twists on the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales, such as a Facebook-type narrative and a story written from the point of view of a horse. Sherlock aficionados will appreciate the whispers of the great detective on every page.”

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


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Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas: Being a Jane Austen Mystery

by Stephanie Barron

Published: 10/28/2014 by Soho Crime
ISBN: 9781616954239

“Jane, her sister Cassandra, and her mother are spending Christmas with her brother’s family at Steventon Parsonage. They’re invited to visit the Vyne, where the weather and then a murder (or two) keep them houseguests. Jane’s personality and all of those around her shine throughout this story. I’m now planning to start back at the beginning of the series.”

Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA


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Mermaids in Paradise: A Novel

by Lydia Millet

Published: 11/3/2014 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393245622

“This delightful book starts out as almost chick-lit, turns into a fantasy adventure, then leads into an underdog heist. The tone reminds me of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, with just enough absurdity in a tropical location to keep you on your toes. Protagonist Deb’s husband, Chip, is a total babe (in a nerdy way) and her BFF, Gina, is the best kind of snarky. A highly entertaining read!”

Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA


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October 2014 LibraryReads List

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A Sudden Light: A Novel

by Garth Stein

Published: 9/30/2014
by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781439187036

“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

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Leaving Time: A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Published: 10/14/2014 by Ballantine
ISBN: 9780345544926

Leaving Time is a love story – love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna’s mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms–the good, bad and the ugly–and it is brilliant.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


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As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride

by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden
Foreword by Rob Reiner

Published: 10/14/2014 by Touchstone
ISBN: 9781476764023

“Even if you don’t have a crush on Cary Elwes, you’ll enjoy this vivid behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Princess Bride. His stories, especially those involving Andre the Giant, will leave you in stitches. Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and others also recount their experiences. An amusing account of a group of performers who came together to make a heartfelt film that is loved by many.”

Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH


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Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir

by Alan Cumming

Published: 10/7/2014 by Dey Street Books
ISBN: 9780062225061

“This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.”

Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL


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Some Luck: A Novel

by Jane Smiley

Published: 10/7/2014 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780307700315

“Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.”

Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO


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The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel

by Keith Donohue

Published: 10/7/2014 by Picador
ISBN: 9781250057150

“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.”

Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN


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The Life We Bury

by Allen Eskens

Published: 10/14/2014 by Seventh Street Books
ISBN: 9781616149987

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!”

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


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Reunion: A Novel

by Hannah Pittard

Published: 10/7/2014 by Grand Central
ISBN: 9781455553617

“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.”

Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ


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Malice: A Mystery

by Keigo Higashino; translated by Alexander O. Smith

Published: 10/7/2014 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250035608

“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.”

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


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Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery

by Ashley Weaver

Published: 10/14/2014 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250046369

“Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on holiday at the English seaside. What starts out as a lark, intended to make Amory Ames’s misbehaving-but-oh-so-delicious husband jealous, turns into a dangerous and deadly game of whodunit for Amory and her friends. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre’s golden age.”

Vanessa Walstra, Kent District Library, East Grand Rapids, MI


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