March 2016 LibraryReads List

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The Summer Before the War:
A Novel

by Helen Simonson

Published:3/22/2016 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812993103

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

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


Jane Steele

by Lyndsay Faye

Published: 3/22/2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780399169496

Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!”

Abbey Stroop, Herrick District Library, Holland, MI

the-passenger blog

The Passenger: A Novel

by Lisa Lutz

Published: 3/1/2016 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781451686630

“This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman who has to keep switching identities and stay on the run. Is she a reliable narrator or not? What was the original event that sent her on the run? There is a lot of action and suspense as she tries to survive and evade the law while trying to keep her moral center intact. Unlike Lutz’s Spellman books, this reads more like a Charles Portis road novel, though considerably more serious and dangerous. Highly recommended.”

Beth DeGeer, Bartlesville Public Library, Bartlesville, OK


MarkedinFlesh blog

Marked in Flesh: A Novel of the Others

by Anne Bishop

Published: 3/8/2016 by Roc
ISBN: 9780451474476

“In this thrilling installment, Bishop continues to explore the relationships of The Others and the humans who live at the Lakeside compound. Meanwhile, Humans First and Last organization has been making themselves known, after the attacks in the previous book that killed numerous Others along with their “Wolf Lover” friends, they are not backing down. Little do they know it’s not the Others humans need to be wary of but the Elders for which the Others act as a buffer. This is an excellent installment in the novels of the Others, exciting, heart-wrenching and suspenseful.”

Emily Peros, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO


TheNest blog

The Nest

by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Published: 3/22/2016 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062414212

“If you think your family is dysfunctional, move over, because here come the Plumbs. Suddenly faced with the dismantling of the nest egg they’ve counted on to solve their financial woes, the four Plumb siblings have to grow up, and fast. But though they all do some terrible things in the name of ambition, there’s something lovable about the Plumbs. You can’t fail to be moved by the beating heart of this novel, which seems to say that family, for good or ill, unites us all.”

Mary Kinser, Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham, WA


FoolMeOnce blog

Fool Me Once

by Harlan Coben

Published: 3/22/2016 by Dutton
ISBN: 9780525955092

“Coben has made me lose more sleep over the years than all my other favorite authors combined. Joe Burkett has been murdered in front of his wife Maya. They have a two year old daughter who has a nanny. After the funeral, a friend gives her a picture frame that hides a camera so she can check on the care the nanny is providing her daughter. She watches the recording. Can she believe what she saw? Is she going crazy? Both? Buy a ticket for the coaster and find out for yourself. Keep your hands inside the car; it’s going to be a wild ride.”

Lisa Sprague, Public Services Librarian, Enfield Public Library, Enfield, CT


the-madwoman-upstairs blog

The Madwoman Upstairs: A Novel

by Catherine Lowell

Published: 3/1/2016 by Touchstone
ISBN: 9781501124211

“Meet Samantha Whipple, a descendant of the Bronte family, who arrives at Oxford to study literature, as her father did before her. She receives a copy of Jane Eyre – a volume that she thought was destroyed in the fire that took her father’s life. When a second Bronte novel belonging to her father turns up, she is convinced he has staged an elaborate treasure hunt for her promised inheritance. Enlisting the help of her sexy, young professor,Samantha sets out on a quest to find buried treasure and learns the value of friendship and courage along the way.”

Kristen McCallum, Algonquin Area Public Library, Algonquin, IL


Because blog

Because of Miss Bridgerton

by Julia Quinn
Published: 3/29/2016 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062388148

“This is the first in a prequel series to Quinn’s popular Bridgerton series, set a generation earlier.
Billie Bridgerton spent her childhood running wild with the neighboring Rokesbys, Andrew, Edward, and Mary. Now she runs the family estate for her father and still runs as wild as she can. The eldest Rokesby, George, never really approved of Billie, but when he rescues her from a roof they begin to come to a new understanding.”

Mary Aileen Buss, Long Beach Public Library, NY



Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

by Lee Smith

Published: 3/22/2016 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616205027

“Evenly divided between a book about Smith’s process and her life, first as a Southern mountain child and, later, as the parent of a schizophrenic child, this book is interesting and compelling. Despite being surrounded by loving family and being blessed with an active imagination, Lee copes with a mentally ill mother. Later, her son’s mental illness and early death brings her to the breaking point but she is saved by her writing. This is a read-alike for Karr’s The Liars Club. It desperately needs a cinematic translation for it’s elegant and evocative writing.”

Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ



All Things Cease to Appear: A Novel

by Elizabeth Brundage

Published: 3/8/2016 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101875599

“When the Clare family purchases a ramshackle farmhouse at a foreclosure auction, it appears that all is well in their world, until George comes home one evening from his job as an Art History Professor at the local private college and finds his wife murdered and their three-year-old untended yet unharmed. Told through the eyes of the townspeople and the families involved, this is a gorgeously unsettling look at a marriage and what happens to a community in the process of change.”

Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT


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February 2016 LibraryReads List



Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

by Philomel Books
ISBN: 9780399160301

“Titanic. Lusitania. Wilhelm Gustloff. All major maritime disasters, yet the last is virtually unknown. Ruta Sepetys changes that in her gripping historical novel. Told in short snippets, Salt to the Sea rotates between four narrators attempting to escape various tragedies in 1945 Europe. Powerful and haunting, heartbreaking and hopeful–a must read.”

Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

black rabbit hallblog

Black Rabbit Hall

by Eve Chase

Published: 2/9/2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780399174124

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”

Deborah Margeson, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO

Girl's Guideblog

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On: A Novel

by Debbie Macomber

Published: 2/23/2016 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780553391923

“Leanne and her daughter-in-law Nichole both leave cheating husbands to start over. They learn that it is never easy and that hardships abound, but they meet many wonderful people on their way to happily-ever-after. Believable characters and an enjoyable story made this perfect for relaxing reading—definitely one of Macomber’s best. An excellent choice both for long-time fans of the author and for those who have never read her novels.”

Linda Tilden, Cherry Hill Public Library, Cherry Hill, NJ


BeFrankWithMe blog

Be Frank With Me: A Novel

by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Published: 2/2/2016 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062413710

“Meet Frank. Frank is an odd 9-year-old boy who has a higher IQ than Einstein’s and dresses as if he were on a movie set in the early 1920s–and he is someone with whom you are sure to fall in love. Frank’s reclusive mother is an author whose publisher has just sent Alice Whitley to serve as an assistant and ensure the next book is completed. The relationship between Frank and Alice is magical. Readers will devour this book and want more. Just magical.”

Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library,Commerce Township, MI


Flight of Dreamsblog

Flight of Dreams: A Novel

by Ariel Lawhon

Published: 2/23/2016 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385540025

Flight of Dreams chronicles an author’s imagined scenario on the ill-fated last flight of the Hindenburg, which was shrouded in mystery. Lawhon does a masterful job by giving meticulous detail of the ship and delving into the lives of many of the characters on board. I read with mounting dread and intensity as the storyline of the disaster unfolded. Historical detail and wonderful storytelling make this a must read for historical fiction lovers.”

Kristin Fields, Farnhamville Public Library, Farnhamville, IA


13 ways blog

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

by Mona Awad

Published: 2/23/2016 by Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780143128489

“Everyone loves Lizzie–she is the confidant, the late night go-to, and she is always there and hungry for attention. Lizzie becomes even more obsessed and needy when she no longer feels insecure about being overweight and it becomes painfully obvious that she will always feel bad about herself. It is a candid and sad look at how we mistreat people with different body types.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


Fighting Dirty blog

Fighting Dirty: An Ultimate Novel

by Lori Foster

Published: 2/23/2016 by HQN Books
ISBN: 9780373789177

“What. A. Ride! I absolutely loved this book. I loved finally getting Armie and Merissa’s story. I also enjoyed being able to go back and revisit past characters and getting to know future ones! The story was fast-paced and dreamy. Armie’s fight with himself over his emotions wasn’t drawn out, nor did it get tedious to read. All around, this book was an absolute pleasure, and I can’t wait to read more from Foster!”

Jessica McCroskey, Holston River Regional Library, Johnson City, TN


find herblog

Find Her: A Novel

by Lisa Gardner
Published: 2/9/2016 by Dutton
ISBN: 9780525954576

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

Allie Williams, Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL


OppositeofEveryone blog

The Opposite of Everyone: A Novel

by Joshilyn Jackson

Published: 2/16/2016 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062105684

“Fans of Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story will be pleased to see William’s acerbic friend Paula take center stage. A successful divorce lawyer, Paula’s carefully constructed life starts to fracture when family secrets come to light, forcing her to try to come to terms with the power of her story to hurt and heal, and a growing need for family connections. A wonderful cast of offbeat, memorable characters make this book a winner.”

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



The Girl in the Red Coat

by Kate Hamer

Published: 2/16/2016 by Melville House
ISBN: 9781612195001

“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”

Kim Dorman, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ


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January 2016 LibraryReads List

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LucyBarton blog

My Name Is Lucy Barton:
A Novel

by Elizabeth Strout

by Random House
ISBN: 9781400067695

“Set in the mid-1980s, Lucy Barton, hospitalized for nine weeks, is surprised when her estranged mother shows up at her bedside. Her mother talks of local gossip, but underneath the banalities, Lucy senses the love that cannot be expressed. This is the story that Lucy must write about, the one story that has shaped her entire life. A beautiful lyrical story of a mother and daughter and the love they share.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

ReadersBroken blog

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

by Katarina Bivald

Published: 1/19/2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781492623441

“Sara arrives in the small town of Broken Wheel to visit her pen pal Amy, only to discover Amy has just died. The tale of how she brings the love of books and reading that she shared with Amy to the residents of Broken Wheel is just a lovely read. Any book lover will enjoy Sara’s story and that of the friends she makes in Broken Wheel. If ever a town needed a bookstore, it is Broken Wheel; the healing power of books and reading is made evident by this heartwarming book.”

Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

SwansofFifth blog

The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin

Published: 1/26/2016 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780345528698

“Benjamin transports readers to 1960s Manhattan. This story gives us the chance to spy on Truman Capote’s close friendship with Babe Paley and his society “swans,” and the betrayal and scandal that drove them apart. I loved the description of the Black and White Ball.”

Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH



Ashley Bell: A Novel

by Dean Koontz

Published: 12/8/2015 by Bantam
ISBN: 9780345545961

“This is a thrilling novel that caught me by surprise. Bibi Blair was diagnosed with brain cancer and astounds her doctor by being cured the day after her diagnosis. Why was she saved? A girl named Ashley Bell can provide the answers she seeks. Reality and dreams mix together in this unique narrative. Readers will be compelled to rush through to get to the ending.”

Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA


AmericanHousewife blog

American Housewife: Stories

by Helen Ellis

Published: 1/12/2016 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385541039

“In a series of short stories, Helen Ellis picks up the rock of American domesticity and shows us what’s underneath. While it’s not always pretty, it is pretty hilarious, in the darkest, most twisted of ways. The ladies in these stories seem to be living lives that are enviable in the extreme, but then slowly, the layers are pulled away, and the truth is revealed.”

Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT


LittleDribbling blog

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

by Bill Bryson

Published: 1/19/2016 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385539289

“A slightly more curmudgeonly Bill Bryson recreates his beloved formula of travel writing and social commentary. This book is a lovely reminder of all the amazing natural beauty and historically significant sites found in the United Kingdom. Even though Bryson extols the virtues of his adopted homeland, he never lets up on the eccentricities and stupidity he encounters. Bryson’s still laugh-out loud funny and this book won’t disappoint.”

Susannah Connor, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ


things we keep blog

The Things We Keep: A Novel

by Sally Hepworth

Published: 1/19/2016 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250051905

“A sweet story of love and loss set in a residential care facility. Two of its youngest residents, a man and a woman both diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, fall in love. Their story is intertwined with the stories of other residents and employees at the facility, including a recently widowed cook and her seven-year-old daughter. A moving and improbably uplifting tale.”

Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY


ornaments of death blog

Ornaments of Death: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery

by Jane K. Cleland
Published: 12/1/2015 by Minotaur
ISBN: 9781250074539

“The Josie Prescott mystery series–featuring likable characters and fascinating facts about antiques–continues to please in this latest entry. Josie is dealing with her annual Christmas party while trying to unravel the mystery of a missing relative and the disappearance of two valuable seventeenth-century miniatures. A nicely twisted mystery in a fun and festive setting.”

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


Even Dogs in the Wild blog

Even Dogs in the Wild

by Ian Rankin

Published: 1/19/2016 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316342513

“Readers rejoice! John Rebus has come out of retirement. Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are working an important case and ask for his help. Then an attempt is made on the life of his longtime nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. Are the cases connected? A top notch entry in a beloved series.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC


what she knew blog

What She Knew: A Novel

by Gilly Macmillan

Published: 12/1/2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780062413864

“Rachel Jenner is out for a walk with her son Ben when, after allowing him to run ahead to a swing, he vanishes. The investigation focuses on Rachel due to her recent divorce, and as a result, Rachel becomes undone. This is a psychological thriller full of suspense that will have you guessing until the very end. When all is revealed, the characters and action of the crime will stay with you long after you read the final page. I recommend this book to every fan of the genre.”

Annice Sevett, Willmar Public Library, Willmar, MN


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