March 2017 LibraryReads

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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


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February 2017 LibraryReads

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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: 2/21/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062356260

“Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” would immortalize a young woman. This is the story of Christina and her life. After almost dying as a child of an undiagnosed illness, her legs are twisted, making her stumble as she walks. As she ages, the effects of this illness get much worse leaving her with a shrinking world. This book immerses us in the life on her farm and into the heart of a young woman. A fantastic, and touching story by this author that brings to life the story behind a painting and the life of a young girl who always wanted more than she was given, but accomplished so much despite her handicap.”

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


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January 2017 LibraryReads

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girlbeforeblog

The Girl Before:
A Novel

by JP 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-dryblog

The Dry: A Novel

by Jane Harper

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

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

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

 
 


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.indd

The 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-dangerousblog

The 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

 

 


hereveryfearblog

Her 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-blog

Heartstone

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

 

 


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