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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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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