February 2015 LibraryReads List

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A Spool of Blue Thread:
A Novel

by Anne Tyler

Published: 2/10/2015 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101874271

“In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks–a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book’s timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

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A Touch of Stardust: A Novel

by Kate Alcott

Published: 2/17/2015 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385539043

“With the background of the making of Gone with the Wind, this is a delightful read that combines historical events with the fictional career of an aspiring screenwriter. Julie is a wide-eyed Indiana girl who, through a series of lucky breaks, advances from studio go-fer and assistant to Carole Lombard to contract writer at MGM. A fun, engaging page-turner!”

Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ


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My Sunshine Away

by M.O. Walsh

Published: 2/10/2015 by Putnam Adult
ISBN: 9780399169526

“A crime against a 15-year-old girl is examined through the eyes of one of her friends–a friend who admits to being a possible suspect in the crime. This is a wonderful debut novel full of suspense, angst, loyalty, deceit, and most of all, love.”

Alison Nadvornik, Worthington Libraries, Columbus, OH


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The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

by Julia Quinn

Published: 1/27/2015 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062072948

“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard’s motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.”

Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT


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Half the World

by Joe Abercrombie

Published: 2/17/2015 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780804178426

“Fifteen-year-old Thorn, determined to become a king’s soldier, is fighting not just physical opponents, but her world’s social mores. Girls are supposed to desire nothing more than a wealthy husband. Period. Thorn’s struggles to achieve her dream make for a riveting read. Second in a series, this book reads very well as a standalone.”

Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX


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Finding Jake: A Novel

by Bryan Reardon

Published: 2/24/2015 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062339485

“Stay-at-home dad Simon Connelly receives the call every parent dreads: there’s been a shooting at his children’s school. Through flashbacks and present-day narratives, he mines his memory for clues to what may have happened. This is a refreshing take on the well trodden “bad kid” novels, and an excellent thriller to recommend to all who liked Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Alissa Williams, Pekin Public Library, Pekin, IL


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A Darker Shade of Magic

by V. E. Schwab

Published: 2/24/2015 by Tor
ISBN: 9780765376459

“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.”

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


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A Murder of Magpies

by Judith Flanders

Published: 2/24/2015 by Minotaur
ISBN: 9781250056450

“Loved this mystery! The acerbic narrator is 40-year-old British book publishing editor Samantha, whose best author goes missing after writing a tell-all book about a famous French fashion designer who died under suspicious circumstances. Very funny, and great secondary characters as well.”

Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR


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The Siege Winter: A Novel

by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman

Published: 2/24/2015 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062282569

“I couldn’t have been more excited when I learned Franklin wrote a new book. This wonderfully written novel takes place during King Stephen and Empress Matilda’s tumultuous civil conflict to claim England, no matter what cost to themselves or their subjects. The story conveys the brutality of the period without sacrificing the complex nature of the time and the people.”

Elizabeth Carroll, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI


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Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

by Laurie R. King

Published: 2/17/2015 by Bantam
ISBN: 9780345531797

“Considering that King is one of the finest mystery authors writing today, it’s no surprise that the latest in the Russell/Holmes series is an engaging read. Intrigue follows the duo as they board a liner bound for Japan and meet up with a known blackmailer and a young Japanese woman who is not all that she seems. Great historical research and rich atmosphere!”

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


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January 2015 LibraryReads List

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AsChimneySweepers-184x300

As Chimney Sweepers Come
to Dust: A Flavia de Luce
Novel

by Alan Bradley

Published: 1/6/2015 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780345539939

“After the unexpected recovery of her mother’s body brings the de Luce’s family secrets to light, Flavia’s life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term–and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!”

Lizzie Gall, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI

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The Rosie Effect: A Novel

by Graeme Simsion

Published: 12/30/2014 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476767314

“Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA


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The Magician’s Lie: A Novel

by Greer Macallister

Published: 1/13/2015 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781402298684

“Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder–or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.”

Paula Jones, Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA


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The Girl on the Train: A Novel

by Paula Hawkins

Published: 1/13/2015 by Riverhead
ISBN: 9781594633669

“Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman’s disappearance. In the vein of Gone Girl, this dark psychological thriller is fast-paced and features some very unreliable narrators.”

Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL


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Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

Published: 1/6/2015 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780345539816

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heartwrenching!”

Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD


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The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel

by Menna van Praag

Published: 12/30/2014 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780804178983

“Tidy, romantic, and fine escapism. All the characters here have interesting back stories: Cora is believable as a no-nonsense gal trying to rebuff sweet Walt’s advances, and Etta is someone I’d like to meet in real life. Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.”

Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA


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The Bishop’s Wife

by Mette Ivie Harrison

Published: 12/30/2014 by Soho Crime
ISBN: 9781616954765

“As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop’s wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop’s wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.”

Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA


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Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel

by Priya Parmar

Published: 12/30/2014 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780804176378

“Told uniquely as part diary, part epistolary novel, Parmar focuses on the relationship of Vanessa (later Bell) and Virginia (later Woolf) Stephens, one filled with unspoken jealousy and a fierceness of love that will ultimately destroy their kinship. This well-researched novel with gorgeous prose brings the characters to life with a unique perspective.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


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First Frost

by Sarah Addison Allen

Published: 1/20/2015 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250019837

First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.”

Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ


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Full Throttle

by Julie Ann Walker

Published: 12/2/2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 9781402294518

“Readers can always count on Walker to deliver a suspenseful, action-packed read, and she delivers on all counts. However, it isn’t the heart-pounding adventure that makes this a fabulous story–it’s the characters. Abby and Steady, college friends who were torn apart by a mutual loss, have great chemistry. Walker has created a complete and suspenseful narrative.”

Vanessa Gempis, Dallas Public Library, Hampton-Illinois Library, Dallas, TX


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LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2014

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StoriedLifeofAJFikry3D

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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