May 2017 LibraryReads

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Eleanor Oliphant Is
Completely Fine:
A Novel

by Gail Honeyman

Published:5/9/2017 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780735220683

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.”

Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

by Kate Moore

Published: 5/2/2017 by Sourcebooks
ISBN: 9781492649359

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA


Since We Fell: A Novel

by Dennis Lehane

Published: 5/9/2017 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062129383

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.”

Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC


The Leavers: A Novel

by Lisa Ko

Published: 5/2/2017 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616206888

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.”

Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis MO


Ginny Moon: A Novel

by Benjamin Ludwig

Published: 5/2/2017 by Park Row Books
ISBN: 9780778330165

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.”

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


Saints For All Occasions: A Novel

by J. Courtney Sullivan

Published: 5/9/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780307959577

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI


White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel

by Ilona Andrews

Published: 5/30/2017 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062289254

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!”

Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL


Sycamore: A Novel

by Bryn Chancellor
Published: 5/9/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062661098

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY


Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Published: 5/2/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN:   9780393609394

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX


The Jane Austen Project: A Novel

by Kathleen A. Flynn

Published: 5/2/2017 by Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780062651259

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.”

Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library,Batavia, NY


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April 2017 LibraryReads

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Anything Is Possible:
A Novel

by Elizabeth Strout

Published:4/25/2017 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812989403

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Beartown: A Novel

by Fredrik Backman

Published: 4/25/2017 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501160769

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown.  He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship.  Weighty themes are explored.  How high a price is too high for success?  How deadly is silence?  Who can you trust with your secrets?  How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship?  There are no easy answers.  A great book club choice.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC


Waking Gods: Book 2 of the Themis Files

by Sylvain Neuvel

Published: 4/4/2017 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9781101886724

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX


Miss You: A Novel

by Kate Eberlen

Published: 4/4/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062460226

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.”

Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN


The Stars Are Fire: A Novel

by Anita Shreve

Published: 4/18/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780385350907

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.”

Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR


American War: A Novel

by Omar El Akkad

Published: 4/4/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780451493583

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.”

Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

Published: 4/18/2017 by Doubleday
ISBN: 978o385534246

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma.  Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.”

Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA


The Shadow Land: A Novel

by Elizabeth Kostova
Published: 4/11/2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345527868

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.”

Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH


A Twist In Time: A Novel

by Julie McElwain

Published: 4/4/2017 by Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781681773643

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.”

Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC


Gone Without a Trace

by Mary Torjussen

Published: 4/18/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780399585012

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.”

Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


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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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