January 2017 LibraryReads

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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

 
 


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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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Favorite of Favorites 2016 LibraryReads

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WomanCabin10blog

The Woman in Cabin 10

by Ruth Ware

Published: 7/19/2016
by Gallery/Scout Press
ISBN: 9781501132933

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

Commonwealth blog

Commonwealth

by Ann Patchett

Published: 9/13/2016 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062491794

“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.”

Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA


LucyBarton blog

My Name is Lucy Barton: A Novel

by Elizabeth Strout

Published: 1/12/2016 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


readers

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


A Great Reckoning blog

A Great Reckoning: A Novel

by Louise Penny

Published: 8/30/2016 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250022134

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.”

David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC


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


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Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2/2/2016 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


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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


LilacGirlsblog

Lilac Girls: A Novel

by Martha Hall Kelly

Published:4/5/2016
by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9781101883075

“This is story of the Ravensbruck Rabbits: seventy-four women prisoners in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Using alternating first-person narratives, the characters relate their experiences from 1939 through 1959. Drawing upon a decade of research, Hall reconstructs what life was like in Ravensbruck. More than a war story, this is a tale of how the strength of women’s bonds can carry them through even the most difficult situations. Lilac Girls is a solid, compelling historical read.”

Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL


truly madlyblog

Truly Madly Guilty

by Liane Moriarty

Published: 7/26/2016 by Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250069795

“A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one pivotal moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. In trademark Moriarty style, the story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences, creating a delicious momentum for the reader as the tension builds and the pieces fall into place. Moriarty has another sure-fire winner with this look at the complexities of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships.”

Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC


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November 2016 LibraryReads List

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faithful-blog

Faithful:
A Novel

by Alice Hoffman

Published:11/1/2016 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476799209

“With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

fate-of-the-tearling-blog

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel

by Erika Johansen

Published: 11/29/2016 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062290427

“It’s been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about–community, leadership, the use and abuse of power–and makes me want to reread all three books.”

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

 


nightschool-blog

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel

by Lee Child

Published: 11/7/2016 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780804178808

“Child goes back to the well and gives readers another glimpse into Jack Reacher’s past as a military cop — and what a worthwhile trip it is. It’s 1996 — after Reacher receives a Legion of Merit medal, he’s sent to “Night School” with two other men, one from the FBI and another from the CIA.  Soon the trio learns that they’ve been selected for a covert mission. Child layers his page-turning story with careful and sometimes dryly humorous details.This suspense series keeps getting better — it’s a joy to read.”

Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

 
 


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When All The Girls Have Gone

by Jayne Ann Krentz

Published: 11/29/2016 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780399174490

“Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer’s sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best.”

Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN

 
 


ill-take-you-there-blog

I’ll Take You There: A Novel

by Wally Lamb

Published: 11/22/2016 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062656285

I’ll Take You There is delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars.  Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era.  She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society.”

Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, WI

 
 


swingtime-blog

Swing Time

by Zadie Smith

Published: 11/15/2016 by Penguin Press
ISBN: 9781594203985

“Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith’s new novel is a charming account of one woman’s coming-of-age. Smith’s unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child lives in one of London’s many low-end housing units.  She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and “brown” in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey’s final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction.”

Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

 

 


victoria-blog

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire

by Julia Baird

Published: 11/22/2016 by Random House
ISBN: 9781400069880

“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.”

Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

 


moonglow-blog

Moonglow: A Novel

by Michael Chabon
Published: 11/22/2016 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062225559

“A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

 

 


normal-blog

Normal: A Novel

by Warren Ellis

Published: 11/29/2016 by FSG Originals
ISBN: 9780374534974

“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists.  Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

 

 


orphansofthecarnival-blog

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel

by Carol Birch

Published: 11/8/2016 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385541527

“Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can’t get past what they see because Julia’s face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be “other,” to always be on the outside looking in.”

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

 

 


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