Favorite of Favorites 2017

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Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Published: 9/12/2017
by Penguin Press
ISBN: 9780735224292

Little Fires Everywhere delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb…until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence!”

Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO

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


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


News of the World: A Novel

by Paulette Jiles

Published: 10/4/2016 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062409201
“Readers fortunate enough to meet Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an old ex-soldier who makes a living reading the news to townspeople in 1870s Texas, and Joanna, the Indian captive he is charged with returning to her relatives, will not soon forget them. Everything, from the vividly realized Texas frontier setting to the characters is beautifully crafted, right up to the moving conclusion. Both the Captain and Joanna have very distinctive voices. Wonderful storytelling.”

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


Glass Houses: A Novel

by Louise Penny

Published: 8/29/2017 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250066190

“A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it was before it was corrupted under the previous regime. Choices are made that will forever change our hero in ways we can only begin to imagine. The next book can’t get here fast enough.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH


Small Great Things: A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Published: 10/11/2016 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345544957

“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.”

Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO


Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz

Published:6/6/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062645227

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.”

Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL


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 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


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

 


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November 2017 LibraryReads

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Artemis: A Novel

by Andy Weir

Published:11/14/2017 by Crown
ISBN: 9780553448122

“Weir’s second book does not disappoint! The setting is Artemis, a city on the moon where a young woman named Jazz is a smuggler and a courier trying to eke out a living. Adventure unfolds as Jazz is asked to do a different sort of job by her millionaire employer. He asks her to sabotage the mining operation that provides the city’s entire oxygen requirements. She works out a plan, but several calamities befall and all is not what it seems. Jazz must risk her life to save the city that is her home. A fast paced adventure from start to nail-biting finish!”

Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library, Cartersville, GA

The City of Brass: A Novel

by S. A. Chakraborty

Published: 11/14/2017 by Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780062678102

“A wonderful fantasy debut set in an 18th century Cairo and featuring a young woman, Nahri, who has no relatives and who lives by her wits as a con artist. Her odd supernatural healing talents and ability to understand and speak languages come in handy as she struggles to survive day by day while trying to save up money for medical training. Unfortunately, during one job, she accidentally calls up inimical ifrits and a wily, handsome djinn that turn her life upside down. Action packed, with interesting folklore and an evocative setting.”

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


The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel

by Elizabeth Berg

Published: 11/21/2017 by Random House
ISBN: 9781400069903

“Arthur meets Maddy when he’s visiting his dead wife in the cemetery; he eats lunch there every day. Maddy is a high school senior who’s got a hopeless crush on a jerk. Warm-hearted Arthur reaches out to Maddy in a totally open way, as Maddy’s parents seem uninvolved at best. The Story of Arthur Truluv is one of those rare coming-of-age novels that is just as much about the end of life as it is about growing up.”

Michelle Beckes, Tulsa City County Library, Tulsa, OK


The Library at the Edge of the World:
A Novel

by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Published: 11/14/2017 by Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780062663726

“Much like a cup of tea and a cozy afghan, The Library at The Edge of the World is the perfect book to hunker down with. Prepare to be transported to coastal Ireland with Hannah Casey as she moves back to her hometown after a wrenching divorce and becomes the local librarian. Hannah’s daily challenges include dealing with an abrasive mother, an infuriating building contractor, and noise in the library. A series of events leads Hannah to help rally the community to come together, changing the town, the library, and Hannah. Hayes-McCoy does a fine job capturing the characters and the setting. I look forward to reading more in this series.”

Elizabeth Angelastro, Manilus Library, Manilus, NY


Someone to Wed

by Mary Balogh

Published: 11/7/2017 by Berkley/Jove
ISBN: 9780399586064

Someone to Wed is the third in Balogh’s Regency era Wescott series. Wren has lived her life hiding from society due to a prominent birthmark. Alexander inherits a title and a pile of debts. Wren and Alexander decide to embark on a marriage of convenience as a way to resolve their issues. This is a charming story of two people falling in love and finding their happily ever after, while resolving emotional issues along the way.  A well written story with glimpses of characters from previous books in the series.”

Shayera Tangri, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA


The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel

by Lee Child

Published: 11/7/2017 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780399593482

“Jack Reacher is an honorably discharged U.S. Army major who has a strong sense of justice.  After the end of a romance, Reacher’s response is to get on a bus and ride it to wherever it is going.  At a rest stop along the way, he spots a small West Point class ring in the window of a pawnshop.  His gut tells him the soldier who worked hard to achieve it wouldn’t give it up easily. In search of answers, he discovers a drug ring, a disfigured woman, and a couple of murders in a desolate area of Wyoming.  Like the other installments in the Reacher series, this is another page turner!”  

Valerie Osborne, Bangor Public Library, Bangor, ME


Future Home of the Living God: A Novel

by Louise Erdrich

Published: 11/14/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062694058

Future Home of the Living God explores the possibility of evolution reversing and is told from the perspective of a pregnant woman who is writing a journal to her unborn child. Along the way we meet her adoptive parents, her birth mother, and she reports on society unraveling and detaining pregnant women. Erdrich provides compelling characters and a strong storyline about a near future in this piece of innovative dystopian fiction.”

Ian Stade, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN


Heather, the Totality

by Matthew Weiner
Published: 11/7/2017 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316435314

“Mark and Karen start a seemingly charmed life that becomes even more so with the birth of their gifted daughter Heather.Things take an alarming turn when renovations begin in their building. They have always known how special their daughter is, but will Heather see that there is danger lurking outside the world they have created for her when others become captivated by her gifts? Weiner has an insight into human nature that most of us would rather not admit exists and he takes you down a dark road that you don’t want to travel, but somehow can’t turn back.”  

Selena Swink, Lake Public Library, Lake, MS


Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

by Caroline Fraser

Published: 11/21/2017 by Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 9781627792769

“This book, written by the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House books, is a thoroughly researched biography of not only Laura Ingalls Wilder, but of her daughter, Rose. Using unpublished manuscripts, letters, financial records, and more, Fraser gives fresh insight into the life of a woman beloved to many. Intensively researched, this is definitely a fascinating read, and one that I plan on reading again — maybe the next time I re-read the Little House series.”

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


The Shadow District: A Thriller

by Arnaldur Indridason

Published: 11/7/2017 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250124029

“Indridason introduces a new crime series featuring a retired detective. The Shadow District skillfully weaves two mysteries together. In present time, an elderly man’s death, first thought to be due to natural causes, is later revealed as a murder. While unofficially investigating, Konrad discovers a link to a cold case involving the strangulation of a young woman and a surprising connection to Konrad’s own childhood. With nicely tense pacing and a vivid portrayal of life in modern and wartime Iceland, fans of atmospheric investigations will undoubtedly welcome Indridason’s latest offering.”

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


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October 2017 LibraryReads

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Seven Days of Us: A Novel

by Francesca Hornak

Published:10/17/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780451488756

“The Birch family will be spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine, thanks to eldest daughter Olivia’s recent relief work in a disease-infested Liberia. She has returned to England but must be in quarantine for seven days. This family has not ever spent that much time in each other’s company. Each person has secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the seven days. It is particularly interesting to watch them become the family that they should have been all along: supportive and loving. An enjoyable read.”

Cheryl Braud, Iberia Public Library, New Iberia, LA

The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel

by Liv Constantine

Published: 10/17/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062667571

“Daphne seems to have hit the jackpot by marrying Jackson Parrish. They live in a lovely Connecticut mansion and travel around the world, all the while raising two beautiful daughters. When Mrs. Parrish meets Amber, a kindred spirit, Daphne instantly feels a connection, perhaps someone to fill the endless void of sorrow that has plagued her since her sister’s death. We learn that nothing is what it appears to be. The author sets an atmospheric pace for this story, leading up to its dramatic conclusion.”

KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT


The Last Ballad: A Novel

by Wiley Cash

Published: 10/3/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062313119

“The story of little-known union hero Ella May Wiggins is central to this look at unionization during the late 1920s. Once she sings her first song at a union rally, she becomes a beacon for others. As her story becomes intertwined with the violence and fear of the clash between owners and workers, we are swept up in a powerful novel that exposes the prejudice and hatred among races, genders, and economic classes. The stories of Ella, her children, and friends woven throughout cement Cash’s place among our great living writers. This one will be a huge book discussion hit!”

Ron Block Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, Ohio


From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

by Caitlin Doughty

Published: 10/3/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393249897

“America’s favorite mortician takes you on a tour of death cultures around the world in her latest book. Sharing what she’s learned, Doughty presents everything from composting bodies to ma’nene’, a ritual of periodically exhuming corpses to clean and redress them as a sign of respect. She encourages us to consider our options and become less distant from physically caring for the deceased and ultimately our own mortality. We’ve all got it coming. Honest, yet gentle and with the appropriate amount of humor, Doughty makes the morbid very readable.”

PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC


The Rules of Magic: A Novel

by Alice Hoffman

Published: 10/10/2017 by Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501137471

The Rules of Magic is the prequel to Hoffman’s Practical Magic. Here we learn the background of sisters Franny, Jet, and their brother Vincent. The story begins with all three as teens, ostracized for being witches. Their mother sets up rules designed to suppress their natural ability. When the siblings are sent to visit their aunt they learn family secrets and find out who they truly are. I was enraptured by this fabulous book, which is filled with magic and charm.”

Terri Smith, Cornelia Habersham County Library, Cornelia, GA


The Stolen Marriage: A Novel

by Diane Chamberlain

Published: 10/3/2017 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250087270

“Interracial marriage, money fraud, and adultery are just a few elements of this historical fiction. Set during WWII, sweet Tess has dreamed of marrying Vincent Russo since she was a teenager. Plans have been made and a date has been set, but several decisions made in the course of the engagement will cause a detour in both Vincent’s and Tess’s lives. Will they be able to find their way back to one another?”

Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS


Uncommon Type: Some Stories

by Tom Hanks

Published: 10/17/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101946152

“Hanks writes about characters that he would love to play in the movies, had they been written. This collection of stories holds a myriad of emotions, settings, and time periods with two common threads: the typewriter and uncommonly normal men and women. You love the characters because you have something in common with all of them – some win, some lose, some are heroic and some timid, but they are all borne of the human existence and go largely unnoticed. Hank’s charm and wit come through.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True

by Gabrielle Union
Published: 10/17/2017 by Dey Street Books
ISBN: 9780062693983

“Union writes with such heart and energy that it really does feel like she’s talking to you while you share one (or several) bottles of wine. She touches on so many topics, including infidelity, women’s sexual health, and teaching young black men to protect themselves in a world that fears them. She also manages to talk about multiple famous people without sounding fawning, with the exception of Prince, which makes sense because…it’s Prince. I thoroughly enjoyed this title and can’t wait to put it in the hands of others.”

Lisa Hoffman, Bloomfield Public Library, Bloomfield, NJ


Strange Weather: Four Short Novels

by Joe Hill

Published: 10/24/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062663115

“Hill’s four short novels expose the individual and societal pressures that motivate our sometimes fateful decisions. The first story is a coming-of-age tale with an added bit of horror. The second story is an unflinching look at what has become a common tragedy: mass shooting. The third story is an unrequited-love-meets-the-Twilight-Zone story that touches on loneliness. The final story is poignant and introspective. All four tales often gave me pause and made me think. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of character-driven works of horror and/or drama.”

Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN


Manhattan Beach: A Novel

by Jennifer Egan

Published: 10/3/2017 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781476716732

“Anna and her father Eddie arrive at the home of Dexter Styles on Manhattan Beach searching for a job during the Depression. After Eddie goes missing five years later, Anna supports her mother and sister by working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. One night, Anna approaches Styles for information about her father. They become involved, but he is still marked by his past relationship with Eddie. Egan’s description of New York in the 30s and 40s is so immersive that you feel like you’re waking up when you have to put the book down.”

Barbara Birenbaum, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA


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