Dawn just finished Wally Lamb’s new book We Are Water and loved it!! Even though it is a hefty 500+ pages, it read quick! If you enjoyed his past titles She’s Come Undone or I Know This Much is True then you’ll want to read this one.
Posts from the ‘Staff Picks’ Category
Elizabeth Strout has written another great novel that Dawn loved! Call the library to reserve your copy.
Marie’s Staff Picks June 2013
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
An inventive story with great characters.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
This is the 2013 Pulitzer Winner for fiction and is a strange, haunting and transporting work that takes place in North Korea.
Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift
The author included her sketches along with her observations in this fun book about traveling in France.
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
In this historical novel set in Belle Epoque Paris, three sisters try to make a living on their own.
Nine Mile Bridge by Helen Hamlin
Published in 1945, this is a biographical work of a woman’s time spent living in the Allagash during the 1930s.
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
This is my favorite book of the last six months. It has great characters, a grounding story and beautiful writing.
The Good House by Ann Leary
I listened to this on audio and loved the reader’s take on the main character.
The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro
I learned a lot about forging works of art and liked the underlying mystery that involved the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in Boston.
After reading the very popular Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in July of 2012, Dawn decided to read as many ‘read-a-likes’ as she could.:
He’s Gone by Deb Caletti
Drowned by Therese Bohman
The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman
The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Heartbroken by Lisa Unger
Most of these titles were hits but a few were total misses. Favorites were The Dinner and He’s Gone. These would be great discussion books and quick reads for the summer. Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton and Defending Jacob by William Landay remain on Dawn’s favorite books list of 2012 and also are slated as Gone Girl read-a-likes.
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver takes an iconic photograph and writes a fictionalized story around it centered on two women and a chance encounter. Very thought provoking and makes you question the legacy of a photograph.
Dawn read a glowing review suggesting that Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight was a MUST read thriller of 2013. Based on this review, and with a book club pick looming, Dawn picked it up and was a little disappointed that it didn’t seem to stand up to the high ratings it received. It was a good read, but just not ‘book club’ worthy! It is a thriller based on a single mother and her grief as she tries to piece together the last few days of her daughter’s life.
Ann Hood has always been an author that Dawn automatically takes home and her new title The Obituary Writer was home and read in two days! She loved it! Hood writes with such emotion in this brief story of two women from different generations.
Other titles that Dawn enjoyed were:
The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Strangers on the Beach by Josh Pahigian
Lost by S.J. Bolton
Five Days by Douglas Kennedy
Try some of these titles and let us know what you think!!
Tell us what you’ve been reading!!
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson
The new mystery by Peter Robinson features the latest case for detectives Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot. It involves a dead police officer and a missing girl while the whole case is filled with corruption and a migrant labor scam.
Pulled from the headlines, this book proves to be a fun read making readers fiercely turn through the pages. This is an ideal book for lovers of British crime fiction.
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
This book, with a target audience of 13 and up, appeals to even this thirty-something, and it is the first book in three years that I had to read in less than three sittings. While Young Adult (YA) fiction is often overlooked by adult audiences, it is easy to forget that YA is actually a perfectly satisfactory genre for older readers. “The Catcher in the Rye” and “The Lord of the Flies” are literary classics that technically fall under the YA umbrella.
As for “The False Prince,” the main character is an orphan named “Sage,” he is bought by a tyrannical Lord named “Connor” along with three other orphans. The first part of the book consists of a series of tests and quests designed to see which of these orphans will best execute Connor’s shrewd plan. The second half is the execution of this plan, and surprises are abundant as we near the end.
Well written and excellently paced, this book will appeal to most fantasy fans. Harry Potter fans looking for that next series that will captivate them need to look no further. While the characters take more time than I’d like to develop, the story line and adventure carries readers through as we get acquainted.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson
Karen Thompson Walker’s THE AGE OF MIRACLES is an amazing novel about a young girl struggling with the inevitable changes in her life and at the same time, for some inexplicable reason, the Earth’s rotation has begun to slow down, causing all kinds of havoc. Things are changing and it becomes clear that things will never be the same. A very interesting read.
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
This is a very moving and thought provoking book about war and its effects on the men and women who take part in it. I could not put it down and it has stayed with me since.
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
This book centers around three teenagers who are chosen through a worldwide lottery to take part in NASA’s first trip back to the moon in 40 years. This young adult book came highly recommended by a mother and daughter patron and I was glad they told me about it.
Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple
What an entertaining character Bernadette Fox is! I smiled thoughout the majority of this book and even laughed out loud which is a rarity for me. Along with Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” and William Landry’s “Defending Jacob”, “Where’d You Go Bernadette” ranks as one of my 2012 favorites!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Wow! Wow! Wow! Loved this psychological thriller and DID not see the ending coming. I’m still talking about this book after reading it in June! After finishing this book went back and read her others “Sharp Objects” and “Dark Places”. Both were worth the time.
You Came Back by Christopher Coake
Do you believe in ghosts? This story is about grief and the challenges to move on after a tragedy. How do you rebuild and how do different people handle it? A good story that kept me up reading late into the night.
Other titles worth mentioning:
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
This is How it Ends by Kathleen MacMahon
Sheila Dube has been immersed in the Young Adult World of literature lately. For the young adult reader she suggests A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan. Seventeen years old, Farrah Higgins, not Fawcett! But named after her. She has the gift (or maybe a curse) of seeing patterns in everything. When she uncovers a suicide bombers plot while watching a teen soap opera, the FBI puts her under protection. Farrah’s fresh voice is filled with glib humor, realistic teen emotions and a perspective on a fascinating ability that keeps her juggling between eccentric and pure danger. Fast paced action, romance and a great book layout make this a complete package. Another title which is her all-time favorite of 2012 ( and not just because the author’s name is Sheila too)
Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage. Prepare to be pulled into the witty, down-home world of Mo (short for Moses, a girl) and her friend Dale in their small southern town of 148. There is a murder, a missing identity and a redefinition of what it means to be family. The writing is spot on, laugh out loud funny characters that have tremendous heart. The mystery will keep readers guessing. All the characters are fully developed and are endearing or hated as the case may be.
Sheila thinks the next 2 titles will be of interest to adult readers too. For those who enjoy everything dragon and are Eragon fans, try Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Step into the well-developed alternative medieval world where dragons and humans tenuously exist amid crumbling treaties and generations of animosity. Dragon lore, romance and political intrigue are clearly drawn.
For readers who enjoy dark fiction with a mythical vein, The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan is the fantasy for you. This dark novel evokes the smell of the sea, the passion of revenge and horror of consequences with a tale of the selkie sea-wives. As Misskaella grows into her power as a witch and lives through the taunts and trials of the village, she draws wives for the men folk from the seals with devastating consequences on their relationships, the future lineage and own self will. Lanagan’s words come alive on the page with richly written prose that capture the intensity of feelings for each of the 5 narrators who are part of this generational story.
Marie’s Staff Picks
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Where’d You Go Bernadette? is a fun and bright story told in emails and other correspondence. This unusual story is a joy to listen to as an audiobook.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
I love her writing and this is another good story with a powerful message.
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
This is the second book in a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic world where government produced vampires run wild. I found it to have a similar feel to the TV show “The Walking Dead.”
Naturally Curious by Mary Holland
Great photographs and offbeat facts are found in this month by month account of what goes on in a Northeastern forest during the course of a year.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Technology and books merge in a race to solve an ancient secret. I couldn’t put this book down.
Familiar by J. Robert Lennon
A woman finds herself in a slightly altered universe in this mind-bending work of fiction.
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
Centering poetry is just right for this time of year! I read the whole book and let it soak in.
The Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The earth moves slower and slower on its axis and the days get off in terms of light and dark. This titles depicts an imagining of how that changes day-to-day life.
National Book Award 2012 Finalists – During the fall, I thought it would be fun to see which books were on this list and read them. I made it through four and they were all well written. Billy Flynn’s Long Halftime Walk is next on my list.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
This title eventually won the National Book Award. Compared to To Kill A Mockingbird in several reviews, this coming-of-age story set on a reservation questions where the boundaries of law lie.
A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers
A business man waits in the desert of Saudi Arabia to show the king a hologram pitch for IT from the United States. The social commentary and the layers of the story were interesting but you have to be a patient reader.
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
This is a high impact work about the war in Iraq and its after effects for those in combat and their families.
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
This is a very well written collection of short stories that are centered around one character and his intense, doomed relationships.
Billy Flynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
I am planning on reading this story about veterans and their trip to a Cowboys game. Reviews say that you don’t have to be into football to enjoy the writing.