Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
Ted Talks by Chris Anderson
Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon
Roach has managed to answer questions you never knew wanted to know about humans at war. True to Mary Roach’s writing style I found myself being both entertained and enlightened all at once. Fans of non-fiction can’t go wrong with this title.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things-Iain Reid
This was the first novel for Reid and I can’t wait to see what he does next! While there were a few loose ends not quite tied up in the end, it was a fast paced thrill that kept you wondering…….long after the final page.
Sleeping Giants-Sylvain Neuvel
This book was told through journal entries and case files. I was not sure how it was going to read at first, but then I found myself unable to get enough! If you liked Andy Weir’s The Martian, then your going to want to give this one a try!
Hoover is one of my new favorite authors this summer. After reading November 9 at the beginning of summer, I was thrilled to see Dawn found a new title to add to the collection. In Confess we are taken into the lives of people who know love in all its many forms. It was heartbreaking and yet hopeful. I even found myself enjoying the art.
On this official FIRST day of summer 2016, I thought I’d post some books that I have recently read that would be great to pick up for the summer!
First pick is “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” by new author Iain Reid. WOW. WOW. WOW. This small, 244 page book kept me reading late into the night and when I finished it I wanted (needed) to start all over again! I immediately came into work the next day and told Sam that ‘she had to read it’ and when she did she said the same thing. What the heck was going on in this book?? I’d love to discuss it with anyone. Great read and an author that I will be watching for in the future.
Other titles that I feel are worthy of picking up are:
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Greene (Author of “The Headmaster’s Wife” which was a favorite of mine last year)
The Children by Ann Leary
The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Call us to put one of these titles on hold for your summer list!
Hostage Taker-Stefanie Pintoff
This thriller’s backdrop is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. It’s Christmas time in the city that never sleeps when a deranged man takes the city’s most iconic building and its inhabitants hostage. Eve Rossi and her team of ex-cons are thrust into the job at a time when their own lives are beginning to unravel. The story was fast paced and easy to follow. It kept you on the edge of your seat from first page to last. Fans of Lisa Gardner and Tami Hoag will enjoy this book.
The Things We Keep- Sally Hepworth
I really liked Sally’s last title-The Secrets of Midwives and was anticipating another fantastic story. I was not disappointed! This book is a heart wrenching journey of a young woman facing early onset Alzheimer’s. Her story is one of love, loss and compassion.
When Breath Becomes Air- Paul Kalanithi
This book had me thinking about it days after I finished the final chapter. In searching for the meaning of life the author finds he must face his own death after learning he has stage 4 terminal cancer. The brilliant doctor becomes the struggling patient in this moving and unforgettable memoir. Warning: After reading you may find that you have been forever changed.
Wow. I read this book with tears in my eyes. Makes you really think about your priorities in life. A must read. ~ dawn
For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? ~ From Goodreads
So many good books…..
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer is a book that made me cry. It is a heart-wrenching debut novel following the lives of two characters and their decisions over a five day period. It alternates between two, very different people, but they have connecting stories about life, love, sacrifice and death. It is an unforgettable story that I think would be great for book group discussions. If you love Kristen Hannah or Jodi Picoult, read this!
Two books that creeped me out a little were One Kick by Chelsea Cain and The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. One Kick is the first book that I’ve read by Chelsea Cain but I may go back and read more. She is freaky…. And One Kick is the beginning of another series for her. I thought that The Good Girl may be similar to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn but it was totally different. I was NOT disappointed by this dark mystery and will be reading Mary Kubica’s next book for sure.
Ann Hood has done it again with another satisfying and engaging read. The Italian Wife begins at the turn of the 20th century in Italy with the arranged marriage of a young girl. It then spans 100 years as different family members tell their story. I do love her books!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr has got to be my favorite book of 2014 thus far. What a beautiful, haunting novel. This is set in Europe during World War II but I found it more about the characters than the war. When you find yourself rereading passages because they bring tears to your eyes, you know it’s good. What an amazing writer.
A few other titles that I enjoyed:
The Map Thief by Michael Blanding
Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
The Bone Orchard is the latest installment in Paul Doiron’s Mike Bowditch series. This fast-paced crime novel centers on the Maine Game Warden Service and is a quick and entertaining read. I really liked the sense of pace and the characters.
Loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria by Lily King takes the reader to 1930s New Guinea. I liked this book because the writing totally transported me into a different world.
Rebecca Makkai’s The Hundred-Year House is a history of a house that is told from the present and works its way back. Each era builds the past and adds another layer to the mysteries pervading the book.
If you are looking for real-life scandal and crime with a bit of map history thrown in, then The Map Thief by Michael Blanding is for you! This is a fascinating narrative nonfiction work that tells the story of E. Forbes Smiley III, a rare-map dealer and past summer resident of Sebec, Maine.
Currently, I am enjoying A Hundred Pieces by Lucy Dillon. I am finding this novel to be a strong detail-oriented chronicle of the rebuilding of the main character’s life after a divorce. Flashbacks to the past are relevant and elegantly tied into the present narrative flow by objects that the narrator is weeding through.
For some modern history, Sheila recommends The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Although it is published for the teen reader, even older readers will get a glimpse into the pain and struggles that Americans who wanted to serve their country but were challenged due to their race. During World War II on the Navy base Port Chicago, Negro seamen were only allowed to load the explosives. Only white seamen became officers or received any training. There is an accident where a bomb explodes, sinking two ships and killing hundreds. The Navy sends the Port Chicago guys back into the fray. Those who are afraid to load bombs again are placed in a group of 50 and accused of mutiny. Sheinkin explains the various nuances of the trial, how the NAACP became involved and how, to this day, those individuals are still considered criminal, although the Navy conceded that the segregation of the men during that time was discriminatory.
Readers who enjoyed Rachel Simon’s Riding the bus with my sister (2002) will want to read the new young adult title Girls like us by Gail Giles. Biddy and Quincy have just graduated from high school and have become roommates. They each have their struggles because they are “Speddies”, in the special ed class and as they learn to understand each other and Miss Lizzie, the older woman requiring their help a new family is knitted together. Narrated through Biddy & Quincy’s voices, stark truths about stereotypical perceptions are challenged. Giles presents tension, unflinching realism through clear character voices that are sometimes humorous, sometimes painful. The characters will challenge your stereotypes and stay with you long after the slim book is finished.
My nonfiction pick this time is just in time for Halloween! I really enjoyed Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin witnessed a terrible accident at the young age of 8 and has suffered with the fear of death ever since. As a young adult she decides to look death in the eyes so to speak and finds work in a crematory. I found the book fascinating and witty, it answers all the questions you had no idea you even wanted to know about the death industry.
Red Rising written by Pierce Brown was the adult version of Divergent meets The Hunger Games. I stayed up late two nights in a row because I just could not get enough of this fast paced story. If you like sci-fi or dystopian reads then this one is for you!
As the niece of Plum series author Janet Evanovich , Stephanie has some big shoes to fill! Her second book titled The sweet spot was an absolute delight. If a nice romantic book is what you are after then you should give this one a try.
Chelsea Cain is one of my favorite authors. When asked for a good thriller she is always my first suggestion. While I was kind of bummed out about her newest arrival not being one of her Gretchen Lowell books, this new one called One Kick almost made me say “Gretchen who?” A high octane read about child abduction had me hooked before I even made it to the first chapter. This is a must read!
M. D. Waters is new to the literary scene and with her first book-Archetype she is making a very big impression. This novel takes place in a time where medical miracles are only for the elite, and there are underground groups that are trying to change it. It mixes romance and suspense in such a way you don’t know who you want to route for. And for those who decide to check this one out it ends in a real cliff hanger…..but breathe easy we have the sequel here already!
Missing Microbes by Martin J Blaser
Zealot by Reza Aslan
On Paper by Nicholas Basbanes
I have to admit, I’ve been a little lazy with posting our staff picks on our blog and I truly apologize for that!! Sometimes time just seems to move so quickly… especially over the holidays! Hope everyone had a very happy holiday season. Here are quite a few books that we’ve read… check them out!!! Happy reading! ~ dawn
Marie’s January Staff Picks
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie (Alan Bradley)
This is an older title and is first in a mystery series revolving around an eccentric eleven year old girl named Flavia De Luce. The newest Flavia mystery just came out.
Etiquette & Espionage (Gail Carriger)
This young adult title was enthusiastically recommended by a library patron. I found it to be a fun, fast moving steampunk adventure of manners.
The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion)
I listened to the audio edition and enjoyed the Australian accent in this offbeat love story.
Want Not (Jonathan Miles)
In this darkly humorous book, a pleasing jumble of eccentric characters connect in surprising ways.
The Circle (Dave Eggers)
A young woman demonstrates where technology and social networking can take society in this horrifyingly true-to-life fictional account.
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)
This beautifully written book is worth the time commitment!
Mercy Snow (Tiffany Baker)
Magical realism creeps into this haunting story set in a mill town in New Hampshire. The ending could have been more complete, but, all in all, the story pulled me along.
Sheila has two new young adult novels to recommend that adults will want to take a look at. For those who like sci-fi thrillers try MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza, Sixteen year old, MILA finds out that she is actually an android with human cellular function and her Mom is actually one of her creators. Face paced, sci-fi thriller that pulls you into the inner dilemmas that an android with humanity deals with while she grows. For those who enjoy Maine based fiction try Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian. Tom Bouchard, rising senior at Einnston, finds himself doing community service and becoming changed in the process when both the soccer team and the children at the community center become the focal point of a community racial protest. Padian does an amazing job of creating realistic characterizations of high students and the conflicts that arise when Somalian immigrants must learn the “American Way” in a small Maine community.
The one “adult” novel Sheila has read lately was The Rosie Project and her response to that little gem was: “ Loved, loved, loved it! As a huge fan of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory” and all things psychological, this was right up my alley! Enjoyed the perspective, humor and the reality of sorts.”
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)
A long book at 700+ pages but with all the hype about it, I just had to read it. Overall a very good story that I can see being translated for the big screen at some point. Would love to go and see the actually “Goldfinch” painting now!
The Circle (Dave Eggers)
Wow. Loved this book but also scary. This is one of those books that it’s hard to stop thinking of, as it deals with technology and social media. Get off Facebook and put down your smart phone and then read this…..
The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion)
I have been passing this book out to everyone and one patron described it as a ‘light delight’. I agree. Just a wonderful, laugh out loud quick read.
Once We Were Brothers (Ronald H Balson)
Didn’t think it was the best written story, but the concept of the story was intriguing. Ben Solomon accuses one of the richest, most philanthropic men in Chicago of being the Nazi, Otto Pietak. It’s called a legal thriller but my favorite part was going back and forth in time to WWII with the main character, Ben.
Here are a few other titles that I enjoyed:
Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)
Never Look Away (Linwood Barclay)
Too Close to Home (Linwood Barclay)
Between a Mother and her Child (Elizabeth Noble)
Where the Moon Isn’t (Nathan Filer)
Help for the Haunted (John Searls)
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.
Bootstrapper by Mardi Link is a memoir telling of a recently divorced woman’s fight to save her farm and support her three children. I found it funny at times and a satisfying read.
Starting with a “Hello Kitty” lunchbox found on the coast of British Columbiam, A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is a metaphysical exploration that spans continents and time. The lunchbox contains a diary written by a troubled young woman in Japan and propels the novel into many intriguing layers.
Solidly written suspense novel Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly is more than meets the eye. A suicide investigation by journalist Alexander James turns out to be more than she thought. Twists abound!
Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron is the fourth in a series that takes place Downeast Maine and is based very loosely on Maine newspaper headlines. The main character, Mike Bowditch, seems to have a bit more common sense than in the previous three books.
I consider A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra to be one of the best books of 2013 that I have read. This heartbreaking and beautiful novel takes place in war torn Chechnya and is about what it means to survive and be alive.
Kingdom Of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris is a well written mystery set in Saudi Arabia. This series always takes me to a totally different place, especially in regards to the way women are treated. This title is available on the Library’s Kindles.
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.