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.
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
Wow…. so sorry that we haven’t been keeping up with our staff picks! We promise to be better…. but keep in mind you can always visit us and go to our ‘staff picks’ wall which is ALWAYS loaded with great picks!
Chip has a list of intriguing reads to share:
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard Nisbett
The Monopolists by Mary Pilon
It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson
As a New Year’s resolution I am trying to read more things I feel are out of my “comfort zone”. It has been a pretty interesting journey! My non-fiction picks are WE ARE MARKET BASKET by Daniel Korschun and Grant Welker, Good Mourning by Elizabeth Meyer, and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I enjoyed Furiously Happy so much I can’t wait until the library gets it in in Audio book, it should be a hoot to listen to!
My fiction picks are Day Four by Sarah Lotz, The Martian by Andy Weir, and Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield. Right now I am reading The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones. She is one of my favorite authors and while I am only 100 pages in, I find myself cursing the alarm clock in the morning, having found it impossible to put the darn book down the night before! If anyone is ever looking for a quirky, fun, light read-with a dark side you should give the this series a go! The bumper sticker and t-shirt sayings alone are laugh out loud.
In trying to go out of my little “comfort zone” I am one disc away from finishing Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. These guys are well known for a podcast they have, so I figured why not? It’s weird but in such a funny way that I am finding myself leaving to go to work a few minutes early just to get to listen to the story. You would not believe what they say about librarians-it’s not true I tell you! LOL! Not the kind of book that I normally go for but it’s been a pretty fun ride. It’s my first time trying to listen to audiobooks, not a bad way to get a book in!
Laugh out loud funny is how I describe The Martian by Andy Weir. I have to say I was very reluctant to pick this book up but after a astounding “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK” by a good friend, I started the first page and then couldn’t put it down. For me it is another, ‘the book is better than the movie’ but I must admit that I did enjoy Matt Damon as the lead character! Another great fiction read for me was Fates and Furious by Lauren Groff. Wow… this book was all over the place and made for some great discussions!
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens
Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield
Best Boy by Eli Gottlied
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Did you Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
We welcome Karen Howell, our new part time staff member here at Springvale. Stop in to meet her! Here are her reading suggestions.
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
The Lake House by Kate Morton
The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
Dark Rooms by Lilli Anolik
The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward
The Mourning Hours by Paula Treiol DeBoard
Have a safe winter everyone!
The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is my favorite book of 2014 thus far. Inspired by a true story, this historical novel follows the lives of a slave and her mistress, who also happens to become an abolitionist and suffragist, through the 1800s. Bright writing and even pacing make this a great read.
I hesitate to put The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon on this list based on title alone after another bitterly cold and windy spring day in late March. However, I did enjoy the story in this chilling mystery-horror crossover. Linking the present to the early 1900s with a diary that chronicles a way to keep the dead alive, this story follows a teenager’s haunting search for her mother in present-day rural Vermont.
Taking place in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker tells the stories of a Jewish golem and an Arabian jinni separately exploring their new home in New York. Eventually, the stories merge together leading to a suspense-filled ending. I enjoyed following this inventive story that reads like historical fiction with a hint of fantasy.
Robin Oliveira’s I Always Loved You is another work of historical fiction that I enjoyed. Taking place in Belle Epoque Paris, the story follows Mary Cassatt’s life, focusing on her relationship with fellow artist Edgar Degas. Cassatt’s interactions with the other artists of the time period hum in the background and add to the creative atmosphere of this novel.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Chip describes as the best book he’s read since Harry Potter!
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
How does tragedy and time affect a person’s memories? This was the premise in The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene that I loved. When I got to the half way mark in the book, I stopped and said WOW. So far it is my best book of 2014! Can’t wait to see what others think of this book.
Loved, loved, loved the beautifully written novel Benediction by Kent Haruf. Not much happens in this book but it is about life’s everyday rewards and struggles. It takes the ordinary and makes it special and memorable. Another book that I just thought was so beautifully written is Alice McDermott’s Someone. These two books have been passed to many people!
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh is a well written and suspenseful novel that deals with the mystery of two women, one who was murdered and one who disappeared. This is McHugh’s first novel and I will be sure to be on the lookout for her next one!
Wiley Cash hooked me with A Land More Kind than Home so I couldn’t wait to pick up his latest This Dark Road to Mercy. Great story and an emotional ride. He is an author that is now on my ‘must read’ list.
A few other titles that I’ve read:
The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls
Orange is the new Black by Piper Kerman (I had to read this after being obsessed with the NETFLIX series!)
Golden State by Michelle Richmond
The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
Let us know what you’ve been reading!!
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)
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.
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.