Everything Old is New Again, Part 1

If you like reading the classics, you may be interested in some of the new interpretations that have come out in the past few years. One publisher, Hogarth, has a series of Shakespeare tales retold by some of today’s most popular authors. Here is a sampling:

VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler

Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler brings us a witty and irresistible modern take on Shakespeare’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. “A fizzy cocktail of a romantic comedy, far more sweet than acidic, about finding a mate who appreciates you for your idiosyncratic, principled self — no taming necessary.” —NPR.org 

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

HAG-SEED by Margaret Atwood

The author of THE HANDMAID’S TALE, Margaret Atwood, has written an enchanting reimagining of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. “A marvel of gorgeous yet economical prose, in the service of a story that’s utterly heartbreaking yet pierced by humor, with a plot that retains considerable subtlety even as the original’s back story falls neatly into place.” New York Times Book Review

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

THE GAP OF TIME by Jeanette Winterson

A retelling of Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE, “The Gap of Time takes the play’s themes of love, jealousy and estrangement and spins them into a taut contemporary tale.”—New York Times 

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

SHYLOCK IS MY NAME by Howard Jacobson

Jacobson’s retelling of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is “Sharply written, profoundly provocative.” The Huffington Post

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

DUNBAR by Edward St. Aubyn

St. Aubyn’s  DUNBAR is “A brilliant reworking of William Shakespeare’s King Lear for our day.”—Kirkus 

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier

A retelling of OTHELLO that “…is an engrossing and ultimately convincing story of its own, with characters you’ll believe in and a tragic ending worthy of the Bard.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, click here.

Look for future additions to this series including Jo Nesbo’s take on MACBETH (April 2018), and Gillian Flynn’s take on HAMLET (2021) .

 

Every Heart a Doorway

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor, April 2016

Summary/Review: If you have always wanted to try a Fantasy novel but did not know where to start, you might like to try EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, the first installment in the Wayward Children series.

Nancy is the newest student to arrive at Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children, a school filled with children and teens who have suffered the same fate as she. All have returned, somehow, from the fantasy worlds they accidentally discovered and all of them want to find their way back. Their friends and families cannot understand their unhappiness and do not know what to think about the strange stories the children tell about these other worlds. Surely, these stories cannot be true. So the children are sent to Eleanor West who promises to help them heal. Unbeknownst to them, Eleanor knows all too well that the stories are true. She, too, has a desire to return to her secret world when the time is right. Though not everyone will be able to return (some doors are closed forever), Eleanor and her staff can help the children make the most of their lives in the real world.

Shortly after Nancy’s arrival, tragedy strikes one of the students at the school. And then another. Fear grips the students and staff and soon accusations start to fly. Who is responsible for the terrible crimes and how can they be stopped?

A short but engaging novel, it is part mystery, fantasy, and just good story telling. Perfect for adults and older teens, EVERY HEART A DOORWAY has won several awards including the 2017 Hugo Award, 2017 Alex Award, 2017 Locus Award, and the 2016 Nebula Award. DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES is the next title in the Wayward Children series, and BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY, the third book, is due out in January 2018.

Who will like this book: For readers of C.S. Lewis and those who read and liked MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

Beautiful Animals

Title: Beautiful Animals
Author: Lawrence Osborne
Publisher: Hogarth, July 2017

Summary/Review: The novel, Beautiful Animals, takes place on the Greek island of Hydra, where two young women strike up a friendship while vacationing with their families for the summer. Naomi Codrington is the daughter of a wealthy British art dealer. Sam Haldane is a few years younger, and also rich, but to a lesser degree.  Both girls are bored.

Both girls are bored. Then they discover a Syrian refugee, Faoud, washed up on a deserted beach and  Naomi is determined to make the young man their summer project and help him find a new life in Italy.  To raise money for Faoud, Naomi proposes to facilitate his burglary of her own family’s villa.

For the reader, the scheme is suspect and we wonder instead if this is Naomi’s attempt to strike back at her father and step mother. (Several observations throughout the book suggest that Naomi is a cold calculator-pulling strings for her own amusement.) The plan goes horribly wrong. And the dread of what will happen next begins to build.

As one reviewer said, “the novel exerts a sickening pull.”  Its’ climax and resolution may not surprise you, but it may have you wishing for more justice.

Who will like this book: For those who enjoy their fiction a little on the dark and sinister side.

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, please click here.

Recommended by: Susan Z., Reference

What is the Best Book You Read Over the Summer?

Thank you to everyone who participated in our end-of-the-summer raffle “What is the Best Book You’ve Read This Summer”. We received several entries and great book suggestions from our patrons. Congratulations to our raffle prize winners and be on the lookout for another chance to win very soon! Here are a few of the “best books” that your neighbors have been reading:

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

“See’s kaleidoscopic saga transits from the barbaric horrors of Japanese occupation to the sobering indignities suffered by foreigners in 1930s Hollywood while offering a buoyant and lustrous paean to the bonds of sisterhood.” ~Booklist

If you want to learn more about this book, or to place a hold click here.

 

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

“Correa bases his debut novel on the real-life account of the ill-fated 1939 voyage of the St. Louis, delivering an engrossing and heartbreaking Holocaust story; his listing of the passengers’ names at the end of the book adds to its power.” ~Library Journal

If you want to learn more about this book, or to place a hold click here.

 

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: a Memoir by Sherman Alexie

“Alexie’s portrayals of family relationships, identity, and grief have the universality of great literature.” ~Library Journal

If you want to learn more about this book, or to place a hold click here.

 

Theft By Finding by David Sedaris

“Sedaris’ diaries are the wellspring for his cuttingly funny autobiographical essays, and he now presents a mesmerizing volume of deftly edited passages documenting 35 years of weird, disturbing, and hilarious experiences.” ~Booklist

If you want to learn more about this book, or to place a hold click here.

 

 

The Force

Title: The Force
Author: Don Winslow
Publisher: William Morrow, June 2017

Summary/Review:   Wow! Now I know that all the great reviews for this book are correct . Don Winslow spent years researching the New York City police department, particularly the elite drug crimes units of detectives, to write this searing novel loaded with intrigue, corruption, illicit deal making, violence, racism, drug dealing, testosterone-fueled action and some soul-searching.

Denny Malone is the latest in his family to become either a policeman or fireman and he carries on all those traditions. He really means well and wants to do the right thing, but he is subject to the same weaknesses and temptations as anyone faced with the horrible conditions he encounters every day. When he comes to grips with the fact that he has spent years crossing the line from straight, protect-the-citizenry police work to thief, murderer and drug dealer, it is too late. He is embroiled in so many plots and intrigues that even as a virtually untouchable NYC Detective sergeant, it is too late. In order to save himself and his family he becomes the worst possible person: an informant.

Along the way we are given a look at what happens behind the scenes when patrolling the mean streets of Harlem, trying to keep drug dealers and violence from further destroying the citizens’ neighborhoods. Much of the action and events certainly sound like things we read about and see on the news just about every day. It’s no surprise that the police are seduced by the money and “favors” offered to them every day to look the other way.

Don Winslow does a marvelous job of portraying a way of life that most of us will never encounter. Whether you love or hate the characters, you will not want to turn out the lights until you read just one more chapter.

Who will like this book: For those who like fast-paced thrillers and suspense.

If you would like more information, or would like to place a hold, please click here.

Recommended by: Mark Z., Guest Reviewer

See What I Have Done

Title: See What I Have Done
Author: Sarah Schmidt
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press, August 2017

Summary/Review:  On August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. Andrew had been killed while sleeping on the sofa, Abby in an upstairs bedroom. Daughter Lizzie and the maid, Bridget, were the only ones known to be in the home at the time of the murders. Lizzie was later tried and acquitted, but was never fully exonerated by her neighbors or the public at large.

This is a great reimagining of the infamous Lizzie Borden case, with so many motives and icky suspects to choose from. Even for those who think they know what happened, this will still be a suspenseful, engrossing novel. Alternating between the perspectives of several characters, the reader begins to realize there were some very disturbed people milling around the Borden household that fateful day. The writing is very descriptive, from the intense heat to the sticky pears to the gory wounds. Be prepared for a spine tingling read.

Who will like this book: For readers of historic fiction who are not squeamish.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

 

The Salt House

Title: The Salt House
Author: Lisa Duffy
Publisher: Touchstone, June 2017

Summary/Review: This debut novel, set during a Maine summer, follows one family in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy.

A year after the tragedy, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world in their own private grief as they all try to deal and move on with their lives.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope.

I absolutely loved The Salt House; if I could have gotten away with reading it all in one sitting and to hell with chores, I would have. It’s a beautiful rendering of the strength and resiliency of family, of the importance of honesty and the necessity of being able to forgive.

Who will like this book: For readers of Jodi Picoult, Lisa Genova and Anita Shreve.

Recommended by: Linda, Reference

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

Swimming With Bridgeport Girls

Title: Swimming With Bridgeport Girls
Author: Anthony Tambakis
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, July 2017

Summary/Review:  Congratulations to Fairfield native Anthony Tambakis on the success of his first novel! Swimming With Bridgeport Girls has been receiving glowing reviews. An unforgettable debut with tremendous heart and soul, it is the story of Ray Parisi, a man who finds himself down for the count because of a ruined career at ESPN, some major gambling debts and losing the love of his life.  In spite of it all, he is convinced he has come up with a sure-fire plan to win back the money AND the heart of his ex-wife at the same time.  What follows is a desperate, emotional roller-coaster ride of a quest that involves a huge inheritance, a trip to Vegas and some pretty colorful characters.  With great humor and heart-breaking insight, Tambakis tells a beautifully rendered story of a broken man who keeps getting in the way of his own redemption.  He is sure to stay with you long after the final page.

Anthony Tambakis has had a very impressive writing career since graduating from Fairfield Warde High School. He is the recipient of the Paul Bowles Fellowship for fiction writing and is a renowned screenwriter for such films as Warrior and Jane Got A Gun.  Among other projects, he is currently adapting the 1961 novel and film The Hustler for Broadway and penning the screenplay for Swimming With Bridgeport Girls.

This book is owned by Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Woods Branch Library Formats: Print, Audio Book on CD, hoopla (downloadable audio book), OverDrive (ebook)

Who will like this bookFor fans of Richard Russo and Jonathan Tropper.

Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

More Adult Summer Reading!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Adult Summer Reading program. We received so many wonderful comments about the books you’ve been reading we would like to post a few more recommendations from your neighbors:

SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS by J. Courtney Sullivan

“One of the best books I’ve ever read.” (I have to add that this is a staff favorite as well as a patron favorite).

If you would like more information about this title, please click here.

REDEMPTION ROAD by John Hart

“Wow. So much action. I couldn’t put it down.”  (John Hart has a new book, THE HUSH, due out in February 2018. Be on the lookout!)

If you would like more information about this title, please click here.

FINN by Jon Clinch

“Brutal but awesome. Going back to read his others.”

If you would like more information about this title, please click here.

Adult Summer Reading

Congratulations to our Adult Summer Reading raffle prize winners! We hope you enjoy reading all of the great books in your bags. Here are some of the titles that your neighbors have read and enjoyed this summer:

NOT A SOUND by Heather Gudenkauf

“A good summer read-suspenseful!”

If you would like see more information about this title, please click here.

 

SECRETS OF EDEN by Chris Bohjalian

“I wouldn’t have selected this book on my own, but I ended up enjoying it. I liked reading different characters’ perspectives.”

If you would like to see more information about this title, please click here.

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE by Jessica Shattuck

“I loved this book! Such wonderful characters!”

If you would like to see more information about this title, please click here.

 

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

“Love Eleanor, such a quirky character and a lovely story.”

If you would like to see more information about this title, please click here.