Staff Picks for May

FICTION:

The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne
This was such an engrossing thriller, I read it in one day. Mayne’s writing is humorous and thrilling at the same time. A truly fantastic read. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.      ~Sue B. Circulation

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
This is a funny, honest and at times heartbreaking coming of age story. Mike Munoz is on a quest to find himself: his sexual identity, his artistic self and his life’s calling. ~Linda, Reference

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
A well-written romance with a little bit of a mystery. Told in two stories, one present day and one in the 1950’s. Suspend belief and just enjoy the magic! ~Claudia, Technical Services

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Self-Portrait with Boy: A Novel by Rachel Lyon
A struggling photographer embarks on a new project hoping for big returns. During her self-portrait session she mistakenly photographs an image both horrific and tragically beautiful, setting in motion a cathartic journey of trying to balance the scales of morality and fame.       ~KC, Circulation

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

AUDIOBOOKS:

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
Trying to find the reason for Maddy’s suicide, her husband and daughter discover that things are not always as they seem. ~Sharyn, Circulation

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

The Naturalist

Title: The Naturalist
Author: Andrew Mayne
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer; October 2017

Summary/Review:  Dr. Theo Cray is a professor of Bioinformatics. He describes himself as a “biologist who stares at a computer screen and sometimes goes out into the real world.” When a former student, Juniper, is found dead, Theo is an immediate suspect. As the investigation and interrogation by Detective Glenn proceed, it is determined that Juniper was killed by a bear, not a man, and Theo is free to go. But he isn’t really free. Not free from the guilt he feels at having failed Juniper, having not prepared her for dangers that lurk out in the field. Not free from his surety that the police have everything wrong. As Theo investigates on his own he ticks off local authorities but also makes a few friends. As his computer generated hunting pattern yields more and more bodies, and Theo gets closer to finding the truth about the killings, it becomes clear it will be a brain vs. brawn showdown.

This was such an engrossing thriller, I read it in one day. Great writing and short chapters always keep my reading momentum going. Mayne’s writing is humorous and thrilling at the same time. A truly fantastic read and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Who will like this book: For readers who like a fast paced, un-put-downable thriller.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

Uncommon Type

Title: Uncommon Type
Author: Tom Hanks
Publisher: Deckle Edge, October 2017

Summary/Review: Yes, that Tom Hanks.

This is a collection of 17 really wonderful short stories. I admit that short stories have always been an interest of mine, my favorites being from Stephen King, but I am getting off target.

I discovered that Tom Hanks is a “serious” writer in addition to his work on successful screen plays after happening upon his opinion piece in the New York Times about his love affair with the mechanical typewriter (link below) I was most impressed by the author’s ability to create scenes and timeframes as many of these stories take place in the past.

These are really feel-good stories about an immigrant who makes his way in the US, a bowling savant who just can’t seem to roll anything but perfect games when not working at Home Depot, a time traveler who overstays his welcome in the past, a woman who types for the love of the activity — kind of ordinary situations described in a very friendly, relaxed manner nothing like the immediate sound bite copy we have all become used to. An interesting plot line, which runs through many of these tales is the central role the plain old mechanical typewriter plays in forcing the typist to slow down to think about and feel the words being imprinted directly on the paper, not recorded electronically for later editing.

I think heartwarming stories would be a good description of this collection. You will NOT be scared, bothered or distressed. There are no rapes, gratuitous sex or violence to be found here.

Take the time to read at least a few of these. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended by: Mark Z., guest reviewer.

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

Tangerine

Title: Tangerine
Author: Christine Mangan
Publisher: Ecco, March 2018

Summary/Review: Twisted mind games abound in this atmospheric debut novel due out in March 2018. Sweet Alice and fearless Lucy were best friends until a tragic accident fractured their friendship. A year has passed and Lucy has followed Alice to Tangier, Morocco to try to set things right…or so she says. Lucy adapts to her new surroundings quickly while Alice is still struggling to adjust. Feeling manipulated and controlled by her husband and Lucy, Alice begins to suspect Lucy had a darker motive for tracking her down. Perhaps it is all part of a bigger plan.

 

Who will like this book: For readers who like suspense, and who like characters with a sinister edge.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

Staff Picks For March

We have some great recommendations for reading and listening from the Library staff!
Here are some of our favorites for March.

Killer Choice by Tom Hunt
His wife is sick. He needs $200,000 to save her. A mysterious man offers to give him the money with just one catch: he has to murder someone to get it. How far would you go to save the one you love? —Linda                                                                                                                                            For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan
Twisted mind games abound in this atmospheric debut novel. —Sue B                                          For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Handmaid’s Tale, #metoo, and The Hunger Games all come to mind in this genre bending page turner. —Claudia                                                                                                                               For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
Told to us through the voice of a 6 year old, Only Child is the story of a family dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. Excellent debut! —Mary C                                                                For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Torn between a life she once knew and her forever home, an autistic teen tries to figure out where she belongs. —Sharyn                                                                                                                   For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

AUDIOBOOKS:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Smart, funny, sci-fi thriller with 80’s pop culture nostalgia in a futuristic setting. —Jess                  For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Grouchy Historian by Ed Asner
Asner tells us, in his unique style, the story of our constitution, the men who created it and why we need to pay attention. —Jan                                                                                                               For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Force of Nature

Title: Force of Nature
Author: Jane Harper
Publisher: Flatiron Books, February 2018

Summary/Review:  Aaron Falk first appeared in Jane Harper’s THE DRY which was a staff and patron favorite. He’s back again in her new novel THE FORCE OF NATURE. We welcome him back with open arms.

Federal Police agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper are called in when one of their informants goes missing in the Australian bushland. Alice Russell, along with four other women from the accountancy firm Bailey Tennants are on a team building retreat. After getting lost in the bush, all come back except Alice. Alice had been, coincidentally, secretly collecting information to aid in the financial investigation of her employer. The four returning women come out of the bush exhausted, bruised and battered. So what happened to Alice? Why did she try to walk out alone? It seems this particular team building exercise turned out to be more like Lord of the Flies than a way to strengthen bonds and promote cooperation. Repressed animosity and jealousy amongst the women bubbles up and is unleashed and lives will be changed forever.

Jane Harper delivers again in this suspenseful novel set in the unforgiving bushland. Alternating between the women’s ordeal and its aftermath, this is an exceptional novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Who will like this book: For readers of mysteries, thrillers and suspense.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

What Was the Best Book You Read in 2017?

Thank you to everyone who participated in our “What is the Best Book You’ve Read This Year” raffle, and congratulations to our raffle prize winners! Two lucky people won bags full of great donated books. Happy reading. Be on the lookout for more raffles coming up throughout the year.

Here are a few of the top picks for “best books read in 2017” submitted by your friends and neighbors:

SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS by J. Courtney Sullivan

“Reminiscent of both Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn and Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves… All of Sullivan’s characters leap off the page. You don’t read this book; you breathe it.” –Janet Maslin, “Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017,” The New York Times

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

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris

“This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut Behind Closed Doors; schedule reading time accordingly.… With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” ―Booklist

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

GRANT by Ron Chernow

“A stupendous new biography…Fascinating and immensely readable…. uncommonly compelling and timely…. Chernow’s biography is replete with fascinating details and insight­ful political analysis, a combination that brings Grant and his time to life…. put Grant on your must-read list.” —BookPage

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

SOMETHING LIKE HAPPY by Eva Woods

“Something like Happy is inspiration in a bottle. Author Woods uses her novel- inspired by a social-media hashtag-to explore the exhilaration of new friendship, the power of loss, and the evergreen tendrils of hope.” –Booklist

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

Everything Old is New Again, Part 2

Did you love reading and/or listening to Fairy Tales and Folk Tales as a child? Adult versions of these same tales have been showing up for years, and have become very popular. Here are some of our favorites:

THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey

“Eowyn Ivey’s exquisite debut transports the reader away to a world almost out of time, into a fairytale destined to both chill and delight. Her portrayal of an untamed Alaska is so detailed you can feel the snowflakes on your own eyelashes, even as her characters’ desperate quest for, and ultimate redemption by, love will warm your heart.” ~Melanie Benjamin, author

THE CRANE WIFE by Patrick Ness

“Ness fashions his mosaic of prose, piecing narrative with snips of a myth-like fable to create a bittersweet story of loss and love. The narrative pace will keep the pages turning, while the imagery and metaphors wound throughout will stay with readers long after they close the book.” ~Library Journal

DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES by Seanan McGuire

“Beautifully crafted and smartly written, this fairy-tale novella is everything that speculative fiction readers look for: fantastical worlds, diverse characters, and prose that hits home with its emotional truths.” ~Library Journal

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden

“Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical.” ~The Washington Post

BOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyeyemi

“With her fifth novel, 29-year-old Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller…[Boy, Snow, Bird is] transfixing and surprising.” ~Entertainment Weekly

ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen

“Jensen’s second novel, a twist on the Peter Pan story which reconceives of Captain Hook as a tragic hero, shows how she’s matured as a writer since her excellent debut, The Witch from the Sea. Jensen’s wonderful imagination and devotion to history and myth allow the reader to fly with her through this outstanding adventure–no fairy dust required.” ~ Publishers Weekly

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.