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2014 Staff Picks!

Our staff picks are here!  Still looking for a wonderful gift for someone special?  Here are some of our top recommendations:

Jess, from Reference, recommends:

“Forty Acres” by Dwayne Alexander Smith, published July 2014.  This is a thriller I could not put down! Thought provoking and eye opening!

K.C. in Circulation recommends:

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman, published July 2014.  A post-apocalyptic world where not being able to see what horror lies in front of you is necessary for survival.

“Cop Town” by Karin Slaughter, published June 2014.  Groovy 1970’s Atlanta where crime and fashion collide. A series perhaps?

“One Kick” by Chelsea  Cain, published Aug 2014 (and reviewed by RBRT In September).  A young kidnapping survivor becomes one heck of a vigilante.

“Southern Reach Trilogy” by Jeff Vandermeer, published Jan 2014, April 2014, and August 2014. Post Apocalyptic – is the world being taken over by nature thanks to the US government?

“Blue Labyrinth” by Douglas Preston and Licoln Child, published Nov 2014. Another installment featuring the always mysterious FBI Special Agent, AXL Pendergast.

“Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King, published June 2014. A retired cop has to hunt down a serial killer.   A possible series.

Nicole, Teen Librarian, recommends:

Hawkeye Volume 1: My Life as a Weapon, by Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, Published March 2013.

What happens when Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye, aka ‘Hawkguy’) leaves his day job with the Avengers and heads home to Brooklyn? Focusing on the messy, mundane life of a non-superpowered superhero, his relationships with his neighbors and his protégé Kate Bishop, this innovative, stylish and award-winning series (three collected volumes have been released so far…) has been a big hit with comics readers.

Laurie, from Circulation, recommends:

Family Furnishings ( short stories ) by Alice Monro, published November 2014.

Still Life With Breadcrumbs by Anna Quinlan, published October 2014

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, published December 2014

The Round House by Louise Erdrich, published December 2012

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein, published December 2014

Mark Z, Guest Reviewer, recommends:

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, published October 2014.  Once again Jodi Picoult takes the reader on an emotional journey featuring a female juvenile and the adults who try their best to help her discover and manage the search for her long lost mother. And, as usual Ms. Picoult inserts an awesome twist at the end — Fantastic story telling.

Beth, from the Children’s Library, recommends:

“Absoluely Almost” by Lisa Graff, published June 2014. Like “Wonder”

“The Boundless” by Kenneth Oppel, published April 2014.  Transcontinental Railroad ‘era’ –  train robbery/wealthy Railroad Baron.

“Courage for Beginners” by Karne Harrington, published August 2014.   Agoraphobia, Caretaking, Family Ties, Friendship – Main character (Mysti Murphy)  a lively , funny character who faces her caretaking challenges head on.

“Curiosity” by Gary Blackwood, published April 2014.  In 1835, when his father is put in a Philadelphia debtor’s prison, twelve-year-old chess prodigy Rufus Is recruited  to secretly operate a chess-playing automaton.  He soon questions the fate of his father and his own safety.

“The Forbidden Library” by Django Wexler, fantasy series published in 2014. Similar to Inkheart, The Books of Elsewhere and Coraline.  Themes are magic wizards, libraries, books and reading, fairies.

“A Snicker of Magic” by Natalie Lloyd, published February 2014.  A story about the magic of words and stories – and the power they hold to heal, hurt, make trouble and fun. Great story filled with family, love sweetness and joy.

Other Titles – Family Ties  –  Paulsen;

The Graveyard Book – Gaiman (Graphic Novel)

Memory Maze – Korman

So far – the favorite titles from this list are The Boundless and Snicker of Magic.

Paula, from Reference, recommends:

“The Short and Tragic life of Robert Peace : a brilliant young man who left Newark for the Ivy League” by Jeff Hobbs, published September 2014. Biography of the short life of an exceptionally bright young African-American man who with the guidance of a devoted, self sacrificing mother leaves the slums of Newark for Yale University only to be drawn back into the drug culture when he returns home.

“The Underground Girls of Kabul : in Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan” by Jenny Nordberg, published in September 2014. In Afghanistan, the birth of a son is cause for a celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned. This is the story of several girls, known as bacha posh, raised as boys until they reach adolescence.  Researched and written by a Swedish journalist, it is a look into a culture I had no idea existed.

Mary, Reference Librarian, recommends:

“Neverhome” by Laird Hunt, published September 2014.  It’s a stunning and poetic novel of a woman who does what her husband cannot, which is enlist and fight in the Civil War.  Hunt’s writing is absolutely beautiful although there is much that is dark and haunting throughout her soul-altering journey.  This is historical, literary fiction at its best!

Virginia, from Circulation, recommends:

“Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult, published October 2014.  I really like Jodi Picoult’s books because although they are fiction, they read like non- fiction. Leaving time is about a washed-up psychic named Serenity, and Jenna – the little girl she helps. Her mother Alice was a research scientist working at an elephant sanctuary. She disappeared 10 years ago and Jenna wants to find out what happened to her.

 

I am Pilgrim

[Cover]

Title: I Am Pilgrim

Author: Terry Hayes

Publisher: Atria, 2014

Summary/Review: I am always amazed at the detail and intrigue which the great thriller-writers create for our entertainment. This novel, about a premiere field agent who races against time and the evil guile of his foe to head off global Armageddon, keeps the reader turning all 600 pages as fast as you can read them. When you reach the end you will wish there were another couple of hundred pages to enjoy.

There is a telling line in the book which says that the international intelligence services will long for the good old days when terrorists depended on suicide bombers and merely crashing airplanes into buildings compared to what our hero is up against.

Not to be a spoiler, but this is a tale about an evil genius of a desert fighter who evades international law enforcement, creates a modern-day plague, and along the way dazzles the reader with his technological wizardry, high-level education and single-minded zeal to exact terrible revenge on the United States for their actions in the middle east. His actions and abilities are narrowly matched by the former US agent who pursues him with just-barely-matching technical and mental capabilities.

Who will like this book?: If you enjoy thrillers, you cannot go wrong investing the time reading this exceptional novel.

If you like this, try this: This is going to be part of a series, so be on the lookout for the next books if you enjoyed this plotline. If you like the government thriller aspect, try Dan Brown or Stieg Larsson (more brutal). The plotline is also reminiscent of Bourne Identity, a series which is worth a read by Robert Ludlum.

Recommended by: Mark Z, Guest Reviewer

If this looks like something you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library Catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

100 Years Ago

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Many novels have been set in that time period and this week we will be highlighting a few of them.

star of istanbul steady running girl you left

 

The Star of Istanbul
By Robert Butler
“An exciting thriller with plenty of action, romance, and danger. . . . Fans of historical spy fiction will enjoy this fast-paced journey through a world at war.” ~Library Journal

To check our catalog or place a hold on The Star of Istanbul, please click here.

The Steady Running of the Hour: a novel
By Justin Go
“In this mesmerizing debut, a young American discovers he may be heir to the unclaimed estate of an English World War I officer, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the elusive truth.” ~Amazon.com

To check our catalog or to place a hold on The Steady Running of the Hour, please click here.

The Girl You Left Behind
By Jojo Moyes
“In her latest heart tugger, Jojo Moyes deftly weaves the story of newlyweds in WWI France with that of a young widow in today’s London.” ~Parade

To check our catalog or to place a hold on The Girl You Left Behind, please click here.

 

 

 

BEA 2013

Welcome back!  Now that we have our brand-new website, it’s time for a more updated blog…sorry it’s a little late, but we have good reason!  In late May & early June, a few librarians went to Book Expo America and, well … we couldn’t stop reading the ARCs we picked up!  Here, we’ve gathered some of the hottest books for the Fall.

“The Returned” by Jason Mott *DEBUT!*

 We LOVE debut authors here at FPL and we’re already super excited for this one, which is already being made into a TV show (which will be titled “The Resurrected”)!

The premise: “All over the world, people’s loved ones are returning from beyond…” People’s deceased loved ones are returning exactly as they were when they passed – the question is, how do people react when they’ve gotten their loved ones back? 

Why we’re excited: The premise itself is enough to get us intrigued.  Hasn’t everyone wished a loved one would come back at some point? Also, we love books that make us think – and this book brings out tons of questions: how is this happening?  Where are they coming from?  Are they going to have to go back?  How will they find their families?  Some of us can’t wait to find out the answers, and have already started reading!

When will it be out? September, 2013

“Help for the Haunted”, John Searles

We were all excited to learn that John is a local – he was actually a waiter at a restaurant formerly known as “Breakaway”, located in Fairfield. But what makes us even more excited, is reading this book.

The premise: Sylvie’s parents have the unusual occupation of helping “haunted souls” find peace.  Sylvie goes with them on an even stranger than usual call, and falls asleep in the car – waking to the sound of gunfire.  Almost a year later, the reader meets up with Sylvie again, and we’re taken on a journey back and forth through time as we learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths and their haunted life.

Why we’re excited:  A number of us saw John Searles in person, and if his writing is half as dynamic as he is, it’s sure to be a good read.  But even more, we love books that blend genres – is this a mystery? Literature? Sci-fi? Who cares when the book sounds this awesome?!

When will it be out?  September, 2013

“Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Hurricane Katrina…this non-fiction book sheds some light on one hospital in particular, Memorial.  It’s brought to you by Pulitzer-prize winner Sheri Fink.

The premise:  The electricity has been out for days.  Patients are sick – even the ones that weren’t sick a few days ago are becoming sicker in the filthy conditions.  Helicopters are trying to help, but the hospital is left basically to its own devices.  More people are wading up to the hospital, and they’re being forced away.  Some doctors made the difficult decision about who will live and who will die – who will be saved and who will not – and the decision ultimately leads to an investigation.

Why we’re excited:  People still have questions about what happened in regards to Katrina rescues.  This book, as difficult a read as it is, shows in-depth the decisions that doctors and nurses were forced to make.  The book is divisive and will surely be the source of many animated discussions (and maybe arguments!) about the rights and wrongs.  While reading, you’ll find you continuously put yourself in their position – what would you do if you had to decide who would be saved and who would not?

When will it be out? September, 2013 

More books we’re excited about: “Margot”, by Jillian Cantor.  “Glitter and Glue”, by Kelly Corrigan. “Dirty Love”, by Andrew Dubus III.  “The Facades”, by Eric Lundgren. “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth.