Category Archives: Popular

What Alice Forgot

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Title:  What Alice Forgot

Author:  Liane Moriarty

Publisher:  Amy Einhorn Books, 2011; Penguin Audio, 2011

Summary/Review:  After taking a tumble off a spinning bike and being knocked unconscious, Alice Love awakes thinking it’s 1998 and that she’s 29 expecting her first child. What a shock it is when she’s told it’s a decade later and she’s pushing 40 with three kids.

Unable to recall the last ten years of her life, Alice is surprised to find out that she’s one of those do-it-all moms who is involved in tons of school activities, incredibly organized, and totally fit.  Unfortunately she’s so focused on her life that she has little regard for those around her (and quite frankly, she’s not such a nice person).  Even harder to grasp—she’s separated from her husband Nick. Once the perfect couple, she can’t comprehend what could have caused them to lose their love for each other.

As names of people are mentioned and flashes of memories come into Alice’s mind, she is unable to place them.  Caught between her younger simpler self and her older supercharged self, she has to examine the fragments of her life to determine who she really is and what is most important to her.

Alice’s sister and grandmother not only provide commentary on what is happening but also reveal heart-felt stories of their own.

Who will like this book: Anyone who enjoys trying to figure out the pieces to put the whole story together.

If you like this, try this:  Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret, also by the author.

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

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

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

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Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Author: Katarina Bivald

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, June 2015

Summary/Review: If you are looking for a heartwarming, charming and cozy read, that involves a small town bookstore, this is the book for you! Amy from Broken Wheel, Iowa and Sara from Sweden develop a wonderful correspondence about the books they have read and they mail books back and forth that they want to share with each other. They form a wonderful long distance friendship and Amy asks Sara to visit her old farming town so they can meet and talk books in person. The only problem is the day Sara arrives happens to be the day of Amy’s funeral.

The town adopts Sara immediately and insists that she stay for her two month visit. Broken Wheel is an old farming town that has seen better days and many people have left. The main street is filled with abandoned storefronts and is only one block long! Sara decides to take Amy’s books and open a bookshop and then the magic ensues.

You will laugh out loud, you will recognize the characters and you will shed a tear or two but mostly you will be sad that this book has to end.

Who will like this book:  Anyone looking for a charming quirky read who loves books.

If you like this, try this:  “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, and “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” by Fannie Flagg

Recommended by: Claudia, Technical Services

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

Did You Ever Have a Family?

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Title: Did You Ever Have a Family?

Author: Bill Clegg

Publisher:  Gallery/Scout, September 2015

Summary/Review: Bill Clegg’s devastatingly beautiful fiction debut is portrait of a community in the aftermath of an unspeakable tragedy.  June Reid, the broken woman at the epicenter of the novel, is struggling with a loss so profound she is unable to see beyond her grief, unaware that it has touched many people, uniting them in a web of sorrow, guilt, anger, love, and healing.

Clegg tells their stories with heartbreaking sensitivity and insight; it is an important and timely work as so many communities find themselves facing real-life tragedies today.  I absolutely loved this book.

Who will like this book?: Someone looking for a somber and heartbreaking book which is focused more on the after-effects of a tragedy than the mystery surrounding it.

If you liked this, try this: Bill Clegg has written memoirs before, but this is his debut novel.  If you like his writing style (and want to know more about him) then they might be worth a try.

Recommended By: Mary C, Reference Librarian

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

 

Lucy Barton

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Title: My Name is Lucy Barton

 Author: Strout, Elizabeth

 Publisher: Random House, January 2016

Summary/Review: Elizabeth Strout is one of the best out there when it comes to writing about flawed, complicated women.  As Lucy Barton recovers from a mysterious illness in the hospital, she has a visitor she’s not spoken with in several years – her mother. The visit spans several days, and as their conversation ebbs and flows in intensity, from gossip to family secrets, Lucy’s memories of her painful childhood are revealed in such a way that, even at the end of the story, she remains somewhat of a mystery.   One thing is for certain – the fragile Lucy Barton has a tremendous capacity for love and forgiveness.

Who will like this book?: Someone looking for a female-centric book that focuses on relationships.

 If you like this, try this: Elizabeth Strout is a well-known name, particularly for “Olive Kitteridge” and “Burgess Boys”, so if you enjoy the writing these two may suit you.

 Recommended by: Mary C, Reference Librarian

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!

Reunion of Ghosts

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Title: A Reunion of Ghosts

Author:  Judith Claire Mitchell

Publisher:  Harper, March 2015

Summary/Review:  This book is an absolute perfect balance of humor and sadness, hope and despair, blessing and curse, past and present, reason and insanity.  The story of the Alter sisters and their relatives, living and dead, will not soon leave me.  It’s a family history filled with tragedy (loosely based on the story of the German chemist who invented the poisonous gas used in both world wars).   Lady, Vee and Delph Alter decide they can no longer live with this legacy of guilt, and decide to end it all on the same day in December of 1999. In an interview, the author Judith Claire Mitchell says that when writing “A Reunion of Ghosts” she felt like she was “alone in a bunker with this family.”  It’s that engrossing.  This expertly-written and unique family saga is not to be missed!

Who will like this?   Someone looking for a historical family saga that will cover a huge range of emotion for the reader

If you like this, try this:  Mitchell has written another book, “Last Day of the War” which covers Paris and World War I.  If you’re looking for female-centric family sagas, try Kate Morton or Isabel Allende.

Recommended by:  Mary, Reference

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

Murder House

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Title:   THE MURDER HOUSE

Author: James Patterson

Publisher: Little Brown and Company, 2015

Summary/Review: I know what you’re thinking: not another James Patterson book, he writes one every other month! I felt the same way until I read Murder House – it draws you in from the first page. Usually you find out right in the beginning who the killer is… boring, right? Not this time. There are several different characters. Even the Murder House – 7 Ocean Drive – is a character

There is a beautiful beachfront estate in the Hamptons which was the scene for some gruesome killings that have never been solved. Detective Jenna Murphy, who is from the Hamptons but hasn’t been back since she was a girl, returns after being forced to quit the NYPD. She is given a job by her uncle, the Chief of the South Hampton Police Department.

When a double murder occurs at 7 Ocean Drive and local resident Noah Walker is charged, Jenna takes an interest in the case. She starts to snoop around and that’s when it gets really interesting. There are a lot of questions and more suspects – even her partner Isaac Marks. Then her uncle is killed and another body is found, and there seems to be a pattern with this killer. He likes to cause pain with a sharp object into vital organs.

Jenna requests the help of a rookie, Ricketts, to find out about the owners of 7 Ocean Drive. Without giving too much away this opens up a whole new investigation that will keep you guessing right till the end. The twists and turns are perhaps the best made by James Patterson in a long time. Enjoy the ride. The ending was terrific too.

Who would like this book: A James Patterson lover like me, or anyone who enjoys a thrill ride right to the end!

If you like this, try this: Obviously James Patterson has a number of books out – you’re sure to like at least some of them!

Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation

Is this something you think you’d like?  Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

Man Called Ove

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Title:  A Man Called Ove

Author:  Fredrik Backman

Publisher:  Atria Books, 2014/Dreamscape Media, LLC. (audiobook), 2014

Summary/Review:  Ove is not someone you want to cross paths with.  He is an older man, set in his ways, and not afraid to tell people what he thinks whether they want to hear it or not.  Ove is a man on a mission.  He has only one goal left to accomplish, but it is not going to be easy to achieve it.

As the story switches back and forth from present to past, you get a better understanding of how certain experiences in Ove’s life, especially those involving his youth and wife, shaped his personality and outlook.  The supporting characters provide a unique link to Ove’s daily routine.  There is a great importance of how timing affects everything.

This book will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the people (and animals) in your life.  The story will stay with you long after the book ends.  It is a strong read from start to finish and an excellent choice for book clubs.  It will easily top your favorites’ list.

Added note:  The reader (and known actor) on the audiobook is exceptional, painting a clear image of Ove and the rest of the cast.

Who will like this book: Anyone looking for the next best book.

 If you like this, try this:  The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

If you think this is a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

We Are Called to Rise

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Title: We Are Called to Rise   

Author: Laura McBride

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, May 2014

Summary/Review: The mother of a returned Iraq War veteran, a young Albanian boy, an injured soldier and a volunteer social service worker have lives and stories that intersect in this debut novel set in Las Vegas. The novel is told through the four voices of these characters. We learn much about their backgrounds and the many issues that make up their stories.  Through the mother Avis we also learn about the husband who is divorcing her, their troubled son and his wife. Their family issues and losses are profound. Through the soldier Luis, recovering in a hospital, we learn about his loving grandmother who has looked after him his whole life. Through the little boy, Bashkim we come to know his whole family, the issues these new immigrants are faced with and a great tragedy that brings all of these characters together.  This book is filled with emotion and will leave you with much to think about.  I really like the title of this book because in spite of the tragedy and sadness, each character rises toward hope with courage and compassion.

Who will like this book?  This book will appeal to a wide-range of contemporary fiction readers. It has well-developed characters that you care about along with an engaging writing style.

If you like this, try this:   Shotgun Lovesongs by Nicholas Butler; The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris

Recommended by:  Jan, Administration

Does this look like a book you’d like to read?  Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

Boy, Snow, Bird

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Title: Boy, Snow, Bird

Author: Helen Oyeyemi

Publisher: Riverhead Books, March 2014

Summary/Review: A loose retelling of the story of Snow White, Boy, Snow, Bird deals with the issues of jealousy, race, family, and identity.  Set in Massachusetts during the pre-civil rights era, Boy Novak Whitman is surprised when her newborn daughter, Bird, is born with dark skin. Unbeknownst to Boy, her husband Arturo and stepdaughter Snow, as well as most of his family, are African Americans passing for white.  Aware of society’s, and her in laws’, idea of beauty leads to Boy’s jealousy and resentment of light skinned Snow and an evil stepmother is born.

Told through the voices of more than one of the complex characters in this novel, Boy, Snow, Bird is a great choice for book groups and anyone who likes multilayered fiction. You won’t be bombarded with parallels to Snow White’s story, but you will catch a glimpse of her from time to time.

Who will like this book? Someone who enjoys loose retellings of fairy tales.  Someone who is looking for a book that will leave them thinking about it.

If you like this, try this: If you enjoyed the fairy tale retelling, try The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  These stories are more popular in young adult and children’s, including the Grimm trilogy by Adam Gidwitz, multiple series by Shannon Hale, and more.

Recommended by:  Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

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

Peach Keeper

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Title: The Peach Keeper

Author: Sarah Addison Allen

Publisher: Bantam Books, 2011

Summary/Review: Ever since Willa Jackson moved back to her Southern hometown of Walls of Water she has chosen to lead a quiet life away from society’s rich townspeople and the disgrace of her family name. However, when the 75th anniversary gala of the Women’s Society Club, which was co-founded by her grandmother, was announced strange things began to happen.

The event was being held at the glorious Blue Ridge Madam, a house that Willa’s family once owned and later lost generations ago to financial trouble. After years of neglect, the house was being restored by Paxton Osgood, a former classmate and current president of the club.

While renovating the property the only peach tree was removed unleashing a dark secret that was buried deep within its roots, leaving skeletal remains and a spiritual presence. As Willa and Paxton try to piece together the mysteries surrounding the tree, they learn more about their families than they ever knew and discover what true friendship really means.

Who will like this book: Anyone who enjoys a good story that deals with family secrets, friendship, love, and a bit of mystic.

If you like this, try this: The Girl Who Chased the Moon or Garden Spells, also by Sarah Addison Allen.

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

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