Category Archives: Favorites

What is the Best Book You’ve Read This Summer?

Let us know what books you’ve been reading and loving this summer! Simply fill out and submit a raffle entry at either the Main Library or Fairfield Woods Branch Library for a chance to win a bag of great books. Here are some book suggestions we’ve already received from patrons :

The Royal We by Heather Cocks

“Royal watchers and chick-lit fans alike will delight in this sparkling tale.” ~PW

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, click  here to see if it’s available or to place a hold.

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

“…the novel effectively melds intrigue, romance, and gloss into an engrossing tale of a woman struggling to get out from under the weight of crushing expectations”. ~Booklist

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, click  here to see if it’s available or to place a hold.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

“Danler’s debut captures the wild abandon of youth set free in a environment where there are no rules.~ Library Journal

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, click  here to see if it’s available or to place a hold.







Guest Room


Title: The Guest Room

Author: Chris Bohjalian

Publisher: Doubleday, January 2016

Summary/Review: In the blink of an eye, Richard Chapman’s home goes from bachelor party venue to bloody crime scene in this riveting novel by Chris Bohjalian.

No one could have predicted the carnage that would occur, or imagine the tragic events that led to the doomed party.  As alcohol and indiscretions abound, two young women, or the “hired” entertainment, make a desperate life or death decision that will have tragic repercussions for all.

Chris Bohjalian is a master of writing a woman’s point of view, and this novel is no exception. The Guest Room doesn’t just bring to light one of the many terrible crimes committed against women throughout the world, but brings the horror into our lives, and into our homes.

Who will like this book?:  Someone who is looking for a literature-focused thriller with a deeper meaning.  Someone who doesn’t shy away from difficult or controversial topics.

If you liked this, try this:  If you’ve read (and loved) Chris Bohjalian before, this won’t be an exception.  However, the style is different from previous books.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

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!



Lucy Barton


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!

Man Called Ove


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!

Delicious Foods


Title: Delicious Foods

Author: James Hannaham

Publisher: Little Brown & Company, March 2015

Summary/Review: The story begins with Eddie, who has recently escaped a mysterious company called Delicious Foods. His mother, Darlene, is still working there. Eddie has no hands, he’s estranged from his relatives, he’s poor and distraught about his mother, but he is ultimately good-natured and ready to emerge with a new life. The real struggle is with Darlene, Eddie’s mother. In her past life she would be described as a grieving widow whose husband was murdered, a hard-working, educated, beautiful, and caring mother. In her new life Darlene is addicted to crack cocaine, prostituting herself, neglecting Eddie, abusing herself and others and, ultimately, losing her mind – until she is saved by Delicious Foods, who offer a wonderful new dream filled with hope, redemption, hard work, and a rampantly dark underbelly.

Reading reviews you might think this story is focused on drugs – after all, the drugs have their own chapters, told from their point of view. You might think it’s about a mysterious company, Delicious Foods, and all the horrible things that go on in a place where you keep people addicted to drugs and brainwashed. You might even think that it’s about Eddie, and his struggle to regain a new life. But the truth is that the book is about all of these things yet none of these things. It’s a beautifully written book. It’s the type of book you have to read slowly because it takes a long time to convince yourself you’re not there, experiencing these things. You could probably call it a mystery thriller, but that wouldn’t accurately describe its deep literary roots. The truth is that “Delicious Foods” is indescribable – you just need to read it. It’s wonderful, magnetic, heart-breaking, scary, thrilling, hilarious, and poetic.

Who will like this book?: Someone that doesn’t shy away from dark topics such as race, addiction, and hopelessness. Someone looking for a read that’s thrilling but deep and literary.

If you like this, try this: James Hannaham has written one other book, “God Says No”, which is probably worth a try. I honestly can’t think of a book similar to this one, so you’ll need to try it yourself!

Recommended by: Lauren O

If you think this is 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.

Blind Date With a Book

We wrapped up our “Blind Date With a Book”  program and patrons had plenty of opinions!  Here are some of our favorites:

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson:

Patron rated it: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  1/2♥

What did our patron have to say about it?: “I think I will still prefer Simenon, Parker, MacDonald, Christie. Gritty/graphic/gothic/noir has to be incredibly clever to be really entertaining. This comes close to doing that. Thanks.”

The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell:

Patron rated it:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What did our patron have to say about it?: “I thought this was a great idea! This was a book I wouldn’t have thought to try on my own, but I actually enjoyed it once I got started! I might even look up another book by this author. Thanks!”

The Returned by Jason Mott:

Patron rated it:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First impression? : So-So

How was it?: Better than expected

The Keep by Jennifer Egan:

Patron rated it:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First impression?: Love at first sight!

How was it?: WOW!

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman:

Patron rated it: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First impression?: Love at first sight!

How was it?: WOW!

 The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers:

Patron rated it:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First impression?: Love at first sight!

How was it?: WOW!

 The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood:

Patron rated it:   ♥ ♥ ♥

How was it?: OK

How likely are you to try this book again?: Definitely


But that’s not all! Here are some things our patrons had to say about the program:

“While I enjoyed the book, I absolutely loved the display and the whole idea around Valentine’s Day/Blind Date.  Fantastic!  Please do it again.”

“I thought the whole ‘Blind Date” was charming and challenging.  Congratulations to the person who came up with the idea.  It was great fun.”


We’ve got a few more things to work out before our next program – some of our picks didn’t go over so well.  But, we got a great suggestion, too!  “The only downside was my 7-year old wanted to check one out, too, and didn’t know why you didn’t do it with children’s books!  Keep up the good work, FPL!”


Here’s to one of our favorite programs – hopefully we’ll be able to do it again next year!


Next week, we’ll bring you the FPL Staff Picks for 2014!  But if you’d like to get a head-start on your holiday shopping, here are some other published “Best of” Lists!  All of them will open in a new tab, to make it nice and easy to compare!



Huffington Post

New York Times


Publisher’s Weekly

Wall Street Journal

One of the big winners is Anthony Doerr’s “All The Light We Cannot See”, who came to FPL.  Some others include “Euphoria”, “On Innoculation”, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and “Station Eleven”.  Think any great ones were missed?

We’ll be back next week with our staff picks!

All the Light we Cannot See


Title: All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Publisher: Scribner, May 2014

Summary/Review: It is 1934 and Marie-Laure is just 6 years old when she loses her sight. Her father, the principle locksmith for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, teaches her well how to adjust to her blindness. As she grows, Marie-Laure’s curiosity and intelligence blossom even as the threat of a world war looms. When Hitler and his army begin their attempt to dominate Europe, Monsieur LeBlanc must flee Paris with Marie-Laure ahead of the impending invasion.

It is 1934 and 8 year old Werner Pfennig and his sister Jutta are living in an orphanage in Germany. Their favorite pastime of building and fixing radios, and listening to broadcasts from all over Europe, becomes increasingly difficult as the Nazi party begins to censor what German citizens are allowed to listen to. Before they are completely cut off from the outside world, Werner and Jutta see and hear enough to be frightened of what their country and countrymen are becoming. As Werner gets closer to his 15th birthday and his obligatory job in the local mine, an opportunity arises that will change his life forever.

All the Light We Cannot See is the mesmerizing story of Marie-Laure and Werner and their struggle to survive in a world at war. On opposite sides but so very alike, both are thrust into situations that they cannot control and their palpable fear and frustration can be keenly felt. Doerr’s writing is nothing short of perfect. I was absolutely captivated by this novel and I now consider it one of my top 10 favorite novels of all time.

Who will like this?:  Someone looking for a historical novel on World War II. Someone who is not afraid to take an emotional journey through war – be prepared for characters that will stay with you.

If you like this, try this:  Book Thief by Marcus Zusak or Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  If you enjoyed Anthony Doerr’s writing style, he has written other books, including “The Shell Collector” and “Memory Wall” (short stories) and “About Grace”, a novel.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

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 place a hold!

Staff Favorites (2013)

As the year 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to reflect on the books that we loved that were released this year.  See something you like?  Find a similar book by clicking on the tag!

Our big winner, with the most recommendations, was “Light Between Oceans“.  We can’t wait until the 2014 books come out!

Our Favorites – 2009

 You’ll find something for everyone on this list. Happy Holidays from the staff of the Fairfield Public Library!


A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Beyond the Sky and the Earth by Jamie Zeppa

Beautiful story of a Canadian girl who left her boyfriend and Grad school behind to teach school children in Bhutan. Falls in love with people and culture. Wonderful descriptions of landscapes and people.



Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy.

Each story is a gem unto itself; I am pointing everyone in Maile Meloy’s direction if they want to know how a good short story is written

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Columbine by Dave Cullen 

The riveting real story behind the infamous school shooting. If you think the killers were trench coat wearing outcasts, you will be surprised, shocked, and ultimately saddened.

Cost by Roxanne Robinson


Damn Good Food by Mitch Omer and Ann Bauer 

Mitch is the Hunter Thompson of the cooking world.  He has the edge over Anthony Bourdain because Mitch Omer is probably certifiable.  But Hell’s Kitchen (the restaurant) with its blood red and black décor is an undeniable success.  In Damn Good Food Mitch Omer shares the recipes that led to that success

 Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

Distant Land of my Father by Bo Caldwell


Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

 Just where does our food come from?  And how can we continue to justify eating it once we know? A great book that is as much about the ‘why’ as it is the ‘how.

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville

Gridiron Gauntlet by Andy Piascik

Half-broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh


The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

In A Single Bound by Sarah Reinertsen

About the first female above-the-knee amputee to finish the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann


Lit by Mary Karr

Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict 

Loved this book, and hoped it would be chosen for One Book One Town!

Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Set on the island of Bougainville, near Papua New Guinea, where inhabitants are victims of war. Mr. Pip who is the only white person on the island becomes the island’s teacher and uses Great Expectations as his teaching tool. He teaches the children to connect their own stories with that of the Dickens book using metaphors. The narrator is a 13 year-old student. Much violence and danger ensues and the narrator is fortunate to escape the island


Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life by Bill Mitutaglio

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Never Die Easy by Walter Payton

This book is a few years old, but so amazing!

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout


Open by Andre Agassi

Andre’s own story including his very focused childhood (or lack of childhood) and his drive to be the best in a sport he never really liked.  If you follow tennis at all, this book is a must

The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer and Back by Kathleen Russell Rich

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum

I have a friend who uses the term “food porn” to describe a cookbook like this. Each cake is lovingly photographed and makes you want to spend time in the kitchen recreating a beautiful treat.   Here’s a tip:  Follow Her Directions. She knows what she’s doing – really.  Don’t think you’re cool and start substituting ingredients or skipping steps or using the wrong size pan.  You will fail miserably.  To see what can happen take a look at Cake Wrecks by Jen Yates.


Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Stitches by David Small

Think you have a messed up family? Think again…

Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo


The Art of Making Money by Jason Kersten

This book is about a very successful counterfeiter – a man with a lot of talent but he can’t keep a secret.  Art Williams is likeable and you even find yourself rooting for him against the odds.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

You might think you know the story from the recent film, but the book also details the fascinating evolution of the game of football and the offensive line, and a serious discussion of talent, poverty, and the reality of the American Dream.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

No one is killed by strange Greek monsters or evil, blood thirsty vampires but I liked it anyway.

The Last Child by John Hart

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, book 5) by Rick Riordan

 I finally understood the attraction of Greek Mythology after completing the Olympians series.  Drop a few harpies and a Cyclops or two into midtown Manhattan and you’re going to see some serious mayhem. Start reading the series now – the movie will be out in February 


The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney 

A stunning adaptation of the Aesop fable by artist Pinkney.  An almost wordless text conveys the tale that illustrates the power of an act of kindness. 

The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright

About an ordinary family formerly from London when prodigal daughter returns from prison and brings the love of family together. Well written


The Sisters Antipodes by Jane Alison

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

The plot concerns a longtime relationship between a Parsi woman and her maid in Mumbai, India. Both compassionate characters. A horrific incident changes their relationship. Elegantly written.

The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer

Not your run-of-the-mill story of a marriage, but refreshingly different.


The Strain (Book 1 of The Strain trilogy) by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan. 

This is a scary book.  The vampires in this book are not cute, sexy or romantic.  They do not have big soulful eyes, good manners and silly hair.  They are vicious killers and they are determined to multiply.

 The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

 Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi


 Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis

Unaccustomed Earth by  Jhumpa Lahiri

Under the Dome by Stephen King 

Stephen King is a consummate storyteller and Under the Dome is over 1,000 pages of great story.  He has the enviable ability of bringing you into his world with such skill that you never quite notice when the “normal” turns into the “not normal.”  


When Skateboards will Be Free by Said Sayrafiezedah

This might be the most fascinating memoir of the year – a half-Iranian kid growing up in a strictly socialist household who grows up to work for…Martha Stewart. Very rewarding.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Yummy! Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins


Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Hurricane Katrina was a disaster, but the aftermath was a tragedy. This story is unforgettable, and should be read by just about everyone.