Category Archives: Fiction

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

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.

Be Frank with Me

Title: Be Frank with Me
Author: Julia Claiborne Johnson
Publisher: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016

Summary/Review: After years of being reclusive, the once famous author M.M. Banning (a.k.a. Mimi) finds herself in financial trouble and commits to writing another book. The editor sends his assistant, Alice Whitley, to keep tabs on Mimi and report back on the book’s progress. Alice has no idea what she’s in for.
Up until now, Mimi’s universe revolved around her son. Frank is a unique ten-year-old who prefers to act like a gentleman rather than a kid. A thrown-back from the 1930s, his ensemble includes a smoking jacket, aviator glasses, and a zoot suit. Frank is a talking encyclopedia, spewing out facts on every topic in a monotone fashion. Unable to relate to other children, he tends to spend his time alone or with adults. Not a fan of change, he has set rules that others must follow and overacts when things are amiss.
Noticeably absent is Frank’s father. His lack of presence keeps Alice wondering about his identity. The only male role model Frank has is Xander, a handy-man of sorts who pops in and out the household regularly.
Without seeing any pages, and getting merely hostility from Mimi, the only feedback Alice has to offer is her observations of the mother/son duo, which are often laugh-out-loud funny. As Alice struggles to keep everyone and everything in check, she finds out there is more to life than finishing a book.
Who will like this book: Anyone who enjoys reading about eccentric characters and their interactions with others.

If you like this, try this: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

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

Forgetting Time

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Title: The Forgetting Time

Author: Sharon Guskin

Publisher: Flatiron Books, February 2016

Summary/Review: A gripping and dramatic novel about holding on to – and letting go of – memories.  Janie is doing her best to raise her son Noah as a single mom, but there are some mysterious things about him that make it so difficult.  Their paths will cross with Jerome Anderson, a psychology professor who is struggling with a medical diagnosis that signifies the end of his career and, ultimately, his life.  As they try to help each other, they are never quite sure if they are doing more harm than good.  Sharon Guskin’s debut is both powerful and thought-provoking.

Who will like this?: Someone who loves inter-connecting stories.

If you like this, try this: If you liked the author’s writing, this is a debut – but be on the lookout for more to come!  If you’re interested in a similar subject, try Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” or, for a spookier take, SJ Watson’s “Before I Go to Sleep”.

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!

Mischling

Title: MISCHLING

Author: Affinity Konar

Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books, September 2016

Summary/Review: On the surface, MISCHLING is a haunting novel about the brutality and depravity inflicted upon “multiples” at the hands of Josef Mengele in Auschwitz. It soon becomes apparent, however, that this novel is an affirmation of the importance and power of family, whatever your definition of family may be.

Precocious twins, Stasha and Pearl, arrive in Auschwitz when they are twelve years old. Their daily survival depends on their memories of the family they are separated from, their devotion to each other, and the bonds they form with the people around them. Perverted attempts are made to alter the meaning of family with names like “Uncle Doctor” for Mengele and “Twin’s Father” for their reluctant caretaker, but it is with their fellow prisoners that the twins forge a new family, not of blood, but of something deeper.

MISCHLING is a beautifully written, powerful reminder of the destructive nature of hate and the redemptive powers of love and hope. Stasha and Pearl will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

Who will like this book?: Someone looking for a book that is beautifully written.  Someone who doesn’t shy away from one of the most difficult topics in one of the most brutal time periods in history.

If you liked this, try this: If you’re interested in World War II historical fiction, try “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, or “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.  If you like Konar’s writing, she does have one earlier novel entitled “The Illustrated Version of Things”.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet


 

 

 

 

 

Title: Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet

Author: H.P Wood

Publisher: Sourcebooks, June 2016

Summary/Review: Ah, turn of the century Coney Island. The sun, the surf, and its newest amusement park Dreamland. Yes, it’s all fun and games until someone dies from the plague. Who better to blame for this scourge than the misfits who work and live along the Boardwalk? Soon it will become a classic battle between “the haves” and “the have nots”, fueled by prejudice and fear of the unknown.

The wonderful, fully developed characters are what make this novel the gem that it is. A story that is atmospheric and reminiscent of a bygone era before wonderment gave way to cynicism and people could still believe in magic. 

Who will like this book?: Someone interested in historical fiction that focuses on the gritty atmosphere of old-time Coney Island.  Someone looking for a book that’s character-driven but dark.

If you like this, try this: This is a debut novel from the author, so if you liked the writing you may have to wait a while until another book is released!  If you liked the Coney Island setting, Alice Hoffman’s “Museum of Extraordinary Things” and Kevin Baker’s “Dreamland” both incorporate the location.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

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

 

 

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