Category Archives: Fiction

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

Hide

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Title: Hide

Author: Matthew Griffin

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, February 2016

Summary/Review: Matthew Griffin’s debut novel is an honest, realistic look into the lives of of two men in love. Griffin reminds us in our 2016 marriage equality world that not so long ago, gay couples had to hide their authentic selves if they were to carve out any kind of life with each other. Frank and Wendell abandon everything – literally to be together in a hostile post-WWII small Southern town. Does it damage them permanently? Yes. Was it worth it? The answer is also a resounding yes. If you’ve ever wondered if regular people make huge sacrifices to advance civil rights, this novel will answer that question. Hide chronicles the love story of the two young men and their twilight years together. The care they give each other is honest and unedited. Matthew Griffin has created a fascinating, raw story and a powerful tale of two men and the love they share despite having no support from the outside world.

Who will like this book? Someone who’s a fan of books about LGBT people specifically older gay men, aging and end of life care, rural stories, post-WWII stories.

If you like this, try this: Christopher Bram’s Exiles in America, Alice Munro’s Away from Her, and Lisa Genova’s Still Alice.

Recommended by: Philip B., Reference Librarian

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

Guest Room

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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!

 

 

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!

 

Pretty Girls

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Title: Pretty Girls

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: William Morrow, September 2015

*This book contains graphic descriptions of violence, particularly sexual violence against women, so be warned.*

Summary/Review: I found this novel a somewhat interesting read because it describes good, bad, and even horrible relationships, from a woman’s perspective.

Two decades ago the older sister of the two women involved in this mystery was abducted. Her body was never found. This destroys her parents’ marriage and emotionally cripples, to some extent, the remaining two girls’ development. One sister self-medicates with alcohol, drugs and sex. The other buries her misery and eventually marries a successful architect. Together they create a fairy-tale perfect, suburban marriage.

The story takes a terrible twist when the “good daughter” discovers (or does she?) horrible secrets about her architect husband after he is murdered in a mugging gone terribly wrong.

But what are we to believe? Are all his awful secrets actually true? Can he really be involved in a series of abductions and tortures of young women over the years? Is their perfect lifestyle financed by online snuff porn videos? If so, how did this behavior start and how could he have kept this twisted side of his life a secret for so long?

The sisters become almost action heroes as they uncover more and more, and worse and worse facts about their family, the dead husband and the fate of many young women over the years.

There are several dramatic plot twists which will probably blind-side the reader. You don’t want to know what they are in advance. This is a somewhat trashy page-turner so it won’t take long to read if you want to know all the details.

Who will like this book? Someone who’s a fan of criminal procedurals who won’t shy away from graphic violence.

If you like this, try this: Karin Slaughter has a huge repertoire of works, so if you like her writing you’ll have plenty to choose from.  If you’re looking for other crime procedurals written by women, try Lisa Gardner or Kathy Reichs.
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!