Category Archives: Fiction

The Naturalist

Title: The Naturalist
Author: Andrew Mayne
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer; October 2017

Summary/Review:  Dr. Theo Cray is a professor of Bioinformatics. He describes himself as a “biologist who stares at a computer screen and sometimes goes out into the real world.” When a former student, Juniper, is found dead, Theo is an immediate suspect. As the investigation and interrogation by Detective Glenn proceed, it is determined that Juniper was killed by a bear, not a man, and Theo is free to go. But he isn’t really free. Not free from the guilt he feels at having failed Juniper, having not prepared her for dangers that lurk out in the field. Not free from his surety that the police have everything wrong. As Theo investigates on his own he ticks off local authorities but also makes a few friends. As his computer generated hunting pattern yields more and more bodies, and Theo gets closer to finding the truth about the killings, it becomes clear it will be a brain vs. brawn showdown.

This was such an engrossing thriller, I read it in one day. Great writing and short chapters always keep my reading momentum going. Mayne’s writing is humorous and thrilling at the same time. A truly fantastic read and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Who will like this book: For readers who like a fast paced, un-put-downable thriller.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

Uncommon Type

Title: Uncommon Type
Author: Tom Hanks
Publisher: Deckle Edge, October 2017

Summary/Review: Yes, that Tom Hanks.

This is a collection of 17 really wonderful short stories. I admit that short stories have always been an interest of mine, my favorites being from Stephen King, but I am getting off target.

I discovered that Tom Hanks is a “serious” writer in addition to his work on successful screen plays after happening upon his opinion piece in the New York Times about his love affair with the mechanical typewriter (link below) I was most impressed by the author’s ability to create scenes and timeframes as many of these stories take place in the past.

These are really feel-good stories about an immigrant who makes his way in the US, a bowling savant who just can’t seem to roll anything but perfect games when not working at Home Depot, a time traveler who overstays his welcome in the past, a woman who types for the love of the activity — kind of ordinary situations described in a very friendly, relaxed manner nothing like the immediate sound bite copy we have all become used to. An interesting plot line, which runs through many of these tales is the central role the plain old mechanical typewriter plays in forcing the typist to slow down to think about and feel the words being imprinted directly on the paper, not recorded electronically for later editing.

I think heartwarming stories would be a good description of this collection. You will NOT be scared, bothered or distressed. There are no rapes, gratuitous sex or violence to be found here.

Take the time to read at least a few of these. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended by: Mark Z., guest reviewer.

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

Tangerine

Title: Tangerine
Author: Christine Mangan
Publisher: Ecco, March 2018

Summary/Review: Twisted mind games abound in this atmospheric debut novel due out in March 2018. Sweet Alice and fearless Lucy were best friends until a tragic accident fractured their friendship. A year has passed and Lucy has followed Alice to Tangier, Morocco to try to set things right…or so she says. Lucy adapts to her new surroundings quickly while Alice is still struggling to adjust. Feeling manipulated and controlled by her husband and Lucy, Alice begins to suspect Lucy had a darker motive for tracking her down. Perhaps it is all part of a bigger plan.

 

Who will like this book: For readers who like suspense, and who like characters with a sinister edge.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

Staff Picks For March

We have some great recommendations for reading and listening from the Library staff!
Here are some of our favorites for March.

Killer Choice by Tom Hunt
His wife is sick. He needs $200,000 to save her. A mysterious man offers to give him the money with just one catch: he has to murder someone to get it. How far would you go to save the one you love? —Linda                                                                                                                                            For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan
Twisted mind games abound in this atmospheric debut novel. —Sue B                                          For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Handmaid’s Tale, #metoo, and The Hunger Games all come to mind in this genre bending page turner. —Claudia                                                                                                                               For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
Told to us through the voice of a 6 year old, Only Child is the story of a family dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. Excellent debut! —Mary C                                                                For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Torn between a life she once knew and her forever home, an autistic teen tries to figure out where she belongs. —Sharyn                                                                                                                   For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

AUDIOBOOKS:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Smart, funny, sci-fi thriller with 80’s pop culture nostalgia in a futuristic setting. —Jess                  For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Grouchy Historian by Ed Asner
Asner tells us, in his unique style, the story of our constitution, the men who created it and why we need to pay attention. —Jan                                                                                                               For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Everything Old is New Again, Part 2

Did you love reading and/or listening to Fairy Tales and Folk Tales as a child? Adult versions of these same tales have been showing up for years, and have become very popular. Here are some of our favorites:

THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey

“Eowyn Ivey’s exquisite debut transports the reader away to a world almost out of time, into a fairytale destined to both chill and delight. Her portrayal of an untamed Alaska is so detailed you can feel the snowflakes on your own eyelashes, even as her characters’ desperate quest for, and ultimate redemption by, love will warm your heart.” ~Melanie Benjamin, author

THE CRANE WIFE by Patrick Ness

“Ness fashions his mosaic of prose, piecing narrative with snips of a myth-like fable to create a bittersweet story of loss and love. The narrative pace will keep the pages turning, while the imagery and metaphors wound throughout will stay with readers long after they close the book.” ~Library Journal

DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES by Seanan McGuire

“Beautifully crafted and smartly written, this fairy-tale novella is everything that speculative fiction readers look for: fantastical worlds, diverse characters, and prose that hits home with its emotional truths.” ~Library Journal

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden

“Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical.” ~The Washington Post

BOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyeyemi

“With her fifth novel, 29-year-old Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller…[Boy, Snow, Bird is] transfixing and surprising.” ~Entertainment Weekly

ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen

“Jensen’s second novel, a twist on the Peter Pan story which reconceives of Captain Hook as a tragic hero, shows how she’s matured as a writer since her excellent debut, The Witch from the Sea. Jensen’s wonderful imagination and devotion to history and myth allow the reader to fly with her through this outstanding adventure–no fairy dust required.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Every Heart a Doorway

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor, April 2016

Summary/Review: If you have always wanted to try a Fantasy novel but did not know where to start, you might like to try EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, the first installment in the Wayward Children series.

Nancy is the newest student to arrive at Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children, a school filled with children and teens who have suffered the same fate as she. All have returned, somehow, from the fantasy worlds they accidentally discovered and all of them want to find their way back. Their friends and families cannot understand their unhappiness and do not know what to think about the strange stories the children tell about these other worlds. Surely, these stories cannot be true. So the children are sent to Eleanor West who promises to help them heal. Unbeknownst to them, Eleanor knows all too well that the stories are true. She, too, has a desire to return to her secret world when the time is right. Though not everyone will be able to return (some doors are closed forever), Eleanor and her staff can help the children make the most of their lives in the real world.

Shortly after Nancy’s arrival, tragedy strikes one of the students at the school. And then another. Fear grips the students and staff and soon accusations start to fly. Who is responsible for the terrible crimes and how can they be stopped?

A short but engaging novel, it is part mystery, fantasy, and just good story telling. Perfect for adults and older teens, EVERY HEART A DOORWAY has won several awards including the 2017 Hugo Award, 2017 Alex Award, 2017 Locus Award, and the 2016 Nebula Award. DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES is the next title in the Wayward Children series, and BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY, the third book, is due out in January 2018.

Who will like this book: For readers of C.S. Lewis and those who read and liked MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

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

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.