Monthly Archives: December 2009

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.



Author:  Cody McFadyen

Publisher: Bantam, October 2009

Summary: Smoky Barrett is a special agent with the FBI, leading a team that specializes in hunting down and capturing serial killers. While Smoky and several other agents are attending the wedding of one of their own, a woman is pushed from a vehicle in full view of the guests. The victim looks ghostly with a shaved head, pasty white skin, and an undernourished body. Staggering into the wedding party, she lets out a wail and doesn’t stop. The victim is Heather Hollister, missing for more than 7 years – just long enough to be declared dead. As details of Heather’s abduction and captivity are revealed, Smoky realizes they are hunting a killer more cold and calculating than any they’ve seen before.

Abandoned is the fourth in the series by Cody McFadyen, though this is the first that I’ve read. When I started this book, I thought it was a little over-the-top with more sex and violence than needed. Not Quentin Tarantino over-the-top, just a few more details than necessary. As I continued to read, and yes, I continued to read, I found myself drawn into this story and the lives of its characters. I started to believe that it was possible, probable even, that every member of Smoky’s team had a loved one murdered by a serial killer. I realized that it wasn’t really too far-fetched that not only was Smoky’s first husband and daughter murdered in front of her eyes, but she was now raising the daughter of her best friend who was also a victim of murder. In other words, after the first few chapters of this book I was hooked and no longer questioned whether it was realistic or not. I just wanted Smoky to catch the monster before anyone else was killed or, “gulp”, lobotomized. If you like your thrillers with a little more blood and guts than usual, you’ll like Abandoned.

Who will like this book? Fans of  thrillers and suspense novels.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

Harry of Monmouth

Title: Harry of Monmouth

Author: A. M. Maughan

Publisher: W. Sloane Associates, 1956

Summary: This classic novel brings to life Henry V, the victor of Agincourt. From the loss of his mother as a boy to generational based conflicts with his father, Henry IV, and sibling rivalry with his brother, Tom, the young Harry grows to maturity. All hold their breath to see what kind of king he will make and get their true measure of Harry’s worth when he and the English, with their back to the walls, face the French at Agincourt. But more than his wars with France, will Harry ever succeed in winning his true love, Princess Katherine of France?

Who will like this book?: Harry of Monmouth is recommended for those who like their medieval kings in a heroic mode.

If you like this, try this: Good King Harry by Denise Giardina, Fortune Made His Sword by Martha Rofheart, and Henry V by William Shakespeare.

Recommended by: Mona, Reference Associate and Library Lecturer