Chanel Bonfire

channel

Title: Chanel Bonfire

Author: Wendy Lawless

Publisher: Gallery Books, 2013

Summary/Review: Growing up with an alcoholic, narcissistic, and mentally ill mother was by no means easy for Wendy and her younger sister Robin. Keeping the severe dysfunction hidden behind closed doors was even harder. Wendy, the dutiful older daughter, became the glue that held her family together despite the neglectful and manipulative ways of her mother Georgann. Robin on the other hand, had very little patience for her mother’s shenanigans.

Always on the lookout for a rich man and living beyond her means, Georgann moved the girls to New York, London, and Boston (just to name a few) in search of the life she felt she deserved. All the while Georgann maintained that the girls’ biological father had a new family and no longer wanted them. Manipulation was her forte, telling the girls things like “My doctor thinks that if you and your sister appreciated me more, I wouldn’t be so depressed” and “…my doctor thinks that it’s because of you girls that I drink”. As Georgann’s behavior became more erratic and dangerous, the two sisters did all they could to break free from their mother’s grip and live their own lives.

Similar to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, this is a memoir loaded with family dysfunction that reads like a novel and is told with self-reflective honesty and more than a little humor.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

Who will like this?: Someone looking for an amusing memoir that still deals with difficult issues.

If you like this, try this:  The author has a very similar writing style as Jeannette Walls (Glass Castle), so you may want to try out some of her memoirs.  Additionally, Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” also deals with difficult issues while still speaking through humor.

If this looks like a book you’d enjoy reading, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and to place a hold!

Touch & Go

touch and go

Title: Touch and Go

Author: Lisa Gardner

Publisher: Penguin Group, 2013

Summary/ Review: This is a fast moving story about kidnapping, betrayal, and revenge. The narrator and protagonist, Libby Denbe, is married to Justin, for almost 20 years. They have a beautiful 15 year old daughter, Ashlyn, but lately things have been troublesome between the couple. Drug addiction, infidelity, and distance, have been plaguing the couple and they have been working at get things back to where they once were. Justin is a handsome businessman who is the owner of his family’s construction company and Libby is an artist and loving mother. One night tragedy strikes this family and they are assaulted and kidnapped by three terrorizing men. The Boston FBI and New Hampshire sheriffs’ Department has to work alongside investigator Tessa Leoni to help recover the family safely all the while trying to pinpoint the source of the kidnapping. The author takes you on a rollercoaster ride page after page. The development of this tale continually unfolds in all new directions. There are so many twists and turns in this story that it will keep you guessing up until the very end.

Who will like this book: Anyone who is interested in crime drama infused with dynamic family plots.

If you like this, try this: Lisa Gardner has written numerous books with similar story lines along with returning characters such as Tessa Leoni. Other authors to read would be Karen Rose and Heather Graham. For a more sinister and dramatic plot, turn to Gone Girl, by Gillilan Flynn. You will not be disappointed.

Recommended by: K.C., Circulation Assistant

If this looks like a book you’d like to try, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and place a hold!

The Storyteller

storyteller

Title: The Storyteller:

Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Atria Books, 2013

Summary/Review: This is a story about a young girl named Sage who is a baker in New Hampshire and the friendship she begins with a very old man. Sage is a lonely girl who has a very difficult time accepting her mothers death. She joins a group and there she meets Josef. They both have hidden secrets and scares both on the inside and outside.

As their friendship evolves Sage learns a very terrible secret about Josef that he has keep for 70 years. Josef then asks Sage for forgiveness and to help him die for what he did. Without giving to much away the story continues with Sage’s struggle with what she knows and what to do about it.

She finally confides in a Department Of Justice Attorney named Leo. The story then goes into great detail of a truly horrible thing that happened a long time ago. All the characters Sage, Josef her grandmother Minka and Leo come together with a surprising connection.

This story is very moving and  educational in a lot of respects. You will not want to put it down because you need to know what happens to all the people in the story. The end has a twist that you will not see coming. I feel this is one of Jodi Picoult’s best novels, because she puts two unlikely characters together and it really works. Plus she put a lot of history in this book to. I think people who like drama, suspense,  history and a little romance will like this book.

Who will like this book?: Adults or older teens looking for an emotional book that will leave you thinking.

If you liked this, try this: Jodi Picoult has a number of other books, including “The Pact” and “Nineteen Minutes”.  You may also enjoy “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation

If you think you’d like to read this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog, where you can check if it’s available and place a hold!

What Dies in Summer

what dies in summer

Title: What Dies in Summer

Author: Tom Wright

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co, 2012

Summary/Review: This is a debut novel that is packed with so much emotion and surprises you won’t be able to put it down. The story is narrated by one of the main character James- also known as Biscuit. He, along with his cousin Lee Ann (also known as L.A.), and their Grandma live together in Dallas Texas. They were brought together by unfortunate circumstances. The story begins with the two cousins just doing what normal teenagers do, hanging out and trying to stay out of trouble. They soon discover a dead body in the woods and then everything seems to start spiraling out of control.

Family secrets are revealed, and more dead bodies are found. You will not want to put this book down until you have read the very last page. It brings everything together-family bonding, first love, and terrible secrets.

Who would like this: Anyone who enjoys books with a lot of characters and different stories.

If you like this, try this: Books by Mary Higgins Clark. She always has a bunch of characters but they’re easy to keep straight.

Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation

If you’d like to put a hold on this book and/or see if it’s available, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog!

My Mother Was Nuts

my mother was nuts

Title: My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir

Author: Penny Marshall

Publisher: Brilliance Audio, 2012

Summary/Review: Penny Marshall reminisces about growing up in the Bronx, where she spent most of her time in her mother’s dance studio. She talks about her accidental introduction into acting and her later transition into directing. Her brother Garry may have initially opened the door for her, but Penny’s dedication and talent secured her place in Hollywood. Best known for her role on Laverne & Shirley and as director of Big and A League of Their Own, Penny gets up close and personal on her first marriage and entrance into motherhood, her second marriage to Rob Reiner, and relationship with Art Garfunkel (who knew?!). Surrounded by famous friends (Carrie Fisher and John Belushi–to name a few), Penny offers up many private and often humorous moments.

I loved that the audio book was performed by Penny Marshall, however, I wish she did less “reading her book” and more “telling her story”.

Who will like this book: : In addition to Laverne & Shirley fans, anyone with an interest in Hollywood stars or the seventies/eighties would enjoy this book.

If you like this, try this: My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall or Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

To see if this book is available, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog.  We have it available in both audio and print!

Rage Against the Dying

rage against

Title: Rage Against the Dying

Author:Becky Masterman

Publisher: Minotaur Books, March 2013

Summary/Review: If you’re looking for a fast paced thriller that you just can’t put down, look no further. Rage against the Dying, the debut thriller by Becky Masterman, will not disappoint you.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn is adjusting to her new life as a newlywed in Tucson, Arizona. Forced into early retirement after shooting an unarmed suspect, the 59 year old Quinn has seemingly moved on. That is until the Route 66 Killer, the case that has haunted her for years, becomes news once again. Not only the most frustrating unsolved case of Brigid’s career, the Route 66 Killer cost the life of her protégé Jessica Robertson. Now a suspect has confessed and Brigid is once again drawn into this disturbing case. Laura Coleman, the new FBI agent assigned to Route 66, has asked for Brigid’s help but no one can foresee the horror that lies ahead.

This novel has everything: suspense, dark humor, and of course some blood and guts. I sincerely hope Brigid’s story does not end here. Unlike any character I’ve ever read, she is strong, smart, funny, and a little bit of a loose cannon. I can’t wait to see her again.

Who will like this book?: Anyone who’s not afraid of a little gore.  Someone looking for a thriller that they won’t be able to put down.

If you like this, try this:  If you liked Masterson’s writing, be on the lookout for more from her: this is a debut novel, but the story leads itself to more.  If you liked the intensity, try Chelsea Cain, who has a number of books including “Heartsick” and “Sweetheart”.  If you’re looking for the same level of darkness without the gore, try Neil Gaiman.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

This book isn’t quite out yet, but we still have it on order, so visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to place a hold!

Aviator’s Wife

aviator's wife

Title: The Aviator’s Wife

Author: Melanie Benjamin

Publisher: Delacorte Press, January 2013

Summary/Review: This book tells the story of Anne Morrow from time she meets Charles Lindbergh through his death. Although she is the plainest and humblest of Ambassador Morrow’s daughters, Anne is the one who is swept off her feet by the dashing, great aviator. Their adventures and eventual marriage make for a compelling story. The book is aptly named because in many ways Anne gave up her own identity through her devotion to her famous husband. The tragedy of losing their first child and its effect on each of them is a key element. There are other hardships that Anne is forced to deal with including dealing with Charles’ odd behaviors and his constant absence, leaving her to raise her children virtually alone. Through it all, she maintains her pride and strength as she develops her own sense of self. One never knows what really goes on in a marriage, but this well researched fictionalized account will keep you turning the pages.

Who will like this book: Readers who like historical fiction or anyone looking for a good read. If you liked Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife, you will enjoy this book.

Recommended by: Jan, Administration

Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if this book is available and to place a hold!

Calling Me Home

calling me home

Title: Calling Me Home

Author: Julie Kibler

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2013

Summary/Review: A beautiful debut novel about the unlikely friendship between two women, the journey that brings them closer together, and a past of heartbreak and secrets. The novel is told in two voices, Isabelle and Dorrie, a very unlikely pair. Dorrie Curtis is a black single mom in her 30’s who happens to be the hairdresser for eighty nine year old Isabelle McAllister. Isabelle asks Dorrie to drop everything, leave her 2 children to the care of her mother, close up her hair salon and drive her from her home in Texas to a funeral near Cincinnati. Dorrie has no idea what is in store for them when they reach their destination. As the miles pass, both women share the secrets of their past. Nothing prepares Dorrie for the story of Isabelle. As a young woman, Isabelle fell in love with Robert, the black son of her family’s housekeeper, at a time when this was forbidden. The story of Isabelle unfolds in 1939 as a teenager with big plans for her future. That is, until she falls hopelessly in love with Robert. The romance between Isabelle and Robert is strictly forbidden by both families, and also very dangerous for Robert and his family. This was not a time where inter racial relationships were accepted. Isabelle tells her heartbreaking story to Dorrie hoping it will help Dorrie find her own way. Dorrie is struggling with her own feelings towards the new man in her life, afraid to open up her heart to love again, while raising her two children. Neither woman could imagine the impact this trip has on their lives and the bond that grows between them. This story is about falling in love, the deepening of friendships and the power of family, both good and bad, and the turbulent times of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. This is an unforgettable story.

Who Will Like this? Anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Readers who enjoyed “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. A great choice for Book Groups.

If you like this, try this: “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, “Three Good Things” by Wendy Francis, “Lost Art of Mixing” by Erica Bauermeister

Recommended by: Laura, Technical Services Department

To see if this book is available and/or place a hold, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog!

The Fear Index

fear index

Title: The Fear Index

Author:  Robert Harris

Publisher: Knopf, 2012

Summary/Review: If you like to read about the stock market,financial markets worldwide, and are concerned about the gyrations in the markets caused by computers using mathematical formulas for lightning fast trades (Remember the flash crash?) then this work of fiction is for you.

Dr. Alex Hoffmann, the main character, is a mathematical genius and is obsessed with artificial intelligence.  When he is unable to continue his work at CERN(due to a mental breakdown), he turned to the development of  a form of artificial intelligence, VIXAL, that utilizes a set of algorithms to buy and sell financial instruments based on what in reality is known as the VIX or volatility index, otherwise known as “the fear index”. The computers monitor events worldwide, and when the sense “fear” they will buy or sell — depending on the situation. Dr. Hoffmann and his hedge fund company become ultra-rich and everyone is very happy with the working of VIXAL–  until events start to go terribly wrong – starting with an intruder at Hoffmann’s home.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a quotation from Charles Darwin’s Origen of the Species– a work about evolution and natural selection.  At first you may not make the connection between the twists and turns of the plot and the quotation, but as you near the end of the book you realize WHAT has been evolving right under the nose of Dr. Hoffmann.

Recommended by: Sue Z, Reference Librarian

Who will like this?: Those who are interested in Artificial Intelligence and its impact on human life.  Those who are looking for a thriller with lots of twists and turns.

If you like this, try this:  If you liked Robert Harris’ writing, he has a number of other books such as “The Ghost” and “Lustrum”.   If the topic of Artificial Intelligence interests you, try the classic “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur Clarke or “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov.

If you are trying to break into the science fiction genre, try the classic “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card or “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.  More recent science fiction includes the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth.

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and to place a hold!

Yankee Miracles

yankee miracles

Title: Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers

Author: Ray Negron and Sally Cook

Publisher: Liveright, 2012

Summary/Review: If you read this book, not only will you learn the incredible story of Ray Negron who was “nabbed” by former Yankee owner George Steinbrenner (“The Boss” of the Yankees) you will also be transported into the inner sanctum of the Yankees and Yankee stadium, home of the most storied and decorated sports franchise of all time. Ray Negron became a Yankee batboy when he was caught spray painting, or tagging, the wall of Yankee stadium. As “punishment”, Steinbrenner had him work off repainting the wall by becoming a batboy with all the menial tasks assigned a batboy. He became so beloved in the club house that he stayed with the team and professional baseball his entire career. You will read inside stories about Yankee greats from Mantle to Jeter, championship seasons, runner up seasons, and all the ways Negron and sports page heroes actually do give back to their communities. I recommend this book to all sports enthusiasts–especially the Yankee faithful (and you know who you are!)

Who will like this book?:  Someone who loves Yankees, baseball, or sports in general

Recommended by: Mark Z, guest reviewer

Think this looks like a book you’d like to read?  Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and place a hold! [Link will open in a new window]