Posted by Book Mavens on 2nd May 2013
Title: Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Author: Therese Anne Fowler
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, April 2013
Summary/Review: The romantic and tumultuous lives of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald are vividly portrayed in this exceptional novel by Therese Fowler. Though Zelda and her family had misgivings about her marrying the young army lieutenant, she and Scott were married a week after his first novel, “This Side of Paradise”, was published. The couple’s rapid rise to celebrity status and the temptations that come with sudden fame and fortune led to lives that were full of great successes and even greater failures.
Dubbed “the first American flapper” by her husband, Zelda plays up the role and becomes the inspiration for many of Scott’s female characters. Life does not imitate art, however, in the lives of the Fitzgeralds’. From all outward appearances, Zelda and Scott seem like fun loving, carefree Jazz Age icons. Only those closest to the couple can see the toll that Scott’s excessive drinking and Zelda’s misdiagnosed mental illness is taking on their lives.
Struggling to find her own identity while her husband continues to manipulate her life, Zelda’s triumphs are overshadowed by her husband’s failures. This novel will draw you in from the start and never let go. Both irresistible and tragic, Fowler’s portrayal of Zelda gives us a new understanding of a woman, though on the edge of greatness in her own right, is never allowed to live up to her potential.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
Who will like this? Fans of historical fiction and anyone interested in life during the Roaring Twenties.
If you like this, try this: “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain or “The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin.
Think this looks good? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!
Tags: 2013 Releases, History, Mental Illness, Relationships
Posted in Fiction, Historical | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 25th April 2013
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.
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!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Family, Memoir, Mental Illness
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 11th April 2013
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!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Relationships
Posted in Fiction, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 7th March 2013
Title: Rage Against the Dying
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!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Crime, Detective, Murder
Posted in COMING SOON, Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 28th February 2013
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!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Charles Lindbergh, Family, historical fiction, Relationships
Posted in Fiction, Historical | 1 Comment »
Posted by Book Mavens on 21st February 2013
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!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Friendship, Racism, Relationships, Segregation
Posted in Fiction, Historical, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 8th December 2012
Author: By Amity Gaige
Publisher: Grand Central, 2013
Summary/Review: Erik Schroder is writing a letter to his estranged wife. It is an apology and an explanation as to why he felt compelled to kidnap their daughter. Writing from the correctional facility from which he awaits trial, Erik recounts his life and the choices he’s made that have brought him to this point.
Soon after fleeing East Germany with his father, a young Erik made his first mistake, the ramifications of which were not fully realized until several years later. This lie, his invention of a new name and life history on a summer camp application seemed harmless enough at the time. Out of desperation to leave his German roots and Boston home behind him, Erik Schroder becomes Eric Kennedy. It is as Eric Kennedy, not Erik Schroder that he attends summer camp, goes off to college, falls in love and gets married. It is as Eric Kennedy that he kidnaps his daughter, but it is as Erik Schroder that he now sits in jail.
This is a moving and thought provoking novel that will demand discussion, making it a great choice for book groups. The moral and ethical issues that arise, as well as who may be Erik’s most sympathetic victim, are all fodder for a lively conversation.
Who will like this?: Someone who’s looking for a book that will cause a lively discussion.
If you like this, try this: “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock touches on this subject, though in a very dark way. “Room” by Emma Donoghue shows an alternative viewpoint, of the kidnapped rather than the one kidnapping.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if this book is available, or to place a hold on it! [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2013 Releases, Crime, Family, Kidnapping
Posted in COMING SOON, Fiction, Literary | No Comments »