Book Lovers Recommendations August 2020

Recommendations by Sue Lipstein
 
"Color of Air" - Gail Tsukiyama
"Cut to the Bone" - Ellison Cooper
"Death Comes To Durham" - Jeanne M. Dams
"Florence Adler Swims Forever" - Rachel Beanland
"Hamnet" - Maggie O
"The Mist" - Ragnar Jonasson
"Mother Land" - Leah Franqui
"Outsider" - Linda Castillo
"Pull of the Stars" - Emma Donoghue
"What You Wish For" - Katherine Center
 
Color of Air
By Gail Tsukiyama
 
In 1935, Daniel, a young doctor returns to his native Hawaii after practicing medicine in Chicago.  He returns to a family filled with secrets that slowly unravel against the background of the Mauna Loa volcanic eruption.
 
 
Cut to the Bone
By Ellison Cooper
FBI agent and neurologist Sayer  Altair, one of the few black women in this field, is desperately searching for 24 high schoolers whose bus has been hijacked.  Then the first body shows up-and the pressure is on.  The scenes switch from Altair’s investigation to find the hostages, to the hostages themselves, who are plotting an escape.  A page turning thriller.
 
 
Death Comes To Durham
By Jeanne M. Dams
 
Retired American school teacher Dorothy is visiting the historically rich and quaint tourist town of Durham, England, with her husband, a retired English policeman, when the aunt of the friend they are visiting is accused of killing a fellow resident of her nursing home.  The couple are determined to prove her innocence.
 
 
Florence Adler Swims Forever
By Rachel Beanland
 
This family saga, a debut novel, is loosely based on the author’s own family story.  It is 1934 in Atlantic City and Florence Adler is training to swim the English Channel.  In a tragic practice swim, Florence drowns-and her mother decides to keep the death secret from her other daughter, Fannie, who is pregnant and on best rest.  Lots of complications ensue, and there is a tie-in to the tragedy that is unfolding in Germany.
 
 
Hamnet
By Maggie O’Farrell
 
The story of the courtship and marriage of a penniless Latin tutor, who falls in love with an eccentric woman, who knows healing arts and has visions, and what happens when their young son, age 11, dies of bubonic plague.  No matter that the Latin tutor turns out to be Shakespeare-this is a beautiful story that tells us what happens when a couple loses a child.
 
 
The Mist
By Ragnar Jonasson
 
This is the third in the Hidden Iceland series featuring Hulda Hermansdottir.  This novel gives us the background of Hulda’s life while it also involves Hulda in a murder that she tries to solve that brings back her past.
 
 
Mother Land
By Leah Franqui
 
Rachel Meyer has married after a quick courtship and has moved to Mumbai with her Asian-Indian husband.  When her mother-in-law moves in, the two women have to navigate their way between their two cultures and personalities. 
 
 
Outsider
By Linda Castillo
 
Castillo continues her series starring Kate Burkholder as a former member of the Amish community who now serves as the police chief in a small Ohio town, where she uses her knowledge of the Amish to help solve crimes.  In this case, Kate has to help a former colleague find a safe place to hide. Against  her better judgment,  she involves an Amish widower to help her.
 
 
Pull of the Stars
By Emma Donaghue
 
It is Dublin in 1918, and young nurse Julia finds herself in charge of a ward of pregnant women who are fighting to stay alive during the flu pandemic.  The story takes place over the course of 3 days while 3 women have to take charge of a ward on the verge  of disaster.
 
 
What You Wish For
By Katherine Center
 
Center writes what I call “happy books,” and this one is no exception.  A young librarian in a progressive school has to stand up to the new principal whose beliefs are totally opposite to those of the beloved founder of the school, who has unexpectedly died.  And it’s complicated since she once worked with new guy -and has had a crush on him ever since.

Announcing Curbside Concierge

Not sure what your next great read should be? Let us pick for you! Fill out our Curbside Concierge form to let us know your reading habits, likes and dislikes, and our Reader’s Advisors, Children’s Librarians, or YA Librarians will pick a handful of books just for you (or your kids)! 

After we have made our selections for you we will notify you when they’re ready for pickup. Please allow 2-3 business days for us to get your bundle ready. Happy reading!
 
 
 

Book Lovers Recommendations July 2020 Part II

Recommendations by Sue Lipstein
 
A Burning By Magha Majundar
Everywhere You Don
Find Me By Andre Aciman
Girl From Widow Hills By Megan Miranda
The Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
Lakewood by Megan Giddings
Mother Daughter Widow Wife by Robin Wasserman
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
 
A Burning
By Magha Majundar
 
This is a debut novel by an Asian-Indian author.  Jivan, a young Muslim student is falsely accused of being part of a train bombing which left over 100 dead, after she posted comments on social media. Her voice tells the story, as she is framed by over-eager police and the very person who could save her does not want to speak out.
 
 
Everywhere You Don’t Belong
By Gabriel Bump
 
Another debut novel.  Claude is being raised in Chicago by a black activist grandmother.  When she gets in trouble for speaking out, Claude hopes to find safety by attending a college in a small Missouri town-only to find that there is no real safe place to flee in America.  
 
 
Find Me
By Andre Aciman
 
This is the sequel to Aciman’s novel, “Call Me By Your Name,’ which was made into an award winning movie.  Ten years after the romance of Elio and Oliver, we find out what has happened to both of them.
 
 
Girl From Widow Hills
By Megan Miranda
When Olivia was six, she achieved fame and notoriety for being the child who fell into a storm drain while sleep-walking and was rescued alive days later.  She has since moved and changed her name.  Now, her sleep-walking has returned and she wakes up from a walk to find a dead body at her feet.  Her past has returned to haunt her.
 
 
Her Last  Flight
By Beatriz Williams
 
It’s 1947, and Janey is researching the fate of a male wartime pilot who disappeared.  Her search takes her to Hawaii, where she meets a woman who she believes was the pilot’s companion.  As she searches out the truth, a fascinating story emerges about  who the woman is and her true relationship to the missing pilot.
 
 
Home Before Dark
By Riley Sager
 
A supernatural thriller from Sager.  Maggie surprisingly inherits a house from her father, a house she didn’t know he still owned and as it was a home the family had run from 25 years before,  after it appeared to be haunted.  Maggie decides to confront the ghosts from her past by returning to the home.  Of course, trouble ensues.
 
 
Lady in the Lake
By Laura Lippman
 
Set in Baltimore in the 1960’s, middle-aged Maddie has fled her marriage, helps police and gets a job as a reporter.  Now she is determined to help solve a murder, which leads her into lots of trouble.  
 
 
Lakewood
By Megan Giddings
 
Lena is a young black college student who needs to help her family financially.  She is recruited to participate in the Lakewood Project, which is a secretive research project.   She cannot disclose any information to her family
and friends.  All of the experiment’s subjects are persons of color;  all of the observers are white.  What is really going on here?  A debut novel.
 
 
Mother Daughter Widow Wife
By Robin Wasserman
 
Wendy Doe is a woman who has been found with no memory of her past.  She becomes the patient of Dr. Strauss, who gives her case to a young research fellow who soon becomes the married  doctor’s mistress.   The story is told in the voices of four women, and as the story unfolds, not only is the mystery of Wendy Doe solved, but the author shows how one man of power can also act as a sexual predator and impact the lives of women in his life. A good book club book-lots to talk about.
 
 
Trust Exercise
By Susan Choi
 
This is a novel in four parts, beginning with the love story of two high school students.  Each part afterward explains more about what actually happened in innovative  ways. 

Book Lovers Recommendations July 2020

Recommendations by Sue Lipstein
 
"Becoming Wild-How American Cultures Raise Families, Create  Beauty and Achieve Peace" - Carl Safina
"Crooked House" - Christobel Kent
"Friends and Strangers" - J. Courtney Sullivan
"Hid From Our Eyes" - Julia Spence-Fleming
"Kept Animals" - Kate Milliken
"Little Eyes" - Samantha Schweblin
"My Kind of People" - Lisa Duffy
"Seven Lies" - Elizabeth Kay
"Swimming Lessons" - Claire Fuller
"Under the Udala Trees" - Chinelo Okparanta
 
Becoming Wild-How American Cultures Raise Families, Create  Beauty and Achieve Peace
By Carl Safina
 
Safina, a MacArthur “genius,” believes that human beings are not the only animals that create a culture which helps them to survive.  In this non-fiction book, he shows how three different animal species have developed their own cultures.  
 
 
Crooked House
By Christobel Kent
 
The heroine in this psychological thriller has lived quietly under a new name in order to escape the notoriety of her past.  Her new boyfriend asks her to accompany him back to the very village she has run from, and, hoping to save their relationship, she goes back-against her better judgement.  She soon finds herself in danger, as well as others, as she reawakens secrets that had been covered up years before.
 
 
Friends and Strangers
By J. Courtney Sullivan
 
Sam, a college senior, is hired by a new mother and transplant from the city to her small upstate New York village.  The two become friends until their differences begin to emerge, and the tension between them reflects the tensions in society.
 
 
Hid From Our Eyes
By Julia Spence-Fleming
 
The ninth in a series featuring the chief of police in a small town and his wife, an Episcopalian minister.  A dead body is found-and the case reminds the chief of two unsolved murders from the past-and one where he was once considered a suspect.  He has a lot of pressure to solve this case.
 
Kept Animals
By Kate Milliken
 
A debut novel, told from the different perspectives of the characters.  Rory works on a ranch in the west, helping her stepfather.  A tragic accident and forest fire change Rory’s life forever.  Years later, her daughter, Charlie, tries to figure out just what happened the summer she was conceived.
 
 
Little Eyes
By Samantha Schweblin
The little eyes of the title are kentucki-stuffed animals that have cameras in their eyes and can be controlled remotely.  Some people buy the kentucki and others buy the power to control them, and although no one is to have contact with anyone else, the temptation to connect is too strong and the kentucki being to have positive and negative  connections in the real world.
 
 
My Kind of People
By Lisa Duffy
 
Leo and his husband relocate to a small island off the Massachusetts coast to take on the guardianship of Leo’s best friend’s adopted daughter Sky, after both of her adoptive parents die.  The town comes together to help raise Sky, but there are secrets in the town and lots of tension and drama.  Duffy does a great job in creating the small town and its characters, who can be wonderful and awful at the same time.
 
 
Seven Lies
By Elizabeth Kay
In this debut novel, the narrator of this psychological thriller is definitely unreliable – and the story she tells will keep you riveted until the final twist.  Jane tells the story of her childhood friendship with Marnie, which starts to unravel once the two girls become women.  The dark side of female friendships comes to light in this exciting suspense novel.
 
 
Swimming Lessons
By Claire Fuller
 
Two stories are told in this moving novel-the story of the marriage of Ingrid and Gil, which ends when Ingrid disappears off a beach.  The second story is that of the two daughters who have very different memories of the marriage of their parents and who need to learn the truth.
 
 
Under the Udala Trees
By Chinelo Okparanta
 
This debut novel is a coming of age of a young Nigerian woman.  She is sent  away when she is 11 to live with another family to escape the Civil War around her, and she falls in love with some else the family is raising.  The problem is they are both girls, and in the repressive government in Nigeria, two women cannot safely fall in love and live together.  It is a poignant and heartbreaking story.

Adult Summer Reading Club, Now – August 21, 2020

Summer’s here and the time is right for reading on the lounge chair. We’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle and need your help. Join our Summer Reading Club and for each book you read we will add pieces to the jigsaw puzzle. The idea is for everyone to read lots of books, help us add lots of pieces to the puzzle, and complete the puzzle by the end of August to reveal the picture. Sign up on this page through the Registration Form, and tell us what books you’ve read in the Reading List Form. We’ll do the rest. Pictures showing the progress of the puzzle will be posted weekly.

And, best of all, at the end of the club we will randomly draw 12 names from the Reading List entries and give out 12 gift certificates to local restaurants in downtown Morristown. You can participate in the Reading Club from your lounge chair and help us support local businesses at the same time! Please join us. The club runs from now until August 21.

Reading Club Registration Form

Reading List Form

Jigsaw Puzzle Progress

Click on an image to see a larger picture and to scroll through the photos.

We started by doing the edges. That’s 87 pieces. Now we need your help to do the rest.

Week one and we added 48 pieces.
 
 
Week two and we added another 56 pieces. So far you’ve read 26 books.
 
Wow, it’s the third week and you read 28 books this week alone. Great job. We added another 56 pieces.

Week four and another 27 books read and another 54 pieces put into the puzzle.

It’s week five and we added another 42 piece. That’s 343 pieces so far. We’re getting there.

Week 6, rounding the curve, another 34 pieces. It looks like we’re getting there.

Week  7 and we are almost there. You read 38 books this week and we added 38 pieces!

The Basics of Curbside Pickup

There are Three Ways to Request Materials

  1. Browse our Online Catalog
  2. Know the Title and Author? Use our Online Form
  3. Or give us a call at (973) 538-6161

 

What to Know For Pickup

  • Parking spaces for curbside pickup will be designated near the rear parking lot entrance of the Library.
  • You will be notified via email or phone call when your holds are ready for pickup. Please wait until you are notified to come to the library.
  • When you arrive, please call our main line (973) 538-6161 and provide 1.) your name, 2.) vehicle make and color and 3.) parking spot number.
  • Items will then be brought and placed into your vehicle’s trunk.
    • Please pop your trunk before Library staff arrive to ensure safe social distancing practices!
  • If you are walking to the library, please also call upon arrival and your materials will be brought to a table in the parking lot for their retrieval.

 

What about returns?

Please place returns in either of our outside return bins. One is located in our parking lot, across from our back door. The other is located at our South Street entrance, to your left if you are facing the automatic doors.

 

Also Please Note

The State has stopped statewide delivery of library materials.  Until that resumes, MMT Library patrons will only be able to check out MMT Library materials at our location.

 

Library Hours During Curbside Pickup

Monday-Thursday, 11:15 a.m.-6:45 p.m.
Friday, 9:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Saturday, 10:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Closed Sundays

 

You can read our full statement regarding curbside pickup here

Book Lovers Recommendations June 2020 Part II

Recommendations by Sue Lipstein

"All Adults Here" - Emma Straub
"Book of Rosy" - Rosayra Pablo Cruz
"Daughters of Erietown" - Connie Schultz
"Inge
"Ghosts of Harvard" - Francesca Serritella
"Love in the Blitz - the Long Lost Letters of a Brilliant Young Woman to her beloved on the front"- Eileen Alexander
"My Vanishing Country-a memoir" - Bakari Sellers
"Sea Wife" - Amity Gaige
"This is How I Lied" - Heather Gudenkauf
"Wow, No Thank You" - Samantha Irby
All Adults Here
By Emma Straub
 
It’s a multigenerational cast, starting with widowed Astrid, the matriarch, living in a small Hudson valley town, who decides to tell her grown children some secrets about her life.  Her three children have some secrets of their own-and Straub touches on abortion, bullying, IVF, gender identity, sexual predators-but always with sympathy, warmth and as much humor as possible. 
 
 
Book of Rosy
By Rosayra Pablo Cruz 
 
The true story of a woman who took the arduous journey to escape from  violence and crime in  Guatemala to seek asylum in the U.S. with two of her children.  She is forcibly separated from her family at the border.  She is helped by a group called Immigrant Families Together, who also helped to write this book.
 
 
Daughters of Erietown
By Connie Schultz
 
This is the first novel by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Schultz.  It is a family saga of a working class family in Ohio from the mid 1940’s until 1994.  Three generations struggle to better themselves.  The author has a real feel for the characters and for the small town life she portrays.
 
 
Inge’s War: A German Woman’s Story of Family Secrets and Survival Under Hitler
By Svenja O’Donnell
 
Sveja O’Donnell traces her family’s World War II history, uncovering the secrets her family carried with them when her great-grandparents, grandmother, and mother fled their homes in Germany, never to return.
 
Ghosts of Harvard
By Francesca Serritella
 
This is the first novel by Serritella, who also happens to be the daughter of Lisa Scottoline.  Cady is a freshman at Harvard, who has chosen the school partly due to the fact that her older brother committed suicide there, and she wants to find out the truth about his death.  There’s a touch of paranormal here.  A suspenseful debut that also serves as a coming-of-age book.
 
 
Love in the Blitz: The Long Lost Letters of a Brilliant Young Woman to her beloved on the front
By Eileen Alexander
 
This is a collection of letters that Alexander wrote to her beloved from 1939 until 1943. He saved every one of them  and they were found after his death and compiled by a competent editor.  They show a compelling true story of life in war time London.
 
 
My Vanishing Country: A Memoir
By Bakari Sellers
 
Sellers grew up in a small town in South Carolina and is now one of the youngest state representatives in that state.  He wrote this as a tribute to both his father, who befriended Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King, and as a message to his newborn twins, hoping to have them carry on the legacy of his family that he is so proud of.
 
 
Sea Wife
By Amity Gaige
 
The fictional account of a couple who decide to buy a boat and take a year off to sail with their two young children.  The husband is the only one with sailing experience, the wife is a poet and their marriage has hit a rough patch.  That is nothing compared to what they face as they sail.  The story is told mainly through the voice of the very practical husband and the scholarly wife, who never finished her dissertation about poet Anne Sexton.  You will be thinking about this book long  after you have finished it.
 
 
This is How I Lied
By Heather Gudenkauf
 
A  thriller set in Iowa.  Eve, her sister Nola, and Maggie were all teenage friends in their small town.  Then Eve is murdered at age 16 and the murder remained unsolved.  25 years later, Maggie is now a  police detective and wants to reopen the case.  Lots of secrets, lots of small town drama and suspense.
 
 
Wow, No Thank You
By Samantha Irby
 
This is the third collection of essays by humorist Irby, a comedian and blogger, who left fame behind her on the West Coast to live with her wife in a small town in Michigan, where she combines domesticity and edginess.

Book Lovers Recommendations June 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein

"Butterfly Girl"by Rene Denfeld
"8 Perfect Murders " - Peter Swanson
"Happy and You Know It" - Laura Hankin
"Heirloom Garden" - Viola Shipman
"Hell and Other Destinations" - Madeleine Albright
"The Last Romantics" - Tara Conklin
"Prettiest Star" - Carter Sickels
"Rodham" - Curtis Sittenfeld
"Woman of No Importance" - Sonia Purnell
"You Never Forget Your First" - Alexis Coe
 
Butterfly Girl
By Rene Denfeld – 9780062698186
 
This is the second novel featuring Naomi Cottle as an investigator whose forte is finding missing children.  This time, Naomi has pledged to find her own missing sister, a search that leads her to a homeless 12 year old girl in Portland, Oregon, who may hold the key to her missing sister-and may also  be a link to danger to all concerned.
 
 
8 Perfect Murders
By Peter Swanson – 9780062838216
 
Bookseller Malcolm posts a blog about 8 almost perfect murders in mystery fiction, which comes back to haunt him when the FBI shows up to investigate him.  It appears that  several murders have been committed which are copying from his list.  This book pays homage to some of the best mystery writers and their classics-a mystery about mysteries-how can you lose?
 
 
Happy and You Know It
By Laura Hankin – 9781984806253
 
Claire, a struggling young musician in New York City, takes a job singing for a playgroup of privileged children and their mothers on Park Avenue.  To her surprise, Claire enjoys the gig until she starts to become aware of the many secrets and betrayals around her.
 
 
Heirloom Garden
By Viola Shipman – 9781488056437
 
Two women are united by the trauma of war, even though they are generations apart in age.  Iris has been a recluse, spending her time in her garden since receiving news of her husband’s death in World War II.   In 2003, when a young couple moves next door to her, she finds the husband is suffering from PTSD from his time in Iraq.  The two families slowly heal, united by loss and the love of flowers.
 
 
Hell and Other Destinations
By Madeleine Albright-9780062802286
 
Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State, writes about what she has been doing in the nearly twenty years since she left that office.  She has kept herself busy and active and wants women to know that there is no time frame for their lives-they can have as productive a life in their later years as in their youth and middle age.
 
 
The Last Romantics
By Tara Conklin -97870062358226
 
This family saga is narrated by the youngest of four siblings, looking back at their lives.  She writes this  in the year 2079, when she is now 102 and a renowned poet. She starts the story in 1981, when her father died, resulting in her mother’s depression, leaving her and her three siblings to practically raise themselves.  The characters are well-developed and the plot is unpredictable.
 
 
Prettiest Star
By Carter Sickels – 9781938235634
 
It is 1986, and Brian, a young man who left his small Appalachian town when he was 18, six years before, to  live a free and open life as a gay man, now finds his life and future decimated by the AIDS epidemic.  He writes to his mother, asking if he can return home.  A poignant novel that rings true.
 
 
Rodham
By Curtis Sittenfeld – 9780399590924
 
What if Hillary Rodham Clinton had never married Bill Clinton?  Sittenfeld starts with this premise and creates an imaginary life for a real person, integrating actual historical events into a novel that intriguingly asks and answers the question  “what if?”  The real Hillary has probably asked herself this question more than once.
 
 
Woman of No Importance
By Sonia Purnell- 9780735225305
 
Virginia Hall was a Baltimore socialite who became a spy in World War II.  Purnell used new and extensive research to uncover the life of a woman who definitely was one of the unsung heroes of World War II.  Her story would be considered unbelievable-except that it is true.
 
 
You Never Forget Your First
By Alexis Coe 9780835224124
 
A biography of our first President with lots of information that you may never have learned in school.  Most biographies of Washington have been written by men, and Coe believed it was time for one written from the perspective of a woman.  This well researched book discusses how Washington was raised by a single mother, was quite a ladies man until he married Martha, lost more military battles than he won, and did not wish to be President.  He struggled to control partisan backstabbing even in his own administration.  After the Presidency, he had to deal with his own homefront issues-including the hundreds of slaves that our first President owned.  

Book Lovers Recommendations May 2020 Part II

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein

Animals at Lockwood Manor – Jane Healey
Big Finish – Brooke Fossey
Book of Longings-Sue Monk Kidd
Family for Beginners – Sarah Morgan
Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs  – Jennifer Finley Boylan
Henna Artist – Alka Joshi
It Bleeds – Stephen King
Know My Name – Chanel Miller
Saint X – Alexis Schaitkin
Simon the Fiddler – Paulette Jiles

 

Animals at Lockwood Manor
By Jane Healey

This is a debut novel set in England in 1939.  Hetty Cartwright, only 30 and single, is given the responsibility of taking care of the mammal collection of a London natural history museum when it is moved to an isolated manor house to be safe from the blitz.  Hetty soon finds mystery in the old mansion, owned by the mysterious Major Lockwood, who lives there with his troubled daughter.  A gothic novel with a few modern twists.

 

Big Finish 
By Brooke Fossey

A debut novel.  Two elderly residents of an assisted living center in Texas find their lives up-ended when the grand-daughter of one of the room-mates crashes into their room looking for a safe place to hide from her abusive boyfriend.  The two decide to help her out, even if it means they might be evicted.

 

Book of Longings
By Sue Monk Kidd

This is the fictional account of a young woman living in the time of Jesus.  In fact, in this novel, she meets Jesus when he is 18 years old-and she marries him.  They live for a time with his family, until Ana, who never conforms to the dictates of society, has to flee to Alexandria.  The author treats the life of Jesus in a respectful and reverential manner.  

 

Family for Beginners
By Sarah Morgan

Flora Donovan is a single woman in New York City who finally meets the man of her dreams.  Of course, he comes with baggage-he is a widower with two children, one of whom is a surly teenager who does not want a new mother.  Flora goes with them on a family vacation and finds that the future of her being part of this family is at stake.

 

Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs
By Jennifer Finley Boylan

Boylan is a New York Times opinion columnist and human rights activist.  In this book, she explores the age old topic of giving and receiving love through her relationships throughout her life with seven special dogs.  

 

Henna Artist
By Alka Joshi

A debut novel.  This is set in India in the 1950’s, eight years after India’s independence from Britain.  Lakshmi has escaped from an abusive marriage and has made a life for herself as a henna artist.  When her younger sister needs to live with her, Lakshmi finds that she now needs to put her family first.  

 

It Bleeds 
By Stephen King

Four novellas from the legendary storyteller and master of horror and suspense returns with four novellas.  If you don’t like one, go on to the next.  And if you do like them, you’ve got four great stories to enjoy.  You really have nothing to lose.

 

Know My Name
By Chanel Miller

Chanel Miller wrote an anonymous victim input statement when the young man who sexually assaulted her on the Stanford campus was convicted but only given 6 months in the county jail.  There was such a tremendous reaction to her statement that it gave her the courage to come out of the shadows and tell her story using her name and face.  She is a wonderful writer with a painful story to tell.

 

Saint X
By Alexis Schaitkin

This is a debut novel.  When Claire was only 7 years old, her college age sister disappeared on the last night of their family vacation.  Her body turned up several days later.  Two local men were arrested, but eventually let go.  Years later, Claire meets one of them in New York City and decides to try to find out the truth about her sister’s death-and she learns some truths about her sister’s life as well.

 

Simon the Fiddler
By Paulette Jiles

23 year old Simon is conscripted into the Confederate Army in the waning days of the Civil War.   Because he is a fiddler, he gets a fairly safe assignment in a regional band.  He meets a beautiful Irish girl who is an indentured servant.  Their paths separate, but Simon is determined to find her again and make her his bride.  

 

Book Lovers Recommendations May 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein

Afterlife-Julia Alvarez
Boy From the Woods – Harlan Coben
Darling Rose Gold – Stephanie Wrobel
Disappearing Earth – Julia Phillips
Honey Don’t List – Chirstina Lauer
Ladies Handbook for her Mysterious Illness – Sarah Raney
Little Gods – Meng Jin
Secret Guests- Benjamin Black
Trace Elements – Donna Leon
Yellow Bird Sings – Jennifer Rosner

 

Afterlife
By Julia Alvarez

A return to adult fiction by renowned author Alvarerz.  Antonia Vega, an immigrant from the Domenican Republic, her sisters and an undocumented pregnant teen-ager all that center stage in this novel which explores the different immigrant experiences, and what people need to learn from the past in order to navigate the future.

 

Boy From the Woods
By Harlan Coben 

The protagonist is a young man named Wilde, who was found 30 years before living in the woods, with no memory of his past.  He has never fit into society and now leads a quiet, reclusive life on his own.  Then he is asked by a criminal attorney to investigate the disappearance of a local teen-age girl, who herself was an outcast at school.  His investigation will open up old secrets that could have dangerous consequences.

 

Darling Rose Gold
By Stephanie Wrobel

A debut novel.  Rose Gold Watts was 18 years old when she found out that the serious illnesses she always thought she had were really all in her mother’s mind.  Rose Gold was a victim of Munchhausen by proxy, and her mother is convicted on child abuse charges and jailed for 5 years.  When she is released with no place to go, townspeople are surprised when Rose Gold allows her mother to come to live with her.  Is  Rose Gold as sweet as she appears?  A psychological suspense.

 

Disappearing Earth
By Julia Phillips

Two young girls disappear in the tundra of Far East Russia, in a disappearance that mirrors the disappearance of a native girl that was all but ignored.  This is a great debut novel, utilizing intriguing characters, a complex story and a new setting.  The author spent a Fulbright year on the isolated Russian peninsula that is the setting for this story.

 

Honey Don’t List
By Chirstina Lauer

Melissa and Rusty Tripp are a celebrity couple who have made their fortune as home design and renovation experts.  Now they have published a book about now to have a perfect marriage-which unfortunately, they don’t have.  Two personal assistants, one male and one female, are hired to accompany them on the tour to keep them in line.  How is this going to work out?  It’s a sweet rom-com, just right to read when you need a little escape.

 

Ladies Handbook for her Mysterious Illness 
By Sarah Raney 

This is Sarah Raney’s memoir of her 17 year search for a diagnosis and treatment of a condition that destroyed her health and stumped one medical professional after another.  She refused to believe that her illness was “all in her head” and persevered until she found a diagnosis and treatment.  Her sense of humor, evident in this book saved the day.

 

Little Gods
By Meng Jin

Liya, a Chinese born American, is only 17 when her mother, Su Lan, dies.  Liya knows very little about her mother’s past.  What little she finds after her death prompt Liya to return to China-to discover what she never learned about her mother-and everything she can about the father she never knew.  Three narrators tell this moving story.  The author is Chinese-born and Harvard educated, and shows great promise in this debut novel.

 

Secret Guests
By Benjamin Black 

This is a novel for Anglophiles and royal lovers.  It is the fictional story of two very special young girls who are secretly sent to the Irish countryside during World War II to keep them safe.  They just happen to be the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, who are sent with a female English secret agent and a male Irish detective.  Are the girls going to stay safe?  Are sparks going to fly?

 

Trace Elements
By Donna Leon

Guido Brunetti’s newest case comes when a woman on her deathbed sends him on a case that turns out to threaten all of Venice.  This is the 29th in a series that does for Italy what Louise Penny does for Three Pines.  Great story, as always.

 

Yellow Bird Sings
By Jennifer Rosner 

Shira and her mother are hiding in a barn in Poland in 1941.  Shira, only five years old, and she is a musical prodigy, but she is not allowed to say or sing anything, so her mother helps her create a fantasy world where a yellow bird sings all the music in Shira’s head.  Eventually, they must leave the shelter and find safety elsewhere.  The author tells the story from the point of view of different characters.  It is a debut novel inspired by true stories of children hidden during World War II.