Book Lovers Recommendations February 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
"Five Days Gone-the mystery of my mother
"Glittering Hour" by Iona Grey
"The Lying Room" by Nicci French
"No Stopping Us Now by the Adventures of Older Women in American History" - Gail Collins
"Southern Discomfort" by Tena Clark
"Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid
"This is Happines" by Niall Williams
 
Cursed
Edited by Marie O’Regan
This is a collection of short stories by many different writers that is a combination of fairy tales, magic, and stories to inspire shock and fear-all based on the theme of “cursed.” It’s always nice to try a different genre. (Publishing in March) 
 
Daisy Cooper’s Rules for Living
By Tamsin Kelly
A debut novel about what happens when 23 year old Londoner, Daisy Cooper, slips on an icy pavement and dies-only to wake up in an office with a handsome man who identifies himself as “death.”  He apologizes to her, telling her that her death was a clerical error on his part.  Now Daisy is in the position to learn more about life in death than she ever knew in life. (Publishing in March) 
 
Five Days Gone: the Mystery of My Mother’s Disappearance as a Child
By Laura Cumming
Author Laura Cumming wrote this memoir as a tribute to her mother and the mysteries surrounding her mother’s life which Cummings worked long and hard to solve.  The book raises questions about identity in its poignant search for truth. 
 
Glittering Hour
By Iona Grey
Historical fiction spanning two decades in Britain. When a young girl in Britain receives letters from her mother in Burma, the youngster starts to learn about her mother’s life.  Selena was a socialist who fell in love with a struggling artist whom she met in London.  Her fate and the fate of those she loved lead up to the novel’s final twist.
 
Little White Lies
By Philippa East
Debut psychological suspense novel.  Anne White’s daughter disappeared seven years before on a subway platform in England.  Now the girl is back and the mystery of what happened to her and why deepens,  and the dark secrets that family members have had begin to be revealed. (Coming Soon)
 
The Lying Room
By Nicci French
Neve, a married woman, thought she was having a discreet affair with her married boss, Saul.  When she discovers Saul has been brutally murdered in their love nest, she tries to remove all traces of her existence from the apartment-but once the police start investigating, she gets deeper and deeper into her lies and deeper and deeper into danger.
 
No Stopping Us Now: the Adventures of Older Women in American History
By Gail Collins
Collins, an op-ed columnist and author, starts this herstory with the first known colonial woman to arrive in Boston in 1630 and goes right through to the present, including Hillary Clinton accepting the nomination for President wearing white to honor the suffragettes.  A well-researched, readable book.
 
Southern Discomfort
By Tena Clark
Tena Clark’s life growing up in the 50’s in Mississippi should have been perfect-her mother was a beauty and her father was a self-made millionaire.  But underneath, her father was a KKK supporter and her mother was an alcoholic-and she herself discovered at a young age that she was gay.  This is a wonderfully written memoir by a woman who was able to survive the dysfunction of her family and achieve her dream of being a songwriter.
 
Such a Fun Age
By Kiley Reid
This is a debut novel.  Emira, a young African American woman, is nearly arrested when she takes the white child she is babysitting  to a local grocery store late at night.  Her employer wants to make it up to her, she starts to date a young man who videotaped the incident, and the author makes some tough points about race, society and power in an auspicious debut.
 
This is Happiness
By Niall Williams
This is an old-fashioned Irish story.  Noel, now an old man, looks back at life in his small Irish village when, in 1958, everything changed.  Electricity is being brought into the village, and with it, life changes in ways that no one could imagine.  This is a sweet and lovely Irish story.

Book Lovers Recommendations January 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
The Chelsea Girls By Fiona Davis
The Confession Club By Elizabeth Berg
Funny Man Mel Brooks By Patrick McGilligan
How to Treat People: a Nurse
The Library of Lost and Found By Phaedra Patrick
The Nanny By Gilly Macmillan
The Peanuts Papers By Andres Blauner, editor
The Pioneers By David McCullough
Tomorrow There Will be Sun By Dana Reinhardt
 
Before She Was Found
By Heather Gudenkauf
Three twelve year old girls sneak out to go to an abandoned rail yard during a sleepover.  Later that night, one is found bloody and beaten and two are missing.  The main characters tell the story in their own voices-and it is a story of young girls, abuse of social media, bullying and mental illness. 
 
The Chelsea Girls
By Fiona Davis
Twenty years of friendship between two women during the 1940’s to 1960’s.  Playwright Hazel and actress Maxine have big dreams.  They want to put a play on Broadway, not such an easy task for two women at that time.  Their dream is complicated by the rise of McCarthyism.  This is a story of how fear drives us apart and art brings us together.
 
The Confession Club
By Elizabeth Berg
A group of women decide to meet weekly and use their time to talk about their innermost secrets in a safe place which they call “the confession club.”  Two new members add spice to the group.  The ladies find out about the power and peril of having close, personal friends.
 
Funny Man Mel Brooks
By Patrick McGilligan
Mel Brooks has written millions of words over his career, but never an autobiography.  So McGilligan has written the story of his life, which is as much about what Brooks learned from his successes as well as what he has learned from his flops.  The story of his perseverance makes interesting reading.
 
How to Treat People: a Nurse’s Notes
By Molly Case
A cardiac nurse specialist in England writes about her career.  Her experiences as a child needing surgery fueled her desire to make a career out of helping others.  She modeled her nursing after the people she watched who handle not just the medical needs of their patients, but their emotional needs as well.
 
The Library of Lost and Found
By Phaedra Patrick
Martha has spent her life taking care of others.  One day she is given a book with an inscription from her grandmother-an inscription written mysteriously after the death date of her grandmother.  Martha sets off on a search to find out the truth about her grandmother, which uncovers the truth about her own life.  Can she use what she has learned to change her life for the better?
 
The Nanny
By Gilly Macmillan
Seven year old Jocelyn is devastated when her beloved nanny abruptly disappears from her English manor house. Years later, Jocelyn returns to England, as does her nanny.  Now Jocelyn has to deal with the sins of the past in order to move into the future.
 
The Peanuts Papers
By Andres Blauner, editor
This thoughtful book is subtitled “writers and cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life.”  33 artists and writers reflect on the deeper truths of a comic that is deceptively simple. 
 
The Pioneers
By David McCullough
McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, tells the true story of the pioneers who settled in the northwest territory after Britain ceded the land to the newly born United States.  Drawn to move because of the promise of freedom of religion, a free education and no slavery, the settlers start out in 1788 to settle what will become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.  A fascinating read.
 
Tomorrow There Will be Sun
By Dana Reinhardt
When a woman plans her husband’s 50th birthday celebration in Mexico, what could go wrong?  Just about everything.  Her seemingly perfect life falls apart, but does she have the inner strength to make sure to carry on?

Book Lovers Recommendations December 2019

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
Before and After: The Incredible Real-life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children
The Body: A Guide for All Occupants by Bill Bryson
The Button Man by Andrew Gross
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Daughter of Moloka
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
The World We  Knew by Alice Hoffman
 
Before and After: The Incredible Real-life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate
After author Lisa Wingate published her novel “Before We Were Yours,” which was a fictionalized account of a family broken apart by the unscrupulous dealings of Georgia Tann of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, she started to hear from adults who were adopted through the corrupt agency.  She asked her writer friend, Judy Christie, to help her follow up on their stories, and the result is this poignant book-proving again that truth can be stranger-and even sadder- than fiction.
 
The Body: A Guide for All Occupants by Bill Bryson
One thing you can say about this 450 page book is that it is comprehensive.  And it is also readable and very, very funny.  Only Bill Bryson can take you on a tour of the human body, from top to bottom, and include anatomy, physiology, evolution, health and illness, and have it be instructive and enjoyable. 
 
The Button Man by Andrew Gross
This is an historical thriller-3 Jewish brothers raised in the Lower East Side in the early  1900’s make different life choices as they grow up.  One enters the garment industry, one goes onto college, and one gets involved with mobsters and gang violence.  Including real historical events and characters adds credibility to this story.
 
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
The novel is told by a woman in her 80’s who looks back on her life, starting with her arrival in New York City in 1940 when she was 19 and started working in the theater district.  Her life defied the conventions of her time and she struggles to realize her own identity in an era when it was nearly impossible for women to stand on their own.
 
Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
This is a sequel to Brennert’s novel, “Moloaka’i,” published in 2003, which was the fictionalized account of life in a leper colony which actually existed on one of the Hawaiian Islands.  One of the characters in the first novel, Rachel, who had leprosy, married a Japanes man in the leper colony and gave birth to a healthy daughter, Ruth, whom she had to release for adoption.  This is the story of her Ruth and Rachel.  It can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
Nell, an FBI agent, comes home after 10 years away to close out the estate of her estranged father, who had been a homicide detective.  When one of his old partners asks Nell to help him investigate two recent murders, Nell finds that not only does all evidence point to her father as a prime suspect, but  also he might possibly have had  a role in her mother’s murder which happened when Nell was only seven years old.
 
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is back-still unflinchingly honest-and she is moving along in her life as she heads into her 70’s and 80’s. She is moving on after the loss of her husband, Henry, and even marries again.  And maybe, just maybe, she has become, as she says in her own words, “a little bit better person.”  Strout continues to create memorable characters.
 
Strung Out – A Memoir by Erin Khar
To be published in February 2020
Khar grew up in Los Angeles and started using heroin when she was only 13.  For the next 15 years, drugs shaped her life.  She writes sensitively, showing how both the stigma of addiction and  shame kept her from getting help.  Only when she faced motherhood did she find the strength to fight her demons.
 
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
The main character is this book is married to a man that she knows is also married to other women.  She sees him only once a week and is satisfied in this relationship until she finds the name of a woman whom she surmises is one of his other wives in his belongings.  Curious, she finds out that he is abusing this woman-and the novel only gets stranger from there. It is a psychological suspense story with lots of twists and turns.
 
The World We  Knew by Alice Hoffman
Hanni, the mother of 12 year old Lea, wants to keep her daughter safe by any means from the evils of Germany in the 1940’s.  Hoffman, who is known for her unique style of “magical realism” uses this to tell the story of how Lea is given a mythical figure, a golem, to protect her, and the story becomes a tale of love in the face of evil. 

Book Lovers Recommendations November 2019

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
A Better Man by Louise Penny
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
 
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
Nicole Chung wrote this memoir about her struggle for her own identity.  She was born to Korean parents who had come to the US but released her for adoption as they felt they couldn’t take care of Nicole due to her medical needs.  Adopted by white parents and raised in a small town in Oregon, she never met another Asian child until she was 18, and never told her parents about her struggles with racism and self-identity.  She connected to her biological family when she was pregnant with her first child and her story is a poignant struggle to make peace with herself and her family.
 
A Better Man by Louise Penny
Inspector Gamache is back.  He is now sharing a job with his son-in-law, and, as if that were not difficult enough, he is asked to take on a case that tears at his heartstrings-a man’s daughter is missing and he specifically asks Gamache to help him find her.  This only complicates Gamache’s personal and professional life.
 
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
A debut novel by an English author.  Susan is 45 years old and content with her very controlled life-until she finds that her mother has left the family home to Susan’s ne’er do well brother; at the same time, Susan finds out she is pregnant, with a child she very much wishes to have.  It’s a real delight to watch Susan, the prickly cactus, discover and deal with unexpected life changes and surprising chances to open herself to love.
 
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
Decades of love, friendship and struggles are revealed in this novel about two very different couples whom we follow from the 1950’s into the modern age.  Each husband and wife face challenges in their personal lives as well as the work lives that the husbands share.
 
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
The two authors won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for their article about a young woman whose report of a rape is not only not taken seriously, but results in her being charged with false reporting.  The article grew into a book which then grew into the Neflix limited TV series, “Unbelieveable,” which follows the case once two female detectives discover that the woman’s story is true and a serial rapist has been allowed to strike over and over again.
 
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
African American Texas Ranger Darren Matthews has been assigned to investigate the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.  Because of this assignment, he is sent to work with a white local sheriff in a small town in Texas where the young son of an imprisoned white supremacist has been reported missing.  The novel deals with a story about crimes, both old and new, in a time of political and racial tension.  It’s a modern mystery reflecting our complicated times.
 
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
The novel deals with 3 generations of a family.  The four daughters tell their stories-their whole lives they have been trying to find the happiness that they believe their parents have found in their relationship.  Everyone’s lives turn up-side down when the son who was given up at birth by one of the daughters returns  to assert his place in the family.
 
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
This popular author starts with two characters who seem to be based on two familiar sisters in the beloved novel “Little Women,” Jo and Beth,  But Weiner switches the personalities around and takes them on a surprising journey of 70 years.  Difficult subjects such as abortion, rape and racism are dealt with as well.
 
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Amy is living a wonderful life; she is married to a devoted husband with a beautiful baby, with a step-daughter who even likes her.  Into this mix comes a new neighbor who seems to know an awful lot about the secrets that the women in Amy’s up-scale neighborhood would like to keep under wraps-including secrets about Amy that she wants kept quiet.  The book is “diabolically entertaining.”
 
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Four characters in one African American  family tell their story.  In 2001, 16 year old Melody.  is being ushered into adulthood at a lavish party hosted by her wealthy grand-parents who, along with her father, raised her when her mother, pregnant at 16, left the  child with them to pursue her own independent life. 

Book Lovers Recommendations October 2019

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
Knife by Jo Nesbo
Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Whisper Man by Alex North
 
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The author has based her story on the life of her mother.  In 1965, 15 year old Ana marries a man nearly twice her age and moves from the Dominican Republic to New York City.  She is not in love with her husband, Juan, but her marriage will make it possible for her family to move to America.  She finds herself trapped with a controlling husband.  When he has to return to the Dominican Republic on business, she finds herself with freedom-free to go to Coney Island, free to take English lessons, and free to maybe fall in love with Juan’s younger brother, Cesar.
 
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
This novel combines an historical story with a contemporary one.  Told in alternating chapters, the novel goes back and forth between the research being done by a reclusive university librarian and her intern, and two women who forged an unlikely friendship based on adversity in the “Home” in Texas. 
 
Knife by Jo Nesbo
The fictional Harry Hole is back and he just can’t catch a break.  Drinking too much, he it thrown out of his house by his wife, but when she is murdered, Harry blames a criminal, a serial murderer, whom he put in jail and who has now been released. It’s a well constructed mystery with lots of twists and turns.
 
Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist
Mid-western families in the 1960’s loved to vacation at Lake of the Ozarks, and Bill Geist spent many a summer at a small resort owned by his uncle.  Looking back on his life as a successful writer, humorist and award winning correspondent for CBS Sunday morning, he believes that the time spent there made him into the person he has become.  It’s a fun read, and you will laugh out loud.
 
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
This is the “late in life” story of two senior citizens who find meaning in each other even as they confront their own fears about the future-and the past.  Beryl has had a full and active life and now is facing memory loss.  Shimi’s memory is too good-he is still trying to deal with traumas from his past.  The two strike up an unlikely friendship that brings happiness in surprising ways. 
 
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
A happily married couple who cannot conceive a child foster a child who has been abused.  From the start, her behavior is appallingly difficult, but she behaves well with the husband, who persuades his wife to formally adopt her.  The story is told from the point of view of the husband, wife and their dedicated social worker.  It’s well written, and comes with a few big surprises.
 
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
Cassie is a female fire fighter in Texas who relocates to Boston to help care for her ailing mother.  The Boston fire house is more backwards than the one she left in Texas-there is more hazing of her because she is a woman and the firehouse lacks proper funding-but there is a very attractive rookie.  Center is good at creating characters, and she writes well about strong women who must deal with adversity-and find love as well.
 
Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
Usually Gregory writes about royalty, but in this novel, she turns to an ordinary woman living in the 1640’s in England.  Bright, strong-willed, trying to survive -rumored to be a witch-Alinor has not been dealt an easy hand.  This is the first entry in what is planned to be a multi-generational, multi-volume saga about a family that starts out in rags-and survives.
 
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The suspense novel starts out with Rowan Caine, a young woman who has been hired to be a live-in nanny in a house located in an isolated Scottish town, writing a letter to a lawyer to help her as she has been charged with murdering one of the children in her care.  Rowan’s dream job turns into a nightmare-but there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader happy as she tells her tale. 
 
The Whisper Man by Alex North
A young boy in a small English town has been abducted under the same circumstances as five other people who were abducted and killed 20 years ago.  But that killer is safely in jail.  One of the people who investigated the first murders is assigned the case, and he must work fast, as the next victim looks like it might be the young son of a widowed man who has just moved into town.   

Book Lovers Recommendations September 2019

 

All the Flowers in Paris
by Sarah Jio

Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital in 2009 with no memory of her past.  She discovers a cache of letters in her home which start to jog her memory.  The letters belong to Celine, a widow of Jewish ancestry who lived in Caroline’s house during the Nazi occupation of Paris.  Past and present merge into a story about love and war, death and intrigue.

 

The Art of Mindful Reading: Embracing the Wisdom of Words
by Ella Berthoud

Berthoud is a bibliotherapist and this book is filled with hints on how to read more mindfully. It is filled with lots of ideas that can help improve and expand your reading experience. A great gift for a reader.

 

Gravity is the Thing
by Jaclyn Moriarty

Abigail Sorenson’s brother disappeared 20 years ago and at the same time, she started receiving chapters in the mail of a self-help manual. Now, she has been invited to a retreat where she hopes to find out the truth about the guidebook-and hopefully, solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance.

 

Kingdomtide
by Rye Curtis

A debut novel.  A park ranger refuses to stop looking for the 72 year old survivor of a plane crash in the mountainous wilderness of Montana.  The story beautifully develops the background of the characters while it follows an exciting search and rescue effort.
Will be published January 2020.

 

Maybe You Should Talk  to Someone: A Therapist, her Therapist and Our Lives Revealed
by Lori Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb is a therapist with a back story.  When the boyfriend she expected to marry breaks up with her, she seeks out a therapist for her own issues.  Meanwhile, she documents the journeys she takes her own patients on. It’s non-fiction that reads like a novel.

 

The Me I Used to Be
by Jennifer Ryan

This is  fast-paced plot.  Evangeline is released from prison after serving time for a crime she did not commit.  Her arresting officer helps arrange for her release so she can help him find the person who really committed the crime.  Evangeline has to make peace with her family, catch the real criminal, stay alive and just possibly find love with the arresting officer.

 

Mother Knows Best
by Kira Peikoff

This story is based on scientific news torn from the headlines.  Claire Abrams contacts a maverick fertility doctor who is willing to combine her genes and those of another woman so that Claire can  have a biological child that will not contain the genetic mutation which killed her firstborn.  Although it is illegal and possibly immoral, the doctor sets in motion the series of events that fill this novel with twists and turns.

 

A Nearly Normal Family
by M.T. Edvardsson

A murder mystery with psychological overtones.  A normal Scandinavian family finds themselves rocked to the core when their daughter is arrested on a murder charge.  Each character tells their story and the author reveals the difficult choices each family member must make.

 

The Need
by Helen Phillips

Molly is the exhausted working mother of two very young children.  Strange things start happening in her day job as a paleobotanist, where she excavates plant fossils from a dig.  Suddenly, things start showing up in the dig that don’t make sense.  Combine that with her exhaustion, and you have a recipe for a psychological thriller/science fiction combination that seems all too real.

 

Shamed
by Linda Castillo

Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police in Ohio who was once a member of the Amish community, making her the first person called when there is crime affecting the Amish.  This time she is called to duty to find who murdered an Amish grandmother and abducted her 7 year old grand-daughter.  Some tough moral questions emerge. 

 

Book Lovers Recommendations August 2019

All That You Leave Behind

All That You Leave Behind
By Erin Lee Carr

Journalist David Carr died suddenly at age 58. He left behind twin daughters and lots of memories; this memoir was written by one of his surviving children. Talent as well as addiction ran in their family, so it is not surprising that Erin has both writing talent and a pre-disposition towards addiction. She looks for meaning to their lives in this poignant memoir. Check Our Catalog

 

An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest
By Shari LaPena

A real old fashioned murder mystery. A group of people trapped in a blizzard in the Catskills at a wonderful old inn are introduced. And then the murders start. The author’s legal skills show up once the detectives start questioning the survivors. Check Our Catalog

 
 
 

Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

Beyond All Reasonable Doubt
By Malin Persson Giolito

Sophia Weber, a successful attorney, is personally asked by her law professor to look into exonerating a prisoner, once a doctor, who was convicted in the brutal murder of a young woman. Public opinion is against the prisoner, but Sophia, seeing inconsistencies in the investigation, is compelled to take the case. Check Our Catalog

 
 
 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
By Abbi Waxman

Nina Hill is an introvert, happy with her job as a clerk in a book store, and enjoying her quiet time alone. Upon the death of her father, she discovers that she has lots of relatives, who now want to be part of her life, and she starts to enjoy the attentions of an attractive single young man. Can an introvert change her ways? Read this and see. Check Our Catalog

 
 

The Good Sister

The Good Sister
By Gillian McAllister

The novel takes place over the four days of the trial of Becky, who has been accused of smothering her sister’s infant. It’s a delicate balance between a courtroom drama and family story. Each character is delineated as they are called to the witness stand, and it will keep you engrossed until the last page. American debut of an English author. Check Our Catalog

 
 

How Not to Die Alone

How Not to Die Alone
By Richard Roper

Andrew’s co-workers think he goes home to a wife and family, but, in reality, he lives alone and has been content with a quiet life keeping his emotions safe. Then a new employee comes to work with him and he finds he has feelings for her that have been kept shut up for years. Suddenly his simple life becomes quite complicated. Check Our Catalog

 
 
 

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
By Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan returns to Chinatown in San Francisco after her mother’s death in order to settle the estate. Natalie is shocked to see how run-down the Chinatown from her childhood has become, and she makes it her mission to reopen the wonderful restaurant that her grandmother had operated on the bottom floor of their old house.Check Our Catalog

 
 

Necessary People

Necessary People
By Anna Pitoniak

Violet and Stella have had a friendship that worked during college, but now that they are competing against each other in the same profession, real problems emerge. What lengths will people go to in order to get what they want? A story of a dark female friendship. Check Our Catalog

 
 

The Rosie Result

The Rosie Result
By Graeme Simsion

This is the third in the “Rosie” series. Don and Rosie’s marriage is going well, but now they are dealing with issues with their 11 year old son, Hudson. Don’s new project becomes “The Hudson project.” Of course, things never go as planned, and Simsion treats all of the issues that ensue with gentle humor and a full acceptance of Autism in its many forms. Check Our Catalog

 
 

The Spies of Shilling Lane

The Spies of Shilling Lane
By Jennifer Ryan

If you liked Ryan’s last book, “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir,” you should enjoy this one. Mrs. Braithwaite, a stiff-upper lip matron, comes to London during World War II to reconnect with her daughter, only to find out that her child is working undercover to catch Nazi sympathizers. Humor is mixed with the seriousness of the situation of living a city dealing nightly with the blitz. Check Our Catalog

Book Lovers Recommendations July 2019

Alternative Remedies for Loss
Alternative Remedies for Loss
By Joanna Cantor

Olivia is 22 and has left college to care for her mother. After her mother’s death, Olivia finds that the rest of her family is moving on, but she is adrift. She finds a secret romantic correspondence that her mother had with an unknown man and decides to unravel the secret of her mother’s life. Check Our Catalog

 
Dead Girl Running
Dead Girl Running
By Christina Dodd

Kellen has become the new manager of an isolated resort in the Pacific Northwest, and she feels she can handle anything-until the dead body of the previous manager shows up. Now she has to deal with a murder, a murderer and the secrets of her past. Check Our Catalog

 
 
 
Everything in its Place
Everything in its Place
By Oliver Sacks

This is the last book that Sacks wrote prior to his death in 2015. It is a collection of essays that cover a wide range of topics, from those that involve his medical expertise-Tourette’s Syndrome, aging, dementia- as well as those that involve his other interests, such as gardening. Check Our Catalog

 
 
The Invited
The Invited
By Jennifer McMahon

The fictional story of a couple who purchase property in Vermont and begin to build their dream house. Due to events that took place on their property in the past, they end up building a “haunted” house. The story becomes a thriller inside a murder mystery inside a ghost story. Check Our Catalog

 
The Island
The Island
By Ragnar Jonasson

This is the second novel to feature the female detective Hulda Hermannsdottir of Reykjavik. This well constructed mystery deals with two murders-one in 1987 and one ten years later, which involves a young woman who turns out to be a friend of the young woman who died in 1987. The more Hulda digs, the more involved the case becomes. Check Our Catalog

Nanaville
Nanaville
By Anna Quindlen

Quindlen, who has written 9 novels, memoirs and non-fiction, has recently become a grandmother-and boy, is she thrilled. Whether you are a grandparent or not, her happiness is catching-why not spend some time sharing someone else’s joy, especially when they happen to be such a gifted writer? Check Our Catalog

 
 
Normal People
Normal People
By Sally Rooney

Marianne and Connell go to the same school in a small town in Ireland. The develop a relationship that continues when they go to Trinity College in Dublin. The novel is really a character study, as Rooney masterfully captures the distinct personalities of Marianne, Connell and the secondary characters in the novel. Check Our Catalog

 

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States
By Samantha Allen
The author of these stories was raised as a Mormon male, but came out as a transgender woman in 2008. Now legally married to a woman, she took a six week trip through LGBT communities in red states to get stories for this book. Her philosophy is that there are good and decent people in the red states, just as there are bigots and homophobes in the blue states. Check Our Catalog
 
 
The Sentence is Death
The Sentence is Death
By Anthony Horowitz
This is the second in a series in which our real author, Anthony Horowitz, becomes part of a fictional story in which he inserts a real version of himself, who acts as an assistant to the fictional character of Detective Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne and Horowitz have to track down the person who killed a celebrity lawyer with a bottle of vintage wine. It’s a well constructed mystery and a fun read. Check Our Catalog
 
 
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Transcription
By Kate Atkinson
Juliet Armstrong’s job during World War II is to transcribe conversations between M15 and would-be traitors in England. But she is drawn into a spy action which later changes her life. This is a book that underlines the fact that there are often unexpected consequences to our actions. Check Our Catalog

Book Lovers Recommendations June 2019

All the Rivers
By Dorit Rabinyan
All the Rivers

A young Jewish woman, studying in New York in 2003, meets a handsome painter, who is Palestinian, also living in New York. Their attraction is strong, but when each one returns; one to Tel Aviv, and the other to an Arab village in the West Bank, the author realistically presents the barriers to their relationship. Check Our Catalog

 

The Altruists
By Andrew Ridker
The Altruists

A character driven debut novel. Arthur is a non-descript professor in a small college, and two years after his wife’s death, he reaches out to his children and asks them to return to the family home. He needs their help financially and wants them to give him money they inherited from their mother. The author really captures the individuality of each family member and their struggle to relate to each other as adults. Check Our Catalog

 

Henry, Himself
By Stewart O’Nan
Henry, Himself

This is a prequel to other books by Stewart O’Nan which dealt with the Maxwell family of Pittsburgh after the death of the patriarch, Henry. In this book, Henry is still alive and well and turning 75. It’s a gentle story about a year in his life. Check Our Catalog

I Miss You When I Blink
By Mary Laura Philpott
I Miss You When I Blink

A collection of essays which form a “biography” of the author. They are reflections of the author’s life-sometimes they talk about the details of her day and sometimes they are reflective of major life issues she is dealing with. Told with love and humor. Check Our Catalog

 

Miracle Creek
By Angie Kim
Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek is the name of a town in Virginia where a recent Korean immigrant has started a business treating various medical conditions with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Tragedy ensues when the chamber explodes, killing two patients, one of whom is an eight year old autistic boy. Did his mother kill him? She is arrested, and charged with murder. This debut novel is written by a former trial lawyer who knows her stuff. The novel takes place during the four days of the trial, and the outcome will surprise you. Check Our Catalog

The Only Woman in the Room
By Marie Benedict
The Only Woman in the Room

The subject of this historical fiction novel is the life of beautiful actress Hedy LaMarr, starting in 1933 when Hedy is a 19 year old actress who catches the eye of an Austrian arms dealer who wants to marry her despite the fact that she is Jewish; and follows her escape to the US, her movie career and her discovery, with a musician, of a way to block the success of torpedoes with methods still used today. Check Our Catalog

 

The River
By Peter Heller
The River

Two young men on an idyllic canoe trip in northern Canada face the challenge of their lives when they must deal with two enemies-man and nature. While trying to out-race a forest fire, they find themselves enmeshed in a possible murder. The author is an experienced outdoorsman, which shows in this book. Check Our Catalog

 

Save Me The Plums
By Ruth Reichl
Save Me The Plums

Reichl, who has written several memoirs about her life as a food critic and food lover, writes about her time at Gourmet magazine, and how she went from an inexperienced novice to a savvy expert. Reichl always writes in an entertaining style. Check Our Catalog

Say Nothing: a True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
By Patrick Radden Keefe
Say Nothing: a True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

This is the true story of a murder mystery in Ireland. Using the abduction of a widow, mother to 10 children, who was kidnapped and killed at the height of the Irish Troubles in 1972, the author, who researched this book for 10 years, blends espionage, murder mystery and political history into an accessible account of the violence that afflicted Northern Ireland. Check Our Catalog

 

The Unquiet Heart
By Kaite Welsh
The Unquiet Heart

A combination of historical mystery and romance in Victorian era Scotland, whose main character, Sarah, is a young medical student whose parents want her to marry boring Miles. Before she can get out of this arranged marriage, Miles is charged with murder and in order to clear his name, Sarah joins forces with her brooding, mercurial, handsome medical professor. The plot thickens…. Check Our Catalog

Book Lovers Recommendations May 2019

The Art of Dying Well
By Katy Butler
The Art of Dying Well

This is a non-fiction book that offers practical advice for people as they age. We have many books on preparing for childbirth and child development, but not much to help us prepare to age. This book fills that gap, with plenty of advice for each stage of aging. Check Our Catalog

As Long As We Both Shall Live
By Joann Chaney
As Long As We Both Shall Live

In 1995, Matt Evans’ wife was found burned in a fire, and the detective doesn’t believe Matt’s story, but Matt is not charged for her death. In 2018, Matt, now married to Marie, reports that she has fallen off a cliff on a hike, and now two more detectives have to figure out what has really happened. Lots of twists, turns and surprises. A fast read, one you may want to finish as fast as possible to find out the truth. Check Our Catalog

Beautiful Bad
By Annie Ward
Beautiful Bad

A psychological thriller: Maddie and Ian are married and raising their son in Kansas. Flashbacks tell you how they got there and what may or may not be going on with their relationship. The author will keep you guessing as befits a psychological thriller, the ending should surprise you and keep you thinking about this book after you have finished it. Check Our Catalog

The Dreamers
By Karen Thompson Walker
The Dreamers

A strange epidemic starts in a quiet college town in Southern California when a young college student falls asleep-and cannot be awakened. The novel focuses on several characters who are affected by what soon becomes an epidemic. All scientists know is that the sleepers are also having intense dreams. If anything can jar us from our complacencies, and help us appreciate what we have when we are awake, it might be when our loved ones fall into a dream filled sleep that can’t be stopped. Check Our Catalog

Finding Dorothy
By Elizabeth Letts
Finding Dorothy

This historical fiction novel tells the story of Maud Baum, the widow of L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz books. Maud shows up on the set of the MGM movie being filmed, and wants the film-makers to take into account how she feels the film should be made. The novel flashes back to Maud’s very interesting past, and also focuses on her involvement with the young and exploited star of the movie, Judy Garland. 

 

Lost and Wanted
By Nell Freudenberger
Lost and Wanted

This book is a wonderful combination of fiction and science. Helen, the narrator, is a physicist, raising a child alone. Her best friend, whom she has drifted away from, dies, and her friend’s husband and child relocate to Helen’s town. Helen mourns her friend’s loss, but is puzzled by messages she is receiving from her dead friend emanating from her friend’s cell phone, which has been lost. The novel deals with grief and loss on many levels, and also opens up the question of what happens when we die. Does science help us answer that question? Check Our Catalog

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
By Stephanie Land
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

Through a series of life events, Land finds herself trying to support a young daughter and find a way to live on minimum wage jobs. She finds ways to survive by working as a maid, but relates just how difficult it is to survive in a world where even the support systems seem to make life more difficult. By the time the book ends, you will possibly be as exhausted as Land is, but she gives an articulate voice to the voiceless and paints a clear picture of how many in America are forced to live. Check Our Catalog

When All is Said
By Anne Griffin
When All is Said

This is the debut novel by an Irish author. 84 year old Maurice Hannigan spends the evening in the bar of a grand hotel and drinks five drinks-sending a toast one at a time to the most influential people in his life. The author creates a wonderful character here with a sensitive past history. Check Our Catalog

Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Are
By Mary Pipher
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Are

Mary Pipher, a noted psychologist and the author of “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls,” has now turned 70, and does for older women in this book, what she did for adolescent girls in “Ophelia.” Through real life examples, she shows women just how challenging and exciting it can be to grow older. Check Our Catalog

 

Unto Us a Son is Given
By Donna Leon
Unto Us a Son is Given

This is the 28th in a series of mysteries whose main character, Comissario Guido Brunetti, a detective in Venice. Brunetti’s father-in-law wants him to investigate a young man whom his father-in-law’s elderly friend wants to legally adopt. This would make the young man an heir to the friend’s fortune. Things get complicated when first the friend dies, and then a guest for the memorial is strangled. Secrets that have been buried for years are unearthed in this exciting mystery. Check Our Catalog