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.

Quarantine Reading Challenge

Have you been reading as much as we have? The staff at the Morristown and Morris Township Library realize that many people have upped their reading while under quarantine. And while being stuck at home isn’t fun, we thought we could make it a bit more fun!

From May 1st-May 31st, we challenge you to read or listen to as many books as you can, and keep a list of how many you have read or heard. At the end of the month, submit your list to us and whoever has read the most books wins! First and second place winners will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant which is delivering or offering curbside pickup during this time! This contest is for adults only (ages 18 and up) who have a library card with a library in Morris County.

Include in your submission: a list of each book you have read (title and author), your name, address, phone number, email address, and library card number. Only one submission per person. Submissions will be accepted via email or regular mail postmarked by or on June 7th, 2020.

Please email submissions to: amanda.murphy@mmt.mainlib.org

Or mail them to:

Morristown and Morris Township Library
ATTN: Reading Challenge
1 Miller Road
Morristown, NJ
07960

You can keep up with what we’re reading on our Goodreads page. You can access public domain ebooks and audiobooks free with your library card through the RBDigital website or app, and more recent titles free through the Cloud Library app with your library card. 

Book Lovers Recommendations April 2020 Part II

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein

“Book of Lost Friends” – Lisa Wingate
“Conspiracy of Bones” – Kathy Reichs
“Deep” – Alma Katsu
“Hidden Valley Road” – Robert Kolker
“Nobody Will Tell You This But Me- a true (as told to me) story”  – Bess Kalb
“Other Mrs.” – Mary Kubica
“Redhead by the Side of the Road “ – Anne Tyler
“Two Lives of Lydia Bird” – Josie Silver
“Untamed” – Glennon Doyle
“Valentine” – Elizabeth Wetmore

 

Book of Lost Friends
By Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate based this historical fiction on actual advertisements she saw in Southern newspapers after the Civil War.  Three women from Louisiana head out for Texas.   Two are searching for a lost inheritance and one, a freed slave, is searching for her family.  Their story from the past combines with the story of a teacher who in 1987 begins to learn what happened to these three women. 

 

Conspiracy of Bones
By Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan’s newest adventure.  Temperance is receiving text messages containing pictures of a corpse.  When an unidentified corpse does turn up, she starts to search for answers but her new boss forces her to do it outside of the system.  After five years, the character of Temperance Brennan is back with a vengeance. 

 

Deep
By Alma Katsu 

A supernatural spin is put on the story of the ships Titanic and Britannic.  Irish maid Annie serves on the Titanic and survives its sinking in 1912.  Four years later, she then signs up to be a nurse on the sister ship, Britannic, now outfitted as a wartime hospital ship.  Annie encounters a handsome soldier whom she recognizes as a previous passenger on the Titanic.  Passion, mystery, supernatural and history all combine. 

 

Hidden Valley Road
By Robert Kolker 

Non-fiction which reads like fiction.  Kolker sympathetically tells the story of the Galvin family, a middle class, “all American” family of 12 children growing up in the 1950’s.  One by one six out of ten of the boys are eventually diagnosed as schizophrenic-the most mentally ill family in America.  The book is the story of their family, along with the history of psychiatric treatment, and the change in treatment of schizophrenia.  It is fascinating reading, but  always told in a sensitive, understated way.

 

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: a true (as told to me) story
By Bess Kalb

Bess Kalb is a TV writer and this is her first book.  Kalb uses the voice of her scrappy and of course, know-it-all grandmother, Bobby, to tell the story of four generations of women.   Grandma’s story transcends death, and it’s funny, loving and just what we need right now.

 

Other Mrs.
By Mary Kubica 

A couple move with their two sons from Chicago to a small island off the coast of Maine to take care of the husband’s niece, Imogen, whose mother has committed suicide.  There are more family secrets-and then, when a neighbor is murdered, the townspeople become suspicious of the new couple.  The story is told from the point of view of 3 characters.   It has already been picked up by Netflix.

 

Redhead by the Side of the Road
By Anne Tyler 

Micah Mortimer is a man in his 40’s who lives a quiet, cautious life in Baltimore.  He is a self-employed tech expert with a business called “Tech Hermit.”  He likes his life-and then all hell breaks loose.  His woman friend is being evicted and needs a place to stay, a young man appears on his doorstep who believes Micah is his father-and Micah now has to reach out to others and change his life ways he never thought possible.

 

Two Lives of Lydia Bird
By Josie Silver

Lydia Bird has been with Freddie forever-until he dies in a car accident on her 28th birthday.  In her daily life, she begins to take tentative steps to move into the future, but she is also taking a sleeping pill which transports her at night back into a world where Freddie is alive, well and where they can marry.  Lydia is forced to make a decision about whether to live in her dreams or reality, and how she does this in the heart of this poignant book. 

 

Untamed
By Glennon Doyle

This is the true story of Glennon Doyle, a wife, mother and author who fell in love with a woman four years ago, while still married to her husband.  She wrote this book to help inspire women to follow  a path to become their true selves.  This is both a memoir and a wake-up call. She currently lives with her wife in Florida and co-parents her three children with her wife and ex-husband.

 

Valentine
By Elizabeth Wetmore

This is a debut novel.   In 1976, the town of Odessa, Texas is on  the cusp of an oil boom-but all is not well in Odessa.  The plot is set in motion by the brutal rape and attack of a 14 year old Hispanic girl, and the novel tells the story through the eyes of alternative female voices. The story is also driven by its characters as well as  the time and place of the novel. 

Book Lovers Recommendations April 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein

 

Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano
Talking to Strangers - What We Should Talk About the People We Don’t Know – Malcolm Gladwell
Girl- Edna O’Brien
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
Mirror and the Light – Hilary Mantel
My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell
Red Lotus – Chris Bohjalian
These Ghosts are Family- Maisy Card
You Are Not Alone – Greer Hendricks

 

(These books are all available as ebooks)

 

Dear Edward
By Ann Napolitano

Twelve year old Edward is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills every other person on board the aircraft, including Edward’s family.  He now has to learn how to survive the rest of his life.  This is a coming of age story, dealing with the emotional fall out from a tragedy as Edward struggles to find its purpose – and his own.

 

Girl
By Edna O’Brien

Maryam is kidnapped by the brutal terrorist group Boko Haram.  How this young woman survives her kidnapping and then fights for herself and her daughter’s acceptance  back into their community makes tough but rewarding reading.

 

Milk and Honey
By Rupi Kaur

This is a collection of poetry and prose about survival-pretty apropos for our lives today.  It is made up of four chapters- each dealing with a different kind of pain-but all showing how there is sweetness even in the most  bitter moments.

 

Mirror and the Light
By Hilary Mantel

This is the long awaited third book in the trilogy that covers the life of Thomas Cromwell.  The third book begins with the execution of Anne Boleyn and covers the final years of Cromwell’s career and life.  Cromwell was a blacksmith’s son who rose to power with his wits and cunning to be by the side of Henry the Eighth.  But Henry is loyal to no one but himself, so how long can Cromwell survive?

 

My Dark Vanessa
By Kate Elizabeth Russell

In 2000, fifteen year old Vanessa has a relationship with her 42 year old English teacher.  She moves on in her life, but was always convinced that he truly loved her.  Years later, when a fellow student calls this same teacher out for sexual abuse, Vanessa’s life is thrown into turmoil as she has to come to terms with what actually happened to her.  She struggles to redefine her image of herself-and her lover without destroying herself. 

 

Red Lotus
By Chris Bohjalian

The newest from the best selling author.  Alexis and Austin travel to Vietnam where Austin disappears.  Alexis soon discovers that he has left a trail of lies behind him, and determined to find out the truth, she starts to put herself in danger.  A real thriller.

 

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
By Malcolm Gladwell

How do we use tools and strategies to make sense of people we don’t know?  Gladwell uses actual cases in the news to show ways we often misjudge other people which results in conflict and misunderstanding.  In today’s world, finding out who is speaking the truth has never been more important, and using some of his techniques, he hopes people will learn to mitigate miscommunication.

 

These Ghosts are Family
By Maisy Card

This is a debut novel.  Abel and Vera Paisley are a married couple living in Jamaica in the 1960’s.    Their lives change instantly when Abel travels to London, and decides that he can make a better life for himself if he fakes his own death and changes his identity.  Of course, this results in major repercussions for the rest of his family, who believe he is dead.  This is a personal drama made more exciting by its historical background.

 

You Are Not Alone
By Greer Hendricks

Shay, a lonely misfit, is befriended by sisters, and she feels her friendship with them brings with it a promise of a better life for her.  However, the sisters have actually befriended her for their own sinister purposes.  Will keep you on the age of your seat. 

 

National Poetry Month

Enrich your lives with poetry during April, which is National Poetry Month, and during this time of collective hibernation. You can enjoy the magic of poetry from a variety of online resources!

You can sign up to receive A Poem a Day to be delivered to your email from Knopf Poetry here.

Poets.org also has the option for a poem-a-day sent to your email account if you sign up, or, you can read the daily poem on their website found here. Poets.org is sponsored by The Academy of American poets and has lots of poetry to browse and listen to in addition to the Poem a Day program.

The Poetry Foundation is “an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.” As such, they have a large collection of searchable poetry, as well as browseable by theme or era.

The Library of Congress celebrated National Poetry Month in 2015 by launching their Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, and have continued to grow their collection since.

Open Culture has a large collection of free, downloadable eBooks which includes poetry classics.

Poet’s House is a poetry library in lower Manhattan, and “is a comfortable, accessible place for poetry—a library and meeting place which invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.” They are now offering many of their programs online.

We hope you’ll celebrate with us by enjoying some poetry this month.

 

Suggestions for Purchase Through the Cloud Library App!

thumbnail of Cloud Library tri-fold
Cloud Library Brochure

While the Library is closed, we hope you’ll be enjoying our many resources you can use from home! One of those is Cloud Library, a platform for reading ebooks and listening to digital audiobooks. Our collection is always growing, and though our physical location is closed we are doing our best to keep up with your reading needs remotely! To that end, we wanted to let you know about a feature in Cloud Library that allows you to suggest we purchase a digital title if we do not already own it.

Before we get to that, if you do not already have the Cloud Library app, you can download it to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. You can download our brochure by clicking the thumbnail to the left, or check out Cloud Library’s website which is full of great how-to’s and answers to your Frequently Asked Questions. 

One update to our brochure, effective during the COVID-19 closing: Patron Check-outs have been increased to 10 items at a time, and holds have increased to 5 items at a time.

Once you have the Cloud Library App installed, it’s time to turn on Suggestions, which will allow you to tell us what you’d like us to purchase! And we would love to hear your suggestions, so please use them! Each patron can suggest up to 5 titles for purchase per month.

Now, how to turn on Suggestions! You can see what the steps look like on an iPhone in the images below the post.

  • In your app, look for the “Search” button at the bottom of the screen, it will have a magnifying glass icon. Click “Search”
  • In the next screen, look for a “Filter” icon in the top-right of the screen. Click the “Filter” icon
  • The next screen is your preferences for what you would like to see when you search in the app. It’s first section, “Format,” allows you to choose if you want to see either ebooks or audiobooks, or both. The second section, “Availability” will allow you to choose one of its three options. Those are:
    • Available Now: for when you want a book right now and aren’t that picky which one it is
    • All Library Titles: for when you want to see everything we currently own, both available right now and those that you’d have to put a hold on and wait a bit for
    • Suggestions for library: for when you want to see everything we currently own, and items we can purchase. A great way to let us know what you’d like from us!
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click the “Save” button in the top right corner. You can always change these options, so if you turn on “Suggestions” and later want a book right now you can switch your preferences around.
  • If you’ve turned on Suggestions and you search for a book we don’t own yet, it will have an orange “Suggest” button instead of a green “Borrow” or blue “Hold” button. Simply click the orange “Suggest” button and your suggestion will be sent to us! When we purchase a title you have suggested, you will get a notification that it is now on “Hold” for you!

While we are closed, we hope to build our Cloud Library collection so more patrons can enjoy it from the safety of their homes. We will be monitoring the suggestions and purchasing new titles on a regular basis, to get you what you want as close to when you want it as we can. 

Book Lovers Recommendations March 2020

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
All My Mothers Lovers by Ilana Masad
The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick
Golden Child by Claire Adam
House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau By Michael Zapata
Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman
The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson
Why Meadow Died by Andrew Pollack and Max Eden
 
All My Mother’s Lovers
By Ilana Masad
 A debut novel.  When Maggie’s mother dies in a car crash, Maggie returns home, and  when she finds five envelopes addressed to five men along with her mother’s will, Maggie sets out to hand deliver the envelopes.  She discovers secrets about her mother which change Maggie’s life. Pub date: 5/26/2020
 
The Girls With No Names
By Serena Burdick
Young women who don’t conform to norms in the early part of the twentieth century in New York City might find themselves committed to the House of Mercy.  When Effie believes her parents have committed her sister there, she gets herself admitted-only to find that her sister is not there and now Effie has to figure out a way to get herself out of the House of Mercy, which is filled with unsavory secrets.
 
The Golden Child
By Claire Adam
Hard-working Clyde lives in rural Trinidad.  He has 13 year old twins, which are the lights of his life.  He has great plans for one son, Peter, whom he believes is a genius;  the “golden child,” while his other son, Paul, is a mystery.  When Paul is kidnapped and held for ransom, Clyde is forced to decide between two children-a choice no parent should ever have to make.
 
House on Endless Waters
By Emuna Elon
Israeli author Yoel Blum is asked by his publisher to go to Amsterdam, which he does, violating the promise he made to his mother never to return to his birthplace. When he sees a film clip at the Jewish Historical Museum of his family, taken during pre-war days, he realizes that he needs to find out the reasons why his mother was so secretive about the past. 
 
The Last House Guest
By Megan Miranda
The small Maine town of Littleport is a resort during the summer and a hard place to make a living for the year round residents, who rarely form friendships with the summer people.  Saide and Avery were the exceptions, and when Sadie is found dead of suicide, Avery vows to find out the truth about her death.  Lots of twists and turns
 
 
Late Migrations: a natural history of love and loss
By Margaret Renkl
Renkl, who is an opinion writer for the New York Times, has written her first book-which is really a collection of short stories and essays about her life growing up in Alabama leading into her current life as a parent in suburban Nashville.  The essays reveal a beautiful poetic and sensitive look at growing up and growing older.
 
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
By Michael Zapata
Adana Moreau wrote a novel that was never published.  Fifty years later, a young man finds her manuscript in his deceased grandfather’s possessions and sets out to deliver it to whom is was originally addressed-Adana’s son.  The novel is a mix of science fiction and mystery, and gets its power from it genre mix and great character development.
 
Mr. Nobody
By Catherine Steadman
Neuropsychiatrist Emma Lewis is called to evaluate a man found wandering on a British beach with no ID and  who is mute.  He becomes a  media sensation, and her handling of the case could make her career.  However, to treat him, she needs to return to the town she left 14 years before, and as she treats Mr. Nobody, she discovers that not only does her know  her, but he knows the secrets she has been hiding.
 
The Sacrament
By Olaf Olafsson
The story is told in the voice of a nun from France who is asked by the Vatican to re-investigate an incident she originally investigated years before in Iceland.  The book may be slow moving as the story quietly unfolds, and you will need to concentrate on the characters to figure out the time line in the book, but it is worthwhile in the end.  A  story that will keep ou thinking  emerges that will be worth the wait.
 
Why Meadow Died
By Andrew Pollack and Max Eden
Pollack’s daughter, Meadow, died in the Parkland shooting.  Pollack went out on a mission to find out what went wrong, and during his investigations, he finds lots of concerns.  The shooter fell through the cracks in the education system.  The safety protocols set into place were not followed.  So many things went wrong.  You may not agree with  all his solutions, but he wanted his voice to be heard on behalf of the young people in our country. 

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?