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

Book Lovers Recommendations April 2019

The Age of Light

The Age of Light
By Whitney Scharer

This is the fictionalized story of Lee Miller, who was a Vogue model in the 1920’s. She aspired to be a photographer and travelled to Paris where she met the surrealistic photographer, Man Ray, who wanted to have her pose for him. She convinced him to be her mentor, to teach her photography, and she also became his mistress. Their turbulent relationship resulted in the transformation of her career and her personal life as well. Check Our Catalog

 

BowlawayBowlaway
By Elizabeth McCracker

This is an American “tall tale.” At the turn of the century in a small town in Massachusetts, the residents find a woman’s body. Bertha, who at first appeared to be dead, ends up transforming the town and the townspeople. She opens up the first ever candlepin bowling alley and married the town’s black doctor, and has a child. She turns the town a little upside down as she lives life on her own terms. Check Our Catalog

 

The Current
The Current
By Tim Johnston

Two college friends end up fighting for their lives in the current of the river after their car was pushed into the icy water by an unknown assailant(s). One girl survives; one does not, but the town is shocked as a similar incident occurred ten years before. Are the two incidences related? The citizens are drawn into the situation fraught with drama, politics, pain and violence.Check Our Catalog

The Dakota WintersThe Dakota Winters
By Tom Barbash

A father and son come to terms with their lives in New York City in the 1980’s. The son has come back from the Peace Corps and needs to know what to do now, and the father, a late night TV show host, has had a mid-life crisis and needs direction as well. The son is influenced by one of the Dakota’s most famous residents, John Lennon. The author recreates the time period very vividly, with characters that are believeable. Check Our Catalog

The GlovemakerThe Glovemaker
By Ann Weisgarber

It is 1888 and Deborah is alone in an isolated part of the Utah territory, living in a small enclave with seven other Mormon families. Her life changes when a fugitive turns up on her doorstep who turns out to be a Mormon fleeing a federal marshal, who soon shows up Deborah is forced to handle this situation on he own, based on her own faith and personal beliefs, and her actions change her life and the lives of others. Check Our Catalog

Her One MistakeHer One Mistake
By Heidi Perks

At first this is a missing persons mystery-Charlotte takes her friend’s little girl to a fair in their small English village and in the blink of an eye, the little girl disappears. Everyone is bereft until halfway through the novel, when the reader finds out that things are not always as they appear. Lots of twists and turns make this an exciting read. Check Our Catalog

The ReckoningThe Reckoning
By Yrsa Sigurdardottir

This psychological suspense/mystery novel begins with the disappearance in 2004 of an 8 year old child on her first day in a new school and picks up 12 years later, when a mysterious note in the school’s time capsule seems to contain information about the disappearance. A detective is assigned a child psychologist to try to get more information, and they go down a dark path full of twists and turns as they solve the mystery. Check Our Catalog

The Red Address BookThe Red Address Book
By Sofia Lundberg

A 96 year old woman living in Sweden uses the red address book given to her by her father when she was ten to write down a story of her life using the many people she had contact with. She wants her story to help her connect with her well-loved grand niece who lives in America. Check Our Catalog

The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Tattooist of Auschwitz
By Heather Morris

This is the fictionalized account of the life of Lali Sokolov, who told his story to author Heather Morris, who met him in 2003. Lali was sent to Auschwitz in April 1942, and was given the job of tattooing numbers of the prisoners as they arrived. Lali meets Gita when he tattoos a number on her arm, and his love for her shows that human love did not disappear even in the dehumanizing. This book details their life both during and after the war. Check Our Catalog

The Weight of a PianoThe Weight of a Piano
By Chris Cander

This is the life story of a piano and the people it touches, from its very beginning when its maker picks out the exact tree that he wants for its wood, until-when you will have to read the book to find out what happens to it-and to the many people whose lives if touches from Soviet Russia to the United States. Check Our Catalog

Book Lovers Recommendations March 2019

The Au PairThe Au Pair
By Emma Rous

Seraphine Mayes never understood why her mother threw herself off a cliff on their Norfolk estate right after she gave birth to Seraphine and her twin brother, which just so happened to be the same day that the family’s au pair disappeared. Now she is determined to find out the truth, and this leads her to discovering lots of family secrets, leading to a dramatic conclusion.

Death Comes to BathDeath Comes to Bath
By Catherine Lloyd

Part of a series of historical mysteries, this novel can stand-alone as well. Sir Robert Kurland and his wife visit Bath after Sir Robert is injured at Waterloo. When a wealthy businessman he befriends is found stabbed to death in the Roman baths, the couple stay on to solve the mystery.

Desolation MountainDesolation Mountain
By William Kent Krueger

Stephen O’Connor joins forces with his father and some other Native Americans to find out the truth about a plane that crashed in Minnesota, killing the US Senator who was on it, as well as much of her family. This is a twisted mystery/adventure compounded by the differences in personalities and cultures of the investigators.

Kitchen YarnsKitchen Yarns
By Ann Hood

This is a collection of essays written by Ann Hood which are connected by their shared theme of food and cooking. Ann Hood, who has survived the death of a child, adoption, divorce and re-marriage, writes like an old friend. Reading her is like listening to someone you would love to have sitting next to you in your kitchen with a cup of tea.

Late Life LoveLate Life Love
By Susan Gubar

Susan has just turned 70 and this is a memoir, focusing a lot on how she lives her life now. She has had ovarian cancer for 10 years and is sharing her life with a second husband, 17 years older than she is. She writes about how the two of them have found how rewarding life can be at any age or stage of life.

The Light Over London

The Light Over London
By Julia Kelly

In 2017, Cara finds an old journal written by a young woman during World War II, telling about a wartime romance. The novel goes back and forth between present time Cara, and Louise, starting when Louise was 17 in World War II England. Cara’s search for the information about the woman who wrote the journal leads her to truths about past loves and relationships and some secrets from her past.

My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and DebbieMy Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and Debbie
By Todd Fisher

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were two larger-than-life personalities, and between them, their lives and careers spanned several generations. Their deaths in 2016 occurred within 24 hours of each other. The only surviving family member, Debbie’s son, Todd, has written this book about his fascinating family. It’s an interesting story told by the only person who knew them well enough to tell it.

Nine Pints: A Journey Through Money, Medicine and Mysteries of BloodNine Pints: A Journey Through Money, Medicine and Mysteries of Blood
By Rose George

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know – and a few things you might not have wanted- about blood is covered in this book, by Rose George. Science, politics, Ebola, synthetic blood, more are covered her. It’s much more fun than it sounds.

The Right SideThe Right Side
By Spencer Quinn

Spunky LeAnn is a female soldier, who has been at Walter Reed hospital for what seems like 50 years. After her hospital roommate dies, LeAnn sets out to visit her home in Washington State. LeAnn meets a dog, who helps her perform daily tasks, always at her “right side,” which was damaged in the war. LeAnn and her dog are an unlikely pair but they turn out to be champions.

Watching YouWatching You
By Lisa Jewell

The book begins with a murder, but you don’t know who has been killed, and the pace just ratchets up from there. A body is found in the kitchen of a house in a nice neighborhood in Bristol, and one character after another is introduced at a fast pace-all of whom could have done the deed. It’s a page turner, and has a surprise conclusion.