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What We’re Reading Now… September 12, 2017

Posted by SaraC in Biographies, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Non-Fiction, poetry, Science Fiction, Thrillers.
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Here’s a look at some of the books the Adult Services department is reading now:

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

 

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Hapless Jackson begins his foray into crime by investing every penny he has in a sure-fire scheme to turn legitimate ten-dollar bills into counterfeit one-hundred dollar bills. It is only after Jackson loses all his money, and some of his bosses, that he turns to his streetwise brother Goldie for help. Goldie, who dresses as a Sister of Mercy and collects alms for ‘charity,’ works the seedier side of Harlem in aid of not only Jackson but Goldie’s own pocketbook. Written and set in 1950s Harlem this is a grippy and taut classic crime caper.  Trent

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John Ashbery: Collected Poems

I’ve been re-reading John Ashbery’s Collected Poems, 1956-1987, published by the Library of America.  Ashbery passed away last week, and there have been some wonderful tributes written about him online.  His poems are so wonderful, mysterious, and enigmatic – they feel like adventures of the mind, where you don’t know where you’ll end up, but the process can be exhilarating.  For readers who enjoy experimentation with language, Ashbery is one of the greatest.  Andrew

Cover image for Magpie murders

 

 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is a mystery within a mystery. Susan Ryeland is the editor of popular, but difficult, author Alan Conway’s books. When he suddenly dies of a suspicious suicide after turning in his most recent manuscript, Susan begins some detective work of her own, beginning with investigating the contents of the manuscript. Will it reveal Conway’s killer? Dori

Cover image for In the Great Green Room

 

In the Great Green Room by Amy Gary

In the Great Green Room is a fascinating window into the life of Margaret Wise Brown, the children’s author who famously penned Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and over 100 others. The book begins in Margaret’s childhood: a whirlwind of boarding schools in Switzerland and Massachusetts, shoulder-rubbing with members of elite United States families, and family vacations in island homes off the coast of New York–all the while, Margaret’s mind was constantly turning out whimsy. Later in her adult life, she had a playfulness that drew a stream of friends, associates, editors, and lovers to her house. She spent her first royalty check on a cartful of flowers; she lead a group called the Bird Brain Society where any member could declare a day Christmas and the other members would come over and celebrate it; the line between play and life was never entirely clear to her. Just when, at 42, she was engaged to be married and began settling into a more stable life, she died suddenly. This biography is a wonderful read for those interested in bold, brilliant women who made a mark on the world in unconventional ways. Lyndsey

Cover image for Girls made of snow and glass

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Girls Made of Snow and Glass  is a new YA retelling of Snow White. Mina, the daughter of a magician, has a heart of glass. When she and her father move to Whitespring Castle Mina devises a plan to win the king’s favor so that she can be the queen and finally know love. When she finally succeeds at her plan, she becomes a stepmother to the princess Lynet. Lynet is the spitting image of her dead mother, who by all accounts was beautiful and delicate. Lynet is headstrong and fierce and hates living the the shadow of a mother she never knew. When King Nicholas declares his intention make Lynet the Queen of the South instead of Mina, he creates a rivalry between the two women. Is Mina capable of destroying the one person who loves her? Can Lynet save the only mother she has even known? Megan

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I recently revisited this personal favorite of mine after watching the TV adaptation produced this past summer. Gaiman is a master story teller that produces accessible, yet still challenging, novels. To enter the world of American Gods is to enter a place where every deity ever worshiped on American soil is given a corporeal presence. Recently released from prison Shadow Moon is greeted with devastating news that sets him on a fantastical journey which reveals the gods living among us. These deities who live on attention and worship are far from their heyday and are showing the signs of the neglect. It doesn’t help that their worshipers have shifted their attention to new gods created through our culture’s adoration of technology, media, and the world economy. A book that seamless combines the world and troubles of the everyday with the fantastical. I would recommend this to readers who are new to Gaiman and get a full picture of his style and world building. Greg

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The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis is about the research that two men did 40 years ago about the way we make decisions. This is a very biographical, anecdotal depiction of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. If you go into this book wanting to know about the men who created the field of behavioral economics, you’ll enjoy this one. Beth

 

 

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Nutshell by Ian McEwan

A tale told by a baby-to-be or not-to-be? This story unfolds by a talking fetus who bears witness to an affair between his mother, Trudy, and his uncle, Claude. The adulterous pair are scheming to kill the baby’s father, John. Will the narrator be able to prevent such a crime, and possibly pursue revenge?Many twists and turns as to what will become of our villains, victims and beloved narrator.  McEwan has stuffed this tale with Shakespearean throwbacks and extensive dialogue filled with weighty vocabulary – have your dictionary handy! Mary

Cover image for MY SISTER'S GRAVE:

 

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

This is the first book in the Tracy Crosswhite series, a story of a woman who has spent the last 20 years questioning the circumstances around the death of her sister, Sarah and the murder trial that followed. When  Sarah’s body is finally found, her sister Tracy, now a homicide detective is determined to find out what happened all those years ago, and why people she loved and trusted lied to her.  An exciting, well-written thriller with twists and turns that surprise, but don’t push the bounds of belief.  I’m a little late to the Crosswhite series with the author soon to publish Book #5, but I’m looking forward to getting to know Tracy better as I keep reading! Sara

 

Cover image for On her majesty's frightfully secret service

 

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

Lady Georgiana (Georgie) Rannoch wants to marry her Catholic fiancée Darcy but first needs permission from Queen Mary and parliament. By marrying Darcy she would give up her place in line as 35th in line to the British throne. The Queen asks a favor of Georgie first. There is a party that the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson will be attending. The queen wants Georgie to go to the party and make sure the Prince and Mrs. Simpson don’t marry. Two guests are murdered at the house party and Georgie gets involved in solving the mysteries almost becoming a victim herself. Emma

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New in the Reading Room! September 8, 2017

Posted by SaraC in Beach Reads, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Uncategorized.
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Take a look at these new book reviews in our Reading Room.  Click on the link to take you there.

 

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Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

 

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Agatha Christie: Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

 

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 On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

 

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Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

 

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The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Appelfeld

 

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The Coroner’s Daughter by Andrew Hughes

 

2016 Favorites – Top 12 Edition December 16, 2016

Posted by Dori in Book Awards, Book List, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Holiday Books, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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2016 was a book lover’s dream – I was like a kid in a candy store. Between reading and listening, I managed to finish a lot of literary fiction, and a few science fiction and suspense titles, but I have some catching up to do into 2017. Here are the books that I relished in 2016, in no particular order:

laroseLaRose by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a writer that I never miss and this book sums up what I love so much about her writing: devotion to characters, insightful commentary on American culture, family love and exploration of the mystical.

 

undergroundThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Deserved winner of the National Book Award, this book is a wildly creative and harrowing look at slavery and its legacy. A must read.

 

 

beforeBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, a screenwriter, deftly takes us through a horrific plane crash, exploring the survivor’s guilt and the investigation into the cause.

 

 

mynameMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This small book packs a punch – mother/daughter relationships, poverty, marriage – are all addressed powerfully and in Lucy’s voice – lovely and sad.

 

 

vegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
There’s no doubt that this is a weird book – it’s about a young woman whose choice to become a vegetarian impacts her whole family in tragic ways – but it’s also both mesmerizing and beautiful.

 

 

queenQueen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Chee’s historical epic about a 19th century American who becomes a famous Parisian courtesan and opera singer envelops and transports you.

 

 

commonCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
This is my first Patchett novel and I may have to read her earlier books based on this one – who doesn’t love a book about a dysfunctional family that sucks you in and doesn’t let go?

 

 

multipleMultiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Zambra is a Chilean author and his books often deal with memory and choice within the framework of Chile’s recent authoritarian history. This one’s in the form of a multiple choice test

 

 

goldenThe Golden Age by Joan London
Maybe my favorite of all, London’s look at how people deal with displacement in their lives takes place during the polio epidemic in Australia after World War II. It’s surprisingly sweet and tender and you’ll fall in love with the characters.

 

 

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
History, relationships, life, love, rockets! – all in Chabon’s signature style.

 

 

 

swingSwing Time by Zadie Smith
I haven’t quite finished Smith’s latest about two young brown girls growing up in London and the different paths they take based on family, race, class and culture, but I’m entranced so far.

 

 

darker

 

gathering

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I always like to dip into some great science fiction and I really enjoyed these first two in a series that take us to fantastic parallel worlds.  No. 3 is up next year!

 

BONUS CHRISTMAS BOOK:

fieldsThe Fields Where They Lay by Timonthy Hallinan
I chose this book for my Holiday read and I think I’ve found a new mystery series! It’s funny and clever and the mystery unfolded perfectly.

 

 

 

If` I could keep going, I’d throw these in as well: Debuts The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Yid by Paul Goldberg, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, A Great Reckoning by  master of mystery Louise Penney, The Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Latest Additions January 18, 2016

Posted by Beth in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery.
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Many people find themselves at home today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  birthday. If you’re one of the lucky ones who does not have to navigate the snowy streets of Cleveland, why not curl up with a book? We have thousands of titles available for you to borrow from our digital collection from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the titles that our staff has recently added to the Reading Room:

come hell or high ball

purity

danish girl

nature of the beast

witch daughter

Happy reading!
Beth

 

 

 

Dori’s Top Books of 2015 December 17, 2015

Posted by Dori in Audio, Biographies, Book List, Fantasy, Fiction, First Novel, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Non-Fiction, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2015.
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Every year I say this and every year it’s true: I did not read nearly enough this year! I’ve been perusing all the lists of Best Books including my RRPL coworkers’ lists and realized that I’ve missed so many – the pile on my nightstand is calling…

In the meantime, here’s a list of books, in no particular order, that thrilled, chilled, amazed, and enlightened me – books that took me to other places, be they the heads of other people, fantastical lands or back in time.

The Book of Aaron by Jim Shepard: told through the eyes of a young Jewish boy as the Nazis sweep through Warsaw – the emotional impact, the plain, raw language – just wow.

The Whites by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt: I’ve never read Price before, but I am now a fan. A gritty look at crime and cops in New York with a well-drawn cast of characters. I listened to it and the narrator really captured all the voices.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik: a fantastic fairy tale for grown-ups – go strong women!

Purity by Jonathan Franzen: while maybe not the best of Franzen, it’s a fascinating look at secrecy vs. transparency – in families, in societies and on the internet.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: a weird, violent and really different book that sucks you in with its fantastical story and its offbeat, kick-a@* heroine.

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald : a memoir about recovering from the sudden death of her father – beautiful writing, natural history lessons and a look at T.H. White – an odd mix that works perfectly.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – I love, love, love Lauren Groff – her lush and lyrical writing makes me swoon! It’s the president’s favorite book, too!

A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler: another audiobook – I’m a sucker for a family story and this slow, meandering look at the Whitshank family through the years resonates.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: this timely book by a writer at The Atlantic is a letter to the author’s son about his experiences as a black man in America. It’s both eye-opening and beautifully written with soaring and passionate prose.

Speak by Louisa Hall: this novel surprised and moved me – it’s told from a number of voices across centuries and explores artificial intelligence while stressing our essential needs for communication and connection.

Enjoy and Happiest of Holidays!

~ Dori

 

Your Book Your Brew November 5, 2015

Posted by Dori in Audio, Biographies, Book Discussion, Book List, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Books, Non-Fiction.
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Both the brews and the books were flowing when the Your Book Your Brew group met Friday, October 23 at Tommy’s Summer Place. We each shared 2 to 3 books that we’d enjoyed and then the discussion took off!

Here’s the list:

Ann:

dayeight

The Day We Met by Rowan Coleman and Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Ed:

gowives

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and The Wives of Los Alamos by Tarashea Nesbit

Sarah:

torchiceprincess

Torch by Cheryl Strayed and The Camilla Lackberg series

Stacey:

crookedsouldumplin

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans, Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dori:

fateskitchens

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff and Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Mike:

puritycloudlumenlordfearclassa

Purity by Jonathan Franzen, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Luminaries by Eleanor Cotton and Lord Fear and Class A, both by Lucas Mann

Donna:

nemesisbeachalertliar

Nemesis by Catherine Coulter, Beach Town by MaryKay Andrews, Liar by Nora Roberts and Alert by James Patterson

Other books that came up in the conversation were two books by food guru Ruth Reichl, her new memoir My Kitchen Year and her foray into fiction, Delicious. We reminisced about the children’s book All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor and discussed a few biographies, including those about Johnny Carson and Charles Manson and a memoir by actress Jennie Garth (yes, that’s how it goes when you’re talking books – all over the map!). We also talked about The Women’s Room, a feminist novel published in the late 70s, The Library at Mount Char, a weird but really good new science fiction book that Stacey and I listened to and heard raves about Tampa, by Alisa Nutting.

Thanks to Ann, Ed, Sarah, Sarah, Donna and Mike for joining us and we hope more folks will come along and share some book recommendations at our next meeting on Friday, December 11th at 5pm at Erie Island Coffee Co.

Dori

Fall Into Reading September 9, 2015

Posted by Dori in Book List, Book Review, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Books, Non-Fiction.
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Like it or not, Summer is over. Well, not officially, but it feels like beaches, picnics and vacations and are behind us and Fall is in the air. And with Fall comes coziness, blankets, a chair and books aplenty. I’ve asked my colleagues to list some books they are looking forward to this Fall. Feel free to comment and share your own.last The Last Midwife, Sandra Dallas
I enjoy historical fiction and this one takes place in the 1880’s in a small Colorado town. Sandra Dallas is a wonderful story teller.

comeCome Rain or Come Shine, Jan Karon
The 11th entry in the “Mitford Years” series continues the story of Dooley Kavanagh, Father Tim’s adopted son, as he graduates from veterinary school and gets married.witchesThe Witches: Salem, 1692, Stacy Schiff
This is a recounting of the Salem hysteria in modern times by Pulitzer Prize winning author Stacy Schiff.eveEve, William P. Young, William
The author’s previous novel The Shack is an unusual tale of the Trinity. Now Eve is an exploration of the Biblical creation story.

~ Emma

makeMake Your Own Rules CookbookTara Stiles
This is the follow-up companion to yoga guru Stiles’s November 2014 release, Make Your Own Rules Diet.  Everything about Stiles—her yoga instruction, philosophy, recommendations, and recipes—are simple and emphasize always doing what works for you.careerCareer of EvilRobert Galbraith
I’m itching to get my hands on the third book in Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)’s murder mystery series starring private detective Cormoran Strike.  Strike and his assistant Robin are wonderful characters I loved immediately—it will be good to have them back.

~ Lauren

girlGirl Waits With GunAmy Stewart
This a novel about a woman who spoke up and took action when that was frowned upon in her era. I like strong female characters and look forward to meeting Amy Stewart’s character Constance.cityCity on FireGarth Hallberg
This is a debut novel with something for everyone…a citywide blackout, rich New York heirs, punk rockers, and a reporter all twisted up in a Central Park shooting . Should be interesting!

~ Maureen

lakeThe Lake House, Kate Morton
The queen of the dual-period historical fiction storylines, Kate Morton, is releasing The Lake House this October.  In this novel, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police and retreats to her beloved grandfather’s cottage in Cornwall. There she finds herself at a loose end, until one day she stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace. Set in 1933 and then 70 years later, like Morton’s other best-selling novels, it sure to be a lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies.wakeThe Wake of Vultures, Lila Bowen
Also out this October is the planned first of a series set in a paranormal-filled Wild West that finds blind Nettie killing a man and gaining her eyesight to the weirdness in the world around her. With her newly opened eyes (and money stolen from the dead man), Nettie leaves behind her horrible life and embarks on a journey that leads her to her people and her own strange roots.

~ Carol

furiouslyFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, Jenny Lawson
I love a good female memoir and if there’s some humor, I’m all about it.  This memoir sounds funny and down to earth.felinesFelines of New York, Jim Tews
I’m a big fan of Humans of New York, and this satirical spinoff is equally entertaining, though not nearly as serious.  I love a good story, but I’m also interested in a good laugh, and this is sure to bring the joy.

~ Beth

winterWinterMarissa Meyer
Winter is the fourth book in The Lunar Chronicles series. This series is an amazing mash-up of teen science fiction and fractured fairy tales. Readers new to the series will want to start with Cinder, where you will meet the title character who is an orphaned cyborg. She is a second-class citizen in New Beijing, but her talents as a mechanic catch the attentions of the young prince. Soon Cinder is swept into an intergalactic struggle. Each book in the series introduces a new character, but they all advance the same storyline. Tension has been slowly building and shocking secrets have been revealed and everything will come to a head in this final book. I can’t wait to see if everyone gets their happily ever after!carryCarry OnRainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell introduced Simon Snow in her smash hit, Fangirl. In Fangirl, the character Cath writes fan fiction about her favorite fictional character, Simon Snow (which is totally a nod to Harry Potter, if you ask me). Now, fans of Fangirl get to experience the story Cath loved! I am so excited for this book because I loved Simon and Baz from the fan fiction stories in Fangirl.  How incredibly meta is this? It’s the story that a fictional character used to write fictional fan fiction! That’s a lot to wrap my head around!afterAfter AliceGregory Maguire
From the mastermind behind the Wicked series comes a new twist on the classic tale, Alice in Wonderland. In this reimaging, Alice’s friend Ada journeys through Wonderland in search of the missing Alice. I obviously like retellings and I have been on a bit of a Wonderland kick recently, so this one is a must-read for me!

~ Megan

fatesFates and Furies, Lauren Groff
I really loved Groff’s last book, Arcadia – her writing, her ideas, her storytelling – so this one about a marriage told from the perspective of the husband, Lotto (Fates) and his wife Mathilde (Furies) will, hopefully, fufill my need for more of Groff’s intelligence, insight and amazing writing. marvelsThe MarvelsBrian Selznick:
Selznick’ s The Invention of Hugo Cabret was a beautiful, weird, boundary pushing book and I can’t wait to, once again, be mesmerized by his images and immersed in his mystifying stories. The Marvels weaves together together two seemingly separate stories, one told through images about a theatrical family and a shipwreck in the 18th century and the other told in words about a young man in 1990’s who has run away from boarding school in search of an address where his uncle lives. tsarThe Tsar of Love and TechnoAnthony Marra
Marra’s first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, was an emotional doozie of a novel about human endurance set in war-torn Chechnya. This is a collection of interconnected short stories set in the same part of the world and if it’s anything like the first, I’m all in.

~ Dori

News from the Reading World May 14, 2015

Posted by Dori in Book Discussion, Debut Author, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction.
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If you are both a literature and information junkie like me, there’s a new website on the block called Literary Hub. Culling through everything literature related on the web, it selects the best and brightest and offers it up for browsing or some in-depth exploration. It focuses on literary fiction and nonfiction, contains essays, interviews, news, book excerpts and even commissions original works. I know I’ll be getting lost in its pages.

parisspeculationThe Library Reads selections for June are out, so if you want to get a jump on the books Librarians are looking forward to, check it out. I have The Little Paris Bookshop and The Book of Speculation on my nightstand (maybe because both are about books, reading and there’s even a Librarian? Maybe…but no judgement please!)

The Indie Next List of books recommended by Independent Bookstores is another good place to find your next read. I’ve read The Luckiest Girl Alive, a twisty tale with a fierce protagonist who’s tragic past is slowly fire uncovered, and my colleagues are raving about Lisa Lutz’s new, and different for her, book How to Start a Fire.  The Given World, Girl at War and The Book of Aron, beautifully written novels about war and its devastating effects, may appeal to readers of All the Light We Cannot See and The Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I’d also like to read Irish author Anne Enright ‘s new book and I’ve heard great things about The Church of Marvels. Where to start?

Get thee reading – and if you need more suggestions, call us – we’re fellow book lovers who are here to help.

~ Dori

Top Reads of 2014 December 8, 2014

Posted by Dori in Biographies, Book List, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Top Ten.
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Here are my top ten of 2014 – I can’t wait for the new reading year to begin!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart: I loved this coming-of-age epic novel about Theodore, who, after his mother dies in a bombing at an art museum in New York, moves around and in and out of people’s lives, grieving for his mother and trying to figure out what to do with his life. A stolen 17th Century Dutch painting, New York City, Las Vegas and some very loving and very shady characters play roles. I can highly recommend the audiobook as I began with it but soon had to get the book so that I could immerse myself as often as possible.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I gravitate towards novels set during the World Wars – hoping they’ll enlighten me or maybe it’s just that it’s so hard to imagine living during such times. Anyway, Doerr’s work is a beautifully written look at the lives of two young people who are growing up during World War II, one in France, the other Germany, and how their lives converge. Magical.

Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. Chast’s graphic novel about dealing with her parents as they are growing older and becoming unable to care for themselves is funny, matter-of-fact and heartbreaking.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Back and forth between the present, where a flu virus has destroyed most of civilization and the past, just before the end of the world, six peoples’ lives intertwine, from an actress with a travelling band of entertainers, to a mysterious and menacing prophet. Unusual and moving, this is a beautiful novel.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer: These three books, Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance, were all released in 2014. They are weird, frustrating, and menacing works about the mysterious Area X, an isolated coastal area where something otherworldly has happened.  Let’s just say that no one is reliable, there are lies and more lies and weird creatures and very few names and…I’m still trying to figure it all out!

Euphoria by Lily King: Oh to sit around in a tent in the South Pacific chatting with the likes of Margaret Mead! This novel is based on Mead’s research and the love triangle between herself and her second and third husbands. Youth, brilliance, and sensuality permeate this lovely novel.

The Remedy for Love: a Novel by Bill Roorbach: This novel is about a highly unlikely relationship that develops under extreme circumstances. A small town lawyer ends up stuck in a cabin in the woods with a woman who has lost everything during a freak snowstorm. It was funny, insightful and a little bit edge-of-your-seat thrilling.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris: A misanthropic, highly successful dentist has a phobia for technology and a fascination with religion – and then someone steals his web identity and tells him he’s a descendent of an ancient religious sect.  Ferris’ descriptive writing is spot on and often hilarious. You may not love Dr. O’Rourke – he can be super caustic, but you’ll want to travel with him on this journey. Oh and now I floss a lot more – it’ll add seven years to your life!

The Secret Place by Tana French: French is a great writer of mystery suspense – she really captures a place and gives depth to her characters. This one is set in a wealthy all-girls school after the murder of a male student at a nearby school and captures the secrets and lies that permeate the air.

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld: Australian Wyld has created a fascinating character in Jake Whyte, a woman living on her own on raising sheep, which someone or something is trying to kill off. The structure of the book is unique – as we move forward in Jake’s quest to uncover the culprit, we also move backward as we discover why Jake has isolated herself.  This book is ominous and claustrophobic – but Jake is a tough cookie and you root for her in a big way.

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart: Shteyngart is known for fiction, but his life so far makes for a mesmerizing memoir. Early memories of the Soviet Union, his immigration to the U.S., his relationship with his parents and his fragile health are fuel for this both laugh-out loud funny and touchingly poignant book.

~ Dori

Moriarty is the Name July 2, 2014

Posted by Ann in Beach Reads, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Summer Reading.
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Moriarty lianeMoriarty Laura

No they aren’t sisters or cousins. In fact, Liane Moriarty and Laura Moriarty are not related, but both authors have written highly acclaimed novels within the last few years. Liane is an Australian writer who started out in the advertising and marketing world. Laura earned her degree in social work before pursuing writing and is now a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kansas.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty is a blockbuster beach read or anytime read. What if you found a letter addressed to you by your husband- to be read only after he’s dead, but right now he’s very much alive. Would you read it? That is Cecelia’s dilemma. It’s one of those books that you just have to tell others about … so if you’ve not yet read it, it makes a perfect book with which to while away the summer!

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty is an intriguing look at life, especially for women in the 1920’s. Moriarty has woven a story featuring the the silent film star Louise Brooks as a bratty teenager. In this fictional account young Louise goes to New York City to study dance and is accompanied by an acquaintance of her mother, Cora Carlisle. Cora has her own reasons for wanting to travel from Kansas City to New York, and it all makes for an excellent saga. The Washington Post says” In “The Chaperone,” Moriarty gives us a historically detailed and nuanced portrayal of the social upheaval that spilled into every corner of American life by 1922.”

~Ann