Thursday, November 1, 2018

Coming in November


Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
Nine guests, including struggling romance writer Frances Welty, descend on a wellness retreat Tranquilliam House, in rural Australia, for some rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation of their minds, bodies, and in some cases, their relationships.  The retreat is none like any other, with the hostess and owner Masha, a little too militant as she insists she knows best what each guest needs.  When things take an odd and most unsettling turn, the guests must turn to each other and find their own inner strength if they hope to survive. Complex characters and relationships with a touch of mystery, are staples of Moriarty’s are abundant here.

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
Still suspended and under investigation for a drug sting that brought down major drug cartels, but allowed untold quantities of opioids on to the street, Armand Gamache is startled when he is summoned to a farm house along with Three Pines bookstore owner Myrna, and a third young man, a stranger to both of them, to be the executors of an estate of a woman none of them knew.  In the dead of winter, the three meet with a solicitor as they try and understand the seemingly odd choices the old woman made.  When a body is found in the same farmhouse, the woman’s choices seem prudent, but Gamache can never take things at face value and tries to reframe the events with new eyes.  As he does, her realizes he may need to also reframe his own story with the new eyes in order for things to reach their natural conclusion and for his, and his team’s, redemption.




Why Religion? By Elaine Pagels
This deeply personal book takes a look at what role, if any, religion and beliefs, play in modern life.  After the death of her young son, and loss of her husband a year later, Pagels, who has written numerous books on religion, turns her questions inward to try and understand, even make sense, of her grief, in this achingly bittersweet, heartbreaking, yet hopeful, memoir.






Check out LibraryReads for more great titles! 





Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Coming in October

Just because the summer is over doesn't meant there aren't still plenty of new books coming out...


Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony
Each year, Violet Baumgartner sits down to write her annual Christmas letter, reflecting fondly on the triumphs of her family, husband “dear Ed”, a noted scientist and researcher, and daughter Cerise, who overachieves on all levels.  Violet’s carefully constructed world falls apart when, at her husband’s lavish retirement party, one of the guests announces that Cerise, a lesbian, is pregnant, unbeknownst to Violet.  Violet suffers an accident, and during her recovery, her Midwest town of St. Paul, Minnesota, and her family, rally around her while Violet is able to use the time to readjust her lens and see the reality of her world as it really is, not as she is trying to present it to the world.  Laugh aloud funny, tender, and vaguely familiar at times, these characters will stay in readers’ hearts long after the last page has been turned.


Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
This heartwarming imagining of Marilla Cuthbert’s early years, set on Prince Edward Island during the 19th century, will endear her even more to Anne fans.  At thirteen Marilla is determined and anxious to get the most out of life: she meets her mother’s twin sister, an outspoken spinster who has her own business and her mother dies; she meets her best, lifelong friend Rachel, and the young man who wins her heart, John Blythe, known to Anne fans as Gilbert’s father.  All of this set against American pre-Civil War politics and social sensibilities, including the Underground Railroad.  Anne fans will adore this well-written tale of the woman who takes Anne in, though the novel can stand well on its own as Marilla grows into a young woman with strength of character, and strong convictions, yet a heart big enough to take in a young orphan girl named Anne. 

Check out Library Reads for more great reads! 







Thursday, September 6, 2018

Leopard at the Door

Author: J. McVeigh    
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Gripping novel of Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya in 1950s as they attempt to gain independence from British imperial rule.

Magical Dogs: Love and Lessons from Our Canine Companions

Author: Patti Kerr    
Stars: 5
Review by: Miss Lucy

Stay away from dog shelters after reading this book, or you may end up with a houseful of dogs! Written by fellow Adult Summer Reading Club member Patti Kerr, this book will melt your heart. After reading the first few of the true stories that Patti has brought to life, I couldn't put this book down! I'm looking forward to reading her new book: Magical Dogs 2.

Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)

Author: Arden Rose
Stars: 3
Review by: Miss Lucy

If you feel like it's time to become an adult, but still don't feel like one (which apparently includes most of us), read along with YouTuber Arden Rose as she shares her own experience in the matter.

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home For Famous Writers

Author: Terri-Lynne DeFino    
Stars: 1
Review by: Lizzytish

It was hard to rate this book. The author writes so beautifully. The premise is a great idea. I loved the setting of Bar Harbor. I adored Fin. It’s a story within the story with each chapter being developed by a different author. It was not about love, but lust and bed hopping. It could have been so much more. And the ending. What? Fell rather flat for me in regards to the story within the story.

Toucan Keep A Secret

Author: Donna Andrews
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

It’s always fun hooking back up with Meg and family. Of course there’s a body along with jewels, crypts, a toucan, swans and more. Great escapism reading. 

Carnegie's Maid

Author: Marie Benedict    
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

Historical Fiction which speculates that a Lady's Maid for the mother of Andrew Carnegie was the inspiration for his philanthropy. Excellent!

The False Hearted Teddy

Author: John J. Lamb    
Stars: 4
Review by: BookWorm2

Another in Lamb's Teddy Bear Mysteries. Easy, enjoyable read.

Next Year in Havana

Author: Chanel Cleeton    
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

EXCELLENT new book. Also one of Reese Witherspoon's book club picks. Perfectly descriptive narrative of life in Cube pre and post Castro. A Must read.

The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

An amazing, powerful book and his first novel! I'd recommend it to everyone.

The Points of My Compass

Author: E.B. White
Stars: 5
Review by: KM

I was delighted. A collection of letters he sent to the New Yorker; each one is a gem, filled with, as the book jacket states, "impeccable prose." The content includes a wide range of topics such as commentary about buying a car, (in the late 1950's and early 1960's), pigeon and raccoon observations, the state of the U.N., and his high adventure on a steamer ship en route to Alaska and Siberia as a youth. If you like excellent writing and intelligent wit and humor, give it a try!     

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Author: Elena Ferrante
Stars: 5
Review by: Mitchie L

Book Three of The Neapolitan Novels. It is a beautifully written continuation of a friendship of two women spanning their lifetime. I could not put it down. Can't wait to read the final book four.

The Cemetary Keeper’s Wife

Author: Maryann McFadden    
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

Hackettstown, NJ friends will find this Tillie Smith’s murder tale a page turner to the very end!

The Last Black Unicorn

Author: Tiffany Haddish
Stars: 3
Review by: Irene S.

Interesting memoir of young black comedienne, but it had a lot of foul language.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Bill Bryson    
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Very funny memoir, though with some serious observations, of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

A Reporter's Life

Author: Walter Cronkite
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Very interesting memoir by one of the first TV news anchormen who led a very varied life.

Moby Dick

Author: Herman Melville    
Stars: 5
Review by: Jennifer O.

I have not finished this book, but the summer is over and I've spent a great deal of time reading it. There is a sense of wonder for people and places around the world, and for the great sperm whale. Beautiful writing with many long sentences, which I love. I will continue on until I'm finished. Enjoying it.

The Way of Kings

Author: Brandon Sanderson    
Stars: 5
Review by: SandyJ

I enjoyed this book because I read it at the same time as my two teenagers. We had our own summer reading club!

A Going Concern

Author: Catherine Aird
Stars: 5
Review by: VM

I started with her first Inspector Sloan mystery written in 1966.  The library has most of them, they are easy reads and fun too.

After Effects

Author: Catherine Aird    
Stars: 4
Review by: VM

15th in the Inspector Sloan series.

Injury Time

Author: Catherine Aird
Stars: 4
Review by: VM

Short stories.

Amendment of Life

Author: Catherine Aird    
Stars: 5
Review by: VM

Mystery series, easy to read, enjoyable, British setting.

Bryant & May: Wild Chamber

Author: Christopher Fowler
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

The latest in the Bryant & May series and as wonderful as all the rest. I highly recommend these for any mystery lover and especially for Anglophiles - each book is packed with legitimate facts and information about a specific topic intrinsic to England (this one focuses on London's parks) and all are fascinating.

Original Cyn

Author: Sue Margolis
Stars: 4
Review by: line82

Slightly predictable, but entertaining chick lit beach read.

Kennedy’s Last Days

Author: Bill O’Reilly    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

This is the children’s version of O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy, intended for middle grade readers. I listened to this on the library’s app “Libby”,and couldn’t stop! This was an entertaining, concise history lesson.

The Other Woman

Author: Daniel Silva    
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

Couldn’t wait to read the latest Dan Silva spy series—-wasn’t disappointed.

Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over

Author: Nell Painter
Stars: 3
Review by: P.M.W.

If you enjoy art, have a background in it, or want to return to school as a mature adult, you may like this book. It was slow reading for me, as I wanted to research the artists and techniques mentioned in the book. Nell Painter was a well respected history professor at Princeton University. She retires and goes back to finish her BFA and MFA degrees in art school. Her challenges are woven throughout the book.

Dad is Fat

Author: Jim Gaffigan
Stars: 4
Review by: Tara C

As a new parent, Dad is Fat is funny, filled with somewhat cautionary tales. Gaffigan's style is easy to read and is entertaining.

The Cemetary Keeper's Wife

Author: Maryann McFadden
Stars: 5
Review by: Karyn G

I went to a friend's house for a book talk by the author. She told of us her journey in researching and writing this book. I purchased a copy on Thursday evening and finished it this morning. I never knew the legend, but I was swept into it. Great historical fiction.  Highly recommend.

Three Days Missing

Author: Kimberly Belle    
Stars: 2
Review by: Ada

Not worth the time I spent reading it.

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe

Author: Jenny Colgan
Stars: 4
Review by: KM

How can you go wrong with a title like that? That is, if you're looking for a light romance with substance and a large focus on yummy baking. British author, takes place in England.

The Rancher's Christmas Story & Cowboy's Christmas Miracle

Author: Rae Ann Thayne
Stars: 5
Review by: a 'Retired Cat' - who likes to read!

This author has written three series and I've found them all excellent!

Congratulations to.....

... our 2018 Grand Prize Winners!:

  • Headquarters - MI
  • North County - Mrs. M
  • South County - Karen T
  • Member Libraries & Bookmobile - KR-B (Holland Library)
Winner, you may pick up your prizes at the above locations starting on Wednesday, September 12.

Historic Roadsides in New Jersey

Author: The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey    
Stars: 3
Review by: BNbook

Book was written in 1928. Has some interesting facts about towns in NJ.  For example, per the book Lambertville was called Coryell's Ferry. In 1797 it was called Georgetown.    

The Last Time I Lied

Author: Riley Sager
Stars: 5
Review by: Kim P

A real page turner. Kept me guessing until the end!!!

Cavalier, A Tale of Chivalry

Author: Lucy Worsley    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Again Lucy Worsley takes you back to a much earlier time in England and lets you peak into the lives of the Cavendish family, well-to-do and well connected to royalty. If you like history you will enjoy this read.

Lonesome Dove

Author: Larry McMurtry    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

I don't remember reading any western novels but, after reading this one, I doubt any other novel about the Old West could even come close to being as good.  The story unfolds in the late nineteenth century, following a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Adventure, love, outlaws, death, Indians and settlers all play a part in this fantastic novel. The characters are very, very well developed. 5+ stars!

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate
Stars: 5
Review by:Miss Lucy

Best book I've read this year! Really interesting twists and true-to-life characters. Lisa Wingate knows how to tell a story!

Ghosted

Author: Rosie Walsh
Stars: 5
Review by: Emm

I finished this book in less than 24 hours. It had me on the edge of my seat, laughing, crying, believing in these characters. The story touches on everything - love, friendship, loss, grief, life, caregiving. It's a really great debut novel from Rosie Walsh.

Little Beach Street Bakery

Author: Jenny Colgan
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

I didn’t expect my summer to turn in to a Jenny Colgan summer but it did. I couldn’t be happier. She’s brilliant and such a fun summer read!

The Outsider

Author: Stephen King    
Stars: 5
Review by: Dorman

Okay...so I'm a huge Stephen King fan and pretty much love everything he writes...but this book is really good. It combines the supernatural with a good crime story. If you like SK then you'll like this book too. I highly recommend this book even to those who aren't SK fans.

The Hangman's Daughter

Author: Oliver Potzsch
Stars: 3
Review by: Chris L.

Historical drama based in medieval Bavaria about a town's rush to judge the midwife as a witch while the town's hangman tries to save her. Although fiction, the author based the book on tales of his own family's history as descendants of the hangman.

Under the Egg

Author: Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Stars: 4
Review by: KM

If you like art, especially the history of art, even though a juvenile book, it is a really enjoyable read. Very good writer.

Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Stars: 5
Review by: Keeread

This is one of my new favorite authors. If you like Elin Hildebrand and Kristin Hannah, then try her. Her other novel is The Hideaway. Also very good.

Murder Most Frothy

Author: Cleo Coyle    
Stars: 1
Review by: BookWorm2

Oh that I could give this one a zero... The premise was not bad, but the main character was SO contrived it was irritating. The coffee information was cool, but also felt forced into the story. The worst part was the ending - we knew "whodunit" well before the main character (as in by CD 2 or 3). Definitely skip-able.      

Quicksand

Author: Nella Larsen    
Stars: 3
Review by: S E Sanchez

Little known Harlem Renaissance writer Larsen chronicles a bi-racial woman's journey for identity, connection and purpose.

Secrets of a Charmed Life

Author: Susan Meissner
Stars: 4
Review by: Linda

She does not disappoint!

The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

I listened to this book through the library's ebooks/audiobooks and could not stop! This book should be required reading for high school students. It is inspired by contemporary issues (Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and racism).

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

Author: Nova Jacobs    
Stars: 4
Review by:Lizzytish

First off, I detest math. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. You do not need to be mathematically inclined to enjoy the story. Hazel’s grandfather has died and has left her a cryptic message to find an equation and hand it over to someone. She is then to destroy all his other work. Things are not adding up, and thus is the adventure.

Fiction Can Be Murder

Author: Becky Clark
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

Cute, cozy mystery. First in a new series. Nice light, escapism reading. A murder is committed which mimics the author’s book. The only problem is that it hasn’t been published. Only a few have read the manuscript, so Charlee is off to clear her name.

Congratulations to...

... our Week #14 Prize Winners:

  • bandit
  • Raritangal

Progress of the Club

Click on image to enlarge.

We ended the summer with 164 club members, who collectively read a total of 1,617 books.
Congratulations and Great Job to everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2018

What's your best book from this summer?

What's the best book you've read so far in this year's Adult Summer Reading Club?

Answer in the Comments below, and include your club alias.  Comments are moderated, so you won't see yours appear right away.

Congratulations to...

... our Week #13 Prize Winners:

  • Stacy C
  • Saraswati

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Tales of Rabbi Nachman

Author: Martin Buber
Stars: 1
Review by: rgfundamental

UGH!     

Dance Dance Dance

Author: Haruki Murakami    
Stars: 3
Review by: ChrisP

A decent Murakami novel, and an enjoyable read if you like his other novels.

The Golden Company Chronicles

Author: Glen Cooke
Stars: 4
Review by: ChrisP

A really good fantasy series with a point of view from a non-magical person.

Guilty Wives

Author: James Patterson & David Ellis    
Stars: 3
Review by: Kiwi

Good fast paced story, does have a couple of credibility gaps, but a good read.

Then She Was Gone

Author: Lisa Jewell
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

So good! I read it in 24 hours...couldn't put it down! Great suspense/mystery.

Quidditch Through the Ages

Author: Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)    
Stars: 4
Review by: Tara C

A fun history of Quidditch from Harry Potter. Easy to read and the purchase helps charity.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Author: Neil Degrasse Tyson    
Stars: 5
Review by: Tara C

A collection of essays that break down astrophysics to a decently understandable point. Some really interesting concepts and social commentary throughout.

Beneath A Scarlet Sky

Author: Mark Sullivan
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

Based on the true story of Pino Lella, a seventeen year old Italian boy-man-hero, during the lat two years of WWII. What this boy did took determination and courage that one doesn't often attribute to a teenager. The book is absolutely engrossing. I highly recommend it.

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

I could not put it down.

Ghost Soldiers

Author: Hampton Sides
Stars: 4
Review by: Kiwi

WWII account of freeing a POW camp. Good background on Japanese POW treatment including how and why. American centric, only side mention how much worse the Philippine allies were treated. Interesting the Stockholm syndrome of the American POW's resisting rescue thinking it was a trap.

The Library

Author: Suart Kells    
Stars: 3
Review by: libraryaimee

Very scholarly! This is a fascinating look at the history of libraries and book collecting around the world. It was a difficult read with lots of dates and places and name dropping, but it was interesting.

In the Time of the Butterflies

Author: Julia Alvarez    
Stars: 3
Review by: Judy E

One needed to read to the ending chapters of this novel to appreciate the strength of these women of the Dominican Republic during this period of power struggle in their country!

Curtain

Author: Agatha Christie
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

What will I do without Poirot? We find ourselves back at Styles, where the first murder was committed, and where we were introduced to Poirot and the bungling Hastings. It was a good ride and I will miss Hercule.

Hardcore Twenty-Four

Author: Janet Evanovich    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

Not reading one of these in a while made me really enjoy the campy humor. I love reading a book and recognizing where the characters are. It makes you feel like part of the story. 

A Widow for One Year

Author: John Irving    
Stars: 5
Review by: Beth G.

Once again John Irving transports his readers into the captivating world of a dysfunctional family made up of quirky characters who endure traumatic loss and struggle to find love. A very engrossing and entertaining story told in three parts, corresponding with three critical time periods in the life of the main character.

Give Me Your Hand

Author: Megan Abbott    
Stars: 2
Review by: libraryaimee

It was a thriller, but it was almost too disturbing for me! Gory in a serious way.

Money Rules the Path to Lifelong Security

Author: Jean Chatzky
Stars: 5

Review by: JLB
Simple , easy rules to follow.

Pride & Prejudice & Mistletoe

Author: Melissa De La CruZ    
Stars: 2
Review by: Emm

I thought it would be a fun choice for Christmas in July, but the characters were very one dimensional. The storylines were contrived and ridiculous. I expected much more!

Aunt Dimity and The Kings Ransom

Author: Nancy Atherton
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I really enjoy this series. It has a lot of feel good moments with just a hint of the supernatural. It is a great summer read.

Pachinko

Author: Min Jin Lee
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

I really enjoyed this book that I've heard so much about. A good read.

By Invitation Only

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank    
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

So many statements in this book rang true for me. A good summer read.

Target 100

Author: Liz Josefsberg    
Stars: 5
Review by: MI

Good concept. If you believe overeating is a habit, then if you replace snacking with a new habit you will eat less. Enjoyed the easy writing style. Decided to purchase the book and see if I could create new habits.

Everyday Chic

Author: Molly Sims
Stars: 1
Review by: MI

Not worth the time. Nothing new.

Flygirl

Author: Sherri L. Smith
Stars: 3
Review by: Ada

Interesting book about black women pilots in the second World War. I knew nothing about this.

SciFi Alien Invasion Books #1-16

Author: Anna Hackett    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

I binged read her entire Alien Invasion series. There are currently 16 books but more are on the way. The premise is about an alien invasion of Earth. Those that survived fought back. It takes place in Australia but other areas are recognized. Binging has its downfalls since you know the story so well so some stories are more predictable, but others are not.

Serpentine

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton    
Stars: 5
Review by: Saraswati

I was kind of put off by Hamilton's last few books. Most felt like, "I've been there and done that." This book got back to her roots. It was on target for Anita Blake, but got to other things.

My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult    
Stars: 4
Review by: Rachel 

I read this book because it seemed the most interesting on my summer reading list. It ended up probably being my favorite assigned book from school. It definitely ended up being way more interesting than the description, and I LOVED the two plot twists at the end. I highly recommend!!

The Cupcake Cafe

Author: Jenny Colgan    
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

It looks like it’s shaping up to be an end-of-the-summer Jenny Colgan party for me.  Stumbled upon her quite by accident and I’m very happy being stuck in this lane. She’s a delight and a perfect summer read.

Drama High

Author: Michael Sokolove
Stars: 5
Review by:Voracious

The story of a legendary high school drama program in nearby Levittown, NJ. The NBC series Rise was based on this book.

Snap

Author: Belinda Bauer    
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

A tautly written suspense thriller that will keep you reading late into the night. The characters are flawed, which adds to the flavor of this novel. Jack is in charge of his siblings since his pregnant mom disappeared one day. Catherine, a pregnant woman, finds a knife on her bed with the message, “I could have killed you.” And thus we are drawn into the story.

My Plain Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand
Stars: 5
Review by: Lizzytish

I just love this series! We have Victorian ghostbusters, evil dudes, good guys, and a poor orphan girl. I do think Miss Bronte was my favorite character . It’s lighthearted and enjoyable. Plot twists and humor abounds! Just plain fun.   “Never in any Jane Austen novel did the love interest pretend to be a fortune-teller," Helen said, "Why would someone do that?”

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

Excellent book! Amazing how evil people can be in their quest for the almighty dollar. Georgia Tann was one of those people, but wasn't exposed until many, many children and parents were devastated.

Rare Books Uncovered

Author: Rebecca R Barry    
Stars: 3
Review by: Bnbook

Interesting non-fiction book about how and where some rare books have been found.

The Angry Chef's Guide to Spotting Bullsh*t in the World of Food

Author: Anthony Warner    
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A must read for anyone who has followed a restrictive diet such as Paleo or Detox. I loved it mostly because he defends potatoes in every chapter! He exposes the fake science behind fads and extols the virtues of all food. Love, love, love this book so much!

Thrawn Alliances

Author: Timothy Zahn    
Stars: 4
Review by: Nick H

Good Star Wars book.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

Author: Joanna Cannon    
Stars: 5
Review by: Kayleen

Delightful!!!

The Accident

Author: Chris Pavone
Stars: 4
Review by: Chris L.

Lots of twists and turns. First few chapters were confusing until I sorted out the characters, but then the story took over and it was a real page turner.

Triumph: Life After the Cult--A Survivor's Lessons

Author: Carolyn Jessop
Stars: 3
Review by: Debbie B

After reading her first book Escape, it was nice to find out how her life has turned out.

The Life We Bury

Author: Allen Eskens
Stars: 5
Review by: Carole Ann

I couldn't put this book down!

Cinnamon Toasted

Author: Gail Oust    
Stars: 3
Review by: Carole Ann

A quaint little mystery set in a Southern town with an owner of a spice shop as the sleuth.

A Terrible Country

Author: Keith Gessen    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carole Ann

This novel is a look at present day Moscow through the eyes of a thirty-something who returns to the city to care for his Baba. It is philosophical, political, emotional and quite interesting.

Wherever You Go There You Are

Author: Jon Kabat-Zinn
Stars: 4
Review by: Joyce H

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday life.

Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000 Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska

Author: Mark Adams
Stars: 5
Review by: a Retired Cat who likes to read

This book brought back memories of our trip to Alaska 2 years ago.

The Hunted

Author: Elmore Leonard
Stars: 3
Review by: rgfundamental

Fast beach read.     

Rough Draft

Author: Michael Robertson, JR.
Stars: 4
Review by: Kim P.

If you like Stephen King, you will like this.

Beach Rental

Author: Grace Greene
Stars: 3
Review by: Kim P.

Good beach read.

You've Been Warned

Author: James Patterson & Howard Roughan
Stars: 1
Review by: BKF

Ugh!!! I would not recommend this book to anyone! Doesn't even deserve a story overview.

The Bookshop on the Corner

Author: Jenny Colgan    
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

Loved it! A delight!

Bobby and Jackie: a Love story

Author: C.David Heymann    
Stars: 4
Review by: Debbie B

Having grown up when JFK was assassinated I found this book to be very interesting. Jackie was not the person I thought her to be. A quick read.

Road to Paradise

Author: Paullina Simons    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Fictional tale of two 18 year olds and their trip across country in a 1966 Yellow Mustang. The author's style of writing makes this a great page turner. It's hard to put the book down because you want to know what's going to happen next in their travels.

Jane Austin at Home

Author: Lucy Worsley    
Stars: 5
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Her research on Jane Austin is so detailed. It gives you more background on Austin, how and where she lived and what life was like during her time.

Sunlight on the Lawn

Author: Beverly Nichols
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

English author talks about his garden in a very amusing way.

Works of Edith Wharton

Author: Edith Warton
Stars: 3
Review by: Carol K, BookLover   

Includes Ethan Frome, House of Mirth and Tales of Men & Ghosts. If you want to learn about her writing style, this is the book to read.

The Six ~ The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

Author: Laura Thompson
Stars: 2
Review by: Carol K, BookLover     

An account of a super rich family in the '20s & '30s. How they used and abused their position in society.

Fail Until You Don't

Author: Bobby Bones
Stars: 2
Review by: KBeachreader

A few good motivational tips on how to deal with setbacks.    

Hush

Author: Kate White    
Stars: 5
Review by: NoelleChristine

Kate White never fails me! Suspenseful!

Saving Grace

Author: Jane Green    
Stars: 5
Review by: August Mom

One of many Jane Green books I read this Summer that is a great read. A too good to be true assistant comes into the lives of Ted and Grace Green. Their hectic lives appear to be managed with efficiency by Beth. Then there is a turn. The author shares a gourmet recipe at the end of many chapters.

Devil’s Breath

Author: G. M. Malliet    
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

A fun read on a hot summer day. Once again, Max Tudor has a mystery to unravel. There’s a yacht, Hollywood Stars, other quirky characters, and murder! It’s a boatload of fun!

Songs of a Dead Dreamer

Author: Thomas Ligotti    
Stars: 4
Review by: Don S

First short story collection by Ligotti and it was impressive. Horror with some similarities to Poe, some nods to Lovecraft, but completely original. Dream-like and somewhat philosophical, not about gore or shock, but about peering behind the veil of reality. Recommended.

100 Best Paintings in New York

Author: Deanna MacDonald    
Stars: 4
Review by:Voracious

An interesting book that explained each of the 100 paintings and included a small reproduction. I wish the pictures were larger, and I think there was too much of an emphasis on the Metropolitan Museum and medieval art and very little of American landscape paintings such as from the Hudson school which is in New York just not the city.

The Eyes of the Dragon

Author: Stephen King    
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

Who knew that Stephen King wrote a fairy tale? It's charming & exciting.

The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Heavy on The Bachelor, way lighter on the violence and despair.

A Place Called Here

Author: Cecelia Ahern    
Stars: 5
Review by: Miss Lucy

My first 5-star rating of the summer! If you enjoy magical realism, check out this book about missing items and missing people.

The Twelve Days of Lily & Dash

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

Delightful YA Christmas romance story. Reading about Lily's & Dash's favorite places to go in NYC makes me want to try them all. And the authors' musical tastes are excellent!

Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman
Stars: 5
Review by: Sarah E.

Absolutely wonderful story exploring sports, loyalty, honesty and the power of teams in a down on its luck small Scandinavian town.  Loved the exploration of the complexity of right vs wrong in the lives of those involved on the periphery.

Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers

Author: Malcolm Kushner    
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

This little book was perfect to read while sitting outside with a glass of wine and watching the sun go down. Both the wine and the book will improve your mood!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid    
Stars: 3
Review by: Spring J

This was different from my usual books. It reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor's life. Makes you think twice about what you see in the stories about your favorite movie stars.

Raspberry Danish Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke    
Stars: 2
Review by: BookWorm2

Apologies to Joanne Fluke fans. This was my first of her books and I tried it based on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries adaptations. Overall the book was about 25% mystery (really expected more here), 25% fluff and 50% recipes. Perhaps reading this is better than listening as the recipes really disrupt the flow. Not planning to try a another.    

The Last Black Unicorn

Author: Tiffany Haddish    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

This book had me laughing out loud in my car as I listened. The audio ebook is read by the author, which definitely added to the story. She had such a difficult childhood, but, luckily, her comic genius was recognized and encouraged in her teens. If you can't handle cursing, and F-bombs, this book may not be for you. I had never heard of Tiffany Haddish, but now I would like to see some of her comedy work.

Abridged Classics

Author: John Atkinson    
Stars: 3
Review by: Bnbook

This book made me laugh.

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity

Author: Kate Braestrup
Stars: 5
Review by: Irene S.

Humorous and insightful memoir of Maine chaplain into relationships.

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel

Author: Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Stars: 1
Review by: BKF

I followed the paths of two romances (and cheated a little). Then I had enough. I didn't think the writing was wonderful. Not a fan. : (

The Man on the Washing Machine

Author: Susan Cox
Stars: 3
Review by: Ann Marie

This book won the Mystery Writers of America's "First Crime Novel Award." Good summer read set in San Francisco. With the main character's back story and the book's supporting characters I can imagine a series.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde
Stars: 4
Review by: BES

Knew the gist of story, but still creepier than I would have thought!

Bridges over the Delaware River

Author: Frank T Dale
Stars: 3
Review by:Voracious

Comprehensive history of the many bridges originally built by private citizens as money making ventures to replace ferries. A lot of the original piers are still in use.

The Guest Cat

Author: Takashi Hiraide    
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

This is a gentle, lyrical story. I feel there is more to it than just the cat. It’s about how moments come into our lives, and are fleeting like dewdrops. We cannot hold on to them, but we can treasure them. There is so much to this little book that can touch your heart. I loved the comparison of life to a river. I loved Chibi!

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family

Author: Steve Economides
Stars: 4
Review by: Louey

Interesting tidbits of information to save money in the Grocery Store!

Power Play

Author: Catherine Coulter
Stars: 2
Review by: Kiwi

2nd book by this author - plot was good but for an FBI plot woefully ignorant about use of firearms. As with other book a little schmaltzy with kumbaya ending.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #11 Prize Winners:

  • Sarah E.
  • Dora V.


... our Week #12 Prize Winners:

  • JLB
  • Fran

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A great YA murder mystery! The only thing I disliked was reading the last page only to discover this is the first in a trilogy! Stupid cliffhangers...

In High Cotton (Neely Kate Mystery bk2) .

Author: Denise Grover Swank
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I enjoyed this 2nd book in this Rose Gardner series spin off. Some loose ends are tied up while new story lines are being developed. The story focuses on the grey area that many of us find ourselves in especially when dealing with family.

Fire in His Spirit

Author: Ruby Dixon    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is the latest book in this post-apocalyptic dragon series. It has a twist at the end that appears to be taking the series in a new direction. Is it a true new direction or just a trap?

The Koche Brothers bks 1-5

Author: Amelia Jade
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This set contains the 5 books in this series. The books are named after the brother that the story is about.

The Enchanted Garden

Author: Abigail Drake
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

This was a great summer read. It had some twists and turns, but overall it’s a feel good book. I hope to see more of this series.

Sugar Mountain Men (Bks 1-3)

Author: Frankie Love
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This set included the books: Man Candy, Man Cake & Man Bun.

The Big O Box set bks 1-5

Author: Penny Wilder
Stars: 2
Review by: Saraswati

This was a set that contained the books: Get me off, Bed Shaker, Deep into You, Sext, & Bang. The theme is based on the male character’s nicknames that they are trying to overcome.

Talonian Warriors box set bks 1-5

Author: Celeste Raye
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This box set contains the books: Kelan, Tae, Hesher, Maxxum & Blayze.

Their Gods Were Watching Me

Author: Natalie Cabinda    
Stars: 4
Review by: Voracious

An intriguing story of a local Flemington resident who grew up in Cameroon, a world apart.

Girls Burn Brighter

Author: Shobha Rao
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy

Girls Burn Brighter is a debut novel about two women in India . Their life story is amazing. Once I got into the story I couldn't put the book down.

Dorothy Must Die

Author: Danielle Paige
Stars: 4
Review by: RR

Personally one of my favorite series. I really enjoy how Paige took the classic The Wizard of Oz and turned it into a darker, modern day version. All though I’ve read this series multiple times, I do not recommend to all people due to some of the graphic and morbid scenes.

Fairy Tail (volumes 1-23)

Author: Hiro Mashima
Stars: 5
Review by: RR

My favorite book/manga series for the past 3-4 years.

The Story of a New Name

Author: Elena Ferrante    
Stars: 5
Review by: Mitchie L

This is Book Two (of four) of the Neapolitan Novels. A follow up to My Brilliant Friend, it continues the story of two friends Lila and Lenu and their life in Naples, Italy. It is honest, insightful and so beautifully written. I could not put it down. Can't wait to read Book Three!

The Liars' Gospel

Author: Naomi Alderman    
Stars: 3
Review by: S E Sanchez

The Jesus story from 4 different perspectives. Memorable.    

Hank & Jim: The 50 Year Friendship of Henry Fonda & James Stewart

Author: Scott Eyman    
Stars: 4
Review by: S E Sanchez

Rich back stories of these 2 film icons. Deep explorations of their upbringing, families and approaches to their art. Fascinating look at opposites not just attracting, but helping each other cope and thrive.

The Lost Key

Author: Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison
Stars: 5
Review by: ("no")

Awesome!!! Very fast paced and thrilling. You won't be able to put the book down. It definitely earned the Library Journal's Top Five Thrillers of the Year.    

Magnolia Table

Author: Joanna Gaines
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

Beautiful pictures with sweet stories behind the yummy sounding recipes. Already made the peach caprese! I am now going to have to purchase this so I can try all the recipes and not worry about marking up the book!

Lily and the Octopus

Author: Steven Rowley
Stars: 2
Review by: Lizzytish

Somehow this book didn’t do it for me. I loved Lily. Ted however, I couldn’t warm up to. He seemed needy, whiny, and self-centered. I get having a pet and the things you have to deal with. I’ve been there several times. But, I couldn’t even feel anything in the end. At least to the point of losing it. But this is my opinion, nothing more. I would have loved to read more about Lily.

The Nonsense Show

Author: Eric Carle
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

First of all, I love Eric Carle’s books. My 18 month old grandchild loved the vivid drawings and the topsy turvey world Eric created. It was amusing and was read many times over.

Killings

Author: Calvin Trillin
Stars: 3
Review by: rgfundamental

Low key true crime. Well written; not exciting.

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald    
Stars: 5
Review by: Shapoppa

I read it in high school and long since had forgotten about this classic. It was nice to read it years later where I now have the maturity to understand it.

Bird Lake Moon

Author: Kevin Henkes
Stars: 2
Review by: August Mom

Found this book on CD in a library giveaway box. A story for middle school age children. Slow and needed more development with the ending. Nice description of friendship that develops and occurs in the summertime.

Everything I Never Told You

Author: Celeste Ng
Stars: 4
Review by: BKF

A family portrait of a Chinese American family in the 1970's and the heartbreak and chaos that follows after their favorite daughter is found dead. This is a very well written book, but also very depressing.

Deep Freeze

Author: John Sandford
Stars: 5
Review by: Noel

The best book I've read all summer.

Norwegian By Night

Author: Derek B. Miller
Stars: 5
Review by: Kim P.

I don't know how best to describe this book. JUST READ IT. You won't be sorry.

The Ruby Red Clue

Author: William Love
Stars: 2
Review by: Chris L.

Predictable who done it. This series is based on the quirky relationship between a disabled bishop and his Jewish aide/detective.

Memento Mori

Author: Ruth Downie
Stars: 3
Review by: Chris L.

Latest book in the Medicus series. Just so-so. I visited Bath in England in April and was interested to read this book which takes place there in 53 A.D. I found the description of the town more interesting than the story.

The Girl Next Door

Author: Jack Ketchum
Stars: 4
Review by: Spring J

This book is not for everyone, very disturbing. The author leads you down the path to care about the characters. The book is allegedly based on a true story. I finished this book in two days.

Baby Teeth

Author: Zoje Stage
Stars: 5
Review by:libraryaimee

A chilling and original thriller. A six year old daughter plots to kill her mom so she can have her father to herself. Chapters alternate narration between the mom & the daughter. Super scary! Loved it!

Hey Ladies!

Author: Caroline Moss & Michelle Markowitz
Stars: 4
Review by: Sarah E.

Great summer beach read. Laughed so hard at the irony of the relationships between the women - I felt like I knew each and every character.

The Fallen

Author: David Baldacci
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy

Baldacci never disappoints and this mystery takes place in PA and continues with his Memory Man character.

After Anna

Author: Lisa Scottoline    
Stars: 5
Review by: Reading GAL

Excellent! A great suspense novel. You will not be able to put it down.

4th of July, Asbury Park

Author: Daniel Wolff    
Stars: 4
Review by: BKF

Wow! What history lies behind Asbury Park that I never knew. How many of us spent some summer days on the beach and nights on the boardwalk? I remember going there with my parents and with my friends when I got older. I'll always remember seeing The Temptations there. Haven't been to Asbury in decades and, after reading this book, I wonder how it's doing today.

Desired by Dragons (dragon shifters bundle)

Author: Scarlett Grove
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This online bundle contains 15 full dragon stories from Grove. It will give you a dragon overdose if you read it all at once.

Chromium Dragon (Dragon Guards of Drakkaris bk6)

Author: Terry Bolryder
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I enjoy this series because of the slight chemistry mix on campy Sci-fi romances.   

Solan (My Single Alien bk1)

Author: Arcadia Shield
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

This is a funny take on aiding a dating service. Mix in aliens and anything can happen.

Hide & Sneak (a Savannah Reid Mystery)

Author: G.A. McKevett
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I really enjoy this series and it makes for a great summer read. It’s interesting how more and more of the Georgia crowd is moving to California.

The Last Anniversary

Author: Liane Moriarty
Stars: 2
Review by: PAM!

I love Laine Moriarty books. This one is not as good as the others.

Abridged Classics : Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn't

Author: John Atkinson
Stars: 3
Review by: BookDancer

Read 100 books. In 20 minutes. Learn very little. Laugh a lot.

Beach House Reunion

Author: Mary Alice Monroe
Stars: 4
Review by: BookDancer

It wouldn't be summer without a visit to the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, and catching up with the Rutledge family. Continuing the warm inter-generational family saga, this latest installment in the Beach House series is a many-layered pleasure. Read this book and smell the salt air...

This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today

Author: Chrissy Metz
Stars: 3
Review by: Miss Lucy

This Is Me is a memoir by Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate on the TV show This Is Us. What I like most about Chrissy's book is how inspiring it is. Chrissy encourages everyone to go for their dreams. Also, reading this book made me really miss my "friends" from This Is Us- can't wait for the next season to start!

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

Author: Elizabeth Berg
Stars: 4
Review by: August Mom

I listened to the funny, slice of life, can't make this up ….essays.  Read by the author with a female point of view and everything we "girlfriends" experience and power through.

The Woman in the Window

Author: A.J. Finn
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

A psychological thriller at its best. Be prepared to read nonstop as you meet Anna Fox as she confronts seeing a stabbing in an window in the house across the way with no one believing her. Author Finn’s use of short sentences and chapters interspersed with longer sentences and more involved chapters makes the reading experience meet the thrilling unfolding of details a great read. If you are a movie/tv buff there is an added treat to this novel. A glass of wine might help too.

Kitchen Confidential

Author: Anthony Bourdain
Stars: 4
Review by: mystery lover

About the working life in the kitchen. Look at who the workers are!?

Strength in What Remains

Author: Tracy Kidder
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Excellent bio of a young medical student who survived genocides of Rwanda and Burundi and escaped to the US to continue his education.

Second Chance

Author: Jane Green
Stars: 4
Review by: August Mom

Story of friends from the past gathering to process their grief after the tragic death of their beloved friend. The friendships rekindle and the group's life struggles are shared and healed. Ending is happy/sad.

Love in the Pressent Tense

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Stars: 5
Review by: Carole Ann

A heartwarming story of an orphan raised by a highly compassionate and caring man who never gave up on seeing this boy succeed!

The Pilgrim

Author: Davis Bunn
Stars: 4
Review by: Carole Ann

The story of St. Helena and her search for the true cross.

Flight of the Sparrow

Author: Amy Beldon Brown
Stars: 4
Review by: Carole Ann

Historical fiction set in Massachusetts in the 17th century. The story deals with the clash between the Puritan culture and the native Americans. People can be so cruel and yet we can find goodness and high moral values in every group.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #10 Prize Winners:

  • DebbyK
  • Judy E

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

William Morrow in September

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
Twenty years ago, Cody Swift’s best friends, 11-year-old Scott and 10-year-old Charlie were beaten to death in Bristol, England.  In 2017, Sidney Noyce, the man convicted of the killings, hangs himself in prison, and Cody returns to Bristol as a pod-caster who is reinvestigating the murders, casting doubt on Noyce’s guilt.  The plot cleverly unfolds as it is told in the present day through Cody’s podcast, from Charlie’s mother’s point of view who is desperately trying to keep Cody away from her, and from the point of view DI John Fletcher who originally investigated the case, who is currently investigating another body found in the same location, his sections shifting seamlessly back twenty years ago.  The structure of the novel is inventive and effective; Jess is a well-developed character as she moves from a single mother with dangerous habits to a wife and mother strong enough to face the past while protecting her future, all with an unexpected outcome.  Don’t look away for a moment.

Coming in September

As the days grow cooler and the daylight wanes, take some extra time to read one of these new titles:



Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner
The body of a young woman washes up on a beach in Far Rockaway Queens setting NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles on the trail of a killer, a trail that leads Lourdes back forth-years when a strong of murders began and a young, now police chief, Joseph Tolliver, lies at a grand jury investigation of the first murder to ensure the spin the local politicians want is put on int.  Lourdes is already under suspicion of using police resources for her own purposes as she tries to locate her younger sister who has been missing for over six months.  Lourdes is not sugar coated in anyway, and admits freely to her own faults and shortcomings.  Knowing who has been pulling the strings for over forty years, and know who is responsible for these murders that lead straight to the police chief and his crew in the DA’s office, takes nothing away from the plot as it weaves a trail from 1977 to 2012, just as Sandy was beginning to wreak havoc, to 1982, to present day when all loose ends are more than satisfactorily tied up.

Tell Me You’re Mine by Elisabeth Noreback

Swedish psychotherapist Stella Wildstrand is happily married, has a son, and a thriving practice.  When a young woman, Isabelle Karlsson, is referred to her, Stella is certain the university student is her infant daughter who has been missing, presumed dead, for the last twenty years.  Isabelle is vulnerable after the recent death of her father, and having to deal with her mother, Kersten, who borders on psychotic.  Kersten is depressed, lonely, and angry with the world.  The narrative is told in three parts, each one spiraling out of control more than the next, as each woman hovers on the brink of her own reality.  A little far-fetched in places, this debut has an ultimately satisfying, if somewhat creepy, conclusion.

Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel
Biographer Gabriel focuses on five early-to-mid-20th century painters, who, some with the help of their artist husbands, were able to bring their own form of abstract expressionism to the New York School of Painters.  Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler, fought hard to be taken seriously as artists in their own rights, even as their husbands and lovers, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, became household names associated with the modern art movement.  Gabriel focuses not only on the women’s work and their relationships to their partners, but also places into social context the women coming out of the Great Depression and World War II ready to continue redefining their role as wives, mothers, and women.  Thoroughly researches and detailed, this book will appeal not only to modern art enthusiasts, but will find its place in women’s studies as well. 


The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Many people fantasize about the five people, living or dead, they’d invite to a dinner party.  On Sabrina’s thirtieth birthday, that list comes to live, literally, as she dines with her best friend Jessica, from whom she has grown apart as Jessica’s life took a more traditional trajectory after the roommates graduated college:  marriage, house in the suburbs, and now a new baby.  Also present is Robert, the father from whom Sabrina has been estranged since she was a young child; Tobias, the great love of Sabrina’s life, a love that consumed the two of them to the point of exclusion, unable to live with each other in the rest of the world.  Originally on Sabrina’s list was Plato, but during college she replaced him with Professor Conrad, her philosophy professor, a man who unwittingly brought Sabrina and Tobias together a dozen years ago.  Rounding out the party is the ever elegant Audrey Hepburn whose mere presence and observations add sparkle and magic to the evening.  Told in alternating chapters between the party and Sabrina and Tobias’s relationship, a portrait of a tumultuous, at times painful, relationship emerges.  Interspersed are the details as to how and why Sabrina’s relationships do not always survive intact.  Slowly, Sabrina faces truths about her family, her relationships, and herself, hoping to mend, heal, and love before it is too late.  This bittersweet reflection is infused with just enough magic to offer hope.

Lies by T.M. Logan
Everything about Joe Lynch’s life appears to be average until he becomes a suspect in his wife Mel’s best friend’s husband Ben’s disappearance and probable death.  Driving his young son Wills home one evening, Wills spots his mother’s car pulling into a hotel parking lot.  Joe decides to surprise Mel and follows her in.  Joe sees Mel and Ben arguing, confronts Benin the parking desk, a confrontation that turns physical and ends with Ben on the ground unconscious.  Joe confronts Mel who assures him her contact with Ben is work related and nothing more.  Ben disappears and is presumed dead, Joe the primary suspect, though Joe doesn’t think Ben is dead because Joe is being taunted and threatened through his social media and is certain Ben is behind it.  Realizing life as he knows it has been built on lies, Joe begins to untangle the lies, expose Ben, and restore his life, but what he finds is something he never suspected.  A taut cat and mouse game, the tension runs high as Joe tries to unravel a web of deceit; though the ending is a surprise it feels rushed, abrupt, and a little too unexpected to be completely satisfying.

A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier
Retired military police officer and Marcy Carr and bomb-sniffing dog Elvis have both retired from the service following the death of Marcy’s fiancĂ© and Elvis’s handler Martinez.  Both still grieving for Martinez and the life they were going to have, the pair spends much of their time hiking the woods of rural Vermont. One morning Elvis finds an abandoned baby, what appears to be human bones, and traces of explosives.  Game Warden Troy Warden and his companion, Newfoundland Suzie Bear, join Marcy and Elvis, to the displeasure of the local police, to locate the baby’s mother and identify the bones. The baby disappears from the hospital, reappears at Marcy’s house with the mother, who claims to be on the run from the baby’s father who is an artist, but also a political activist, possibly trying to live off the grid.  Fans of mysteries featuring dogs will feel right at home, but the plot and characters are well-enough drawn to entice many readers to this first book in a new series.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
Lisa is a 40-year-old single mother trying to live a quiet life, out of the spotlight, raising her daughter Ava the best she can.   As Ava turns sixteen, it becomes more obvious that Lisa is on high alert, but for who and for what?  Marilyn, Lisa’s best friend at work has her own secrets hidden behind what appears to be a perfect marriage.  As Lisa begins to live a little more, dating a rich client, she lets her guard down a little; when her secret is revealed, the twists don’t stop coming, weaving in and out of the stories of the three women until a shocking picture is revealed.  The tropes are familiar, but the tension and stakes are  high, leading to not one, but two surprising conclusions.

Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
There is a remote town in Northern Scotland, Wigtown, which is a destination for many book lovers.  Shaun Bythell is the current owner of the Book Shop, one of the largest used bookstores in Scotland, and a keen observer of his eclectic customers and staff.  At the age of 31, twelve years after first observing that the Book Shop would close in short order, Bythell becomes its owner.  Nearly 20 years later the shop is still in business, and not only attracts local customers but customers from around the world, along with internet sales.  This day-to-day diary not only includes Bythell’s wry observations of his staff and customers, anecdotes about what people are looking for, but also a tally of online orders, books found, total customers, and the total sales for the day.  There is a used bookstore in Wigtown that allows people to come and “be the owner” for a time, but the wait list is several years long, so until then, book fanciers will find much in these pages to enjoy and will find themselves dipping into it over and over again.  Quotes from George Orwell’s essay “Bookshop Memories” can be found interspersed and are right at home.



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #6 Prize Winners:
  • Lizzytish
  • Marie H

... our Week #7 Prize Winners:
  • Chris L.
  • asherry25

... our Week #8 Prize Winners:
  • libraryaimee
  • Linda

... our Week #9 Prize Winners:
  • Madeleine
  • Amy Becker

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

New for August...


Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
Andrea adores her quiet speech pathologist mother Laura and is certain Laura has nothing in her past to hide: until the pair are having Andrea’s birthday lunch at a restaurant in the mall and a shooter enters the restaurant.  Andrea is stunned at how calmly, deliberately, and violently Laura reacts; she is even more shocked when her mother demands Andrea move out of her garage apartment immediately and sends her away to keep safe.  Andrea embarks on a cross-country odyssey working to uncover the secrets from her mother’s past, secrets that affect everything Andrea thought to be true, about her mother’s and her own, lives.  The narrative alternates between present time and 1986, from Georgia to California, to Texas, and Oslo where events unfolded that alter everyone’s story.  This is much different than Slaughter’s usual thrillers and series novels, but every bit as gripping and compelling.



Feared by Lisa Scottoline
Philadelphia attorneys and law firm partners Bennie Rosato and Mary DiNunzio are used to suing on behalf of their clients and defending suits: they are not used to being sued and are shocked and furious when they learn they are being sued for reverse sex discrimination.  Three men claim they were not hired by the mostly female firm because they were men.  Nick Machiavelli, Mary’s nemesis since the old neighborhood, whom she just beat in a high-profile case, is not only out to win the suit, he is out to destroy the firm, and Mary.  The firm is shaken further when their only male attorney announces his resignation, giving credence to the claim that men are unwelcome in the firm.  When one of their own is murdered, they shift into high, defending themselves not only from the suit and with their current clients who are considering retaining new counsel, but the defamation Machiavelli is raining down on them.  All the while, Mary is seven months pregnant, trying to stay healthy and keep calm, amidst the turmoil at work and a gregarious extended Italian American family with strong opinions on everything.  Another Rosatto and DiNunzio novel is always like coming home to visit with old friends.



Bone on Bone by Julie Keller
Bell Elkins, former Ackers Gap, West Virginia prosecutor has finished serving her three year prison sentence for murdering her abusive father almost forty years ago when she was ten years old.  Her older sister Shirley, now dead from lung cancer, took the blame for the murder, and served what amounted to a life sentence.  Newly released from prison, Bell plans on staying in Ackers Gap, but is no longer certain just how she fits in.  Before long, though, she picks up right where she left off.  The opioid crisis is still rampant in Ackers Gap and has torn many families apart.  A recent murder strikes a chord with Bell and she unofficially teams up with Jake Oakes, a former sheriff deputy now confined to a wheelchair, to try and save another family from more heartbreak and tragedy.  Keller’s characters are about as good as they come, and her plots strike the right balance, a balance Bell always achieved as a prosecutor, one she is trying to restore to her life, and to her town.



Our House by Louise Candlish
Fiona Lawson returns to the home in which she and her estranged husband Bram are alternating custody of their two sons to find the house has been sold to another couple and Bram, the children, and proceeds fo the sale have vanished.  This is just the beginning for Fi as she slowly learns of Bram’s many deceptions throughout their marriage and the lengths to which he went to keep them from her.  Told in alternating voices, Fi’s story in the form of a podcast called “The Victim” and Bram’s suicide note, a portrait of a life gone out of control slowly emerges, building to a shocking, tragic conclusion.  For fans of intelligent, clever domestic thrillers.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Lush and lyrical, this debut novel tells the story of ‘the Marsh Girl”, Kya Clark who grew up feral on the rural coast of North Carolina during the 50’s and 60’s.  Kya, who never felt the need for human companionship relied on her natural surroundings for comfort, has always been viewed with suspicion by the community, but never more so than when handsome local hero Chase Andrews is found dead.  As Kya is forced into contact with others, she begins to yearn for human companionship and slowly ventures out of the protective world she has created for herself.  The strong natural setting and the warmth of the North Carolina coast make this the perfect late summer read.

Trust Me by Hank Ryan
It has been 442 days since the car accident that killed journalist Mercer Hennessey’s husband and three-year-old daughter.  Feeling she has nothing left to live for, Mercer spends her days avoiding life until she is approached by her friend and book publisher to write a book about the Baby Boston murder trial.  Tasha Nichole Bryant’s body was found in Boston Harbor, her mother Ashlyn was arrested and is being tried for murder.  Mercer, reeling from the death of her own little girl, is certain Ashlyn is guilty, but when the young woman is found not guilty, Mercer needs to reframe her story and write one of redemption; this will include spending time with Ashlyn who has one story after another to tell Mercer, each one more outrageous than the last, but so outrageous that something in Mercer wants to believe Ashlyn.  As Ashlyn’s story gains momentum, she begins to tell Mercer things about Mercer’s life that she had been missing, making Mercer doubt what she knew to be true, but giving her the strength to retell her own narrative and begin to heal.  This creepy, twisty tale will have you questioning what truth is and which stories are true, from those told by Ashlyn, to those told by her mother, to those told by Mercer herself.  Though there is still doubt, the ending is more than satisfying in this era of fake news and how do we know who we can trust, even when it’s ourselves we are questioning.  Can you spot the Liar?


The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Emily falls head over heels in love with Adam and he with her.  There is just one thing that stands in the way of their happiness: Adam’s mother Pammie.  Adam and Pammie are totally devoted to each other, and while publicly Pammie appears to like Emily, when they are alone, she is conniving and can be downright harsh and cruel. Emily, making it clear to Pammie that she is going to be the most important woman in Adam’s life.  At first, Emily is firm in her commitment to try and win Pammie over and make a life with Adam and his mother, but the more vicious Pammie becomes, the more resolved Emily becomes that Pammie will never be part of their lives.  When it seems everything has finally settled down, there is one last, startling revelation that changes everything, but it may come too late for everyone.



The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
Fifty years separate Clara Darden and Virginia Clay but are united by their connection to the historic and majestic Grand Central Terminal.  In 1928, Clara teaches at the Grand Central School of Art, the only woman instructor, and is attempting to make a name for herself, and a living, as an artist as the Great Depression looms.  In 1974, the terminal has fallen into terrible disrepair as recently divorced Virginia gets a job at the information booth.  With the possible destruction of this landmark a distinct possibility, Virginia finds herself caught up in the fight to save the grand space.  Stumbling across a pieces of artwork left behind when the school closed sends Virginia on a trail to discover the artist and ultimately, learn what happened to Clara, who seems to have disappeared in 1931.  A lovely, well-researched homage to a time long gone, and an iconic building that will last for generations.



The Drama Teacher by Koren Zailckas
Gracie Mueller learned how to pull cons, simple and complicated, from watching first her father, and then her first husband.  With her second husband Randy’s real estate business beginning to fail and their upstate New York home in foreclosure Gracie takes matters into her own hands and sets out on a con to provide a good life for her young children.  When things go very wrong, she must make a quick getaway, fakes hers and her children’s deaths, and disappears into New York City where she settles into a new fabricated life with a teacher from an exclusive school, enrolling her children there, and even becoming the drama teacher.  When her past catches up with her, things spiral out of control and Gracie must face her demons and soon realizes she has more questions than answers.