STAFF PICKS

September 2018

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover A Place for Us Book Cover Love and Ruin Book Cover

 

  • Bridget:
    “Love and Ruin” by Paula McClain, Hemingway and Gellhorn brought to real life in historical detail that has become Ms. McLain’s hallmark. Gellhorn is given her literary due and Hemingway is viewed through the lens of time as more human, less icon.
  • Jeanine
    “A Place for Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Kathleen
    “Sense & Sensibility” by Jane Austen
    I like to re-read an old favorite as summer ends. It’s so good to spend time with old friends- and one of my oldest and dearest friends people Jane Austen novels. And my favorite Austen novel is (drum roll)- Sense and Sensibility—Marianne’s intense youth and Eleanor’s cool reason delight me every reading. The movie with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie and Alan Rickman is terrific too.
  • Katie
    “Posted by John David Anderson
  • Kim
    “Fascism: A Warning” by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward.
    This is an important and timely book.
  • Michele
    “A Place for Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Michelle
    Committed: A skeptic makes peace with marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
    I *love* Elizabeth Gilbert; EAT, PRAY, LOVE is one of my favorite books of all time. As I count down to my own upcoming wedding day, I stumbled upon this title of hers – one with which I was unfamiliar – and I wasn’t disappointed. Two thumbs up!
  • Sophie
    Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Sudie
    “Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce.
    This book has been described as “irresistible,” ”a marvelous treat”,”joyfully uplifting and optimistic.” I would agree. Set in wartime London during the blitz, when nighttime visits from the Luftwaffe were common and devastating, we find young Emmeline and her friend Bunty doing their part for the war effort. Hoping to find work as a war correspondent, Emmeline doesn’t ask the right questions in an interview and finds herself instead typing letters for Henrietta Bird, the formidable advice columnist at Women’s Friend magazine, who will not publish letters dealing with any “Unpleasantness” (i.e. sex, marital troubles, infidelity, etc.). Emmeline begins to correspond secretly with those whose letters Mrs. Bird has tossed in the bin. And then disaster strikes. You won’t want to miss Dear Mrs. Bird—it’s ultimately a testament to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

August 2018

Book Cover A Place for Us Gaudy Night Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine Love and Ruin Book Cover Out of my Mind Left: A Love Story
  • Jeanine
    “Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh
    Sarah thinks she has met the love of her life when she meets Eddie – – until he disappears after leaving for a long-booked vacation. What happened? Will they ever reconnect? A summer read just for fun.
  • Kathleen
    “Gaudy Night” by Dorothy L. Sayers (book or audio version)
    Harriet Vane returns to her alma mater, Shrewbury College in Oxford, for a reunion and finds herself in the midst of a nasty series of crimes. Sayers not only offers the reader a satisfying conclusion to the Harriet Vane-Lord Peter Wimsey relationship but also a series of thoughtful meditations on the roles of women in the world. The book is historical, the issues for women are not. Savor the book for its celebration of rational civility.
  • Katie
    “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper
    “Rules”
    by Cynthia Lord
  • Kim
    “A Place for Us”
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza
    Michele
    “A Place for Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Michelle
    “Left” by Mary Hogan.
    When I began reading Hogan’s slim volume, I wasn’t so sure I liked it as the author seemed to be trying too hard with her exuberant use of adjectives, but soon that all fell away as I was sucked into the story. Think hints of “Mrs. Dalloway” crossed with “Still Alice” and peppered (spotted?) with a canine character more fleshed out than some human characters I’ve encountered. The main character, Fay, married an older man, Paul, a sitting judge in NYC. They’re on a dream vacation in Spain when something goes terribly wrong. This event sparks a series of incidents in their lives and Fay knows her life will never be the same again. To cope, she begins building another (imaginary) life. It’s a heart-breaking story at its core, but one I loved none the less.
  • Sudie
    “Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine” by Alan Lightman. It was the title that first caught my attention. I love the coast of Maine and have spent some time on its islands, large and small—Monhegan, Harbor, Marsh, Louds…and more. And the stars. Oh, the stars. The author is a scientist, intent on understanding in concrete terms the details of our physical universe, but one night in Maine, those bright stars drew him deeper, to a place that shimmered with hints of something far greater than mere scientific understanding. This remarkable book explores the dance between science and spiritual things in almost poetic terms. This non-scientist couldn’t put it down!
  • Bridget:
    “Love and Ruin” by Paula McClain, Hemingway and Gellhorn brought to real life in historical detail that has become Ms. McLain’s hallmark. Gellhorn is given her literary due and Hemingway is viewed through the lens of time as more human, less icon.

July 2018

Swampwalker's Journal There There We Took to the Woods Snow and Rose Educated The Word is Murder Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Every Note Played Left: A Love Story Tangerine Children of Blood and Bone Vinegar Girl
  • Michele
    “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
  • Michelle
    “Left” by Mary Hogan.
    When I began reading Hogan’s slim volume, I wasn’t so sure I liked it as the author seemed to be trying too hard with her exuberant use of adjectives, but soon that all fell away as I was sucked into the story. Think hints of “Mrs. Dalloway” crossed with “Still Alice” and peppered (spotted?) with a canine character more fleshed out than some human characters I’ve encountered. The main character, Fay, married an older man, Paul, a sitting judge in NYC. They’re on a dream vacation in Spain when something goes terribly wrong. This event sparks a series of incidents in their lives and Fay knows her life will never be the same again. To cope, she begins building another (imaginary) life. It’s a heart-breaking story at its core, but one I loved none the less.
  • Sudie
    “Every Note Played” by Lisa Genova.
    Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, has given us another novel that is important, but not an easy read.  She tells the story of Richard, a gifted concert pianist who, at the peak of his career, is stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  Richard’s embittered ex-wife Karen also plays an important role in the story when she reluctantly agrees to be his caregiver when no one else can. As Richard loses more and more functions, the day to day realities of his disease and her caregiving force Richard and Karen to face their demons and resolve their differences before ALS runs its course.  The author does not shield the reader from the hard physical and emotional realities of the disease—her purpose is to raise awareness and rally support. She is successful.
  • Bridget
    “Tangerine” by Christine Mangan.
    A first novel that deserves high praise, also Ms. Mangan has connections in Maine. Movie said to be slated, I did not relish this novel, but not based on the writing more the characters.

June 2018

Swampwalker's Journal The Music Shop Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit Snow and Rose The Girl Who Smiled Beads Noir by Christopher Moore Book Cover The Opposite of Hate Tangerine Children of Blood and Bone The Disappeared
  • Frank
    “Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year” by David Carroll
  • Jeanine
    “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit” by Chris Matthews
    A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before as it explores the New York senator’s journey from his formative years to his tragic run for President.
    “Disappeared” by C.J. Box
    Game warden, Joe Pickett is asked by Wyoming’s new governor to investigate the disappearance of a prominent female British executive. She was visiting a high-end guest ranch but never made it home, and the British embassy is pressing hard.
  • Kathleen
    “Noir” by Christopher Moore.
    Sammy knew the dame was trouble the minute she walked into his bar. A new book by Christopher Moore is always a cause for celebration, especially when he’s playing variations on my favorite genre, detective fiction
  • Katie
    “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
    This debut novel is a West-African inspired fantasy for the older YA crowd that is action-packed, heart-wrenching, and raw. The book is not for the faint of heart, but it is a positively captivating story of magic, brutal injustice, faith and survival. I’m counting the days until book 2 is released in 2019!
  • Kim
    “The Girl who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After” by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
    “The Music Shop” by Rachel Joyce
  • Michele
    “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Michelle
    “Left” by Mary Hogan. This book isn’t due to be published until June, but I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher.
    When I began reading Hogan’s slim volume, I wasn’t so sure I liked it as the author seemed to be trying too hard with her exuberant use of adjectives, but soon that all fell away as I was sucked into the story. Think hints of “Mrs. Dalloway” crossed with “Still Alice” and peppered (spotted?) with a canine character more fleshed out than some human characters I’ve encountered. The main character, Fay, married an older man, Paul, a sitting judge in NYC. They’re on a dream vacation in Spain when something goes terribly wrong. This event sparks a series of incidents in their lives and Fay knows her life will never be the same again. To cope, she begins building another (imaginary) life. It’s a heart-breaking story at its core, but one I loved none the less.
  • Sudie
    “The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing our Humanity” by Sally Kohn.  Former Fox News commentator Sally Kohn has written a book that left me feeling hopeful.  Using her own experience, with a sprinkling of research, she spends a good part of the book outlining the ways that hate manifests itself in human society—the obvious trolls and terrorists, bigots and bullies, but  also the more subtle and often unconscious forms of hate that exist at the institutional level—all those “–isms” that isolate and demean others.  The book ends on a hopeful note as Sally talks about ways we can transform hate into its opposite—caring connections with others.
  • Bridget
    “Tangerine” by Christine Mangan.
    A first novel that deserves high praise, also Ms. Mangan has connections in Maine. Movie said to be slated, I did not relish this novel, but not based on the writing more the characters.

May 2018

Swampwalker's Journal The Music Shop Educated: A Memoir The Punishment She Deserves Lilac Girls Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine The Rules of Magic Children of Blood and Bone
  • Frank
    “Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year” by David Carroll
  • Jeanine
    “Educated” by Tara Westover.
    An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who grew up in Idaho, the youngest of seven children. Despite her radical upbringing of extreme religious ideas, total distrust of all things mainstream (schools, doctors, government, most people), and dangerous family dysfunction, she manages to leave her survivalist family and go on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
  • Kathleen
    “The Music Shop” by Rachel Joyce
    Frank’s shop is a haven for lovers of music and lost souls. Frank himself sees no reason to emotionally go beyond the walls of his store and his memories until a beautiful woman in a green coat faints in front of the store. It’s wonderful on audio too.
  • Katie
    “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
    This debut novel is a West-African inspired fantasy for the older YA crowd that is action-packed, heart-wrenching, and raw. The book is not for the faint of heart, but it is a positively captivating story of magic, brutal injustice, faith and survival. I’m counting the days until book 2 is released in 2019!
  • Kim
    “The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George “The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George. Detective Inspector Lynley and Detective Sargent Havers investigate the death of an accused pedophile in a holding cell after the local police claim the death to be a suicide. I found the 700 page book to be worth every moment I spent with it, but don’t know if that is because I have followed the series to this the 20th book or possibly because the characters are all so beautifully drawn by George. (probably both!)
  • Michele
    “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Michelle
    “Left” by Mary Hogan. This book isn’t due to be published until June, but I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher.
    When I began reading Hogan’s slim volume, I wasn’t so sure I liked it as the author seemed to be trying too hard with her exuberant use of adjectives, but soon that all fell away as I was sucked into the story. Think hints of “Mrs. Dalloway” crossed with “Still Alice” and peppered (spotted?) with a canine character more fleshed out than some human characters I’ve encountered. The main character, Fay, married an older man, Paul, a sitting judge in NYC. They’re on a dream vacation in Spain when something goes terribly wrong. This event sparks a series of incidents in their lives and Fay knows her life will never be the same again. To cope, she begins building another (imaginary) life. It’s a heart-breaking story at its core, but one I loved none the less.
  • Sudie
    “Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine” by Alan Lightman. It was the title that first caught my attention. I love the coast of Maine and have spent some time on its islands, large and small—Monhegan, Harbor, Marsh, Louds…and more. And the stars. Oh, the stars. The author is a scientist, intent on understanding in concrete terms the details of our physical universe, but one night in Maine, those bright stars drew him deeper, to a place that shimmered with hints of something far greater than mere scientific understanding. This remarkable book explores the dance between science and spiritual things in almost poetic terms. This non-scientist couldn’t put it down!
  • Bridget
    The Rules of Magic” by Alice Hoffman. This is a fun mind break with a heart warming message

April 2018

Swampwalker's Journal The Crow Trap Sandcastle Girls Snow and Rose The Temptation of Forgiveness Lilac Girls Summer Hours at the Robbers Library It's all Good
  • Frank
    “Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year” by David Carroll
  • Jeanine
    “Sandcastle Girls” by Chris Bojalian. [Historical fiction.] “Parallel stories of a woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier during the Armenian Genocide in Turkey and a modern-day New Yorker prompted to rediscover her Armenian past.”
  • Kathleen
    “The Crow Trap” by Ann Cleeves. Fans of mysteries that are character-driven need to meet Ann Cleeve’s novels featuring Vera Stanholpe. The Crow Trap is the first novel featuring the blunt inspector. A national park is a proposed site for a quarry and 3 women are contradicting the feasibility study. Northern England can be bleak, a perfect site for betrayal, suicide, and murder. The novel is also an excellent audio book and also as an episode in “Vera”,the BBC series based on the novels .
  • Katie
    “Snow & Rose” by Emily Winfield Martin. Enchanting illustrations pepper the pages of this reimagined fairy tale.
  • Kim
    “The Temptation of Forgiveness” by Donna Leon. The latest in Leon’s Inspector Brunetti series. If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it!
  • Michele
    “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Michelle
    “Left” by Mary Hogan. This book isn’t due to be published until June, but I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher.
    When I began reading Hogan’s slim volume, I wasn’t so sure I liked it as the author seemed to be trying too hard with her exuberant use of adjectives, but soon that all fell away as I was sucked into the story. Think hints of “Mrs. Dalloway” crossed with “Still Alice” and peppered (spotted?) with a canine character more fleshed out than some human characters I’ve encountered. The main character, Fay, married an older man, Paul, a sitting judge in NYC. They’re on a dream vacation in Spain when something goes terribly wrong. This event sparks a series of incidents in their lives and Fay knows her life will never be the same again. To cope, she begins building another (imaginary) life. It’s a heart-breaking story at its core, but one I loved none the less.
  • Sudie
    “Summer Hours at the Robbers Library” by Sue Halpern. Libraries—I love them! People love them for all kinds of reasons. Many come to borrow books, but some come for companionship. Reference librarian Kit works at the Robbers Library in the formerly prosperous town of Riverton, NH. Over the years, the name has morphed into the “Robbers” Library because it’s named for a Mr. Robbers, a long-dead and not well-liked local tycoon. Kit works at the library because she finds peace and escape in books—and no one questions her about her past as she sits at the quiet reference desk. All that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge quite literally “throws the book” at the bright, curious teenager, assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Add Rusty, a Wall Street high-flyer who has lost everything, into the mix and you have the potential for a really good story.At the Robbers Library, these three oddball characters–Kit, Sunny, and Rusty—find themselves drawn to each other. As they come to terms with how each of their lives has unraveled, they also discover how they might knit them together again and finally reclaim their stories.
  • Bridget
    “It’s All Good” by Gwyneth Paltrow. I like this cookbook because it is so uncomplicated. Gwyneth and Julia Turshen have served up some basics like chicken stew as well as my favorite turkey meatballs putting emphasis on healthy options. They also have offered how to make sauces such as Sriracha and Hoisin so you know what is in there is good for you and preservative free. Give it a try!

March 2018

The Alps What Unites Us The Great Alone Somewhere Else Little Fires Everywhere Lilac Girls Hunger: a memoir (of my body) The Essex Serpent The Alchemy of Herbs
  • Frank
    “The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond” by Stephen O’Shea. Anyone who has enjoyed traveling, hiking, or gourmandizing in this land of breathtaking vistas and culinary delights will enjoy this engaging travelogue, packed with historical curiosities.
  • Jeanine
    “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, came home from the Vietnam War in 1974 a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
  • Kathleen
    “What Unites Us” by Dan Rather (book and audio) Veteran reporter Dan Rather offers a series of reflections on the changes he’s seen from his boyhood during the depression until now. Thoughtful and wide-ranging, the book is a good read and an even better listen.
  • Katie
    “Somewhere Else” by Gus Gordon – A charming story about working through fear/anxiety, trying new things & friendship.
  • Kim
    “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng. Primarily the story of 2 families and while the narrative follows the teens, it is ultimately about mothers and the choices they made that drives this novel to its conclusion.
  • Michele
    “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Michelle
    “Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body” by Roxane Gay. This should be required reading for every adult!
  • Sudie
    “The Essex Serpent” by Sarah Perry. You won’t want to miss this novel and its spirited protagonist, the young widow Cora Seaborne. After the death of her cruel husband, she is tasting freedom for the first time and escapes the confines of both her corset and Victorian society in London and travels with her young son to the Essex countryside. That’s where the story unfolds—in the briny Blackwater marshes and the quiet town of Colchester, as she encounters the rich cast of characters in the novel–everyone from the crusty Cracknell to her verbal sparring partner, the Reverend William Ransome. Will they find the dreaded Essex Serpent? Read this New York Times Notable Book and find out!
  • Bridget
    “Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods & Remedies that Heal” by Rosalee De La Foret . This reservoir of herbs and their applications for better health, translates into easy recipes with ingredients you already own. I am planning on using rose hips in a tea for my arthritis.

February 2018

The Alps The Seagull Inferior Somewhere Else Manhattan Beach On Tyranny Lilac Girls Pachinko The Music Shop The Orphan of Florence This is How it Always Is
  • Frank
    “The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond” by Stephen O’Shea. Anyone who has enjoyed traveling, hiking, or gourmandizing in this land of breathtaking vistas and culinary delights will enjoy this engaging travelogue, packed with historical curiosities.
  • Jeanine
    “Inferior: How Science got Women Wrong – and the New Research that’s Rewriting the Story” by Angela Saini
    . From intelligence to emotion, cognition to behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different and women are inferior. Now new scientific data has revealed that women are as strong, powerful, strategic, and smart as anyone else. Very interesting learning how and why science got it so wrong.
    “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” by Timothy Snyder. Acclaimed Yale historian Timothy Snyder says “We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the last century. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience…”  The book is a very concise account of parallels between the politics and mindsets of today and the politics of the WWII era. While it might be a bit heavy-handed and possibly even melodramatic, the author brings up some very good and thought provoking points.
  • Kathleen
    “The Seagull” by Ann Cleeves. If you’re looking for a new mystery series to love (it being Feb. and all), check out Cleeves’ remarkable Vera Stanhope series. The books are far more nuanced than the television series and well-worth discovering. This is the latest title. Vera must face her own messy family past to solve a potential double murder. Trivia fact- not surprisingly Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny are friends.
  • Katie
    “Somewhere Else” by Gus Gordon – A charming story about working through fear/anxiety, trying new things & friendship.
  • Kim
    “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan Historical fiction takes place during WWII and examines the roles women played at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.
    “This is How it Always is” by Laurie Frankel A family with 5 boys tries to cope with the  secret of their transgender youngest sibling in this novel by Laurie Frankel who happens to have a transgender child herself.
  • Michele
    “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Michelle
    “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee.
    Epic in scope, Lee’s novel tells the story of four generations of a Korean family spanning the early 1900s through the late 1980s. “Pachinko” is a game of chance and so, too, are the lives of the characters represented within the pages of this book. Betrayal, redemption, prejudice, identity…all are themes or questions woven through the narrative. Beautifully written and if you happen to listen to the audio – wonderfully narrated by Alison Hiroto.
  • Sudie
    “The Music Shop” by Rachel Joyce
  • Bridget
    “The Orphan of Florence” by Jeanne Kalogridis. Come visit Florence through the eyes of a street urchin, or is she a Medici?  Many secrets are revealed in this fun historical read.

JANUARY 2018

City of Thieves Beau Death The Life She Was Given William's Winter Nap Leonardo da Vinci Wonder Pachinko Dear Fahrenheit 451 7 Lessons from Heaven The Story of Arthur Truluv Auggie & Me
  • Frank
    “City of Thieves” by David Benioff. Set during the Siege of Leningrad in WWII, it’s the tale of a Russian deserter and looter given the seemingly impossible task of finding a dozen eggs for a wedding cake in order to save themselves from execution.
  • Jeanine
    “The Life She Was Given” by Ellen Marie Wiseman
    In 1931, Lilly Blackwood was sold to the circus. More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood inherits her parents’ estate and returns home hoping to erase painful memories of strict rules and forbidden rooms. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and circus photos featuring a striking young girl.
  • Kathleen
    “Beau Death” by Peter Lovesey.
    Lovesey is one of my “must read” mystery writers. His Peter Diamond mysteries set in modern Bath offer readers both good puzzles and lessons on Bath’s history. A corpse is revealed during a demolition and the question is in what century the crime was committed. One suspects that the manners of the bon ton were never as polished as Miss Austen would have us believe.
  • Katie
    “William’s Winter Nap” by Linda Ashman – a cozy story for cold winter nights.
  • Kim
    “Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson
    Biographer Isaacson relies heavily on Leonardo’s notebooks (over 7 thousand pages) to create this fascinating biography of Leonardo da Vinci, delving into the connections his creative and curious mind made between art and science and observation and technology.
    “Arthur Truluv” by Elizabeth Berg Heart-warming, feel good story about a widower and an unlikely friendship.
  • Michele
    “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
    “Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories” by R. J. Palacio
  • Michelle
    “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee.
    Epic in scope, Lee’s novel tells the story of four generations of a Korean family spanning the early 1900s through the late 1980s. “Pachinko” is a game of chance and so, too, are the lives of the characters represented within the pages of this book. Betrayal, redemption, prejudice, identity…all are themes or questions woven through the narrative. Beautifully written and if you happen to listen to the audio – wonderfully narrated by Alison Hiroto.
  • Sudie
    Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in her Life” by Annie Spence.What a delightful book! This librarian (me) thinks any avid reader will enjoy both the humor and heartbreak found between the covers of this book. You can read it straight through or use the table of contents to find some books you yourself have loved or loathed. Author Annie Spence is both a clever writer and an authentic guide to some great (and not-so-great) literature. Be sure to check out her list of excuses to give when you just need to stay home and READ!
  • Bridget
    Do you believe in miracles? Well Mary C. Neal, M.D. Does and in her second book “7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught me to Live a Joy-filled Life” she tells us how miracles and more are a part of everyone’s life and how beauty can be found even in despair.

DECEMBER 2017

Truth: A Guide The Hate U Give Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting A Christmas Carol The House of Unexpected Sisters Wish Tree The Dying Detective Promise Me, Dad Braving the Wilderness You Don't have to Say You Love Me The Girl Before

NOVEMBER 2017

City of Thieves Gaudy Night After the Fall Welcome I Wish You More Midnight at the Bridge Ideas Bookstore Wonder You don't need to say you love me Dear Fahrenheit 451 The Alice Network Ginny Moon Fierce Kingdom Auggie & Me

OCTOBER  2017

Best Minds of my Generation Pigeon Tunnel Life Glass Houses Ginny Moon The Stars are Fire The Dollhouse The Rosie Project Novel Destinations  Book Cover

SEPTEMBER  2017

Decline and Fall Hillbilly Elegy Shanghai Girls Magpie Murders Howl's Moving Castle The Stars are Fire Best Boy The Hate U Give Saints for all Occaisions
  • Frank
    “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
  • Jeanine
    “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See
    Two beautiful sisters, living the high life in pre-WWII China, suddenly find their family ruined and themselves sold off as brides to men living in the United States just as the Japanese invade China. They flee China, reluctantly, to join their husbands only to face more hardships and prejudice in America. Beautifully written, historically accurate.
  • Kathleen
    “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz
    This book is dedicated to all lovers of mysteries, nodding as it does to crime writing’s golden age as well as modern authors. An editor starts reading her star author’s newest book in a popular series expecting nothing more than a best seller for her company. Instead she is drawn into layers of intrigue and death. It’s also a wonderful audio book as well.
  • Katie
    “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Kim
    “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
    “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance
    Two very different books, the first one fiction, the second non-fiction, but both are particularly relevant to events occurring in our country at this time in history. Even though “The Hate U Give” was written for a young adult audience, I highly recommend it for adults. The young woman’s voice in this book is so unique and true and the violence that she experiences is something everyone should understand and think about.
  • Michele
    “The Stars are Fire” by Anita Shreve
  • Michelle
    “Best Boy” by Eli Gottlieb
    I loved Eli Gottlieb’s book Best Boy.  The story is told by Todd Aaron, a 60-ish year old autistic man and longtime resident of a community for individuals with special needs.  I listened to the audiobook and Bronson Pinchot does a fabulous job of creating believable, authentic voices for each character.  I wanted to protect this man – and his childlike innocence – from the world.  A beautiful story.
  • Sudie
    “Saints for all Occasions” by J. Courtney Sullivan
    Combine a large family of Irish immigrants from Dorchester and Hull, stir in two sisters with a big secret, season with a little alcohol and ask a skilled author to whip it all together—it’s a recipe for a riveting end-of-summer read. J. Courtney Sullivan, the author of Maine, has concocted another unforgettable novel — a multi-layered, generational story told well. Two sisters share a secret that forces them to break their bond of sisterhood and affects relationships among the children that follow. It all ended too soon. I wanted the story to continue…. Book discussion groups, this is a book for you—you’ll find lots of food for thought!

AUGUST  2017

Decline and Fall Hillbilly Elegy Where They Found Her Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Anything is Possible She Persisted Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore A Dog's Way Home Ocean Liners Charlotte the Scientist is Squished

JULY 2017

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover One in Million Boy Book Cover Book Cover
  • Frank
    The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
  • Jeanine
    A Piece of the World” by Christina Baker Kline
    It is a beautifully written, fictionalized depiction of Christina Olson, the woman featured in Andrew Wyeth’s acclaimed painting “Christina’s World”. This is the same author who wrote the best-seller, “Orphan Train”.
  • Kathleen
    “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman
    (also a great audio book)
    Long before their recent re-incarnation by Rick Riordan, tales of the Norse gods wove deep, magical spells. Gaiman is a great story teller, worthy of telling the tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki.
  • Katie
    “Mechanica” by Betsy Cornwell
    A refreshing retelling of Cinderella with a unique steampunk twist. This is a YA novel.“Fortunately, the Milk” by Neil Gaiman
    A hilarious tale of a father’s attempt to deliver the milk in time for breakfast. A perfect summer story featuring a time-traveling, hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, aliens, piranhas and pirates!
  • Kim
    “The Scribe of Siena” by Melodie Winawer
  • Michele
    The One in a Million Boy”
    by Monica Wood
  • Michelle
    “Book of Speculation”
    by Erika Swyler
    Had to read it as one of the main characters is a librarian…didn’t think I’d like it but with a little suspension of disbelief…LOVED it. Quirky, but fantastic.
  • Sudie
    “The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country” by Helen Russell
    Why are the Danes so happy? This was the question that Helen Russell, a hard-working British journalist, was determined to answer after her husband got a job with LEGO and she accompanied him to Denmark—for just one year. In twelve chapters, one for each month of the year, in her “Happiness Project,” the author tracks down the answers to her questions with wit, grace and perseverance. Join her as she tries to figure out “hygge” and other Danish-isms—and find out what happened after that first year. Who knows–you may just want to move to Denmark yourself. As for me, I’m heading there tomorrow!

JUNE  2017

Decline and Fall Inner Life of Cats One in Million Boy Raven Black One Minute till Bedtime The Japanese Lover Trajectory Following Atticus Last Painting of Sara De Vos Ocean Liners
  • Frank
    “Decline and Fall” by Evelyn Waugh
  • Jeanine
    “The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of our Mysterious Feline Companions” by Thomas McNamee
    “The One In A Million Boy” by Monica Wood
  • Kathleen 
    “Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves
    Inspector Perez knows his fellow islanders hold on to their secrets tightly. A young girl’s murder sends both Perez and mainland Scottish detectives deep into their lives. The setting and the crime are equally chilling.
  • Katie 
    “One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to Send You off to Sleep” edited by Kenn Nesbitt
  • Kim 
    “Trajectory” by Richard Russo.
    4 short stories from Russo. I found the first one disappointing, but Russo’s distinctive voice and his empathy for his characters shine through in the other three.
  • Michelle
    “Following Atticus” by Tom Ryan
    (re-reading it for the 2nd time…this time via audio. Ryan narrates it himself and it’s wonderful – given his accent and soothing tone of voice).
  • Sudie
    “Ocean Liners” – (Published in conjunction with the current exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum.) The bright red cover got my attention when I was cataloging this hefty “coffee table” book. Usually, that’s as far as I get, but when I opened the book to get the information catalogers need, I caught a glimpse of the wonderful photographs and illustrations, and I was hooked! This book documents the history of the ocean liner, beginning with steamships in the early 1800s— the architecture, the décor, life on board and, of course, all the advertising used to entice passengers to embark! I loved the section on the “floating palaces” of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. When you are perusing our New Book shelves, be sure to look for this and other large books displayed there, and let them grace your own coffee table for a while.

MAY  2017

American Philosophy: A Love Story The Girl Before My Italian Bulldozer We are in a Book Fish in a Tree The Japanese Lover Girl Walks out of a Bar A Piece of the World Girl with the Parrot on her Head Book Cover The Lost Order The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Earthly Remains
  • Frank
    American Philosophy: A Love Story by John Kaag
  • Jeanine
    The Girl Before”
    by J.P. Delaney – a character driven whodunnit vaguely reminiscent of “Gone Girl”
    Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – A wonderful children’s chapter book about friendship and differences
    Girl Walks Out of a Bar by Lisa F. Smith – A dark but often comic memoir of career, ambition and friendship in the midst of severe addiction and eventual recovery.
  • Kathleen”My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
    Tuscany is meant to be slowly savored, as a writer discovers when his rental car becomes a rental bulldozer.
    Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
    May marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the first Elephant and Piggie book. Check one out (my favorite is “We Are in a Book) and read it aloud to a child you know!
  • Katie
    The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head
    by Daisy Hirst (Picture Book).
    An imaginative and somewhat introverted child copes with the emotions she experiences after her best friend moves away. This is a sweet story with simple illustrations that gently addresses the feelings of loss, and the process of making new friends.
  • Kim
    The Lost Order
    by Steve Berry. The nonstop action in this page turner will keep you up past your bedtime!
    Earthly Remains by Donna Leon. Commissario Guido Brunetti takes a break from his work but ends up finding himself involved in an investigation.
  • Michele
    “The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
  • MichelleA Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
    Historical fiction that imagines the story of Christina Olsen – the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s famous 1948 painting ‘Christina’s World.’ I can’t wait to visit the real place – and see some of the exhibits this year at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland – in celebration of what would have been Wyeth’s 100 birthday.
  • Sudie
    The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan. If you loved “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” you will certainly enjoy “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.” Set in in the southeast of England during World War II, the story unfolds through the letters and journal entries of the women in the small village of Chilbury, who have been drawn together in the unconventional “ladies only choir.” Both laughter and tears abound as these women discover the power of music to comfort, heal, and empower.

APRIL  2017

Hen's Teeth and Horses Toes Old Age: A Beginner's Guide The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Hidden Life of Trees Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea The Japanese Lover The Good Braider Lily and the Octopus The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us

MARCH STAFF PICKS 2017

Do not Sell at any Price Old Age: A Beginner's Guide Little Paris Book Shopt Hidden Life of Trees Katarina's Wish The Japanese Lover A Gentleman in Moscow Lucky Boy Leaving Lucy Pear

FEBRUARY  2017

Hen's Teeth and Horses Toes A Great Reckoning March. Book 1 Before the Fall Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover Underground Railroad Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril Book Cover The Bear and the Piano Ms. Rapscott's Girls

JANUARY  2017

Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic The Lion in the Living Room A Tale of Two Cities Lab Girl Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover Underground Railroad Becoming Wise

DECEMBER 2016

A Devil's Chaplain Waking up White" A Christmas Carol Lab Girl Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover  The Signature of all Things Becoming Wise

NOVEMBER 2016

Everything that Rises Must Converge When Breath Becomes Air Dinner with Edward A Great Reckoning Death of a Cozy Writer Today will be Different

OCTOBER 2016

The Cave and the Light The Boston Girl My Smart Puppy A Great Reckoning Everybody's Fool The Japanese Lover

SEPTEMBER 2016

Are we smart enough to Know how Smart Animals Are? The Violet Hour This I Believe The Road to Character The One-in-a-Million Boy The Japanese Lover  The Secret History Life Below Stairs Knitting Pearls

AUGUST 2016

Pride and Prejudice The Gene: An Intimate History The Summer before the War The Boys in the Boat After You Glory over Everything  The Hopefuls The Extra The Return Omaha Beach

JULY 2016

Shakespeare and Company The Kitchen House The Eyre Affair "Becoming Nicole" Little Paris Bookshop Homegoing  Enchanted Islands

JUNE 2016

The Power and the Glory Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Plainsong At Home by Bill Bryson A Man Called Ove Becoming Nicole Crossing to Safety Imagine Me Gone Before the Wind Soul of an Octopus The Lincoln Project

MAY 2016

Birding by Impression The Last Painting of Sara de VosBook Cover Breaking Wild When Breath Becomes Air Dance of the Reptiles The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  My Name is Lucy Barton Journey to Munich A Doubter's Almanac 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History The Nightgale Red Wagon

APRIL 2016

The Power and the Glory The Color of Water Breaking Wild When Breath Becomes Air Road to Little Dribbline A Mother's Reckoning The Waters of Eternal Youth Astray Pax Arcadia This is the Life

MARCH 2016

High Adventure Our Souls at NightBook Cover The Shepherd's Crown My Name is Lucy Barton The Burgess Boys When Breath Becomes Air  The Gold Eaters Seabiscuit: An American Legend The Hired Girl Stealing Freedom Coming on home soonBook Cover

FEBRUARY 2016

Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah Year of Yes Wobble to Death The Burgess Boys "Furiously Happy" Winter Stroll  A Manual for Cleaning Women Love love Seabiscuit: An American Legend Stealing Freedom  Coming on home soonBook Cover

JANUARY 2016

High Adventure The MartianBook Cover Book Cover Bryant and May and the Burning Man Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher Winter Stroll Find Me Unafraid A Strangeness in my Mind The Mountain Story A Crooked Heart A Spool of Blue Thread The Girl on the TrainBook Cover

DECEMBER 2015

God's Bankers Garden of Evening MistsBook CoverBook Cover "Mistakes were Made" The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine A Christmas Carol Winter Stroll A Banquet of Consequences After You A Little Life The Boys in the Boat A Spool of Blue Thread The Girl on the TrainBook Cover

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