- “Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster” by Jonathan Auxier – My new favorite fantasy pick for middle grades. A creative wonderful fantasy intertwined with meanings of protection and helping others.
- “One of Us is Lying” by Karen McManus – A young adult novel: Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. Following four teens who meet in detention when the mystery starts.
- “BUZZ: the nature and necessity of bees” by Thor Hanson, You know our relationship with bees is symbiotic. Did you know they’ve evolved longer than us? This book is not just facts. Thor Hanson is a bee whisperer!
- “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay – I revisited an oldie! Set during World War II, this book is a powerful look at racism and class bias as Peekay, an English boy in South Africa, travels through the land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice. Through his journey, he finds strength making him a symbol of belief in oneself.
- “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo
- “The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey. This mystery, set in India in 1920, appeals on so many levels; the setting (Bombay and Calcutta) is exotic, the culture fascinating, and the characters are compelling. This book will transport you to another era and a different country, while engrossing you in a mystery with a strong protagonist who is India’s first female lawyer.
- “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn
- “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype and I have to say….it was the hype and then some. I loved this story for many reasons, not the least of which were the echoes of Harper Lee in the storyline.
- “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. While it’s a fascinating foray into the great fire of the Los Angeles Central Library and the man suspected of causing it, it’s also – as one reviewer put it – a love letter to libraries.
- “Look How Happy I’m Making You” by Polly Rosenwaike
- “A Well-behaved Woman” by Therese Anne Fowler – “A Well Behaved Woman” gives us a glimpse into the Gilded Age and the very wealthy families who gave the era its name. Alva Smith still had her good name but not much else when she married into the wealthy Vanderbilt family. She soon became a force to be reckoned with. Because she took a backseat to no man, she found herself in roles women typically did not fill at the time. She helped design her mansions, she was on the front lines of the charities she supported, and most of all, she does not turn a blind-eye to her husband’s infidelity—she bucked convention and divorced him. Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this well -written, well-researched and insightful novel.
- “I Have the Right To” – a memoir by Chessy Prout. I had such raging emotion at the injustice of her St. Pauls school administrators, her friends, social media backlash and the justice system. I was even mad at myself for initially doubting the victim but then saw how wrong I was.
- “Sweep: A story of a Girl and Her Monster” by Jonathan Auxier. Tons of intertwined meanings of this story of a brave girl fighting so many odds.
- “WHOLE 30″ by Melissa Hartwig, have you tried it? You are gluten, dairy and sugar free for 30 days. Lots of recipes and tips and there is also a cookbook in this series. It transformed the way I thought about food!
- “Circe” by Madeline Miller “In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves”
- “Winter Garden” by Kristen Hannah Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. When their father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now offers no comfort to her daughters
- “Women Rowing North” by Mary Phipher. Phipher, whose best-selling book on raising adolescent girls “Reviving Ophelia” is now more than a decade old. writes eloquently about the challenges and possibilities for women entering old age.
- “Fear the Bunny” by Richard T. Morris. Bunnies rule the forest in this amusing version of William Blake’s classic poem. Bunnies, bunnies, burning bright…
- “The Things We Do for Love” by Kristin Hannah
- “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelley. A compelling first novel about WWII, told in alternating chapters by three women – a young, Polish teenager, a German doctor, and a New York socialite – whose lives intersect and are forever changed.
- “The Address” by Fiona Davis Take an iconic apartment building (The Dakota) in New York City, two slices of time in that same city (the Gilded Age and the Reagan era), add a dysfunctional family or two, season with murder, madness and mystery, and you have the recipe for a wonderful read. Fiona Davis’ characters are all fictional, but the setting is very real–the Beatles’ John Lennon lived at the Dakota and was murdered in the shadow of one of its arches. Settle in to enjoy a lively glimpse into a bygone era and get lost in the halls and walls of the Dakota as you imagine how the residents who once called it home lived—and there’s a murder to solve, too!
“Goldfish Boy” by Lisa Thompson (youth)
“Educated” by Tara Westover (adult memoir)
“Cinder” Edna by Ellen Jackson (pic book – celebrating strong girls)
- Bridget: “WHOLE 30″ by Melissa Hartwig, have you tried it? You are gluten, dairy and sugar free for 30 days. Lots of recipes and tips and there is also a cookbook in this series. It transformed the way I thought about food!
- Jeanine: “Inheritance: a Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love” by Dani Shapiro When an Ancestry DNA test, done for fun, reveals that the author’s late/ beloved father is not biologically related to her, an identity crisis and an emotional quest to unravel the secrets of her paternity begins.
“The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena A detective mystery/ thriller When the perfect couple’s baby is kidnapped, suspicion immediately falls on them but the truth is much more complicated than it seems.
- Kathleen: “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald Sara, a great book lover, travels from her native Sweden to the wilds of Iowa to visit her pen pal and fellow reader Amy. Finding herself alone in a strange town with people she doesn’t know, Sara decides to repay their kindness by opening a local bookstore in Amy’s memory. A book that will warm the heart of any reader.
- Katie: “A Whisper in the Snow” by Kate Westerland
- Kim: “The Overstory” by Richard Powers
- Michele: “Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh
- Michelle: “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelley. A compelling first novel about WWII, told in alternating chapters by three women – a young, Polish teenager, a German doctor, and a New York socialite – whose lives intersect and are forever changed.
- Sophie: “The Golden State” by Lydia Kiesling.
- Sudie:“Unmarriageable” by Soniah Kamal
“Front Desk” by Kelly Yang (middle grade book). So good!
“Warcross” by Marie Lu (young adult). I think this would appeal to the gamers out there.
“When Women Ruled the World: Six queens of Egypt” by Cara Kooney. Does ancient Egypt have anything in common with today’s political scene? Find out as Ms. Cooney draws some startling comparisons.
“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
“The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde – Literary detective Thursday Next must fight evil if the beloved novel Jane Eyre is to continue to exist. Jane Eyre also stars in Cynthia Hand’s
“My Plain Jane” as do the Brontes and want-to-be ghost hunters. If earlier classics are more your style, try Hand’s “My Plain Jane” which explores alternative Elizabethan history.
“A Whisper in the Snow” by Kate Westerland
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
“Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama I very much enjoyed hearing about her childhood and family and growing up in the south side of Chicago. It is *wonderful* – particularly because it’s narrated by Obama herself. The tone is conversational so listening to the audiobook felt a little like sitting down and hearing the author just talk about her life.
“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee
“Unmarriageable” by Soniah Kamal
“Extraordinary Jane” by Hannah Harrison. When just being you is enough. Enjoy fun and sweet illustrations of circus animals too. “Small as an Elephant” by Jennifer Jacobson. A boy left alone at a Bar Harbor campground tries to make his way to York Wild Kingdom. Written by NH author! “Moxie” by Jennifer Matthieu. I would like to be back in high school to experience this go-getter teen in her fight against football players who think they rule the school.
“The Clockmaker’s Daughter” by Kate Morton (audiobook). Time traveling in England during several periods makes Kate Morton a favorite among fellow historical fiction enthusiasts.
“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger committed suicide thereby stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. As a seven-year-old his only defense was three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is the ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
“Wobble to Death” by Peter Lovesey Many of Lovesey’s fans know his Peter Diamond mystery series set in modern Bath, but Lovesey also wrote a series of Victorian era mysteries featuring Inspector Cribb. This novel is set in the world of competitive walking races but all the Cribb mysteries are clever, funny and show Lovesey’s deep knowledge of the Victorian world.
“Women in science : 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world” by Rachel Ignotofsky. If you enjoyed “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” by Elena Favilli, you’ll appreciate this collection of stories about incredible female scientists.
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. This book appears on many of the Best Fiction of 2018 lists and with good reason. A contemporary story with compelling characters – a good read!
“Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh
“Ike and Kay” by James MacManus
“Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson: A fascinating and heartbreaking look at the inequalities in the criminal justice system and the hard work to keep people off death row. “The Proposal” by Jasmine Guillory: Starting with a unwanted public proposal at a packed baseball game to an unexpected rebound relationship, this is feminist romance at its best.
“Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: the story of Little Women and why it still matters” by Anne Boyd Rioux.
I still remember sitting with Maman, my grandmother, back in the 1950s, hearing the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy for the first time. Later, I read Little Women for myself and loved it. In those days, I felt like Beth, but wanted to be more of a rebel, like Jo. Now, having read Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, I want to reread Little Women one more time.In this short book, the author gives us valuable information about Louisa May Alcott, her most famous book, all the editions and adaptations of Little Women for stage and screen, as well as the views of the book’s fans and foes and the book’s influence on the lives of girls and the women they became. So why does this classic, first published in 1868, still matter in 2018? Read the book and find out. Now, I’m off to borrow a copy of Little Women!