November 2014 Book Discussions

Stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up your copies today!

* Book Clubbers
Meets the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, November 6th @ 7pm

Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline

The story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask. A tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

 

* Spine-crackers
Meets the first Friday of each month.
Friday, November 7th @ 10am

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared – Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.

* Bookalicious
Meets the second Monday of each month.
Monday, November 10th @ 7pm at the Village Vintner

The Boyfriend List
by e. lockhart

A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.

 

 

Classics Book Club
Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday, November 19th @ 7pm (Harnish)

Kim
by Rudyard Kipling

Classic adventure story of Kimball O’Hara, a resourceful Irish orphan who must rely on his cunning and wit to survive after his father dies. Kim soon meets a holy man who invites him on a pilgrimage to the majestic Himalayas.

 

Nite Readers
Meets the third Thursday of the month.
Thursday, November 20th @ 7pm

The Light Between the Oceans
by M.L. Stedman

A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore.

* Indicates book clubs that are lead by a staff librarian.

October 2014 Library Reads

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

A Sudden Light: A Novel
by Garth Stein

“Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses.”

- Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

 

Leaving Time: A Novel
by Jodi Picoult

“Leaving Time is a love story – love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna’s mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms–the good, bad and the ugly–and it is brilliant.”

- Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

 

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride
by Cary Elwes

“Even if you don’t have a crush on Cary Elwes, you’ll enjoy this vivid behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Princess Bride. His stories, especially those involving Andre the Giant, will leave you in stitches. Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and others also recount their experiences. An amusing account of a group of performers who came together to make a heartfelt film that is loved by many.”

- Emily Weiss, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

 

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir
by Alan Cumming

“This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.”

- Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL

 

Some Luck: A Novel
by Jane Smiley

“Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.”

- Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO

 

The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel
by Keith Donohue

“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.”

- Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN

 

The Life We Bury
by Allen Eskens

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!”

- Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

 

Reunion: A Novel
by Hannah Pittard

“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.”

- Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

 

Malice: A Mystery
by Keigo Higashino; translated by Alexander O. Smith

“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.”

- Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

 

Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery
by Ashley Weaver

“Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on holiday at the English seaside. What starts out as a lark, intended to make Amory Ames’s misbehaving-but-oh-so-delicious husband jealous, turns into a dangerous and deadly game of whodunit for Amory and her friends. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre’s golden age.”

- Vanessa Walstra, Kent District Library, East Grand Rapids, MI

October 2014 Book Discussions

Stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up your copies today!

* Book Clubbers
Meets the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, October 2nd @ 7pm (Meets at EASTGATE this month!)

Before I Go to Sleep
by S. J. Watson

An amnesiac attempts to reconstruct her past by keeping a journal and discovers the dangerous inconsistencies in the stories of her husband and her secret doctor.

 

 

* Spine-crackers
Meets the first Friday of each month.
Friday, October 3rd @ 10am (Meets at EASTGATE this month)

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson

Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.

* Bookalicious
Meets the second Monday of each month.
Monday, October 13th @ 7pm at the Village Vintner

Monstrous beauty
by Elizabeth Fama.

In alternating chapters, tells of the mermaid Syrenka’s love for Ezra in 1872 that leads to a series of horrific murders, and present-day Hester’s encounter with a ghost that reveals her connection to the murders and to Syrenka.

 

 

Classics Book Club
Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday, October 15th @ 7pm (Harnish)

The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Set in a strict Puritan community in 17th-century Boston, this novel tells the moving tale of an adulterous love affair and the retribution that follows.

 

 

Nite Readers

Meets the third Thursday of the month.
Thursday, October 16th @ 7pm

The Humans: A Novel
by Matt Haig

Regarding humans unfavorably upon arriving on Earth, a reluctant extraterrestrial assumes the identity of a Cambridge mathematician before realizing that there is more to the human race than he suspected.

 

 

* Indicates book clubs that are lead by a staff librarian.

September 2014 Library Reads List

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
by Caitlin Doughty

“Part memoir, part exposé of the death industry, and part instruction manual for aspiring morticians. First-time author Doughty has written an attention-grabbing book that is sure to start some provocative discussions. Fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff and anyone who enjoys an honest, well-written autobiography will appreciate this quirky story.”

- Patty Falconer, Hampstead Public Library, Hampstead, NH

Station Eleven: A Novel
by Emily St. John Mandel

“An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before a cataclysmic event changes the future of everyone on Earth. What will be valued and what will be discarded? Will art have a place in a world that has lost so much? What will make life worth living? These are just some of the issues explored in this beautifully written dystopian novel. Recommended for fans of David Mitchell, John Scalzi and Kate Atkinson.”

 – Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

The Secret Place
by Tana French

“French has broken my heart yet again with her fifth novel, which examines the ways in which teenagers and adults can be wily, calculating, and backstabbing, even with their friends. The tension-filled flashback narratives, relating to a murder investigation in suburban Dublin, will keep you turning pages late into the night.”

- Alison McCarty, Nassau County Public Library System, Callahan, FL

Rooms: A Novel
by Lauren Oliver

“A family comes to terms with their estranged father’s death in Oliver’s first novel for adults. Told from the perspective of two ghosts living in the old house, this unique story weaves characters and explores their various past connections. Great book!”

- Rachel Fewell, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

The Children Act
by Ian McEwan

“Judge Fiona Maye is at a difficult point in her marriage. Taking refuge in addressing other people’s problems in family court, Fiona extends herself more than usual, meeting a boy whose future is in her hands. McEwan is a masterful observer of human distress. With a simple story and flawed, genuine characters, this novel is poignant and insightful.”

- Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, MO

The Distance: A Thriller
by Helen Giltrow

“Imagine a modern-day Robin Hood who deals not in money, but identity. Karla, the protagonist of The Distance, is a tech guru with a conscience, and the security of several nations dependent on her. This nuanced book kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait until the next one comes out.”

- Cathy Scheib, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN

Horrorstor: A Novel
by Grady Hendrix

“You know how some horror movies would work better as novels? Horrorstor is that book, perfectly capturing everything that is terrific about the horror genre. In its catalog-style pages, you’ll find a hefty dose of satire, as a Scandinavian furniture store is transformed overnight into a prison. With characters that you’re rooting for and terror that creeps up on you, Horrorstor will keep you up all night in the best possible way.”

- Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

The Paying Guests
by Sarah Waters

“You can almost bet that a situation with long-term guests–paying or not–is not going to turn out well. This novel by Waters, who many know from her earlier books Tipping the Velvet and The Little Stranger, will keep you turning the page to see just how tense things can get, and how far fear and passion can push someone.”

- Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

The Witch with No Name
by Kim Harrison

“In this book, Harrison ends her long-running Hollows series, featuring witch Rachel Morgan, vampire Ivy, and pixy Jenks. Rachel’s come a long way; now, she and her friends attempt the impossible and face their toughest battle yet. Harrison skillfully wraps up many plot points, leaving readers sad that the series is over but satisfied by its ending. Fans will surely cheer Rachel on and shed a tear or two.”

- Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Season of Storms
by Susanna Kearsley

“Once again, Kearsley introduces you to a cast of characters who will quickly hold a special place in your heart. Celia and Alex mirror lovers from decades past, sharing similar secrets and passions. Flashbacks are woven seamlessly into the storyline, and the strong family component is handled beautifully, with surprising twists and turns.”

- Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

September Book Discussions

Stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up your copies today!

* Book Clubbers
Meets the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, September 4th @ 7pm (Harnish)

One Thousand White Women
by Jim Fergus

A secret government programs seeks white women to marry Cheyenne Indians to help assimilate them into white society.  Mary Dodd, condemned to a mental asylum by her family, volunteers for the program because she believes this is the only way she can achieve freedom.

 

* Spine-crackers
Meets the first Friday of each month
Friday, September 5th @ 10am (Harnish)

Keepsake
by Kristina Riggle

Two sisters raised by a hoarder, deal with old hurts and resentments and the very different paths their lives have taken.  Topics addressed included hoarding and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Feel the real emotional power and compassion about families and their baggage.

 

* Bookalicious – For adults who enjoy reading YA Literature.
Meets the second Monday of each month at the Village Vintner Winery & Brewery. 
Monday, September 8th @ 7pm (Village Vintner)

Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo

Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.

 

Classics Book Club
Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday, September 17th @ 7pm (Harnish)

Sons and Lovers
by D. H. Lawrence

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time, this semi-autobiographical novel by D.H. Lawrence shows the destructive power of love.

 

 

Nite Readers
Meets the third Thursday of the month.
Thursday, September 18th @ 7pm

The Humans: A Novel
by Matt Haig

Regarding humans unfavorably upon arriving on Earth, a reluctant extraterrestrial assumes the identity of a Cambridge mathematician before realizing that there is more to the human race than he suspected.

 

 

* Indicates book clubs that are lead by a librarian.

August 2014 Library Reads List

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

One Kick: A Novel
by Chelsea Cain

“Kick Lannigan survived being kidnapped as a child. Now, at twenty-one, determined never to be a victim again, she has reinvented herself. Martial arts and weapons handling are just a few of the skills she has learned over the years. Kick catches the attention of John Bishop, a mystery man with access to unlimited funds, and together they go after a cabal of child pornographers. A read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.”

- Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Lucky Us: A Novel
by Amy Bloom

“Is a family the people you are born to, or the people who you find along the way? That’s what Bloom explores in this novel set in pre- and post-WWII Ohio, Los Angeles, New York and Germany. The story follows resourceful Eva, who was abandoned by her mother at an early age, and her sister Iris, an aspiring actress who tries to find love at a time when her kind of love must be secretive. Every character is beautifully drawn, warm, and believable.”

- Kathryn Hassert, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, Chester Springs, PA

Heroes Are My Weakness: A Novel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“Any Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel is going to make it onto my must-read list, but this one is particularly wonderful, and here’s why: she creates, then cheerfully destroys, the romance cliche of the brooding hero with a dark secret who lives in a crumbling mansion and captivates a plucky heroine. The hero is a horror novelist, and the heroine a failed actress-turned-puppeteer. This warm, witty, comedy-drama is a perfect summer read.”

- Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

Lock In
by John Scalzi

“There’s been a good run of fantasy and science fiction books this year. Joining the list of great fantastical reads is John Scalzi’s Lock In. Scalzi is best known for his military SF (especially the Old Man’s War series), so his latest is a change of pace. A blending of SF and police procedural that hits every note just right.”

- Jane Jorgenson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

The Miniaturist: A Novel
by Jessie Burton

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”

- Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty

“A horrible act of violence occurs at the Pirriwee Public School’s trivia night fundraiser for parents, but what happened and who was involved? The novel begins six months before that fateful evening and lets us in on the lives of single mother Jane, twice-married Madeline, and Celeste, who secretly suffers from domestic abuse. Big Little Lies is another page-turning read from Moriarty that had me gasping with surprise at the end.”

- Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

The Truth about Leo
by Katie MacAlister

“I always adore Katie MacAlister! Her sense of humor is outstanding, and her heroines have real bodies. This is another installment in the delightful historical Noble series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Fans of humor with their romance are sure to enjoy this regency romp.”

- Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH

An Unwilling Accomplice
by Charles Todd

“Bess Crawford, a courageous World War I battlefield nurse, is faced with another complex mystery. A patient about to receive a high honor from the King manages to disappear on Bess’s watch, sending her life into a tailspin. In order to clear her name, she must find the missing patient and find out why he is now accused of murder. Intelligent and fantastic, just like the others in this series!”

- Monicah Fratena, La Porte County Public Library, La Porte, IN

The Magician’s Land: A Novel
by Lev Grossman

“Even if you haven’t read the first two books in the wonderful Magicians Trilogy, you will enjoy the escapades of Quentin Coldwater. Now 30 years old, Quentin finds himself back at Brakebills, experiencing school from the teacher’s side of the desk. But his adventures are far from over! Although I’m not generally a fantasy reader, I’ve been rooting for Quentin ever since I first picked up this series and am sad to see it end.”

- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

The Story Hour: A Novel
by Thrity Umrigar

“Another beautifully written novel by Thrity Umrigar. A relationship develops between Maggie, a psychologist, and Lakshmi, a troubled Indian woman. As their stories develop, it is hard to figure out which woman does more to impact the other’s life. Highly recommended.”

- Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Upcoming Book Discussions in August

Stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up your copy today!

Spine-crackers
Meets the first Friday of each month
Friday, August 1st @ 10am (Harnish)

The Weird Sisters
by Eleanor Brown

When their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, the Andreas sisters find themselves once again living together under the same roof. How will they ever survive?!  See a more in depth review.

 


Book Clubbers

Meets the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, August 7th @ 7pm (Harnish)

The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo

A Malaysian woman with few prospects is approached by a wealthy family to marry their dead son. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. She will be well provided for, but at what cost? 

 


Bookalicious
 – Now meeting at the Village Vintner Winery, Brewery and Restaurant!
For adults who enjoy reading YA Literature.  Meets the second Monday of each month.  Monday, August 11th @ 7pm at the Village Vintner

Carter Finally Gets It
by Brent Crawford

Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school before realizing that nothing good comes easily, focus is everything, and the payoff is usually incredible.

 


Classics Book Club

Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday, August 20th @ 7pm (Harnish)
My Antonia
by Willa Cather

Following the death of his parents, Jim Burden goes to live with his grandparents in rural Nebraska where he develops a strong attachment to Ántonia Shimerdas, the eldest daughter of an immigrant family from Bohemia.

July 2014 Library Reads List

Visit LibraryReads for more information about how this list was created, and to view favorites from previous months!

Landline
by Rainbow Rowell

“Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.”

- Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

One Plus One: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes

“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”

- Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH

The Black Hour
by Lori Rader-Day

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”

- Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI

The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel
by Erika Johansen

“The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read!”

- Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel
by Chris Bohjalian

“Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past.”

- Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III
by Ben H. Winters

“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.”

- Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

California: A Novel
by Edan Lepucki

“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.”

- Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Dollbaby: A Novel
by Laura Lane McNeal

“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.”

- Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
by Marja Mills

“A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful!”

- Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Dry Bones in the Valley: A Novel
by Tom Bouman

“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.”

- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Win is away at boarding school. He doesn’t see his family anymore and in chapters that alternate between the present and the past, Win, with the help of new girl Jordan and former friend Lex, works to come to terms with the curse within his bloodline.

Kuehn does brilliant things here with voice and plotting. As the reader moves deeper into the story it becomes apparent that Win is quite the unreliable narrator. With the chapters alternating between present and past, why Win is unreliable becomes a mystery to be solved with Kuehn giving clues that draw the reader further and further into Win’s story. Kuehn does some very fine work with theme as well, drawing from both physics and paranormal tropes to highlight the horror of Win’s past and his rocky road to recovery.

I loved, loved, loved this book although it was brutal to read. The focus on how Win had to choose to not just survive, but to live was beautifully done. I’m also a sucker for this kind of puzzle mystery. Charm & Strange is a great choice for fans of darker realistic fiction and I’m looking forward to Kuehn’s sophomore effort, Complicit, just published this June!

- Reviewed by Jennifer Jazwinski, YA Librarian at AAPLD

July Book Discussions @ the Library

Stop by the Adult Services Desk at the Main Library (Harnish) to pick up your copy today!

* Book Clubbers
Meets the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, July 3rd @ 7pm (Harnish)

Norwegian Wood
by Haruki Murakami

Looking back on his college days in Tokyo, Toru recalls his relationships with two very different women against a backgrop of 1960’s student protests and coming of age angst and tragedy.

 

 

* Bookalicious
For adults who enjoy reading YA Literature. Meets the second Monday of each month.
Monday, July 14th @ 7pm (Harnish)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson

A fearful sixteen-year-old princess discovers her heroic destiny after being married off to the king of a neighboring country in turmoil and pursued by enemies seething with dark magic.

 

 

Nite Readers
Meets the third Thursday of each month.
Thursday, July 17th @ 7pm (Harnish)

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark, who has lived her entire life within the confines of the small English village where she grew up, takes a job as a companion for Will Trainer, a wealthy quadriplegic who has traveled the world. As their friendship grows, they each try to help the other see and live beyond their own limitations.

 

Classics Book Club
Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday, July 16th @ 7pm (Harnish)

Lord Jim
by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim seeks redemption in a remote Malay settlement after his cowardly actions while serving aboard a merchant ship leave him a disgraced officer.

 

 

 


*
Indicates books clubs that are lead by librarians.