Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amazon.com picks for the best books of 2015 (so far)

Amazon.com best books of the year (so far) picks for 2015
According to Forbes Magazine, Amazon.com is by far the largest seller of eBooks, holding 65% of the market. Many of their picks for the best books of 2015 (so far) are available for downloading, free of charge, from the library:



A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
The latest from award-winning author Susanna Kearsley is an exquisite story of two women living in very different times but whose lives intersect in amazing ways.

"Kearsley's decision to offer a fully developed, romantic lead with the perspective of Asperger's is a welcome and refreshing idea. Incorporating rich historical details that feel as vivid as the present enables readers to quickly lose sense of time as the author weaves threads from two eras into one dramatic tapestry." - Library Journal

The Descent by Tim Johnston
*A Breakout NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller

*A USA Today Bestseller

*An Indie National Bestseller
The Courtland family decides to take their summer vacation in the Rocky Mountains before their athlete daughter, Caitlin, goes off to college. The parents hope the trip will possibly lend some aid their ailing marriage. When Caitlin doesn’t return from a run, will the family be torn apart?

“This is much more than your typical thriller. Tim Johnston has written a book that makes Gone Girl seem gimmicky . . . Johnston is an excellent writer. You want to set this one down so you can take a breath, and keep reading--all at the same time.- NPR

Orhan’s Inheritence By Aline Ohanesian
When Orhan’s brilliant businessman grandfather dies, Orhan inherits his store. The young man is shocked when he finds out that the family home has been left to an American woman who is a complete stranger to the family. He leaves his small village in Turkey and travels to California to try and discover why. 

A harrowing tale of unimaginable sacrifice . . . A novel that delves into the darkest corners of human history and emerges with a tenuous sense of hope.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton
Celebrated food critic Mimi Sheraton offers the best recipes from her travels around the world. A fascinating, mouthwatering experience with fantastic new foods to try.

“Mimi Sheraton was one of the few critics or writers on food who, had she expressed displeasure with me, would have caused me to consider quitting the business. As a chef, I feared and respected her. As a writer and observer and enthusiast—as someone who travels largely on his stomach—I can tell you that what Mimi doesn't know is hardly worth knowing. This fat, comprehensive guide to the 1,000 foods to eat before dying is just that: 1,000 foods you NEED to try, urgently. Read ... and seek.”
Anthony Bourdain, author, host, enthusiast

   Grow A Little Fruit Tree by Ann Ralph
Outstanding guide on how to grow fruit in the smallest of outdoor spaces. Not only are the trees practical but they are beautiful and fun to maintain.

“This is a delightful book that offers a TON of useful information”
- An Amazon.com reader review

                                     Mosiac Garden Projects by Mark Brody
Mosiacs brighten your garden year round, unlike any annual or perennial. This book offers everything from simple designs that a beginner can make, to more complex                                         projects.                                               

“I LOVE this book! It is clearly written, logically laid out, beautifully photographed and just so helpful. He includes LISTS of what to buy, so when going shopping, it is so easy. I'm a beginning mosaic artist who has taken 4 different classes from 4 different instructors. If I'd bought this book first, I think I could have skipped many of those classes.”
-An Amazon.com reader review

                  The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma by Nova Ren Suma
Heart-pounding thriller intended for grades nine and up. Two girls started out as close friends until one of them ended up somewhere she never thought she would be.

“Gripping . . . Just try to put this down.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review

“The wholly realistic view of adolescents meeting the criminal justice system (with a heartbreaking contrast portrayed between the treatment of a wealthy girl and that of her poor multiracial friend) is touched at first with the slimmest twist of an otherworldly creepiness, escalating finally to the truly hair-raising and macabre. Eerie, painful and beautifully spine-chilling.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reading Group Choices' Favorites

Readinggroupchoices.com just announced which books were voted the favorite books of 2014 by their reading group members. If you are looking for suggestions for your book club/reading group, why not go with books that are available in digital format? That way all of your book club members can take them out at the same time, and no one has to remember to return them. Try the Reading Group Choices top picks “The Paris Architect” and “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” for your next book club meeting.

Praise for The Paris Architect:

“How far would you go to help a stranger? What would you risk? Would you trade your life for another's in the name of what is right? Belfoure explores these questions and others in this debut novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner.”
-Publishers Weekly

“A beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war."
-Malcolm Gladwell

Praise for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry has a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance, but is at its core a love story: love of books, love of family, love of community. It is as enchanting a book as you will read this year.”

[A] sweet yet soulful tale of love, loss, the power of friendship—and books. Like sunshine on a breezy spring day, you won’t want it to end.”

Family Circle

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Edgar Award Winner for "Best Young Adult" Title

The Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar Awards every Spring. Named after Edgar Allen Poe, they are widely considered to be the most prestigious award within the genre. The Art of Secrets by James Klise won for the Young Adult category at the April 29, 2015 Awards.

*A Booklist Editor’s Choice Book

*A Booklist Top Crime Fiction Book

*A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book

Relationships, secrets and lies aplenty.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Will stay on readers’ minds long after the last page.”
 Booklist, starred review

“This story . . . culminates in a shocking twist of an ending that will engross readers until the very last page.”
The Christian Science Monitor

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bill Gates' 2015 Reading List

The billionaire founder of Microsoft has offered his suggested reading list for 2015. Once again, he lists “Business Adventures” by John Brooks as his #1 recommendation.  Mr. Gates is quoted as saying “it’s still the best business book I have ever read”. That is quite a statement from a self -described avid reader who clearly knows what business is all about. He also stated that Warren Buffett recommended the book to him. I can’t think of two people I would rather get business advice from. The full April 20th article from Inc.com is available if you copy and paste this address in your browser:

“Business Adventures” is available on Freading.

Friday, April 17, 2015

2015 Teen's Top Picks

Teens across the country have voted for their favorite books and the top nominees were just announced by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Two of the top picks are on Freading:

My Life With the Walter Boys by Ali Novacs
Intended for grades 9 and up, it is the fascinating story of the organized and always proper Jackie Howard who does not like change. Her life is turned upside down when she loses family to tragedy and must move in with a family of all boys.

Boys like you- Juliana Stone
Also for High School age students, characters Nathan and Monroe start a teenage romance while going through life changing events.

" A contemporary romance-with-a-conscience...Stone writes it with confidence and style" - Kirkus

"The story handles challenging subjects like sex, drunk driving, and faith after tragedy in a sensitive and age-appropriate way without veering into melodrama...just what readers need. " - School Library Journal

Brand New USA Today Best Sellers

Two April releases have already made the USA Today Best Seller list. They are : A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsely and The Dukes Disaster by Grace Burrowes. Neither author is any stranger to this list but these new titles are certainly climbing fast. Here is what the critics have to say:

Praise for Grace Burrowes:
"Burrowes has a knack for giving fresh twists to genre tropes and developing them in unexpected and delightful directions [with] consistently excellent writing, deep and layered stories, and intelligent and compassionate characters." –Publishers Weekly
Warmth, sensuality,and humor infuse Burrowes' writing." -Booklist
"Burrowes continues to captivate and enchant!" -Fresh Fiction
Praise for Susanna Kearsley:
Kearsley's decision to offer a fully developed, romantic lead with the perspective of Asperger's is a welcome and refreshing idea. Incorporating rich historical details that feel as vivid as the present enables readers to quickly lose sense of time as the author weaves threads from two eras into one dramatic tapestry." - Library Journal

"Kearsley is an expert at seamlessly merging contemporary and historical fiction... The colorful history and romance of the 18th century, combined with the contemporary mystery, create a tale readers will savor." - RT Book Reviews