Thursday, December 10, 2015

NPR's 'Best Books of 2015'

NPR just posted their choices for the best books of 2015. These books below are available with your library card twenty-four hours a day:

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Intended for grades nine and up, The Walls Around Us is a mesmerizing psychological thriller. It is the haunting story of female friendship gone wrong.
The Walls Around Us
“[An] Intricately plotted psychological horror story . . .  With evocative language, a shifting timeline, and more than one unreliable narrator, Suma subtly explores the balance of power between the talented and the mediocre, the rich and the poor, the brave and the cowardly--and the unpleasant truths that are released when these scales are upset.”
New York Times Book Review

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


Descent by Tim Johnston
The Courtland family decides to take a vacation together before their daughter Caitlin leaves for college. They arrive in the Rocky Mountains hoping for some positive changes. Caitlin is a runner and wants to challenge herself in the steep roads that the destination offers. Her parents hope that time together will help heal their own marriage difficulties. One morning, Caitlin heads out for a run with her brother. She does not return and her brother is badly injured.
Outstanding . . . The days when you had to choose between a great story and a great piece of writing? Gone.

“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.”
Alan Cheuse on NPR’s All Things Considered 


We Were Brothers by Barry Moser
Even though Barry and Tommy were raised by the same parents, in the same house, they were very different people. As they got older, their differences broadened.They stayed in touch with each other, but their relationship was fragile. After years of  living completely different lives, a particularly tense conversation ends what little connection they had. 

We Were Brothers 
“A complex meditation on how two men who grew up together came away with diametrically opposing views on so many social and civil-rights issues . . . [a] lyrical memoir . . . [Moser] writes movingly about his rapprochement with Tommy before his death in 2005.The brothers’ reconciliation is deeply affecting in a memoir that Barry Moser considers an homage to Tommy ‘as well as a history of our burdened brotherhood.’” 
The Boston Globe

"A valiantly forthright, superbly illustrated family crisply and frankly chronicling his battles and eventual reconciliation with his brother, Moser looks to a more caring and just future world."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A National Endowment For The Arts 'Big Read' Selection

The National Endowment for the Arts just announced that Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones was selected for its 2016-2017 ‘Big Read’ program. Per the programbroadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book or poet” The Director of the Endowment was quoted as saying that she wanted the “incredible storytelling to inspire meaningful conversations.”

"A love story... full of perverse wisdom and proud joy....Jones's skill for wry understatement never
O, The Oprah Magazine

“A graceful and shining work about finding the truth.” – Library Journal, starred review

“It’s an amazing, amazing read.”
Jennifer Weiner on NBC’s “The Today Show”

“Impossible to put down until you find out how these sisters will discover their own versions of family.”
Los Angeles Times

Download Silver Sparrow from the Freading site today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

*A #1 Indie Next Pick for November

*A LibraryReads Pick for November

The Award-winning and best-selling author of The Art Forger brings us the compelling story of a brilliant young artist who disappears without a trace just prior to the start of World War II.

“Shapiro follows the enthusiastically received The Art Forger (2012) with an even more polished and resonant tale. [Her] novel of epic moral failings is riveting, gracefully romantic, and sharply revelatory; it is also tragic in its timeliness as the world faces new refugee crises.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Shapiro’s plotting is deft, and the anonymous paintings and AlizĂ©e’s disappearance add mystery and intrigue to the tale. Like her well-received 2012 novel, “The Art Forger,” this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist. …vibrant and suspenseful. As tens of thousands of modern-day asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa surge into Europe, and pictures of their mistreatment are broadcast around the world, “The Muralist” is a grim reminder that history continues to repeat itself.” Washington Post

“In The Muralist, novelist B.A. Shapiro deftly layers American art history, the facts of World War II and the fictitious stories of Alizee and Dani. …The Muralist is a compelling mystery. …The Muralist elevates Shapiro to an even higher plane and is sure to be a crowning touch in an already celebrated career.” BookPage

“B. A. Shapiro once again pens the art world into vivid, sensual life. Set during World War II and the dawn of Abstract Expressionism, The Muralist is an intriguing story masterfully imagined about art, war, family, truth, and freedom. If you liked The Art Forger, you're going to love The Muralist!” —Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Witch's Boy

‘The Witch’s Boy’ just came out in paperback form this month, but it has been available on-line from the library website via Freading since it was released. Has your son or daughter read it yet?

*A 2015 ALSC Children’s Notable Book
*A Washington Post Best Book of 2014
*A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
*A Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2014
*A Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” 2014

“[The Witch’s Boy] should open young readers’ eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words.”
—The New York Times

This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair and several hours of uninterrupted reading time.”
The Washington Post

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New This Month

If you had worked hard your entire life and provided for your family as an upright citizen, would you suddenly dive headfirst into a life of crime in order to try and help one of your adult offspring? That is the question that character John Cross grapples with in the latest thrill ride of an adventure by best-selling author Charles Belfoure.

*A New York Post “must read” pick

*A USA Today “new & noteworthy” Pick

*A September Indie Next Pick

*A LibraryReads September Pick

"Belfoure's sly, roguish writing opens a window to those living both gilded and tarnished lives... Best of all, Belfoure holds together each and every thread of the novel, resulting in a most memorable, evocative read." - Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

"A pulse-raising read." - Library Journal

"an entertaining excursion through Gilded Age New York" – Kirkus

If you had to tell the story of your life, how would it go? Has it been what you envisioned for yourself? Seventy-eight year old Harriet Chance ponders her life experiences while traveling unaccompanied on an Alaskan cruise ship. Her estranged daughter boards the ship partway through the trip which forces even more light on truths in her past that were previously hidden.

*An pick for the fall

*A LibraryReads September pick

Both uplifting and melancholy, funny and thought-provoking, this entertaining read speaks directly to the importance of acceptance and healing.” 

“I can’t get enough of the work of this Bainbridge Island writer, who has the gift of combining humor and tragedy and making it all wildly entertaining.” 
The Seattle Times

Eleanor of Aquitaine did exactly what she should as Queen of England. She proved herself as a ruler and gave her husband two male heirs to the throne. She finds that as time moves on and her children get more independent, she wants more power of her own. When her husband’s infidelity is brought to light, she knows he will not help her. She must get the power she desires on her own
"Moving, touching and historically accurate – a marvelous read for Chadwick fans. 4 1/2 Stars" - RT Book Reviews

“a brilliant book”- Madame Guillotine

Have you ever looked at something you were about to eat and wondered “ I wonder who originally came up with the idea for this?” The author of ‘The American Plate’ is the chief historian at the History Channel. In this book she covers everything from how salad and hot dogs started, to when we started serving Chinese food in America. 

"The American Plate is an engagingly readable history of American food." 
--Bee Wilson, author of Consider the For

"Like many mini-encyclopedias, this one is studded with often intriguing facts."—Kirkus