Each month librarians across the U.S. nominate new books they love for the Library Reads Top 10. Here are the ten titles for August 2017 — nine novels, one memoir — for you to get on your hold list now. Also, these titles work for your Summer Book Bingo “recommended by a librarian” square!
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin: Aviva Grossman was involved in a relationship with her boss, who just happened to be a member of Congress. She becomes ostracized as her name is associated with scandal and reinvents herself as Jane Young. She has a daughter, Ruby, who decides to run away to look for her father. Ruby learns things are not always what they seem. I loved Zevin’s engaging style. The characters are flawed and real. You are rooting for them until the end. ~Audra Bartholomew, Bossier Parish Library, Bossier City, LA
Glass Houses by Louise Penny: A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it was before it was corrupted under the previous regime. Choices are made that will forever change our hero in ways we can only begin to imagine. The next book can’t get here fast enough. ~ Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry: When Emilia’s father dies, she returns to her small English village, takes over his beloved bookshop, and begins working through both her grief and the myriad renovations and changes the store needs. The author weaves stories of multiple village residents and their romantic travails and triumphs. I admired the well-crafted nature of this story, with the interwoven storylines offering wide variety without becoming scattered or straining to remain believably interrelated. All in all, just lovely. ~ Carol Reich, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR
If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss: It is 1970 and pregnant seventeen-year-old Sadie Blue is trapped in a marriage with her horrific moonshiner husband Roy in an Appalachian mountain town. Their friends and neighbors live stark, gritty lives that are written with vivid and captivating detail. Hope and strength shine through in bits and pieces in this terrific debut about Sadie’s struggles. Weiss’s fresh voice captivates the reader as this tale spins from several perspectives that draw the reader into Sadie’s world. A terrific debut that will keep you riveted until the last page. ~ Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore: A witty and fascinating look at reincarnation. Milo has been reincarnated more than any other human. He’s been enjoying his lives and grown wise without quite achieving perfection, the ultimate goal. He is absolutely in love with Death, who’d rather just be called Suzi and ultimately would like to settle down and run a candle shop. Unfortunately, he comes to find out there’s actually a limit on how many chances you get at perfection. A moving and lovely story about love, meditation, the journey of life, and becoming the best person you can be. ~ Jessica Trotter, Capital District Libraries, Lansing, MI
Morningstar: Growing Up with Books by Ann Hood: Morningstar is Hood’s account of growing up in a family and a town that did not value books and learning to love them anyway, finding them a gateway into ‘a big, beautiful world.’ Her taste in literature runs the gamut from Dickens to Jacqueline Susann, Frost to Rod McKuen, and Hood makes a powerful case for what each contributed to her life. Give this to avid readers; it will likely send them off to reread old favorites and maybe inspire curiosity about titles they missed. Fascinating reading. ~ Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
The Address by Fiona Davis: In New York City in the 1880s, Sara Smythe emigrates from England to manage a new apartment building, the Dakota. She soon becomes the lover of the architect, Theodore Camden. After Sara murders Theodore, she is sent to an insane asylum which is infiltrated by journalist Nellie Bly. A second story line also takes place at the Dakota, but this time in 1985. Bailey is hired to renovate the apartment after she gets out of rehab and uncovers mysterious secrets and her personal connections to Camden. This suspenseful book provides a fascinating look at the history of New York during this period. ~ Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker: One night, Emma and her sister Cass go missing. Three years later, Cass returns home without Emma and tells the story of a couple who held the girls hostage and kidnapped the child to whom Emma gave birth. FBI Special Agent Abby Strauss is brought in to interview Cass with the hope of finally finding Emma. The more answers Cass gives, the more questions Abby has, and she knows that beneath all of Cass’s stories lies the truth. This thriller, with many unreliable characters, will keep readers off-kilter and uncertain, even after one final twist. ~ Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
The Burning Girl by Claire Messud: Julia and Cassie were once inseparable, but once they start middle school, things unexpectedly change. Cassie has found new friends, and it is clear Julia is not welcome. Julia doesn’t understand how Cassie could just forget how close they were and leave her to navigate a new school alone. When things start to go wrong for Cassie, Julia steps in to help but is left to wonder how close they really were. Messud really captures the anguish of the early teen years, when friendships are heartbreakingly intense and can change in an instant. Beautifully written and moving. ~ Pamela Wiggins, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC
The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson: When an inventor, employed by Peter the Great, creates two human-like clockwork automaton robots using anima discovered near a stream, he has no idea about the history behind those anima, nor could he imagine his creations’ future. Weaving through the present and the past, this book creates a world where humans co-inhabit alongside a group of powerful automaton robots. Fun, intriguing and nearly impossible to put down! I loved reading this book. ~ Katherine Rose, Edwardsville Public Library, Edwardsville, IL
~ Linda J.