Extra celebrating this month with the Library Reads Top Ten list — because two local authors are shining bright on this selection of books that librarians across the U.S. are loving! Our beloved Nancy Pearl, former librarian at The Seattle Public Library, has a debut novel you must place on hold now! And Jamie Ford, who you may know best for The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, has deep Seattle roots (although he lives in Montana now) and we still claim him as one of ours, has a new novel set in Seattle in 1909.
And here they are, new books for September 2017 that librarians are raving about!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb…until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence! ~ Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO
Sourdough by Robin Sloan: Lois works at a company trying to perfect a robot arm, and while she has been eating the ‘Slurry,’ or nutrient paste, that many use for nourishment, she discovers a nearby take-out restaurant that offers a ‘double spicy’ along with the most delicious sourdough bread she has ever tasted. The brothers who own this restaurant also briefly enchant her, and before they leave San Francisco they share with her the starter for the bread, which changes her life forever. This delightful tale of food, robotics and microorganisms is filled with charm, magical realism, and science. ~ Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence: If you could tell a book how you really feel…this is what the author has done with her collection of love letters to books. Readers (and librarians especially) will appreciate the sly stabs or ‘roasting’ that the author makes to point out fine and not-so-fine moments of key books that she is contemplating removing from her shelf. She weaves in stories from her life inside a library (which is fodder for chuckles in itself). Perfect for fans of Jenny Lawson. ~ Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore: A chance encounter with former tutor Kiran Thrash enables Jane, an umbrella-crafter and college dropout, to fulfill a promise to her beloved late Aunt Magnolia—to accept an invitation to visit the mysterious Thrash family home, Tu Reviens. During her visit, Jane reaches a seemingly insignificant moment in time where one action will branch her off into different futures. Each choice results in a different path for Jane that takes her far beyond her previously ordinary life. An ambitious, complex offering with diverse characters from the author of the Graceling series. ~Pearl Derlaga, York County Library System, Yorktown, VA
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford: Ford excels at historical fiction, especially set in the Pacific Northwest. In this tale, the reader follows the life of Ernest Young, experiencing the early 1900s in Seattle. He is raffled off in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition. The story then follows adult Ernest as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair opens. Rich with historical detail and touching on a time period not widely known (the wilds of Seattle’s early days), this moving story comes together and draws the reader in. ~ Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld: Who better to find a missing child than one who escaped abduction? Denfeld offers a nuanced treatment of a difficult subject. The narrative switches between the voice of the missing child and the Child Finder, Naomi, as she searches. While Naomi’s abduction gave her a unique ability to find missing children, it left her with issues. As she searches for the missing child we see her move toward resolution. Additionally, the glimpse into the mind of the missing child, which shows us the child’s view of the situation and the steps she takes to survive, is fascinating. ~ Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park , NJ
The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones: This dystopian novel describes a future in which a tick infestation has driven humanity to barricade itself in a series of safe zones. A thrilling plot involves a group of wealthy individuals on an extreme adventure trip that doesn’t go as planned. Through chapters written from their viewpoints, the reader comes to sympathize with and understand the motivations of the people involved. While telling a story involving hostage taking, drug smuggling and the search for a solution to the bug problem, the novel raises the question of what we are willing to sacrifice for safety. ~ Michelle Geyer, Durham County Public Library, Durham, NC
Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades: Hanna is a young woman, like any other in the world today, except for one unique thing: she is part of a polygamist community and has just been told, at eighteen, she has to marry a man who is her father’s age and has four other wives. Hanna must make the confusing and heartbreaking decision about where her future path lies. Should she stay at home and be obedient to the only family she has ever known, or will she choose her own love and life? A gripping story that would make a great book club selection! ~ Kelly Baroletti, Wantagh Public Library, Wantagh, NY
Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller: This novel retells the story of Little House on the Prairie from the point of view of Laura Ingalls’ mother, Caroline. In 1870, Caroline, Charles, and their two young girls leave their home and extended family to travel more than 600 miles in a covered wagon. This is a fresh, deeper look at a much-loved story. Five-year-old Mary is lively and eager to please, and charming three-year-old Laura will still delight Little House fans. The relationship and personalities of Caroline and her husband Charles are more complex and fully realized, making for a wonderful reading experience. ~ Brenda O’Brien, Woodridge Public Library, Woodridge, IL
George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl: The daughter of two renowned narcissistic psychologists, Lizzie’s problem has always been overthinking everything. George, raised in a very adoring family, comes into Lizzie’s life with one goal – to love her completely and forever. Can she relinquish the past to move toward the happiness that could be hers in the future? Relationships, good and bad, past and present, all come together to make a truly wonderful tale of the reality of the struggles of everyday life. Very well-written. ~ Debbie Wittkop, Southwest Public Libraries, Columbus, OH.
NOTE: Nancy Pearl will be speaking at our Central Library on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the same day George & Lizzie comes out! Come celebrate and meet the author! Details for this free event are here.
~ Linda J.