New fiction roundup, November 2019

No matter what you read – romance, fantasy, historical fiction, prize-winning fiction – November has a new release for you.

11/5: The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older – In this multigenerational Cuban-American family story of revolution, loss, and family bonds, the spirit of a woman who disappeared during the Cuban Revolution visits her nephew to spur him into unearthing their family history.

11/5: The Deep by Rivers Solomon – The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society, and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future.

11/5: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – In this romantic comedy Chloe Brown – a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list – recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her get a life.

11/5: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – The intersections of identity among an interconnected group of Black British women are portrayed in this 2019 Winner of the Booker Prize. A Peak Pick!

11/5: The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton – An elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, of female friendship, set in the American South. Continue reading “New fiction roundup, November 2019”

Hidden Libraries in Fiction

As great as real libraries are, they’re no match for the hidden libraries created by novelists. Magical libraries have unlimited space, can form labyrinths explorable only by the most intrepid, can spontaneously birth characters from the page to the real world, and much more.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
This is the first novel that I personally encountered with an amazing secret library. In 1945 Barcelona, 11-year-old Daniel Sempere is taken by his father to a secret library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There sit books that have been forgotten by the world, and Daniel is encouraged to choose one, of which he will become the caretaker. He selects a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, and comes to discover that someone has been systematically destroying all copies of Julian Carax books. Part mystery, part love letter to literature, this atmospheric novel follows Daniel as he delves into Carax’s life, and into the darkest side Continue reading “Hidden Libraries in Fiction”

Bus Reads for September

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in September:

Circe by Madeline Miller. The story of Circe, the daughter of the sun god Helios, banished to an island for Zeus believes her to be a threat. Unlike other children of the gods Circe has her own power – that of witchcraft. On her island she focuses on her craft, turns evil visiting men into pigs (my favorite part), and encounters other major and minor characters in Greek mythology. The guest that makes the most impact is Odysseus. I really, really, really enjoyed this book however I felt like a complete idiot reading it – I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about Greek mythology! Continue reading “Bus Reads for September”

Library Reads for October 2019

Ready to place some holds? Check out these ten books coming in October that librarians across the US are loving.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
A fascinating look at the human body and how it functions. Each historical tidbit is well-researched and thoroughly cited. Interesting stories, such as how diseases, cells, nerves, and organs were discovered, are woven throughout. For readers who like narrative nonfiction such as Gulp by Mary Roach, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Guts by Giulia Enders.
~ Carolynn Waites, Manvel Library, Manvel, TX

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas
In this fun, playful series, Thomas has created a female version of [Sherlock] Holmes who is vibrant, real, relatable, and intelligent. This fourth book has Holmes and Watson travel to France, with twists and turns the reader won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series.
~ Carrie Pedigo, Tippecanoe County Public Library, Lafayette, IN

The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld
Denfeld’s writing is like lyrical poetry, with every word captivating. Add to this an amazing mystery, a plethora of suspense, and an ending that exceeds all expectations, and we have another 5 star book. For fans of What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan and Love You More by Lisa Gardner.
~ Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT Continue reading “Library Reads for October 2019”

New fiction roundup, September 2019

9/3: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – England, 1879: a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter earns a place among the first cohort of female students at the University of Oxford, and ultimately takes on a powerful duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

9/3: Dominicana by Angie Cruz – To help her family’s immigration prospects, 15-year-old Ana marries a man twice her age and moves with him from the Dominican Republic to New York City. Once there, she’ll balance duty to her family against her own desires.

9/3: The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine – Twins Laurel and Daphne Wolfe share an obsession with words, a love that binds them together until it pushes them apart in a war over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition. Continue reading “New fiction roundup, September 2019”