Get Out of the Lake!

The lake is where you want to be on a beautiful August day, unless you’re a character in a mystery novel. I’m here to tell you that, in my experience as an avid mystery reader, an idyllic remote lake can often double as the scene of a crime. Which is why these mysteries are wonderful choices for atmospheric lakeside (or backyard or park) reads.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman: Baltimore in the 1960s is the setting for this noir-inspired stand-alone novel from Lippman. Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband and son and pursues her dream of being a journalist. She’s obsessed with two murders and her involvement by happenstance in the first one helps her land a job at a reporter. The second murder is the LADY IN THE LAKE, a tale that has all sorts of urban lore around the case. Lippman, in my opinion, is one of the finest crime fiction writers today and I eagerly anticipate each new book from her, and this one delivered. Booklist said in a review: “This is a superb character study, a terrific newspaper novel, and a fascinating look at urban life and racial discrimination in the ’60s.” This is a Peak Pick, too! Take it to the lake, but don’t stay in the water too long … Continue reading “Get Out of the Lake!”

New Fiction Roundup, August 2019

A book told from the point of view of a Seattle crow, two novels about surveillance states, several short story collections and much more await you this August.

8/1: They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez – Racism, class, and betrayal collide in this poignant debut novel about restoring the broken bonds of family and friendship.

8/6: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton – A domesticated crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this debut by a Seattle author. A Peak Pick!

8/6: Right Swipe by Alisha Rai – Two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom, but in sync in the bedroom. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, August 2019”

Bus Reads for July

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 July:

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. I really enjoyed this book, I think the only issue I sometimes have with Jasper is that it sometimes feels like in his books there are inside jokes I’m not aware of so it takes me a bit longer to truly get into his novels. Once I’m in it though and things start to come together better in my mind I’m good to go. And this was quite a tricky little novel that really kept me reading. I don’t want to give too much away, but the concept of hibernation during winter – considering the current way of the world – was brilliant. It was dystopian light with intrigue and suspense, but in a completely nerdy way. Continue reading “Bus Reads for July”

Library Reads for August 2019

Here are twelve books coming out in August that librarians across the country are loving. Library Reads usually features 10 books each month, but this time you get two bonus books by authors who are “alums” of Library Reads. Here you go:

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai: An intelligent, multicultural contemporary romance. Rhi, CEO of the Crush dating app, and Samson, NFL star, embark on a joint project that turns into more than just talk. Issues of #MeToo in the tech industry and the NFL’s concussion problem are woven in. For readers of the Forbidden Heart series, Elle Wright, and Alyssa Cole. Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior: When Ellie walks into the Harp Barn, her life is bound to change. Dan the harpmaker is a sensitive soul who gives Ellie a harp. Ellie’s husband Clive thinks the gift is inappropriate and doesn’t support her desire to play, so she takes lessons behind his back. An engaging and tender book for fans of Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion. ~ Kathleen Harriott, Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, FL

Inland by Tea Obreht: Obreht lays a mythical voice over an already dreamlike landscape of drought in Arizona. A mother and half-grown sons generate a powerful dynamic not often explored, and the youngest, who knows about scary beasts, brings magic and intuition. A journey into a barren world, inside and out. For fans of Larry Watson and Alice Hoffman. ~ Katherine Phenix, Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter:  A fast-paced thriller in the Will Trent series has Will and Sara trying to prevent a deadly epidemic. The book tells the story of what is happening to three different people during the same short time periods, as they are unaware of the actions of the others. For readers who enjoy Tana French and John Sanford. ~ Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins: Explores the complex relationships between caregivers and their children, as four generations of one family reflect on their past, and the failing health of the family matriarch looms large. For readers who like fully developed characters with real-world problems, and fans of Jennifer Weiner and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. ~ Amanda Kowalcze, Green Hills Public Library District, Palos Hills, IL

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews: The fifth Hidden Legacy paranormal adventure requires middle sister Catalina, now head of House Baylor, to use all her skills and poise to make the right decisions for herself and her family. For fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series and Patricia Briggs’ Moon Called.  ~Lynne Welch, Herrick Memorial Library, Wellington, OH

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz: A dark, satirical book that centers around a school and the revenge that we seek in times of humiliation. It’s a twisty read that will have you following an investigation filled with secrets, lies, and threats. For readers who liked Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel. ~ Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, OK

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center: A traumatic event as a young woman has left firefighter Cassie with a hard shell which breaks apart as she learns about forgiveness, love, and friendship. With gripping firefighting scenes and a love story, this is perfect for fans of Jo Jo Moyes or Marissa de los Santos. ~ Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL

The Warehouse by Rob Hart: Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud where they work, live, and have their productivity and location tracked through their smartwatches. Gibson is the dying industrialist who created the Cloud company and is touring the country visiting his facilities. This near-future dystopian sci-fi thriller made me leery of ever shopping online again. For fans of The Circle by Dave Eggers and Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone. ~ Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Library, Raleigh, NC

The Whisper Man by Alex North: Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank to rebuild their life after the death of Tom’s wife; unknown to them, the town has a dark history and another little boy has gone missing and Jake begins to hear whispers in his new house. For fans of Joe Hill and Paul Tremblay. ~ Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney: Abbie wakes up with no memory of how she ended up in the hospital. Her tech wizard husband tells her that after a horrific accident, he spent five years trying to bring her back. But is Abbie’s return a miracle of science, or a nightmare? Delaney’s latest psychological thriller keeps you guessing. ~Joan Meis Wilson, Needles Public Library, Needles, CA

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: Rowan travels to northern Scotland to nanny for a rich, eccentric family; a seemingly perfect job until everything unravels. The isolated location, creepy gothic vibe, unreliable narrator, and brilliant twists keep readers on edge from start to finish in a pulse-pounding read. ~ Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

 ~ Posted by Linda J. 

Books for Two or More

There’s no need to go to the trouble of getting a large group together for a book group each month (unless you want to). I have a book group for two, sometimes more, and it’s going just fine. We get together once every two months to discuss our read.

My book group’s previous selection was French Exit: A Tragedy of Manners by Patrick deWitt:

Cover image of French Exit“Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin – to riotous effect.” (publisher description)

Continue reading “Books for Two or More”