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

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
A powerful follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, this story begins after the liberation of Auschwitz, when Cilka is sentenced by the Soviet liberators to 15 years in one of Stalin’s Siberian labor gulags. From one death camp to another–for doing what was needed to survive. For fans of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.”
~ Don Crankshaw, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Christopher and his mom run from an abusive boyfriend and seek peace and quiet in a new town. Instead, Christopher becomes agitated and sneaks out at night, doing anything a “nice man” tells him to do. This is pure horror, a classic battle of good and evil, and a must for fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Paul Tremblay.
~ Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
The ideas of books never actually written possess dangerous potential and power. They are kept in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell. Determined librarians tend the library keeping watch for escaped characters, angels and demons. For fans of Genevieve Cogman or Neil Gaiman.
~ Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Library, Lansing, MI

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Alex has always been able to see ghosts, and this talent uniquely qualifies her to become part of the Lethe, a group that regulates the eight magical societies at Yale. When a murder happens nearby the campus, Alex suspects that a society has their hand in this and it’s not just a normal homicide. For fans of urban fantasy and secret societies.
~ Amy Verkruissen, Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Lake Charles, LA

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
A funny, snarky narrator takes on the job of caretaker for kids with remarkable and strange abilities. Everyone involved learns that sometimes all we need after being repeatedly let down is someone to rely on. For fans of Chuck Kosterman and Gary Shteyngart.
~ Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz
Diaz was out of control. Her life was a never ending cycle of indifferent (or worse) parenting, street fights, abuse, drugs, arrests, alcohol, skipping school—all are detailed in this coming of age memoir. Reading this extraordinary memoir, I was reminded that no one can make you do something until you decide to on your own. For fans of Hunger by Roxane Gay and When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago.
~ Linda Tilden, Mt. Laurel Public Library, Mt. Laurel, AL

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia
Engaging characters set off to follow the mysterious clues of the will of an elderly, wealthy eccentric for a chance at winning the grand prize. Young grief and loss, family guilt, secrets, and hilarity are featured throughout. Plus: ghosts! For readers who liked The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson and Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.
~ Pamela Gardner, Medfield Public Library, Medfield, MA

BONUS!! Five additional titles were put into the Library Reads Hall of Fame, earned once an author has had three or more titles appear on the monthly lists since 2013.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill
Hill’s short story collection hits the sweet spot: thirteen supernatural tales that satisfy but also leave you wanting a tiny bit more. He also discusses the inspiration for each story, allowing fans more insight into his process.
~ Mahogany Skillings, Richland Library, Columbia, SC

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Moyes brings Depression-era Kentucky to life in this historical novel about five women who become horseback librarians. Vivid descriptions of daily life in a 1930s coal-mining community and great characters punctuate an informative, fun read that’s based on a true story.
~ Linda Sullivan, Mission Viejo Public Library, Aurora, CO

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is back and still as crotchety, opinionated, and endearing as ever. Aging, death, racism, prejudices, infidelities–nothing gets past Olive as she sticks her nose into every corner of her small town.
~ Sharon Hutchins, Keytesville Library, Keytesville, MO

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
An irresistible Christmas fantasy about a woman of a certain age who falls for the queen of England’s private secretary on a visit to the U.K. Guillory describes Britain so well, and it was great to read a popular romance novel starring an older protagonist.
~ Meghan Sanks, Glenview Public Library, Glenview, IL

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Sam was Tate’s first love and turned her world upside down. Years later they reconnect unexpectedly, and she wonders if young love should get a second chance. Another unputdownable book from Lauren.
~ Melissa Stumpe, Johnson County Public Library, Greenwood, IN

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.

9/3: The Long Call by Ann Cleeves – Returning to the North Devon evangelical community he grew up in for his father’s funeral, Detective Matthew Venn is called to consult on a nearby murder. First in a new series by the author of the Vera and Shetland mystery series.

9/3: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie – Middling writer Sam DuChamp creates a Don Quixote for the modern age, a character obsessed with television who falls in love with a TV star and sets off on a quest or prove himself worthy of her. At the same time, Sam faces a midlife crisis of his own.

9/3: The Sweetest Fruits by Monique Truong – A single mother living in Ireland in 1852; an African American woman working as a cook at a boarding house in 1872; a former samurai’s daughter in 1891 Japan. Three women tell stories of their time with Lafcadio Hearn, a globetrotting writer, while also bearing witness to their own existence and their will to live unbounded by the mores of their time.

9/10: Akin by Emma Donoghue – A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riveria, in hopes of discovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.

9/10: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – Called into service as swordswoman for the Ninth Necromancer, Gideon will have to navigate a system of swordplay, cut-throat politics and lesbian necromancers to achieve her freedom.

9/10: The Institute by Stephen King – Lured from his bedroom, Luke wakes up at The Institute, in a bedroom that looks just like his on a hallway with kids who have special talents. The director is dedicated to extracting the force of their extranormal gifts. No one has ever escaped from the Institute.

9/10: Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Pettina Gappah – The captivating story of the men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, papers and maps across Africa so his remains could be returned to England, as told by the cook, Halima, and a freed slave, Jacob Wainwright.

9/10: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – in the early 1900s, January Scaller lives as a ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke. Exploring his mansion, she finds a strange book, one that tells of secret doors, love, danger, and the fantastical journey of self-discovery that awaits.

9/10: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – In this sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood picks up Offred’s tale 15 years later, as told by three female narrators from Gilead. A Peak Pick!

9/17: A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill – Noah sees monsters. So does his father, who built a shrine to them called The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the family runs. What happens when Noah chooses to let the monsters in?

9/17: Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke – In the follow up to Bluebird, Bluebird, Texas Ranger Darren Matthews is searching for a boy who’s gone missing while reckoning with in a small Texas town still wedded to the racial attitudes of ante-bellum Texas.

9/17: Red at the Bone by Jaqueline Woodson – An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, exposing the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us. A Peak Pick!

9/17: What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr – A grandmother in her 60s emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare, committed to an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home with no memory of how she got there, and someone trying to kill her.

9/24: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – A novel of the indelible bond between two siblings, their childhood home, and a past that will not let them go. A Peak Pick!

9/24: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Born into bondage, young Hiram Walker has his mother sold away and loses all memory of her, but is also gifted with a mysterious power. After his power saves him from drowning in the river, he’s inspired to escape and seek out his family. A Peak Pick!

9/24: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste – Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, maid Hirut comes up with a plan to maintain morale. Disguising a peasant as the emperor, Hirut rallies her fellow women in the fight against fascism.

Book descriptions adapted from publisher copy.

~ posted by Andrea G.

Defective Detective Departments

What happens when cranky, poorly motivated or seemingly-incompetent individuals are all sidelined together into a single work unit? They end up solving the mysteries that no one else could, of course. Or, at least, in fiction they do. These books are all the first in series that find professional pariahs taking care of business.

The Keeper of Lost Causes
by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Chief Detective Carl Morck has always been difficult to get along with, but he was tolerated because he was good at his job. Sidelined after a shooting left him injured and his partner paralyzed, Carl finds himself dubiously in charge of Department Q, responsible for cold cases. With just a lackluster assistant, Assad, Carl starts investigating the 5-year-old disappearance of politician Merete Lynggaard. The reader knows Lynggaard is still alive; can Carl and Assad find her? While darkly humorous, this novel shares elements with other Scandinavian Noir mysteries such as Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, including some violence and a more somber undertone. Continue reading “Defective Detective Departments”

#BookBingoNW2019: By an author from Mexico or Canada

If you’re still working away on your Adult Summer Book Bingo, we’re back with some suggestions for authors from Mexico and Canada to check out. I’ve focused on writers with a new book out in the past few years, but try our longer list in the catalog for even more suggestions including some classic authors from each country.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: By an author from Mexico or Canada”

Three Views of Seattle

Seeing your city through different eyes can be revelatory, bringing to the fore details you may not have noticed. Whether you’ve lived here your whole life, just moved in, or are somewhere in between, pick up one of these books for a new lens on Seattle.

Seattle Walk Report
Exploring 23 Seattle neighborhoods, Seattle Walk Report uses charming comic book-style illustrations to highlight landmarks, history, and the quirky people, places and things she’s seen on her walks since 2017. How many people did she see jaywalking in Ballard? What did she observe in the span of five minutes on the corner of 8th Ave S. and S. King St.? Who is Ernestine Anderson? What are the top three poses you can strike in front of the Gum Wall? Read this book and you’ll know.
— The artist behind Seattle Walk Report will be in conversation with Paul Constant (co-founder of Seattle Review of Books) at the Central Library Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7pm. Continue reading “Three Views of Seattle”