Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reading Ahead: August 2017, part 4

From history to mysteries, the library has something for everyone this summer. Don't believe me? Read on!

The Last Tudor, by Philippa Gregory. Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl, The White Princess, etc.) continues with her tales of the Plantagenets and Tudors in her latest novel. Lady Jane Grey was crowned queen instead of Mary Tudor, but reigned a mere nine days before the forces backing Mary Tudor's rightful place on the throne overthrew Grey and her family, locking Lady Jane in the Tower. Refusing to convert to Catholicism to appease Queen Mary, Lady Jane went the executioner's block as a martyr. Yet Jane left behind two sisters, Katherine and Mary, each of whom would go on to defy their queen in their own turns--this is their story. Also available in Large Print

The Right Time, by Danielle Steel. Orphaned as a teenager, Alexandra Winslow finds solace in writing, filling her spare time with characters and plots. While she finds luck in the publishing world at a young age, she also chooses to use a male pseudonym when publishing her crime novels, creating a double life that becomes increasingly difficult to manage. Also available in Large Print

Glass Houses, by Louise Penny. Thirteenth in Penny's immensely popular Inspector Gamache mystery series (following 2016's A Great Reckoning), Glass Houses finds Gamache's own conscience standing trial. A mysterious figure appears on a rainy November day, a figure that remains unmoving in the cold sleet. But what can Gamache do about this? The next day the figure is gone...but a body has been found. And in the months that follow, it will be an unraveling of what happened, and what he might have done differently, that pulls readers through to the very end.

Y is for Yesterday, by Sue Grafton. The darkest Kinsey Milhone novel to date, Y begins in 1979, when four young men attack a classmate and film the attack. When the tape goes missing, the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. One boy turns state's evidence, two are sentenced, and the ringleader disappears without a trace. Ten years later, one of the perpetrators is released from prison, only to have the missing tape delivered with a ransom demand. His parents contact Kinsey Milhone for help, and while she is drawn into the investigation, she keeps a close eye on the young ex-con. Because someone with a grudge is coming... Also available in Large Print.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reading Ahead: August 2017, part 3

We have three of a kind in today's post! If you're a sucker for an easy read in the summer, here are three to choose from next month.

Any Dream Will Do, by Debbie Macomber. Two people, each at a crossroads, strike up a friendship that each desperately needs. For Shay, a family situation has left her looking for a place to stay and an opportunity to start over. For Pastor Drew, the loss of his wife has eclipsed all but his love for his children, leaving his flock mostly untended. Shay finds a champion and Drew rediscovers his purpose, but when Shay's past rears its ugly head, everything each is building may be destroyed. Also available in Large Print.

You Say It First, by Susan Mallery. Pallas Saunders is trying to turn her business, Weddings In A Box, into something solvent. She hires sculptor turned carpenter Nick to help at the venue. But when a bride begs for something different, Nick and Pallas decide to revamp the business. In the process, love seems inevitable for the duo. Need a sweet love story? This is a sure thing. Also available in Large Print.

Map of the Heart, by Susan Wiggs. In a tale that moves between present-day Delaware and the battlefields of WWII France, Wiggs's latest uncovers one family's secret past and what that means for the next generations. For Camille Palmer, personal tragedy has led her to hide away with her teenage daughter in a sleepy coastal town. When a package mysteriously appears at their door, Camille, as well as her daughter and father, embark upon a trip to her father's hometown in France, uncovering family roots Camille didn't know about, as well as a way forward toward peace. Also available in Large Print.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reading Ahead: August 2017, part 2

I've come to the conclusion that there are just so many new titles coming out next month, I may have to add a few extra posts to cover them all! In the meantime, here are some new thrillers on the horizon that will be doing battle on the best-sellers list next month!

The Store, by James Patterson & Robert DiLallo. Another stand-alone novel from the prolific Patterson and crew. Jacob and Megan Brandeis have landed jobs with the super successful, extremely secretive Store. Life seems perfectly safe, but they will learn that it is anything but. Especially since they have a secret of their own--they plan to write a tell-all book about their experiences working for the Store. Is it possible to keep their secret, and their lives, safe? Also available in Large Print

Exposed, by Lisa Scottoline. Fifth in her Rosato & DiNunzio series (following 2016's Damaged), Exposed finds Mary DiNunzio in a tough predicament: she wants to represent an old friend in a case of wrongful termination, but her partner Benni Rosato already represents the parent company. When matters come to a head over this conflict of interest, a battle of epic proportions ensues, one that may ultimately rip the firm to shreds. Also available in Large Print.

Crime Scene, by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman. First in a proposed new series, Crime Scene introduces readers to Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. His job is to determine whether the cause of each death was natural causes or foul play--he leaves motives and evidence to the detectives. But when what seems to be an open and shut case--a once respected psychology professor dead of booze and a bad heart--doesn't hold up to scrutiny, Clay finds himself drawn in to the grim facts of the professor's life, uncovering a link to another verified homicide. CSI fans may want to check out this new series. Also available in Large Print

Without Fear or Favor, by Robert K. Tanenbaum. Tanenbaum's latest in his long-running Butch Karp & Marlene Ciampi series (after 2016's very well received Infamy) finds the husband and wife team up against a radical organization of armed militants bent on the cold-blooded murder of on-duty police officers. If you're wondering if there's a suspense series out there you should be reading, this is it.

Barely Legal, by Stuart Woods & Parnell Hall. It is time for the protege to become the hero, as Stone Barrington's pet project, Herbie Fisher, has been transformed from bumbling sad sack into a capable young addition to white-shoe law firm Woodman & Weld. But all of his training is now put to the test as he encounters his most daring adventure to date. First in a new series.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Reading Ahead: August 2017, part 1

These are the busiest days at the library, these mid-summer, summer-reading-challenge, I-finally-have-time-to-read days. And we love it! We love seeing our patrons checking out armfuls of books, love helping you find what you're looking for. And if you're reading ahead and looking at what you might want to read next month? Of course, I've got you covered.

The Good Daughter, by Karin Slaughter. Taking a break from her Will Trent series, Slaughter treats fans to a stand-alone novel. Twenty-eight years ago, tragedy struck Pikeville and left the Quinn family shattered. Twenty-eight years later, tragedy has returned to Pikeville, the surviving members of the Quinn family come face to face with the dark and terrible truth of their history. Fans (myself included) won't want to miss out. Also available in Large Print.

I Know A Secret, by Tess Gerritsen. Though the TNT adapted series Rizzoli & Isles has ended after seven seasons, Gerritsen's characters continue in her novels, and fans are delighted! Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are each going through significant personal issues. Now they're also faced with two seemingly unrelated, and thoroughly baffling, homicides. A piece of this puzzle is dangled by Dr. Isles's birth mother, terminally ill convicted serial killer Amalthea Lank. This is only the beginning of the twisted path the duo will follow to catch a killer.

Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown. Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major--even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper. And that's going to get very complicated, very quickly. Also available in Large Print.

Friday, July 7, 2017

What I've Been Reading: June 2017

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend--I know I did! I am back, reasonably rested, and ready to share what I've been reading! I'll be back in full swing next week with some August fiction to look forward to. In the meantime, here's what's been good around here.

Right Behind You, by Lisa Gardner. Gardner is one of my favorites when it comes to thrillers--she is reliably entertaining, her characters relate-able, her plotting tight and fast. If you want a page-turner to keep you guessing, this is one I recommend highly. At thirteen, Sharlah Nash has had a tough life. She witnessed the death of her parents at the hands of her older brother, Telly, who was nine at the time. She bounced around the foster system for a number of years before landing with FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner. This is, finally, the best possible place for her, and Sharlah is just starting to settle in when her estranged brother pops back up on the radar--evidence suggests that he's on a killing spree and his ultimate target may be Sharlah... One of the best thrillers I've read in recent memory.

Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin. This is my book club's selection for our July meeting. I have to admit--this was a hard one for me to get into. I switched to the audiobook after a few chapters and had better luck. Eilis Lacey is unable to find a good job in Ireland in the years following World War II. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor her to live and work in America, Eilis ultimately decides to go, though it means leaving behind her mother and older sister. She works through her homesickness, working in a department store during the day and attending night classes, until tragic news from home brings her to have to make a final choice between returning to her past in Ireland or forging ahead with her plans in America. A short novel in which Eilis is less of a main character than a lense through which the reader experiences life in 1950s Brooklyn. I know this is a favorite of many, but I'm unfortunately not among them.

Woman No. 17, by Edan Lepucki. Writer Lady Daniels is taking a break from her marriage, but then finds herself confronted with the dilemma of coping with her two children, particularly her toddler, while trying to write under a deadline. She hires magnetic young artist S, who will live in the guesthouse out back, care for two-year-old Devin, and keep an eye on Lady's older teenage son, Seth. S is immediately indispensable, bonding with Devin and becoming a confidant to Lady. But the line between employee and something more blur quickly between S and the Daniels family as it seems everyone is keeping dark secrets which could spell destruction for everyone involved. Fraught with tension, this kept me guessing to the very end. For those who liked novels like You by Caroline Kepnes or Jessica Knoll's The Luckiest Girl Alive, consider adding this to your reading list.

Any Day Now, by Robyn Carr. Summer wouldn't be summer without some beachy reads. Here, in the second of Carr's new Sullivan's Crossing series (following 2016's opener, What We Find), Sierra Jones aims to leave her troubled past behind her as she stops for a visit with older brother Cal and his fiancee Maggie at Sullivan's Crossing, the campground at the crossing of the Continental Divide and Colorado trails. Sierra's future is not clear, however, and so she does not intend to put down roots here. She finds work, but never expected to find love, or a place to belong. Sweet, gentle, relaxing, easy reading. Just what a summer read ought to be.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan. The followup to Colgan's delightful Little Beach Street Bakery (2015) revisits Polly Waterford and her life on the tiny island off the southern coast of England. She's running a thriving bakery, she's got a home, a boyfriend, a pet puffin, and a community she loves. All of this slowly starts to crumble, however, when her landlady passes and the new property manager sacks her. Her boyfriend goes back to America to help with a family crisis. Polly, however, is nothing if not resourceful--she meets calamity head-on and finds a way through. Heartwarming, laugh-out-loud funny, this is classic Colgan. If you're looking for a new author to add to favorites like Elin Hilderbrand and Jane Green, I recommend Jenny Colgan.

Hunger: a memoir of (my) body, by Roxanne Gay. Gay is the best-selling author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women. Here, she presents a searingly honest look at self-care, hunger, body image, and trauma as she has experienced them. She uses her own struggles to shed light on the shared cultural anxieties surrounding health, pleasure, appearance, and consumption. Eloquent and enlightening.

Come Sundown, by Nora Roberts. Latest by best-seller Roberts. Bodine Longbow is a businesswoman with strong family ties--she runs a sprawling resort on her family's Montana ranch, and three generations of Bodines and Longbows work alongside her. She is meticulous, vetting new hires herself, and that includes Cal Skinner, who has returned to his hometown after years in Hollywood. The crush Bo had on him years ago? That's not even on her radar...until it is. But life at the bustling resort gets an added dose of frenzy when old grudges rear their ugly heads, and a dark family secret comes home to roost. While the cast of thousands could have been pared back a little for this reader's taste, the book stands as a solid page-turner. As always, I like Roberts's characters, and they make reading a pleasure.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, part 3

Today I have a variety of fiction picked for your perusal. Humor, heart, thrills, we have it all!

Swimming with Bridgeport Girls, by Anthony Tambakis. Ray Parisi had it all, but is in the process of losing everything. He was an ESPN personality, but he's been fired. He's addicted to gambling. He's living in a cheap motel and hiding from the cops and from his bookie. He's never gotten over his ex-wife. His chance at redemption comes in the form of an inheritance from his estranged father, but rather than investing, Ray heads to Vegas with plans of hitting it big and begging his ex for one more shot. This goes about as well as you'd expect. Humor and hope and mayhem. Fans of Carl Hiaasen should try out this debut novel.

The Captain's Daughter, by Meg Mitchell Moore. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub, here's one for you. Eliza Barnes is a stay-at-home mom in a society of yacht and country clubs in Massachusetts, a life at odds with her upbringing working lobster boats in a small coastal town in Maine. In truth, she's never been completely at ease with the lifestyle she married into. When her father receives a deadly diagnosis, Eliza begins to split time between Maine and Massachussetts, attempting to navigate issues of class, loyalty and what it means to be a parent in the process.

The Breakdown, by B.A. Paris. A new novel from the author of Behind Closed Doors (2016). One stormy night, Cass takes a short-cut home, and sees a woman sitting in a car on her way. Later, the woman has been reported as murdered. Cass, wracked with guilt at not having stopped, begins to suffer memory lapses. And then she begins receiving phone calls, the line silent each time. For fans of Paris's debut, or of other psychological thrillers like S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, part 2

Feeling the need for a summer read? You can stop in the library anytime between now and June 30 to check out our big display of summer reading suggestions for adults (located across from the main Circulation Desk). Or consider adding one of these titles to your request list--they're all due out next month!

The Marriage Pact, by Michelle Richmond. Richmond (The Year of Fog, etc.) breathes new life into death-do-us-part. Newlyweds Alice and Jake address the common concern about the staying power of their union by joining an international cultish movement called The Pact, which prescribes arbitrary rules to keep couples together. And the secret society ensures that no misdemeanor is left unpunished... Fans of Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware may want to check this out.

Amanda Wakes Up, by Alisyn Camerota. Described by critics as The Devil Wears Prada meets Primary Colors and pulling on the author's own experiences, CNN anchor Camerota's debut chronicles idealistic and ambitious Amanda Gallo's navigation of her divisive job at the ratings-hungry FAIR News Network. Amanda cannot believe her luck when she lands a plum job hosting a morning show on the national network, and she'll do anything to get ahead. What she didn't count on? Insane pressure over ratings, a condescending co-anchor, and serious questions regarding the ethics of journalism. If you like some food for thought with your juicy summer read, consider adding this to your list.

Final Girls, by Riley Sager. Another suggestion if you like your thrillers dark and twisted, a la Gone Girl. The trope of the "final girl" is a familiar one to horror movie enthusiasts: she's the only one to make it out of a slasher flick alive, the one who lives to tell the story. After Quincy Carpenter survives a mass murder, the media tries to turn her into the "final girl," but she refuses, choosing instead to finish college and create a comfortable life for herself. But burying her past hasn't healed her, and when another final girl who had tried to mentor Quincy dies of an apparent suicide, the cracks in Quincy's Pinterest-worthy exterior begin to show. The truth about the night Quincy can't remember is going to bubble to the surface, it's only a matter of when, and how. If a nerve-wracking page-turner is your thing, I'd highly recommend this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, Part 1

Here are a few of the super-special titles I've been tracking for you! Want something slightly off the beaten path? Maybe something you didn't even know you wanted? Read on!

The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware. New from the author of In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. Described as atmospheric and twisty, The Lying Game is the story of four friends who became inseparable during their time together at a boarding school nestled near the cliffs of the English Channel. Together they play the lying game, lying to faculty and fellow students, a game disturbing enough that everyone avoided them, insulating them further. But their game had consequences, first their expulsion during their final year, and now, years later, the truth will finally out. Also available in Large Print

The Painted Queen, by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess. When Elizabeth Peters (A River in the Sky, etc.) died in 2013, she left behind a mostly-finished manuscript as well as copious notes for the 20th in her much-beloved series featuring Amelia Peabody and her archaeologist husband. Joan Hess, a mystery writer in her own right (Deader Homes and Gardens, etc.) and a friend of Peters, agreed to complete the story, which features the duo chasing after a stolen bust of Queen Nefertiti even as Amelia dodges assassins. Fans will not be disappointed. Also available in Large Print.

The Lost Ones, by Sheena Kamal. This debut psychological thriller may be one of the big reads this summer: When Nora Watts is notified that her daughter is missing, she's immediately on the hunt. Only, Nora gave her daughter up for adoption 15 years earlier, and the adoptive parents are contacting Nora as a last resort. Nora herself has a brutal past that she is still struggling to overcome, but she knows that she may be the only one who can save young Bonnie. Readers who have been missing Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander may just fall for Kamal's damaged heroine.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 3

While I love thrillers as much as anyone (I'm currently reading two simultaneously, which is easier than it sounds.), but sometimes, summer calls for easy reading. Something that makes you keep turning the pages, that holds your interest, but doesn't demand that you keep track of a cast of thousands or diagram out details to keep the plot straight. If entertaining and undemanding sounds like your kind of summer read, here are a couple to consider.

Cocoa Beach, by Beatriz Williams. Williams's (A Hundred Summers, 2013, etc.) latest is actually due out at the end of June, a recent change, but I thought I'd add it in here anyway. Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind. Part mystery, part romance, all delicious summer reading.

The Nearness of You, by Dorothy Garlock. For sheltered librarian Lily Denton, the bustle of New York City is an adventure she dreams about. But in the wake of her mother's passing, her father keeps Lily close to home, so she works and she dreams. Until the 1952 Fall Festival begins and the tourists flock to her town, among them professional photographer Boone Tatum. He's got a gift for trouble, but his life on the go seems to slow when he sees Lily Denton. Danger has also come to town, though, and the joy Lily and Boone have found together is in peril unless Lily can stand her ground and fight. A love story with heart. Also available in Large Print.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 3

Suspense and thriller novels are the name of the game this summer. Time to start your to-read lists!

A Game of Ghosts, by John Connolly. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker (last seen in A Time of Torment, 2016) is assigned to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator—he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund’s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts...

Wired, by Julie Garwood. After a bit of a break, bestseller Garwood is back with a new entry in her FBI series (Fast Track, 2014, etc). Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry. Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat. What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line... Also available in Large Print.

Deadfall, by Linda Fairstein. Fairstein's latest novel featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper (after Killer Look, 2016). Amid concrete and skyscrapers, the Wildlife Conservation Society works to preserve and protect the animal kingdom both within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs. But dangerous creatures don't always have claws and fangs, as Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace know all too well. Predators lurk close to home, and in the aftermath of the shocking assassination of an iconic public figure—someone Alex has worked with for years—the trio must unravel the motive behind the shooting to discover who is the bigger snake: the killer or the victim. Also available in Large Print.

Look Behind You, by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen. This new installment in the Kendra Michaels series (which starts with Close Your Eyes, 2012) begins with a serial killer on the loose in San Diego with a most unusual M.O. With each kill, the perpetrator leaves behind mystifying random objects. In this confusing array of unrelated evidence, the one thing that is clear is that the murders all have one characteristic in common: they all require the specific skills of Kendra Michaels, hired gun for both the CIA and FBI. Kendra, who was blind for the first twenty years of her life, gained her sight through a revolutionary surgical procedure and now uses her acute powers of observation to assist in cases all over the United States.
FBI investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases from around the country. And the new crimes feature “holdback” characteristics never disclosed to the general public―meaning that one single killer was behind the nation’s most notorious serial murder cases and has now come to challenge and taunt Kendra.