Billowing with intrigue, dark secrets, and ancient legend, The Daughters of Ys commands your attention. A glorious folktale of two sisters and the monsters and seas that separate them. The stimulating illustrations could tell the story on its own, but the eloquence of the language and text takes this graphic novel to an entirely different level. Masterful work.
— Lindsay A.
Hank Green writes fast paced books with fascinating characters and interesting action. I read this book in two days because I needed to know what happened next! But Hank Green also writes books that I truly believe need and deserve a second read through - so that you can absorb the lessons scattered throughout that you paused at, but didn't take enough time to really think about. If you read and enjoyed the first in the series - An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - read this book. It gives answers and encourages more thinking about how we spend our time and who we allow to control us. And now, I may just have been inspired to take an extended break from social media...
The story of King Edward VIII’s abdication of the throne for Wallis Simpson is legendary. But before Wallis, he loved another, Thelma Furness, wife of a Viscount and twin sister to Gloria Vanderbilt. When Gloria’s life is rocked by scandal, Thelma leaves London for New York, never dreaming of the consequences. A terrific historical fiction read, full of glamorous people and places, with plenty of intrigue!
This book grabbed my heart from the beginning and refused to let go. Vivek's death reverberates painfully through friends and family as they each come to terms with the loss of the person they all knew and loved so differently. A wonderfully written and deeply affecting novel that will stay with me for a long, long time.
What begins as fairly standard science fiction quickly builds into something deeper with fascinating world building and character development. I was drawn into the lives of three distinct characters and their relationships as they each work on a mission of peace in a time of war, even if they don't begin that way. Twists and turns end with what is truly the beginning of a story I can't wait to continue.
How far would you go to protect your loved ones? The Adler family faces this dilemma when tragedy strikes and they band together to keep a secret from one of their own, in order to saver her life and the life her unborn child. Based on a true story, Florence Adler Swims Forever is a tale of heartbreak, faith, and most of all human resilience.
This is a dark, suspenseful story about Fern, a 32-year-old social worker struggling with anxiety and recurring nightmares. Having grown up with neglectful and self-centered parents, she is still desperate for her father’s attention. When she agrees to help him pack for a move, she starts to remember things her emotionally abused mind had locked away. Well written with twists that held my attention, I can easily imagine this thriller as a movie.
— Laura B.
This is a short but valuable book about not just the horrors of nuclear devastation, but also the misery of war and the fear of what comes next. It is about the power of knowing the truth - and that trying to hide it is rarely, if ever, a good idea. In the history section, here in the store, is a small book by John Hersey, Hiroshima, that told the truth through interviews Hersey did with a handful regular people, survivors. It was published by The New Yorker in its entirety a year after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed in 1945. It was cleared by the military censors and told us - everyone - what these weapons did to real people. Statistics are lovely, useful - but they can be used to hide the reality of pain and hubris. Read this book, and read, or re-read Hiroshima.
I knew I would like this book from the first page. I Give It to You is told by an American writer/professor who has been invited to spend time at Villa Chiara in Florence, Italy. As she observes the complicated relationships of the Salviati family (longtime owners of the Villa) and is told the background of each family member, she begins to write their story as a narrative. Interesting and engrossing insight into life under Mussolini. I finished it quickly because I had to know what happened next!
Much like how Gideon the Ninth was an incredibly unique spin on a familiar mystery trope, the sequel, Harrow the Ninth, spins you a little farther - and out into space. Picking up where Gideon left off, this book follows Harrow on her journey with God and puts more focus on the "in space" part of necromancers in space. Reading this book takes a little work, at first, but when pieces start falling together... oh man is it worth it. To say more or explain wouldn't be fair to you. If you loved Gideon, continue the adventure with Harrow. You'll get some answers you've been seeking.... and even more questions that will leave you wanting the third in the trilogy sooner rather than later. And, if you haven't read Gideon yet, start there!
Kate Reed Petty's True Story is a genre-defying marvel of form. It's the kind of novel that transforms its readers into detectives, collaged as it is from film scripts, application essays, interview transcripts, and a narrative of shifting point-of-views. And, to top things off, Petty has crafted an ending so game-changing it'll compel you to flip back to the first page and start all over again.
Raw and intimate, Raven Leilani's powerful debut strips bare the emotional truths behind what it means to be young and finding your place in today's world. Leilani's brilliant writing captures the uncertainly and loneliness of early adulthood in a piercingly relatable way, and her sly humor as Edie works her way through both her own choices and society's constraints rounds out each page. Her deeply human characters are written with flaws that collide unexpectedly as their lives entangle in ways impossible to predict. Everything about this book is exciting and original, and it captivated me completely from start to finish.
Pianos? Siberia? Really? Yes, really - a search for a good piano for a talented acquaintance in Mongolia. How to ship a piano from the US to Mongolia is not as easy as it sounds (hmmm) so let's find one closer - maybe in Siberia! And so we are taken all through the empty, huge, fascinating place, looking for those pianos that had been abandoned over the years - from Catherine the Great's penal colonies to the Kamchatka Peninsula to the border of the Arctic Circle. Did I learn much about pianos? Not really, but what a journey. Did I learn much about Siberia? Yes, some, and it is worth the trip. Fun, informative, and delightful - it is mad what we humans get up to, and grand that there are writers that tell us about it.
This amazing memoir - by an unknown woman whose fictional Twitter persona has a huge following - was more heartfelt, funny, smart, and hopeful than I could have anticipated. Even without being one of her many devoted fans, I was quickly drawn into the warm, sharp, hilarious writing of "Duchess Goldblatt," as well as the story of the anonymous woman behind her. I can't recommend this highly enough.
Imagine one day someone tells you that the two-year-old you’ve been lovingly raising isn’t your son at all. There was a mix-up when the boys, born prematurely on the same day, were transferred to the NICU and you were given another couple’s child. What would you be willing to do to protect your family? A psychological thriller that I couldn’t make myself put down.
— Laura B.
I love fiction that offers insight into real events. Impeccable research into the opportunities and challenges afforded an Earhart-like pilot combined with plenty of spins, drops and rolls deliver a page-turner that will keep you guessing. This book kept me up well past my bedtime!
This debut novel is not to be hurried through, the lyrical writing is wonderful! A timeless tale of motherhood, love, and dark secrets, The Island Child follows Irish lass Oona as a child and a mother, surviving difficult physical and emotional hardships.
Imagine if your child was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15. This personal memoir is equal parts heartbreak and hope. I found myself searching alongside Miriam for the next step in Nick’s care and treatment. To absorb every messy detail of this disease is to shed light on the necessity of mental healthcare reform.
An 86-year-old Florida librarian, Eva Abrams, seems like a frail old lady to her son and the coworker who wishes she’d retire already. Of course, they know nothing of her life as a forger for the resistance in Nazi occupied France. This novel, based on very real heroes of WWII, highlights how ordinary people did extraordinary things to save innocent Jewish lives. Full of tension, drama, love, and loss, it’s perfect for historical fiction fans.
— Laura B.
Mexican Gothic is the first book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia I’ve read, despite having heard about her for years. Boy, have I been missing out! Managing to be both beautiful and horrifying, this homage to gothic novels had me hooked from its cinematic opening all the way to its thrilling conclusion.
The London music scene in the late ‘60s is the setting for David Mitchell’s latest novel. And what a scene it is! It’s the story of Utopia Avenue, a band whose combination of folk, blues, and psychedelic rock propels them to stardom, but it is a rocky road. The four members, Elf, Jasper, Dean, and Griff are as alive on the page as the real musicians, places, and events that are seamlessly woven into their tale. You will not soon forget them!
This book grabs your heart at the very beginning and holds on until the end, and beyond. Emmie Blue hasn’t had an ideal life, but a chance meeting at sixteen leads to a lifelong friendship that gives her the strength to carry on. You’ll find yourself counting the pages, wishing it wouldn’t end.
— Laura B.
Meet Emily, a friendly, naive, and very likable aspiring actress whose life in London has fallen apart. Mysteriously, Scott, the boss who fired her, comes to the rescue. Scott is a charismatic, wealthy man who offers Emily a well-paid job as a personal assistant to his wife, Nina, at their gorgeous mansion in France where Nina lives with their young daughter. Sound too good to be true? This is a terrific debut psychological thriller, a page turner from start to finish!
Bonnie Parker is best known as one half of the infamous duo known as Bonnie and Clyde. But, before her notoriety made her a household name, she was a much-loved young girl who wrote poetry and dreamed of becoming an actress or singer. And then she met Clyde Barrow. Christina Schwarz’s meticulous research brings Bonnie and the hardscrabble Depression Era in which she lived to life in her latest novel. Perfect for fans of historical fiction and true crime.
After falling in love with Sophie Mackintosh's moody and mesmerizing debut The Water Cure, I knew I had to get my hands on whatever she wrote next. Blue Ticket absolutely delivers! This artfully crafted feminist dystopia is an instant classic ready-made for any book club—five stars.
More than ever, getting the real story on how our government agencies work is an important part of being an informed citizen. Too often, with a story as intriguing as the Unabomber, accounts are contorted to make them feel more like entertainment. Lis Wiehl proves that this isn't necessary. Combining extensive research, taut narration, and an exceptional background, Wiehl guides the reader through the events and pursuit of an elusive, intelligent killer, while spotlighting the hard work and noteworthy achievement of the agents who brought him to justice.
In Japan there is an industry called “wakaresaseya,” which translates to “breaker-upper” of marriages, a covert business in which one spouse hires an agent to seduce the other with the hope of gaining the upper hand in divorce proceedings. The agent then moves on. But what if the agent and target fall in love? Inspired by a true story, this is a haunting tale of love lost, love found, and the depths of obsession.
Mesmerizing, eye-opening, and heart-wrenching, Majumdar reminds us that separation by class and racial inequality is a world-wide concern when a young girl from the slums (pick a country…any country) is falsely accused of terrorism. Craftily told through her experiences and two others who have been touched by her life, puts both ambition and the power, or loss of power in a realistic perspective.
This is a beautifully written story of two artists - one in 16th century Venice and one in present day Connecticut. The author speaks to the senses, perceptions, and obsessions the painters have with their muses. A passionate look at the pain and pleasure of relationships and art itself. A great escape!
This is one of my favorite novels of the year - and a first for Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Connie Schultz. I love stories that span several generations with characters that are so real and captivating. The Daughters of Erietown begins in 1950s Ohio, and explores Kent State, equal rights, coming of age, love, hidden secrets (of course), and the importance of family and community - this will be hard to put down. A great book club pick!
Christina Clancy writes with such rich detail I could smell the beach as I read! Although I found myself wanting to yell at the Gordon family as they each made one poor decision after another, I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what happened next. A “must read” for anyone who has spent time on the Cape!
— Laura B.
The setting: a beautiful, isolated island off the coast of Ireland. The occasion: a celebrity wedding, with guests from the bride and groom’s past and present. Everyone has secrets; some have scores to settle from years ago and have been biding their time. A fierce storm blows in. The power goes out. Suddenly, there is a scream of terror... Fans of Agatha Christie will love this book!
Do you know the biblical story of Vashti and Esther? The Book of V intertwines three women’s unique stories, though living centuries apart. How their stories relate is made clear in the present day. I enjoyed reading the different ways each of the three women dealt with their desires for living…..although their longings were the same.
I love any book by Sue Monk Kidd. I allowed myself to read this one slowly, to savor the story, and I’m so glad I did. Playing the “what if” game can be tricky in your own life, but when it’s in a fictional book, it’s perfect! This is the story of Jesus’ wife, Ana (what if he had a wife?). It’s truly her story of longings---to be a woman who can read, write, make her own decisions, and be valued. Her journey has both beautiful and challenging moments; hers is an adventure to enjoy for sure!
In Five Years turned out to be a completely different story than I expected, but in a really good way! Dannie Kohan has her life running exactly as she has planned it with the perfect boyfriend, the perfect job, and the perfect lifelong best friend. Suddenly, on the night she gets engaged (as planned), she has a crazy hour-long dream that gives her a very different view of her life in five years' time. What follows is a roller coaster of events and emotions that force Dannie to realize that life has made other plans. Although it was heartbreaking at times, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
— Laura B.
The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner, is a lovely story that reads much like an Austen novel. A group of very different people, each dealing with loss and disappointment in post-WWII Chawton, England, are drawn together by their common love of Jane Austen’s books. They form the society to preserve the author’s final home and to provide a place for fans to visit. Through working together to overcome legal obstacles, they begin to learn about themselves and to see that there is hope after tragedy. These are characters you will grow to care for and wish to see succeed.
— Laura B.
The perfect beach read for at home: funny, sexy, heart-warming, suspenseful, and a twist-ending I didn't see coming! From NYC to the mansions of Cape Cod and the color of Provincetown; this is a quick and engaging story of friendships, families, murder, and revenge. Relatable and strong characters you will be cheering on, as I did.
A Long Petal of the Sea is the first Allende novel I have had the pleasure of reading, and will certainly not be the last. This novel effortlessly merges history and fiction with believable, honest characters and an impressive coverage of the Spanish Civil War. While reaching back into history, the novel withstands time and is as relevant today as it would have been in the mid-19th century. This is a love story, an immigration story, and a homecoming story. I hope you become as captivated by this novel as I am!
It's funny how in families, each member perceives the family dynamic differently. In All Adults Here, Emma Straub depicts this perfectly. When Astrid, the widowed mother of three adult children, witnesses the sudden death of a woman she has known for years, she begins to reflect on her own life, her parenting, and the adults her children have become. Each of her children is questioning the events of their own lives. Their successes, failures, and how they feel they were affected by their parents and siblings while growing up in a small town. The reader will likely see themselves in at least one of the characters and perhaps have some questions of their own. An enjoyable page turner.
— Laura B.
Comedy, tragically, is hit or miss. Pratfalls fall flat and foibles merely flummox, but Moore’s ribald style and returning Fool Pocket’s effusive vulgarity nail it. Pocket, a stranger in a strange land, abandoned and alone, brandishes his wit and kit against witless players, kitless guards and pucking faeries. This parody of A Midsummer Night’s Dream would have Shakespeare rolling in his grave.
Another terrific thriller from the sisters who write as Liv Constantine! Piper, a mysterious and alluring newcomer to Westport, CT, has her very determined sights set on handsome lawyer Leo Draper. Joanna, devoted to Leo, refuses to let him go. Told in alternate chapters from each woman’s point of view, this novel of psychological suspense will keep you guessing until the last sentence.
Welcome to Catherine House, a highly selective, secretive university; an eerie, crumbling castle, full of secrets, hidden from prying eyes. The curriculum is experimental and challenging, the social life, highly unconventional. If accepted, you must completely remove yourself from the outside world. In return, you will be given a free education and a promise that the world will be yours for the taking. Catherine House is a dark and atmospheric novel, a true gothic page turner.
When their eccentric Holocaust survivor grandmother passes away, the estranged Miller family must spend three uncomfortable days together sitting Shiva. After discussing the will, anger, jealousy, secrets, and resentments surface for siblings Ashley, Jake, and Beck and their flaky mother, Deborah. The biggest secret is the truth behind the mysterious brooch left behind for Beck, it’s value and to whom it really belongs. What follows is a story taking the reader from WWI Vienna to present day Pennsylvania with enough motion and mystery to keep one wanting more.
— Laura B.
When Lizzie agrees to represent her former law school classmate Zach, accused of murdering his wife, she has no idea of the dark secrets simmering beneath the surface of what appear to be perfect marriages in their affluent Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. If you are a fan of legal thrillers, murder mysteries, and psychological suspense, Kimberly McCreight’s latest novel is the book for you!
Riveting. Immersive. Spellbinding. Get the picture? There is NO resisting this tension-filled novel. Based on real-life characters, I was introduced to an overlooked hero of WWII—Nancy Wake. Because of her iron will, her grit, her bravery, she lived with the Resistance in the countryside of France and led them on many successful missions leading up to and beyond D-Day. Superb writing. I’m just so glad I picked up this book!