If you have been watching the Victoria tv show on PBS than this is the perfect companion for you! Read this wonderful historical fiction that inspired and was used as the screenplay. Daisy Goodwin does a great job to bring life to the characters. This book will definitely leave you wanting more! - Lori
A true life adventure that's a real page turner. The search for a legendary city in Central America has everything you could ask for including eye opening history lessons, ground breaking archeology, larger than life characters and 6 foot long poisonous snakes who are not as afraid of you as you are of them. I couldn't put it down. - Mary
A Book Of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates Reader, get ready to burrow down and examine the issue of what it is to be a martyr. Is a person a martyr if their moral conscience and a command from God is to stop another from performing abortions, even if it means you must sacrifice your own life? Or is it that a person continues to provide abortions because of their moral beliefs in freedom for woman to choose, even though it may mean you are in danger of your life? And what of the families of these martyrs? How can wives, children and extended family members who love and need these men deal with their martyrdom? The reader will find that each martyr has more in common than one thinks for there are no winners here. - Taysie
This used to be science FICTION! - John
If you're looking for that February book to fall in love with than, than pick this book up! In The Universe Has Your Back, Gabby Bernstein combines fun stories and lessons to help the reader find a stronger connection with the divine and the universe. The meditations and lessons were really easy to follow. This book helps empower every reader to overcome fears and live a happier life. This is such a fun book, I am very excited to recommend this! - Lori
Civilwarland in Bad Decline
Saunders's energetic prose takes us through distinctly American dystopian short stories centered around hapless, struggling protagonists in cruel and darkly funny situations. Recommended for fans of Kurt Vonnegut.- Cody
Ellen Marie Wiseman handles the dark subject of WWII very well. The book was a deeply moving view on those personally affected by the war in 1930s and 40s Germany, the lives of ordinary German people. Men drafted to war even if they were in disagreement with Hitler's views, families left hungry and villages bombed. The protagonist Christine Bolz is just a German citizen, not Jewish nor a Nazi. She is an innocent bystander to the horrors of the war. The horrors experienced by the Jews are not left out, as Wiseman also tells the story of Christine's Jewish love interest, Isaac Bauerman. The slower first half of the book is made up for by the tense second half, which is impossible to put down. Overall, a highly recommended work of fiction. - Chloe
This is a very well written book which goes into detail about the African American female mathematicians without whom NASA and the space program may not have succeeded. They are American heroes whose stories have only recently been told. Highly recommended. - Mary
Big Magic: by Elizabeth Gilbert is a great read about how to conquer your fears and live a creative life. The author tells how she became a writer and gives suggestions on how you can start your creative journey. The stories in this book will definitely have you laughing out loud. If you are looking for a great book to start your New Year’s resolution this one is for you! - Lori
Faithful by Alice Hoffman
Shelby survives a tragic accident as a teenager and a once promising future changes in an instant. Friendless and mentally unstable she retreats to her parents’ basement filled with guilt and memories. The story of how she gradually emerges, first from the basement and then from within herself, to slowly build a life is beautiful and painful every step of the way. I loved it. - Mary
It is shortly after the Civil War, and Captain Jefferson Kidd roams the west doing performances of newspaper readings to a population that has little access to news in their own state, much less news from other parts of the country or world. By happenstance, he is given the task of returning a girl from the Indian tribe in Kansas which had kidnapped her, to her relatives in Texas. The child has no memory of her family and has no desire to be rescued. She is also a target for outlaws who have other purposes for her. The relationship building in this book is wonderful. -Annie
An issue, a lawyer, a case. Go, Jodi, go and she does. This story takes off in a
matter of pages. It revolves around the actions of a nurse who is a black woman and
the death of a baby whose parents are white supremacists. Ruth has been told she
cannot touch this baby at the request of the parents. But what should she do when
she is the only nurse available and the baby stops breathing? Read, reader, read.
- Taysie Pennington
"Seconds" by Bryan Lee O'Malley "Seconds" is about Katie, a 29 year-old chef, who's struggling to start her own restaurant, having a fling with a colleague, and running into her ex-boyfriend who she's never really gotten over. She soon discovers magic mushrooms which allow her to erase past mistakes and to explore what would happen if she'd taken the other fork in the road. "Seconds" is a delightful, beautifully illustrated, and consistently funny graphic novel that explores what it'd be like to have the power to change your past - and whether or not you'd even want to. - Cody
Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K Le Guin near-future distopian sci-fi about a man whose dreams alter reality, his therapist who tries to use this power, and a lawyer caught in the middle - "The Lathe of Heaven" is a spectacular achievement. Le Guin's precise prose lends a natural, believable quality to even the most fantastic of scenes. This book is spectacular in every sense of the world.- Cody
Hey all you Raina fans, check out her new book. She uses ghosts as related to the Hispanic holiday, Day of the Dead to teach Catrina about fear, courage and love. Cat's sister has cystic fibrosis, so the family moves to a town where she can be near the salt air. Little does she know the town is filled with ghosts that the town actually welcomes. Pretty scary for her. What's a girl to do? - Taysie
In Louise Penny's latest Chief Inspector Gamache has been pulled out of retirement to run the Surete Police Academy, which had been rife with corruption. Meanwhile, his friends in Three Pines find an old, mysterious map, which Gamache uses as part of a training exercise for some of the cadets. When a despised professor is found murdered while in possession of the map, and Gamache finds himself at odds with the official investigation. It's a great, well written story. - Annie
A private plane crashes into the ocean while on its way from Martha's Vineyard to New York. The only survivors are a 4 year old boy and a 40 year old man who swims with the boy on his back all night through open ocean to save them. The boy is the sole heir to a massive fortune. The man a struggling artist. Even though they were nearly strangers before the accident their bond is quick and strong. The media storm that ensues is fascinating and frightening. - Mary
Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad is realistic, imaginative historical fiction. He creates a Nineteenth Century America where the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad running underground, much like a subway, with stations and stationmasters. Cora, a runaway slave, travels north on the railroad, stopping in each state, experiencing a different aspect of racism in each one.
Homecoming is a novel about African American history. It begins in the 1700's in Ghana. Following a provided family tree it tells the story of one family member from each generation. The story is twofold and simultaneous. It begins with the lives of two half sisters unknown to each other who take very different paths. Effie marries a British soldier who is in the slave trading business. Esi is taken as a slave to America. The weaving of history is excellent. Highly recommend.
Read by Taysie August 2016
A definite page turner! A travel writer with a recent trauma is invited to cover the maiden voyage of an exclusive luxury cruise. She thinks she sees a murder. Was it the alcohol, her meds, her paranoia, or is something sinister really happening? Great beach read. - Mary
The Girls by Emma Cline Who are the girls? You may recognize them although the names have been changed to tell a fictional story. This tale is told from the eyes of a teenage girl who finds herself immersed with the girls. A bit chilling, a whole lot great read. Read by Taysie June 2016
Watchlist is a superb collection of 32 short stories by 32 different authors on watching or being watched. It is a fascinating read. Not surprisingly, several of the stories increased my paranoia, others are cautionary, political, creepy, or even funny and sweet. What I like is that each of the stories gave me something interesting to think about.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
This is a story of love in a time of war, of friendship, family and duty. Taking place in England and Malta during WWII, it has characters whose strong senses of humor are tested by tragedy, and whose moral senses are tested by the expectations of society. Very funny, but then you'll cry. - Annie
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
A modern and fun retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. This time Kate is a preschool teacher and her suitor her scientist father’s assistant in need of a green card. A well told and worthwhile read I throughly enjoyed. - Mary
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
A great history of the often complicated relationship between George Washington and one of his greatest generals, Benedict Arnold. A must read for American history lovers. - Mary
Patience by Daniel Clowes An engrossing graphic novel in which our protagonist, Jack must travel back and forth through time to stop the murder of his wife, Patience, while confronting the sordid past he never wanted her to talk about. It's utterly unpredictable. - Cody
A family at odds living on the Ohio frontier at the time of Johnny Appleseed. The youngest takes off west, after a violent incident, to find his own way. An interesting story and you’ll learn some things about trees too! - Mary
In this latest Maisie Dobbs, it is 1938, things are getting scarier in Europe, and Maisie, having just returned to England, is asked to leave again. The British Secret service asked her to impersonate the daughter of an important Englishman being held in Dachau who the Nazis will only release to a relative. At the same time she is asked to bring back form Germany the daughter of another important Englishman who has run away to Munich to party and socialize. - Annie
Jerusalem after the war is a city filled with people trying to forget the past and regain a sense of themselves. Brand, a concentration camp survivor has joined the resistance trying to drive the British occupiers from their country. But it's dangerous and it's hard to know who is on your side with people among whom trust is in short supply. - Mary
Covering every subject from dog ownership to mental illness, Allie Brosh unapologetically documents the struggles of day-to-day life in short stories and doodles. Her style of writing makes every subject relatable and funny, this is a book that everyone who's ever wanted to give up on being an adult should read. - Chloe
Lamentation by C.J. Sansom
This book is both strong historical fiction and an intriguing
mystery. The story is based on actual events involving, Katherine Parr,
the sixth (and last) wife of Henry VIII, during the period when Henry
VIII was dying (but it was treason to acknowledge it). Unease in the
court was heightened by the King vacillating between two religious
doctrines, and any courtier could be in favor one day and accused of
heresy the next. - Annie
Pax - Sarah Pennypacker. For anyone who loves their pet young, old or in between. A heart warming tale of a boy and his pet fox. This book will stay on my home-shelf indefinitely.
Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
Luisa Brant must prove herself in her new job as State’s Attorney in the county where she grew up. Her first major case is a murder and soon she’s uncovering secrets from the past that coud destroy her family. Where will it lead and what will be the consequences? - Mary
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
Part memoir, part nature writing this beautifully written book had me mesmerized with words that painted vivid pictures. Now in paperback. - Mary
Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen - I love Anna Quindlen’s novels - her characters always resonate with me and this one is no exception. Mimi Miller is growing up in the 60s on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. She’s the smartest girl in her class and doesn’t quite fit in. She knows she’s destined for something else but what? A lovely and tender story that proves again you can leave the place you came from but it never quite leaves you. - Mary
Men with Cats intimate portraits of feline friendship - David Williams Cats aren't just for old ladies. Great quips from men for all walks of life and there feline friends. - John
"This book is the perfect read for a snowy day when you just want to stay indoors and curl up with a good story. Set in a small rural town populated with a wide variety of eccentric and ordinary people, and with a plot that twists and turns, this story will hold your attention and cheer you up. " - Pat
I picked up this novel because there is an Anton Chekhov connection. It does turn out to be a novel of old Russia, with the addition of a literary mystery, and an emotional plot. - Pat
The Lake House by Kate Morton
“The heart of the story is a child’s disappearance during a grand party on a country estate in between the wars England. Alternating between the past and modern times Kate Morton weaves a wonderful story and mystery about love, loss and the price of secrets kept. A wonderful and engaging read.” – Mary
Now in paperback, girl waits with gun is a great choice for vacation reading. It's funny, dry style is well suited to the fast pace of the story -based on a real event. - Pat
“This engrossing book is both lyrical and straightforward at the same time, much like it's central character and for me, heroine, Beryl Markham. It also works as an armchair travel, taking us back to beautiful Kenya of the 1920's. - Pat”
"An auto-biographical look at the daily grind of being a garbage collector that weaves in troubling factual information about the staggering amount of waste we produce - told with a wonderful sense of humor and absurd, expressive illustrations...Please recycle." - Cody
"Another gem from Isabel Allende. This is a book you can give to anyone who appreciates fine writing, enjoys historical fiction, or likes likes to get lost in a good story." - Pat
“Check this one out. Patti Smith has described M Train as a roadmap to her life. Follow her caffeine trails from her cafe haunt around the corner from her NY home to her travels here and there. Berlin. South America. William Burroughs. A lot of the 20th century and just current times get brought into focus witnessing the writers of our times.”
“The Oregon Trail spans 2000 miles and six states as Rinker Buck, his brother Nick and Nick's dog, Olive Oyl retrace the route of thousands of pioneers emigrating west in the 19th century. They traverse the country in a covered wagon pulled by three mules Jake, Beck and Bute. Interspersed are accounts from diaries of original Oregon Trail travelers and information about a multitude of places, and events along the way. Even interesting info about mules. Makes you want to pack up and head for the open prairie!” Anita
”A little boy with a big imagination reports seeing something big and scary in the woods. He is, of course, not believed, except by the one person who knows that he is telling the truth. When the little boy is murdered, the search for his killer reveals the scary thing in the woods and with it secrets long hidden. Like the villagers in the story, I found the premise to be somewhat unbelievable, but according to the author's note at the end, it is a historical fact. One of Louise Penny's best (and they are all good.)” - Annie
“This is the story of a Chinese American family who one morning cannot locate their daughter. The reader is told she is dead in the first sentence. What happened and why? The reader is thrown into the complicated exploration of all the characters involved. Her parents who love her but have high expectations for her. Her brother who protects her but is getting ready to leave. Did he ever care about her? Her sister who knows a lot but is greatly ignored. The boy down the street who seemingly is playing her. What happened to you Lydia?” - Taysie
“Forget the hype. This book is a perfect companion to To Kill a Mockingbird. 26 yr old Scout is not 12 yr old Scout. She is forced to see life, and especially her dad Atticus, in a more nuanced and painful light. That's what growing up is about.
I found the book fascinating.”
"A Lot of what you thought you knew about the sinking of the Lusitania was wrong." - Annie
"I thought I was done with WWII, but this novel is so compelling and well designed I had to read it through once I picked it up.
Kristen Hannah writes in great detail, bringing us a very vivid picture of events in France as they unfolded for the women left to cope at home." - Pat
This description from our website says it all.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
"Stories merge in this heartfelt novel. There is Avis, a middle age women with a broken marriage and son struggling with what seems to be PTSD. There is Luis, a wounded veteran battling things he did in war. There is also Hashkim, an eight year old immigrant boy and his family, who is forced to deal with tragedy. How these come together is hard to see but the story is very good."- Taysie
“For those who like beautifully written words about a seemingly bleak situation.” - Mary
Twisted River - Siobhan MacDonald
Two dysfunctional families from New York and Ireland trade residences on a house exchange in an attempt to get away and restore a sense of normalcy to their troubled lives. Each has secrets that threaten their families. What could go wrong? - Mary
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult"This is a poignant, thought-provoking story about a 13 year old girl searching for her mother, an elephant researcher, who disappeared in a tragic accident at their elephant sanctuary 10 years earlier. The story explores the mother-daughter relationship between humans as well as elephants. This book shares in-depth information about elephant behavior, supernatural connections and the depths of human loss. As with all Picoult books, then ending will shock you! A must read for Picoult fans!" - Anita
"Hold on tight while reading this suspense novel! It’s the best suspense novel I have read in……..it is the best suspense novel I have ever read." - Joe
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Another WWII story based on true events and told in a unique way. Three women from different walks of life tell their story and meet head on toward the end of the story. One is an American working for charitable causes in Europe, another is a polish woman sent to the only female Nazi prison camp, and the third is a Dr. at the camp who performs surgical experiments on healthy prisoners. Hard to tell whose story is more compelling but definitely a good read.