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Adult Book News

Summertime and the reading is easy... Adult Summer Reading

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It's time for summer vacations and reading for fun!

       The Adult Summer Reading Program runs until
August 7. 
             

Grab/print a Bingo sheet and begin  - or - click here to log your reading     selections.                     

                       Its that easy - 5 boxes on a Bingo sheet or 5 books in your online log.                    

Prizes include Penn Theatre tickets and gift certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants.

Build a Better Summer!

 

Looking for a spine-tingler?

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ThrillerFest XII

Recently, the International Thriller Writers held their annual conference in New York to celebrate thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. Dubbed "Thrillerfest XII",  the 12th conference ran from July 11-15, with author panels, speeches, and presentations. Among the attendees were this year's ThrillerMaster, Lee Child, along with 2017 Spotlight Guests Lisa Gardner, Steve Berry, John Lescroart, and Karin Slaughter  During the Banquet on Saturday, July 15, the winners of the coveted Thriller Awards were announced. These awards are given each year for the best thriller books in hardcover, paperback original, first novel, and other categories.

Among the thrilling winners:

Best Hardcover Novel: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

BeforeTheFallThis book had been on The New York Times bestseller list for weeks, received great reviews from all the critics, and won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel. Besides being a bestselling novelist, author Hawley is well known as the showrunner and screenwriter of the Emmy-winning FX adaptation of Fargo. Before the Fall centers on the mysterious crash of a plane carrying a group of wealthy and famous people that leaves only two survivors, a down-on-his-luck painter and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely powerful media mogul's family. On that foggy summer night, eleven people departed Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happened: the plane plunged into the ocean. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.  Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the complicated ties that bind us together.

Librarian Faves - August 2017


August 2017 LibraryReads

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love

library reads logo websiteThis monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.

 

 

 # 1 for August:

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin


youngjaneyoungBy the author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrya novel about what it means to be a woman with a past. Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss--and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn't take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics. She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up--an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it's only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.  "The best thing to come out of the Monica Lewinsky scandal since Lewinsky's own magnificent TED talk, Zevin's fourth adult novel reinvents the familiar story more cleverly and warmly than one would have thought possible. ...This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate take-down of slut shaming in literature or anywhere else. Cheers, and gratitude, to the author." (Kirkus Reviews)

The Fun in Dysfunction

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

Since we're right in the middle of the wedding and family reunion season, it seems a good time to explore family relationships, especially dysfunctional ones.


peoplewehateThe People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family.  Donna, the clan's mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who's recently been eyeing undergrads. And then there's their half-sister, Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna's first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she's infuriatingly kind and decent. And now Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be expensive invitations, fancy hotels, dinners at "it" restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. Alice and Paul couldn't hate it more. As the estranged family gathers in London, their jealousies, resentments, rivalries, and secrets emerge during the run-up to the deluxe, over-the-top wedding, an event already fraught with the usual drama. "Ginder takes family dysfunction to its hysterical limit in this joyously ribald, sharply cynical, and impossible-to-put-down examination of love and loyalty. ... As a happy ending seems to slip further out of sight, Ginder provides far better: laughter and hope. (Publishers Weekly)

"Fact: best title of any novel ever. This story about a dysfunctional blended family and a wedding in England is sinfully good."
― Elin Hilderbrand (The Identicals)

Feels Like Summer!

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We're gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with parades, picnics, and fireworks, so we know that summer is in full swing. Time to kick back and do some summer reading. Grab/print your Bingo sheet or sign up online to create your account to start reading now for fun and prizes. PDL's Adult Summer Reading Program runs till August 7, so there's plenty of time to earn prizes like Penn Theatre tickets and Plymouth gift certificates.

If you're looking for a good book, consider the HuffPost list of 12 Great New Books To Bring To The Beach This Summer. As the  reviewers, Maddie Crum and Claire Fallon, put it, "The fact is, we’re all just looking for the right book to keep us turning pages instead of drowsing off on the sand this summer, and that’s a perfectly valid quest. In practice, it means something a little different for everyone, whether it’s a thriller, a romantic comedy, or a family saga, so we’ve come up with a range of new books that might make the perfect companion for your next day trip to the shore."

donotbecomealarmedHow about: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy? This novel about a disastrous family vacation will make you take any holiday mishap in stride. When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship's comfort and ease. The four children--ages six to eleven--love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone. The disintegration of the world the families knew--told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children--is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed. "Meloy's commanding, heart-revving, and thought-provoking novel has enormous power and appeal." (Booklist)

 

Nancy Pearl's Page-Turners

nancypearlOn June 29, Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire (with her own action figure), shared a list of summer reads with NPR's Steve Inskeep on that station's Morning Edition broadcast. By her own admission, most of the books on her list are plot-driven, page-turners. "I think that what I'm looking for these days is just a lot of plot," she explains. "I want the pages to turn of their own accord. I want some reason to really keep on reading." Sounds perfect for summer reading!



Sample some of Nancy's picks:

designfordyingDesign for Dying by Renee Patrick
Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl, until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head. Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she's barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces. Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who's not on the level. "This is great fun and, at the same time, they've woven in real people so you meet a very young Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck. It's the first of a series. The second one, Dangerous to Know, is just out and continues Lillian and Edith's detective business" - Nancy Pearl

 

 

 

augustsnowAugust Snow by Stephen Mack Jones
The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away. It's not long before he's summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August's beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide--which August isn't buying for a minute. What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget's death soon drags August into a rat's nest of Detroit's most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries."August Snow is one of my favorite books that I've read recently, and I'm not just saying that because I'm from Detroit and it's set in Detroit. The plot just takes off." - Nancy Pearl

 

 

 

defectorsDefectors by Joseph Kanon
In 1949, Frank Weeks, fair-haired boy of the newly formed CIA, was exposed as a Communist spy and fled the country to vanish behind the Iron Curtain. Now, twelve years later, he has written his memoirs, a KGB- approved project almost certain to be an international bestseller, and has asked his brother Simon, a publisher, to come to Moscow to edit the manuscript. It's a reunion Simon both dreads and longs for. The book is sure to be filled with mischief and misinformation; Frank's motives suspect, the CIA hostile. But the chance to see Frank, his adored older brother, proves irresistible. And at first Frank is still Frank--the same charm, the same jokes, the same bond of affection that transcends ideology. Then Simon begins to glimpse another Frank, still capable of treachery, still actively working for "the service." He finds himself dragged into the middle of Frank's new scheme, caught between the KGB and the CIA in a fatal cat and mouse game that only one of the brothers is likely to survive. "Joseph Kanon is one of my go-to authors when I want a good thriller, a good spy novel. It's great." - Nancy Pearl

 

 

 

provinggroundProving Ground by Peter Blauner
Nathaniel Dresden never really got along with his father, an infamous civil rights lawyer who defended criminals and spearheaded protest movements. As an act of rebellion, Natty joined the U.S. Army and served in Iraq, coming back with a chest full of commendations and a head full of disturbing memories. But when his father is found murdered near the peaceful confines of Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Natty is forced to deal with the troubled legacy of their unresolved relationship. He also has to fend off the growing suspicions of NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles, a brash Latina cop with something to prove, who thinks Natty might bear some responsibility for his father's death. Though truth be told, the list of people--cops and criminals--who wanted David Dresden out of the way is long. The search for answers leads Natty and Lourdes into an urban labyrinth where they must confront each other--and the brutal truths that could destroy them both. "This is a great thriller. I just kept turning those pages" - Nancy Pearl

 

New Resource for Readers

ALA's Book Club Central

readsjpThis week, the American Library Association launched its new resource for readers: a website with
all sorts of content for ALA Book Club Central logoboth book clubs and individuals. Called Book Club Central, it features booklists, recommendations, author interviews, discussion questions and tips for book clubs, and other news about books. No less a literary light than Sarah Jessica Parker (she played writer Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City) is serving as Honorary Chair. As honorary chair, Parker will privide a selection of recommended titles throuthout this year. Her inaugural pick, No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts, was announced during ALA's Annual conference last weekend. Parker explains that she chose this book because it "marks the arrival of a wonderfully gifted new American writer. JJ,Ava, amd Sylvia are easy characters to fall in love with, and Stephanie Powell Watts brings them to life with warmth and generosity."

 

nooneiscomingNo One is Coming to Save Usone of the most anticipated books of 2017, is about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he's startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can't seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava's mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia's unworthy but charming husband, just won't stop hanging around. JJ's return--and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava--not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they've been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. "Ultimately, Watts offers a human tale of resilience and the universally understood drive to hang on and do whatever it takes to save oneself." (Booklist)

Oprah's New Book Club Pick

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Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue 
 

beholdthedreamersJende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty--and Jende is eager to please. Clark's wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses' summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future. However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers' facades.When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende's job--even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

As part of her announcement of the book on CBS This Morning, Oprah commented,"It's got everything that's grabbing the headlines in America right now. It's about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality." Published in 2016, the book is being released in paperback today. You can visit Oprah.com/BookClub for more information.

 

 

 

Best in Sci Fi

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2017 Locus Awards

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation announced the winners of the 2017 Locus Awards on June 24, during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle. The awards are presented in numerous categories to the winners of an annual readers' poll conducted by Locus Magazine, a monthly science fiction and fantasy publication based in Oakland, CA. The awards were established in 1971 as a way to provide recommendations to Hugo Awards voters. Among the categories are novels (sci fi and fantasy), first novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories, anthologies and collections, and most outlandish Hawai'ian shirt worn to the ceremony.

Winners:

deathsendScience Fiction Novel: Death's End by Cixin Liu

Fantasy Novel: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Horror Novel: The Fireman by Joe Hill

First Novel: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Anthology: The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Bookseller-Authors Recommend

"Summer Reading Recommendations, From 6 Novelists Who Own Bookstores"

Recently The New York Times asked six novelists who also own independent bookstores to list the books that they are recommending to their customers this summer. The six: Emma Straub, (Modern Love, the Vacationers) owner of Books Are Magic, Brooklyn; Ann Patchett (Commonwealth, State of Wonder) owner of Parnassus Books, Nashville; Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, A Gambler's Anatomy) owner of Red Gap Books, Blue Hill, Maine; Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) owner of An Unlikely Story, Plainsville, Massachusetts; Louise Erdrich (The Round House, LaRose) owner of Birchback Books, Minneapolis; Judy Blume (In the Unlikely Event, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret) owner of Books & Books in Key West, Florida. Their picks include ficiton, non-fiction, memoirs and biographies.

Here are a few of their suggestions:

saintsforallSaints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan--a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, quietly preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. After decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront each other and the choices they made so long ago. “It’s fabulous and smart and feels bigger than her other books.” - Emma Straub

 

 

The Leavers by Lisa Ko
leaversOne morning, Deming Guo's mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon--and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he's ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents' desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past. "The Leavers’ is a gritty and painful story of immigration in which the American dream is constantly re-examined alongside the Chinese dream....(one of) "this summer’s best novels.” - Ann Patchett

 

 

 

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
standarddeviationDivorcing his wife to marry his girlfriend, Audra, is the one impulsive thing Graham Cavanaugh has ever done. Audra is charming and spontaneous and fun, but life with her can be exhausting, constantly interrupted by phone calls, burdened by houseguests, and populated by old men with backpacks full of origami paper. As Graham and Audra struggle to define their marriage and raise a child with Asperger's, they decide to establish a friendship with his first wife, Elspeth. Graham isn't sure he understands why Audra longs to be friends with the woman he divorced. After all, former spouses are hard to categorize--are they enemies, old flames, or just people you know really, really well? “About a perfectly mismatched New York City couple whose son, with autistic tendencies, is an origami prodigy. Both heart-piercing and, crucially, very funny.” - Louise Erdrich

 

 

 


All Grown Up
by Jami Attenberg
allgrownupWho is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she's a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it's what she leaves unsaid--she's alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed,- that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother--who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood--and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea's niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. “I read it twice, laughing, cringing, and even tearing up.” - Judy Blume