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Tomorrow is the national holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday; this is the 52nd (LII in Roman numerals) grand football extravaganza that captures most of the nation's attention, enthusiam, and money.. There will be parties, with great food and drink, wagers, exuberant behavior, cheers and celebrations for the winners, and tears and heartbreak for the losers. But what happens to the participants after the party is over? For your consideration, a book about an ex-football player who winds up in Kalkaska, MI long after his college football days are over. A pretty loose connection to the NFL, the Super Bowl, and Tom Brady, but entertaining nonetheless.


repomanThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron
Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan's full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars. Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. (Maybe the result of too many concussions?) The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn't sure if Alan is real, or if he's losing his mind (the dreaded Repo Madness). To complicate matters, it turns out Katie, the girl he's fallen for, is Alan's daughter. When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off, but where can a voice in your head go? Ruddy reluctantly concludes that the only way to clear his head is to find out why Alan was murdered. It couldn't be much worse than the repo business, right? "Cameron (A Dog's Purpose; A Dog's Journey) has delivered a highly engaging and funny novel that is reminiscent of the early works of Carl Hiaasen (Skin Tight) and Christopher Moore (Practical Demonkeeping). It's so easy to get wrapped up in Ruddy's misadventures that readers may well finish the novel and only then realize that they've read it in one sitting." (Library Journal)





February is African American History Month

Initially started in 1926 as Negro History Week, the commemoration of the struggles and achievements of African Americans in America was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since has proclaimed February as African American History Month in order to honor the importance of contributions made by African American citizens to our society.

Literature is one way to examine the African American experience; African American authors have made major contributions to our collective culture and national discourse. Two recently reissued 20th-century classics by two authors of the Harlem Renaissance period, Nella Larsen and George S. Schuyler, explore themes of racial identity, belonging, and freedom that are still relevant today.


passingPassing by Nella Larsen
Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. Fair, elegant, and ambitious, she is passing, married to a white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, but refuses to acknowledge the racism that continues to constrict her family's happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others -- and the secret fears they have buried within themselves. First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries. The novel is "curious about what it means to feel, as well as be, truly free, and how freedom and safety might be at odds." (New York Times)





blacknomoreBlack No More by George S. Schuyler
The landmark 1931 comic satire that asks, "What would happen if all black people in America turned white?" It's New Year's Day 1933 in New York City, and Max Disher, a young black man, has just found out that a certain Dr. Junius Crookman has discovered a mysterious process that allows people to bleach their skin white--a new way to "solve the American race problem." Max leaps at the opportunity, and after a brief stay at the Crookman Sanitarium, he becomes Matthew Fisher, a white man who's able to attain everything he's ever wanted: money, power, good liquor, and the white woman who rejected him when he was black. Lampooning myths of white supremacy and racial purity and caricaturing prominent African American leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois, Madam C. J. Walker, and Marcus Garvey, Black No More is a masterwork of speculative fiction and a hilarious satire of America's obsession with race. "Each page unleashes a fusillade of gags and comic sequences, careening from slapstick to blood bath and back again.....the plot twists get "more complicated than a flapper's past" - and about as fun." (New York Times)




   loanstars black     Our library neighbors to the north also issue a monthly list of newly released books similar to our monthly LibraryReads list. They call theirs LOANSTARS and bill the titles as "The 10 hottest books published monthly, as voted by library staff across Canada." The Canadian February 2018 list contains 10 forthcoming fiction and nonfiction titles - and only two choices show up on both country's lists: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah andSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. Both lists score The Great Alone as the number one pick and the LOANSTAR list awards the number two spot to Surprise Me. So, another country heard from!




surprisemeSurprise Me by Sopie Kinsella

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other's sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it's casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me--from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots--mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all. With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage--its intricacies, comforts, and complications.





PW's The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018

Is it too early to think about spring? Not according to book publishers and sellers - and, of course, readers. Publishers Weekly has compiled a smaller list of notable upcoming books drawn from their voluminous (14,000+ titles) Spring Announcement issue. There's something for everyone, fiction and nonfiction, if we can only wait. Something to look forward to - like warmer weather.

warlightWarlight by Michael Ondaatje
Ondaatje's (The English Patient) first novel since 2011 will be released on May 8. In Britain just after World War II, fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this tale that  Library Journal describes as "mysterious and dramatic."



circeCirce by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, especially the wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Miller's follow-up to the bestselling The Song of Achilles will be available on April 10.










Ursula Le Guin (1929 - 2018)

lefthandofdarknessLiterary icon Ursula Le Guin, winner of scores of science fiction writing awards, one of the few women to be named leguinGrandmaster of Science Fiction, and the recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014, has passed away at the age of 88. Le Guin wrote more than 20 novels and novellas, over 100 short stories, seven collections of essays, and 13 books for children over the course of her long writing career. The author of the Earthsea series, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Lathe of Heaven was among the nation’s most revered writers of science fiction and fantasy. A graduate of Radcliffe and a Fullbright scholar, she imbued her work with emotional depth, lyrical style, superb imagination, and a certain feminist sensibility, elevating her work beyond the gender stereotypes of the genre. At the 2014 National Book Awards Le Guin's acceptance speech stopped the show and brought those assembled to their feet. She delivered a fiery sermon defending science fiction as a worthy genre too long ignored and championing writers in general against profiteers. "... "I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom."




Peter Mayle (1939 - 2018)

yearinprovenceBritish writer Peter Mayle passed away on January 18, 2018 in France where he had lived since moving there in 1987. He and his chasingcezannewife bought a farmhouse in Provence that year, expecting that it would be the perfect place for Mayle to write a novel. Instead the house became the focus of major protracted renovations with their attendant headaches, domestic disasters, and distractions.  Making little progress on the house or the book, Mayle shelved the novel and wrote about his experiences during the year spent navigating home repairs in rural France. The humorous and charming A Year in Provence was published in 1989 and became a surprise bestseller, was adapted for a television mini-series, and inspired a sequel, Toujours Provence in 1991The French lifestyle, with its wonderful food and wine, and quaint local customs, became the focus of several of his later books, including French Lessons: Adventures With Knife, Fork and Corkscrew (2001), and Provence A-Z (2006). Mayle also wrote a series of crime caper novels ( The Marseille Caper, Chasing Cezanne), also set France, and a stand-alone novel, A Good Year, about a young British businessman who inherits a dilapidated estate and vineyard in (where else?) Provence.  It was adapted for a 2006 film starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.




MichiganNotableOn Sunday, January 14, in the Detroit Free Press, The Library of Michigan revealed the list of the 2018 Michigan Notable Books - 20 books that highlight the diversity of Michigan's people, places, issues, and events. The books must have been published during the last year, and be about Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or authored by a Michigan writer. The books are chosen by a committee of librarians, reviewers, booksellers, and authors working with the Library of Michigan's Center for the Book, to showcase the best of our state's literary culture and to raise awareness of the quality of Michiagn authors. The list contains novels, short stories, history, poetry, environmental books, a picture book, biographies, a Zingerman's cookbook and a book about Michigan's craft beer industry. Randy Riley, State Librarian of Michigan, writes, "Every year I am amazed by the variety of subject matter found in the books we review for the program and by the quality of the research and writing... It sounds cliché, but there really is something for everyone."



One of the novels, a psychological thriller titled The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne, is set in the marshes marshkingsdaughterof the Upper Peninsula. When the notorious child abductor, “The Marsh King,” escapes from prison, Helena Pelletier is sure she can use the skills she learned as a child to find him. No one is The Marsh King’s equal when it comes to navigating the marshland – except  Helena herself, his daughter.  As their cat and quarry game unfolds, she must use all her wilderness skills to thwart his plan and survive it. "Detailed flashbacks show Helena had an odd but decent childhood. To the world, Jacob was a monster; to Helena, he was just her father, who taught her to fish, hunt, and track, and told involving stories, and was occasionally brutal. Helena's conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story." (Publishers Weekly)







February 2018 LibraryReads List

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 February:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Great Aloneblog 196x300Kristin Hannah, author of the popular World War II novel, The Nightingale, examines the repercusssions of a different war in her new book. Set in 1974, the plot follows the Albrights as they struggle to heal their troubled family. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, came home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights' lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. "Though smaller in scope than her previous blockbuster, in this tightly focused drama, Hannah vividly evokes the natural beauty and danger of Alaska and paints a compelling portrait of a family in crisis and a community on the brink of change." (Booklist)




mlkMonday, January 15, is the day designated for the observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the day to commemorate his legacy of non-violent social change and commitment to equal rights and justice for all. Civic organizations, churches, and local governments across the country have programs, services, and other special events planned. In the announcement for this year's observances, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, issues this statement." The theme for this year’s commemoration is King: His Voice, His Teachings, His Love for Humanity. This theme underscores Dr. King’s commitment to spreading love and peace amongst all of humanity even through the most trying times. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional sentimentalism. It is the active pouring of one's whole being into the being of another." This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King; he died on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.




header logowinteroficeWinter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier

With the Mad King of Emmer in the north and the vicious King of Pohorir in the east, Kehara Raehema knows her country is in a vulnerable position. She never expected to give up everything she loves to save her people, but when the Mad King's fury leaves her land in danger, she has no choice but to try any stratagem that might buy time for her people to prepare for war--no matter the personal cost. Hundreds of miles away, the pitiless Wolf Duke of Pohorir, Innisth Eanete, dreams of breaking his people and his province free of the king he despises. But he has no way to make that happen--until chance unexpectedly leaves Kehara on his doorstep and at his mercy. Yet in a land where immanent spirits inhabit the earth, political disaster is not the greatest peril one can face. Now, as the year rushes toward the dangerous midwinter, Kehera and Innisth find themselves unwilling allies, and their joined strength is all that stands between the peoples of the Four Kingdoms and utter catastrophe. "Top-notch world building and in-depth character development...the dramatic conclusion will satisfy both lovers of romance and political fantasy." (Booklist)






Sue Grafton (1940 - 2017)

yisforyesterdayOn December 28, 2017, writer Sue Grafton passed away at the age of 77 after a two-year battle with cancer. Last August, Grafton published the 25th book in her popular detective series with the letters of the alphabet in the titles (starting with 1982's A is for Alibi and continuing through Y is for Yesterday) and featuring Kinsey Milhone, one of the first professional female private investigators in mystery fiction. Unfortunately the last book in the series, which would have started with "Z," was never written. As noted by her daughter's announcement, "as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y." Grafton had been a successful TV writer and aspiring novelist before her eighth novel, A is for Alibi, launched her best-selling series. She credited cartoonist Edward Gorey and his darkly humorous alphabet book, The Gashlycrumb Tinies for the inspiration for her titles. "I was smitten with all those little Victorian children being dispatched in various ways,” she told The New York Times in 2015. “ ‘A is for Amy who fell down the stairs; B is for Basil assaulted by bears; C is for Clara who wasted away; D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.’ Edward Gorey was deliciously bent.” Gorey, who passed away in 2000, would probably appreciate the compliment.





cantobightWhy January 2nd?  It's the birthday of Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), the preeminent and prolific science fiction author and master of "hard science fiction." Best known for his Foundation and Robot (I, Robot) series, Asimov published over 500 books over his long career and won every science fiction award possible. Asimov's work influenced generations of science fiction writers and was instrumental in elevating the genre from the fringe of pulp magazines to the literary mainstream.

Celebrate the day (and satisfy your inner Star Wars nerd) with the latest from that galaxy far, far away. Canto Bight is a glitzy, glittery casino city featured in one of the plots in the new movie,Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Four interconnected novellas (by Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson, and John Jackson Miller) explore the lives of high-rollers, desperate gamblers, and other schemers living and working there. In Canto Bight, one is free to revel in excess, untouched from the problems of a galaxy once again descending into chaos and war. Dreams can become reality, but the stakes have never been higher--for there is a darkness obscured by all the glamour and luxury.





Happy New Year!

HuffPost's 60 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2018


Ready, Set, Go!




wolvesofwinterThe Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn't help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she's forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter. Yet shadows of the world before have found her tiny community--most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past, and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined."Johnson is an excellent storyteller; the novel is full of action, suspense, and plot twists as the resilient characters fight for survival in a harsh winter wilderness." (Publishers Weekly)





winterWinter by Ali Smith
When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone? Art Cleves has just broken up with his girlfriend as the holidays approach, and he dreads his visit to his difficult mother, Sophia. When he meets Lux at a bus stop, he impulsively invites her to accompany him to his mother's manor house in the country. They arrive to find Sophia befuddled and disorganized  and the house in disarray. Enter Sophia's estranged sister, Iris, who brings her own baggage to the gathering. The four bicker and negotiate their way through the holidays together, debating politics and reliving memories while uncovering long-hidden family secrets, with Lux as intermediary. "This second installment in Smith's seasonal quartet (after Autumn) combines captivating storytelling with a timely focus on social issues. Enthusiastically recommended; we're now eagerly awaiting Spring." (Library Journal)





winterstationThe Winter Station by Jody Shields
Based on a true story that has been lost to history, the plot follows a Russian aristocrat in the Russian-ruled city of Kharbin, a major railway outpost in Manchuria, where people are mysteriously dying at an alarming rate. During the a dangerously cold winter of 1910, the Baron, a wealthy Russian aristocrat and the city's medical commissioner, is determined to stop this deadly plague. Battling local customs, an occupying army, and a brutal epidemic with no name, the Baron is torn between duty and compassion, between Western medical science and respect for Chinese tradition. His allies include a French doctor, a black marketeer, and a charismatic Chinese dwarf. His greatest refuge is the intimacy he shares with his young Chinese wife - but she has secrets of her own. "Shields's Kharbin is plagued not only by disease but also by rumor, superstition, pride, and ignorance. This fictional portrait of a man caught in a real-life medical crisis proves affecting and timely in its exploration of conflicts between cultures and classes, ambition and mortality, science and politics." (Publishers Weekly)




Time for some Ho-Ho Homicide!

usualsantasThe Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers
The perfect antidote to the holiday hustle and bustle - these eighteen holiday stories by your favorite Soho Crime authors contain laughs, murders, the most hardboiled of holiday noir, and heartwarming reminders of the spirit of the season. Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. An elderly lady seeks peace from her murderously loud neighbors at Christmastime. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccolo; Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Sherlock Holmes's one-time nemesis Irene Adler finds herself in an unexpected tangle in Paris while on a routine espionage assignment. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough's stolen diamonds. These and other adventures in this varied assortment will take you away to Christmases around the globe. "The Christmas theme is central to some stories, merely a time of year in others. But each bite-size mystery in this winning collection is a gift." (Booklist)





January 2018 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 January:

immortalistsThe Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic, who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak out to hear their fortunes. The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. Believing they know when they will die shapes everything the silbings  do as they struggle under the burden of the fortune-teller's revelation. "The author has written a cleverly structured novel steeped in Jewish lore and the history of four decades of American life. The four Gold siblings are wonderful creations, and in Benjamin's expert hands their story becomes a moving meditation on fate, faith, and the family ties that alternately hurt and heal." (Booklist)





NPR - Maureen Corrigan's Best Books List 2017

As Maureen Corrigan puts it, "For a chaotic year, I'm offering a chaotic "Best Books" list — but I think my list is chaotic in a good sense. These books zing off in all directions: They're fresh, unruly and dismissive of the canned and contrived."  "You can't go wrong with any of these books."  Her list of ten books contains several works of fiction, including some award winners, a memoir, a collection of biographical essays, a young adult novel, and an investigation into the Osage murders in 1920's Oklahoma.

goldenhillGolden Hill by Francis Spufford

The spectacular first novel from acclaimed nonfiction author Francis Spufford follows the adventures of a mysterious young man in mid-eighteenth century Manhattan, thirty years before the American Revolution. New York is a small town on the tip of Manhattan island in 1746. One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat arrives at a countinghouse door on Golden Hill Street: this is Mr. Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion shimmering. For in his pocket, he has what seems to be an order for a thousand pounds, a huge sum, and he won't explain why, or where he comes from, or what he is planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money. Should the New York merchants trust him? Should they risk their credit and refuse to pay? Should they befriend him, seduce him, arrest him; maybe even kill him? And so Mr. Smith begins his excellent adventure through the wilds of New York City, which includes an attempted lynching, a duel, a prison stay, and a courtship. "...Spufford's action is fast, and plot twists abound. Readers bounce through chases, courtrooms, brawls, debtors' prison, and a momentous steam-room sex scene, and it's all great fun. But most pleasurable is the prose itself, which is clever, silly, and perceptive, somehow managing to seem perfectly historically calibrated while poking fun at itself for such efforts. A virtuoso literary performance." ( Booklist)


library reads logo websiteLibraryReads is marking its another anniversary by creating the fourth Favorite of Favorites list, with library staff voting on their top ten favorite books from the October 2016 through September 2017 lists. The Favorites of Favorites list takes the place of the traditional December list and is the result of online voting by over one thousand librarians.

So here are the top ten books that librarians across the country loved recommending in 2017:

 Little Fires Everywhere by Celese Ng

 The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 News of the World by Paulette Jiles

  Glass Houses by Louise Penny

 Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

 Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

 The Dry by Jane Harper

                                     Bear Town by Fredrik Backman


crime clipart wall of crime scene tape md wmBest Crime Novels of 2017

Marilyn Stasio, the revered mystery/crime reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, recently selected her list of the ten "best" novels about crime and punishment, writing,"Ho, Ho, Ho! Let Jolly Santa hand out his boring, politically correct presents to all the good boys anad girls. Here comes Bad Santa with a sack of the year's best crime and mystery thrillers, full of psychos and sickos for the naughty kids."  Her sack is full of cops, killers, victims, detectives, a Texas Ranger, and a young mother who "gives new meaning to the term "tiger mom."


fiercekingdomFierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours--the entire scope of the novel--she keeps on running. Joan's intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself--the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines--is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger. Stasio calls this "a heart-thumping thriller" about a place  - "a zoo full of wild things in boxes" - "where you really do not want to meet a couple of nut cases with rifles."









LJBestBooks2017 300x190

Library Journal's Top Ten Best Books of 2017
(and Top Five Lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literature and graphic novels)

The editors at Library Journal started their selection meetings in October to winnow down their initial slate of 23 books into a Top Ten Best List for 2017. They eventually compiled an evenly-matched list: 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction titles, by five women authors and five men."If there is a “winner among winners,” it would be Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, for which every editor voted."


homefireHome Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The suspenseful and heartbreaking story of two Pakistani immigrant familes in Great Britain, driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences.

Responsible older sister Isma is finally free. After seven years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she's accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that will allow her to finish her PhD. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, following the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma's worst fears are confirmed. Then the son of a family friend, Eamonn, enters the sisters' lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to--or defy. Both sisters are attracted. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz's salvation? Suddenly, two families' fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?

"In this multiple-perspective novel, Shamsie peers deeply into her characters' innermost selves, delineating the complicated emotions, idealistic principles, and vulnerabilities that drive them. Scenes showing Parvaiz's mindset as he is indoctrinated into ISIS are daring and incredibly disturbing. In accessible, unwavering prose and without any heavy-handedness, Shamsie addresses an impressive mix of contemporary issues, from Muslim profiling to cultural assimilation and identity to the nuances of international relations. This shattering work leaves a lasting emotional impression." (Booklist)








The New York Times - 100 Notable Books of 2017

On November 22, The New York Times posted its list of this year's 100 notable books in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Many of the books are best-sellers, award-winners, or by famous authors, yet some are less well-known. In any list of 100 books, there should be something for everyone's taste. Even a little Christmas cheer.

christmasdaysChristmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson
Stories called "otherworldly and wickedly funny," presented as a gift from British author Winterson. For the Twelve Days of Christmas - a time of celebration, sharing, and giving - she offers these twelve plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories. These tales give the reader a portal into the spirit of the season, where time slows down and magic starts to happen. From trees with mysterious powers to a tinsel baby that talks, philosophical fairies to flying dogs, a haunted house and a disappearing train, Winterson's innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas. Perfect for reading by the fire with loved ones, or while traveling home for the holidays. "This collection is full of Winterson's wry wit yet also conveys her love for Christmas and the magic of the season. Even if you have no intention of making any of the included recipes, read them. The backstory and instructions in the recipes are just as entertaining as the stories themselves." (Library Journal)








A little holiday mystery...

turkeytrotmurderTurkey Trot Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery by Leslie Meier
It's late autumn in Tinker's Cove, Maine and part-time reporter (and full-time snoop) Lucy Stone expects the approaching holiday to be a relatively uneventful one, even with the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day. That is, until she finds beautiful Alison Franklin dead and frozen in Blueberry Pond. No one knows much about Alison, except that she was the daughter of wealthy investor Ed Franklin and struggled quietly with drug addiction. Police blame her death on an accidental overdose, but Lucy can't understand what terrible forces could lead a privileged woman to such an end. Alison's funeral service is just as puzzling. Many believe Ed's young--and very pregnant--new wife, Mireille, divided the family, leaving Alison to wither on the vine. Did Mireille truly adore her stepchild as Ed claims, or did she pit father against daughter for personal gain? As a state of unrest descends on Tinker's Cove, Lucy is thrown into a full-scale investigation. Now, in a race against time, Lucy must beat the killer to the finish line--or she can forget about stuffing and cranberry sauce.





National Book Award for Fiction -  Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward



sing unburied singOn November 15, at the annual banquet in New York, the National Book Foundation bestowed the 68th National Book Awards on the writers of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's fiction. Author Jesmyn Ward won her second National Book Award for Fiction for her recent novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, a family story set in contemporary Mississippi. Like her first National Book Award-winning book, Salvage the Bones (2011), the new novel explores themes of poverty, race, and the effects of trauma. Sing,Unburied, Sing follows the journey of a boy named Jojo, whose drug-addicted mother takes him and his toddler sister on a road trip to pick up their white father when he is released from prison. At 13, Jojo is trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his black grandfather, Pop. But the examples of the other men in his life complicate his understanding: his imprisoned white father, Michael, his absent white grandfather, Big Joseph, who won't acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. " In her first novel since the National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones (2011), Ward renders richly drawn characters, a strong sense of place, and a distinctive style that is at once down-to-earth and magical." (Booklist)





Jewish Book Month (November 12-December 12) began in 1925
in a library in Boston where a librarian set up a jewishcouncildisplay of Jewish-themed books. Other communities across the county adopted the custom in what was known as Jewish Book Week. In 1943, the celebration was extended to a month-long observance each year in the month before Hanukkah as a way of promoting Jewish books nationwide. Jewish Book Month is a program sponsored by the Jewish Book Council which serves as the coordinating body of Jewish literary activity in North America in both general and Jewish venues.

This month provides a perfect opportunity to sample books by Israeli authors:

manwhoneverThe Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Appelfeld
Erwin doesn't remember much about his journey across Europe when the war finally ended because he spent most of it asleep, carried by other survivors as they emerged from their hiding places or were liberated from the camps, and made their way to Naples, where they filled refugee camps. As he struggles to stay awake, Erwin becomes part of a group of boys being rigorously trained both physically and mentally by an emissary from Palestine for life in their new home.The fog of sleep slowly begins to lift, and when Erwin is released by British authorities from the detention camp in Atlit, he and his comrades are assigned to a kibbutz, where they learn how to tend to the land and speak their new language. When he is wounded in an engagement with snipers, Erwin must spend long months recovering from multiple surgeries and trying to regain the use of his legs. As he exercises his body, he exercises his mind as well. With the support of his friends and of other survivors, and with the encouragement of his mother (who visits him in his dreams), Erwin takes his first tentative steps with his crutches - and with his pen.




alltheriversAll the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan
When Liat meets Hilmi on a blustery autumn afternoon in Greenwich Village, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Charismatic and handsome, Hilmi is a talented young artist from Palestine. Liat, an aspiring translation student, plans to return to Israel the following summer. Despite knowing that their love can be only temporary, that it can exist only away from their conflicted homeland, Liat lets herself be enraptured by Hilmi: by his lively imagination, by his beautiful hands and wise eyes, by his sweetness and devotion. Together they explore the city, sharing laughs and fantasies and pangs of homesickness. But the unfettered joy they awaken in each other cannot overcome the guilt Liat feels for hiding him from her family in Israel and her Jewish friends in New York. As her departure date looms and her love for Hilmi deepens, Liat must decide whether she is willing to risk alienating her family, her community, and her sense of self for the love of one man. The book stirred controversy in Israel, the Education Ministry attempted to ban the book, fearful that it would encourage intermarriage.




ruinedhouseThe Ruined House by Reuven Namdar
Andrew P. Cohen, a professor of comparative culture at New York University, is at the zenith of his life. Adored by his classes and published in prestigious literary magazines, he is about to receive a coveted promotion--the crowning achievement of an enviable career. He is on excellent terms with Linda, his ex-wife, and his two grown children admire and adore him. His girlfriend, Ann Lee, a former student half his age, offers lively companionship. A man of elevated taste, education, and culture, he is a model of urbanity and success. But the manicured surface of his world begins to crack when he is visited by a series of strange and inexplicable visions involving an ancient religious ritual and Jerusalem's Holy Temple.The story unfolds over the course of one year, as Andrew's world unravels and he is forced to question all his beliefs. "...this is an imaginative and visionary work about one man's spectacular mid-life crisis, framed by sacred texts and filled with poetic and portentous passages." (Library Journal)







Today, November 11 is Veterans Day, designated by the Federal government as a holiday to honor the people who served in the U.S. Military Forces "for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good." 

midnight lineLee Chld's newest Jack Reacher novel, The Midnight LIne, explores the struggles of some veterans once they've returned home. While stretching his legs at a rest stop, Reacher, the former Army investigator and perpetual loner, sees a West Point ring in a pawn shop. From its size, he can tell it belonged to a woman. Knowing the effort and sacrifice it takes to earn such a ring, Reacher realizes that the owner must have been truly desperate when she pawned it. So he buys it and sets out to find the owner and return the ring to her. His search leads him to rural Wyoming where he finds Officer Sanderson, who has suffered debilitating physical and psychic injuries from her five tours of duty overseas, leading to an addiction to opioids. "Among the novel’s most startling scenes are ones that show the daily lives of addicts with heartbreaking exactitude. ... Through his winding tale, Childs weaves in a passionately told history of opioids in American life. War has been a major part of that history, from the invention of morphine before the Civil War to the painkillers used during the carnage of the World Wars, and more recently in Vietnam and the Middle East. Wars create a lot of addicts. Post-war governments often throw those people in jail. That is stupid and ugly, and Child’s outrage over this sorry state of affairs is only just barely contained." (Washington Post)





Literary Award Season:

2017 Carol Awards - Best in Christian Fiction - Contemporary:

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell


In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter's sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter's best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry--gone, without a trace. Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda's daughter sinks into depression. And Amanda's husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda's whole world has collapsed. Amanda knows she has to save herself before it's too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.





2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction:

What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah


A dazzlingly accomplished debut collection explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home."And Arimah has skill in abundance: the stories here are solid and impeccably crafted and strike at the heart of the most complicated of human relationships. Against a backdrop of grief for dead parents or angst over a lover, Arimah uses Nigeria as her muse. The characters exist in relation to a Nigeria of the past—the ghost of the Nigerian civil war, especially, looms over many of the stories—as well as present-day Nigeria, either as citizens or expats. Arimah even imagines a future Nigeria...Heralds a new voice with certain staying power." (Kirkus Reviews)





2017 World Fantasy Awards - Best Novel:

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North


No one really knows Hope Arden, despite having met her a thousand times. It started when she was sixteen years old.
A father forgetting to drive her to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at her and sees a stranger. No matter what she does, the words she says, the crimes she commits, people never remember who her. That makes her life difficult. It also makes her dangerous."... this is a very risky novel, with a premise that could easily be dismissed by readers as ludicrous, if it weren't for the author's ability to make us believe. Beautifully written, with a protagonist who is both tragic and heroic..." (Booklist)









Since 1990, each President has designated November as the month to honor "the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S." According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the effort to gain recognition of the value of Native American culture started in the 1900's with various states and organizations declaring certain days as American Indian Days. This month not only honors the diverse traditions, cultures, and histories of Native Americans, but also serves to educate the general public about the challenges Native peoples faced in the past and continue to face in the present.

blasphemyContemporary Native American writers continue to enrich our national discourse by sharing the histories, traditions and beliefs of Native Americans through diverse novels that explore the modern Native American experience. Well known authors like Louise Erdrich, recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction in 2015, and Sherman Alexie, winner of the 2007 National Book Award, have produced powerful stories of modern reservation life and the clash of traditional customs and modern social and legal systems. Other Native American authors to consider include Linda Hogan, James Welch, Joseph Boyden, Leslie Marmon Silko, and  N. Scott Momaday.






2018 Andrew Carnegie Awards

carnegie-fic-medal photo webOn October 25, the American Library Association announced the 2018 finalists (shortlist) for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in fiction and non-fiction. The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best in fiction and non-fiction for adult readers published in the U.S. during the last year. The Medals are funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and co-sponsored by ALA's Booklist magazine and the Reference and User Services division of ALA. Winning authors, who receive a $5,000 cash award, are picked by library professionals. The 2017 Carnegie Medal winners will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver on February 11, 2018.



2018 Fiction Finalists:


manhattanbeachManhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The latest novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, centers on Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, who accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond his house and by some charged mystery between the two men. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished. With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.




lincolninthebardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Saunders was recently awarded the Man Booker Fiction Prize, one  of the most prestigious and lucrative of the literary prizes worldwide, for this, his first full-length novel. Set during the first year of the Civil War, just after the death of his son, Willie, the story imagines a night Lincoln spent in the cemetary by his son's grave, mourning his loss and worrying about the fate of the Union. While his father lingers at his crypt, recenlty deceased Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state--called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo--a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul. The spirits of the restless dead tell their tales, comic and tragic, interspersed with historical accounts of the Lincoln era to create a theatrical panorama of voices that ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? "A stunningly powerful work, both in its imagery and its intense focus on death, this remarkable work of historical fiction gives an intimate view of 19th-century fears and mores through the voices of the bardo's denizens." (Library Journal)




singunburiedSing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent white father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent white grandfather, Big Joseph, who won't acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister's lives. She is an imperfect mother who can't put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. When the children's father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary, hoping for a loving reunion, but what she gets instead is a harrowing drive across a muggy landscape haunted by hatred. "Ward alternates perspectives to tell the story of a family in rural Mississippi struggling mightily to hold themselves together as they are assailed by ghosts reflecting all the ways humans create cruelty and suffering." (Booklist)








malcolmxmovieMalcolm X: the Movie                                                                                              X A Novel GMR 2017 18 200x300

As part of PDL's participation in the Michigan Humanities Council's 2017-18 Great Michigan Read, featuring the book, X: A Novel, by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon, there will be a screening of the 1992 biographical film, Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, on Saturday, October 28 at 1pm.  X: A Novel is a fictionalized account of the early years of Malcolm X, during his boyhood in Depression-era Lansing and follows him through his struggles to find his way in the world. Whether you've read the book or not, if you are interested in learning  more about the life and work of minister and activist, Malcolm X,  the film provides the rest of his story, dramatizing the key events in his life, including his early criminal career, his religious conversion and ministry, his civil rights activism, and his assassination in 1965. Denzel Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance and the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.


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The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council, with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities and a host of other sponsors.





American George Saunders wins for Lincoln in the Bardo

lincolninthebardoYesterday, October 17, the Booker Foundation announced the winner of this year's Man Booker Prize Fiction Prize, one  of the most prestigious and lucrative of the literary prizes worldwide. For the second year in a row, the prize was awarded to an American, George Saunders, for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. (Saunders is the well-regarded author of several short story collections; he was a National Book Award finalist for his 2013 book, Tenth of December: Stories.) He was in contention for the prize with two British, one British-Pakistani, and two American writers. Before a rules change four years ago, only writers from the British Commonweath countries were eligible, but now writers from other countires are considered.The prize announcement describes Saunders' book as an "utterly original novel, (which) reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative." Set during the first year of the Civil War, just after the death of his son, Willie, the story imagines a night Lincoln spent in the cemetary by his son's grave, mourning his loss and worrying about the fate of the Union. "Unfolding in the graveyard over a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief and the deeper meaning and possibilities of life."




November 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 November:

Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir

artemisA new sci-fi thriller about a life-or-death heist set on the moon from the author of The Martian.  Jazz Bashara is scraping by as an occasional smuggler in Artemis, the only city on the moon. Everything changes when she sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. A wealthy billionaire, Trond Landvik, wants her help in sabotaging a competitor's mining operations. But pulling off this caper is just the start of Jazz's problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself--and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first. "Narrated by a kick-ass leading lady, this thriller has it all - a smart plot, laugh-out-loud funny moments, and really cool science. A four-star read." (Library Journal)





Kazuo Ishiguro

remainsofthedayOn October 5, noted Japanese author, Kazuo Ishiguro, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the literary world’s highest honor. Ishiguro, who was born in Japan but raised in England, has had a critically acclaimed writing career that spans four decades and includes eight novels, numerous short stories, and several screenplays. His first book, A Pale View of Hills (1982) and the subsequent one, An Artist of the Floating World (1986) take place in Nagasaki a few years after the Second World War.The themes Ishiguro is most associated with are already present in these books: memory, time, and self-delusion. This is particularly notable in his most renowned novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), which was turned into film with Anthony Hopkins acting as the duty-obsessed butler Stevens. With the dystopian work Never Let Me Go (2005), Ishiguro introduced a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work, and in his latest novel, The Buried Giant (2015), he introduces an element of fantasy, as an elderly couple go on a road trip through an archaic English landscape, hoping to reunite with their adult son, whom they have not seen for years. This novel explores, movingly, how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality. Following the announcement, Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, was interviewed about their choice. She described Kazuo Ishiguro's writing style as a mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka: "But you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix, and then you stir."






   swrd2017Star Wars Reads Day: Saturday, October 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The annual celebration of reading               
and a galaxy far, far away...

PDL will again join with libraries, schools and others nationwide to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day on Saturday, October 14, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The entire building will be filled with Star Wars collectibles, posters, decorations and more. Dress up as your favorite SW character and enjoy the wide variety of activities for all ages including books, crafts, face-painting, photo booth, and Star Wars-themed refreshments. So don your Jedi cloak, grab your lightsaber, and put it in hyperdrive as your follow the Force to a Library (not so) far, far away, and May the Force be with you!

Surround yourself with the Force:
Star Wars: Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson                         phasma

One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impenetrable expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an enemy is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins-- and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters. What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma's past-- and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. 







National Reading Group Month is an initiative of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA). Founded in 1917, the WNBA promotes literacy, a love of reading, and women's leadership in the community of the book. The mission of National Reading Group Month is to celebrate book discussion groups and increase public awareness of the joy and value of shared reading. Through this initiative the organization aims to foster the values reading groups encourage: camaraderie, enjoyment of shared reading, and appreciation of literature and reading as conduits for transmitting culture and advancing civic engagement.

X A Novel GMR 2017 18 200x300What better way of celebrating shared reading than to join in the Michigan Humanities Council's Great Michigan Read - the state-wide community read that aims to connect Michiganders to their communites and each other? This year, the selection, X: A Novel, explores the early life experiences of Malcolm X who grew up in Lansing during the Depression. Copies of the book are available at the Library, along with readers guides. Read the book and join the conversations, and/or meet the author, Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's daughter, at Schoolcraft College on October 12 at 11:45am.



October 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 October:

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornack

SevenDaysIt's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity--and even decent Wi-Fi--and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems. As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down."Hornak lets each member of the dysfunctional Birch ensemble narrate in turn, so the reader gains a full picture of the family dynamics. Alternately tender and razor-sharp, Seven Days of Us will resonate with anyone who regresses the minute they step inside their childhood home." (Booklist)






Great Michigan Read Author Event

Ilyasah Shabazz lores X A Novel GMR 2017 18 200x300


 Ilyasah Shabazz, co-author of this year's Great Michigan Read title, X: A Novel, and daughter of Malcolm X, will appear at the Pageturners Book Club meeting at Schoolcraft College's VisTaTech Center, Room VT550, on October 12 at 11:45 am. Join all interested readers for a conversation and book signing. X: A Novel is a thrilling and tragic novel about the troubled youth of Malcolm X here in Michigan as he struggled to escape his past and become the man whose words and actions shook the world.


September 24 - 30, 2017


Each year, during the last week of September, libraries, booksellers, publishers, teachers, journalists and readers come together to celebrate our right to free and open access to information and the freedom to read what we choose. Banned Books Week serves to remind us of the harms of censorship by focusing on the instances where access to certain books was curtailed. Book challenges occur in communities when individuals or government bodies seek to remove or restrict access to books in schools or libraries due to their content or language. Over the years, many books have been challenged or banned - some that are now considered classics. And it has happened here! So stand (or sit) for your rights - Read a Banned Book!

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.





Metro Detroit Book and Author Luncheon - Monday, October 17, 2017

The next Metro Detroit Book and Author Society Luncheon will be held on Monday, October 17 at the Burton Manor in Livonia. Ticket sales began on September 5, by phone at 586-685-5750, ext. 102 or online at Tickets sales will end on October 13. Featured authors this fall are Chris Bohjalian, Heather Ann Thompson, Claire Messud, and Drew Philp.

The Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society was created for the sole purpose of presenting a luncheon featuring major national authors. The Society strives to present top national authors in a comfortable, casual setting, with an opportunity to buy signed books and meet the authors. Guest authors have included Bonnie Jo Campbell, David Maraniss, Steven King, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Connelly, Greg Isles, Kathy Reich, Erik Larson, C.J. Box, Randy Wayne White, and Debbie Macomber

The Metro-Detroit Book & Author luncheons are considered one of the largest and best one-day author events in the country.



A Portrait of Jane Austen

This year, 2017, marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen in 1817. Join the
Jane Austenwpcb9d9dc5 05 06 Society of Michigan in celebrating her life and writing here at the Library on Sunday, September 24 at 2pmAustensibility, a play by Alan Richardson, features a dramatic reading based on the biography by Austen's nephew and her own surviving letters. Excerpts from Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Emma and Persuasion will also be highlighted.







This month celebrates both the heritage and important influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans on our nation's experience and culture. Hispanic Heritage Month begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period. The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

To explore the experiences of Hispanic Americans, consider books from 2017 Top Ten "New" Latino Authors to Watch (and Read), a list compiled by the website, The site was created by two professors of Latino literature to serve as a resource for faculties, students, and readers who are interested in "literature written by the largest minority group in the U.S."




2manbookerThe 2017 shortlist: 

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) 
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) 
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK)

Literary award season is upon us - the selection committee for the Man Booker Prize, England's most prestigious book award, announced its shortlisted titles today. This will be the fourth year that American authors are eligilble since a rules change that allows any book written in English, from anywhere in the world, to be considered. This list of 6, whittled from the longlist of 13, is an even split between three British and three US writers. The ultimate winner of the Man Booker Prize (and recipient of about $66,000) will be announced on October 17, 2017.


X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
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Plymouth patrons will once again join hundreds of communities across the state participating in the Great Michigan Read 2017 -18, the statewide one-book reading initiative sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, by reading X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon. The Great Michigan Read aims to connect us as Michiganians by deepening our understanding of our state, our society, and our humanity.

X A NovelX: A Novel is a tale of reinivention and redemption. A fictionalized account of the early years of Malcolm X, the novel written by his third daughter, explores the Michigan roots of young Malcolm LIttle and the experiences, both good and bad, that molded him into one of the most prominent leaders of the 20th century. Malcolm was a young man with boundless potential but with the odds stacked against him. After losing his father and his mother, he fell into a life of petty crime and eventually went to prison. Instead of letting prison be his downfall, he found his religion and his voice, and his dedication to the emerging Civil Rights movement.


Read with us – join the conversation:

Activities at PDL will include two book discussions of X: A Novel: the Contemporary Books Discussion Group will meet on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m and Brown Bag Books will meet on November 22 at noon. All are invited for lively conversations about this thought-provoking book. No registration is necessary to participate. Copies of the book will be available for check-out at the Library. Reader’s Guides will also be available.

Learn More about the Life of Malcolm X:

On Saturday, October 28 at 1pm, PDL will screen the 1992 biographical movie, Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington in the title role. The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam, his marriage, the re-evaluation of his views about race relations, and his assassination in 1965. Denzel Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Outlander, Season Three

Voyager tv tie inLast night, September 10, Season Three of the popular time-traveling series based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon, began airing on the Starz network. This set of episodes is based on the third and fourth books in Gabaldon's multi-volume story, Voyager and Drums of Autumn, and continues the adventures of Claire Randall, a modern woman who travels back in time to Scotland in the 1700's. This season finds Claire and her Scottish husband, Jamie, separated by both distance and time. Claire has returned to the 1940's, pregnant with Jamie's child and believing that Jamie has died in the battle of Culloden. Upon discovering that he is still alive, she is torn between returning to him or staying with their daughter in her own era. Needless to say, the lovers will be reunited, although not without complications.

It: A Novel

itanovelStephen King's 1986 supernatural/horror novel gets the big screen treatment in a film scheduled to open this week, starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. (The book has been adapted once before for a 1990 televsion mini-series.) The story revolves around a predatory alien shapeshifter which has the ability to transform itself into its prey's worst fears, allowing it to exploit the phobias of its victims. It mostly takes the form of a sadistic, wisecracking clown called Pennywise. Seven children in Derry, Maine, known as The Lucky Seven, or The Losers Club, discover Pennywise when other children begin disappearing from town, and vow to destroy him by any means necessary. The action takes place over two different time periods, the first when the Losers first discover Pennywise as children, and the second when they're called back as adults to defeat Pennywise, who has resurfaced. King's 22nd book won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and The World Fantasy Awards the same year. Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in the U.S. in 1986.

28 New Fiction Books To Add To Your Must-Read List This Fall


Now that Labor Day is upon us, the cooler, shorter days of Fall are not far behind. Yes, the first day of Autumn is offcially September 22, but you can start planning your Fall reading list now. HuffPost columnist Claire Fallon has assembled a list of Fall must-reads for our review, with lots great titles and authors to try. It's almost worth the sadness of summer's end.

"There is no friend as loyal as a book.”  (Ernest Hemingway)

bookofsummerSeptember 6 is National Read A Book Day. A day dedicated to the copious pleasures of a good book - what's not to love? Celebrate by reading alone or with others, in your favorite chair or in a new secluded spot, by hosting a book exchange or going to a different bookstore or library, try preparing a meal based on a book - the possibilities are endless. Reading is a good way to learn about other times, other places, and many things - it also improves memory and relieves stress.

Take some time to enjoy the written word. It's a great way to spend a day.

NBF17 Poster April sm17th Library of Congress National Book Festival

Saturday, September 2, 2017 — More than 100 Authors and Presenters

The 17th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Former first lady Laura Bush founded the festival in 2000, when it was held on the National Mall. Over its 16-year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States. History, science, food, graphic novels, mysteries, thrillers, biographies, and children's and teen literature are among the genres to be showcased. Denis Johnson, author of the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Jesus’ Son and the novel Tree of Smoke, will posthumously receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during this year's festival.

Can't attend? You can view videos and listen to podcasts of the events at the Festival website.

Sci Fi's Best:

hugoawardThe winners of the 2017 Hugo Awards were announced Friday, August 11, 2017 at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, which was held in Helsinki, Finalnd this year. The Hugos, among the most prestigious of sci-fi awards, honor excellence in science fiction writing annually in several categories.                                                     obeliskgate


Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin  

With this novel, Jemisin continues her trilogy which began with the Hugo Award winner, The Fifth Season, about the Broken Earth, a world beset by violent geological upheaval. Each new catastrophic occurrence, whether volcanic or seismic, is called a Season, and the constant disruption has rendered the civilization there equally turbulent. A caste system oppresses the populace and science and magic both are employed to make sense of the continuing devastation. In The Fifth Season, Essun, a small town school teacher with special powers, began a journey to reunite with her husband, who has murdered their son and fled with their daughter, before the end of the world. As the story continues, Essun has found relative safety but not her daughter. Instead she has encountered her old mentor, Alabaster, who asks her aid in saving their civilization. While Essun and Alabaster struggle to save the world, Essun's daughter travels with her father and begins to demonstrate her own powers to influence the world's geologic instability. "The epic journeys of mother and daughter through this dying realm are dynamic and emotional. Jemisin's follow-up to The Fifth Season is exceptional. Those who anxiously awaited this sequel will find the only problem is that the wait must begin again once the last page is turned." (Library Journal)

Shooting the Sun by Max Byrd

shootingthesunCharles Babbage was an English genius of legendary eccentricity. He invented the cowcatcher and the ophthalmoscope. He was an expert lock picker, he wrote a ballet, he pursued a vendetta against London organ-grinders that made him the laughingstock of Europe. And all his life he was in desperate need of enormous sums of money to build his fabled reasoning machine, the Difference Engine, the first digital computer in history. To publicize his Engine, Babbage sponsors a private astronomical expedition in 1840, with a party of four men and one remarkable woman, astronomer Selena Cott, who will set out from Washington City and travel by wagon train two thousand miles west, beyond the last known outposts of civilization. Their ostensible purpose is to observe and document a total eclipse of the sun predicted by Babbage’s computer, and to photograph it with the newly invented camera of Louis Daguerre. The actual purpose, however, is to find Babbage's rich uncle who is reported to be living with the Kiowas. But nothing is what it seems: eclipses have minds of their own, and even the best computer cannot predict treachery, greed, and the fickle passions of the human heart.


New Book Club Kits

BookClubKitNew titles are being added to the Book Club Kit Collection. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book, plus discussion questions, author interviews, and other literary commentary to enhance your book discussions. The kits can be checked out for 8 weeks and you can reserve a kit ahead of time to fit into your group's meeting schedule. A complete list of available Kits can be found on the Library webpage under Services/Book Clubs. 



handmaidstaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The basis for the critically acclaimed HULU series, this dystopian novel, set in the near future, describes life in what once was the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to -- even gone beyond -- the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans. Offred is a Handmaid who may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant because she is only valued as long as her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

homegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle's dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast's booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.



lilacgirlsLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939--and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents--from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland--as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.


nightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front.  She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth; While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely; But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.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.



commonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.


summerbeforethewarThe Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master. When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking--and attractive--than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha's reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.






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Adult Summer Reading 2017

393 adult readers earned prizes this summer through the Adult Summer Reading Program -  just for reading and using the Library's resources.

Great job and congratulations! Way to build a better summer!

Thanks to all to for playing Bingo or logging book selections online.  We hope you had fun.

September 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 September:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng

littlefiresFrom the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights,Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs: the little fires everywhere that eventually torch the family home. "Shaker Heights native Ng writes what she knows into a magnificent, multilayered epic that's perfect for eager readers and destined for major award lists." (Library Journal)


The 10 Best Fiction Books Coming Out in August

As we approach the dog days of summer, the book reviewers at Bustle remind us that there's more beach reading to be done. As reviewer Melissa Ragsdale comments, "So don't let these final days of summer go to waste. Settle in to your favorite reading spot, and get ready to tear into some fantastic new reads."

You might try these or others on the list:

ifthecreekIf The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That's long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby. Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline...if she can just figure out how to use it. "This striking debut novel takes you to Baines Creek, a small, battered Appalachian town filled with poverty and secrets. ...(Sadie's) story is told through the many different people within the town, and each voice adds another layer to the portrait of their community." (Bustle)




strangerA Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
One day, Tom returns home to find that his wife, Karen, has vanished--her car's gone and it seems she left in a rush.Then the  police arrive to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.She's mostly okay--except that she can't remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something's been moved. Something's not quite right. Someone's been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions."... (a) fast-paced, engrossing psychological thriller..." (Library Journal)




stay with meStay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university in Nigeria. But four years into their marriage, Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time--until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin's second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does--but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine."Recently short-listed for the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, Adebayo's work makes a blazing entry onto the list of young, talented writers from Nigeria. Readers who pick up this debut novel will not put it down until they've finished." (Library Journal)

miracleon5thOn July 27, the Romance Writers of America, the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2017 RITA Awards. Named after Rita Clay Estrada, the first president of the RWA, the awards are given each year to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. Winners are named in several different categories and presented with a golden statuette. This year's list of honorees includes Sarah Morgan, for her novel, Miracle on 5th Avenue, in the Contemporary Romance Category. This Christmas romance, part of Morgan's From Manhattan with Love series, strands hopeless romantic Eva Jordan in grieving writer Lucas Blade's Manhattan penthouse during the blizzard of the century. Library Journal's verdict: "Sexy, touching, and often hilarious,.."

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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!


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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.

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 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)

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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)


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


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)

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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 for more information.





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.


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

"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


Man Booker International Prize 2017

horsewalksA Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen

On June 14, Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and chair of the Man Booker International Prize judging panel, announced the winner of this global fiction prize for work written in a language other than English, at an awards ceremony in London. The Man Booker International Prize honors both the author andt he translator of a single work translated into English with £50,000 (about $63,000).

Israeli author Grossman tells the story of the life of a stand-up comic, as revealed in the course of one evening's performance. In a little dive in a small Israeli city, Dov Greenstein, a comedian a bit past his prime, is doing a night of stand-up. In the audience is a district court justice, Avishai Lazar, whom Dov knew as a boy, along with a few others who remember Dov as an awkward, scrawny kid who walked on his hands to confound the neighborhood bullies. Gradually, as it teeters between hilarity and hysteria, Dov's patter becomes a kind of memoir, taking us back into the terrors of his childhood where we meet his beautiful mother, a Holocaust survivor in need of constant monitoring, and his punishing father, a striver who had little understanding of his creative son. Finally, recalling his week at a military camp for youth--where Lazar witnessed what would become the central event of Dov's childhood--Dov describes the indescribable while Lazar wrestles with his own part in the comedian's story of loss and survival.
Barley explained the panel's choice in a statement issued before the ceremony, "David Grossman has attempted an ambitious high-wire act of a novel, and he’s pulled it off spectacularly. We were bowled over by Grossman’s willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: Every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.” Library Journal's reviewer concluded, "Grossman brings real humanity to this heart-wrenching and well-written novel, offering insight into one man's psychological makeup and how society has damaged him. An excellent translation; highly recommended"

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Adult Summer Reading 2017 began on June 1 - 

Have you grabbed/printed your Bingo sheet
signed up online to create your account?

Start reading for fun and prizes.

Our program runs from June 1 to August 7

Build a Better Summer !


July 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 July:

                          The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

lyinggameFrom the bestselling author of the blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10a chilling new summer read.
One morning,three women in and around London--Fatima, Thea, and Isabel--receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, "I need you." The four girls had been best friends fifteen years earlier, at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. They were the misfits, notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty. Their lies were sometimes believable and sometimes flippant, but disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The complicated rules of the game were strict: no lying to each other - ever. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school's eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happened to be Kate's father). "Alternating between the past and present, Ware builds up a rock-solid cast of intriguing characters and spins a mystery that will keep readers turning pages to the end." (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Times Book Review: Summer Reading

0604 BKS Horror master768 v3This Sunday's New York Times Book Review section focuses on summer reading with lists and reviews of all kinds of recent books: thrillers, travel sagas cookbooks, graphic novels, true crime stories, nature tales, horror novels, and chronicles of the music industry. With titles like Everything is Flammable, A Single Spy, and City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris - how could anyone's summer be boring?

iStock SummerReading XSmallThe Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer every year, and like cookouts, graduations,and weddings, summer reading lists and recommendations pop up as the weather warms. Media outlets, whether print, online, blog, or broadcast, create lists of best summer reads filled with non-fiction, fiction, beach reads and how-to books. The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, and more have all weighed in with selections for your summer reading pleasure. This should help you find a good book to take on vacation (or help you with your Build a Better World Bingo).

Nebula Award Winners Announced

nebulaawardlogoThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the winners  of the2016 Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. Nominees are named in the best novel, novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, and young adult categories, and the voting takes place throughout March. The winners were honored at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh on May 20.



Best Novel:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

allthebirds When Patricia Delfine was six years old, a wounded bird led her deep into the forest to the Parliament of Birds, where she met the Great Tree and was asked a question that would determine the course of her life. When Laurence Armstead was in grade school, he cobbled together a wristwatch-sized device that could send its wearer two seconds into the future. Now they're both grown up, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's ever-growing ailments. Neither Laurence nor Patricia can keep pace with the speed at which things fall apart. But something bigger than either of them, something begun deep in their childhoods, is determined to bring them together. And will. -  Booklist's reviewer was prescient back in 2016: "...Patricia and Laurence, friends, enemies, and potential lovers, are thrust into a maelstrom of world-ending change. Anders' knock-your-socks-off blend of science and magic will be a strong contender for science fiction and fantasy awards, appealing to not only genre fans but also those looking for great literary reads." (Booklist)

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Adult Summer Reading 2017 begins June 1

Two Ways to Play:

Library Bingo

PDL’s Adult Summer Reading Program, featuring the popular Library Bingo game, will be back again this summer. Starting in June, adults will have the chance to win prizes for reading and discovering the Library’s many resources. Complete five boxes in a row on the Bingo form to earn prizes, like Penn movie tickets and certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants. Bingo forms will be available in the Library and online at No registration is required – grab a bingo sheet and begin!


Online Adult Summer Reading Log

Bingo not your thing? Try the Online Adult Summer Reading Program.

Sign up at to create your adult summer reading account, then read five (5) books of your choice and list the titles on your online log. When you’ve finished your five, stop by the Library to pick up your final prize. Prizes include certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants and Penn movie tickets. You can start reading on June 1 and continue until August 7.

login buttonAlready Registered for the Online Program?  
Click on the button to log in & record your books.


June 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 June 2017:

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

MagpieMurdersblog 196x300When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan Conway s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job. Conway's latest tale has Atticus investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she's convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder. But the ending seems to be missing - and to top it off, Conway has committed suicide. As Susan searches for the missing chapter, she begins to suspect that Conway's death was no suicide."Bestseller Horowitz (The House of Silk) provides a treat for fans of golden age mysteries with this tour de force that both honors and pokes fun at the genre." (Publishers Weekly)

PaletteIt's a good time for art fans!  The DIA Inside|Out Program is here in Plymouth, providing a perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy high-quality reproductions of the DIA's masterpieces.  If that's not enough to satisfy your thirst for fine art (or if the outdoors isn't your thing - I understand, I have allergies, too) the Guggenheim Museum has recently made 200+ art books from their collection freely available online via the Internet Archive! And, of course, there are books to check out at the library!  Look in non-fiction, in the 700s.



PatintingsThatRevolutionizedArtThe Paintings That Revolutionized Art

Art history is filled with paintings that shocked, intrigued, enraged, and mystified their audiences - paintings that exemplified the period in which they were created and forever changed the way we think. Here, 100 examples of these icons of art are presented in beautiful, high-quality reproductions. Each double-page spread features comparative illustrations and details as well as engaging texts that explain why the painting belongs in the pantheon of world-changing art.



StarWarsArtStar Wars Art : Posters

Few pieces of artwork distill the passion for Star Wars as do posters. From Tom Jung's iconic one-sheet for Episode IV to Roger Kastel's Gone with the Wind -inspired painting for Episode V and beyond, Star Wars has enjoyed nearly four decades of poster art from some of the most renowned artists working in movies. Star Wars Art: Posters collects the best artwork from all six Star Wars films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series, and limited-edition prints. This collection unites all of the action, artistry, and drama of a galaxy far, far away into one lavishly produced tome.



ArtInTheStreetsArt In The Streets

Highlighting the connection between graffiti and street art and other vibrant subcultures, such as those that developed around Hip Hop in the Bronx and skateboarding in Southern California, Art in the Streets explores parallel movements in dance and music.  Included are a chronology that traces the street art movement from 1941, and biographies of 60 or so artists/key players.

agathabanner home

The Agatha Awards, named for the genre’s legendary practitioner, Agatha Christie, are sponsored by Malice Domestic, a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating traditional mysteries. The group’s Web site defines these books as “mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence. Materials generally classified as "hard-boiled" are not appropriate." To be eligible, a mystery novel must have been published by a living author during the calender year of 2016. Prizes were awarded on April 29, 2017 during the organization's annual convention.


Best Contemporary Novel:

 A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

greatreckoningIn Penny's 12th book in her popular series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, retired head of the homicide department of the Sûreté du Québec, Gamache is appointed to a new job: head of the Sûreté Academy du Québec, the police school. He is charged with cleaning up decades of entrenched corruption with the goal of transforming the young cadets into honest cops. Of course, the most crooked professor at the school is soon murdered while in possession of a copy of an ancient map of Three Pines, the remote village where Gamache lives. Suspicion falls on Gamache, and the cadets loyal to him, as as a tangle of past and present connections among the characters comes to light. The search for answers leads Gamache back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own secrets. In order to clear himself, he must find the killer before another person dies. "This riveting read, with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot, will keep readers guessing until the last page." (Library Journal).

onceinagreatcityOnce in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss

Meet the Author: Tickets still available

Readers are  invited to hear the author, David Maraniss, speak  when he appears at Maraniss The Community House, Birmingham, on Monday May 22, 2016 at 7 p.m., and Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield, on Tuesday, May 23 at 7p.m. Tickets are free, but in limited quantity, contact the Library at 734.453.0750, ext.4 for ticket availability.

This year, Everyone’s Reading is again partnering with the Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA will host David Maraniss at 11am on Tuesday, May 23 at the museum. Tickets are free and can be ordered by calling 313.833.4005 or at



MentalHealthMonthSince 1949, Mental Health America has led the observance of May Is Mental Health Month in order to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, the realities of living with mental illness, and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. You can visit their website for more information, or check out one of the library's many books about mental health.



FamilyGuideThe Family Guide to Mental Health Care 
The Family Guide to Mental Health Care is the first comprehensive print resource for the millions of people who have loved ones suffering from some kind of mental illness. In this book, families can find the answers to their most urgent questions.  Real-life scenarios and authoritative information are written in a compassionate, reader-friendly way, including checklists to bring to a doctor's appointment so you can ask the right questions. For readers who fear they will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, this book gives hope and a path forward.



NoOneCaresNo One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America 
New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.  A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.




UnderstandingSuicideUnderstanding Suicide: A National Epidemic
What causes people to take their lives? How can suicides be prevented? Author Connie Goldsmith examines common risk factors of suicide, including mental illness, substance abuse, and bullying, and discusses health care resources to help prevent suicide and coping strategies for those struggling in the wake of a loved one's suicide.




InfectiousMadnessInfectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness 
In Infectious Madness, Washington presents the new germ theory, which posits not only that many instances of Alzheimer's, OCD, and schizophrenia are caused by viruses, prions, and bacteria, but also that with antibiotics, vaccinations, and other strategies, these cases can be easily prevented or treated. Packed with cutting-edge research and tantalizing mysteries, Infectious Madness is rich in science, characters, and practical advice on how to protect yourself and your children from exposure to infectious threats that could sabotage your mental and physical health.

2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards


On April 27, at their 71st annual banquet in New York, The Mystery Writers of America presented the Edgar Allan Poe Awards honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2016.


BeforeTheFallBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, eleven people depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--a down-on-his-luck painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.  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 inextricable ties that bind us together.


undertheharrowUnder the Harrow by Flynn Berry

When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel's familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder. Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can't return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can't trust them to find her sister's killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora's fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.




FilmReelThese movies are coming soon to a theater near you!  Why not read the book before seeing it on the big screen?




TheCircleThe Circle by Dave Eggers
Coming to Theaters April 28
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

TheDinnerThe Dinner by Herman Koch
Coming to Theaters May 5
It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse—the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

EverythingEverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Coming to Theaters May 19
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. Everything, Everything will make you laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. It's an innovative,  inspiring, and heartbreakingly romantic debut novel that unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.
This 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 May 2017:
“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” -Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

MichiganNotableEach year the Library of Michigan publishes the Michigan Notable Books list, featuring 20 books, published the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. Selections include nonfiction and fiction books that appeal to a variety of audiences and cover various topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents. Click here to see the full list.




 CharmBraceletThe Charm Bracelet: A Novel by Viola Shipman

The Charm Bracelet revolves around a keepsake bracelet owned by an elderly grandmother named Lolly.  Each charm is a marker for a family memory that she fears will go unknown by her daughter and granddaughter.  Shipman has written a story of love, family and the importance of connectivity, one that spans multiple generations of Michigan history and vividly evokes the sun-kissed beauty of summers in Northern Michigan.





Children of the New World: Stories by Alexander Weinstein

Children of the New World is a collection of stories set in a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarming robots.  Many of the characters live in a utopian future of instant connection, while others inhabit a post-collapse primitive landscape. In his writing, Weinstein explores the potential responses to the new technologies that will shape society in an all-too-plausible future.



 GreatLakesGreat Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure by Maureen Dunphy

In her book, author Maureen Dunphy explores in depth over 30 of the islands in the Great Lakes Basin.  Featuring those accessible by bridge or ferry, she introduces more than 50 additional islands in the United States and Canada.  Each chapter provides information about getting to the islands, what to expect when you get there, the island’s history, and what natural, historical, and cultural sites are available.



TerrorTerror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that Shocked Depression-era Detroit by Tom Stanton

In Terror in the City of Champions, Stanton weaves a tale of history, crime and sports in Depression-era Detroit.  A true story involving athletes, criminals, industrialists, a priest and two future presidents, the sweeping saga is set in a city occupied by the Black Legion, a Klan-like group.  While sports in Detroit flourished, so did the Legion, which boasted tens of thousands of members across the Midwest.  Not a story of the humble and unemployed, this is a story of sports and crime gone large.

PulitzerThe Pulitzer Prize is for more than just journalists - it is one of the most coveted awards in the literary world.  Since 1917, the Pulitzer has been granted to the best and brightest writers.  Recipients earn a place in history with great minds like Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and Harper Lee.  Take a look at some of this year’s winners! You can also to go to view a full list of the winners and watch the announcement video.




Winner in Fiction

UndergroundRailroadThe Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.  In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.  The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.


Winner in History

BloodInTheWaterBlood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon)

On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed.  On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice.


Winner in Poetry

OlioOlio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.


Winner in General Nonfiction

EvictedEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality--and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

poetrymonthIn 1996, April was declared National Poetry Month. Each year, the Academy of American Poets celebrates both the rich history of poetry, and modern poets working wonders with language in today's world. Celebrate the valuable contribution poets make to American culture by checking out one of the many books of poetry you can find at the library. They like to hide in non-fiction, in the 800s. You can also visit to find more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, read poems, and sign up for their poem-a-day service, where you'll get a poem delivered straight your inbox every day.


PoetryInMichiganInPoetryPoetry in Michigan in Poetry
This anthology gathers an intriguing range of poets, their visions and voices. The poems as a whole, in one way or another, explore the variances in Michigan landscape; shoreline; lives lived in the city, town, and countryside; our uncommon diversity of cultures, points of view, concerns, celebrations, losses, and histories.




MadeinDetroitMade in Detroit : poems
In her trademark style, combining the sublime with the gritty, Marge Piercy presents poems that range from descriptions of the Detroit of her childhood to her current life on Cape Cod, from deep appreciations of the natural world to elegies for lost friends and relationships, from a vision of her Jewish heritage to a hard-hitting take on today’s political ironies.





PoetsCornerThe Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family
William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud." This unique package provides a multimedia poetry experience with a bonus MP3 CD of revelatory poetry readings by John and the familiar voices of such notable performers as Eileen Atkins, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Billy Connolly, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Lynn Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Gary Sinise, and Sam Waterston.




BestPoemsEnglishLanguageThe Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost
This comprehensive anthology attempts to give the common reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The book features a large introductory essay by Harold Bloom called "The Art of Reading Poetry," which presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to the reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves most. In the case of all major poets in the language, this volume offers either the entire range of what is most valuable in their work, or vital selections that illuminate each figure′s contribution.

Renowned musician Bob Dylan is finally set to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature this weekend, after declining to accept the award in October.  Unfortunately for fans, no media will be present for the acceptance, but we can still enjoy the music and lyrics that the Swedish Academy saw fit to honor with the Nobel Prize, and learn more about the life of the iconic American artist.


TheLyricsThe Lyrics: 1961-2012
A beautiful, comprehensive volume of Dylan’s lyrics, from the beginning of his career through the present day—with the songwriter’s edits to dozens of songs, appearing here for the first time.




Chronicles1Chronicles. Volume one
The celebrated first memoir from arguably the most influential singer-songwriter in the country, Bob Dylan.  “I’d come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else.”  So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career.





BobDylanAmericanTroubadorBob Dylan : American troubadour
In Bob Dylan: American Troubadour, Donald Brown follows the shifting versions of Dylan, from his songs of conscientious social involvement to more personal exploratory songs; from his influential rock albums of the mid-'60s to the refreshingly vital albums he has been producing in the 21st century. Each chapter addresses a particular phase of Dylan's career, taking its cue from events in Dylan's life and from the collective experiences that shaped the times.

MWAlogo Each spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre.  Check out this year's nominees for Best Novel, and check back on April 27th to find out who wins!






TheExThe Ex by Alafair Burke

Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago.An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel.  Days later, after his best friend posts a message on a popular website on his behalf, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.  Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiance, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

WhereItHurtsWhere It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Retired Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy thought he had the world all: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver for the run-down hotel in which he has a room, Gus has settled into a mindless, soulless routine that barely keeps his grief at arm’s length. But Gus’s comfortable waking trance comes to an end when ex-con Tommy Delcamino asks him for help. Four months earlier, Tommy’s son T.J.’s battered body was discovered in a wooded lot, yet the Suffolk County PD doesn’t seem interested in pursuing the killers. As he begins to sweep away the layers of dust that have collected over the case during the intervening months, Gus finds that Tommy was telling the truth. It seems that everyone involved with the late T.J Delcamino has something to hide, and all are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep it hidden. It’s a dangerous favor Gus has taken on as he claws his way back to take a place among the living, while searching through the sewers for a killer.


JaneSteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

In this clever reimagining of Jane Eyre, sensitive orphan Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.  Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: Can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?


WhatRemainsofMeWhat Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

On June 28, 1980—the hottest night of the year—Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home...And instantly becomes a media sensation, her chilling smile fodder for national nightmares. For years, speculation swirls over the enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives, information she’s refused to share. Convicted of the murder, she loses her youth and her freedom—but keeps her secrets to herself.  Thirty years later—and five years after her release from prison—the past has come back to haunt Kelly. Her father-in-law, movie legend Sterling Marshall, is found in a pool of blood in his home in the Hollywood Hills—dead from a shot to the head, just like his old friend John McFadden.  Once again, Kelly is suspected of the high profile murder. But this time, she’s got some unexpected allies who believe she’s innocent—of both killings—and want to help her clear her name. But is she?


BeforeTheFallBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, eleven people depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--a down-on-his-luck painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.  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 inextricable ties that bind us together.

April 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 April 2017:

Anything Is Possible: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout

Anything Is PossibleHere are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

Once In a Great City: A Detroit Story  by David Maraniss     

onceinagreatcityIn April and May, the Plymouth District Library will participate in Everyone’s Reading, the one-book community reading program sponsored by Metro Detroit public libraries in Oakland and Wayne counties. Everyone’s Reading promotes public dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book with friends, neighbors, and community members.

This year’s selection is Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss, a 2016 Michigan Notable Book set in 1963 when Detroit was on top of the world. The city’s leaders were among the most visionary in America. It was the American automakers’ best year (think Mustang); the revolution in popular music (think Motown) and progressive politics was under way. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class. But while the era was full of promise, Maraniss shows that shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect and white flight. Before people trotted out the litany of rust belt infirmities--from harsh weather to high labor costs--and competition from abroad to explain Detroit's collapse. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.Using a combination of historical eyewitness reports and sketches of larger-than-life figures, Pulitzer-winning reporter Maraniss draws a sprawling portrait of Detroit at a pivotal moment when it was "dying and thriving at the same time." (Booklist)


Read with us – and join the conversation:

There will be two book discussions of Once in a Great City at the Library. The Brown Bag Books Discussion Group will meet on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at noon and the Contemporary Books Discussion Group will meet on May 9, 2017 at 7:30p.m. No registration is necessary to participate. Copies of Once in a Great City can be checked out at the Library; reading guides will also be available.

Meet the Author:

Readers are also invited to hear the author, David Maraniss, speak about Once In a Great City and Detroit history when he appears at Maraniss The Community House, Birmingham, on Monday May 22, 2016 at 7 p.m., and Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield, on Tuesday, May 23 at 7p.m. Tickets are free, but in limited quantity, contact the Library at 734.453.0750, ext.4 for ticket availability.

This year, Everyone’s Reading is again partnering with the Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA will host David Maraniss at 11am on Tuesday, May 23 at the museum. Tickets are free and can be ordered by calling 313.833.4005 or at

March is Women's History Month

NWHP-Logo-smallWomen's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as "Women's History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress designated the month of March as "Women's History Month" in perpetuity to highlight the achievements of women and their contributions to intellectual and social progress throughout human history.

(Historical content and image courtesy of the National Women's History Project and the Library of Congress.)



Discover some fascinating females:



spyThe Spy by Paul Coelho
After divorcing her abusive husband, Margarethe Zelle arrived in Paris penniless. Within months, and now known as Mata Hari, her stage name, she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a exotic dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era's richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari's lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of spying for Germany. Though probably innocent, she was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917. It has been claimed by historians that Mata Hari was never an important spy but "an independent woman, a divorcee, a citizen of a neutral country, a courtesan and a dancer, which made her a perfect scapegoat for the French, who were then losing the war."



charlotteCharlotte by David Foenkinos
Obsessed with art, and with living, German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon attended school in Germany until it was too dangerous to remain. In 1938 she fled to France, and was interned in a bleak work camp from which she narrowly escaped. Newly free, she spent two years hiding in the south of France, in almost total solitude, creating a series of autobiographical artworks--over 700 painnings, images, words, even musical scores--that together tell her life story. A pregnant Charlotte was killed in Auschwitz at the age of 26, but not before she entrusted her life's work to a friend, who kept it safe until peacetime. Her paintings and other art were first exhibited in 1960 and in 1971 the collection was placed in the care of the Joods Historisch Museum, (Jewish Historical Museum) Amsterdam. An exhibition at the London Royal Academy in 1998 was an unexpected sensation, helped by the publication of a complete catalogue.



2016 Nebula Award Nominees Announced

nebulaawardlogoThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the finalists for the 2016 Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. Nominees are named in the best novel, novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, and young adult categories, and the voting takes place throughout March. The winners will receive their prizes during the 51st Nebula Awards Weekend in May.

Best Novel Nominees:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Borderline by Mishell Baker

                                            The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin 

                                            Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee 

                                            Everfair by Nisi Shawl 

  • (SFWA® and Nebula Awards® are registered trademarks of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.)

oscarBooks to Movies - 89th Academy Awards

On Sunday, February 26, Hollywood royalty will be parading and posing on the red carpet just before the annual awards show which will bestow honors on films made in 2016, and the actors and personnel who created them. Many of the Oscar-nominated films are based on books, both fiction and non-fiction.

And the books/nominees are:

Arrival - based on Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Elle - based on Oh by Philippe Djian

Fences by August Wilson

Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, by Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees

HIdden Figures,The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Life Animated - based on Life Animated A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind

Lion - based on A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

Nocturnal Animals - based on Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

I am not your Negro - based on Remember This House by James Baldwin

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Sully - based on Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger

Rogue One, A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed

Silence by Shusaku Endo

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander/J. K. Rowling




    George Orwell's 1984 is Suddenly a Bestseller

1984 60th anniversary edition 1The New York Times reports that Orwell's classic about a future world where a totalitarian government controls not only the news but also the thoughts of its citizens has seen an uptick in sales in the past month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list. The publisher, Penguin USA, has ordered more copies printed, explaining that demand picked up after an advisor to President Trump referred to "alternative facts" during an interview on Meet the Press. The phrase reminded readers of several terms created by Orwell to describe the manipulation of information by the ruling regime, words like "newspeak," and "doublethink." According to a London editor for Penguin Books, dystopian novels are "chiming with people" right now. Other classic futuristic novels, like The Man in the High Castle by Philip Dick,  Orwell's Animal Farm, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood are also resonating with readers uneasy over recent current events. Sales have surged for each along with another older book, It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, about "a bellicose presidential candidate who runs on a populist platform in the United States but turns out to be a fascist demagogue." (New York Times). The speculation is that readers are turning to these older books as sources for understanding the dramatic political changes taking place now, or for comfort in the fact that "things could be worse."

 March 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 March 2017:

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

twelvelivesSamuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo's a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife's hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.She also grows more and more curious about the death of the mother she never knew. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents' lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that's darker than she could have known, the demons of her father's past spill over into the present--and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come. "This is a convincingly redemptive and celebratory novel: an affirmation of the way that heroism and human fallibility coexist, of how good parenting comes in unexpected packages, and of the way that we are marked by our encounters with each other and the luminous universe in which we dwell." (Publishers Weekly)


"We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." 
                                                                 (Maya Angelou)

Initially started in 1926 as Negro History Week, the commemoration of the struggles and achievements of African Americans in America was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since has proclaimed February as African American History Month in order to honor the importance of contributions made by African American citizens to our society. Several months ago, on September 24, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution, opened to the public amid rave reviews. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The museum has welcomed over 750,000 visitors since the opening, with passes still somewhat difficult to get.

Literature is another way to examine the African American experience; African American authors have made major contributions to our collective culture and national discourse. You can explore these contributions in recent books:

homegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Winner of the fourth annual John Leonard Prize, (at the National Book Awards) for an outstanding first book in any genre, Gyasi's novel is the tale of two half-sisters born in 18th century Ghana who experience vastly different lives. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned in the castle's dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, the saga examines the impact of the slave trade on each generation of the sisters' families.


lazerettoLazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
The Lazaretto hospital, located on an island in the Delaware River,  is a crucible of life and death; sick passengers and corpses are quarantined here, but this is also the place where immigrants take their first steps toward the American dream. The live-in staff are mostly black Philadelphians, who have created a strong community there, and when two of them arrange to marry, the city's black citizens prepare for a party on the grounds. But the celebration is plunged into chaos when gunshots ring out across the river. A white man has fired at a boat carrying the couple’s friends and family to the island, and the captain is injured. His life lies in the hands of Sylvia, the Lazaretto’s head nurse, who is shocked to realize she knows the patient. "This latest of McKinney-Whetstone's completely engaging novels, (is) a unique blend of poetic language and graphic depictions of the injustices suffered by African Americans in the post-Civil War period." (Booklist)


charcoaljoeCharcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley
In L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins finds his life in transition. He's ready--finally--to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he's taken the money he got from his last case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford "Whisper" Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy's friend Mouse requests a favor and introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man's dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order. This is no small favour. It's going to be Easy's deadliest investigation yet.


anotherbrooklynAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Running into a long-ago friend sets memories from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything--until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they roamed the neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant--a part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion. Woodson heartbreakingly illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood, when precious innocence meets the all-too-real perils of growing up. A National Book Award finalist.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2017

books2017The website POPSUGAR has issued the challenge: to expand and diversify your reading for the new year, try the list of 40 prompts guaranteed to help you find books you might otherwise overlook. As the site explains, "the reading challenge is made up of a variety of ideas to mix up your reading choices. ... Maybe you'll even discover a new favoirite book by trying something unexpected." The list is fun and fanciful, starting with a book recommended by a librarian, and including a book with a red spine, a steampunk novel, a book with a cat on the cover, a book set during wartime, a book set in a hotel, a book of letters, a book with multiple authors, a book set around a holiday other than Christmas, a book that is a story within a story, a book involving a mythical creature, and a book set in two different time periods. Check out the rest of the list here. You can also join the Goodreads group for people participating in the challenge and join the book discussions there. Consider challenging your book group or friends to complete the list - it's another great way to find that next great read.



January 2 is National Science Fiction Day

Why January 2nd?  It's the birthday of Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), the preeminent and prolific science fiction author and master of "hard science fiction." Best known for his Foundation and Robot (I, Robot) series, Asimov published over 500 books over his long career and won every science fiction award possible. Asimov's work influenced generations of science fiction writers and was instrumental in elevating the genre from the fringe of pulp magazines to the literary mainstream.

lostandthefoundIn honor of the day, why not try another of the canonical writers of American science fiction? Literary icon Ursula Le Guin, winner of scores of science fiction writing awards, one of the few women to be named Grandmaster of Science Fiction, and the recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014, has issued a collection of her novellas this year: The Found and the Lost : the collected novellas of Ursula K. LeGuin. The volume contains 13 of Le Guin's novellas with an introduction by the author. "With this astonishing volume, Le Guin demonstrates that she is just as relevant and thought-provoking as ever. No former knowledge of her works is necessary to delve into this remarkable writing, just an open mind with a desire to be filled. Pair this with the reissued The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin, and the author's many admirers will be in heaven." (Library Journal)

Sherlock: Season 4

The long-awaited new season of Sherlock, the contemporary adaptation loosely based on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, begins with the first of three episodes on Sunday January 1, on PBS. The last season ended with Watson's wedding, Mary's pregnancy, and Sherlock's seeming banishment from England. But is Moriarty still alive? As the show's press release puts it. "Season four begins with the mercurial Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), back once more on British soil as Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman) and his wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) prepare for their biggest challenge yet: becoming parents. ...Ghosts of the past are rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and terror and tragedy are looming. This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning and it’s about to reach its climax.”

Want to do a deeper dive into Sherlockian lore?

bigbookThe Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories by Otto Penzler, editor
Billed as the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled, this anthology contains 83 stories, pastiches, parodies, and mysteries, all based on the great tales by Arthur Conan Doyle. Published over a span of more than a hundred years, the selections feature pitch-perfect cases by acclaimed modern-day Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes, Kingsley Amis) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Colin Dexter); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries A. A. Milne, James M. Barrie, and O. Henry, not to mention genre-bending cases by science-fiction greats Poul Anderson and Michael Moorcock. "This is the only book of its kind to collect so many pastiches dedicated to Holmes, 83 total. Fans of the fictional detective will find great joy in this tome." (Library Journal)

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

princessdiaristActresss and author Carrie Fisher passed away Tuesday, December postcards27 after a heart attack late last week. Born in Hollywood to celebrity parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she was brought up in the entertainment industry, working on stage and in movies as a teenager. Best known (and loved) for portraying the competent and spirited Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher was also an accomplished screenwriter, author, and humorist. She published five novels, numerous screenplays, and several memoirs, all punctuated with her characteristic wit and irreverence. Her comic, semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards From the Edge, was adapted for film and starred Meryl Streep as the troubled daughter of a famous actress mother. Fisher's most recent book, a memoir, The Princess Diarist, was published this year with the juicy details of her experiences during the filming of the Star Wars movies. In her book Wishful Drinking, she suggested her own epitaph,"I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra," which was based on a discussion with George Lucas about why Princess Leia could not wear a bra in space (lack of gravity). The New York Times memorialized Fisher as "a Princess, a Rebel, and a Brave Comic Voice."



wreathMiracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan                                       miracleon5th
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this festive fairy tale of New York. Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to decorate a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. The owner, bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade, is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings.. "Sexy, touching, and often hilarious,.." (Library Journal)




Now (or soon) playing:

tony and susanNocturnal Animals/Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
This thriller is based on Wright's 1993 novel which wasn't a huge hit when first published, but got fresh life in a later reprint that caught director Tom Ford's attention. The story starts with Susan Morrow, who left her first husband, Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer, fifteen years ago. Now, she's enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor's wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine.  As the Hastings' ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously and violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, reflecting on her life with Tony and the collapse of their marriage. The film stars Amy Adams, and Jake Gyllenhaal.


silenceSilence by Shusaku Endo
Director Martin Scorcese labored for years to bring this 1966 novel to the screen. Endo's tale is set in seventeenth-century Japan where two Portuguese Jesuit priests, seeking their mentor, travel to a country hostile to their religion, as feudal lords force the Christian faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs. Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century and the book garnered critical praise when published. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson and opens on December 23.

live by nightLive by Night by Dennis Lehane
Written and produced by Ben Affleck, and based on Lehane's 2012 crime novel, this film is scheduled for a limited opening on December 25. Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone) has written an historical, set in the 1920s and 1930s, with the story following Joe Coughlin, the prodigal son of a Boston police captain. During Prohibition, Joe  defies his strict law-and-order upbringing to climb the ladder of organized crime as a bootlegger, rum-runner, and later a gangster, as he moves from Boston to Florida and then to Cuba where he settles down, marries, and builds a criminal empire in the illegal rum trade. However, nothing lasts forever amid a dangerous cast of characters who are all fighting for their piece of the American dream. The film stars Affleck and Elle Fanning.



New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016

stackofbooksAlthough The New York Times Book Review editors have already issued their "Best" lists (100 Notable Books of 2016, Ten Best Books of 2016), the three daily book critics, Michiko Kakutani, Dwight Garner, and Jennifer Senior, plus contributor Janet Maslin, have compiled their own lists of favorites out of the approximately 250 books they reviewed this year. Described as "the fiction and nonfiction books that most moved, excited and enlightened them in 2016," the lists offer a wide-ranging collection of reading material.

On Janet Maslin's list:

iqIQ by Joe Ide
A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.They call him IQ, short for Isaiah Quintabe. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his polite, unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. This time, it's a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. Maslin's take: "This is the start of a brand-new comedic crime franchise with a bright future. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ for short) is an unlikely Sherlock, an incongruously polite cogitator operating out of gangsta turf in East Long Beach, Calif. ... This series is a Los Angeles classic right from the start."



eggnog murderEggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and wreathBarbara Ross

"Three terrific tales of yuletide murder in coastal Maine" (Booklist)

Eggnog Murder: When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog--allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club--proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker's Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who's stirring up trouble.

Death by Eggnog: Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor's grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal--and suspicious--allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it's up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

Nogged off: Julia Snowden's tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named "Killer Eggnog" gives all her co-workers food poisoning. then her boyfriend's body shows up in Julia's truck as she's headed back to Busman's Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

 "These three tales of deadly eggnog will make you pause before indulging in the holiday treat. ... This collection of short cozy mysteries set in Maine and featuring delicious recipes serves as a great introduction to these authors' series for new readers or as a bite-sized delicacy to tide established fans over until the next book." (Library Journal)



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

rogueoneThe first of Lucasfilm's Star Wars Anthology standalone movies opens later this week, on December 16. Rogue One, a prequel of sorts, is set shortly before the events of the first of the original Star Wars films, now re-titled Star Wars: Episode IV–A New Hope. The plot follows an unikely group of Rebels, led by young Jyn Erso, who attempt to steal the plans to the Empire's new megaweapon, the Death Star. (These would be the same plans that Princess Leia hides in the droid R2D2 at the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope.) The official website explains,"This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves." As Jyn says, "This is a rebellion, isn't it? I rebel."


To bring you up to light-speed about the development of the catalystDeath Star, a tie-in novel, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno, was released on November 25. This installment takes place a few years before Rogue One starts, and follows brilliant scientist/inventor Galen Erso as he tries to prevent the use of his research for the creation of the Death Star while protecting his wife and daughter (Jyn) from the wrath of the Emperor.

The movie tie-in novelization, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed, featuring new scenes and expanded material, will be released  on December 20, 2016.


May the Force be with us.



January 2017 LibraryReads List

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 January 2017:

girlbeforeThe Girl Before by JP Delaney
Alternating between two times periods, this psychological thriller tells the stories of two women and one house. After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space--and to its aloof but seductive architect. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before. "... a masterfully crafted spellbinder... The tables turn, and turn again, and the ending is guaranteed to both astonish and satisfy the reader." (Booklist)

The book is already in development for a film adaptation to be directed by Ron Howard.



Jewish Book Month (November 24-December 24) began in 1925
in a library in Boston where a librarian set up a jewishcouncildisplay of Jewish-themed books. Other communities across the county adopted the custom in what was known as Jewish Book Week. In 1943, the celebration was extended to a month-long observance each year in the month before Hanukkah as a way of promoting Jewish books nationwide. Jewish Book Month is a program sponsored by the Jewish Book Council which serves as the coordinating body of Jewish literary activity in North America in both general and Jewish venues.


Recent Jewish Fiction:

gameofqueensGame of Queens : A Novel of Vashti and Esther by India Edghill
Edghill breathes new life into the biblical story of Vashti and Esther, the two wives of King Ahasuerus of Persia. Vashti, one of the most beautiful women in the empire, lost her crown when she defied her husband. The King set her aside and commanded that the most beautiful maidens be sent to his court so he might choose a new queen. He set the queen's crown upon the head of the virtuous and beautiful Esther, a young Jewess, who later defied both king and law to save her people from a treacherous fate. "...Edghill's novel is a fresh, multivoiced approach to the celebrated tale of Purim. Richly textured, thrilling, and totally fascinating, this sweeping saga is sure to captivate readers across the board." (Booklist)


Judas by Amos Oz                                          judas
Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a young biblical scholar, is adrift in his life when he starts work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets. "The latest novel by prominent Israeli writer Oz folds a meditation on loyalty and loss into a tender coming-of-age story, and the result is touching and intellectually potent." (Booklist)


debtoftamarThe Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck
In 2002, thirty-two-year-old Selim Osman, the last descendant of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, flees Istanbul for New York. In a twist of fate, he meets Hannah, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an artist striving to understand the father she barely knows. Unaware that the connection they share goes back centuries, the two feel an immediate pull to one another. In 1544, as the Inquisition raged, young José Mendez escaped Portugal with the help of the Ottoman sultan, and made a new life in Istanbul. But when his own daughter secretly fell in love with the sultan's Muslim grandson, José found himself in a life-changing dilemma, one that would shape generations to come. From a sixteenth-century harem to a seaside village in the Holy Land, from Nazi-occupied Paris to modern-day Manhattan, Dweck weaves a spellbinding tapestry of love, history, and fate.


City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan                                         
cityofsecretsIn 1945, with no homes to return to, Jewish refugees by the tens of thousands set out for Palestine. Those who made it were hunted as illegals by the British authorities there and relied on the underground to shelter them; taking fake names, they blended with the population, joining the wildly different factions fighting for the independence of Israel.  One survivor, Brand, drives a taxi provided--like his new identity--by the underground. Alone, haunted by memories, he tries to become again the man he was before the war and falls in love with Eva, a fellow survivor and member of his cell. As he reclaims his faith, and commits himself to the revolution, he accepts secret missions that grow more and more dangerous even as he begins to suspect he's being used by their dashing leader, Asher.






A Christmas Carol: The Original Manuscript Edition by Charles Dickens

christmascarol2A first-ever trade edition of the original manuscript of the beloved Christmas classic about Scrooge and the Christmas ghosts who visit him on Christmas Eve. Every year at the holidays, the historic Morgan Library & Museum in Manhattan displays one of the treasures of its collection: the original manuscript of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, with its detailed emendations, deletions, and insertions in Dickens's own hand. Here, for the first time in a beautiful trade edition, A Christmas Carol: The Original Manuscript Edition presents a facsimile of that invaluable manuscript, along with a typeset version of the story, a fascinating introduction by the Morgan's chief literary curator on the history of the story, and a new foreword by Colm Tóibín celebrating its timeless appeal.


And Not...

A Shoe Addict's Christmas by Beth Harbison

shoeaddictsNoelle is not a fan of the holidays and to make matters worse, she is at a crossroads in her life when it seems that love and adventure are no longer possible. When she stays late at her job in a department store on a snowy Christmas Eve she accidentally gets locked in after closing. She isn't too concerned about the prospect of spending the night in the store...until a woman appears out of nowhere and tells Noelle that she's her guardian angel. Soon Noelle finds herself camped out in the shoe department facing several "ghosts" of Christmases past, present, and future, all while surrounded by Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos, Chanel slippers, and Prada riding boots. "The visions of what could be convince Noelle to join her friend on a trip to Rome and finally stop avoiding her fate, which seems to involve a handsome guy named Jake. ... A fun and shoe-filled modern take on A Christmas Carol... (Library Journal)



75th logo 358x352National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7 marks the 75th Anniversary of the surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. Pacific fleet moored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 people were killed and dozens of Navy vessels were damaged or destroyed during the early morning attack in 1941. The devastating raid became a major catalyst for the entry of the United States into World War II. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress on December 8, he started his speech with the phrase that has been associated with this event ever since, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy..."


A Pearl Harbor story:

From Here to Eternity by James Jones                      fromheretoeternity
This modern classic was published in 1951 and won the National Book Award in 1952. Set in 1941, the novel focuses on several members of a U.S. Army infantry company stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The book was later made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra. Jones' book was a sensation when it was published - its language was shocking and the sexual themes and casual violence of the plot appalled many. Author James Ellroy summed up the book's significance in a 2009 NPR essay, "From Here to Eternity is a great American novel. It remains incandescent after 58 years. It gives us America then, and prophesies America's great and costly rise to power. It explodes with humanity and conspicuous acts of conscience. There has never been a novel like it, and there never will be."



2016LibraryReads banner2 favoritesLibraryReads is marking its third year anniversary by creating the third Favorites of Favorites list, with library staff voting on their top ten favorite books from the October 2015 through September 2016 lists. The Favorites of Favorites list takes the place of the traditional December list and is the result of online voting by over one thousand librarians.

So here are the top ten books that librarians across the country loved recommending in 2016:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty


Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson                        wreath

prettypaperSinger Willie Nelson has created a holiday novel from the lyrics of his popular 1963 Christmas song, Pretty Paper, about a crippled Texas street vendor selling Chistmas wrapping, pencils, and ribbons to make some money during the holiday shopping season. To attract customers, he would call out, "pretty paper, pretty paper." It's the early sixties and Willie Nelson is down and out, barely eking out a living as a singer-songwriter. The week before Christmas, he spots a legless man on a cart, selling wares in front of Leonard's Department Store in Fort Worth, Texas. The humble figure, by the name of Vernon Clay, piques Willie's curiosity, but Vernon is stubbornly private and--despite Willie's charming queries--has no interest in telling his story. Willie is tenacious, though, and he eventually learns that Vernon is a fellow musician, a fine guitarist and singer. When Vernon disappears, he leaves behind only a diary, which tells an epic tale of life-altering tragedies, broken hearts, and crooked record men, not to mention backroad honky-tonks, down-home cooking, and country songwriting genius. Deeply moved and spurred on by Vernon's pages, Willie aims to give the man one last shot at redemption and a chance to embody the holiday spirit. "This charming but, alas, fictional memoir takes us back to the early years of famed singer/songwriter Willie Nelson. ...It's such a touching story, moving without the cloying sweetness that plagues so many would-be inspirational tales that we find ourselves wishing it had actually happened. Nelson, who has always told wonderful stories in song form, proves he can be just as effective in print narrative."(Booklist)



Colorful 2016 PNG Clipart Image


It's that time of year - the "Best Books" lists of 2016 are multiplying. It seems that every day another media source, whether newspaper, magazine, TV show, blogger, celebrity, or pundit, prints, publishes or posts a "Best Books of 2016" list.

So far, there's the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2016, Amazon Editors Top 100, Kirkus Reviews Best FictionPublishers Weekly Best of 2016, LibraryReads Favorites of Favorites and The Washington Post's Top Ten, and there will be more. Enough lists to keep us all amused for awhile.



 The New York Times - 100 Notable Books of 2016

On November 23, The New York Times posted its list of this year's 100 notable books in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Many of the titles are those that are also included in other "Best" lists, but there are a few surprises.

dontletmybabyDon't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman
Maya Shulman and Alex Rubin met in 1992, when she was a Ukrainian exchange student with a dream of becoming a chef instead of a medical worker, and he the coddled son of Russian immigrants wanting to try a less predictable life. Twenty years later, Maya Rubin is a medical worker in suburban New Jersey, and Alex is his father's assistant in the family business. The only disruption in their lives is their eight-year-old son Max, adopted years before from two teenagers in Montana, who has recently developed behavioral problems. Searching for answers, (the only tip Max's biological mother left them was the instruction: "don't let my baby do rodeo,") Maya convinces Alex to embark on a cross-country trip to Montana to track down Max's birth parents--the first drive west of New Jersey of their American lives. But it's Maya who's transformed by the journey, with seismic consequences for herself and her family. "Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo,” the second novel by the tender, dolorous, sharp and funny writer Boris Fishman, is the story of an adopted child and an adopted country; it is a tale of what it means to be foreign. ... a joy to read." (New York Times)