Recommended Reads

Here you will find recommendations of all the great books that the library staff has put together.  Please check back often, we will be continuing to update with new ideas.    

Marvelous Mysteries

A hearty whodunit? A melodramatic mystery? Mystery mavens? Keen killers? Positive puzzle? Cunning conundrum? Diabolical detective? Whatever you are looking for these marvelous mysteries have it all!

 

One for the Money

Stephanie Plum Series, Book 1

by Janet Evanovich

Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie's opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.

 

She's a product of the "burg," a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.

 

Quiche of Death 

By M.C. Beaton, M.C. 

Book one of the Agatha Raisin series. It is now available on Acorn T.V

 

Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and settles in for an early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. But she soon finds her life of leisure isn't all it's cracked up to be.

 

Bored, lonely, and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when the judge, Mr. Cummings-Browne, not only snubs her entry but also falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth. . . .

 

Revenge With a Twist (Three Mystery Shorts)

by Anne Stephenson

 

From a deadly divorce in Bitter End to an “almost-perfect” crime in Bermuda Short, this collection delivers a fresh twist in every tale! And finally answers the question everyone’s been asking…Oscar Chump! “What’s that secret you’re keeping?”

 

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d

By Alan Bradley Flavia de Luce Mystery Series

In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia's blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar's wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man's body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It's amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one's spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.

 

Maisie Dobbs

By Jacqueline Winspear, book one of the Maisie Dobbs series.

 

The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found—and lost—an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.

 

New York Dead

By Stuart Woods, book one in the Stone Barrington series.

 

Everyone is always telling Stone Barrington that he's too smart to be a cop, but it's pure luck that places him on the streets in the dead of night, just in time to witness the horrifying incident that turns his life inside out. Suddenly he's on the front page of every New York newspaper, and his life is hopelessly entwined in the increasingly shocking life (and perhaps death) of Sasha Nijinsky, the country's hottest and most beautiful television anchorwoman.

 

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

by P. D. James, foreword by Val McDermid

 

. D. James's understanding of human nature illuminates each of these stories, making them ideal reading for the darkest days of the year. Each treats the reader to her masterfully atmospheric storytelling, a mystery to be solved, and enjoyable puzzles to keep the reader guessing. With wry humour, she pays tribute to her English crime-writing forebears, delighting in the secrets that lurk beneath the surface at enforced family gatherings and in old country houses—from the title story about a strained family reunion on Christmas Eve, to another about an illicit affair that ends in murder, and two cases that introduce James's poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh as a young detective sergeant.

 

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, book one of the League of Pensioners series.

 

Readers around the world have fallen in love with the Senior League, five residents of the Diamond Retirement Home—Martha, The Genius, The Rake, Christina and Anna-Greta—who turn to a life of crime.

 

Musical Musings

With so many artists providing at home online content these days it may be nice to learn more about their personal lives and stories. Getting a glimpse into someone you admire or may have never even heard of is a fun way to experience life from a different point of view.



The Band That Played On : the extraordinary story of the 8 musicians who went down with the Titanic
By Steve Turner

When Titanic collided with an iceberg at 23:40 on April 14, the 8 members of the band had already retired for the evening.  Still they put on overcoats and mufflers and came to the lounge to play.  They moved to the deck and continued to play, calming the passengers as the ship sank.  Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower into the sea.



Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories

By Randy Bachman

Randy Bachman has been rolling out chart-topping hits his whole life and since 2005, treating fans to a lifetime of stories on his hit CBC Radio show Randy’s Vinyl Tap.  His approach is always fresh--even the most hardcore music fans will be surprised by what they can learn from Randy.



Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

By Willie Nelson

In Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, Willie Nelson muses about his greatest influences and the things that are most important to him.  He celebrates the family, friends and colleagues who have blessed his remarkable journey.



Life is a Gift

By Tony Bennett

In this rich and beautiful memoir, the legendary, award winning singer takes us behind the scenes of his multi-platinum career.  Life is a Gift tells the stories of Bennett’s experiences in the music industry, what he learned and who he met along the way.



What You Want Is In The Limo : on the road with Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and the Who in 1973

By Michael Walker

An epic joyride through 3 history-making tours in 1973 that defined rock and roll superstardom--the money, the access, the excess--forevermore.



I’m Your Man : the life of Leonard Cohen 

By Sylvie Simmons

The definitive biography of one of the most enigmatic, beloved, and celebrated artists of our time.

Leonard Cohen's extensive and successful recent worldwide tour has demonstrated that his popularity across generations and borders has never been greater. Cohen's life is one of singular mystique. This major in-depth biography is the book Cohen's fans have been waiting for.



When I Left Home : my story

Buddy Guy and David Ritz (audio book)

When I Left Home tells Guy’s picaresque story in his own words, those of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.  Eric Clapton, John Mayer and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn agree that Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time.



Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust : my friendship with Patsy Cline

By Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton (audio book)

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust shares the never-before-told story of the remarkable relationship between legendary country queen Patsy Cline and country music icon Loretta Lynn.  

Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who’d be damned if they’d let men or convention tell them how to be.

Trendy Twenties

New Adult fiction bridges the gap between Young Adult and Adult genres. It typically features protagonists between the ages of 18 and 25 with the cap at 30ish.

 

The genre tends to focus on issues prevalent in the young adult genre as well as focusing on issues experienced by individuals between the area of childhood and adulthood, such as leaving home for university and getting a job.

 

New adult is typically considered a subcategory of adult literature rather than young adult literature. -Goodreads.com

 

Maybe Someday

By Colleen Hoover

At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She's in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she's forced to decide what her next move should be.


Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there's something about Sydney that Ridge can't ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.


A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney's tumultuous world from the very first page.


The Unhoneymooners

By Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

 

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren't affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there's a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

 

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn't mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

 

 

A court of thorns and roses

By Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.


As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

 

 

 

 

The hating game

By Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person's undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can't understand Joshua's joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy's overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job...But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn't hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


 

 

Beautiful Disaster

By Jamie McGuire

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis's apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


On Dublin Street

By Samantha Young


Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. He knows she has a past, one that has made her skittish about getting into a relationship, so he proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, Braden decides he won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her...down to the very soul.


Losing it

By Cora Carmack


Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible—a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half a brain would ever believe.

And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor.

She'd left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. . . .

Taking Chances
By Molly McAdams

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit, she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate's brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she'd be happy.



All Ages Audio: eAudiobooks for the whole family

With these suggested titles you can start your own “Family Book Club”. Reading along with each other can spark conversations between family members and questions or opinions that otherwise might not have been shared. Reading together can be a fun activity and something that may motivate ‘non-readers’. On Overdrive and Libby the ebook is often available for check-out as well; pairing them together could add an extra element to this engaging idea.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

By J.K Rowling



Thanks to #HarryPotterAtHome, fans can return to the first year at Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid and all your favourite witches and wizards. Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 By Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling



The all new movies are based on the tales in this book read by Newt Scamander himself, actor Eddie Redmayne. A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander's masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world.


Airborn 

by Kenneth Oppel



Matt Cruise was born in the air and he works on an airship like his father before him. When a wealthy young lady boards the ship determined to find the mysterious flying creatures in her grandfather's notebook the only thing standing in their way are PIRATES!


Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief 

by Rick Riordan.


The title that started this wildly popular series: Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he’s not even sure he believes himself.


Anne of Green Gables 

by L.M. Montgomery

 

A full cast BBC dramatisation of Prince Edward Island’s fiery, red-haired orphan girl, Anne with an E, and her new life in Avonlea. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert have sent to the orphanage for a boy. So when a skinny, red-haired girl turns up, she is not quite what they had in mind. Anne Shirley soon sets the quiet island community of Avonlea talking of little else. With her incessant chatter and intense imagination, things are never dull with Anne - in fact, they are frequently fiery. But slowly the islanders realise that beneath the quicksilver tongue and the red-headed temper is a little girl with a heart of gold, who brings a much-needed warmth and vitality to the community.


The Spiderwick Chronicles 

by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black


This fun audiobook series is read by Mark Hamill (Star Wars' Luke Skywalker)! The Grace Kids—twins Jared and Simon and their older sister, Mallory—aren't all that impressed with the ramshackle old mansion their mother moves them to when their decidedly kooky Great Aunt Lucinda is sent to an asylum. But a series of mysterious events within the house leads the three young Graces to an old book filled with hand drawn pictures of all kinds of fantastic creatures. Jared believes the book holds the key to all the freaky goings on (for which he has been blamed).


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane 

by Kate DiCamillo.

"Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . ." Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.


Little House in the Big Woods 

by Laura Ingalls Wilder


The book that started it all! Little House in the Big Woods is the first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's treasured Little House series, which is based on her life growing up as an American pioneer. Told from four-year-old Laura's point-of-view, this story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her family celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

 

 Racy Romance 

Are you looking for some spicy and robust fiction? Here is a list of lively risque reads that will excite and stimulate your craving for some variety. Time to be naughty and dive into a new author or series! Shake it up and enjoy.

 

What Happened in Vegas

By Sylvia Day

It happened in Vegas...

A sizzling encounter that turned into a scorching biweekly affair. How he'd ended up in bed with a woman like Robin was still a mystery to Paul. One minute they were riding the same elevator and the next he was riding her, the attraction so fierce and immediate he couldn't remember how they reached his room or even shed their clothes. But when Robin suggested they take their relationship to the next level, Paul panicked, prompting her to walk out on him with her head held high and his heart in her hands. Four months later, he's got her in an elevator again, ready and willing, but with her emotions tucked safely away. He's got one shot to prove that what happened in Vegas can happen anywhere in the world, for the rest of their lives.

 

Second Chances

By Lauren Dane

Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now she’s back, older, stronger and finally loving herself—and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams…and her adult fantasies.

Jude can’t believe the sexy, confident woman before him is actually Rori! She’s gotten under his skin like no other woman has…and brings out secret desires he can’t resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.

Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she’s in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he’s lost his chance forever…

 

Submissive

By Tara Sue Me

Abby King has a secret fantasy…

New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he's more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel to fulfill her most hidden desires.

After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel's terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby's willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.

As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel's heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving…

 

Entwined

By Colette Gale

When not-as-proper-as-one-would-think Victorian woman Jane Clemons convinces her father to take her on an expedition in the jungle, her only goal is to find her lover Jonathan, who disappeared three years earlier. She and her father, along with Jonathan’s trusted friend Kellan Darkdale, set off on their journey.

But shortly after their party arrives on the coast of Madagascar, Jane finds herself enthralled not only by the freedom and beauty of the lush jungle, but a reclusive wild man who seems to be fascinated by her.

 

Colter’s Woman

By Maya Banks

Adam, Ethan, and Ryan aren't looking for women. They're looking for a woman. One woman they know will share their lives and their beds. They're losing hope they'll find her, that is until Adam discovers Holly lying in the snow just yards from their cabin. Adam knows she's the one the minute he holds her in his arms, and as soon as his brothers see her, they know it too. The only problem is convincing Holly of that fact—and protecting her from the danger of her past.

 

Venetian Love

By Normandie Alleman

In Venice, Allison Fox will find love in the arms of two men. Her past collides with her future in a battle for her heart. Which one will win?

Travelling to Venice to be the maid of honour in her best friend's wedding sounds like a great vacation, and a romantic way to spend Valentine's Day. But when Allison Fox discovers who the best man is, she is torn between duty and self-preservation.

It has taken Allison four years to put her tumultuous relationship with the rodeo cowboy behind her. A violent incident ripped them apart. Now Allison must find a way to face her past and find closure with her old flame. But will she be able to put the past behind her?

Cole is the Texas cowboy who has never gotten over his love for Allison. But when he declares his love for her after all this time, is she strong enough to walk away from the intense passion they share?

For years Nico, a handsome Italian, was committed to nothing but his work. Nico never expected he would meet an American beauty who would awaken in him a desire to love again. Once he finds her, Nico vows to never let Allison go.

It will be a Valentine's Day to remember, but who will win Allison's heart?

 

Strong, Silent Type

By Lorelie James

Wyoming rancher Quinn McKay thought he'd only have to bide time until his level headed wife came to her senses and called a halt to this "trial separation". He never believed the marital rough patch would drag on for a coon's age.

Libby McKay knew when she married the gruff, laid-back cowboy that he wasn't prone to blathering about his feelings. But three months have passed and her stubborn-as-a-mule husband is still living by himself in the horse trailer. It seems he'd rather hold onto his pride than hold onto her.

Quinn realizes Libby is determined to move on if he doesn't loosen his tongue and he'll lose the only woman he's ever loved. In a last-ditch effort to keep her in his life, he offers her one weekend of uninterrupted sexual decadence.

Reigniting the passion is easy. The hard part comes after the sheets have cooled and they find out if what remains is strong enough to survive past mistakes.

 

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

By D.H Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's upper-class husband has been rendered paralyzed and impotent. She crosses class and gender boundaries when she takes her gamekeeper as a lover. The novel remained unpublished for thirty years in the UK because of its explicit discussion of sexuality.



Friction Fiction

Families...sometimes it feels like you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them? Parents have hopes and dreams for their child(ren), and they try to keep their kids from making mistakes, with good intentions--but sometimes it’s necessary to let go and let kids find their own way. Kids don’t always want to be managed, are finding themselves, are trying to please themselves, their parents, or others--it’s tough to go through all of the ups and downs of childhood and teenagehood. So many books deal with the theme of friction within families--because it’s just always a part of our lives!

 

Beartown 

By Fredrik Backman

Down by the lake in Beartown stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

 

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized, a town in turmoil and a family unable to cope with what has happened to them. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain--no matter how it affects her family and friends.

 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

By: Karen Joy Fowler

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I was raised with a chimpanzee," she explains. "I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion...she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister." As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence.

In We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date—a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.

 

Little fires everywhere

By: Celeste Ng

The book tells the story of a single mother, Mia Warren, who moves to the suburbs in Ohio with her teenage daughter, where they become involved with Elena Richardson and her picture-perfect family. While Mia is a free-spirited artist with a mysterious past, Elena is a stickler for the rules and status quo. The two families find themselves on opposing sides when a custody battle erupts over the adoption of a Chinese-American baby and the plot unfolds to explore the weight of secrets, the struggles of motherhood and the danger of always following the rules no matter the cost.

 

All my puny sorrows

By: Mirian Toews

This backlist offering from Miriam Toews, a Canadian author who is receiving attention for her new 2019 novel Women Talking, is another novel about what it means to love a struggling sibling. Elf and Yoli are two sisters who grew up in a Mennonite community in Winnipeg. Their family went against the grain, and as an adult, Elf is an acclaimed and glamorous pianist. Yoli is less successful–going through her second divorce and struggling to raise two teenagers–but it’s Elf’s struggles that dominate. Crippled by depression, she is determined to end her life. Yoli grapples with what it means to approach her sister with love and compassion, without being complicit in her plans. This book is by turns witty, sharply observant, and heartbreaking.

 

The almost sisters

By: Joshilyn Jackson

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

 

The house we grew up in

By: Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up In is a twisty family tale from one of my new favorite thriller authors, Lisa Jewell–except it’s not really a thriller, and I hadn’t even realized that Jewell was the author until I revisited this book. Her mastery of family and relationship intricacies is on point here, and as in her thrillers, there are secrets to untangle. But this book is more about family–a seemingly perfect English family that is torn apart by tragedy one Easter weekend. Years later, the scattered children return and are forced to face their mother’s mental illness and the truth of what happened that long-ago holiday.

 

The last romantics

By: Tara Conklin

Much of The Last Romantics hinges on the moments that define four siblings in childhood. Together, Renee, Caroline, Joe, and Fiona have the Pause. Following their father’s early death, their mother’s years-long retreat defined their relationships, cementing a lifelong closeness, sense of responsibility, and knowing of one another. But it’s the unknown traumas and struggles that sends each on their own paths into adulthood, paths that the others don’t understand–though they feel their connections should make understanding a given. Told over decades, The Last Romantics is a beautifully rendered portrait of complicated familial relationships, examining the nature of love, commitment, and the strength of those bonds even as what we know changes.

 

The All-girl Filling Station’s last reunion
By: Fannie Flagg

 

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother's past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

 

Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family's filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.

 

Families can be trying at times but they are a constant in our lives. They will be with us through thick and thin and we will be there for them in return. Ups and downs come and go, loved-ones are forever.

 

Uplifting Reads

In an ever-changing world, stress and tension levels are on the rise. Using our passion for reading can be a wonderful escape and a stress reliever. Here are a few titles that are light, funny or inspiring that may take us away, if only for a brief time, from the frenzied state of our lives.

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from award-winning comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you'll remember all the things there are to feel good about.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill By Abbi Waxman

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They're all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It's a disaster! And as if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn't he realize what a terrible idea that is?It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we've told ourselves so often we don't even hear them anymore.

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls.

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank novels are filled with smart and witty fiction that every reader wants on their bookshelf: soulful, edgy stories about realistic characters familiar to us all that explore the most deeply felt moments of life with wry humor and heart. All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple – prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman.  They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and in love for more than fourteen years.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Wildfloweris a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences she's had throughout her life. It includes tales of living in her first apartment as a teenager (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck under a gas station overhang on a cross-country road trip, saying good-bye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more journeys and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg

Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. "Resting place" turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town's Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Meet the dog who will show the world, how to be Human.

 

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.


Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.


This list will hopefully give you some reading inspiration and direction for your next escape. Whether it be sheltering-in-place, social distancing, or self-isolation it is a difficult adjustment and self-care is more important than ever.

Teen Tales

These books are about that time in everyone’s life when we’re trying to figure out where we belong and what kind of person we’re going to be. These stories include bravery, dystopia, virtual reality, fantasy, romance, as well as one inspiring non-fiction story of true determination and strength to overcome adversity. 

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little does anyone know, this bandit is, in fact, Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land, and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.

Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility—as well as win her heart.

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II's closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish that, if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. No nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed ... and a possible witch at that.

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family's safety, what other choice does he have?

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai


On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry

The Giver Quartet is a series of four books about a dystopian world by Lois Lowry. The quartet consists of The Giver (1993), Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012). The first book won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 10 million copies. The story takes place in the world of the Giver. Each book has a different protagonist, but is set in the same futuristic era.

Warcross duology by Marie Lu


For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

The Hybrid Chronicles trilogy by Kat Zhang

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally, Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

We are all looking for something, and maybe in these stories, you’ll find something of what you’re looking for. These books will take you to far off places and perhaps inspire you to view the world and the people in it a little differently. 

Classic Culture

A classic book endures. It has weathered social change and still drawn generations of readers to read and reread it for knowledge and pleasure. Titles of classic books are familiar to people of all ages and backgrounds, and their contents are discussed long beyond the lifetime of the author and the original intended audience. A classic book expands its readers’ horizons and provokes critical thought and reflection.


Macbeth by William Shakespeare



Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and one of his best-known plays. Often referred to as an archetypal tale, it warns against lust for power and the betrayal of friends. Shakespeare based the play loosely on a King Macbeth of Scotland. The play is traditionally considered "cursed", and thus many actors refer to it as "The Scottish Play" to avoid naming it.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


The book follows main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic society. Though the book's setting is uniquely turn of the 19th century, it remains a fascination of modern readership, continuing to remain at the top of lists titled "most loved books of all time", and receiving considerable attention from literary critics. 


Lord of the Flies by William Golding



Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results. Its stances on the already controversial subjects of human nature and individual welfare versus the common good.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.


The Colour Purple by Alice Walker



Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott



Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, it was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March—and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte



Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations; her time as the governess of Thornfield Manor, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family at Marsh's End (or Moor House) and Morton, where her cold clergyman-cousin St John Rivers proposes to her; and her reunion with and marriage to her beloved Rochester at his house of Ferndean. Partly autobiographical, the novel abounds with social criticism and sinister gothic elements.


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald



The Great Gatsby is a novel by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story takes place in 1922, during the Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity in the United States after World War I. The book received critical acclaim and is generally considered Fitzgerald's best work. It is also widely regarded as a "Great American Novel" and a literary classic, capturing the essence of an era. The Modern Library named it the second-best English language novel of the 20th century.



Perhaps you will see current society reflected in a classic book that you read. Maybe it will help you recognize a pattern within society that you’d like to challenge or change. Hopefully a book that has endured the test of time will help all of its readers feel more connected to others over the years and less alone in the daily struggles of modern life.

 

Best Sellers Book List

Blue titles have been purchased by the Gravenhurst Public Library. Click on the title to be taken to Overdrive

CBC - March 28th, 2020

Fiction

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Reproduction, Ian Williams

Obsidian by Thomas King

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

 

Non-fiction

From the Ashes, Jesse Thistle

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph

The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole

Talking to Strangers, Malcom Gladwell

Bush Runner by Mark Bourrie

One Drum by Richard Wagamese

Embers by Richard Wagamese

In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

 

New York Times Fiction - April 12th, 2020

Fiction

Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

The Boy From the Woods, Harlan Coben

American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins

The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel

In Five Years, Rebecca Serle

The Last Odyssey, James Rollins

The Sinner, J.R. Ward

The Mirror & The Light, Hilary Mantel

The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin Orbit

The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides

The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes

The Dutch House, Ann Patchett

My Dark Vanessa, Kate Elizabeth Russell

Blindside, James Patterson and James O. Born

Long Range, C.J. Box

 

Non-fiction

The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

Educated, Tara Westover

Lady in Waiting, Anne Glenconner

The Office, Andy Greene

The Mamba Mentality, Kobe Bryant

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Open Book, Jessica Simpson with Kevin Carr O’Leary

The Gift of Forgiveness, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

Talking to Strangers, Malcom Gladwell

The Upside of Being Down, Jen Gotch

The System, Robert B. Reich

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lorit Gottlieb

The Body, Bill Bryson

Unknown Valor, Martha MacCallum

Staff Book Reviews

The Wives

This psychological thriller gives readers a glimpse into the life of a married woman who knowingly shares her husband with two other nameless wives--and takes us on a journey with Thursday (the character’s name, which identifies the day she gets to see husband, Seth)  when she learns the name of Monday, the pregnant and youngest wife of Seth. Publisher’s Weekly praises author Tarryn Fisher for “smoothly insert[ing] moments of self-doubt, longing, paranoia, and triumph into her unsettling narrative as she draws the  reader into Thursday’s conflicted and increasingly complicated life”. Kirkus says Fisher is “a slick writer who keeps a tight rein on her lightning-fast plot [which makes] for salaciously satisfying reading.”Though many of us might be repulsed, at first glance, at Thursday’s chosen life, it isn’t hard to like her, nonetheless, and realize that she has gotten caught up in something she never saw coming. And then we start to doubt her. And then we’re just not sure about anything...

 

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