August 27, 2013 by Reader's Connection
A new recommended reading list has appeared: LibraryReads! Library employees all over the U. S. will be picking ten favorite books from among those that are going to be published the next month. Here’s the September group.
Night Film: A Novel by Marisha Pessl
Scott McGrath has it all — a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter — until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova’s talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide — or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read in the noir tradition that cuts across genres.
–Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath’s journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell’s previous novel, Eleanor & Park.
–Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
The latest novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is as amazing as ever. The internal conflict within the Québec police force that has been building in the series comes to a head, prompting Gamache to retreat to the small town of Three Pines. The combination of fascinating mystery puzzles, exquisitely crafted characters, and gorgeous, gorgeous writing is irresistible.
Megan McArdle, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, CA
Help for the Haunted: A Novel by John Searles
Fourteen-year-old Sylvia slowly unravels deep family secrets after her demonologist parents are gunned down in a deserted church. Creepy, disturbing, and compelling, with gothic overtones and well-drawn characters, Help for the Haunted is definitely one of my favorite suspense novels of the year. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to older teens, and it would also make a terrific movie.
Robin Beerbower, Salem Public Library, Salem, OR
The Returned by Jason Mott
Around the world, people are coming back from the dead and trying to reunite with their loved ones. In a tiny Southern town, Harold and Lucille Hargrave are astonished to have their son Jacob come back to them fifty years after he died. A global government agency at first works to reunite “the returned” with their families, then later confines them as more and more people come back from the dead. A beautifully written exploration of love and family, community and responsibility, and a perfect book group selection.
–Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
Burial Rites: A Novel by Hannah Kent
Kent has created a first-rate debut novel with beautiful, lyrical passages and characters true to their historical counterparts. The unforgettable story finds convicted killer Agnes Magnúsdóttir awaiting execution and seeking both a reprieve from her dreadful sentence and the possibility of redemption. Burial Rites is an excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.
— Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA
Margot: A Novel by Jillian Cantor
Can you hide from your past and change who you are? If you try, what do you risk losing? This delicately written novel proposes an alternate fate for Anne Frank’s sister: Margot Frank survives the war, moves to Philadelphia, finds work as a law secretary and assumes the identity ‘Margie Franklin.’ But when the movie version of The Diary of a Young Girl is released and the law firm takes on the case of a Holocaust survivor, Margot’s past and Margie’s carefully constructed present collide. This great book will appeal to reading groups and fans of alternative history, what-if novels and character-centered fiction.
— Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC
Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel by Jamie Ford
Fans of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet have been eagerly anticipating Ford’s new book. Set in 1920s Seattle, this is the moving story of a young Chinese-American woman who becomes pregnant by her stepfather. With her stunning good looks and lovely voice, Liu supports herself through singing, but difficult circumstances force her to give up her son William for adoption. Flash forward several years: William spots a movie ad featuring the glamorous actress, Willow Frost. Convinced that Willow is his ah-ma, he escapes the orphanage, determined to find her. A memorable journey, and one well worth taking.
— Anne Lee, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Through exhaustive interviews and extensive research, Fink offers a spellbinding account of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster which held the staff, patients and families of a New Orleans hospital captive and left thousands of others marooned by rising flood waters in the heart of city. Filled with unforgettable life and death stories, Fink’s fine work of investigative journalism reads like a novel. The book causes you to rethink your opinions about end of life, do-not-resuscitate orders and medical ethics.
— Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI
A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett
Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unforgettable! This well-written memoir is a true testament to the strength of one woman’s spirit and her will to survive in unimaginable circumstances. The family issues that led Amanda Lindhout from her home in Canada to a life of world travel and a career in journalism are as richly detailed and compelling as the brutal account of her fifteen month-long captivity by Somali Islamist rebels in 2008. She tells her story with such vulnerability and honesty that it is a privilege to read it.
— Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT