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LibraryReads February 2014

February 14, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Librarians around the country have picked 10 favorites from among the books published in February and late January.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising

The next great read for those who loved The Hunger Games. This story has so much action, intrigue, social commentary and character development that the reader who never reads science fiction will happily overlook the fact that the story takes place on Mars far in the future. The characters are perfectly flawed, causing the reader to feel compassion and revulsion for both sides. Can’t wait for the next installment! — Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK

 

 

 

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now

 

Socially-awkward 40-year-old Bartholomew has lived with his mother all his life and has never held a job. When she succumbs to cancer, he channels her favorite actor, Richard Gere, to make her happy during her last days. Funny and sad, with moving, unsentimental prose and a quick, satisfying pace. Highly recommended. — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

 

 

 

 

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This Dark Road to Mercy

 

Cash’s second novel is as good as his first. In this story, we meet Easter and her sister Ruby, who have been shuffled around the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina. Then their ne’er-do-well father whisks them away in the middle of the night. I was on the edge of my seat as I followed the girls’ tale and hoping for a safe outcome. Fans of A Land More Kind Than Home will enjoy this book as well. — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

 

 

 

The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir

The Martian: A Novel

 

An edge-of-your seat debut thriller with laugh-out-loud dialogue mixed in. After a bad storm cuts his team’s Mars mission short, injured astronaut Mark Watley is stranded. Now he’s got to figure out how to survive without air, shelter, food, or water on the harsh Martian landscape until the next manned mission in four years. It’s Science Fiction with a capital S, but Weir does a fabulous job of making it accessible to non-science geeks (like me). — Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

 

 

 

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

After I’m Gone

 

So much fun to read. In Lippman’s newest book, bookie Felix Brewer goes missing just before his indictment because he can’t stand the thought of spending years in prison. He leaves behind a wife, three young daughters, a mistress, and Burt, his best friend and attorney. Enter retired police detective Sandy Bayard who works as a consultant on cold cases. A delicious bon bon! — Anne Lee, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

 

 

 

 

Ripper by Isabel Allende

Ripper

 

Allende does an amazing job of developing characters in this taut, suspenseful literary thriller. The story has a lightning-fast denouement, and the mystery is artfully styled to keep the reader guessing. — Amanda Viana, Norton Public Library, Norton, MA

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

A cargo ship sailing from New York to Italy is discovered empty and drifting near Gibraltar in the 1870s. The mystery brings grief to two Massachusetts seafaring families and ignites the public’s imagination, including one Arthur Conan Doyle, who authors a fantastical magazine piece that purports to be an account by the ship’s doctor. Crossing time and space, this wide-ranging story proves Martin once again to be a master of the historical novel. — Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA

 

 

 

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

 

A captivating mystery, based on the real-life disappearance of New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater. Told through the voices of the three women closest to Judge Crater–his trophy wife, his beautiful maid, and his Broadway starlet mistress– this is excellent historical fiction, about the era of Prohibition and the culture of 1930s New York City. Riveting characters make for a quick and entertaining read. — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

 

 

 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter People

 

The small Vermont town of West Hall has been the scene of mysterious deaths, disappearances, and ghost sightings. The scattered pages of a turn-of-the-century diary relate the events that lead to a murder and the apparent beginning of all the trouble. Odd and intriguing clues emerge, and the final conclusion is thrilling. — Nancy Russell, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

 

 

 

E.E. Cummings: A Poet’s Life by Susan Cheever

E.E. Cummings: A Poet's Life

 

Cummings is a pivotal figure in the creation of modern verse, and Cheever conveys his journey with color, warmth, and understanding, especially his imprisonment in France during the First World War, his father’s death and his final reunion with his daughter. She leaves the reader with only one wish: to be a fly on the wall while the poet held forth to his friends. — Linda Jeffries-Summers, Howard County Library, Columbia, MD

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