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LibraryReads July 2014

June 23, 2014 by Reader's Connection

KA-POW! KA-BAM! FAZZAROOOOM! KA-BANG! I’m setting off my own fireworks because the third book in The Last Policeman series is coming in July! Thank you, author Ben H. Winters, and thanks to Jenna Persick in Pennsylvania for cluing me in.


The color choices on this month’s LibraryReads map are not governed by the usual red state, blue state assignments. Forget about those for a minute and enjoy the patriotic display.


Landline by Rainbow Rowell



Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart. — Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL




One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One


A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer. — Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH



The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

The Black Hour


This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended. — Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI



The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling


The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read! — Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK





Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands


Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past. — Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA




World of Trouble: The Last Policeman, Book III by Ben H. Winters

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman, Book III


Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie. — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA




California: A Novel by Edan Lepucki

California: A Novel


Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction. — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH




Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal



In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt. — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA





The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee


A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful! — Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT






Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman

Dry Bones in the Valley


A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page. — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


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