Spotlight On…Self Help Classics You Never Got Around To Reading

RFPL has some great books to help you communicate, be creative, work on relationships, and contemplate your best self.

It’s great to keep up with all the newly released books, but there are some really great classic self-help books as well. You may recognize many on this list, but how many have you really read? Browse through and see if any of these self – help and motivational titles will help you reach your New Year’s goals.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. – publisher summary

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to earth and amnesia set in: they forgot they were from different planets.

Using this metaphor to illustrate the commonly occurring conflicts between men and women, Gray explains how these differences can come between the sexes and prohibit mutually fulfilling loving relationships. Based on years of successful counseling of couples, he gives advice on how to counteract these differences in communication styles, emotional needs and modes of behavior to promote a greater understanding between individual partners. – publisher summary

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together.- publisher summary

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

In the original Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. In the updated version, Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D., a nationally known author, lecturer, and consultant in human resources management and an expert in applying Hill’s thought, deftly interweaves anecdotes of how contemporary millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Dave Thomas, and Sir John Templeton, achieved their wealth. Outmoded or arcane terminology and examples are faithfully refreshed to preclude any stumbling blocks to a new generation of readers – publisher summary

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. –publisher summary

Also try: How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. –publisher summary

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, this book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator’s relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning;the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.– publisher summary

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

Most people are fearful of change because they don’t believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Spencer Johnson shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about change. – publisher summary

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams. – publisher summary

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The author describes his transition from despair to self-realization soon after his 29th birthday. Tolle took another ten years to understand this transformation, during which time he evolved a philosophy that has parallels in Buddhism, relaxation techniques, and meditation theory but is also eminently practical. In The Power of Now he shows readers how to recognize themselves as the creators of their own pain, and how to have a pain-free existence by living fully in the present. Accessing the deepest self, the true self, can be learned, he says, by freeing ourselves from the conflicting, unreasonable demands of the mind and living present, fully, and intensely, in the Now. – publisher summary

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

In The Four Agreements don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. – publisher summary


Let us know in the comments if any of these were helpful for you!

Spotlight: Announcing RFPL Staff’s 2014 Best Books of the Year!

For the second year in a row, we are pleased to present you with a list of our handpicked, best-of-the-year books from our fabulous staff. Curious to see last year’s picks? Click here.

Some favorites that appeared several times included The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

For each book, there is a brief description taken from the publisher or library catalog. The link will take you to our records, in many cases we own these books in print, audiobook, e-book and e-audiobook. Read one of our favorites, and then tell us how it was!

Comment with your favorite books of the year in the comments section– we’d love to hear from you!


  • Marriage and Civilization by William Tucker
    • Monogamous marriage built civilization; will its collapse destroy it? Documents the historical and anthropological story behind how monogamous, lifelong partnerships are the driving force behind the creation and rise of civilization.
  • The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
    • From the moment Chief Justice Roberts botched Barack Obama’s oath of office, the relationship between the Court and the White House has been a fraught one.  Jeffrey Toobin brilliantly portrays key personalities and cases and shows how the President was fatally slow to realize the importance of the judicial branch to his agenda.


  • The Goldfinch  by Donna Tartt
    • A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend’s family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 
    • A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide. This is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


  • Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
    • For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak
    • Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader


  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
    • Engaging the services of a miniaturist to furnish a cabinet-sized replica of her new home, 18-year-old Nella Oortman, the wife of an illustrious merchant trader, soon discovers that the artist’s tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    • A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.


  • The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French. First in series: In the Woods
    • Detective Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, investigate the murder of a 12-year-old girl near a Dublin suburb. The case resonates with similarities to a murder committed twenty years before that involved two children and the young Ryan.
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    • Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer’s acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.


  • We Were Liars by E.L. Lockhart
    • Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.
  • Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Phillips
    • A down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows finds herself trapped on a remote island off the coast of Maine with a sexy horror novelist who knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands.


  • The Visitors by Sally Beauman
    • Built around Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, this evocative novel. . . blends fact and fiction to recreate a lost world that’s still fiercely enthralling and relevant today
  • Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman
    • Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family.


  • Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming
    • British secret agent James Bond assumes the identity of a captured courier and solicits the help of gorgeous Tiffany Case, the diamond smugglers’ American go-between.
  • Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
    •  Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag’s first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the famous essays “Notes on Camp” and “Against Interpretation,” as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought.


  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
    • Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life.
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
    • Follows three mothers, each at a crossroads, and their potential involvement in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but which evidence shows might have been premeditated.


  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself
  • Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian
    • Living in an igloo of ice and trash bags half a year after a cataclysmic nuclear disaster, Emily, convinced that she will be hated as the daughter of the drunken father who caused the meltdown, assumes a fictional identity while protecting a homeless boy.

Mary Ann

  • The Circle by Dave Eggers
    • 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. 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.
  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
    • On November 14, 1889, two young female journalists raced against one another, determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero and circle the globe in less than 80 days. The dramatic race that ensued would span 28,000 miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors’ lives forever.


  • The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
    • When four twelve-year-olds, including Logan, who has grown up never leaving his parents’ Life Is Sweet candy factory, compete in the Confectionary Association’s annual contest, they unexpectedly become friends and uncover secrets about themselves during the process.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    • Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try


  • Grandmaster by David Klass
    • A father-son chess tournament reveals the dark side of the game
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
    • The Pickles are new to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town which legend says was once magic–but Felicity is convinced the magic is still there, and with the help of her new friend Jonah the Beedle she hopes to bring the magic back.


  • The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
    • Catalyzed by a nephew’s thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
    • A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore

Share your favorite books of 2014 in the comments below, or stop by the library and talk to us about your favorites!


Spotlight On: Modern Horror Novels Guaranteed to Leave Your Spine Tingling

Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Tell-Tale Heart are usually well-known to readers as classic horror stories, but where do you turn when you’ve already read all the classics? Here is a list of some modern horror novels that are guaranteed to leave your spine tingling!

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

An easy scare is accomplished through fear of the unknown; describing the noise of a rasping breath in an empty room, the screech of fingernails across a windowpane–the descriptions are vague enough to let your mind scramble to fill in the blanks. A more difficult feat is spooking your readers while showing them exactly what it is that they should be afraid of. Carroll’s lush and evocative artwork paired with her sparing, at times poetic, and always horrifying stories does just that. Through the Woods will leave you afraid, not of a nameless bogeyman, but of the images and creatures she conjures through her pen.

John Dies At the End by David Wong

“David Wong’s freakishly inventive monsters, alternate universes, and perverted humor can’t truly be served by special effects. At first, Wong (the pen name for online humorist Jason Pargin) published various short stories about the absurd exploits of main characters David and John, two college dropouts turned overmatched paranormal hunters. Riding mentally high on a brain-scrambling drug called “Soy Sauce,” the guys do battle with giant meat monsters (yes, uncooked hamburgers and other frozen beef), penis doorknobs, and talking dogs.

Though it may not be the scariest book, John Dies At The End is certainly the funniest, not to mention one of the most creative.” – Summary from Matt Barone of

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Author of the best-selling Gone Girl (now a movie!), Gillian Flynn blindsided horror readers in 2006 with her work Sharp Objects. “Flynn’s protagonist is Camille Parker, a newspaper reporter who once lived in an asylum, due to her obsession with self-cutting. She gets assigned a story that’s happening back in her hometown, where a young girl has gone missing and a killer is on the loose. And, as the bait-and-switch ending of Sharp Objects makes abundantly clear, Camille’s reality goes from unstable to painfully undesirable.” – Summary from Matt Barone of


Horns by Joe Hill (RFPL owns the eBook, but a print copy can be obtained through SWAN)

“We’ve all been there: After a night filled with more alcoholic beverages than one’s brain can handle, you wake up with a beastly hangover and no recollection of what happened before bedtime. But how would you react if that killer headache was compounded by a pair of pointy horns sticking out of your temples? You’d probably never sip on Hennessy ever again.

For Ig Parrish, the protagonist in Joe Hill’s heartfelt and devilish character studyHorns, his new built-in head accessories turn him into the world’s greatest listener: Everyone, in the presence of Ig’s horns, tells him their most fiendish desires, such as who they want to kill, and, in some cases, who they’ve already murdered. Which leads Ig on a chase to once and for all identify the person who left his girlfriend’s corpse lying in the woods.” – Summary by Matt Barone of

Weekly Spotlight On: London

This week Clarence House (the royal residence of Prince Charles) announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child. Follow Twitter hashtag #RoyalBaby to read more about what the world is saying about the news.

There will be plenty of news stories circulating again about the Royal family. RFPL has a good number of books about the British Monarchy and the history of London, so we are profiling some for you here!

Try some of our biographies on Kate. In print we have Kate Middleton: From Commoner to Ducchess of Cambridge by Kate Shoup. In ebook format we have Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nichol and Kate: the Making of Princess by Claudia Joseph. Or try some of our books about the marriage of William and Kate. (Click on the image of the book to be redirected to the catalog.)

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Looking for some books about London? Try some of these. Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth is a very popular memoir that was also adapted into a PBS TV show, about the author’s experience as a midwife in London’s East End in the 1950’s. Looking for a book about the pop culture of London in the 1960’s? Check out Ready, Steady, Go! by Shawn Levy. For a book of unique historical occurrences, try Bizarre London by David Long or London: The Secrets and the Splendour by Nicholas Yapp. (Click on the image of the book to be redirected to the catalog.)

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What is your favorite book about London or set in London?

Staff Reading Buzz: The Good Girl

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

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Recently, three of us here at RFPL (Dorothy, Genna, and Victoria) have read The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. It’s a great page-turning novel with some local appeal: it’s set in Chicago. It’s the story of a young woman who goes missing. She’s an inner-city teacher, and her parents are well-to-do: a Chicago judge and a socialite. This is a debut author and it’s got some great twists and turns! A great mystery/thriller kind of book. Watch the official book trailer from the company below:


Spotlight: Novel Translations

I recently read Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog and loved all the intricate details of Parisian lifestyle. The lives of the characters were a bit bleak, but the French also have different attitudes than we Americans do. So I found it to be very interesting and enlightening. Below is a list of other novels that have been translated from different languages. Hopefully these books can provide insight onto other cultures!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

elegance of the hedgehogTranslated from French.


This book takes place in a bourgeois apartment building in Paris, where Renee is the concierge. She is plain on the outside and hides the fact that she is very cultured and enjoys art and philsophy. One of the residents of the building, Paloma, is a 12 year old who is very intelligent but has decided that she wants to end her life on her 13th birthday. Paloma and Renee both hide their inner qualities, and this book explores that contradiction in a beautiful way.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

ruby redTranslated from German.

This teen novel tells the story of sixteen year old Gwyneth who has the gene for time-travel. She travels through 18th century and contemporary London with Gideon. This book is full of romance and fantasy.

  • 2013 Nominated Beehive Young Adults’ Book Award
  • 2014 Nominated Young Reader’s Choice Award


All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque


Translated from German.

This is a World War I story that was originally written in 1929. It tells of Paul, who enlists in the army. Along with other youthful soldiers, they discover that being a soldier is not as glorious as they expected. The book details the stressful conditions of war and the struggle to return to civilian life. Considered to be one of the great war stories.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

keeperlostTranslated from Danish.

This mystery is part of a series of books called Department Q. Chief detective Carl Mørck, delegated to cold cases after a gunshot wound, finds out he is now in charge of Department Q, which is in the basement. He comes across the case of a female politician who has been missing for five years.Read the book to find out if Carl can solve this “lost cause” case.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

alchemistTranslated from Portuguese.

This novel tells an allegorical story a boy who wants to travel through Andalusia, Spain. He has a dream about a child telling him to visit the Egyptian pyramids to find treasure there. All of Coehlo’s books feel very dreamy and mystical.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

kafkaTranslated from Japanese.

This story revolves around the characters Kafka Tamura, a runaway teenage boy, and Nakata, an older man with a wound from the war that won’t heal.

From the catalog: “Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle–yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.”

  • 2005 Won New York Times Notable Books of the Year
  • 2006 Won American Library Association Notable Books
  • 2006 Nominated Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
  • 2006 Nominated Book Sense Book of the Year
  • 2005 Nominated Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
  • 2006 Nominated World Fantasy Awards
  • 2005 Won New York Times Editors’ Choice

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paulo Giordano

solitudeprimeThis is translated from Italian.

It tells the story of Alice and Mattia, who have both experienced a childhood tragedy. The two meet as teens and discover in each other kindred spirits. Mattia and Alice are seperated for a while when Mattia takes a research position far away from Alice, but then are reunited. An international bestseller about loneliness and love.


Spotlight On: I Spy, You Spy, We All Spy…Books!

There are a number of great books out featuring stories of spies and other sleuths. There is something really captivating about people who spy on others. Here’s a list (of both new and old titles) to get you started with your sleuth-y reading.

The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird

good spyOn April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outside the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people.  The attack was a geopolitical turning point. It marked the beginning of Hezbollah as a political force, but even more important, it eliminated America’s most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East – CIA operative Robert Ames.  What set Ames apart from his peers was his extraordinary ability to form deep, meaningful connections with key Arab intelligence figures. Some operatives relied on threats and subterfuge, but Ames worked by building friendships and emphasizing shared values – never more notably than with Yasir Arafat’s charismatic intelligence chief and heir apparent Ali Hassan Salameh (aka “The Red Prince”). Ames’ deepening relationship with Salameh held the potential for a lasting peace.  Within a few years, though, both men were killed by assassins, and America’s relations with the Arab world began heading down a path that culminated in 9/11, the War on Terror, and the current fog of mistrust.

Bird, who as a child lived in the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor when he was twelve years old, spent years researching The Good Spy.  Not only does the book draw on hours of interviews with Ames’ widow, and quotes from hundreds of Ames’ private letters, it’s woven from interviews with scores of current and former American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officers as well as other players in the Middle East “Great Game.” – catalog summary

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris 

spyThis is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as achillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that “proved” Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. – from catalog summary

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

legacy of ashesFor the last sixty years, the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, burying its blunders in top-secret archives. Its mission was to know the world. When it did not succeed, it set out to change the world. Its failures have handed us, in the words of President Eisenhower, “a legacy of ashes.”

Now Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA—and everything is on the record. LEGACY OF ASHES is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten Directors of Central Intelligence. It takes the CIA from its creation after World War II, through its battles in the cold war and the war on terror, to its near-collapse after 9/ll. – catalog summary

  • 2007 Won National Book Awards
  • 2007 Nominated National Book Critics Circle Awards
  • 2008 Nominated Lionel Gelber Prize
  • 2007 Won Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
  • 2007 Won Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
  • 2007 Won New York Times Notable Books of the Year

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

liarKaren Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it. – catalog summary

The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer (book 1 of Milo Weaver series)

the touristMilo Weaver is drawn into a conspiracy that links riots in the Sudan, an assassin committing suicide and an old friend who’s been accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Once the CIA and Homeland Security are after him, the only way for him to survive is to return, headfirst, into Tourism. – Novelist summary

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva

portraitofaspyAfter failing to stop a suicide bomber attack in London, master art restorer and assassin Gabriel Allon is summoned by the CIA and is faced with an organization riddled with dissent–and ill-equipped to deal with the deadly new face of global jihadist terror. – catalog summary

The Accident by Chris Pavone

accidentFeverishly paging through a disturbing anonymous manuscript that she believes has world-changing potential, New York literary agent Isabel Reed catches the attentions of Copenhagen veteran station chief Hayden Gray, who resolves to keep the book’s secrets from being exposed.

– from catalog summary

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

angelmakerJoe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be–she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun . . .- from catalog summary

  • 2012 Nominated Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
  • 2013 Nominated Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • 2013 Nominated Locus Awards

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre

double crossTraces the sophisticated D-Day operation through which extraordinary spies deceived the Nazis about the location of the Allied attack, profiling the successful Double Cross System and the remarkable individuals who used the program to save thousands of lives. – summary from catalog

  • 2012 Nominated Agatha Award
  • 2013 Nominated Edgar Awards (Edgar Allan Poe Awards)
  • 2012 Won Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

etiquetteIt’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs.Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a properlady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail’s legions of fans have come to adore. – catalog summary


Spotlight On: YA for Adults

By now, everyone has heard of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. We’ve noticed that many adults have read this novel, even though it is labeled as “YA (Young Adult)”. We at RFPL think that’s great! There are some amazing reads in YA that adults will also find appealing. We did a spotlight on this same topic last year, and you can see those picks here. Here are some more picks- happy reading!

Panic by Lauren Oliver

panicHeather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game; he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

grasshopperjungleSixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it’s up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This book has been adapted to film and will be released to theaters on August 22. Watch the trailer here.

if i stayIn a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make–and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

  • 2010 Nominated SCASL Book Award (South Carolina)
  • 2010 Nominated Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
  • 2011 Nominated Volunteer State Book Award
  • 2010 Won Great Lakes’ Great Books Award
  • 2012 Nominated Evergreen Young Adult Book Award
  • 2010 Nominated Virginia Reader’s Choice Awards

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

eleanor and parkThis book is a staff favorite among many here at RFPL. The rights for the movie version were recently purchased, so stay tuned for more news on this. Rainbow Rowell writes both YA and adult novels. Her new adult novel was released this month, Landlines.

Eleanor and Park is set over the course of one school year in 1986. It is the love story between two misfits. Many readers will enjoy the references to music and comic books from the 80s. A hesistant relationship forms on a shared bus seat between the two – slowly reading comics over each other’s shoulders, and sharing earbuds to listen to music together. A tender teenage love story that many will relate to. The audio book version is very well narrated and was nominated for an Audie award.

  • 2013 Won Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards
  • 2013 Won Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books
  • 2014 Nominated Audie Award


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

summoningAfter fifteen-year-old Chloe starts seeing ghosts and is sent to Lyle House, a mysterious group home for mentally disturbed teenagers, she soon discovers that neither Lyle House nor its inhabitants are exactly what they seem, and that she and her new friends are in danger.

Genna notes: I have had several parents come in to tell me that they have read and enjoyed this series, and their teenaged daughters have also read it. I think this is a great pick for Adult/YA crossover. Kelley Armstrong writes both for adult and YA audiences. Check out her book lists here.

Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

guyinreallifeThe lives of two Minnesota teenagers are intertwined through the world of role playing games. It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again. But they don’t. This is a story of the roles we all play, at school, at home, online, and with our friends, and the one person who might be able to show us who we are underneath it all. – summary from catalog

Noggin by John Corey Whaley


Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else’s shoulders. A touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award-winning Where Things Come Back.

After dying at age sixteen, Travis Coates’ head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships. -summary from catalog

Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

askpassengers“Astrid Jones copes with her small town’s gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she’s sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. There’s no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she’s trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love–and asking the right questions–will affect the passengers’ lives, and her own, for the better.” – from library catalog

  • 2012 Won School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • 2012 Won Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
  • 2012 Won Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books
  • 2013 Won Carolyn W. Field Award (Pennsylvania Library Association)
  • 2013 Won Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

Do you need more ideas? Here are some links to recent articles with YA picks:

95 Books To Read This Summer –

25 Novels Everyone – Including Adults Should Read –

The 15 Most Exciting YA Books Coming Out This Year – Teen Vogue


Spotlight: Staff Summer Reading Faves

Waiting on the holds list for a bestseller? Why not try something not so new that you don’t have to wait for? Here are some staff recommendations for summer reading.

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

marriagerichpeopleBored with retirement, Mr. Ali sets up a desk, puts up a sign, and waits for customers for his new matchmaking business. Some clients are a mystery. Some are a challenge. Mr. Ali’s assistant, Aruna, finds it a learning experience. But without a dowry, Aruna has no expectation of a match for herself. Then again, as people go about planning their lives, sometimes fate is making other arrangements. – Summary from Amazon

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

capturecastleI Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills.  She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle’s walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has “captured the castle”–and the heart of the reader–in one of literature’s most enchanting entertainments. – Amazon summary

A favorite book of J.K. Rowling’s. Also a movie.

The House in France  by Gully Wells
houseinfranceSet in Provence, London, and New York, this is a daughter’s brilliant and witty memoir of her mother and stepfather—Dee Wells, the glamorous and rebellious American journalist, and A. J. Ayer, the celebrated and worldly Oxford philosopher—and the life they lived at the center of absolutely everything.
The House in France is a spellbinding story with a luminous sense of place and a dazzling portrait of a woman who “caught the spirit of the sixties” and one of the most important intellectual figures of the twentieth century, drawn from the vivid memory of the child who adored them both.

 That Summer in Sicily by Marlena De Blasi 
summersicily“At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily that she finds, accidentally, one summer while traveling with her husband, Fernando. There de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the patroness of the villa, an elegant and beautiful woman-of-a-certain-age who recounts her lifelong love story with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou.
aristotleanddanteFifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
  • 2012 Won School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • 2013 Nominated Michael L. Printz Award
  • 2013 Won American Library Association Notable Books for Children
  • 2013 Won Pura Belpre Award
  • 2013 Won Stonewall Book Awards

Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart
perigordBarber Guillaume Ladoucette has always enjoyed great success in his tiny village in southwestern France, catering to the tonsorial needs of Amour-sur-Belle’s thirty-three inhabitants. But times have changed. His customers have grown older–and balder. Suddenly there is no longer a call for Guillaume’s particular services, and he is forced to make a drastic career change. Since love and companionship are necessary commodities at any age, he becomes Amour-sur-Belle’s official matchmaker and intends to unite hearts as ably as he once cut hair. But alas, Guillaume is not nearly as accomplished an agent of amour, as the disastrous results of his initial attempts amply prove, especially when it comes to arranging his own romantic future.
tomgordonStaff says: This is the perfect quick summer read.  It takes place in June, features some baseball, and has plenty of chills.
Summary: The brochure promised a “moderate-to-difficult” six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her older brother Pete and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.
Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of her hero, number thirty-six, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her-her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaughtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.

Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott

childofmyheart1Staff says: “She writes with careful detail and makes one summer in 1960s Long Island come alive.”
The beautiful child of older parents, raised on the eastern end of Long Island, Theresa is her town’s most sought-after babysitter–cheerful, poised, an effortless storyteller, a wonder with children and animals. Among her charges this fateful summer is Daisy, her younger cousin, who has come to spend a few quiet weeks in this bucolic place. While Theresa copes with the challenge presented by the neighborhood’s waiflike children, the tumultuous households of her employers, the attentions of an aging painter, and Daisy’s fragility of body and spirit, her precocious, tongue-in-check sense of order is tested as she makes the perilous crossing into adulthood. In her deeply etched rendering of all that happened that seemingly idyllic season, McDermott once again peers into the depths of everyday life with inimitable insight and grace. – summary from Amazon
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
maineStaff notes: “It’s June and a family gathers at their beach house on the coast of Maine. Differing viewpoints, some secrets, and lots of family dynamics drive this novel.”
Three generations of women converge on the family beach house in this wickedly funny, emotionally resonant story of love and dysfunction.- summary from catalog
BonhoefferStaff says: This is a well-done highly readable biography of a great man.
“Bonhoeffer” presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.
  • 2011 Nominated Christian Book Awards
  • 2010 Won ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
  • 2011 Won Christopher Book Awards


iammalalaWhen the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. – summary from catalog
This book is also very popular with young adults, so they have created a different version for “Young Readers” – request the book here.
The Union Street Bakery  by Mary Ellen Taylor
And check out the sequel – Sweet Expectations 
unionstreetDaisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.

Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family–and her own heritage–than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.

Watching You by Michael Robotham
watchingyouMarnie Logan often feels like she’s being watched: a warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. Now her life is frozen. Her husband Daniel is missing. She can’t access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. O’Loughlin discovers Daniel’s Big Red Book–a collage of pictures, interviews, and anecdotes. The book, which Daniel intended as a surprise birthday gift, now leads to a shocking discovery. Any person who has ever crossed Marnie has paid an exacting price. And O’Loughlin may be next in line. – publisher summary
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
before we metWhen her husband disappears during a business trip to the U.S., Hannah, who believes she has married the perfect man, begins to have doubts when his co-workers tell a different story, prompting her to dig into his life, which unexpectedly leads her to a place of violence and fear. -catalog summary
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
shadowdiversStaff notes: Looking for some great narrative nonfiction? This might be it! Also a good choice for young adults and teens.
For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment. – Amazon summary
  • 2005 Won Alex Awards
  • 2005 Won Book Sense Book of the Year
  • 2007 Nominated Garden State Teen Book Award
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
thestrangersDr. Faraday, the son of a maid, has built a life of quiet respectability as a doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life?
  • 2009 Nominated Man Booker Prize for Fiction
  • 2009 Won Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
  • 2009 Won New York Times Notable Books of the Year

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
also try the sequel:  Bring Up the Bodies

wolf hallIn the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power.England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

  • 2009 Won Man Booker Prize for Fiction
  • 2009 Nominated Costa Book Awards
  • 2009 Won National Book Critics Circle Awards
  • 2009 Won Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • 2010 Nominated Orange Prize for Fiction
  • 2010 Won Audie Award
  • 2010 Won Galaxy National Book Award
  • 2009 Won New York Times Notable Books of the Year
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
montana“From the summer of my twelfth year I carry a series of images more vivid and lasting than any others of my boyhood and indelible beyond all attempts the years make to erase or fade them… “ So begins David Hayden’s story of what happened in Montana in 1948. The events of that cataclysmic summer permanently alter twelve-year-old David’s understanding of his family: his father, a small-town sheriff; his remarkably strong mother; David’s uncle Frank, a war hero and respected doctor; and the Haydens’ Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose revelations turn the family’s life upside down as she relates how Frank has been molesting his female Indian patients. As their story unravels around David, he learns that truth is not what one believes it to be, that power is abused, and that sometimes one has to choose between family loyalty and justice. – summary from Amazon
Close to Shore by Mike Capuzzo
This book was also made into a youth version, check it out!
closetoshoreCombining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly re-creates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history.
Interweaving a vivid portrait of the era and meticulously drawn characters with chilling accounts of the shark’s five attacks and the frenzied hunt that ensued, Michael Capuzzo has created a nonfiction historical thriller with the texture of Ragtime and the tension of Jaws. – summary from Amazon
Ranger Confidential by Andrea Lankford

rangerconfidentialFor twelve years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.

In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
thatoldcapemagicFor Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod.  The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened?
The Wedding by Dorothy West
theweddingOn the island of Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s there exists a proud, insular, nearly unassailable community known as the Oval, made up of the best and brightest of New York’s and Boston’s black bourgeoisie. Dr. Clark Coles and his wife Corinne, pillars of this community, are mortified that their youngest daughter Shelby is set on marrying Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. Equally alarmed is Lute McNeil, a successful black furniture maker from Boston who is new to Oak Bluffs and desperate for social acceptance. Lute has fallen in love with Shelby Coles, or at least the way of life she represents, and he will stop at nothing to pull her away from Meade. As the day of the wedding approaches, the tension surrounding Shelby, Lute, and Meade builds, climaxing in a single tragic act that will forever change the lives of three American families.The Wedding is a wise and heartfelt novel about the shackles of race and class we all wear and the price we pay to break them. It is also an unforgettable history of the rise of the black middle class, written by a woman who lived it. Wise, heartfelt, and shattering,The Wedding is Dorothy West’s crowning achievement, and one of the last books edited for Doubleday by the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Shoot The Moon by Billie Letts
shootthemoon1In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child’s pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found.

Nearly thirty years later, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is more astonishing than he or anyone could have imagine. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and a secret that still cries out for justice…and redemption.

Heat Wave by Richard Castle 
heatwaveHeat Wave is a tie-in to the ABC primetime show, Castle, that premiered in March 2009. The main character of the show, Richard Castle, is a bestselling mystery writer. Heat Wave is his next book: Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads. She’s hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York’s Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren’t her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them.


Spotlight: June is E-Book Month at RFPL!

This month, RFPL is highlighting some of the great titles that we have available for you to download. The website is – then you will select sign in, choose River Forest library, and enter your library card number and pin number.

There are thousands of titles available to download. We purchase books to share with the consortium but also books just for you, our patrons! We have eBooks for all ages in all genres.

Some helpful hints for finding good books:

1. Use “Advanced Search” to find books by subject, publisher, language, format (ebook or audio), and even by awards (try searching for Alex Awards, National Book Award, Man Booker Award, etc).

big toolbar


2. Within the list of results, you can change the drop down to change your results with the helpful filters of “Popular” or “Release Date” to find more current titles.


3. You can also limit your search so that only titles that are available for checkout show. (So you don’t see books that are checked out.)



4. You can always search for a book by entering the title into the search bar. Here are some great titles that are available to download – just copy and paste!

search bar

happierbernadettelowlandorphan train

Field of Prey John Sanford

The Target by David Baldacci

The Perfume Collector Kathleen Tessaro

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

10% Happier by Dan Harris

When it Happens to You by Molly Ringwald

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Quiet by Susan Cain

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

A Mercy by Toni Morrison

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

Room by Emma Donoghue

A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horowitz

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I Am Malala by Mala Yousafzai

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Never Go Back by Lee Child

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green