Lisa’s January Recommendation (#2)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
goldfinch“The Goldfinch, to me seems like many books within one. There are many different experiences that we share with the main character, almost as if they are self-contained from the others. I could not put it down, and it is a VERY long book.
One of the sequences involves an antique dealer and the day-to-day experiences of someone who deals with furniture in a way few people do. As he repairs and restores the furniture, there is a sense of connection beyond that one would normally have with an inanimate objects. The descriptive nature of Tartt’s style allows for the characters to resonate.There are so many different aspects to the different characters, it is bound to relate to many in one way or another!  I have read a few reviews that have mentioned this as a very Dickensian tale. ” – Lisa

  • 2013 Nominated National Book Critics Circle Awards (winner will be announced March 13, 2014)

3 Similar Reads

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The World to Come by Dara Horn

Katelyn’s October Recommendation

In The Woods by Tana French

in the woodsThis is a perfect spooky mystery read.  Even the cover is a little bit creepy.  Plus it’s an awesome book.

“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.” – Summary

3 Similar Titles:

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott

Bent Road by Lori Roy

Little Face by Sophie Hannah



Rebecca’s February Recommendation

Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska

accelerated“This novel focuses on Sean Benning, single father to 8-year-old Toby.  Toby attends the prestigious Bradley school in Manhattan, where everyone who is anyone has matriculated from.  The school is extremely competitive, breeding it’s students to be super-thinkers and part of the world elite.  Sean, however, is not like the other parents at this fast-paced and competitive school.  His in-laws are footing the bill, and he highlights as a tabloid journalist as he struggles to make his name in the art world.  When Toby’s teachers and his estranged wife start to pressure Sean to put his son on medication for ADD in order to keep up with his classmates, Sean at first refuses and then finally relents.  Toby’s initial reaction to the medication goes as expected–but then tragedy strikes.  Sean’s anger compels him (with the help of a sympathetic teacher–also the love interest in the novel) to delve deeper into the issue of medication at Bradley, and he soon stumbles upon a hornet’s nest of lies and conspiracy that he is determined to expose to the rest of the world.  This is a great book to read if you are in between novels and want something fun, fast-paced, and intelligent.  Sean is a sympathetic and admirable hero, the romance is sexy and fun without overwhelming the rest of the story, and most importantly it truly does make a statement about the over-medication of this country’s youth.”

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets by Garth Stein

The Heart Broke In by James Meek

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Better Than Normal by Dale Archer

The Trouble With Boys by Peg Tyre

Margaret’s November Recommendation

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

“Tom returns to Australia healthy but haunted from WWI to become a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island.  Tom is content to live this solitary life but by chance on a shore visit meets and falls in love with lively, spirited Isabel.  Somewhat remarkably, the two create a happy life together alone on Janus Rock, and Tom realizes he may be able to have a full life despite the guilt and horrors that he has carried since the war.  But, after Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a stillbirth, a heavy sadness descends on the cottage by the lighthouse.  Then, one day a boat washes up on the island with a dead man and a crying infant.  What follows is a heartbreakingly desperate story about right and wrong, family and love.  This is a well-written and affecting novel set in an interesting time and place. Stedman does a good job of catching hold of his readers’ emotions without veering too close to melodrama. Pick it up if you like historical fiction, family stories, or just good literary fiction.”

Read about or request The Light Between Oceans from the library catalog today!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) The Sea by John Banville

2) Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark

3) Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

2) The Keeper of Lime Rock by Lenore Skomal

3) To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild

Laona’s November Recommendation

Incendiary by Chris Cleave

“I just finished Chris Cleave’s Incendiary.  This was Cleave’s first novel (he also wrote Gold and Little Bee).  It is an intense and moving portrait of a distraught British woman surviving the aftermath of one of Osama Bin Laden’s (fictional) attacks.  The book is written as a letter to Osama Bin Laden after her four-year-old son and her husband are killed in a massive suicide bomb attack at a soccer match in London.  This is not a pretty story, and the main character is far from perfect.  This novel is of the same style as Cleave’s second book, Little Bee, a powerfully heartbreaking story about a painful topic we’d prefer not to think about”.

Read about or request Incendiary from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

2) The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing

3) Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney-Whetstone

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) A Decade of Hope by Dennis Smith

2) Middletown, America by Gail Sheehy

3) A Widow’s Walk by Marian Fontana

Laona’s October Recommendation

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

This is “a novel about fractured families, relationships, lost souls, and trying to make good.  Wonderfully written characters, that are extremely likable, especially the tight group of middle aged divorced men who support their fellow downtrodden.  Here is a brief description: ‘Drew Silver is dying in many ways: his marriage has been over for seven years, his ex-wife is getting remarried, his career as a rock drummer is long past, his 18-year-old daughter is pregnant, and he has a life-threatening heart condition…Silver has never been much of a dad or a husband, so when he finds out about his defective heart, he determines he will not have a life-saving operation.  After all, what does he have to live for?'”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles (Access to the library catalog here!)

2) Everything Hurts by Bill Scheft (Access to the library catalog here!)

3) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Access to library catalog here!)

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) Life by Keith Richards (Access to library catalog here!)

2) When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (Access to library catalog here!)

3) Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity by Joel Stein (Access to library catalog here!)


Hadley’s (and Pat’s!) August Recommendation

Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti

We had two people recommend this short novel for the month of August.  Here is Hadley’s recommendation:

“I enjoyed this short novel by Italian author Niccolo Ammaniti. The main character Lorenzo is a teenage outsider who has trouble connecting with his peers, and getting a handle on his emotions. Lorenzo lies to his parents about taking a ski trip with friends, and instead intends to spend the week by himself vegging out in a hidden room of his family’s large house. Everything is going according to plan until his troubled half sister Olivia pays a visit. At times funny and sad, Me and You tells the story of a brief, deep connection of two half siblings during an important moment in both of their young lives.”

And here is Pat’s recommendation:

“Niccolo Ammaniti is the author of a little story entitled ME AND YOU, translated from the Italian.  It’s a beautiful little book, a perfect tale, painful and moving.  I read it in one sitting since it’s only 147 pages.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) The Dearly Departed by Elinor Lipman (Access to library catalog here!)

2) Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (Access to library catalog here!)

3) Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Access to library catalog here!)

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) Confessions of a Young Novelist by Umberto Eco (Access to library catalog here!)

2) The Sisters Antipodes by Jane Alison (Access to library catalog here!)

3) Where’s My Wand? by Eric Poole (Access to library catalog here!)