Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The Boston Girl starts with a question from granddaughter to grandmother: “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” 

What follows is one woman’s journey through early 20th century Boston.  Born to traditional parents in a time when traditions were beginning to shift, Addie Baum yearns to finish high school and go to college.  Stymied at home, she joins a local woman’s group and meets the people who would (unbeknownst to Addie) be the driving force that would change her story.

Year by year, Addie weaves together her story: family tragedy and joys, friendships that shape her life, and her constant dream of a career of her own.  Diamant does a wonderful job of creating a well rounded narrator in Addie, who readers will watch grow from a strong willed girl into a quietly resolute and confident woman. 

As with many of Diamant’s books, you can expect a lot of attention to historical details, so I would recommend to historical fiction fans and those who enjoy a deliberately told story with a strong sense of time and place.  The book reads like one long, lovely conversation with a beloved grandmother.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel Watkins takes the train every day from Ashbury to London, and on most occasions the train comes to a stop behind the garden of a couple who Rachel has named Jess and Jason. In her fantasy, they are the perfect couple with the perfect marriage. In fact, Rachel even used to live on the same street as Jess and Jason before they moved in but now her ex-husband lives there with his new wife and daughter.

Rachel's daily jot, however, is nothing more than a ruse to fool her flatmate into thinking that she is still employed, when in reality, she was canned for showing up to work inebriated.

Rachel's fantasy of the perfect couple is destroyed when she learns that Jess, who is really Megan Hipwell, has gone missing. From her spot on the train, Rachel had seen Megan kiss another man who was not her husband, Scott, and she feels compelled to insert her self in the case to share what she knows.

There is more to the story, and Rachel was even on Megan's street the night she disappeared, as she frequently tries to reach out to her ex husband during her alcoholic binges. Because of a black out, she doesn't know what she was doing that evening but came home with bruises. Soon things spiral out of control, and like Rachel's memory, no one can be trusted.

Alternating perspectives from the female characters keeps the pages turning at a fast clip. Rachel, an alcoholic prone to black outs, is an unreliable narrator and her actions will make you cringe, but as a reader she keeps you guessing since you don't know what she will do next and what danger she will inevitably encounter. Readers who like the dark tone of this psychological thriller should also seek out Mary Kubica's The Good Girl.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Fiction 2/24/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Empire by John Connolly
Shame and the Captives by Thomas Keneally
The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel
Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke
The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin
Lucky Alan by Jonathan Lethem
Dreaming Spies by Laurie King
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lick by Kylie Scott

Evelyn Thomas is in Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday. What she didn't expect was to wake up married. And not just married to anyone. Oh no. Eve had to marry the famous rocker, David Ferris. And of course she doesn't remember any of the details.

Eve is ready for an annulment but agrees to go away for the weekend with David. She soon realizes that she has feelings for this complex man. And little by little the events of that night are coming back. Is she willing to stay married to this man or make a clean break?

I loved this book. It is exactly what you want in a New Adult book. This is the first book in the Stage Dive series. The next one is Play.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Driving to his family’s summer home on the secluded island of Waskeke, Winn Van Meter finds many things to worry about.  Like his brokenhearted daughter Livia, who seems all too ready for an inopportune rebellion.  Or his pregnant daughter Daphne’s upcoming wedding and the unwelcome influx of visitors it will bring - in particular, bridesmaid Agatha, who Winn finds himself inconveniently attracted to.  Not to mention an all too apparent snub by the island’s most exclusive club that has (yet again) refused his application - a reality, for Winn, that is most cataclysmic of all.

Seating Arrangements weaves the story of a New England wedding weekend through the eyes of not just the superficial, reputation obsessed Winn, but also through his quietly enduring wife Biddy; acerbic daughter Livia; and bridesmaid Dominque, who watches the Van Meter inner circle with a mixture of nostalgia and disillusion.  

Don’t mistake this book for a “light read.”  Observations are sharp, intelligent, and bitingly funny.  Shipstead creates an interesting cast of characters that are not altogether sympathetic, or even likable (case in point: the dry, elitist Winn).  And yet, their observations and experiences combine to form a rich story, at once satirical and emotional.  I really enjoyed the author’s writing style.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories involving leisurely, introspective, character driven plots.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Fiction 02/17/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Lies that Bind by Maggie Barbieri
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
Someone to Watch Over Me by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott

Saturday, February 14, 2015

In His Sights by Jo Davis

Detective Chris Ford isn't feeling well. Something just isn't right but nobody can figure out what is wrong. While taking a walk in his neighborhood, Chris meets Dr. Robyn Lassiter and her daughter, Maddy. Chris is infatuated from the start and soon they begin dating.

Robyn is still dealing with the loss of her husband but is really start to fall for Chris. He even asks for help on a case. Healthy people are dying from heart attacks and it looks like they victims are part of a robbery case Chris is working on. They soon discover these people are being poisoned and so is Chris. It is a race against the clock to save Chris and find the culprit.

I love Jo Davis! Her books are soo good. The characters and the stories keep you hooked. Start with Firefighters of Station Five series and then go on to Sugerland Blues series. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Foolproof by Jennifer Blackwood

California med school student Jules Carmichael takes a summer retail job at Office Jax where she meets Ryan DeShane, the boss’s son who just dropped out of Texas’s Baylor University. The two get off on the wrong foot when Ryan goes out of his way to be a jerk, despite the fact he finds her hot, because his heart was recently broken by his cheating ex.

In their break room, Ryan reads an article on summer flings from a Cosmo magazine and thinks Jules might be just the ticket. Jules too is up for a fling as long as it doesn’t involve her heart, but she learns they have more in common than just a carnal attraction. Ryan doesn’t have any direction for his future, and Jules is struggling with the pressure from her mother to earn her M.D., even though she has a passion for sports therapy. The fling sounded good in theory, but what do they do when a brief tryst turns into so much more?

The alternating first person narratives between Jules and Ryan (Unethical) set a lively pace that centers on two, relatable twenty-something adults floundering in their professional and personal lives. Readers will have no problem buying into this sultry romance written for a new adult audience

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | February 13, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Fiction 2/10/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger
Twelve Days by Alex Berenson
Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
The First Wife by Erica Spindler
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The Cat, the Devil and the Last Escape by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Motive by Jonathan Kellerman
The Marriage Game by Alison Weir

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Sixty-year old photographer Rebecca Freeman forces herself into exile in upstate New York when she makes a small town cottage her home. This is her escape from the expensive lifestyle of New York City and also from her crumbling career. In her heyday, Rebecca was lauded for her groundbreaking photographs of her domestic life but as of late the commissions have dwindled significantly.

The cottage resembles nothing of the ads but her financial situation gives her no choice but to stick it out, no matter the regrets she now has. Without wifi, much of her days are spent at Tea for Two with the chatty proprietor, Sarah, known for her scones.

Rebecca is introduced to a younger man, Jim, the town's roofer, when a raccoon wreaks havoc in the attic. On the side, Jim follows the migratory patterns of birds for the state's wildlife association. The two are paired to together when Rebecca is hired on for a small stipend to photograph the bird Jim tracks.

This was the first book I have read by the prolific Quindlen, and I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised. Reminiscent of a less humorous How Stella Got Her Grove Back, this story was lightweight enough to make for a quick read, yet meaty enough to leave readers sated.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Lizzie Bennet is in grad school and for her thesis in mass media communication, she is doing a video blog. She will post twice a week and just talk about her life. And right now her life is her family, mom, dad, Jane and Lydia and her best friend Charlotte.

There is a new man, Bing Lee, in town and Mrs. Bennet is determined to marry him off to one of her daughters. At a friend's wedding, the Bennets meet Bing Lee, his sister, Caroline, and his snobbish friend William Darcy. It is love at first sight for Jane and Bing. And hate at first sight for Lizzie and Darcy. They are thrown together again and again. But it is revealed that first impressions aren't always what they seem.

I love this book. Actually my love started for the YouTube series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and then I was super happy to find out there was a book! The book actually gives us more details and behind the scenes commentary. I recommend stopping whatever you are doing and watch the series then read the book!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Fiction 2/3/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Big Seven by Jim Harrison
Castaway Planet by Eric Flint
Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
Darned If You Do by Monica Ferris
Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah