‘Tis the season for everyone to share their list of “best” books for 2017 and Librarians are no exception! If you are on Twitter, check out the hashtag #libfaves17 to see all the tweets from this year, or you can read the summary of each day (and the top 10 vote-getters) here.
It’s always interesting to see whether my own favorite reads end up on other “best of” lists. For example, I completely agree with the number 1 Librarian pick, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (ESPECIALLY the audiobook – it’s really exceptional) and I enjoyed many of the others in the top 10. That said, I seem to be one of the few people who didn’t finish Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which leaves me wondering if I need to give it another try or just move on.
On the other hand, two of my absolute most enjoyable reads only show up here and there on the best of 2017 lists. They are both filled with suspense, but each has complex and fascinating characters and layered, heart-felt stories that kept me completely engaged. One is Celine by Peter Heller, (reviewer Ron Charles called it “a thriller with heart”) and the other is The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (author Ann Patchett called it, “One part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation.”
Two other titles I enjoyed were much quieter: The Mountain by Paul Yoon (“reflective, spare, haunting and beautiful” are just a few of the words I used to describe these connected stories) and Andrew Krivak’s The Signal Flame (a quiet, compelling story of family, friendship and a small community touched by tragedy). Bonus: if you enjoy these, each author wrote a previous novel that are also wonderful!
If you want to see more from the “Best of 2017” lists, drop by the new book area during January and browse our display of titles published in 2017 that received accolades – and feel free to let us know YOUR favorites as well.
Comments Off on Wrapping Up Favorite Reads of 2017
This very good mystery set in Sweden is the first in a new series being translated into English. Would especially suggest if you like the author Jo Nesbo.
Peter De Vries is a name you may not be familiar with, but this author (born in Chicago) writes satire that is side-splitting funny and has a great perspective. Several of his titles are available as eBooks in Hoopla – give one a try!
Posted onJune 26, 2017|Comments Off on News for Readers of Romance
Many readers were shocked at Harlequin’s recent announcement that they will stop publishing several “categories” of romance. For those who want to more information, please check out this informative post from Novelist. I think it is also helpful that they explain how to find certain types of romance using specific searches in the Novelist Plus database.
What is Novelist, you ask? The Library subscribes to this database to provide patrons with even more reading recommendations for both fiction and nonfiction, for all ages and including audiobooks! It’s also handy for series information and book discussions. If you haven’t played with it lately, you just need to sign in with your library card and PIN (from home) or ask Reader Services staff to give you a demonstration the next time you’re in the library!
Patron who was just diagnosed with dementia said she read it in bed and her husband couldn’t watch her read it because she would start crying, and her daughters didn’t want her to read it because it made her cry. However, she felt she needed to and it helped her so much to learn what she will be going through. Learning how others have gone through dementia and strategies for coping, “was a tremendous help.”
A patron who was teaching a unit on Beatrix Potter said that, unlike so many that only give part of her story, this book had it all and is “wonderful!” (Note: some might also enjoy the fictional mystery series, “The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter” starting with The Tale of Hill Top Farm.)
And finally, if you are looking for something new to listen to, a patron says the podcast EconTalk is excellent. Hosted by Russ Roberts, it is billed as an “economics podcast for daily life.”
This is the first in a long series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, son of an earl who becomes a sleuth when he finds himself the prime suspect in a horrible murder. Set against the backdrop of 1811 London society, this well-researched historical fiction does have some violence, but is also filled with suspense, mystery and a bit of romance.
Readers of history will enjoy this page-turning memoir about generations of a German family torn apart during the Cold War. “It really helped me better understand my own family’s experience regarding the Berlin Wall and a divided Germany.”
Looking for something cheery and charming to read? Try my new go-to remedy: picture books! Now, I realize that some people have ample exposure to picture books thanks to children, or grandchildren or perhaps even your occupation. But some of us don’t cross paths with picture books as often and yet when I do, I usually find myself engrossed in the story AND the art. I also often find myself reading them aloud to enjoy the wonderful sense of rhythm and wordplay. They cover the gamut from whimsical to serious, but all will add a little inspiration into your day!
For obvious reasons, this is the time of year readers who might not normally read horror find themselves ready to try out a frightening book. That said, there are still those (like me) who don’t mind trying something a little scary – but we definitely can’t handle anything too dark or violent!
When I was getting my Library Degree (shout out to the MLIS program at Dominican University!) I took a “Readers Advisory” class that included a section on horror. I was SO worried about what I would have to read, but happily my instructor suggested a great book that she called “horror light.” I ended up really enjoying it, and since then I’ve passed it along as a suggestion to many others.
The book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he is plunged through the cracks of reality into a malevolent world of shadows and darkness “under” the city.
It’s dark and atmospheric and creepy without being something that made me stay up all night with the lights on! In fact, several years ago I learned BBC Radio 4 had turned it into a radio play and made an effort to listen to the live broadcast online. (Note: sadly it isn’t currently available to listen to for free, but you can check out the cast and some clips on the BBC Radio website).
Looking for another “horror light” idea? Then I would also suggest trying the classic tale The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Not all modern day readers feel it is scary in the least, but I loved the slowly building creep factor and the many questions I simply could not answer as to who or what was truly haunted. By the way, if you would rather watch the story, make sure to get the 1963 film adaptation starring Julie Harris, titled The Haunting. (The 1999 movie is said to be truly terrible by anyone who has tried it!)
If you have a title suggestion for “horror light” please share it!
Looking for a new book to try? Here are three titles our patrons have enjoyed – so much so that they stopped by the Reader Services Desk to tell me about it!
If you enjoy mysteries filled with interesting details, Artifacts by Mary Anna Evans is the first in a “fascinating” series featuring an archeologist.
When it came out in 2003, Booklist said, “Evans introduces a strong female sleuth in this extremely promising debut, and she makes excellent use of her archaeological subject matter, weaving past and present together in a multilayered, compelling plot.” Readers must agree as last year the ninth title in the series was published!
Many people are familiar with the Star Wars movies, but did you know there’s an entire universe (heh) of books that have been written, too? A patron says Scoundrels adds “a new twist to the story we know” about Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.
For those who really know their Star Wars timeline, this takes place during the Rebellion Era (five years within the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope).