Winter Reading

I’m in the middle of so many books that I haven’t reviewed any for a while. Spring is usually peak time for new books to be published, but there are several winter gems here, along with some older titles. Enjoy!
Brenda

What I’m Reading Now:

Clement, Blaize & John. The Cat Sitter and the Canary.
A cozy mystery set on Siesta Key, on Florida’s gulf coast.piece-of-the-world

Hambly, Barbara. Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers.

Kline, Cristina Baker. A Piece of the World.
I was familiar with some of American artist Andrew Wyeth’s work, but not Christina’s World, which is the inspiration for this historical novel set in Maine. Kline is the author of The Orphan Train.

Mack, Doug. The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA. From the U.S. Virgin Islands to American Samoa, the author explores our territories. Fans of Ken Jennings’ Maphead or Bill Bryson’s humorous travelogues may enjoy.

Norton, Andre. Lord of Thunder, sequel to The Beast Master. A classic science fiction writer I’m reading for another 50th anniversary post. A Navajo who can communicate with animals is caught up in adventure and intrigue on another planet.

Ryan, Jennifer. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.chilbury-ladies-choir-jacket
Historical novel set in WWII England, on the home front. Narrated by several characters, including a young teenager, a mother who’s just sent her only son off to war, a conniving midwife, a seductive young woman, a choir director, and others.

Stewart, Mary. The Ivy Tree.
Another book I’m reading for a 50th anniversary post; currently getting neglected because of all these other excellent books.

Up Next:

Evans, Lissa. Their Finest. Another WWII England novel, by the author of Crooked Heart.

Flanders, Judith. A Cast of Vultures. The third mystery novel featuring a book editor as amateur sleuth.

Gaiman, Neil. Norse Mythology. The award-winning dark fantasy author has fun retelling Norse myths.

Saunders, George. Lincoln in the Bardo. A grief-stricken Abraham Lincoln visits his son’s grave; ghosts are present.


New and Forthcoming Books by Authors We’ve Discussed

New and Forthcoming Books from Authors We’ve Discussed

We’re not having book discussions in August. If you’re looking for some reading ideas, try one of these, or reserve a not-yet-published title.

Fictionchurchill jacket

Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. 3/16

Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. We Never Asked for Wings. 2015

Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. 2015

Erdrich, Louise. LaRose. 5/16

Hashimi, Nadia. A House Without Windows. 8/16

Hill, Lawrence. The Illegal. 1/16

Hood, Ann. The Book That Matters Most. 8/16

Ivey, Eowyn. To The Bright Edge of the World. 8/16

McLain, Paula. Circling the Sun. 2015

Semple, Maria. Today Will Be Different. 10/16

Shapiro, B.A. The Muralist. 2015

Smiley, Jane. Early Warning, Golden Age. 2015

Stewart, Amy. Lady Cop Makes Trouble. 9/16

Weisgarber, Ann. The Promise. 2014house jacket

Winters, Ben. Underground Airlines. 7/16

Non-Fiction

Duhigg, Charles. Smarter, Faster, Better. 3/16

Krist, Gary. Empire of Sin. 2014

Kurson, Robert. Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. 2015

Lahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words. 2/16

Millard, Candice. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. 9/16

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. 5/16

Streever, Bill. And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind. 7/16

Happy Reading! Fall book discussion titles will be announced soon.
Brenda


BookExpo America

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are a few of the advance reading copies I brought back from BookExpo America in Chicago last month, and shared with my book discussion groups. A few books will be prizes in the children’s summer reading program. I met several authors, got a preview of big books for fall, and attended two programs. Some of the authors I talked with include Brandon Mull, Candice Millard, Robert Hicks, and Mary Robinette Kowal. I enjoyed a panel discussion of What’s New in Young Adult, moderated by author Veronica Roth. Five authors of teen fiction, Lauren Oliver, Alyson Noel, Kendare Blake, and Melissa de la Cruz, along with Roth, talked about the writing process, what inspires and challenges them, and how their new books are going to be a little different. Veronica Roth, who I didn’t expect to be funny, is coming out with a science fiction book next January, Carve the Mark.
After meeting more authors, it was time for Book Group Speed Dating, sponsored by ReadingGroupGuides.com. I was assigned a round table, with dozens of advance reading copies on the table. Several publishers’ reps took turns spending 5-10 minutes telling the people at my table about their new and forthcoming books that they think will be great for book discussion groups. Afterwards, we could take the books that interested us, which I later shared with the library’s book groups. I have a lengthy handout listing all of the books, and several ideas for future book discussion titles. One expected highlight of my day at McCormick Place: I got to meet Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, who was signing posters for a forthcoming children’s book.
Brenda


ReDiscover: Celebrating Home

rediscover2

After 10 years, The Big Read has become ReDiscover, and the theme for 2015 is Celebrating Home.at home uk jacket Instead of focusing on one book, the nine public libraries in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs are focusing on a theme, and reading and discussing a variety of books. The featured books include At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson, Howard’s End by E. M. Forster, Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai, and Home by Marilynne Robinson. There will be 44 different programs for adults, several book discussions, and programs for teens and kids during March and April. The Woodridge Public Library will be hosting six programs for adults, and we will be discussing At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. To learn more, visit the ReDiscover website, the library’s website, or visit the library to pick up a ReDiscover brochure and check out a featured book and other related titles. Book discussion sign up has begun; registration for all of the other programs begins on Monday, March 2. As we look forward to spring, it’s time to Celebrate Home. Enjoy!
Brenda


Introducing LibraryReads

libraryreads logoLibraryReads  is a monthly list of the top ten new books nominated by librarians around the country. As a librarian I can request digital copies of  books before they are published, and I am one of the librarians who read and nominated Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

The September Library Reads booklist is here :

Here’s my review of Station Eleven:station eleven jacket

Finally, a hard to put down post-apocalyptic novel that isn’t bleak and violent. I don’t always enjoy books with multiple points of view that also move back and forward in time, but I loved this book. The main characters are all connected to Arthur Leander, who is performing as King Lear in Toronto as a flu epidemic is spreading around the globe. Later, we encounter the Symphony, a traveling orchestra and Shakespeare troupe traveling around western Michigan.

Lists from the last year are also available, making LibraryReads a great place to look for reading suggestions.

Brenda

 


The 10th Big Read is Coming!

10th big read logoThe 2014 Big Read selection is The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean by Philip Caputo.

longest road jacket

A wide variety of more than thirty programs as well as book discussions and movies, will be presented in March and April, 2014, at the the 10 Big Read libraries. My review of the book is here. More information about the book, author, and all of the programs will be available at thebigread.org.


The Big Read is Coming!

shoemaker's jacketThe Big Read selection for 2013 is:

The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani.

For more information, visit thebigread.org.

 

 A wide variety of programs and book discussions will be offered by 10 southwest suburban public libraries during March and April, 2013.