Roar is what happens when a woman is confronted with an obstacle or a situation again and again. Bestselling author Cecelia Ahern knows what it is like to be a woman in a man's world, so she started writing little stories when something would happen, and used the stories she heard from her women friends too. I would call it a little book of modern feminist fables but that may not make them sound as entertaining, or funny, or twistedly wonderful as they are. These stories will make you think, and make you laugh, and want to share them with your friends.
On the surface this novel is the story of Helen, a single mom, living in Cambridge, who happens to teach at MIT and writes bestselling books about physics. The death of her college roommate, and a mysterious phone call, make her look back on their friendship and how they each made their way in male dominated careers. It also makes Helen wonder about her life choices and what she may have missed along the way. An intriguing mix of science and emotion makes this a compelling read.
On the surface this is a novel about an inner-city girl who wants to be a rapper and has the skills and lineage to get her there--but it is much more than that. Angie Thomas brings us back to the world she created in her first powerful bestseller The Hate U Give. Both novels go way beyond just the social issues they portray because Angie Thomas is a crazy-talented writer. I can't wait to see what she will share with us next.
A famous artist is found standing by the dead body of her equally famous photographer husband one night and she won't say a word, for years, even after she is found guilty of his murder. Enter a criminal psychologist who is obsessed with getting her to talk.
I loved Lucille Howard when I met her in Berg's last novel The Story of Arthur Truluv so I was thrilled to find out that she was the central character in Night of Miracles. Lucille is old and won't put up with any nonsense but she is also wise, funny and kind. She offers comfort beyond the wonderful baked goods that she shares in her cooking classes. You don't have to read Arthur Truluv first but I hope you will enjoy both visits to Mason, Missouri as much as I did.
The LaCruz family has come together for two momentous occasions, a funeral and a birthday party. I loved every bit of this wonderful family saga. This is a must-read for lovers of John Irving.
This is a complicated, intense reckoning with family and personal history by one of the sharpest writers out there. Of his mother, Laymon writes: "You gave me a black southern laboratory to work with words. In that space, I learned how to assemble memory and imagination when I most wanted to die."
Travel to coastal Maine with maritime insurance investigator and part-time deputy sheriff Jane Bunker. Boats, small town life, and a hefty dose of crusty Maine characters are featured in this mystery. The cast of supporting characters include Audrey, the sarcastic waitress with an opinion on everything, Deloris the police dispatcher who knows her way around a computer, and Jane's elderly landlords and lobster-themed gift shop owners Mr. and Mrs. V, who feed her a never ending variety of mussel dinners with a side of word play.
File Anne Youngson's debut novel (at the age of 70) under 'good things that come in small packages'. An English farm wife and a Danish museum curator begin a correspondence. Their lives couldn't be more different; the curator even needs an English dictionary at his side to be sure of the meanings of some words, but they manage, through all that, to tell each other the stories of their lives and give voice to their feelings through the intimacy of letter writing.
This novel is all about family, friendship, and community. Set in the same fictional Vermont town that appeared in her first novel, Miller presents a story of a mysterious will, a lost dog, and a big-box store that is threatning to change life in Guthrie forever. The people who inhabit Guthrie have known each other for a long time, are always willing to lend a hand, and are known for doing what is right. I loved Louise Miller's first book and I was even more moved and charmed by this one.
Funny as always, but poignant too, David Sedaris is back with a new collection of essays. His family looms larger in this book. As his father ages, Sedaris gathers his family for vacations at the house he has bought near the Carolina coast. Along with his usual sharp observations about store clerks, his fitbit, and life with Hugh, he opens up about the loss of his mother and his sister Tiffany. Whether you chose to read it yourself or listen to him read it to you (on CD or Libro.fm download), you will find yourself making time to stay with it just a little longer.
Every time I sit down to read Sloane Crosley's brilliant, funny essays I realize how much I enjoy how she thinks, what she pays attention to, and what she remembers. Sharp witted, laugh out loud funny, Sedaris-esque -- my words fail me but my feelings are very strong. Wherever she goes and whatever she has to say about it, I want to be there.
Lola can't remember the island where she was born but her abuela tells her, "Just because you don't remember a place, doesn't mean it's not in you." Beautiful and amazing, this picturebook about family, community, and birthplace is just what I would expect from Junot Diaz -- brilliant in every way.
The unexpected gift of a crock full of sourdough starter leads software engineer Lois Clary on a journey of self discovery as she gains new skills and new friendships in the halls of San Francisco food markets. This fun novel will have you craving a nice, crusty loaf of bread.
Artemis is part heist caper on the moon and part space travelogue, with plenty of science, laughs, and excitement along the way. Andy Weir (The Martian) makes life on the moon very real, and his lunar city, Artemis, is full of memorable and cutthroat characters. There are plenty of rules to keep everyone safe, but that doesn't stop Jazz Bashara -- moon kid, porter, and hustler -- from bending them to get ahead. Smart and quick on her feet, she is willing to do just about anything to make a slug.
Each family that faces a terminal illness travels its own unique path. This beautifully written novel tells the story of a daughter who believes she has found a way to memorialize her father as he lays in the hospital dying of cancer. Don't let this stop you from reading this perfect little novel. The poignant moments and the power of this family is a beautiful thing to behold.
t turns out that Tom Hanks the writer is just as appealing and engaging as Tom Hanks, the Oscar-winning actor. His seventeen short stories will take you to unexpected places, and they are at times funny, moving, and charming. For his legions of fans, this is a must-read book.
This wonderful debut novel follows a graduate student in chemistry as she tries to cope with the growing pressures from three different relationships in her life -- with her parents, her boyfriend, and her advisor. At turns funny and heart-beaking, I loved the writing, never certain where this woman and her clever mind would take me.
What does a writer do to make sense of his thoughts and feelings when his mother passes away? He writes. Because I have read his novels, I know Sherman Alexie can make me laugh and make me cry, but his amazing memoir stunned me with its honesty and brilliance.
This recently discovered novel from the late best-selling author Michael Crichton has the feel of Jurassic Park by way of The Great Train Robbery. Based on the real-life rivalry between two paleontologists, it tells the story of a Yale student who joins one of the scientists' groups on a westward journey. The student aims to win a bet and utilize his brand-new skill -- photography. This is a fun summer read. I have missed Michael Crichton.
Pachinko begins simply with this beautiful line "History has failed us, but no matter." This sweeping historical saga tells the story of a poor Korean family, their immigration to Japan, and their attempts to prosper despite the difficulties and prejudices each generation must confront there. Min Jin Lee writes with grace, and the history that comes alive in the pages of this book will take root in your mind and in your heart.
A fallen theater director takes the opportunity to stage Shakespeare in a local prison, using inventive ways to entice the inmates to participate. I was enthralled from start to finish. Atwood has made a wonderful contribution to the Hogarth-Shakespeare series with her take on The Tempest.
This romantic-comedy debut novel has family, friendship, baking, and a dog named Salty. After I finished it I found myself wanting to drive to Vermont to find The Sugar Maple Inn. This is a sweet read for all New England romantics.
With each book she writes Jacqueline Woodson continues to exceed my expectations. Another Brooklyn moved me with it's beautiful language and it's stirring simplicity. Like Toni Morrison, Woodson captures the very essence of the time, place, and lives of her characters. Strong, simple, and pure, her writing is easy enough to devour in a sitting and satisfying enough to make me reflect, reread, and dwell upon it for days after. I am thrilled that Jacqueline Woodson has written another adult novel so that more readers have a chance to see what they have been missing.
Jonathan has an incredibly boring advertising job, a fiance who is a little out of his league, and a NYC apartment on a tenuous perhaps illegal month to month lease. His life changes dramatically when he takes over the care of his Dubai-bound brother's dogs Dante and Sissy. He laughs, he cries, he makes no sense. My affection for Meg Rosoff's new novel knows no bounds, it is pure fun, and a perfect summer read. "Ali Baba trout!"
You can take the boy out of the neighborhood but you can't take the neighborhood out of the boy. Kevin Pearce is riding high when he finds out that his story about a local murder has landed him a Pulitzer Prize, but his past is about to be dragged into the open, and it will change everything. This Boston-based crime novel has it all and is perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane.
The high tech security system in an upscale resort is being misused by a ruthless murderer to target the employees who are struggling to prepare the hotel for its grand opening. This creepy good horror/thriller had me reading and wondering until the very end.
How far should a wife go to protect her husband when he has been accused of a crime? What happens when she becomes his widow and the press and the police are still at her door? Already a bestseller in England, I enjoyed this debut thriller from journalist Fiona Barton and I will be waiting to read her next.
Abigail Thomas' memoir will take you by surprise. In short, simply titled passages she invites you into her life and reveals the ups and downs of her journey, somehow managing to convey the depths of her thoughts on motherhood, friendship and love in the briefest manner.
The world begins again after a flu pandemic wipes out life as we know it. A group of actors and musicians travel in a rusted out truck caravan pulled by horses and perform where they can. It is a strange life, and Emily St. John Mandel makes it beautiful and interesting. I can't believe I just read another dystopian novel and liked it!
Andy Weir's debut novel will remind you of Michael Crichton in his prime. Weir gives you great science, clever likeable characters and a believably taut story of a botanist/engineer, disco hating astronaut left for dead on Mars. Needless to say his character Mark Watney is now My Favorite Martian.
One of my favorite authors opens up again to share more of her life, and I am truly grateful! Kate Braestrup is wise, witty, and wonderful.
There is a lot going on in the life of Andy Waite, a widowed professor of evolutionary biology. He is still grieving for the wife he lost to a drunk driver, struggling to do right by his two young daughters and worrying about how his experimental work could possibly earn a grant that could guarantee his tenure. Grodstein weaves the story of his present with his past, his mentor and his students in this interesting novel. A good choice for fans of both Anne Tyler and Richard Russo.
One of the books in our Young Adult section that we think more people should read. Time Magazine named it "The Best Novel of 2012" (ahead of Hilary Mantel and J.K. Rowling) calling it "damn near genius". I agree.
A thoroughly enjoyable debut novel from the actress Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame. The story of a young actress coming up on her personal deadline of making it in NY acting world is both funny and entertaining.
In this, her 10th Maisie Dobbs novel, Winspear gives us all that we have come to expect and more. More time with our favorite characters, more insight into British society post-World War I, and more of Maisie as shestruggles to make her way in the world and do what is right by those whom she loves.
A perfect read for February especially if you like a well done, thoughtful mystery. The town of Saranac Lake in upstate New York is getting ready for their annual Ice Festival when a body is found frozen in the lake. Troy Chance knows who it is and is caught up trying to find out how he got there. The novel is filled with interesting small town characters and has a wonderful sense of place. I am definitely going to read more from Sara J. Henry.
Pick up this book! It is clever, unexpected and entertaining. This "memoir" follows the lives of an imaginary friend named Budo and his boy Max. Rich in details, it is a loving portrait of a boy, his friend, his family and what it is like to be different. I never had an imaginary friend but if I did I would like him to be like Budo.
A quirky western set in Australia where a lone platypus escapes from a zoo, looking for a mythic land where he can live a better life. Instead he finds some friends and quite a few enemies. Like Redwall, but for grown ups.
Kristin Hannah tackles the tough issues that surround a family when the Mom, a National Guard member, is sent to Iraq. It begins with a marriage in trouble, then got very interesting when the wife was called up for a tour of duty in Iraq. The details of the deployment and what each family member goes through were fascinating. This is when the book finally captured me. I felt it was very realistic and found it quite moving.
I loved the family dynamics and the voice of the narrator who tastes the feelings in the food she eats. Very quirky.
There are so many gems to be found in this lovely little volume of animal essays. Translated from the French (some had to be left out because the puns were just not translatable) and collected beginning in 1896, Renard's Histories Naturelles were illustrated at one time by Toulouse-Latrec. They are full of humor, understanding , joy and compassion. Some are so short but also so true, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Start with one of my favorites, The Finch, and you will see what I mean.
I am a big fan of British society dramas and have really enjoyed watching Downton Abbey (which sadly, is an original screenplay by Julian Fellowes and NOT based on a book) so I finally picked up Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. A modern British comedy of manners where the widowed Major Pettigrew loves his little village, but isn't sure he approves of the changes that are in the works. He has developed a friendship with the local shopkeeper, and they share their appreciation for Kipling and good tea. This warm, funny book will keep you reading and is even better with a good cup of tea by your side.
I love this book, set in Montana in 1919, it's full of wonderful characters and beautiful writingEvery book lover should read it for the library scenes alone!
Charming and entertaining story of a British woman who's boyfriend is obsessed with a reclusive, eighties American rocker. Nick Hornby has a lot to say about relationships, music and men who just won't grow up.
This amazing book is Maira's love letter to NYC and America and Democracy. A wonderful companion to her book The Principles of Uncertainty, its hard to describe but easy to appreciate. It's a visual tour through American history and government and politics and issues facing our country today seen through her artists eye and heart.
I can't say enough about this exciting read, Susan Casey weaves the research she did into the science of waves with the companionship and thrills she found following around big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and his gang who live in Hawaii but surf wherever the waves are. Like fellow non-fiction writer Bill Bryson, Casey knows how to keep the narrative going and will have you on the edge of you seat till the end of the ride.
More than just a cozy quilt mystery, Earlene Fowler covers relationships, racial relations and ranch life in California.
WGBH has just finished airing "Return to Cranford" the two part sequel to 2008's "Cranford" and I just loved it. So much so that after I watched the first Cranford I took the book on vacation and read it virtually in one sitting. It was lovely and I have to say even though it is set in the 1840's it seemed quite timeless. I just found out that Cranford was first published as a serial, in a magazine edited by Charles Dickens and is based on the village where Elizabeth Gaskell grew up. We have two editions, one with the lovely Judy Dench on the cover in paperback and the other a beautiful green cloth binding part of a set of classics from Penguin.
The first in a series of literary detective novels that are laugh-out-loud funny. Thursday Next has to outwit a villain who has kidnapped Jane Eyre out of her novel. Great fun with lots of literary references.
This quirky book grew on me. Martin, an OCD coffee barista (he works for the health insurance) spends the rest of his time breaking into people's homes and taking things they will never miss. His system is outrageous and totally believable. I found him fascinating and ultimately likeable.
Eleven Americans embark upon an art history tour of Burma planned by their recently murdered friend, San Francisco socialite Bibi Chen. Bibi's ghost follows the group as they make changes to her trip and encounter dangers along the way. This isn't your typical Amy Tan but I really enjoyed this trip to Burma.