This Summer the Adults in the Sewickley area read a staggering 447 Books! GREAT JOB EVERYONE! Here are the books that you rated with 5 STARS! Keep scrolling to see them all and then click through to the catalog to check them out.
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn was a huge bestseller two years ago, staying on the New York Times’ list for months.
Pat, who picked the book, said about it:
About why the book is especially appealing she said:
You cannot put it down! There are twists, turns, a sociopathic/psychopathic wife who is assumed murdered, quick chapters, believable characters, families in dysfunction, and confused one-sided investigators. This book needs a sequel.
While author Gilliam Flynn has no plans for a sequel, the movie is due out on October 3, 2014. The internet was abuzz this week when a new trailer was released.
If you haven’t read it yet, check out a copy and read it before you see the movie this autumn!
After a month off from staff picks, we’re back in June with one from Meghan!
Kate has been lingering in a fog throughout the year since her husband died, and it is only when her manipulative mother-in-law threatens to hijack her life that Kate begins to snap to. When her wardrobe-challenged eight-year-old daughter, Devin, discovers an old letter from Kate’s great-aunt Eby, the pair go on the lam to Lost Lake, Eby’s dilapidated resort camp tucked deep in the south Georgia swamplands. Long widowed, with dwindling funds and a diminishing guest roster, Eby may be forced to sell her fading haven to an unscrupulous developer, until Kate’s arrival gives her a new lease on life.
When talking about why she liked this book, Meghan said,
I love Sarah Addison Allen’s books because of their atmosphere, magical realism, and pleasurable endings.
If this sounds like a story you’d enjoy reading too, be sure to click the title above to request a copy. It is also available as an audiobook. Book description from Booklist, copyright 2010.
Anthony Doerr‘s latest book, All The Light We Cannot See, tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France during World War II. The novel was ten years in the writing and highly anticipated. If you haven’t placed a hold for it and would like to, take a look at it in our catalog and request it here.
In the meantime, here are five similar books to tide you over until you can get your hands on it:
Follows Trudi Montag, a dwarf who serves as her town’s librarian, unofficial historian, and recorder of the secret stories of her people, in a novel that charts the course of German history in the first half of the twentieth century. This book is also stylistically complex and describes the challenges that the characters surmount to survive the Second World War.
As World War II winds to a close, Europe’s roads are clogged with twenty million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely Holocaust survivors who meet in Heidelberg. But Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he has killed his brother’s murderer, a concentration camp guard nicknamed “The Rat.” Now he must choose between revenge and love, between avenging the past and building a future. This book is also atmospheric and depicts the brutality of the War, with characters experiencing its emotional and psychological effects.
With unsettling beauty and intelligence, Michael Ondaatje’s Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an abandoned Italian villa at the end of World War II. The nurse Hana obsessively tends to her last surviving patient. Caravaggio, the thief, tries to reimagine who he is, now that his hands are hopelessly maimed. The Indian sapper Kip searches for hidden bombs in a landscape where nothing is safe but himself. And at the center of his labyrinth lies the English patient, nameless and hideously burned, a man who is both a riddle and a provocation to his companions-and whose memories of suffering, rescue, and betrayal illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. This moving, stylistically complex novel is similar in that it reflects on the brutality of World War II and its lingering effects.
Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard-their secret hiding place-and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty Years Later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own future. This book is moving and lyrical, and gives a perspective of family relationships in the desperate times of World War II.
Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he promised to deliver. But when he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient, he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his-and his family’s-history. From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in labor camps, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a family shattered and remade in history’s darkest hour.
Click the titles to visit our online catalog and place a request for any of these books. Descriptions and cover images are from the library online catalog, descriptors of how these books are similar to All The Light We Cannot See are from Novelist.
For our April Staff Pick, which comes a little later in the month, let’s look at a recommendation from Emily (who, for full disclosure, is me…since referring to myself in the third person just felt weird).
Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell, is an exploration of the places in America with connections to the first three US Presidential assassinations. Vowell explains how these places and the collective memories of significant people and events related to the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley have been shaped and in some cases manipulated by the historical tourism industry. Assassination Vacation reads as part pop history, part travelogue and part (irreverently) witty essay.
I really liked this book and enjoyed reading it because of the characters. Even though it is a nonfiction book, there were definitely characters. I found the section on President Garfield to be particularly interesting, and he an especially interesting character. Also, Sarah Vowell herself, and her friends and family were all really great, vivid characters.
Assassination Vacation is also available in Large Print, as a Book on CD, and as an OverDrive eBook in Kindle Book or Adobe EPUB eBook formats. Vowell has written several other books on American history and culture, including The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World, and Unfamiliar Fishes.
The American Library Association has announced the six books shortlisted for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the United States.
One of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of the Year, from the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.
This book is also available through OverDrive as an eBook.
From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town in Haiti where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.
This book is also available through OverDrive as an eBook.
The highly anticipated third novel from the author of The Secret History and The Little Friend, this book was called “an extraordinary work of fiction” by Stephen King. It also just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year.
One of the Best Books of 2013 as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor; as well as a Starred Review from Booklist.
Fink, who also has an M.D. and Ph.D., won the Pulitzer Prize for the investigative reporting on which this book is based. Five Days at Memorial also received a Starred Review from Booklist.
A Best Book of the Year: Mother Jones, Bloomberg News, National Post, Kirkus Reviews, and a Starred Review from Booklist.
From an author of several books about books: A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passions for Books, Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World, and A Splendor of Letters.
Click the various links above to find these titles in various formats in our library catalog and through OverDrive.
If you enjoy history, but like a good story to go along with it, you may have already discovered the genre of historical fiction. If not, consider this your introduction.
Your librarian can help you to find a great historical novel set in any era using tools such as NoveList. Or follow the link to our library database page and under the heading for literature, click on ‘NoveList’ (or ‘Remote Access’ from home) to access this useful resource for readers.
Take a look at these works of historical fiction, recently added to the shelves at Sewickley Public Library. You can follow the linked titles to find them in the library catalog, where you may request a copy for pickup.
The seventh and latest in the ‘Saxon Tales Saga,’ also referred to as ‘The Warrior Chronicles’ and ‘Saxon Stories,’ this book is by “the move prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today,” according to a Wall Street Journal review. The Pagan Lord continues Cornwell’s epic telling of the making of England in the middle ages and the struggle to unite Britain, centering on the stories of Alfred the Great and his descendents. If you are an Anglophile or love Viking stories (or both!), this book and series will have appeal.
The full list of books in the ‘Saxon Stories’ can be found on Bernard Cornwell’s website. If this series and setting sounds intriguing and you’d like to begin at the beginning, the first in this series is The Last Kingdom: A Novel.
Valerie Martin’s latest work of historical fiction explores the unanswered questions surrounding the Mary Celeste, an American merchant vessel found adrift off the Spanish coast in 1872, cargo intact but the entire crew vanished with no signs of foul play.
Martin has written other acclaimed works of historical fiction. Mary Reilly, a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the point of view of a young female servant, won both the Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award. And Property, which tells the story of a plantation master’s wife and her slave on a sugar plantation near New Orleans in 1828, won the Orange Prize (now called the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction) and was named one of the 10 best historical novels by The Observer in 2012.
Ariel Lawhon’s debut novel, set in Jazz Age New York, The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress is an fictionalized account of the real disappearance in 1930 of Justice Joseph Crater. The investigation is undertaken by newly promoted police officer Jude Simon, who proceeds by questioning three women in Crater’s life: his wife, his mistress, and his maid (who also happens to be Simon’s wife). The mystery winds its way through speakeasies and involves the most notorious gangsters of the day.
Of course, these are only three recently written historical fiction novels, set in three eras, and in three different geographic settings. There is sure to be a great work of historical fiction set in whatever time period or in whatever place interests you.
A great new book featuring the people and places of Pittsburgh has recently been published, and you can now find it at Sewickley Public Library.
Click the title to find the book in our online catalog, from which you may place a hold.
PITTSBURGH PRAYS: THIRTY-SIX HOUSES OF WORSHIP, by Abby Mendelson, with Tim Fabian and Brian Cohen.
A summary from the library catalog: With stirring narrative and beautiful photography, Pittsburgh Prays takes us on a journey to the massive cathedrals and private chapels, synagogues, mosques and temples of Greater Pittsburgh.The book highlights not only sacred places, and piety, but also the love that created and maintains these houses of worships of all faiths, foci of communities and neighborhoods. More than bricks and mortar, each building represents the lexicon of Pittsburgh history – and generations dedicated to the greater good.
Also, read this review by Marylynne Pitz in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to learn more about Pittsburgh Prays: Thirty-Six Houses of Worship.
Remarkable stories reveal that “I Will Survive” has reached people from all walks of life and touched their lives in thousands of unique ways. From individuals triumphing over illness to those suffering from the painful loss of a loved one to others piecing their lives together after bearing witness to national tragedy, “I Will Survive” has become an emotional anthem for them and for millions of Gloria Gaynor’s adoring fans around the world. In We Will Survive, Gloria shares forty of these inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds – individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of this one song.
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks’s The Island of the Colorblind , Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school. Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken’s international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world’s blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength.
For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off-through luck, guile and sheer mulishness-any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere-indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them. Danubia, Simon Winder’s hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna.
Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion and chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again. From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of man’s relationship with trains. Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Zoellner also considers America’s culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference. Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel
In The Monkey’s Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz describes the radical new view of how fragmented distributions came into being: frogs and mammals rode on rafts and icebergs, tiny spiders drifted on storm winds, and plant seeds were carried in the plumage of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In other words, these organisms were not simply constrained by continental fate; they were the makers of their own geographic destiny. And as de Queiroz shows, the effects of oceanic dispersal have been crucial in generating the diversity of life on Earth, from monkeys and guinea pigs in South America to beech trees and kiwi birds in New Zealand. By toppling the idea that the slow process of continental drift is the main force behind the odd distributions of organisms, this theory highlights the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the history of life.
Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not. In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece-the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure-and brings them into our world.
As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the minuscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology-enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor-to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel’s famous pea plant experiments and mutations in the X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.
To find any of the above titles in the online library catalog, click the titles. From there, you may also place a hold for pickup.
Take a look at these new mysteries, of all varieties, just arrived at Sewickley Public Library. Remember to click the titles of any book in this post to see them in our online catalog, where you may place a hold.
Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion-but soon presents real danger…
Death Comes to the Village is the first in Catherine Lloyd’s “Kurland St. Mary Mysteries.” Be one of the first to get swept up into a new mystery series!
Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery Boulangerie Bertrand when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city. Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she’s also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.
That Old Black Magic is the fourth in Clark’s “Wedding Cake Mysteries.” If this sounds interesting and you haven’t read the first three, check out To Have and To Kill.
Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back. Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored: owning her own business, Spice it Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia. But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed. Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride. Desperate to uncover the truth-and prove her innocence-Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit.
Rosemary and Crime is also the first in a new mystery series by Gail Oust.
When Nantucket homeowner Preston Lomax is killed in his McMansion, everyone on the island could be a suspect. Chief of Police Henry Kennis, a newcomer from California, finds himself investigating with help from the State Police. Together they solve the case–or so it appears.
In post-Revolution Paris, an old man signs a letter in blood, then hides it in a secret compartment in a sailor’s chest. A messenger arrives to transport the chest and its hidden contents, but then the plague strikes and an untimely death changes history. Two hundred years later, Hugo Marston is safeguarding an unpredictable but popular senator who is in Paris negotiating a France/U.S. dispute. The talks, held at a country chateau, collapse when the senator accuses someone of breaking into his room. Theft becomes the least of Hugo’s concerns when someone discovers a sailor’s chest and the secrets hidden within, and decides that the power and money they promise are worth killing for. But when the darkness of history is unleashed, even the most ruthless and cunning are powerless to control it.
This is Mark Pryor’s third Hugo Marston mystery. If you like this description but want to start from the beginning, check out The Bookseller.
The Maxwell brothers are living together in Oakland while Leo, chafing in his role as junior attorney in his former sister-in-law’s small criminal defense firm, is on the lookout for the big case that will make his reputation. He thinks he’s found that when a mysterious woman nearly runs him down, then appears at his office to hire him to defend her brother on a murder charge. One problem: Leo hasn’t actually met the client when he sets out to investigate what seems like a hot tip on a burgeoning scandal in the Oakland Police Department. Leo takes a series of photographs that seem to blow the lid on deep-set corruption in the Department, however when he brings these pictures to the attention of the District Attorney’s office, he quickly learns that all is not as it seems, beginning with Leo’s client and the alluring woman who hired him.
This is Lachlan Smith’s followup to the beginning of his Leo Maxwell mystery series after his debut, Bear is Broken.
Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a pair of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again in August 1920. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection-and yet, when he finds it, it isn’t as simple as he’d expected.