5-Star Books from Summer Reading 2014

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.

The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared
– 
Jonasson, Jonas

101 quantum questions : what you need to know about the world you can’t see – Ford, Kenneth William

12th of never – Patterson, James

Abraham Lincoln; the prairie years and the war years. – Sandburg, Carl

All joy and no fun : the paradox of modern parenthood – Senior, Jennifer,

And the mountains echoed – Hosseini, Khaled

Anne of Green Gables : Anne of Avonlea – Montgomery, L. M.

At home in Mitford – Karon, Jan

At large and at small : familiar essays – Fadiman, Anne

Beautiful day : a novel – Hilderbrand, Elin

The Beekeeper’s Ball – Wiggs, Susan

Berlin at war – Moorhouse, Roger

The big burn : Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America – Egan, Timothy

City of heavenly fire – Clare, Cassandra

Clockwork princess – Clare, Cassandra

Cloud atlas : a novel – Mitchell, David

The cooked seed : a memoir – Min, Anchee

Cross my heart – Patterson, James

Dark lover : a novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood – Ward, J. R.

Deathride : Hitler vs. Stalin : the Eastern Front, 1941-1945 – Mosier, John

Delancey : a man, a woman, a restaurant, a marriage – Wizenberg, Molly

The dinner : a novel – Koch, Herman

Drink : the intimate relationship between women and alcohol – Johnston, Ann Dowsett

The drowned cities – Bacigalupi, Paolo

Duma Key – King, Stephen

Dune – Herbert, Frank

The 8th confession – Patterson, James

Family pictures – Green, Jane

The fault in our stars – Green, John

Field of prey – Sandford, John

Flash boys : a Wall Street revolt – Lewis, Michael

Gone girl : a novel – Flynn, Gillian 

Grace-based parenting : set your family free – Kimmel, Tim

The great divorce – Lewis, C. S.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the goblet of fire – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the half-blood prince – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban – Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone – Rowling, J. K.

Heart : an American medical odyssey – Cheney, Richard B.

Heaven is for real : a little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back – Burpo, Todd.

Herbie’s game – Hallinan, Timothy

Home – Morrison, Toni

The husband’s secret – Moriarty, Liane

I, robot – Asimov, Isaac

In the garden of beasts : love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin – Larson, Erik

Incident at Vichy – Miller, Arthur

Insurgent – Roth, Veronica

The invention of wings – Kidd, Sue Monk

Invisible – Patterson, James

The judge – Singer, Randy

Kisses from Katie : a story of relentless love and redemption – Davis, Katie

The kitchen house – Grissom, Kathleen

Letters to a young poet – Rilke, Rainer Maria

The line : a Witching Savannah novel – Horn, J. D.

Living with the Dead : twenty years on the bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead – Scully, Rock

Looking for Alaska – Green, John

Loud awake and lost – Griffin, Adele

Love and treasure – Waldman, Ayelet

The magician’s nephew – Lewis, C. S.

Me before you – Moyes, Jojo

Midnight in Europe : a novel – Furst, Alan

Midwives : a novel – Bohjalian, Christopher A.

Mr. Mercedes : a novel – King, Stephen

Mustard seeds : thoughts on the nature of God and faith – Coulter, Lynn

My sisters the saints : a spiritual memoir – Campbell, Colleen Carroll

The night strangers : a novel – Bohjalian, Chris

No easy day : the autobiography of a Navy SEAL : the firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden – Owen, Mark

Notorious nineteen – Evanovich, Janet

One summer : America, 1927 – Bryson, Bill

Otherwise engaged – Quick, Amanda

The panther – DeMille, Nelson

Paper towns – Green, John

The pearl that broke its shell – Hashimi, Nadia

The perfume collector : a novel – Tessaro, Kathleen

The perks of being a wallflower – Chbosky, Stephen

The princess bride : S. Morgenstern’s classic tale of true love and high adventure : the “good parts” version, abridged – Goldman, William

Prodigal summer : a novel – Kingsolver, Barbara

Ready player one – Cline, Ernest

The reason I jump : the inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism – Higashida, Naoki

Rise, let us be on our way – John Paul II, Pope

Rose under fire – Wein, Elizabeth

Rumpole and the age of miracles – Mortimer, John

Sally Ride : America’s first woman in space – Sherr, Lynn

Sense and sensibility – Austen, Jane

Sixkill – Parker, Robert B.

Something other than God : how I passionately sought happiness and accidently found it – Fulwiler, Jennifer

Son of a gun : a memoir – St. Germain, Justin

Spring fever – Andrews, Mary Kay

The Supremes at Earl’s all-you-can-eat – Moore, Edward Kelsey

Sworn to silence – Castillo, Linda

Think like a freak : the authors of Freakonomics offer to retrain your brain – Levitt, Steven D.

This house is haunted – Boyne, John

Uncommon marriage : learning about lasting love and overcoming life’s obstacles together – Dungy, Tony

Understanding your moods when you’re expecting : emotions, mental health, and happiness–before, during, and after pregnancy – Puryear, Lucy J.

Unlucky 13 – Patterson, James

Unseen arms. – Brooks, Amy

A week in winter – Binchy, Maeve

What W.H. Auden can do for you – McCall Smith, Alexander

When you reach me – Stead, Rebecca

Why we get fat and what to do about it – Taubes, Gary

The world according to Bob : the further adventures of one man and his streetwise cat – Bowen, James

A wrinkle in time – L’Engle, Madeleine

July Staff Pick: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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:

Gone Girl CoverThink Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close in a hip marriage! Everything you think will happen, doesn’t. It’s terrifying for a desperate husband who is accused of murdering the ‘gone’ girl – his wife.

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.

GoneGirlMoviePosterWhile 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!

June Staff Pick: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

After a month off from staff picks, we’re back in June with one from Meghan!

Lost LakeLOST LAKE by Sarah Addison Allen

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.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot SeeAnthony 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:

Stones From The RiverSTONES FROM THE RIVER by Ursula Hegi

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.

Jacob's OathJACOB’S OATH by Martin Fletcher

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.

The English PatientTHE ENGLISH PATIENT by Michael Ondaatje

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's KeySARAH’S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay

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.

The Invisible BridgeTHE INVISIBLE BRIDGE by Julie Orringer

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.

April Staff Pick: Assassination Vacation

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).

AssassinationVacationAssassination 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 PatriotTake the Cannoli: Stories from the New World, and Unfamiliar Fishes.

Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Shortlist

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.

FICTION

 

bookcover (3)AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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.

 

bookcover (4)CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT by Edwidge Danticat 

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.

 

bookcover (5)THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

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.

This title is also available in Large Print, as a Book on CD, and through OverDrive as an eBook and an eAudiobook.

 

 

NONFICTION

 

bookcoverTHE BULLY PULPIT: THEODORE ROOSEVELT, WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF JOURNALISM by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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.

This title is also available in Large Print, as a Book on CD, and as an eBook through OverDrive.

 

bookcover (1)FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: LIFE AND DEATH IN A STORM-RAVAGED HOSPITAL by Sheri Fink

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.

This title is also available through OverDrive as an eBook and an eAudiobook.

 

bookcover (2)ON PAPER: THE EVERYTHING OF ITS TWO-THOUSAND-YEAR HISTORY by Nicholas A. Basbanes

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.

Spotlight on New Historical Fiction

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 Pagan LordTHE PAGAN LORD: A NOVEL by Bernard Cornwell

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.

The Ghost of the Mary CelesteTHE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE by Valerie Martin

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.

The Wife, The Maid, and The MistressTHE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS by Ariel Lawhon

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.

New Pittsburgh Book

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 PraysPITTSBURGH 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.