Big Fall Books

Summer is almost over, and autumn is approaching. Here are some books to get excited about as the temperature falls.

FICTION

CommonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

 

 

A Great ReckoningA Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

 

Here I Am by Jonathan Sanfran FoerHere I Am

A monumental new novel from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of our most important writers.

 

 

Razor GirlRazor Girl by Carl Hiassan

When Lane Coolman’s car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield–the eponymous Razor Girl–and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page.

 

 

Today Will Be DifferentToday Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

Today Will Be Different is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

 

 

NON FICTION

Born To RunBorn To Run by Bruce Springsteen

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

 

Killing the Rising SunKilling the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly

Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan.

Stories from the Emerald Isle

Stories from the Emerald Isle

March is here and it’s time for St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you claim Irish heritage, or just enjoy shamrocks and leprechauns, celebrate the Irish in you with a couple of these titles.

FILMS

Once
When a brokenhearted street musician clicks with a beautiful and feisty keyboardist, the unlikely couple have nothing –and everything –to lose. Over the course of one electric week, the duo writes, performs and records an incredible cycle of songs that are as spontaneous and soulful as their unbelievable romance.

Angela’s AshesAngela's Ashes
The 1999 drama based on Frank McCourt’s memoir of the same name chronicles the author’s childhood following his family’s forced emigration from America back to Ireland. It tells the touching tale of McCourt’s struggle to earn enough money to return to “the land of opportunity.”

Far and Away
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play Irish immigrants trying to cash in on the American dream. The duo eventually participate in the Land Run of 1893, when over 100,000 people flooded to present-day Oklahoma to claim land during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet.

The Quiet Man
The 1952 American classic follows a retired American boxer, played by John Wayne, who moves to Ireland in the 1920s to reclaim his family’s farm. He embraces the land after falling in love with an Irishwoman (Maureen O’Hara). The romantic drama earned John Ford a best director Oscar.

The Commitments
The 1991 classic Irish dramedy adapted from Roddy Doyle’s novel of the same name follows working class Dubliners who form an American-style soul band. Despite its relatively unknown cast, Alan Parker’s film was met with critical acclaim and box office success. It also put actor Colm Meaney on the map.

BOOKS

Nora WebsterNora Webster by Colm Tóibín
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it.

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
The Gault family leads a life of privilege in early 1920s Ireland, but the threat of violence leads the parents of nine-year-old Lucy to decide to leave for England, her mother’s home.

1916 by Morgan LLywelyn
Irish novelist and historian Llywelyn provides a fascinating account of the doomed 1916 Easter Rebellion. As fictional characters plot and fight alongside actual historical figures, the reader is swept up in both the glory and the tragedy of the doomed battle for Irish independence.

A few of the GirlsA Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy
A Few of the Girls is a glorious collection of the very best of Binchy’s short story writing, stories that were written over the decades–some published in magazines, others for friends as gifts, many for charity benefits.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
A debut novel already praised as “unbearably poignant and beautifully told” (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows — over the course of four seasons — a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog

An Irish Country Doctor  by Patrick Taylor
An Irish Country Doctor is a charming and engrossing tale that will captivate readers from the very first page–and leave them yearning to visit the Irish countryside of days gone by.

The Immortal Irishman : The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York — the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday!

Celebrate Fat Tuesday!

fattuesdaysplGet in the mood for Mardi Gras with these books and DVDs!

American Horror Story: Coven  (DVD)
The exceptional young witches at Miss Robichaux’s Academy are under assault by forces of ignorance and hate. Caught in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe, who harbors a terrifying secret of her own. Fiona, a Supreme Witch with unimaginable powers, is determined to protect the Coven, but her obsessive quest for immortality will lead her to cross paths with a formidable voodoo queen and a murderous slave owner cursed with eternal life.

Fat Tuesday By Brown, Sandra (Print Book)
It’s Mardi Gras week in the French Quarter, a perfect time for narcotics cop Burke Basile to avenge the acquittal of his partner’s murderer by kidnapping the defense attorney’s sheltered wife. So begins Sandra Brown’s riveting story of corruption in the Big Easy. As the crisis reaches a fevered pitch, the line between saint and sinner blurs. Who will find redemption as the clock ticks toward midnight on Fat Tuesday?

Keepsake crimes By Childs, Laura (eBook)
New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks. But among her client’s keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder

Paper crafts for Mardi Gras By McGee, Randel (Print Book)
Dress up as a jester or a king or queen and lead a Mardi Gras parade! Follow storyteller Randel McGee as he explores the history and symbols of Mardi Gras in PAPER CRAFTS FOR MARDI GRAS. Create a Columbina mask, paper bead throw necklace, a gold doubloon necklace, a rhythm maker, and more!

Treme, the Complete First Season (DVD)
Amid the ruins of New Orleans, ordinary people–musicians, chefs, residents–find themselves clinging to a unique culture and wondering if the city that gave birth to that culture still has a future.

Best Books of 2015

It’s the best time of year. Or at least the best time of year for book lists. All of these books are considered the best of 2015 and Sewickley Public Library owns them! Pick one up for your winter travels today.

 

FictionH is for Hawk

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

The Green Road by Anne Enright

The Incarnations by Susan Barker

The Love Object by Edna O’Brien

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler

 

IncarnationsNonfiction

Barbarian Days: a surfing life by William Finnegan

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Edge of the World by Michael Pye

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Hold Still : a memoir with photographs by Sally Mann

On the Move : a life by Oliver Sacks

Pacific by Simon Winchester

Witches of America by Alex Mar

 

If these books are not enough to satisfy, check out NPR’s Book Concierge  or the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015.

5 Books That Will Give You Chills

Halloween is around the corner and ghosts and goblins are everything. For those of you looking for a good scare, look no further. Here’s a list of books sure to chill you to the bone.

 

Doctor SleepThe Shining by Stephen King

In The Shining, Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Bonus Book : Doctor Sleep

In Doctor Sleep, Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. 

 

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire, opens with the seductive purr of F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) stating, “I was a 25-year-old man when I became a vampire, and the year was 1791.” And so our ultimate antihero, Louis, begins the elaborate retelling of his long, tortured life as a vampire. Winding through the ages, from New Orleans to Paris, we follow Louis and his undying mentor, Lestat, as they feed on humans, whet their carnal appetites, and uncover an underworld of vampire brethren.

Scary Stories to tell in the dark

 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Walking corpses, dancing bones, knife-wielding madmen, and narrow escapes from death—they’re all here in this chilling collection of ghost stories.

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The defining novel of the classic horror genre, Bram Stoker’s defining achievement holds as much weight today as it did more than a century ago. Told through a series of letters and newspaper clippings, Stoker laid out the framework for realistic horror which would pave the way for Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft with his now-world-renowned titular character, roughly drawn from Romania’s Ivan the Terrible. A dark classic for the ages and a brilliant piece of literature.

 

The Woman in BlackThe Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer, travels to a remote village to put the affairs of a recently deceased client, Alice Drablow in order. As he works alone in her isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover disturbing secrets – and his unease grows when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed in black. The locals are strangely unwilling to talk about the unsettling occurrence, and Kipps is forced to uncover the true identity of the Woman in Black on his own, leading to a desperate race against time when he discovers her true intent…

Fall Into Reading

As the weather starts to cool and the leaves begin to change, you might be looking to curl up with a good book. So grab your pumpkin spice latte and take one of these books home today.

Let Me Tell YouLet Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson

Let Me Tell You brings together the deliciously eerie short stories Jackson is best known for, along with frank, inspiring lectures on writing; comic essays about her large, boisterous family; and whimsical drawings.

She wields humor, terror, and the uncanny to explore the real challenges of marriage, parenting, and community–the pressure of social norms, the veins of distrust in love, the constant lack of time and space.

 

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Our endless numbered days

Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly begins to unravel the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.

 

The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

 

The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age by Joyce Carol OatesThe Lost Landscape

The Lost Landscape is Joyce Carol Oates’ vivid chronicle of her hardscrabble childhood in rural western New York State. From memories of her relatives, to those of a charming bond with a special red hen on her family farm; from her first friendships to her earliest experiences with death, The Lost Landscape is a powerful evocation of the romance of childhood, and its indelible influence on the woman and the writer she would become.

October Staff Pick : Boys in the Boat

Our October staff pick comes from Pat Drogowski. This is what she had to say about it.

The Boys in the Boat “My summer favorite, maybe all-time favorite:

 The Boys in the Boat : Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin  Olympics by Daniel Brown

The popularity and challenges of crew are intricately and interestingly described through the  Seattle college team that makes it to 1936 Berlin Olympics team! This was the number-one sport of that era.  But more than that is the struggle of the main character faced with extreme poverty, family abandonment and the stamina and courage to win and lose. History and the extremes of life during the Depression and Dust Bowl are woven so well into this story. He is an unsung American hero to say the least.”

September Staff Pick : The Royal We

This month we have a great selection from one of our librarians, Lynne H.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica MorganThe Royal We

“The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan has been my favorite book of the summer. It’s totally basically fanfiction of Kate Middleton and Prince William… but don’t laugh, I swear it’s really good! For those who love easy to read chick lit that you don’t have to think about.”

If you enjoyed this book, check out the other YA books written by these two : Spoiled and Messy.

 

New Fiction Books – September 2015

Check out some of these new fiction books to hit the Sewickley shelves this month!

 


Among the Ten Thousand Things Among the Ten Thousand Things
 Julia Pierpont
F PIE
Jack Shanley is a New York artist who doesn’t mean to plunge his family into  crisis. His wife, Deb, gladly left behind a career as a dancer to raise their two  children. In the ensuing years, she ignored the weaknesses of the man she  married. But then a package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing  sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack’s secret life.

Bennington Girls Are Easy
Charlotte Silver
F SIL
Bennington College, founded in 1932 as a suitable refuge for the wayward daughters of good families, maintains its reputation for attracting free spirits.  Here’s the story of two graduates as they move to New York and try to figure out what they are actually doing with their lives.

Constant Fear
Daniel Palmer
F PAL
When Jake Dent’s dreams of baseball glory fell apart in a drunk-driving incident, his marriage did too.  In those dark days a popular survivalist blog helped him restore his sense of control.  A suspenseful thriller.

Crooked Heart
Lissa Evans
F EVA
When Noel Bostock—aged ten, no family—is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge—a thirty-six-year old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.   Excellent reviews!

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
Vendela Vida
F VID
In this literary thriller, a woman travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business.  While checking into her hotel, she is robbed of all of her money and identification.  She soon finds that she feels strangely liberated by her sudden  freedom to be anyone she chooses.

The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog
Bruce Cameron
F CAM
During the Ice Ages, one tribe struggles for survival and one extraordinary man bonds with a wolf—a friendship that changes mankind forever.

How to Be a Grown-up
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
F MCL
The authors of The Nanny Diaries are back with a humorous look at a fortysomething wife and mother thrust back into the workforce, where she finds herself at the mercy of a #bosshalfherage.

In a Dark, Dark Wood
Ruth Ware
F WAR
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in this twisted debut psychological thriller. 

Kitchens of the Great Midwest Kitchens of the Great Midwest
 Ryan Stradal
F STR
After a childhood shaken by tragedy, Eva finds solace and salvation in the  flavors of her native Minnesota.  Blessed with a sensitive palate, she  ultimately becomes the mysterious chef behind the most sought-after dinner  reservation in the country.

 

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
Shirley Jackson
F JAC
From the renowned author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House, comes a new volume of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, essays, and other writings.

The Library at Mount Char
Scott Hawkins
F HAW
A debut fantasy author with great reviews!  “A spellbinding story of world-altering power and revenge…Hawkins has created a fascinating, unusual world in which ordinary people can learn to wield breathtaking power—and he’s also written a compelling story about love and revenge that never loses sight of the human emotions at its heart.” – Kirkus

Make Your Home Among Strangers
Jennine Capó Crucet
F CRU
When Lizet, the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school, secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami.

The Marriage of Opposites Marriage of Opposites
Alice Hoffman
F HOF
From the author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.

The Night Sister
Jennifer McMahon
F MCM
In the 1950s, the Tower Motel was the shining attraction of tiny London, Vermont.  Now it stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of three women —and the memory of something dark and sinister that ruined their friendship.

The Third Wife
Lisa Jewell
F JEW
In the early hours of a summer morning, Maya Wolfe stumbles into the path of an oncoming bus.  Was it a tragic accident? Or suicide?

Villa America
Liza Klaussmann
F KLA
An intriguing novel set in the French Riviera during the twenties and based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. 

Woman with a Secret
Sophie Hannah
F HAN
Described as “like watching a nightmare come to life,” could this thriller be the next Gone Girl?

New Fiction Books – August 2015

Absolutely True Lies
Rachel Stuhler
F STU
Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home when she gets hired to write the memoir of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former child star who has moved into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Architect's ApprenticeThe Architect’s Apprentice
Elif Shafak
F SHA
One of Turkey’s preeminent writers spins an epic tale set at the height of the Ottoman Empire and that is teeming with secrets, intrigue, and romance.

Aurora
Kim Stanley Robinson
F ROB
From a preeminent science fiction author, the compelling story of our first voyage beyond the solar system, to find a new home.

A Better Man
Leah McLaren
F MCL
What if the only way you could get out of your marriage was to become the perfect husband?

The Bones of You
Debbie Howells
F HOW
A psychological thriller that revolves around a young woman’s murder and another woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.

Charlie Martz and Other Stories: The Unpublished Stories
Elmore Leonard
F LEO
A collection of never-before-seen stories from the inimitable master of crime fiction.

China Rich Girlfriend
Kevin Kwan
F KWA
The author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with another entertaining novel of social climbing, secret emails, and fashion world scandal.  A comedy of manners that takes readers on a tour through Asia’s most exclusive club of the extremely rich.

Circling the SunCircling the Sun
Paula McLain
F MCL
The  author of The Paris Wife now looks at a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record setting aviator in colonial Kenya and who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote the memoir, Out of Africa.

Death and Mr. Pickwick
Stephen Jarvis
F JAR
A Dickensian novel about the rough-and-tumble world that produced an author that defined an age.  For fans of Charles Dickens!

The Flicker Men
Ted Kosmatka
F KOS
“If Stephen Hawking and Stephen King wrote a novel together, you’d get The Flicker Men.” — Hugh Howey

French Concession
Xiao Bai
F XIA
An atmospheric tale of espionage and international intrigue set in Shanghai in 1931 — a decadent world of violence, and betrayal filled with femmes fatales, criminals, revolutionaries and spies.

House Rivals
Mike Lawson
F LAW
Joe DeMarco is a fixer for an influential congressman, but this time out he is traveling to North Dakota to protect a passionate but naïve twenty-two-year-old blogger who has been crusading against a billionaire oil tycoon.

Love Lies Beneath
Ellen Hopkins
F HOP
Once a widow, twice divorced, Tara is a woman with a past she prefers to keep to herself.  She is gorgeous, affluent and content living alone in her mansion in San Francisco, until she meets Calvin Lattimore.  But then…

The New Neighbor
Leah Stewart
F STE
How much can you really know about the woman next door?  Nice reviews!

The Other Daughter
Lauren Willig
F WIL
Finding out the circumstances of her birth, after her mother’s death, upends Rachel Woodley’s life and reveals that everything she thought she knew about herself is a lie.

A Paris Affair
Tatiana de Rosnay
F ROS
The author of Sarah’s Key presents a collection of short stories that explores forbidden loves in the City of Light.

A Place for Us
Harriet Evans
F EVA
As Martha Winter writes out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party may ruin the idyllic life she and her husband have spent more than fifty years building.

Pretty Is
Maggie Mitchell
F MIT
A fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them.

Royal Wedding
Meg Cabot
F CAB
The author of the Princess Diaries series presents the very first adult installment which follows Princess Mia and her prince charming as they plan their fairy-tale wedding.  Will this fairy-tale have a happy ending?

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Natasha Pulley
F PUL
Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. Atmospheric!

White Crocodile
K.T. Medina
F MED
Tess Hardy thought she had put Luke firmly in her past.  Then he calls from Cambodia, where he’s working as a mine clearer, and there is fear in his voice. Two weeks later, he’s dead.  Against her better judgment, Tess is drawn to Cambodia and the killing fields.

The Woman Who Stole My Life
Marian Keyes
F KEY
Beautician Stella Sweeney is living an ordinary life when she falls very ill, falls in love, then falls into a glamorous new life in New York City. When her dream life is threatened, will she rally to reclaim love and happiness?