Staff Recommendations - Adult



Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (2017)

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (2017)

Late at night after a long shift, neurosurgeon Eitan Green hits someone with his SUV and makes the decision to leave the man, an African migrant, dying in the road. What Dr. Green initially does to protect his marriage and young children begins to spiral out of control when the man’s widow appears at his door the next day. An intellectual, world-class psychological thriller that doesn’t shy away from philosophical questions about the nature of choice, guilt, and the value and worth of lives. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=waking+lions+gundar-goshen&te=

 



Lockdown by Laurie R. King (2017)

Lockdown by Laurie R. King (2017)

This story starts with short chapters delving into the situations and issues of its characters; the reader knows where it is heading by the title. The book is set mainly in a middle school in San Felipe, California, and in the town dealing with the disappearance of one student, a murder, and the trial surrounding the death of a high-school student. When the lockdown occurs, you will be surprised by the perpetrator and the motive. Kate Martinelli, from some of King’s other novels, makes a guest appearance. Many seemingly unrelated events and ideas come together in the course of this story, while one seems to just drift off into the distance. (Anne)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Lockdown+laurie+king&te=

 



The Leavers by Lisa Ko (2017)

The Leavers by Lisa Ko (2017)

One day, eleven year-old Deming Guo wakes up to find that his mother Peilan, also known as Polly, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. He is adopted out to a white couple in upstate New York who change his name to Daniel. A decade later, Deming/Daniel receives an email which begins to unravel the mystery behind missing Peilan/Polly. A slow-burning, emotional, and haunting mystery-turned-family drama. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=lisa+ko+leavers&te=

 



Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (2016)

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (2016)

Two marriages intersect in this debut novel set in 2007-2008. One is an immigrant couple from Cameroon, the other is part of the top 10%. The Jonga family is working hard to achieve the American Dream, and Jende Jonga is hired as a chauffeur for the Edwards family. But Jende’s immigration status is tenuous, and the threat of deportation hangs over their heads constantly. The collapse of Lehman Brothers brings many matters to a head, and the Jongas must decide whether they will continue fighting to stay in the United States or return to Cameroon. Readers who enjoyed The Help or Americanah should consider this one. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=behold+the+dreamers&te=

 



TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (2013)

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (2013)

National Book Award winner McCann has pieced together a story of journeys across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Ireland. The disparate stories of early aviators Alcock and Brown, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and Senator George Mitchell are woven together with the stories of several generations of Irish women. Beautiful language and a clever, complex plot highlight this novel of history and how it still affects us today. Recommended for fans of complex literary fiction along the lines of Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon and Geraldine Brooks. (Andrew)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=transatlantic+mccann&te=

 



Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (2016)

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (2016)

For anyone who has ever fallen so deeply into a book that coming back caused a sort of grief… This novel is about a boarding school for kids who have found another world (their own Narnia, their own Wonderland) and had to come back to reality. But some evil begins killing students at Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, and new student Nancy and her friends must solve these crimes before it is too late. Great for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and The Magicians. First in a series. (Tom)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=every+heart+a+doorway&te=

 



Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson (2017)

Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson (2017)

In the summer of 1940, American journalist Ruby Sutton is offered the opportunity to cover the war in Europe as a staff writer for a London newsmagazine. She jumps at the chance, looking forward to a fresh start in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. Life in war-time Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined. Although most of Ruby's new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence--not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet when the bombs begin to fall. As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches into weeks and months, Ruby can no longer be an objective observer, and her news articles offer eyewitness authenticity. After the hotel she is living in is destroyed in an air raid, Ruby must depend upon the kindness of strangers who soon become a surrogate family. Throughout the war Ruby suffers losses but gains true friendships and begins to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren't his to share. Goodnight from London was inspired by the wartime experiences of the author's grandmother. Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction with a dash of romance. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=goodnight+from+london&te=

 



Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris (2017)

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris (2017)

The noted humorist mines his hundreds of diaries for gems, and the result is an intimate autobiography spiced with delightful and disturbing observations about everything from relationships to current events. The abridged audio version is concise and rich, with the author’s inimitable reading style. A perfect summer pick, whether listening on a road trip or reading in a hammock! (Melissa)

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The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (2017)

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (2017)

While the struggle to survive WWII has been addressed often in recent novels, what it took to survive the "peace" that followed has not. This novel’s three main characters are German women--widows because their husbands were involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Marianne brings the others to her crumbling family estate where they raise their children and try to pick up the pieces of their lives. Even many subsequent decades do not erase some of their post-war actions and traumas. The narrator of the audio book does an excellent job of bringing these complex women to life. Fans of historical fiction in general--and The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See in particular--should enjoy this novel. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=women+in+the+castle+shattuck&te=

 



No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts (2017)

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts (2017)

After building his wealth, JJ Ferguson returns to his hometown to reconnect with Ava, the woman he has loved since his youth. Though Ava is married to the caddish Henry and desperately trying to conceive a child, JJ lures her with a dream house built specifically with her in mind. Author Stephanie Powell Watts has recast, reset, and upcycled elements of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and created a familiar but uniquely American story of big dreams and just-out-of-reach hopes. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=no+one+is+coming+to+save+us&te=

 




Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

This book is for you if you ever wanted to know about the cultural schisms between non-African blacks (African Americans), Africans (immigrants), and everyone else. It is also for you if you have experienced being a non-African black, an African, or anyone else in the U.S. The story centers around Ifemelu, a Nigerian ex-pat who comes to the U.S. for college, struggles to find her way and get a job, eventually becomes a citizen and starts a blog, writing dead-on posts about race relations in the U.S. A parallel plot follows the boy she left behind in Nigeria through his own struggles. The story is sharply witty and observant, sometimes sad and painful. A great book group read. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=americanah&te=

 



A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander (2017)

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander (2017)

Although this novel is categorized as a Christian historical romance, it really reads more like historical fiction with a little religious content and a love story. In 1870s Nashville, Rebekah Carrington returns home after her grandmother’s death and a decade of studying music in Vienna. Semi-estranged from her mother and stepfather, she is determined to be independent. She auditions for the Nashville Philharmonic, but Maestro Nathaniel Whitcomb, while highly impressed by her performance, says it’s out of the question for a woman to be a member of the orchestra, a historically accurate detail. Mrs. Adelicia Acklen Cheatham hires Rebekah as a violin tutor for her daughter. In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Cheatham also has Rebekah help Nathaniel , who is periodically unwell, finish a symphony which needs to be ready for the opening of the new opera house. Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction about women in the arts. (#3 of the Belmont Mansion trilogy, but it is not necessary to read these in order.) (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=note+yet+unsung+alexander&te=

 



Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Have you been looking for a chaste, fairy-tale retelling, Gothic, paranormal, shape-shifting, steampunk romantic suspense novel set in an alternate Victorian England? If even a couple of these elements appeal, this could be the book for you! Lucy Pickett travels to Blackwell Manor to see what is ailing her cousin Kate, who is newly married to the Earl’s younger brother. Miles, the Earl of Blackwell, is the titular Beast, as he is hulking, brooding, unpleasant, and facially scarred. Soon Lucy learns that Miles’ wife and sister both died mysteriously six months previously. Mysterious occurrences abound, including a ghost, a werewolf, and vampires; plus there are steampunk trappings such as airships, automatons programmed by tin punch cards, and Tesla power stations. Good fun! (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Beauty+and+the+Clockwork+Beast&te=

 



There Is No Good Card for This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell (2017)

There Is No Good Card for This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell (2017)

Etiquette books aren’t normally must-reads, but this one is spectacular in its aspirational goals for each of us to reach out to one another, its helpful vocabulary of stock phrases for difficult life situations, and its specific examples of how to help or what to do (and what not to do and say). Laugh-out-loud funny, compassionate, and encouraging, this book is the best example of a self-help book in service to others. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=crowe+there+is+no+good+card+for+this

 



Homegoing  by Yaa Gyasi (2016)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016)

Homegoing is a brilliant historical novel that subtly explains much about the history of slavery in America that I did not learn in school. Two half-sisters are caught up in the slave trade on the Ivory Coast of Africa, and their experiences and that of their descendants lead us to modern day America and Ghana. The characters are engaging and their stories are compelling, making for a fast enjoyable history lesson that I will be thinking about for long time. (Gladys)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=homegoing+gyaasi&te=

 



Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (2017)

Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (2017)

A small, old house in upstate New York is the center of this story. A young family moves from Brooklyn, hoping for a fresh start. Karl is an unfaithful husband who has promised to make amends. Eleanor is a somewhat successful novelist who is having writer’s block. Irina is their 12 year old daughter, who is obsessed with a past crime that was committed in the house. As the cast of eccentric characters grows, the old, unsolved crime seems increasingly relevant. Published by local house Graywolf Press, this novel is very well written, suspenseful, and darkly humorous. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=broken+river+lennon&te=

 



Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia (2017)

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia (2017)

Hattie Hoffman is a talented, well-read, beautiful high school senior who cannot wait to escape her small hometown of Pine Valley, Minnesota. The novel is told from three points of view—Sheriff Del Goodman, Hattie, and the new English teacher, Peter Lund. Hattie plans to follow her dreams of becoming an actress in New York after graduation. She has spent her life making those around her happy by becoming whatever they want her to be—a perfect friend, a perfect daughter, an honor roll student, a perfect girlfriend. Deep down, she just wants someone to like her for who she really is, or who she really wants to be. She finds that someone in an internet chat room and an online romance blossoms. Lund, has reluctantly relocated to Pine Valley in order for his wife to take care of her ailing mother. He casts Hattie as the star in the spring play, Macbeth. Her opening night performance is fantastic, yet she is found murdered at an abandoned barn the same night. Pine Valley’s secrets are revealed as the events of the past year unravel the truth about Hattie’s murder. Recommended for both Teen and Adult readers who enjoy suspenseful, psychological thrillers with a strong character driven plot. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=everything+you+want+me+to+be+mejia&te=

 



Saturn Run by John Sandford (2015)

Saturn Run by John Sandford (2015)

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern notices something odd from a space telescope--an object is approaching Saturn and decelerating. (Space objects don't decelerate BUT spaceships do.) A flurry of meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whoever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively will have an advantage so large that no other nation can compete. Since the Chinese came to the same conclusion, the race is on and a remarkable adventure begins. This novel weight in at 486 pages, but it was not a problem since I did not want the story to end. Saturn Run is an excellent read and better than anything you will find on TV all summer. (Jody)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=saturn+run+sanford&te=

 



Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton (2017)

Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton (2017)

Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester run a store in a small Utah ski resort town that sells stationery, repairs typewriters and mends old books--and they somehow make a living doing it. During the annual Star City Film Festival, famous actor Matt Bane stops into the shop and the dazzled Clare instantly feels a bond with him. Shortly after, Matt’s sister is murdered, and he is arrested for the crime. Clare uses her friendship with a member of the local police force to wangle her way into the jail to visit Matt, who asks her to deliver a message to his manager. The insatiably curious Clare is then drawn deeper and deeper into the investigation, despite repeated warnings to stay out of it. Can Clare identify the murderer before anyone else gets hurt? With an appealing setting and characters, this second in the Dangerous Type series is recommended for readers of cozy mysteries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:656940/one?qu=bookman+dead+style

 



Scribe of Sienna by Melodie Winawer (2017)

Scribe of Sienna by Melodie Winawer (2017)

Beatrice Trovato is a brain surgeon who has little time for hobbies, vacations, or love. But when her historian brother unexpectedly dies near his home in Italy, she travels to Sienna and dives into his research of an evil conspiracy that doomed the city during the Black Plague. After discovering a journal of Gabriele Accorsi, a 14th century fresco artist, Beatrice is transported back in time to 1347, shortly before the arrival of the Plague. Together with Gabriele, she must find the reasons behind Sienna’s fate and decide where in history she belongs. (Julie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=scribe+of+sienna&te=

 




The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (2016)

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (2016)

A superlative story of the woman behind the man. Mileva Maric was Albert Einstein’s first wife. She was also the only woman in his physics class at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic. According to some, she was the better mathematician and most likely contributed or collaborated on some of the early work attributed solely to Albert. As with all good historical fiction, the story is based on some facts and lots of speculation. But the impossible choices that a woman had to make – unless she had the complete support of a powerful man - are accurately portrayed and explored. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=other+einstein+marie+benedict&te=

 



Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (2016)

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (2016)

Alexandrina Victoria wakes one morning shortly after her 18th birthday to learn that her uncle William IV has died, and she is now Queen of England. In contrast to the sheltered, country life she has lived thus far, Victoria is thrown into the duties and responsibility of ruling her country. There is great pressure from her domineering mother, members of the court, and government ministers who believe she is just a silly young girl who is not capable of being a Queen. She relies heavily on the guidance of her Prime Minister and imagines herself in love with him, despite the assumption by all that her destiny is to marry her boring cousin Prince Albert. This historical novel sheds great light on what it must have been like to ascend to the throne at such a young age, along with all the entertaining court intrigue and drama of the royal family. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=victoria+daisy+goodwin&te=

 



People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper (2016)

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper (2016)

Emily married the love of her life right out of college. Their romance carries them through the struggles of young adulthood, until his mother gets very sick and the dynamic of their relationship changes. As they grow distant, she falls in love with another man and gets pregnant. Then 9/11 happens and changes her world forever; she leaves for California and doesn’t look back, changing her name and raising her daughter alone. When she receives a frightening diagnosis, she has to return to the past she left behind to secure her daughter’s future. Captivating and sometimes heartbreaking, this novel makes you think about what you’d do in Emily’s situation. (Heather)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:622573/one?qu=people+who+knew+me+hooper

 



George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones (2016)

George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones (2016)

The butterfly effect is the idea that small things, like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, can have big effects. So too does the existence of the entire Star Wars “empire” hinge on a seat belt that failed. Had it done its job, the teenaged George Lucas would surely have been killed in the horrific crash that wrapped his car around a tree. Instead, he was thrown clear, and this second chance at life resulted in the rather aimless ‘D’ student, who was likely headed for a future as an auto mechanic, becoming one of the wealthiest and most successful filmmakers of all time. Not that he set out to make blockbusters. The original idea behind Star Wars was to give children growing up in the 70s the kind of grand, mythic stories then lacking in the cynical post-Vietnam, post-Watergate world. Hating the studio system, Lucas used the money from Star Wars merchandise to finance (and control) his subsequent movies. Spanning Lucas’s birth through the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, George Lucas: A Life is filled with details to fascinate film lovers, readers of biographies and, of course, Star Wars fans. (Chris)

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Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the fall of the Romanov Dynasty by Robert K. Massie (1967, reissued 2000)

Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the fall of the Romanov Dynasty by Robert K. Massie (1967, reissued 2000)

This modern classic is history done very well. With masterful storytelling and characterizations, Massie brings imperial Russia to life and depicts the fall of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty. The tragic tale makes the reader ask questions such as "What if Alexei had not had hemophilia?" and "What role did Alexandra play in the downfall of the royalty?" and "What if Nicholas had been more open to power sharing--could the tragedies of 20th century Russia been avoided?" For readers who enjoy history, biography, and royal intrigue. (Luann)

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Clean Cut by Theresa Monsour (2003)

Clean Cut by Theresa Monsour (2003)

Paris Murphy is a vice squad detective with the St Paul police department. One rainy night she is called out to investigate the murder of a young woman who Paris knew often worked as a prostitute. Paris finds it odd that a large section of the victim’s hair is cut off. Soon she discovers other murders involving women with missing hair. This fact and a scalpel found at the crime scene leads her to a married plastic surgeon with a seemingly normal life. To lure him out, Paris decides to pose as a prostitute. Unfortunately when he sees her picture in the newspaper, the doctor discovers the deception and chooses Paris to be his next victim. Monsour’s gritty depiction of vice cops and prostitutes is somewhat similar to the novels of John Sandford, with the action set locally in the Twin Cities. (Murray)

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Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes (2016)

Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes (2016)

Nell plans a long weekend in Paris with her current boyfriend but ends up going alone and meeting someone there. It’s a very sweet romance with a little humor and lots of British charm. The additional short stories have more grit, but the characters are just as endearing. (Gladys)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=paris+for+one+moyes&te=

 



The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (2015)

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (2015)

Coincidence? A chance meeting between two travelers at an airport bar who easily strike up a conversation and soon have shared intimate details about their lives. Ted confides that his wife is cheating on him while spending millions building their dream home, and he’d like to kill her. Surprisingly, his drinking companion Lily says, “I can help you with that”… and so Ted and Lily form an unusual partnership, plotting to kill the unfaithful Miranda who has secrets of her own. Wealth, deceit, and revenge all play a role in this thriller that keeps you guessing as to who will be left standing on the final page. (Christy)

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (2016)

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (2016)

The New York Times named this one of the "6 books to help understand Trump's win." Vance grew up in a "Hillbilly" family which had emigrated from Kentucky's Appalachian region to Ohio. While nominally upwardly mobile, his story details the difficulties associated with assimilating into a new area and a new social class. Throughout his story of growing up, joining the Marines, and attending Yale Law School, Vance reflects on the reasons he was able to rise above the traumas he experienced, how the white middle class can salvage itself, and what government's role should be. This would be a good option for political junkies and for those who enjoy unique, reflective memoirs. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=hillbilly+elegy+vance&te=

 



Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams (2016)

Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams (2016)

A master of razor-sharp short stories and essays, writer Joy Williams irreverently and sympathetically imagines a mostly well-intentioned creator bumbling about a marvelous world inhabited by beings ranging from good to all-too-human. A great selection for deep thinkers without a lot of time on their hands. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:593866/one

 




A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2014)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2014)

This first novel by Sweden’s Fredrick Backman has been a long-time international best seller. The main character is Ove, a grumpy 59 year old who values the enforcement of rules, routine and visiting his wife’s grave. He stills misses her after four years and goes through each day without any color, just existing without purpose since he was forced to retire. Now all he wants to do is to join his wife. This changes when a new family moves into the house next door. Every time he tries to leave this world, someone or something interrupts him, and he slowly becomes more involved in a growing number of other people’s lives. This evolution is slow at first but gains momentum, keeping the reader’s interest. This book will appeal to both men and women who like a feel-good book with quirky characters. (Mary Ellen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=man+called+ove+backman&te=

 



Winter’s Child by Margaret Coel (2016)

Winter’s Child by Margaret Coel (2016)

After five years, Eldon and Myra Little Shield just want to legally adopt the little girl left on their doorstep as a baby. But when their attorney, Clint Hopkins, begins trying to find out where the girl came from, he is killed in a suspicious hit-and-run accident. Taking over the case, Vicky Holden follows in Clint’s footsteps in hopes of completing the adoption and discovering what he may have learned that got him killed. Meanwhile, Father John O’Malley at the Jesuit mission on the reservation is hosting his niece Shannon, who is writing her dissertation on a pair of sisters who were taken captive by Indians in the 1800s. One was rescued after a short time, but the other, a toddler, was adopted by a Cheyenne chief, married an Arapaho and lived the rest of her life as an Indian. Vicky’s and Father John’s paths converge as they both try to convince Vince White Hawk, an alcoholic charged with attempted robbery, to turn himself in on a plea deal. What happened that sent Vince into hiding and how does this tie in with the Little Shield case? This 20th and final mystery set on the Wind River Reservation explores themes of identity and belonging while uncovering the truth about Clint’s death. (Chris)

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Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn (2016)

Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn (2016)

This is the story of how Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crocket changed the path of each other's lives by being friends, working hard and allowing others to help them along the way. They both grew up in poverty and hardship; Leroy lost his legs in a train accident at 11, and Dartanyon is legally blind. (Gladys)

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The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna  (2011)

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (2011)

This novel, set primarily in 2001 Sierra Leone, centers around a white British psychologist, Adrian, who has arrived to try to help people traumatized by the war and to escape his failing marriage. One of his patients is Elias Cole, who tells him about his obsession with a woman, Saffia, during the 1960s, and another is Agnes, who wanders from town to town in a fugue state. Adrian becomes attracted to a young woman, Mamakay, and befriends Kai, a doctor who is haunted by the memories of the civil war in Sierra Leone, yet so far has chosen to stay. This is a story of trauma, repressed memories, and the enduring power of love. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=memory+of+love+forna&te=

 



Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013)

The Drum family live in 1961 southern MN in a small, bucolic town called New Bremen. Nathan, the father, is a minister, and his wife has never forgiven him for veering off the lawyer path. Their thirteen-year-old son, Frank, who narrates the novel, is forced to grow up quickly when a series of events rob him and his younger brother of their innocence. This novel does a lovely job of portraying the time and place. Fans of Faith Sullivan, Larry Watson, and Ivan Doig will enjoy this stand-alone novel from Krueger, who is best known for his Cork O'Connor mystery series. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=ordinary+grace+krueger&te=

 



The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh (2013)

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh (2013)

Francis Irvine is leading a life of privilege with her wealthy father in 1880s London. Unfortunately, upon her father’s sudden death, she discovers that he has lost all of the family fortune investing in railroad stocks. With dwindling resources, her only option appears to be moving in with a distant relation, where they have agreed to take her in as domestic help. Faced with this grim future, she decides to accept a marriage proposal from a family friend whom she does not love. Edwin is a doctor in South Africa, and she begins her journey by sea to marry him. While en route, she meets William, a mysterious diamond smuggler, and falls prey to his charms. Upon arrival in Africa, Francis marries Edwin and has trouble adjusting to life away from London. While Edwin is out treating smallpox cases, Francis is dreaming of reuniting with William. However, she soon learns that both he and Edwin are not who she thought. This novel will appeal to women and fans of historical fiction. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=fever+tree+mcveigh&te=

 



Lowcountry Wedding by Alice Monroe (2016)

Lowcountry Wedding by Alice Monroe (2016)

Nothing could be more enchanting than a summer wedding—or two!—in Charleston’s fabled lowcountry. A centuries-old plantation, an avenue of ancient oaks dripping moss, a storied ballroom, a sand dune at sunset… Yet when a stranger arrives, a long-held family secret could silence the bells ringing for the Muir sisters. Scandals surface, family bonds are questioned, and promises are broken and renewed. In A Lowcountry Wedding, Monroe delves into the heart of marriage, commitment, and family ties. This lowcountry fairytale will appeal to female audiences of all ages, especially those who admire the locale. (Natasha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=low+country+wedding+monroe&te=

 



The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery (2015)

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery (2015)

Who can imagine a creature more alien than an octopus? Nevertheless, these mollusks are surprisingly intelligent, friendly and playful. In this book, Montgomery details how she got to know four octopuses at the New England Aquarium—Athena, Octavia, Kali and Karma. The author was so smitten with the creatures that she learned to scuba dive so she could observe them in the wild. This is a delightful book, of interest to anyone who enjoys reading about the natural world. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=soul+of+an+octopus&te=

 



The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule (2009)

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule (2009)

In this classic of true-crime literature, Rule tells how Ted Bundy, a friend and former co-worker, was revealed as a serial murderer who killed at least thirty-six women. Like everyone else, Rule read the reports about a multiplying series of murders in Utah, Washington and Colorado. In true-crime fashion Rule describes how the victims disappeared without a trace and apparently followed the killer voluntarily. When the clues seemed to point at Bundy, she refused to believe her friend could be responsible. Her friendship allowed her to keep in touch with Bundy until his execution in Florida. Rule maintained that she wrote the book to save others from such a predator, but her unique access gave her the opportunity of a lifetime as a writer and also made the book truly chilling, as she could have been a victim as well. (Murray)

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Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson (2006)

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson (2006)

Spirit Car tells the story of the Dakota Indians in Minnesota through the author’s family history. Wilson grew up in a suburban household and little considered her past until she traced her family genealogy. Soon she realized that her mother’s Dakota ancestors were part of the conflict between Indian and White that led to the tragic war of 1862. The author describes the Dakota’s loss of tribal land, their confinement on impoverished reservations, and hardship so severe that families were forced to send their children away to government boarding schools just to ensure their survival. Spirit Car illuminates a tragic period in Minnesota history and affirms the perseverance of the Dakota people. (Murray)

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The Race by Nina Allan (2016)

The Race by Nina Allan (2016)

This sweeping speculative science fiction drama begins in a world where humans undergo surgery to empathically connect them with genetically-modified greyhounds and a story of a greyhound race that spurs on the emergence of a new human race and a race against time -- unfolding intimately through four different perspectives. A layered and thoughtful read for those who like real-world ethical issues playing out in alternate worlds, such as in books like Richard Adams’ Plague Dogs (1977), films like Gattaca (1997), and graphic novels like Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s We3 (2014). (Melissa)

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Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook by Marco Canora (2015)

Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook by Marco Canora (2015)

To celebrate our first winter snowstorm, I simmered up a large batch of bone broth using the instructions from this wonderful slim hardbound book. Part cookbook, part chef’s memoir with a little bit of health-food facts, this book has all the encouragement and instruction you need to cook up the most basic of winter’s needs: a warm mug or bowl of soothing broth. As a drink, it doesn’t have the sugar spike effect caused by fruit smoothies. As an afternoon snack, it is more filling and satisfying than coffee, as it won’t keep you up all night. Add veggies and meat and call it soup or stew. It’s a great base for risottos, too. Also includes fish and vegetable broth recipes. Delicious! A great little book that I just might need to buy for my own kitchen. (Barb)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=brodo+broth+canora&te=

 



Grace: A Novel by Natashia Deón (2016)

Grace: A Novel by Natashia Deón (2016)

Fifteen year-old Naomi runs away from the Faunsdale, Alabama, plantation where she is enslaved to a Conyers, Georgia, brothel run by a no-nonsense madam and where Naomi falls in love with and bears the blonde-haired, light-skinned Josey in the moments before she dies. Narrated by Naomi’s ghost, the book shifts back and forth between the two women’s stories and weaves together themes of motherhood and enduring love. This gorgeously-written example of literary historical fiction is on par with greats such as Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child (2015), Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves (2008), and Cynthia Bond’s Ruby (2014). (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Grace+Natashia+Deon&te=

 



The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (2016)

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (2016)

Lib Wright is a young English nurse who trained and worked alongside Florence Nightingale. She answers an advertisement for a unique job in a small Irish village. Eleven year old Anna O’Donnell reportedly has eaten nothing for the past 4 months, yet she still appears in good health. Anna’s family and the community think it’s a miracle brought on by Anna’s devout Roman Catholic faith. Word is spreading outside of Ireland, and many visitors are making pilgrimages to see the “wonder” that is Anna. Lib is hired by an investigative committee, and is charged with observing Anna to make sure she really is not eating. Highly recommended for fans of historical and domestic fiction. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=wonder+emma+donoghue&te=

 



Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (2016)

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (2016)

Alexandrina Victoria wakes one morning shortly after her 18th birthday to learn that her uncle William IV has died, and she is now Queen of England. In contrast to the sheltered, country life she has lived thus far, Victoria is thrown into the duties and responsibility of ruling her country. There is great pressure from her domineering mother, members of the court, and government ministers who believe she is just a silly young girl who is not capable of being a Queen. She relies heavily on the guidance of her Prime Minister and imagines herself in love with him, despite the assumption by all that her destiny is to marry her boring cousin Prince Albert. This historical novel sheds great light on what it must have been like to ascend to the throne at such a young age, along with all the entertaining court intrigue and drama of the royal family. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=daisy+goodwin+victoria&te=

 



The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (2016)

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (2016)

This is an intriguing story of a mother and daughter, each going their own way on a number of different levels. Beth is newly separated and single, trying to put her life back together. Carmel, her 8 year old daughter, is very dreamy and wanders off at times. Eventually, the worst case happens, and Carmel is separated from her mother at a storytelling festival and goes missing. The story is told in the voices of Beth, the mother who searches for her unusual daughter, and Carmel, who tries to make sense of living life among strangers. This is a haunting and ethereal psychological thriller. The writing is vivid and draws you in, and it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. (Annemarie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=girl+in+the+red+coat+hamer&te=

 



Ghost Times Two by Carolyn Hart (2016)

Ghost Times Two by Carolyn Hart (2016)

For one reason or another, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, Oklahoma, never seems to be fully briefed before being sent by the heavenly Department of Good Intentions to help people in trouble on Earth. In part because of this, the impulsive, irrepressible emissary often finds herself breaking one rule after another, while nevertheless succeeding in solving the problem at hand. In this seventh Bailey Ruth mystery, the spirit of young reporter Jimmy Taylor, who died on his 24th birthday when his kayak capsized, refuses to go to heaven and is instead haunting his former love, Megan Wynn. Megan, however, wants to move on with someone new, someone breathing, namely the stalwart Blaine Smith. Jimmy becomes the least of Megan’s problems, however, when she is framed for the murder of her boss. Bailey Ruth and Jimmy team up to work, visibly and invisibly, to clear Megan’s name and discover the murderer among a surfeit of suspects. Fast-paced and light, this book is recommended for readers of cozy mysteries. Carolyn Hart is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and the author of more than 50 books. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=ghost+times+two+hart&te=

 



Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the Worldby Linda Hirshman  (2016)

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the Worldby Linda Hirshman (2016)

As the interest in the US Supreme Court grows with the changing political arena, Linda Hirshman has written Sisters in Law about the relationships between Sandra Day O’Conner and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first two women justices appointed to the Supreme Court. The book provides biographical information on both women, depicting them as trailblazers fighting for recognition in the legal male-dominated world. Hirshman also explores the development of their friendship and relationships through personal anecdotes and legal authority through their legal opinions. This well-written, interesting book will be of interest to those who like biographies and legal nonfiction. (Mary Ellen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=sisters+in+law+hirschman&te=

 



The Doctor & the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell  (2010)

The Doctor & the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell (2010)

In her book-club friendly debut, McDonnell tells the intriguing tale of an early 20th-century opera singer torn between her career and motherhood. Erika von Kessler and her husband, Peter Myrick, have been trying without success to conceive a child for all six years of their marriage. They seek out the expertise of Dr. Ravell, a Boston obstetrician renowned for his fertility successes. Ravell, mesmerized by Erika's beauty and talent, vows to do anything to help the couple realize their dream of children. Meanwhile, Erika isn't so sure about her desire for motherhood and secretly makes plans to leave her husband and pursue fame in Italy. McDonnell bases the story on her family history and expertly incorporates surprising facts about the history of fertility research into a twisting tale of miscommunication, love, and unrealized dreams. This book will appeal to adult female audiences. (Natasha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:225113/one?qu=doctor+and+the+diva

 



The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (2015)

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (2015)

Coincidence? A chance meeting occurs between two travelers at an airport bar who easily strike up a conversation and soon have shared intimate details about their lives. Ted confides that his wife is cheating on him while spending millions building their dream home, and he’d like to kill her. Surprisingly, his drinking companion Lily says, “I can help you with that”… and so Ted and Lily form an unusual partnership, plotting to kill the unfaithful Miranda who has secrets of her own. Wealth, deceit, and revenge all play a role in this thriller that keeps you guessing as to who will be left standing on the final page. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:475086/one?qu=kind+worth+killing+swanson

 




The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin (2013)

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin (2013)

It is interesting to read about Charles Lindberg from a personal viewpoint; in this novel he is introduced to the reader through the eyes of his sweetheart. Facts about this national hero's surreptitious affair link him to other great men who have overstepped the boundaries of respect for women. This is historical fiction that breathes life into the headlines of the past. (Jody)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=aviator%27s+wife+benjamin&te=

 



The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (2016)

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (2016)

Chinese immigrant Charles Wang’s American dream morphs into a nightmare when the financial crisis destroys his cosmetics business empire. In a swirl of hilarious righteous fury, he uproots his family, used to the material comforts of their plush Bel-Air mansion, for his new dream of emigrating back to China for a fresh start. Sharp, witty, wry, and perfect for readers who enjoyed Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods, Inc. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=wangs+vs+the+world&te=

 



Unretirement: How the Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think about Work, Community and the Good Life by Chris Farrell (2014)

Unretirement: How the Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think about Work, Community and the Good Life by Chris Farrell (2014)

Is your retirement dream an endless vacation of leisure and fun? Farrell maintains that many people hope for something more meaningful and rewarding, both emotionally and financially. Already an increasing number of older adults perform volunteer activities, return to work, or start a business. This trend might make retirement more affordable, an important aspect since on average we are living longer. Farrell predicts that many organizations will be helped by older adults, boosting the economy through productivity and wages. In his view, those looking at retirement need not be limited by social expectations or required to abandon everything they’ve learned during their career. Instead retirement might provide a reassuring support for older adults looking to pursue new opportunities. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=unretirmenet+farrell&te=

 



Them Bones by Carolyn Haines (1999)

Them Bones by Carolyn Haines (1999)

Sarah Booth Delaney is so desperate for money to save Dahlia House, her ancestral family home, that she kidnaps her friend Tinkie’s dog Chablis and holds him for ransom. Guilt-ridden, Sarah Booth feels even worse when Tinkie asks her to deliver the ransom to the “dognapper” in exchange for Chablis’ return. But Tinkie is so happy to have Chablis back and so pleased with Sarah Booth’s supposed bravery that she offers her $10,000 to find out the truth behind the deaths of Guy and Veronica Garrett twenty years before. It seems Tinkie has a crush on the Garrett family scion, Hamilton, but doesn’t want to pursue it if it turns out he murdered his mother all those years ago. This is how Sarah Booth Delaney, the orphaned and debt-ridden daughter of a wealthy family, came to be the unofficial private investigator for Zinnia, Mississippi’s society crowd. Oh, and did I mention that Dahlia House is haunted by the ghost of Sarah Booth’s great-great grandmother’s nanny whose only interests are fashion and nagging her about producing a new generation of Delaneys? This first in a series of sixteen books featuring the quirky Sarah Booth will please readers of cozy mysteries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=them+bones+haynes&te=

 



Lost Among the Birds: Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year by Neil Hayward (2016)

Lost Among the Birds: Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year by Neil Hayward (2016)

At the cusp of 40, Hayward quit his unfulfilling but apparently quite lucrative job. He also suffered from difficulties with depression and commitment in relationships. A long-time birder, he decides to occupy himself with birding because it brings him calm and fulfillment. Several months in, he realizes he is having a “big year,” pursuing as many different kinds of birds as he can within North America, and eventually ending up seeing a record-breaking 749 avian species. As one might expect, Hayward went to extreme lengths to accomplish this, jetting from one side of the continent to the other upon the sightings of rarities, crawling through marshes, and visiting Alaska several times during the winter. This was an enjoyable and entertaining book. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:612480/one?qu=lost+among+the+birds+haywood

 



Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley (2016)

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley (2016)

This hilarious graphic memoir is about more than just the author’s relationship and wedding; it is also about the institution of marriage, the commercialization and industry of weddings and romance, and feminism. Lucy Knisley takes on what it means to be a modern bride bucking and compromising on traditions and trends. A fun selection for the anti-Bridezilla crowd. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:638408/one

 



All Our Names by Dinaw Mengetsu (2014)

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengetsu (2014)

Set in the 1970s, this story features alternating narrators. The first is a young man who has journeyed from his village to Kampala, Uganda, to further his education. There, on the margins of the university, he strikes up a friendship with Isaac, a charismatic rebel, and becomes involved in activities that become increasingly revolutionary and, ultimately, horrifyingly violent. The second narrator is Helen, a lonely white social worker, who is assigned a mysterious African exchange student named Isaac. Helen falls in love with Isaac and comes to learn of the racial divides lurking beneath the surface of her small Midwestern town. A sad and haunting book. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=all+our+names+mengestu&te=

 



Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (2016)

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (2016)

Labor and delivery nurse Ruth Jefferson is great at her job. She has skillfully guided women through labor and cared for their newborns for 20 years. After bathing one couple’s newborn son, she is suddenly removed from caring for the child. The reason? She is African American, and the couple are white supremacists who do not want her touching their child. After a routine circumcision, the child suffers cardiac arrest. Ruth is the only nurse present, and she hesitates to help him. A murder charge and court case ensues. The novel is told from the alternating points of view of Ruth, her white public defender, and the grief-stricken father. Picoult provides a conversation starter about race and prejudice in America, both overt and subtle. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=small+great+things+picoult&te=

 



The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (2013)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (2013)

Nineteen-year-old Paige is a clairvoyant who can break free of her body and explore the dreamscapes of others. She and other clairvoyants live under a regime in mid-21st century London that criminalizes and oppresses them. After committing acts of psychic treason, Paige is captured and forced to live with and serve a supernatural ruling class. This is the first book in a projected 7 part series; great for fans of dystopian fiction, paranormal fiction, and fantasy. (Tom)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bone+season+shannon&te=

 



The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2016)

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2016)

Lo Blacklock, a travel magazine journalist, has just been given an assignment that may finally boost her careert. She will spend a week on the maiden voyage of a small luxury cruise ship, named “The Aurora,” and headed for the Norwegian fjords. The cruise promises sumptuous feasts and elegant cocktail parties with wealthy jet-setters and elite travel writers. On the first night, Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. When she sounds the alarm, no one on board believes her-- as all other passengers are accounted for-- and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened. Lo begins to investigate as the cruise continues on its way to the Norwegian coast. This is a gripping, psychological thriller with surprising twists and turns. The plot enthralls readers, who are able to feel the claustrophobia and fear that Lo experiences onboard the ship. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=woman+in+cabin+10+ware&te=

 




At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. (2010)

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. (2010)

Bryson takes readers on a breezy tour of history, with each of this book’s chapters centering on a different room in his family’s house, a Victorian parsonage in rural England. Writing in a conversational tone, Bryson rewards readers who invite him into their homes with an engaging read that covers much more ground than the title would suggest. Recommended for fans of light nonfiction in the style of Mary Roach and television programs both about and set in English manor houses. (Andrew)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=at+home+bill+bryson&te=

 



Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance (2015)

Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance (2015)

Newly widowed Lola Woodby is shocked to discover that not only has her not-so-dearly departed husband Alfie squandered their fortune, but the house she thought was theirs now belongs to Alfie’s sanctimonious brother, who wants her out--pronto. Going home to her overbearing mother is out of the question as far as the 31-year-old Lola is concerned, so she finds herself moving into the secret apartment Alfie kept for his paramours. Accompanying her is her Swedish cook, Berta, who refuses to leave until she gets the back pay Lola owes her. When the rent comes due, Lola and Berta agree to use Lola’s society connections to retrieve a reel of film stolen from a chorus girl, for which they will be paid the handsome sum of three thousand dollars. After wangling her way into Horace Arbuckle’s house party, Lola rather easily gets the combination to the safe where the film is kept, but before she can use it, the film disappears, Horace is murdered, and Lola is considered a prime suspect. This light mystery set in the 1920s is the first in the projected Discreet Retrieval Agency series. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=come+hell+or+highball&te=

 



The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me about Service, Hope and Healing by Susannah Charleson (2013)

The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me about Service, Hope and Healing by Susannah Charleson (2013)

In this moving book, Charleson brings us numerous tales of dogs and people rescuing each other. After a grisly episode during a search-and-rescue operation led to PTSD, the author found that her golden retriever, Puzzle, helped with her healing process. Charleson began rescuing dogs ranging from Pomeranians to pit bulls, training them as emotional support service dogs and eventually forming a non-profit organization, The Possibility Dogs, for this purpose. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=possibility+dogs+charleson&te=

 



The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (2016)

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (2016)

Set primarily in Scotland, this charming novel follows Nina, a librarian, as she follows her dreams and opens a bookshop in an unusual setting. I found Nina relatable as a fellow book lover, and as a librarian I understood her determination to (and admired her ability to) discover just the perfect book for each of her patrons and her resolve not to give up until she did. This book is perfect for anyone who loves books, libraries, and librarians! (Kelly)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bookshop+on+the+corner&te=

 



Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (2008)

Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (2008)

Map of Home is a really funny, poignant novel that gives a glimpse into Arabic immigrant life. This was eye opening to me concerning the Palestinian nomad life of searching for a homeland. The cursing and vulgarity will make it not a book for everyone, but it’s a great choice for adults who like to learn about other cultures. (Gladys)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:191615/one?qu=map+of+home+jarrar

 



Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (2016)

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (2016)

Junger, a journalist who has covered war in numerous forms and in far flung places, looks at the issue of cohesiveness in modern US society. Part of his approach is to contrast our culture with that of Native Americans. His very unique blend of anthropology, history, and psychology is thought-provoking and very relevant in the aftermath of the long and bruising political season. If you liked (or are waiting for) the new bestseller, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, try this one too. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=tribe+junger&te=

 



Reckless Creed by Alex Kava (2016)

Reckless Creed by Alex Kava (2016)

When mega-maniacs threaten our society with a purposefully induced health hazard, a dog handler, Ryder Creed, and his team work to solve the mystery. Ms. Kava is one of my favorite mystery writers. She meticulously learned her trade and can craft a tale that keeps the reader engaged until the final chapter. She also hails from the Midwest, being a native of Omaha. (Jody)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=reckless+creed+kava&te=

 



Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (2013)

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (2013)

In present-day Maine, 91-year-old Vivian agrees to let Molly, a teenage foster child in need of a community service project, help her sort through the things in her attic, which brings back memories from Vivian’s past. In the late 1920s, Vivian is an Irish immigrant girl whose family is killed in a fire. She is sent to an orphanage and later put on an orphan train to find a new family in the Midwest. The first couple that takes her in runs a sewing business out of their home and they are only interested in her for the free labor. When business gets bad, they send her back into the custody of the state, and she is placed with a dysfunctional rural family who live in extreme squalor; she runs away after the father of the family tries to rape her. Finally, a kindly teacher helps her find a good home. Having grown detached after her experiences of abuse and neglect, Vivian is jarred out of her emotional numbness when she runs into a young man with whom she had ridden the orphan train years earlier, but tragedy looms in the form of World War II. Molly and Vivian eventually bond and help each other heal as they discover that they have more in common than anyone would suspect. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=orphan+train+christina+baker+kline&te=

 



The Healing by Jonathan Odell (2012)

The Healing by Jonathan Odell (2012)

In this novel about slavery just before the Civil War, Odell explores the cruelty and heartbreak caused by the forced breakup of slave families. Granada is taken from her mother, a field slave, to live in the mansion as an unlikely replacement for the plantation mistress’s deceased child. When a new slave, Polly, is purchased to heal a sickness among the plantation’s slaves, Granada leaves the mansion to become her assistant. Polly runs into trouble after she aborts the pregnancy of another slave who cannot stand the thought of being separated from the upcoming newborn. Fortunately Polly redeems herself by saving the life of the plantation master’s son, gaining freedom for herself and Granada. The novel paints a vivid picture of the everyday cruelties of the slave system. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=the+healing+jonathan+odell&te=

 



Redshirts: a Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi (2012)

Redshirts: a Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi (2012)

Ensign Andrew Dahl is honored to be assigned to the Universal Union’s flagship, the Intrepid. But then he observes that Away Missions always include lethal confrontations that result in the death of a junior officer, while the senior officers survive. When he figures out what the Intrepid really is, he and his friends have to figure out a way to survive. Redshirts was awarded the 2013 Hugo Award for best Science Fiction novel. (Cynthia)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=redshirts+scalzi&te=

 




Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, and Tamra Bonvillain (2016)

Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, and Tamra Bonvillain (2016)

In an experiment gone awry, geneticist Strig Feleedus’s DNA becomes spliced with that of an owl and a cat, leading him into a strange new world outside of the lab. A fantastic take on the superhero genre by a literary legend of speculative fiction, and a fun diversion while waiting for Deadpool 2. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:637441/one

 



A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen (2013)

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen (2013)

Drug dependent London busker Bowen was recently off the streets when he encountered an injured ginger tom in his apartment building. Despite barely getting by on the money he made playing guitar on the streets, he took the cat in, named him Bob, and nursed him back to health. When he takes Bob out with him while busking, he soon discovers that people are greatly attracted by the cat, and he makes a lot more money. Caring for Bob gives him a sense of purpose, and he becomes motivated to get off methadone, become a vendor of the newspaper “The Big Issue” to better provide for himself and Bob, and reconnect with his mother in Australia. A heartwarming book about the healing power of animals. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=A+Street+Cat+Named+Bob+Bowen&te=

 



The Devourers by Indas Das (2016)

The Devourers by Indas Das (2016)

This gorgeously-written fantasy is set in Kolkata, India, where a man meets a mysterious stranger and learns that the creatures of legends and folktales might be more real than he could possibly imagine. A great selection for readers who enjoy Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf trilogy! (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:628196/one

 



Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin (2012)

Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin (2012)

Tommie McCloud’s world is upended when, shortly after her father’s death, she receives a letter suggesting that she may not be who she thinks she is. The letter is from Rosalina Marchetti, the wife of a jailed mobster who claims that Tommie is her daughter who was kidnapped as a baby. Could it be true that the people she always believed to be her parents were really kidnappers? Her mother, now suffering from late-stage dementia, can’t provide the answers, but Tommie discovers cryptic clues in her mother’s safe deposit box. In short order, and without understanding what is going on, Tommie is drawn into a web of danger that threatens her as well as her sister and niece. A cross between a mystery and a mild thriller, this novel draws the reader into Tommie’s world as she unravels her family’s long-kept and potentially deadly secrets. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=playing+dead+heaberlin&te=

 



Lab Girl by Hope Jahren  (2016)

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (2016)

Lab Girl is about relationships, nature, and the pursuit of science. Hope Jahren’s memoir tells of her life’s journey from her childhood days playing in her father’s laboratory in rural Minnesota to her adult life as a successful scientist, running her own research labs with her colleague and best friend, Bill. Lab Girl offers raw insight into the struggles and triumphs of an upcoming researcher in the world of academia, countering the stereotypes of women and girls in science. Jahren compellingly introduces a fascinating look into the lives of plants and invites readers to appreciate the wonders of the natural world by drawing upon its parallels to humanity. Hope Jahren is an international award-winning geobiologist and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016. (Holly)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=lab+girl+jahren&te=

 



The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (2015)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (2015)

In 1990s Nigeria, four brothers run wild after their father moves to a distant city for work. They go fishing in the polluted river which runs through the center of town, even though their parents have forbidden them to do so. When the boys are returning home from the river one day, they are confronted by the local madman, who prophesizes that the eldest brother will be slain by one of his siblings. Because of the madman’s words, the family is pulled into a downward spiral of violence and destruction. This is a thought-provoking and disturbing book of near-mythic resonance. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=fisherman+obioma&te=

 



The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (2014)

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (2014)

When his mother dies, 38-year-old Bartholomew Neil is left to live for the first time on his own. He decides to begin writing a series of letters to actor Richard Gere (his mother’s favorite actor) while he struggles to begin his new life. Quirky, heart-tugging characters--and a road trip! (Lori)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=good+luck+of+right+now+quick&te=

 



Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (2016)

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (2016)

Ted Flask has problems: his dating life is a mess, his therapist doesn’t seem to understand him, and his best friend, his twelve-and-a-half year-old dachshund Lily, has an octopus attached to her head. Like Sara Baume’s Spill Simmer Falter Wither and Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, this story, told in a charmingly unique voice, illuminates the special bond between dogs and their people. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=lily+and+the+octopus&te=

 



The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson (2016)

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson (2016)

During the summer of 1914, medical student Hugh Grange decides to visit his aunt Agatha in her small coastal Sussex town of Rye, England. Aunt Agatha's husband is employed by the Foreign Office. With news of an impending war on the horizon, Agatha is happy to have some diversion for the summer. She is also playing host to the new Latin teacher in town, Miss Beatrice Nash. Beatrice is looking forward to a new setting, since she is still grieving the recent death of her father. Beatrice begins to settle into Rye and enjoys the idyllic town and its colorful residents. However, trouble is on the horizon as England enters World War I. Beatrice, Hugh, Aunt Agatha, and all of the other town residents are now forced to confront the realities of war. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/2014PAC/search/results?qu=the+summer+before+the+war&te=

 



Crosstalk by Connie Willis (2016)

Crosstalk by Connie Willis (2016)

A romantic comedy with just a hint of SF. Briddey’s dreamy boyfriend and co-worker persuades her that they should get brain implants, which will allow them to truly feel each other's emotions. Everyone at work--except C.B, the company tech guru--thinks it’s a great idea. But when she instead connects telepathically to C.B., chaos ensues. A parable on the dangers of too much communication. (Cynthia)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=crosstalk+willis&te=

 




The Fox by Federico Bertolucci and Frédéric Brrémaud (2016)

The Fox by Federico Bertolucci and Frédéric Brrémaud (2016)

As with the first volume of the Love wordless graphic fiction series (2015’s The Tiger), this is as visually stunning as it is intensely dramatic. A book for anyone who loves nature documentaries such as the BBC’s The Life of Mammals and for animal and nature lovers of all ages. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:539005/one

 



The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church (2016)

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church (2016)

Meridian Wallace, born in the 1920s, grew up wanting to study birds. At the University of Chicago in the 1940s, she falls in love with an older physics professor who goes off to work on the Manhattan Project. They marry, but Meridian must put her studies on hold in favor of his career. And so it goes for many years, until Meridian meets a younger man, recently back from Vietnam, who pushes her to re-evaluate her life. While we’ve seen the characters in this story many times before, Church’s narrative is beautifully written and compelling, and it should resonate with women and men alike. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=atomic+weight+of+love&te=

 



Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

A recent recipient of a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Fellows Program, Coates examines the state of race relations in America through the vehicle of a letter to his teen-age son. Thoughtfully and eloquently written, Coates’ arguments, whether the readers agrees with them or not, are particularly relevant in today’s political and social climate. The audiobook edition, read by the author, is especially powerful. (Andrew)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=between+the+world+and+me+coates&te=

 



The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay (2016)

The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay (2016)

In 1919, when an injury to their father puts him out of work, the rest of the family must devise a way to get food and rent money. The Tumbling Turner Sisters are founded, an amateur vaudeville act born of necessity. Through grit and luck, they take to the road on a nine city tour, along with con artists, comics, singers and animal acts. For those who enjoyed Water for Elephants, this is the story of a different time, with four unusual girls and a mother who won't let them fail. (Peg)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=tumbling+turner+sisters+fay&te=

 



Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (2015)

Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (2015)

Based on the life of Rachel Pomie, mother of French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, The Marriage of Opposites transports the reader to the luscious island of St. Thomas. This descriptive narrative of the time and place, steeped in Caribbean culture and folklore and filled with family drama, is a worthwhile read. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=marriage+of+opposites+hoffman&te=

 



The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)

Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of the sumptuous Golden Age of high society New York in the 1870's and the effects of its rigid social code on gentleman lawyer, Newland Archer, and the women in his life. (Stephanie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=age+of+innocence+wharton&te=

 



The River by Helen Humphreys (2015)

The River by Helen Humphreys (2015)

How often do we see the landscape around us? Helen lives near the Napanee River in Ontario, which she examines through story, natural history, wildlife, maps and photographs. She makes the reader feel the coolness of the water, hear the songs of the birds, and live the history of the area. An enchanting book. (Carol)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Humphreys%2C+Helen%2C+1961-+river&te=

 



The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (2015)

The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (2015)

This gripping novel gives voice to a real historical figure, Estebanico, the first African to be involved in the exploration of the New World. Mustafa ibn Muhammed, once a prosperous merchant, sells himself into slavery to save his family from starvation. He is brought on the infamous 1527 Narvaez expedition to Florida by his master Andres Dorantes, and they face hostile indigenous tribes, starvation and disease. Eventually an expedition which started out with hundreds of people was whittled down to four survivors. Recommended for readers interested in historical fiction, particularly those who enjoyed Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book, as well as those who like stories of adventure and survival. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=moor%27s+account+lalami&te=

 



The Unseen World by Liz Moore (2016)

The Unseen World by Liz Moore (2016)

Ada Sibelius is being raised by her single father David, an eccentric genius who runs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. David homeschools Ada, bringing her to the lab each day, where she enjoys being a quiet contributor to the lab’s work. As Ada enters her teen years, David starts to show signs of dementia. David’s colleague Diana takes Ada into her lively household, where Ada tries to adjust to being part of a large family and attending a regular school. As Ada settles a bit unwillingly into her new routine, she receives shocking news. Apparently David has a mysterious past. Ada’s journey of discovery of her true family history continues into her adulthood. Recommended for readers of literary fiction. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=unseen+world+liz+moore&te=

 



Ladivine by Marie NDiaye (2016)

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye (2016)

The story of a French woman with two identities – and her mother and daughter who share the same name but have never met – is a luxuriously-paced, puzzlingly-mysterious character study that reveals itself in layers. The writing is sumptuous, and the unreliable characters evoke some of the more popular and faster-paced novels like Pauline Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, though Ladivine is a much headier, though equally haunting, story. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=ladivine+ndiaye

 




In Winter's Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland by Beth Dooley (2015)

In Winter's Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland by Beth Dooley (2015)

This lovely survey of organic farming practices in Minnesota and western Wisconsin is interspersed with brief tales of the author’s personal life. Dooley organizes her chapters by food - apples, wheat, chestnuts, corn, wild rice, turkey, etc. – and discusses historical farming practices alongside more recent local efforts of trying to create more sustainable, healthier, and tastier food. Along the way, she introduced me (a relatively new Minnesotan) to some true local treasures. The Wedge Community Co-op on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis has been a staple since the 1970s, recently opening a restaurant around the corner. The author highlights several of the vendors from the St. Paul and Mill City Farmers’ Markets. I learned that Shepherd’s Way Farms is tucked away here in Dakota County. There are a few simple recipes at the back of the book. The only thing I missed was having an index to all the small farms she mentions, but making it easy for everyone to drive down those backroads would spoil some of the fun of discovering these farms for myself. (Barb)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:539340/one?qu=in+winter%27s+kitchen+dooley

 



Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (2005)

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (2005)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin sheds light on the full portrait of the collective Lincoln presidency and the strategic decision the President made to include his major Republican party rivals in his Cabinet. This book is a must-read for political history buffs. (Stephanie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=team+of+rivals+doris+kearns+goodwin&te=

 



Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (2016)

Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (2016)

In a similar neo-Southern-gothic vein as Amy Greene’s Bloodroot (2010), this book captures the rich complexities of a small, rural mountain community, telling the story of a family – logger-turned-fundamentalist-preacher Brodis, his quietly rebellious wife Irenie, and their delicate son – whose lives are disrupted in different ways by the arrival of USDA agent Virginia Furman in 1939. As captivating and full of period details as other literary historical fiction such as Amy Scheibe’s A Fireproof Home for the Bride (2015) and David Treuer’s Prudence (2015). (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:602762/one

 



The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (2014)

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (2014)

The Riviera family from Panama arrives in Delaware to seek treatment for their teenage daughter, Maribel, who suffered brain damage in an accident. The family meets a number of residents from other Latin American countries in their apartment building, including the Toro family. Mayor, the younger son of the Toros, finds himself attracted to Maribel despite her largely unresponsive behavior due to the injury. Their relationship stirs up the anxieties of Maribel’s mother, who is extremely protective because she blames herself for her daughter’s accident. Finally the mother’s fearfulness and Mayor’s devotion collide in a tragedy that seriously affects both families. The novel depicts a Romeo-Juliet drama told against the background of immigrant lives in an unsympathetic American society that offers them menial, low paying jobs and subjects them to discrimination and hostility. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=book+of+unknown+americans+henriquez&te=

 



Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary, comes to life in Fever. Mary worked as a cook for many wealthy families before members of those families fell victim to typhoid fever. Eventually accused as a healthy carrier of the disease, Mary is banished to North Brother Island. This tale describes the hardships and perhaps unfair treatment Mary received, as well as her own amazement and incredulity that she could truly be spreading this disease to her employers and loved ones. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:366067/one?qu=fever+mary+beth+keane

 



The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King (2013)

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King (2013)

Harris Stuyvesant, an American in Paris in 1929, searches for an American woman who has gone missing; the woman, in fact, is someone who was previously a “fling” of his. Neither her roommate nor any of her friends know what happened to her. Harris expands his search to a group of Surrealist artists and hangers-on, including one who uses bones in his artwork. Harris grows more pessimistic when he learns the Paris police are investigating the unexplained disappearance of some thirty people. He begins to suspect a theater owner, who stages plays that feature realistic portrayals of death, but runs into police opposition…until a detective is shot and a personal friend of Harris’s disappears. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bones+of+paris+king&te=

 



Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor (2016)

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor (2016)

In a small town in County Cork, Ireland, Siobhan O’Sullivan and her five siblings have had a difficult year – their parents died in car accident caused by a drunk driver and they, Siobhan in particular, need to put their plans on hold to run the family bistro in order to survive. One morning as they go to open for the day, they find a man sitting straight up, dressed in a suit with a pair of scissors protruding from his chest. When local police put Siobhan’s brother at the top of their suspect list, she sets out to find the real killer and clear her brother’s name. Wonderful first in an anticipated series and a great audiobook! (Maureen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=murder+in+an+irish+village+oconnor&te=

 



Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance (2015)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance (2015)

This book documents the eccentric and innovative life of Elon Musk and his projects, from the dot-com era to today. If you are interested in space travel, business, technology, solar power, cars, science, or innovation of any kind, this is a book for you. If you want to inspire someone to pursue big dreams, give them this book. If you enjoyed The Martian or Steve Jobs or Moneyball, check out this book and walk away inspired. (Tom)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=elon+musk+vance&te=

 



Shrill by Lindy West (2016)

Shrill by Lindy West (2016)

Millennial feminist, social critic, and comedienne Lindy West has made a career of pointing out existential absurdities, going so far as to engage in a very public war of words with renowned columnist (and her former boss) Dan Savage regarding fat-shaming. Her collection of poignant essays is hilarious, thought-provoking, and for readers who loved Tina Fey’s Bossypants (2011), Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist (2014), and Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl (2014). The audiobook, read by the author herself, is a delight! (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Lindy+West+Shrill&te=

 



Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (2010) Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (2010)

Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (2010)

This single book, published in two volumes, is the story of three 21st century historians who travel back in time to study how the British coped with the German Blitz of World War II. But when problems arise with the time travel machinery, they find themselves trapped in the past. If they can't get back, will their very existence in the past change the future they know? (Cynthia)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=blackout+willis&te=

 




The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (2006)

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (2006)

In 1909, a young Montana widower with 3 sons sees a newspaper ad seeking a housekeeping position. What really grabs his attention is the line: "Can't cook but doesn't bite." Thus does Rose Llewelyn (along with her enigmatic brother Morris) enter the life of the Millliron family. She's no Mary Poppins, but the story does have a wonderfully old-fashioned flavor. And when the teacher of the town's one-room school house elopes with a traveling preacher, Morris is pressed into duty replacing her. Doig followed this with a sequel, Sweet Thunder. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=whistling+season+doig&te=

 



A Dog’s Gift: The Inspirational Story of Veterans and Children Healed by Man’s Best Friend by Bob Drury (2015)

A Dog’s Gift: The Inspirational Story of Veterans and Children Healed by Man’s Best Friend by Bob Drury (2015)

This book tells the story of the service dog organization Paws4People, founded by former naval intelligence officer Terry Henry and his daughter Kyria. From the veterans and disabled children to the prisoners who provide much of the dogs’ training, this is a truly inspiring account. Even the author, a former war correspondent who describes himself as “hard-bitten,” was moved to tears by the “Bump” during which the dogs choose the people they will assist. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=dogs+gift+drury&te=

 



The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (2016)

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (2016)

Eight-year-old Carmel has a tendency to daydream and wander away from her mother. Then one day, while playing a hiding game, she is truly lost. When an older man tells her that he is her estranged grandfather, she readily goes away with him. Police and her parents search for her for years, while Carmel is held captive by her ‘grandfather’ who believes she has miracle-working powers that will bring him fame and fortune. While this story is essentially about a kidnapped child, it is even more about the adult emotions, and the twists and turns of life, after the loss of a child. The chapters alternate between mother and child as they both learn to survive in their new reality. The audio version of this novel is particularly well done. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=girl+in+the+red+coat+hamer&te=

 



Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell (2016)

Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell (2016)

One summer evening, Pip discovers her teenage sister lying unconscious and bloody in the communal garden where they live in London. Only people who live on the garden are allowed in, and the neighbors used to coming and going into each other’s houses have always felt safe. Surely one of them can’t be involved in this, can they? (Maureen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:595933/one?qu=girls+in+the+garden+jewell

 



The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert (2015)

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert (2015)

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks. Gretl survives, and Jakob becomes her guardian angel and hero for the remainder of the war. She is then sent to South Africa along with other German orphans and adopted by a loving family. Her suppressed memories of the ghetto, fire, and longing for Poland return to her in dreams as she grows into a young woman. A chance meeting with Jakob later in life finally allows her to accept her history, and it opens up a new future. (Christy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=girl+from+the+train+joubert&te=

 



I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (2016)

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (2016)

Jenna Gray has escaped her life and the nightmare it has become to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast. She is haunted by one night in November that changed her life forever, and her past is starting to catch up with her. A suspenseful read that would be a good read-alike for those who liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. (Maureen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=i+let+you+go+mackintosh&te=

 



Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez by Jim Northrup (2011)

Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez by Jim Northrup (2011)

Journalist, humorist, poet, playwright, Vietnam veteran, Ojibwe traditional culture and language teacher and advocate, and multiple Minnesota Book Award nominee Jim Northrup delivers a hilarious, pointed collection of dispatches from Indian Country, particularly his beloved Fond du Lac Reservation. Northrup’s writing is like Garrison Keillor’s news from Lake Wobegon with a wryer, sharper twist – and, while the author is in the later stages of terminal cancer, he has still been sharing his gifts of stories and language this past summer. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:249523/one

 



Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (2014)

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (2014)

Inspired by the fairy tale of Snow White, this thought-provoking novel explores issues of identity and appearance. Boy Novak flees her abusive father and finds herself in a small town in Massachusetts, where she meets and marries Arturo Whitman, a widower with a young daughter, Snow. When their daughter Bird is born with dark skin, the Whitman family is revealed to be African-American passing as white. Boy sends her stepdaughter away to live with Arturo’s sister, but as Bird grows up she becomes fascinated by Snow, whom she has never met. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=boy+snow+bird+oyeyemi&te=

 



Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (2016)

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (2016)

In 1926 London, Maisie Musgrave is looking for a job. Lucky for her, and for us, she lands at the BBC when it is in its infancy. Maisie and her colleagues format radio programs at a time when few homes have radios, and when women who work for an independent living are a revolutionary concept. This fictionalized account blends real people and events into a story of a young working woman and her career at one of the best known institutions in the world. (Maureen)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=radio+girls+stratford&te=

 



Smoke by Dan Vyleta (2016)

Smoke by Dan Vyleta (2016)

Smoke and Soot are visible manifestations of sin. The aristocracy do not Smoke, while the commoners do. Except even the aristocrats have to learn to learn to control their baser impulses, at schools such as the one Thomas and Charlie attend. But when a schoolboy prank gone wrong leads the boys down an unexpected path, it will change everything for them—and for the world. (Katie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=smoke+dan+vyleta&te=

 




13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (2016)

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (2016)

Reading this book might be as painful as trying on a too-tight swimsuit under unforgiving fluorescent lights in a claustrophobia-inducing fitting room, but it is a razor sharp and acerbically witty look at a young woman trying to simultaneously control and accept her identity. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:582246/one

 



The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay (2016)

The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay (2016)

A tender, bittersweet story of love and loss and what might have been. In 1948, Ani & Mac are happily married and parents of a young daughter, when Mac is suddenly killed in a railway accident. The railway gives Ani a job as a librarian for the company in compensation. While working at the library, Ani meets Roy, a poet who is back from the war & suffering writer’s block. They meet several times – in the library and in town and begin to have feelings for one another, but wrestle with the appropriateness of their emotions. The descriptive language is beautiful and the reader will know why this novel won critical acclaim in Australia & a UK literary prize. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:601743/one?qu=railwayman%27s+wife

 



Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia by Anne Garrels (2016)

Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia by Anne Garrels (2016)

Garrels, a National Public Radio correspondent, started visiting Chelyabinsk (a city 1000 miles to the east of Moscow) twenty years ago to cover the collapse of the Soviet Union. She’s continued to return, and this book gives the varied perspectives of some residents on how their country and their lives have changed. The book's description says that it shows how "the local population mingles belligerent nationalism with a deep ambivalence about their country’s direction." Garrels does a good job of telling why, in many cases, Russians support Putin but still have issues with the corruption and abuse of power they see in their government. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=putin+country+garrels&te=

 



On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt (1972)

On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt (1972)

When English schoolgirl Helena Trant wanders away from her German boarding school and gets lost in the misty forest, she is rescued by the handsome and mysterious Maximilian, who shelters her at his lodge for the night. Meeting again at a festival called the Night of the Seventh Moon, they secretly marry and spend a blissful honeymoon at Maximilian’s lodge. Then Helena awakes one morning in a relative’s house, only to be told that the entire interlude with Maximilian was a fantasy she created to help her forget what had really happened – that she had been attacked and raped. The lodge has burned down and Maximilian is nowhere to be found. Helena returns to England for several years, but unable to forget her lost love, she eventually returns to Germany as governess to the children of Count Ludwig of Lokenburg. Discovering the true identity of her husband only brings greater danger and intrigue for Helena. Spanning the years 1859-1870 in a Germany divided into small states ruled by princes and dukes, this book adds a memorable fairy tale quality to its story of romantic suspense. Victoria Holt is one of the grand masters of the gothic romance, and this is one of her best. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:3667/one?qu=on+the+night+of+the+seventh+moon+holt

 



Dictator by Robert Harris (2016)

Dictator by Robert Harris (2016)

Dictator is a vivid trip to an Ancient Rome on the verge of collapse. It concludes Harris's penetrating fiction trilogy narrated by Tiro--Cicero's keenly perceptive slave, secretary, and sounding board--and can also be read as a stand-alone novel. Tracing the rise, megalomania, and fall of Caesar, Tiro's account comes from the unique perspective of one with no political motives, and it feels as though it were written by an actual witness (as the real Tiro was) to the events. Shakespeare has nothing on Harris when it comes to the shock of Caesar's assassination: reading Dictator was the first time I felt deep-down what the nervous and complicated energy in the room must have been like. If the book leaves you hungry for more time in Ancient Rome, Stephen Saylor's Sub Rosa series is another great read. (Emily)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=dictator+robert+harris&te=

 



Hard Country by Michael McGarrity

Hard Country by Michael McGarrity

McGarrity, who usually writes mysteries, successfully transitions to a western saga with this book. It's the first of a trilogy, set mostly in New Mexico, following the fictional Kerney family. Great sense of place and time, excellent use of the vernacular of the time, and wonderful placement of real people. The first volume starts in the 1890s and goes through about 1919. Not just for Western readers - this is for anyone who loves a family saga covering multiple generations. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=hard+country+mcgarrity&rm=STAFF+RECOMMEN0%7C%7C%7C1%7C%7C%7C0%7C%7C%7Ctrue&te=

 



What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (2016)

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (2016)

Anyone familiar with Oyeyemi’s work will not be surprised to find this collection of stories is filled with enchanted writing, compelling characters, and themes of locks, keys, doors, and windows. For adults who still love folk and fairy tales. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:594946/one

 



Hope and Red by Jon Skovron (2016)

Hope and Red by Jon Skovron (2016)

Hope was the lone survivor when her village was massacred by the emperor’s forces, has been trained in secret by a master warrior, and is now seeking her revenge. Red is an orphan in the criminal underworld, a gifted thief and con artist. Hope and Red join forces to hunt the biomancer who destroyed her village, uncovering a secret that could destroy the empire as they know it. With skillful world-building and dynamic characters, pick this up if you like Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch or Rachel Aaron. (Julia)

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Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo by Stephanie Storey (2016)

Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo by Stephanie Storey (2016)

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Michelangelo's David are two of the most famous works of art in the world. Both were created in Florence, Italy in the early 1500s when the Borgias held power and Macchiavelli was growing ever more powerful. Leonardo was at the peak of his fame when Michelangelo, the talented upstart, won a commission that Leonardo was certain would be his. There begins a rivalry between the two -- Leonardo envies Michelangelo his youth while Michelangelo envies Leonardo his genius. (Carol)

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Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper by William Swanson (2014)

Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper by William Swanson (2014)

One of the most sensational crimes in Minnesota history occurred when Virginia Piper was kidnapped in 1972. Two men wearing hoods burst into her home on Lake Minnetonka and took her away to a state park in northern Minnesota. After her husband, a prominent stockbroker in Minneapolis, paid a ransom of $1 million, Virginia was freed. The criminals devised a successful scheme to grain the ransom without detection, because an FBI investigation and trial of two men resulted in no convictions. To this day the real criminals and the money have never been found. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:452951/one?qu=Stolen+from+the+Garden%3A+The+Kidnapping+of+Virginia+Piper

 




A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott (2015)

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott (2015)

This wonderful historical novel follows fictional Indiana native Julie Crawford, who moves to Los Angeles in 1938 to become a screenwriter. Julie goes to work for Carole Lombard (also from Indiana) and gets pulled into the lives – and love affair - of Lombard and Clark Gable, as well as the filming of Gone with the Wind and both the good & bad of Hollywood’s golden age. Readers of Nancy Horan's Loving Frank and other biographical fiction will enjoy this well-written, well-researched story. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=touch+of+stardust+alcott&te=

 



Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Ansari explores the topic of modern romance and dating in the digital age. The book is a hybrid of extensive research, data, and insight from leading experts in the field and Ansari’s spot-on voice of a generation. In its audio version, it is a good companion for adult readers on a road trip. (Natasha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=modern+romance+ansari&te=

 



First Family by David Baldacci (2009)

First Family by David Baldacci (2009)

In this fourth book in the series, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell encounter the office of the President. The niece of the First Lady is kidnapped, and her sister-in-law is dead. Because years earlier Sean saved the president, then a senator, from political disaster, he and Maxwell are summoned by the president’s wife. No sooner have they started to investigate than Maxwell learns that her mother has suddenly died, apparently from a fall; to Michelle that doesn’t make any sense. Meanwhile King suspects that the First Lady isn’t being completely honest with him and that perhaps the motive for the kidnapping is related to a secret past involving her and the president. Together with Maxwell, he seeks to find the missing niece, unravel the mystery of the presidential past, and solve the death of Michelle’s mother. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=first+family+baldacci&te=

 



Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston (2011)

Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston (2011)

Efram Kiley sounds like a character from Green Acres, but he is actually one nasty dude. After his abused dog is taken in and rehomed by the HotRescues animal shelter, he sues. While he doesn’t get the dog back, an out-of-court settlement provides him monthly payments as long as he volunteers at the shelter and learns to properly care for animals. When he is found to have violated the terms of the settlement and loses the cash, he threatens to harm shelter administrator Lauren Vancouver, her staff, and her resident animals. That very night, he is found dead inside the closed and locked shelter and Lauren, spending the night there to protect the animals, is the only other person on the premises. Everyone assumes Lauren is the culprit, much to her annoyance, so she sets out to discover the true guilty party with the help of a handsome animal control officer who may be a suspect or may be her next boyfriend. First in a series of five mysteries, this is a spin-off of the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet Sitter series by the same author. Recommended for pet lovers and people who like cozy mysteries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:250465/one?qu=beaglemania+johnston

 



The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (2003)

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (2003)

The story of a serial killer is intertwined with the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 in this unusual nonfiction account of murder and architecture. The “white city” dazzled people who attended the fair because all the buildings were painted a uniform white. The “devil,” named H. H. Holmes, preyed on unsuspecting visitors and reportedly killed somewhere between 27-200, mostly young women. The white city represented Chicago’s bid to rival New York and Paris as a leading city. A short construction schedule demanded thousands of workers and the autocratic hand of Daniel Burnham, the lead architect, to finish on time. Unknown to the general populace, H. H. Holmes perfected an impersonal method of murder, using a vault inside his business to suffocate his victims to death. The primitive policing then in existence, and the absence of detectives to investigate missing persons, allowed Holmes to operate undetected. He wiped out entire families until he landed in jail for insurance fraud and his murderous scheme came to light. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=devil+in+the+white+city+larson&te=

 



The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (2014)

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (2014)

This novel is the story of Peter Faber, a young German soldier who is desperate to leave the Russian trenches if only for a brief time. To do this, he agrees to marry a young woman, Katharina Spinell, who lives with her parents in Berlin. Her reward for marrying Peter, a complete stranger, will be getting his pension if he dies in the war. So sight unseen, they marry and are surprised by the genuine attraction and feelings they develop for each other in their brief time together. Back on the front, it is only his thoughts of Katharina and their new son that enable Peter to endure the horrendous challenges he faces first in Stalingrad, then as a Russian prisoner of war. In the meantime, at the urging of her desperate parents, Katharina's conditions contrast sharply to Peter's as she is rewarded because of her increasingly close friendship with those inside Nazi high society. (Marsha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=undertaking+magee&te=

 



The Supremes at Earl’s All-you-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore (2013)

The Supremes at Earl’s All-you-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore (2013)

Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean are three friends who are so close that their friends who hang out at Earl’s have dubbed them “The Supremes.” This story of friendship in the small town of Plainville, Indiana, is full of characters who are believable, lovable and unforgettable. The story follows them during a year of many challenges, decades after their teen years in the 60’s when their friendships were forged. They’ve gone through marriage, children, happiness and the blues together. This is a warm-hearted novel that celebrates female friendships and second chances. The audiobook is a delightful listen! (Annemarie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=The+Supremes+at+Earl%E2%80%99s+All-you-Can-Eat&te=

 



A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (2015)

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (2015)

The first in a new Victorian series, this novel introduces us to Veronica Speedwell. After her guardian dies, Veronica is ready to begin foreign travel in search of exotic butterflies. But very little is what it seems in this story, including Veronica’s commonplace beginnings. The strong characters are placed in an unusual but actual historical setting, and witty narration is mixed into a clever mystery. For historical mystery fans and lovers of strong female characters. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=curious+beginning+raybourn&te=

 



Fox’s Earth by Anne Rivers Siddons (1981)

Fox’s Earth by Anne Rivers Siddons (1981)

Fox’s Earth is a compelling family saga that spans five generations of women living on an estate in Georgia. In 1904, Ruth Clancey, a poor child from a local mill family, is fascinated by the Fox family and their large mansion called “Fox’s Earth”. Alicia Fox, the mansion’s charitable mistress, offers to take Ruth in and provide her with an education. Alicia sees housing Ruth as a chance to have the daughter she never had, and Ruth’s mother sees the opportunity for Ruth to escape from her abusive, mentally ill father. Ruth quickly acclimates to her new settings and sets her sights on someday owning the mansion herself. Her first step is to marry Alicia’s only child, Paul. Ruth’s ambition, coupled with her own mental illness, fuels decades of events where she will sacrifice everything, even her own children and grandchildren, in order to keep her claim to the family estate and to avoid having a male heir take ownership. This title is recommended for fans of domestic fiction, historical fiction, and psychological suspense. (Erin)

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My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (2016)

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (2016)

Growing up in rural Illinois, Lucy’s family experiences abject poverty and lives in a garage on her great uncle’s property. Due to her love of learning, and especially her writing proficiency, Lucy earns a full college scholarship and eventually relocates to New York City. As a married mother, Lucy is now in the hospital, slowly recovering from what should have been a simple operation. Although she has not seen or spoken to her mother for years, she awakens to find her mother by her side in her hospital room. “Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood…seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters.” The understated prose of this story belies the complex emotions of its characters. (Marsha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=my+name+is+lucy+barton&te=

 




Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (2015)

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (2015)

This gem of a story reads like a poetic swirl of language riddles while telling the parallel bittersweet stories of an Irish seaside village misfit and a one-eyed dog. Highly recommended for readers who love unforgettable narrators such as in Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), linguistic feats like Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing (2013) and thoughtful explorations of human and animal natures as in Tania James’ The Tusk That Did the Damage (2015). (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=spill+simmer+falter+wither&te=

 



Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (2015)

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (2015)

Despite the book’s Internet meme-invoking title and cover, this is a serious look at the personal and professional struggles and successes of our nation’s second female Supreme Court Justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg began studying and practicing law at a time when her Fourteenth Amendment rights as a female citizen were not recognized. An inspiring, infuriating, and informative read about one of the great legal minds of our time. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Carmon+Notorious+RBG

 



The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig (2015)

The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig (2015)

Ivan Doig’s final novel is a true charmer. The narrator is 11-year-old Donal Cameron, who travels from Montana to Wisconsin to stay with a relative while his grandmother undergoes surgery. He takes along his memory book and asks everyone he meets to add an entry. Donal’s Aunt Kate is less than welcoming, and soon Donal is on the bus back to Montana, with his uncle, Herman the German, along for the ride. The two have a series of adventures, encountering con artists and scalawags who cheat them, and benevolent strangers who offer hope and shelter. When Donal & Herman finally get on the last bus to Wisdom to work harvesting hay, their journey leads to the story’s ending. For fans of bildungsroman, western stories, and tales of the road. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=last+bus+to+wisdom+doig&te=

 



Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (2014)

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (2014)

This collection of essays by the inimitable writer, social commentator, novelist, and Purdue University English professor runs the gamut from hilarious to heartbreaking. She examines gender, race, sexuality, media, and culture (highbrow and lowbrow) with fearless honesty and laugh-out-loud wit. Her essay on competitive Scrabble is not to be missed. Recommended especially for people who love David Sedaris's real-life based stories for the absurdity and heartbreak, particularly for marginalized people. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bad+feminist+roxanne+gay&te=

 



Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett (2009)

Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett (2009)

Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett is the second in a cozy mystery series set in a New Hampshire “booktown,” where the number of bookstores has been made into a tourist attraction. Tricia Miles owns a mystery book shop, next door to her sister’s cookbook store. When famous local author Zoe Carter is killed in Tricia’s ladies room during a book signing, she undertakes to solve the mystery, having little faith in the local police chief. Tricia discovers that Zoe did not actually write her bestsellers. Is the real author the killer? Or was it someone who lost money in the embezzlement scheme for which Zoe avoided prison? And will Tricia and her sister ever learn to get along? Check out Bookmarked for Death to find out! (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bookmarked+for+death&rm=STAFF+RECOMMEN0%7C%7C%7C1%7C%7C%7C0%7C%7C%7Ctrue&te=

 



Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae (2013)

Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae (2013)

Will Embree spent two years evading the authorities after being blamed for a death during a protest against the Victory Paper Company, only to be found dead in a farm field with his high school sweetheart’s body cradled in his arms and a gun by his side. The authorities assume that it is a murder-suicide, but people who knew Will refuse to believe he could do such a thing. They urge Kath Rutledge, who successfully investigated her grandmother’s recent murder, to look into the crime. Kath is helped and hindered by a cast of characters including Cole Dunbar, the requisite obtuse lawman who warns her to stay out of the investigation; Geneva, a gloomy, petulant, melodramatic ghost who lives in Kath’s yarn shop; the catty Spivey twins; and a “posse” of friends who gather information and put their heads together to help solve the crime. The second in the Haunted Yarn Shop mysteries continues to develop the characters and relationships introduced in Last Wool and Testament. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=dyeing+wishes+macrae&te=

 



Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton (2005)

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton (2005)

Kelly Flynn is leading a routine life as an accountant in Washington DC and still smarting from a breakup (with a gentleman she calls “The Slime”), when her beloved Aunt Helen is murdered in Fort Connor, Colorado. As Helen’s only heir, Kelly travels to Colorado to settle her aunt’s affairs and sell her house; she quickly discovers that Helen had taken out a $20,000 second mortgage and the house can’t be sold for at least two years. And the money is missing, along with a family quilt and a half-knit purple sweater. Kelly arranges to work remotely from Colorado while she tries to straighten out Helen’s estate, but she soon begins to suspect that the vagrant who was arrested for the murder is innocent, and the real killer may be someone from Helen’s distant past. With the help of a group of Helen’s warm-hearted friends who have quickly taken her under their collective wing, Kelly discovers the real murderer, learns to knit, and begins to see the possibilities of a fresh new life in Colorado. This is the first in the Kelly Flynn knitting mystery series, which now includes thirteen titles. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=knit+one+kill+two+sefton&te=

 



The Pearl by John Steinbeck  (1947)

The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947)

Would that all classics were this accessible! A South American peasant pearl diver finds "The Pearl of the World" and dreams of all the benefits that it will bring to his family. Instead, it brings out the evil and greed of those around him. If you didn’t read this “tiny gem” in high school, do so now…if you DID read it back then, read it again as an adult and find new meaning. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=pearl+steinbeck&te=

 



Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani (2000)

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani (2000)

With a main character named Ave Maria Mulligan and a hot bookmobile librarian as a supporting character, how could this charming novel miss? Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, it is the first in a series of books set in the endearing town of Big Stone Gap. Ave is the town spinster, with a life full of friends, family, and work. But when she learns a shocking family secret, her life expands to include new people and new opportunities. A light, perfect summer read, especially for readers who love the small town atmosphere of the Mitford novels by Jan Karon and the Miss Julia series of Ann B. Ross. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=%22big+stone+gap%22&qu=trigiani&te=

 



A Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (2005)

A Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (2005)

Willig’s first title in a series is the story of Eloise Kelly, who is working on her Ph.D. dissertation about British spies in Napoleonic France, when she happens upon papers that seem to indicate that the Pink Carnation was actually a woman. Moving back and forth between the historical story and the present, Carnation and the books that follow have romance in both the present and the past. For fans of historical and contemporary romance, and those looking for an entertaining romp of a read. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=pink+carnation&te

 




Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin (2013)

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin (2013)

Few people were closer to the King of Late Night than Henry Bushkin, Johnny Carson’s lawyer, advisor and near-constant companion for 18 years. This memoir of Bushkin’s years with Carson does not have much to say about Carson’s early life or about the inner workings of the Tonight Show, but it offers many telling anecdotes about the notoriously private talk show host. The witty and charming Carson was one of the highest paid entertainers in the country and hobnobbed with Hollywood’s A-list celebrities, but those closest to him knew he could also be demanding, volatile and vindictive. He was a heavy drinker and a chronic womanizer who had difficulty maintaining close relationships. Bushkin’s time with Carson began when he was recruited to help find evidence of Carson’s wife’s infidelity with Frank Gifford in a borderline-legal search of their love nest, and it ended (as Bushkin tells it) in a misunderstanding over a business deal after years of devoted service and friendship. Less fascinating are the ins and outs of Carson’s contracts with NBC and other business dealings to which Bushkin was privy. Overall, this book offers an interesting glimpse into the life of a troubled comedy legend. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=johnny+carson+bushkin&te=

 



We Too Sing America by Deepa Iyer (2015)

We Too Sing America by Deepa Iyer (2015)

This impressively-researched, impactful volume is for anyone looking to gain insight on some of the common and unique experiences of Americans of South Asian and Arab descent and of Muslim and Sikh faiths. Iyer fearlessly explores post-September 11, 2001 acts of domestic terrorism perpetrated against American citizens with brown skin, how a climate of fear and mistrust has been perpetuated because of misinformation and misrepresentation, and ways to build bridges and to strengthen relationships within diverse communities. A fantastic selection for people of all backgrounds looking to find ways to reach out to and unite their communities. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:537382/one

 



A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (2014)

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (2014)

This novel by Marlon James, a professor at Macalester College, was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker award for fiction. The book explores the history of Jamaica from the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970’s, through the crack houses of New York in the 80’s and into the radically transformed Jamaica of the 90’s. The story is told through many voices, including CIA agents, drug dealers, gunmen, and even ghosts. This is tough read (with violence, language, and complexity) which many are declaring to be a classic of our time. (Annemarie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=brief+history+of+seven+killings&te=

 



Yes, My Accent Is Real: And Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar (2015)

Yes, My Accent Is Real: And Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar (2015)

This is a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays from Kunal Nayyar, best known as Raj on CBS’s comedy The Big Bang Theory. He traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to a confident, successful actor. This witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales gives you a glimpse into Indian culture and is equally enjoyable for both reading and listening. (Natasha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Yes%2C+My+Accent+Is+Real%3A+And+Some+Other+Things+I+Haven%27t+Told+You&te=

 



The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness (2013)

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness (2013)

George is a long-divorced American living in London with little passion for life. He “putters” with an unusual art medium until one day an extraordinary woman enters his printing shop. She is an artist too, but also mysterious. When they bring their artwork together, sparks fly! Patrick Ness weaves a dream story with particular human foibles and life philosophy to create a compelling, character driven story. (Kathy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=crane+wife+ness&te=

 



The Unbreakable Miss Lovely by Tony Ortega (2015)

The Unbreakable Miss Lovely by Tony Ortega (2015)

As a newborn in war-time Germany, Paulette Cooper lost both her parents to the Nazis soon after her birth. Adopted by an American couple, she grew up to become a writer. After Paulette and several of her friends became involved with Scientology in the early 1970’s, she wrote a book exposing the Church of Scientology. Ortega’s book on Paulette’s ordeal chronicles the campaign that Scientology launched in order to suppress the revelations included in her work. According to Kirkus Reviews, this book is “a brilliant exposition of how a child who escaped the Nazis grew up to be hunted by the Church of Scientology.” The Unbreakable Miss Lovely reads like an engrossing real life thriller; in 1992, the American Society of Journalists and Authors awarded Cooper their highest honor, the prestigious Conscience-in-Media Award. (Marsha)

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Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (2014)

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (2014)

In 1905, Virginia and Vanessa Stephens and their brothers moved to unfashionable, bohemian Bloomsbury. All in their twenties, orphaned and unmarried, they began holding Thursday night gatherings in their unchaperoned, unconventional drawing room. Most of the guests would become famous. This novel is a story of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group from Vanessa's point of view, but the story is sympathetic to both sisters and handles Virginia’s mental illness issues well. For those who liked The Hours by Michael Cunningham, as well as fans of Philippa Gregory and Irving Stone who like detailed, character-driven stories. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=vanessa+and+her+sister+parmar&te=

 



Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (2007)

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (2007)

In 1886, Lady Julia Gray’s husband Edward has just died, seemingly succumbing to the heart disease that runs in his family. But little is as it seems in this first volume of the Lady Julia Gray mystery series. First there’s Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent that Sir Edward hired for his protection. Once convinced that Edward’s death was indeed murder, Julia determines to bring the murderer to justice and engages Brisbane herself. Theirs is a testy collaboration as they probe a dark underworld that Julia never imagined existed. The historical details, excellently plotted mystery, and a fledgling romance are very well done. Fans of historical thrillers, British historicals, and romantic suspense should enjoy this book – and the three titles in the series that follow it. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:164778/one?qu=silent+in+the+grave+raybourn

 



The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy (2016)

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy (2016)

A band of street cats (wildings) trying to defend their territory from a ruthless onslaught by feral cats. Upon first glance at the story, one might mistake this thoughtful, engrossing book about warring animal subcultures for an imaginative children’s tale, but this book is about so much more – life’s cruelties, unpredictability, surprises, tragedy, and comedy. This reads a little like T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) crossed with Richard Kurti’s Monkey Wars (2013). The sequel and conclusion, The Hundred Names for Darkness, is set to be published later this year! (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:542351/one

 



The Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon (2015)

The Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon (2015)

For boomers who “came of age” in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Carly Simon’s The Boys in the Trees brings back many of the names and cultural influences that imprinted those years. The book’s timeline is from her childhood through the mid 1980's. Growing up as the third daughter of Richard Simon, co-founder of Simon & Schuster publishing, Carly describes her New York childhood, her fears and anxieties, and the impact that they had on her habit of stuttering. It was her music that eventually gave her the ability to conquer her stammering: "I felt so strangulated talking that I did the natural thing, which is to write songs, because I could sing without stammering, as all stammerers can.” Carly’s lyrical writing seems very candid about her emotions and her perspective on all that she relates, including the years of her marriage to James Taylor. Carly clearly is looking back at her life in a positive and forgiving way, and this is what makes her story special. (Marsha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=boys+in+the+trees+simon&te=

 




The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (2013)

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (2013)

This story of the University of Washington rowing team who went into the 1936 Nazi Olympics and won the gold medal is a wonderful combination of history, sports, and biography. Brown masterfully weaves together the stories of the boys, who are mostly sons of working-class families coping with the Depression; information about the sport of rowing; and the political events that will eventually culminate in WWII. He tells of Goebbels and Hitler's propaganda plans for the Olympics and the central role that Leni Riefenstahl played. Many Minnesotans will find this book endearing because it has so many echoes of the 1980 US hockey Miracle on Ice. The narrator of the audiobook does a wonderful job—you’ll be listening in the parking lot and in your garage! (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Brown%2C+Daniel&qu=%22boys+in+the+boat%22&qf=ITEMCAT2%09Audience%091%3AADULT%09Adult

 



Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (2001)

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (2001)

Told by the middle of 3 children in a motherless family and set in early 1960s Minnesota, this novel could have been dreary and depressing--but it is actually upbeat and even humorous at times. Little sister Swede is a wonderful character, reminiscent of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. When her older brother is arrested for killing intruders in their home, he escapes from custody, and the family heads off on a road trip through the badlands to try to find him. When Peace Like a River was released, Publisher’s Weekly called it “a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt in a North Dakota winter, a novel about faith, miracles and family that is, ultimately, miraculous.” The audiobook is also highly recommended. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=peace+like+a+river+enger&te=

 



Mind MGMT Volume 1: The Manager by Matt Kindt (2013)

Mind MGMT Volume 1: The Manager by Matt Kindt (2013)

Before there was binge-watching there was binge-reading, and this constantly-twisting ingenious graphic novel series is the perfect binge read for fans of TV series like Mr. Robot, The X-Files, Jessica Jones, and Orphan Black. When a young reporter begins to investigate an airplane flight during which every single person on the plane, save one, loses his or her memory, she’s launched into a world of government conspiracies, talking dolphins, mind-trained secret agents who can kill with a finger, and more. Then she learns that she herself has a lot more to do with the story than simply reporting on it—she’s key to the entire Mind Management project. Kindt’s innovative storytelling takes readers all over the globe, and as an illustrator he can pack more wallop into a single page than many can in an entire book. Not to be missed. (Emily)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Mind+MGMT+Volume+1&te=

 



A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay (2015)

A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay (2015)

No one visits the reclusive Rosen brothers, who have lived their entire lives on a small island off the coast of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and that’s the way they like it. The house and land are filled with booby traps to discourage intruders who might try to steal the miscellaneous stuff that they have hoarded over the years. Warily, they began letting library director Lindsey Norris bring them books by boat, but she is never allowed any further than the dock. One such delivery turned tragic, however, when Stewart Rosen failed to meet the boat and, upon cautious investigation, Lindsey and her ex-boyfriend Sully, who runs the water taxi, discovered Peter Rosen dead of a gunshot wound. Did the missing Stewart snap after caring for his disabled brother for so many years? Lindsey refuses to believe Stewart capable of such a thing, so she sets out to discover the truth. Clearly inspired by the true story of the Collyer brothers, this sixth in the Library Lovers mystery series grabs and holds the reader’s attention from start to finish. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=likely+story+mckinlay&te=

 



The Expats by Chris Pavone (2012)

The Expats by Chris Pavone (2012)

Kate & Dexter Moore up stakes and move to Luxembourg with their children when Dexter is given a lucrative job offer in a bank there. Kate, unbeknownst to her husband, has been a CIA operative for years & is more than ready to give it up. But her training makes her almost instantly suspicious about aspects of their new lives and she can’t help but begin to dig into the layers of deception around her. Fans of John le Carré and Daniel Silva should check out this debut novel by a new master of the espionage thriller (Pavone published a 2nd novel in 2013, and the 3rd will be released in March 2016). The twists and turns of the story from the marital deception, the European locales, the lives of the expat community, the peek into the world of private banks and cybercrime are well crafted and well written. Highly recommended for all spy/thriller readers. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=expats+chris+pavone&te=

 



The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney (1999)

The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney (1999)

Devastated by her parents’ divorce, Lady Jocelyn Kendal remains unwed at the age of 24. When her father died, his will specified that if she was still single on her 25th birthday, the bulk of the family fortune would go not to her but to her milquetoast uncle and his grasping wife. While visiting a friend in the hospital, Lady Jocelyn has the idea to marry a dying man, thus meeting the requirements of her father’s will but soon becoming a free woman. David Lancaster, a major who was paralyzed at the Battle of Waterloo, fits the bill, and he agrees to marry Jocelyn in exchange for a financial settlement to support his sister Sally after he is gone. Sally, however, convinces a brilliant but unconventional surgeon to take on David’s case and to everyone’s surprise, he recovers rapidly. David and Jocelyn agree to file for an annulment as soon as possible, despite their growing feelings for each other. Can David win over the skittish Jocelyn before the annulment is final? Revised and reissued in 1999, this classic Regency-era historical romance was originally published in 1988 as The Would-Be Widow. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bargain+putney&te=

 



Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (2014)

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (2014)

Jamaican-born Rankine presents the follow-up to 2004’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Mesmerizing, raw, and elegant prose poetry that encapsulates the frustration, fury, exasperation, and breathtaking pain of people dealing with racism in current events and everyday microaggressions. There’s even a local connection; the book is published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=citizen+an+american+lyric&te=

 



Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s by B. Smith & Dan Gasby with Michael Shnayerson (2016)

Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s by B. Smith & Dan Gasby with Michael Shnayerson (2016)

My must-read for March, this book is part career success story, part timeless romance, part medical drama, and an all-around engrossing, endearing, encouraging, and educational read for those whose lives have been touched by dementia. Smith and Gasby share their experiences as patient and as caregiver, as well as practical information and tips for caregivers and loved ones. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:540033/one

 



Pastrix: The Cranky and Beautiful Faith of a Saint & Sinner by Nadia Bolz-Weber (2013)

Pastrix: The Cranky and Beautiful Faith of a Saint & Sinner by Nadia Bolz-Weber (2013)

While Bolz-Weber’s Accidental Saints (2015) has been getting a lot of critical attention and acclaim, her earlier memoir of her tattooed, foul-mouthed, recovering addict self falling into pastoral work is another gem. Readers who enjoy Anne Lamott and Rachel Held Evans should check it out. It’s a lovely, thoughtful, approachable, accessible read for those of Christian (particularly Lutheran) faiths and of other faiths or no faiths, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and spiritual misfits. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=pastrix+bolz-weber

 




Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell (2014)

Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell (2014)

It seems a couple of ghosts tagged along for the ride when wealthy motivational speaker Ellis Elrich had an ancient monastery moved stone by stone from Scotland to California. One ghost, a lady in red, causes construction workers to collapse, sobbing, from intense feelings of hunger and despair, while the other, a Highland warrior, chases them off the worksite with his sword. Fortunately Melanie Turner, head of a company that specializes in historic renovations and a fledgling ghostbuster, agrees to supervise the project after the former contractor is arrested for the murder of an obstructive building inspector. Staying in Ellis’s mansion near the construction site, Mel and her boyfriend Graham work to lay the ghosts to rest while discovering the murderer and completing work on the monastery on a tight deadline. Mel is a well-drawn character, a divorcee who is talked into taking over her father’s company instead of licking her wounds in a Paris garret as she had planned, and she is surrounded by a cast of colorful and appealing supporting characters. This mild paranormal cozy is the fifth in the Haunted Home Renovation series. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=keeper+of+the+castle+blackwell&te=

 



Tripwire by Lee Child (1999)

Tripwire by Lee Child (1999)

Jack Reacher resides comfortably in Key West, minding his own business, until a private investigator comes looking for him. Reacher manages to hide his identity only to find the investigator murdered the next day. Sensing that danger is coming his way, Reacher decides to take the initiative and track down the killers on his own. A convoluted series of events leads Reacher to an evil loan shark named “Hook” Hobie, who has deadly intend toward Reacher and his girlfriend Jodie. The third book in the author’s Jack Reacher series. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=tripwire+child&te=

 



The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (2015)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (2015)

In 1939, two sisters in France face the sudden Nazi invasion. The older sister Vianne is forced to provide lodging for a Nazi officer, while her husband is detained in a POW camp. The younger sister Isabelle flees to Paris and joins the French Resistance, where she leads a dangerous mission to rescue downed Allied airmen. Meanwhile, Vianne’s hope to stay uninvolved is shattered by the growing persecution of the Jews, and she risks her life to hide those in her village. When peace finally comes, Vianne regains some normality, but Isabelle cannot recover from the brutality of the concentration camp. In her first historical novel, the author vividly depicts the chaos and trauma of war. Another title with similar themes is Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=flynn+grownup&te=

 



The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (1921)

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (1921)

The setting: England in the 1750s. The protagonist: Jack Carstares, heir to the Earl of Wyncham. When Jack’s weak-willed brother Dick is caught cheating at cards, Jack takes the blame to spare his beloved brother’s reputation. Banished from aristocratic society, Jack lives the nomadic life of a highwayman, robbing wealthy travelers by stopping their carriages on the road and taking their valuables, which, Robin Hood-like, he shares with the less fortunate. Jack makes a powerful enemy of the Duke of Andover while thwarting the Duke’s attempted abduction of the beautiful Diana Beauleigh. Wounded in the process, Jack is nursed back to health by Diana’s family. Can Jack and Diana find true love despite his disgrace and the continued machinations of the Duke? Check out The Black Moth to find out! This first novel by Georgette Heyer, known as the queen of Regency romance, is currently available as an ebook through Overdrive or a downloadable audiobook through Hoopla. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=black+moth+heyer&te=

 



The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan (2015)

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan (2015)

How an accidental fall is tied to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 is at the heart of this somewhat unusual police procedural. Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty from Community Policing struggle to piece together a string of faint and disparate clues before arriving at a staggering conclusion. Recommended for fans of Louise Penny and Ann Cleeves. A sequel is due in February, 2016. (Katie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=&qu=TITLE%3Dthe+unquiet+dead+&qu=AUTHOR%3Dkhan

 



The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (1994)

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (1994)

Having been a Sherlock Holmes fan for years, both on screen and in print, I was delighted to discover this series in the early 2000s. It begins with Holmes, retired to Sussex where he keeps bees and does the odd investigation for the British government, meeting 15-year-old Mary Russell. Russell’s intellect, wit, and ego are a match for Holmes’ own, and he initiates her into the science of detection. After the duo work together to find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, attempts are made on their lives, and they must solve the mystery before their lives are forfeit. Set in the early years of WWI, this series is for Holmes fans, history buffs, mystery devotees, and anyone who appreciates a strong female lead character. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=beekeepers+apprentice&te=&rt=false%7C%7C%7CTITLE%7C%7C%7CTitle

 



The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff (2015)

The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff (2015)

Take one part dishy anecdotes to three parts insightful commentary into artistic forms and social change in the 20th century, and you end up with The Comedians, a compulsively readable history of comedy—especially stand-up—in the U.S. Starting with the vaudeville days, Nesteroff traces lines of influence as the stand-up stage transitions from a place where comedians always perform in pairs (one playing the straight man), to one where solo comedians tell jokes about other people (“Did you hear about the guy who…?”), to the more personal (and often political) forms we see today. The story of American comedy is also a story of rivalries between mobster club owners, the birth of Las Vegas, battles with egos and addictions, racism and homophobia, television network politics, and more. Nesteroff’s entertaining and educational book is as much the story of a century as the story of comedy. (Emily)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Comedians%3A+Drunks%2C+Thieves%2C+Scoundrels%2C+and+the+History+of+American+Comedy&te=

 



My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places by Mary Roach (2013)

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places by Mary Roach (2013)

From the acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach comes the complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. She was a hit columnist in the magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. Insightful and hilarious, Mary explores the ins and outs of the modern world: marriage, friends, family, food, technology, customer service, dental floss, and ants. The audio version of the book will keep you smiling and laughing out loud, at times, on road trips. (Natasha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:393987/one?qu=my+planet+roach

 



Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow (2015)

Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow (2015)

Jeremiah Gallow left the court of Summer a long time ago to live fully in the mortal world. But he finds himself drawn back into the treacherous intrigues of the Sidhe thanks to Robin Ragged, a woman who looks alarmingly like his dead wife. Soon Jeremiah and Robin are uneasy allies in a plot that will have far-reaching consequences for both the sideways and mortal realms. Don’t let the title or cover fool you—this is perfect for fans of Emma Bull and Pamela Dean. A sequel is due January 2016. (Katie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:509267/one?qu=trailer+park+fae

 



The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (2014)

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (2014)

Originally published as part of an anthology by George R. R. Martin, The Grownup was recently released as a stand-alone short novel. The unnamed narrator was raised in an environment where she learned to survive by utilizing various schemes and cons. She meets Susan, a potentially valuable mark, while working as a palm reader. Susan, a wealthy woman who lives in a large house, fears that the house is haunted. Our unnamed narrator senses opportunity and hatches a plan to offer a series of “cleansing” services at the house for an exorbitant sum. However, after various visits to the house, the narrator begins to think the house may actually be haunted. The Grownup is a fun, fast read, and will appeal to all Gillian Flynn fans, as well as fans of short stories and suspense. (Erin)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=flynn+grownup&te=

 




Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton (2015)

Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton (2015)

Like a latter-day Cinderella, Lori Shepard went from a beleaguered orphan to the wife of a prominent Boston lawyer and inheritor of a honey-colored cottage in England’s Cotswolds, largely due to the post-mortem influence of her mother’s best friend, Dimity Westwood. Upon taking possession of the cottage, Lori discovered that she could communicate with Dimity’s spirit through a blank journal, where Dimity’s writing would appear and then fade away as she conversed with Lori. Throughout the series, Dimity keeps the imaginative, impulsive Lori grounded with her counsel and advice, while Lori investigates happenings around the bucolic village of Finch. In this, the twentieth Aunt Dimity mystery, Lori determines to get to the bottom of an age-old feud between Finch and a neighboring town that somehow revolves around the charming and enigmatic Arthur Hargreaves, the titular Summer King, whose estate lies between the two towns. More “gentle read” than mystery, Nancy Atherton nevertheless spins captivating tales featuring puzzles more than peril. The series is recommended for Anglophiles and readers of cozy mysteries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=aunt+dimity+and+the+summer+king+atherton&te=

 



The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll (2015)

The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll (2015)

Charming and hilarious, Gemma Correll’s cartoons about anxiety and early adulthood (especially for women) will appeal to fans of Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:529276/one

 



Only the Animals: Stories by Ceridwen Dovey (2015)

Only the Animals: Stories by Ceridwen Dovey (2015)

An arresting collection of ten short stories -- each from the perspective of an animal at a specific place and time in history retelling his or her life up until death caused either directly or indirectly by human beings and human conflict. For readers who loved Gravedigger in Tania James' The Tusk That Did the Damage or the imaginative nature of Sharona Muir’s Invisible Beasts. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:529286/one

 



The Dinner by Herman Koch (2012)

The Dinner by Herman Koch (2012)

Two brothers and their wives meet at a trendy Amsterdam restaurant for dinner. They are there both to have a meal together and to discuss their sons. The sons have committed a serious crimes, albeit not entirely intentionally, and the parents need to discuss how the families will deal with the aftermath. This relatively short novel is a taut psychological thriller, prompting readers to serious introspection. How far would you go to protect your child, your spouse, your way of life? Readers who liked Defending Jacob, The Good Father, or Gone Girl will enjoy The Dinner. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=dinner+herman+koch&te=

 



Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert (2015)

Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert (2015)

Sloane, a wife and mother of a nine-year-old daughter away at summer camp, jumps at the chance to go to her aunt’s cabin with her friend, Hillary, a family counselor. Sloane hopes for time to figure out why she is dissatisfied with her life, especially after the untimely death of her younger sister the previous year. So Sloane is not entirely happy when Georgina, her college roommate and best friend, invites herself to join them. Each woman has a secret about her life that she is not willing to share with anyone else, and tensions mount as relationships between the three women keep changing. Fans of Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, Elin Hilderbrand, Kristin Hannah, and Wendy Wax’s A Week at the Lake will enjoy this new voice in women’s fiction. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:514480/one?qu=Those+secrets+we+keep+liebert

 



Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad (2009)

Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad (2009)

Norman Ollestad Sr. seemed to always push his son to the limit, with sports and life experiences in general. After winning a ski competition, Norman Sr. chartered a private plane for his son, himself and his girlfriend to Big Bear Mountain. During a storm, the plane ended up crashing into the mountain. As Norman Jr. came to, he discovered that his dad was dead and the girlfriend’s life was hanging by a thread. Calling upon the reserves his dad has instilled in him, Norman, at 11 years of age, was able to collect himself, and by his will and wits, to survive the disaster. The book shifts between the scene of the crash and Norman’s recollections of his life prior to this time. This is a true life adventure/tragedy that may be of interest to teen boys and extreme sports enthusiasts. (Marsha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=crazy+for+the+storm+ollestad&te=

 



The Cut by George Pelecanos (2011)

The Cut by George Pelecanos (2011)

Spero Lucas discovers that he has a talent for finding stolen property. When his price of forty percent of the cut is accepted, he sets out to recover missing shipments of marijuana belonging to an imprisoned drug dealer. Along the way Lucas soaks himself in family and friends, and the domestic life he missed so much while serving in the military in Iraq. Soon he is drawn into in a gangland murder and double cross. With the gang determined to “take him out,” Lucas must act to save the people close to him. A thriller reminiscent of the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=cut+pelecanos&te=

 



If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power (2015)

If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power (2015)

The author of this thought-provoking memoir, a young American journalist, meets madrasa-trained Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi at Oxford University. The result of their eventual friendship is her desire to learn more about the Quran, and she interviews him extensively, even accompanying him back to his homeland, India. They debate and develop new insights into topics on which they agree (such as antiviolence and tolerance) and subjects where their world views diverge (women's domestic roles and same-sex marriage). The book presents no easy answers, but it emphasizes that generalizations about faiths rarely succeed. If you enjoyed Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett or The Faith Club, or if you simply want to learn more about Islam, this National Book Award finalist should be on your reading list. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=if+the+oceans+were+ink&te=

 



Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson by William Swanson (2006)

Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson by William Swanson (2006)

The murder case of Carol Thompson in 1963 was perhaps the most sensational crime ever to occur in Minnesota. For months it occupied the front page of the newspaper. Everyone old enough to remember knows the names of T. Eugene Thompson, the husband who arranged the murder in order to collect insurance money, and Norman Mastrian, the man he hired to kill his wife. This factual account describes the investigation and trial of T. Eugene and his associates. Even more intriguing and unique is the story of the impact on the three children and their future lives, “crushed and forever altered” by their mother’s murder and father’s imprisonment. Swanson also wrote Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:152047/one?qu=dial+m+the+murder+of+carol+thompson

 



Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West (2001)

Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West (2001)

Set in the small eastern Montana town of Willow Creek, this novel of a small town basketball team is heartwarming and an easy-listen as an audiobook--especially on a road trip to the west. Willow Creek is inhabited by interesting characters who are there to heal from past wounds. They rally around their ragtag basketball team and its quest to win at least one game during the season. The main character is English teacher and basketball coach Sam Pickett; the study of Don Quixote in his English classes becomes a theme for the team as they meet their many challenges throughout the season. For everyone who has lived in a small town, this book will ring true with its interwoven stories and the lessons to be learned through literature and sport. (Annemarie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=blind+your+ponies&te=

 




Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel  by Gail Carriger (2009)

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger (2009)

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia is responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Mystery, romance, sparkling humor and wonderful secondary characters make this steampunk series a true delight. (Kristy)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=soulless+carriger&te=

 



Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns (2015)

Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns (2015)

In this darkly comic crime novel, the victim of a grisly motorcycle accident is initially misidentified as Fat Bob, an overweight gambling addict and collector of Harley "Fat Bob" motorcycles. A pair of homicide detectives, who can't stand each other, are dispatched to investigate the suspicious death. Connor Raposo witnesses the accident and strikes up a conversation with a man in an Elvis pompadour who looks vaguely familiar. Connor works for a shady business called Bounty, Inc., which raises funds for organizations such as "Save Beagles from Nicotine Addiction" and "Orphans from Outer Space." Recommended highly, especially for fans of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. (Jean)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=is+fat+bob+dead+yet&te=

 



West 57 by B.N. Freeman (2015)

West 57 by B.N. Freeman (2015)

And now for something completely different… B.N. Freeman is also Brian Freeman, Minnesota author of best-selling thrillers. Several years ago he teamed up with a publishing agent and they co-wrote The Agency. Now he’s back with another story about the world of book publishing. Julie Chavon is the new owner of West 57, a firm started by her father, who has recently died. Julie would love to continue her father’s legacy of publishing literary titles, but West 57 is on shaky financial ground. Their last best hope is a tell-all memoir for which her father paid a unusually large advance. Add in a kooky author, a possible murder, a former fiancé, the former best friend who slept with said fiancé, an overbearing mother, and a possible true love, and you’ve got a fast, fun read with some gentle lessons about being true to yourself. Fans of Janet Evanovich, Lauren Weisberger, and Sophie Kinsella would probably enjoy West 57. (Maggie)

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Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (2015)

Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (2015)

This novel spans 60 years in the life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pissaro, a headstrong young girl growing up on the idyllic island of St. Thomas. Rachel is forced into marriage with her first husband, a widower with three young children, in order to save her father’s business ventures. After a number of years and children of her own, she is widowed and hopes that her dreams of Paris may still become a reality. Instead, her husband’s nephew is sent to the island to deal with his uncle’s affairs. This young man becomes the passion of Rachel’s life, and eventually, her second husband. Although the couple is shunned by their Jewish community, they have numerous children, including her favorite son, who became one of the world’s greatest impressionist artists. (Marsha)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=marriage+of+opposites+hoffman&te=

 



Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan (2015)

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan (2015)

The story begins with prostitute Dewi Ayu wrapping herself in a death shroud and passing away after giving birth to her fourth daughter, Beauty, then rising from the dead after twenty-one years. With the magical quality of folktales combined with a sweeping Indonesian historical epic, this book is a delightful mix of profound and profane. Readers who loved Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and T. H. White’s The Once and Future King will want to check this out. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:521087/one

 



A Touch of Gold by Joyce and Jim Lavene (2011)

A Touch of Gold by Joyce and Jim Lavene (2011)

Of all the bizarre ways to murder someone, why would anyone tow an antique cannon from a neighboring town to fire a cannonball into a propane tank at the local historical museum, killing the curator in the ensuing explosion and fire? And how could that person pull it off without being seen? Some people in the Outer Banks town of Duck, North Carolina, believe the culprit must be the ghost of the pirate Rafe Masterson, who was executed in Duck a couple hundred years earlier, vowing revenge. Mayor Dae O’Donnell, who was also slightly injured in the blast, doesn’t believe that for a minute--but when suspicion falls on her, she puts her fledgling psychic talents to use unravelling the truth, encountering historical mysteries and family secrets along the way. For readers of cozy mysteries and those who long to live in a small, friendly town on the Atlantic coast. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:249290/one?qu=touch+of+gold+lavene

 



Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert (2015)

Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert (2015)

Sloane, a wife and mother of a nine-year-old daughter away at summer camp, jumps at the chance to go to her aunt’s cabin with her friend, Hillary, a family counselor. Sloane hopes for time to figure out why she is dissatisfied with her life, especially after the untimely death of her younger sister the previous year. So Sloane is not entirely happy when Georgina, her college roommate and best friend, invites herself to join them. Each woman has a secret about her life that she is not willing to share with anyone else, and tensions mount as relationships between the three women keep changing. Once the two husbands join the women, confessions and apologies are given and must be dealt with. Fans of Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, Elin Hilderbrand, Kristin Hannah, and Wendy Wax’s A Week at the Lake will enjoy this new voice in women’s fiction. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:514480/one?qu=Those+secrets+we+keep+liebert

 



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011)

A mysterious circus that appears without warning and a star-crossed love affair between two rival magicians form the basis of Morgenstern’s magical story. Her beautiful prose evokes the same kind of wonder as a Cirque du Soleil performance while it paints a fantastic world that exists alongside our own. This is a gorgeous book that will delight readers of Alice Hoffman’s magical realism and intricately plotted stories like The Time Traveler’s Wife. (Andrew)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=night+circus+morgenstern&te=

 



Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

This look at our criminal justice system, and especially capital punishment, is both enlightening and disturbing. Stevenson has worked on eliminating capital punishment for decades, and the stories that he tells about individuals caught in the web of "the system" are the heart of the book. The stories are interwoven with important facts and figures, but he is a very good writer who makes it all very readable. This much talked about book has a great deal for book groups to discuss. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=just+mercy+stevenson&te=

 



When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman (2013)

When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman (2013)

Minnesotan memoirist Addie Zierman talks about growing up as an evangelical Christian and her struggles with doubt, church culture, and her hard-fought journey to find peace with her faith. A thoughtful, accessible, and still intensely personal book in the same vein as a few other iconoclastic Abrahamic religion memoirs including Amir Ahmad Nasr’s My Isl@m (Muslim), Rachel Held Evans’ Evolving in Monkey Town (Christian), and David Plotz’s Good Book (Jewish).

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:411350/one

 




Mycroft Holmes: A Novel by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (2015)

Mycroft Holmes: A Novel by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (2015)

Mycroft Holmes, the dashing older brother of Sherlock, finds himself investigating a ghastly murder mystery in Trinidad, the homeland of both Mycroft’s bosom companion, Cyrus Douglas, and Mycroft’s fiancée, Georgiana Sutton. This title is not only a natural choice for Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, but also for fans of Victorian era novels. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:519690/one

 



June of Ordinary Murders by Conor Brady (2015, 2012)

June of Ordinary Murders by Conor Brady (2015, 2012)

As Queen Victoria prepares to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, Dublin swelters in a summer heat wave and the threat of nationalist violence grows. Crime is divided into two categories: political crime is ‘special’ and everything else, including murder, is ‘ordinary.’ Detective Joe Swallow is sent to investigate the ordinary murders when bodies of a man and a child are discovered in Phoenix Park. He will have to tread carefully to find the true murderer and deliver justice as the body count increases, and it becomes apparent that there was high-level involvement. The author is a former editor of The Irish Times. Fans of Laurie R. King, Alex Grecian, and Anne Perry’s William Monk novels should enjoy this one. Here’s hoping Mr. Brady will follow up with another Joe Swallow story. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=june+of+ordinary+murders&te=&rt=false%7C%7C%7CTITLE%7C%7C%7CTitle

 



A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (2013)

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (2013)

Lady Isabella Trent, known as the world's preeminent dragon naturalist, writes a memoir detailing how she sought true love and happiness, and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic dragon discoveries that would change the world forever. Lady Trent grew up in a country that resembles 19th-Century England, yet dragons and other fantastical creatures exist. Denied a formal scientific career because she is a woman, Lady Trent must find other ways to fulfill her passion for dragon research. In this first volume in the series, she marries a man who shares her interests and convinces him to let her join an expedition, where she solves a mystery and proves her value as a naturalist. The tale is detailed, with wry humor, and Brennan does an excellent job of world-building. For fans of Victorian-era fantasy and historical fiction; it’s also reminiscent of the late Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=natural+history+of+dragons+trent&te=

 



A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax (2015)

A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax (2015)

Emma and her daughter, Zoe, are looking forward to a week at the lake with Emma’s friends, Serena and Mackenzie. The three women met in New York City while attending college, became best friends, and held annual reunions. However, an accident brings old memories, new feelings, and facts to light and changes everyone’s lives. For fans of Emily Liebert’s Those Secrets We Keep and women’s authors like Jane Green. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:515473/one?qu=week+at+the+lake+wax

 



If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison (2015)

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison (2015)

On the eve of her 38th birthday celebration, Ramie Phillips gets drunk and wakes up in her 18-year-old body and life--or does she? Does she really have a chance to change her fate and those of her parents? As she negotiates her way through the final days of high school for a second time, she realizes people will think she’s crazy if she tries to explain her time traveling. Just as she thinks she is successful, she wakes up as a married 26-year-old. Which life is reality? Told with humor and insight--a fun “what if.” (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:504746/one?qu=if+i+could+turn+back+time+harbison

 



The Things We Don’t Do by Andres Neuman (2015)

The Things We Don’t Do by Andres Neuman (2015)

This Argentine author’s translated short stories are for people who want to read and reflect on something brilliant and insightful about the human condition but who don’t have time for much more than a cup of coffee. The stories have the emotion, bite, and humor of Lydia Davis’s Can’t and Won’t, along with a lighthearted philosophical look at life, love, and death similar to Yasmina Reza’s Happy Are the Happy. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:522529/one

 



The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (2015)

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (2015)

This fictional portrayal of Austro-Hungarian Elizabeth (“Sisi”) and her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph, is the kind of wonderful historical novel that keeps readers up until the early morning hours. It’s filled with abundant period details and characters whose personal lives are overwhelmed by the history and events surrounding them. Readers who enjoy historical fiction and romance, as well as fans of PBS’s Wolf Hall, will enjoy this look at royal lives in the 19th century. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=accidental+empress+pataki&te=

 



The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)

Zevin writes an emotionally-charged story about a bookseller whose life is changed for the better when he adopts a little girl who is abandoned in his store. Each chapter begins with an essay from Fikry encouraging his daughter to read a classic short story. A sweet and poignant story of how our lives sometimes happen. This is a good, gentle read for fans of books like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. (Andrew)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=storied+life+of+a.j.+fikry+zevin&te=

 



Hope:  Entertainer of the Century by Richard Zoglin (2014)

Hope: Entertainer of the Century by Richard Zoglin (2014)

Many younger people remember Bob Hope, if they remember him at all, as an older gentleman reading corny jokes off cue cards on TV specials. They may be surprised to learn that in his prime, he was one of the most popular and financially successful entertainers in the country, a comic innovator known for his fast-paced, irreverent and sometimes off-color humor. Hope emigrated from England with his family at the age of 4 and grew up poor in Cleveland, Ohio, where he did a stint in reform school before hitting the vaudeville circuit with a song and dance act. The 1930s saw his star rising as he performed on Broadway, in movies, and on his own radio show. During World War II, he entertained Allied troops in every theater of combat, finding himself in mortal danger on more than one occasion. The seven “Road” movies, made between 1940 and 1962 and featuring Hope wisecracking his way through exotic locales with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, were among his biggest hits. Hope’s life is neither whitewashed nor sensationalized as Zoglin makes the case for him as one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century in this definitive biography. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=hope+zoglin&te=

 




Lamp Black, Wolf Grey by Paula Brackston (2015)

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey by Paula Brackston (2015)

Lovers of all things Wales and Welsh – from Merlin to the modern day – will enjoy this latest story from Paula Brackston. Moving between Merlin’s early adult years to modern day Wales, this is the story of 2 women--artist Laura Matthews, who moves to a cottage in a remote Welsh village, and Megan, who falls in love with the magician Merlin with disastrous consequences. You can feel the lush Welsh landscape through Brackston’s descriptions, and the magic almost crackles in the air as Laura tries to figure out who to trust. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:512366/one?qu=lamp+black+wolf+grey

 



Running Blind by Lee Child (2000)

Running Blind by Lee Child (2000)

Jack Reacher and the FBI are stumped. A woman has been murdered without any discernable cause of death. An autopsy reveals nothing, and the crime scene contains no evidence except for the remarkable fact that the victim is found in a bathtub full of green paint! When more deaths occur in exactly the same manner, Reacher and the FBI learn that the victims all previously served in the military and suffered from sexual harassment. Reacher must use his knowledge as a former military policeman to unravel the clues and stop the killer. This is the fourth book in the author’s Jack Reacher series. If you’ve already read Lee Child, try Barry Eisler or Michael Connelly next. (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=running+blind&te=

 



The Man Who Fell from the Sky by Margaret Coel (2015)

The Man Who Fell from the Sky by Margaret Coel (2015)

We all know that Old West outlaw Butch Cassidy died in a shootout in Bolivia over a hundred years ago. After all, Paul Newman wouldn’t lie to us! But what if Butch didn’t die? What if he returned to America and lived out his life under a different alias, visiting old friends in Wyoming and even leaving behind a map showing the location of his buried loot? Robert Walking Bear believes he inherited such a map from his grandfather, and hunting for the treasure is his favorite hobby. After Robert turns up dead in a remote mountain lake, an anonymous caller tells Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden that he witnessed Robert’s murder and is now frightened for his life. Who would have wanted to kill Robert Walking Bear? Vicky and Father John O’Malley from St. Francis Mission each gather clues and then work together to discover the truth in this, their nineteenth mystery set on and around the Wind River reservation in Wyoming. Margaret Coel’s knowledge of Wyoming history and Arapaho culture make this an enjoyable read. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:491369/one?qu=man+who+fell+from+the+sky+coel

 



Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (2015)

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (2015)

A week before her wedding, Georgia Ford flees to her family's vineyard in Sonoma after discovering an unbelievable secret about her fiancé. There she discovers that her father is selling the vineyard to a large commercial winemaker, her parents are having marital problems, and her brothers are fighting. Over the course of the next ten days, Georgia decides whether she will marry her fiancé, her parents decide whether they will stay married, her brothers work out their differences, and the reader learns a little bit about grape growing and winemaking. This is a fast, light read, but the characters are fairly well drawn and believable. Perfect for a rainy afternoon or a quiet evening, with a glass of wine by your side. For readers who like Emily Giffin and Nancy Thayer. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=eight+hundred+grapes&te=

 



The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot-Wright (2014)

The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot-Wright (2014)

Eve--a wife, mother, grandmother, and social worker--must confront her past when she receives a disturbing phone call. Suddenly her stable and happy life is in turmoil, at least in her mind, when she is pressured to reveal a past that she has hidden from everyone. As Eve debates the ramifications of telling her husband and daughter about her past, which inadvertently involves each of them, she faces an internal moral battle. For readers who like family stories involving secrets slowly revealed, such as A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:511416/one?qu=Secrets+We+Left+Behind+ellio-wright

 



In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib (2015)

In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib (2015)

The Al-Menshawy family is left in a difficult state after oldest son Hosaam kills himself and Natalie, the daughter of the family next door. As the first anniversary of the deaths approaches, Natalie’s family plans a public memorial for her, while negative feelings about the killing are still simmering throughout the community. Al-Menshawy patriarch Samir has a plan to change things, even if his family doubts it. Readers of Cristina Henríquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans, Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, and any of Jodi Picoult’s titles will appreciate how Hassib creates sympathetic, flawed characters with very authentic, complex emotional reactions. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:520426/one

 



The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (2015)

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (2015)

Neva Bradley, her mother, and her grandmother represent three generations and three styles of being a midwife. Told from the women’s perspectives, the story of Neva’s unexpected pregnancy results in confrontations surrounding the secrets of each. In the case of Neva’s grandmother, it’s a secret from her past that is slowly revealed. An enjoyable debut novel for fans of PBS’ Call the Midwife and Chris Bohjalian's Midwives. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Secrets+of+Midwives+hepworth&te=

 



If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton (2015)

If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton (2015)

Broken Rope, Missouri, is a Western-themed tourist town with a historical reputation for infamous characters and strange coincidences. When Isabelle “Betts” Winston drops out of law school and returns home to Broken Rope to help her grandmother, Miz, run a cooking school, she soon discovers that both she and Miz can communicate with some of these shady shades from the past. At first the ghosts often don’t even realize they’re dead, much less remember pertinent information about their lives, but they always need help solving the mystery behind their deaths. In this fifth book in the series, two ghosts separately approach Betts, one a woman who disappeared en route to meeting her lover in the 1880s, and the other the lover who literally spent years sitting in the train station waiting for her. Mix in the present-day murder of an unlikeable man who was nevertheless married (and divorced) five times, and you have the recipe for a winning cozy mystery

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:493645/one?qu=if+onions+could+spring+leeks

 



The Summer Cottage by Susan Kietzman (2015)

The Summer Cottage by Susan Kietzman (2015)

Helen Thompson, the youngest of four children, has become the caregiver for her widowed mother, Claire, who is dying of cancer. In the past, their family spent summers at a cottage near Long Island Sound. Now Claire wants a family reunion to take place at the cottage and issues an ultimatum to her children. As each sibling arrives and past and present events are revealed, the siblings learn to confront actions from the past and to interact with one another in a new way. A heartwarming story of family in the vein of Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah and Night Blindness by Susan Strecker. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Summer+Cottage+Susan+Kietzman&te=

 



We the Animals by Justin Torres (2011)

We the Animals by Justin Torres (2011)

A painfully beautiful book of connected stories about the explosive relationships between three brothers, their Puerto Rican immigrant father, and their white Brooklynite mother. For readers who like stories of unforgettable families like Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House and Cristina Henríquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=We+the+Animals+Justin+Torres&te=

 



Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (2011)

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (2011)

In August, 2005, as a tropical storm brews in the Gulf of Mexico, fifteen-year-old Esch, her widowed father, and her three brothers prepare their rural Mississippi home for a possible hurricane. As they try to protect the few possessions they have, including the prized white fighting pit bull China and her newborn litter of potential moneymakers, as Esch learns she is pregnant. A stark, simmering family drama set against Hurricane Katrina. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Salvage+the+Bones&te=&rt=false%7C%7C%7CTITLE%7C%7C%7CTitle

 




The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (2013)

The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (2013)

Young and broke from a combination of student loans and a larcenous ex-boyfriend, Jordan Kelly returns to her hometown of Harrison Falls, New York, and moves in with the not-entirely-law-abiding uncles who raised her. When a position becomes available with the wealthy and reclusive book collector Vera Van Alst, Jordan, who has a master’s degree in English, is thrilled to take the job, which includes a cozy apartment in the mansion’s former servant’s quarters. Jordan’s assignment is to research an unknown Agatha Christie play and, if it exists, purchase it for Vera. Jordan takes Vera’s prickly temperament in stride, but she becomes concerned when she learns that the previous holder of her position may have been murdered. Then a woman who said she had information for Jordan is attacked and left for dead. With help from her many uncles, the local crime boss, a gorgeous librarian named Lance, and a suspicious cop who may or may not be following her, Jordan discovers the truth about the play and unmasks her predecessor’s killer. Recommended for book lovers and readers of cozy mysteries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:409753/one?qu=christie+curse+abbott

 



Simple Genius by David Baldacci (2007)

Simple Genius by David Baldacci (2007)

Investigator Sean King is baffled. Why is his business partner Michelle Maxwell going crazy? The psychologist fees are costing him a fortune. Even worse, the suicide case he’s investigating has turned into multiple murders, and now a young girl’s life is at risk. King suspects that a nearby CIA base holds the key. Could it be hiding some kind of top-level government conspiracy? King desperately needs Maxwell to regain her mental health. Her high energy style would bust the case open and save their partnership, not to mention King himself! (Murray)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=simple+genius+david+baldacci&te=

 



Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans (2015)

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans (2015)

Ten-year-old Noel’s guardian, his beloved godmother Mattie, dies just as the blitz is beginning in 1940s London. Noel spends some time with Mattie’s nearest relations before being evacuated out of the city, where he is taken in by Vee for his ration card and a bit of money. Vee is broke and on the ropes, caring for both her aging mother & her idle son who is exempted from the draft due to a dodgy heart. Both Vee and her son are involved in war-time scams; Noel quickly catches onto Vee’s dodge & asks to participate. As Vee and Noel navigate the months of the blitz, their crooked hearts come together in an unlikely alliance. Crooked Heart is a dark comedy with characters that will stay with you long after the last page is read, offering an original look at the reality of life in England during WWII. (Maggie)

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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (2013)

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (2013)

Journalist and physician Dr. Sheri Fink spent six years researching and interviewing to create this masterwork documenting the real-life tragedy of a New Orleans hospital and its staff, patients, and community ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Don’t let the hefty 576-page count intimidate you; this is an accessible, eminently-readable book that is part natural disaster thriller, part medical and political drama, and part homicide investigation. Eye-opening, horrifying, and thought-provoking, the stories told and the questions raised by Fink will stay with you long after you finish this one. (Melissa)

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011)

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011)

First in a trilogy, Discovery is the story of Diana Bishop, last of her family of witches, who has spurned her gift since her parents’ deaths and become an academic instead. That is, until she finds a book, previously lost for 150 years, in the Bodleian Library. All sorts of witches, daemons & vampires want the book enough to kill for it, but Matthew Clairmont, a fellow scholar (and vampire) seems to want to protect her and the book. Discovery of Witches is a wide-ranging story, taking us from Oxford to Paris to upstate New York, and into the histories of both Diana’s and Matthew’s families. A complex story that never gets lost, with well-defined characters. For readers who liked Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander or Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series. Also for those who like literary mysteries with a dose of fantasy and romance. (Maggie)

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First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (2011)

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (2011)

Charlotte “Charley” Davidson is a part-time private investigator with an advantage that helps her solve crimes--she’s also the Grim Reaper. Yep, that Grim Reaper. Sometimes the dead need a little help in solving their murders. Oh, and there’s a super-sexy entity haunting her dreams. Steamy, funny and filled with quirky characters, this is in the first in the Charley Davidson paranormal romantic suspense series. (Kristy)

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Day Four by Sarah Lotz (2015)

Day Four by Sarah Lotz (2015)

Hundreds of vacationers board the “Beautiful Dreamer” cruise ship for what is advertised as a relaxing five day cruise. The first three days of the cruise are rather uneventful, but on the fourth day disaster strikes. An apparent fire in the engine room causes the ship to lose power, stranding it in the Gulf of Mexico. There is limited food on board, and access to water is limited, causing many problems for the passengers and crew. Rescue fails to come, and things take a rapid turn for the worse. A norovirus-type illness starts spreading, a dead body is found, and rumors run rampant about ghosts residing on the lower floors of the ship. Factions soon form, with many passengers choosing to spend their time holed up in a lounge with a famous psychic. Day Four is a fantastic beach read and will appeal to fans of Stephen King and those looking for a good psychological thriller. (Erin)

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Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman.  (2013)

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman. (2013)

In this novel set in southwestern Minnesota in 1987, pregnant Clara and her husband are getting acclimated to small-town life when the townspeople are shocked at the killing of the sheriff. Clara, on a quest to discover details about her mother as well as being a substitute English teacher, learns that Seth, one of her high school students, is responsible. The motives for this assault remain a mystery because Seth is dead as well. Grizz, Seth’s widowed father, fights for his son as old secrets come to light, including some related to Clara’s mother. As Clara and Grizz deal with their own journeys, they begin to help one another and discover common links. Fans of William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace may find this book a similar psychological, mysterious, and mythical journey. (Joycelyn)

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The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.  (2013)

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. (2013)

Henry, the narrator of this historical novel, reflects on his time spent with abolitionist James Brown, who “freed” twelve-year-old Henry from slavery in 1850’s Kansas. Brown is hoping to influence homesteaders into making Kansas a free state, but Henry doesn’t always agree with Brown’s methods for freeing slaves. Brown thinks Henry is a girl, and Henry decides to go along with the deception. While working in a brothel, Henry gets separated from Brown for a few years, but they are reconnected prior to Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. McBride, who won the National Book Award for Fiction for The Good Lord Bird, gives the reader a slice of history that could easily have been forgotten. This quick read with occasional humorous situations will appeal to both men and women readers. (Joycelyn)

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A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (2009)

A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (2009)

Graphic artist and writer Josh Neufeld presents seven stories of people who were living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and when the levees broke. Neufeld introduces us to his subjects’ lives before and after the storm, and his art captures moments both big and small. A compassionate and unforgettable tribute to survivors and victims of Katrina. (Melissa)

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The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows (2015)

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows (2015)

Truth is a great summer read. The story revolves around 12-year-old Willa, on the cusp of adulthood, who decides she wants to know all of the adults’ secrets. And the moral is, of course, be careful what you wish for. The small West Virginia town of Macedonia is celebrating its sesquicentennial in 1938. The Federal Writers Project sends an untested writer, Layla, down to write a history of the town; she is taken in as a boarder by Willa’s Aunt Jottie, and immediately falls hard for Willa’s charming (divorced) father, Felix. Told in alternating chapters in the voices of Jottie, Layla, and Willa, Truth is a charming, sometimes heartbreaking, story of family, love, understanding, and forgiveness set against the backdrop of the Great Depression. (Maggie)

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The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft (2015)

The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft (2015)

A twelve hour standoff between the police and Ronnie’s husband, Jeff, allows Ronnie time to revisit their courtship and 12 year marriage, contemplating whether she could have avoided the standoff without compromising her own needs and those of her two young sons. Her mother and mother-in-law share the tortuous wait with her and with their own reflections--how each woman’s behavior affected her own child and how interactions with each other as long-time friends affected the present situation. Based in part on a police standoff the author experienced with her husband, this novel presents the complexities of dealing with an alcoholic spouse prone to depression. (Joycelyn)

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Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman (2015)

Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman (2015)

Navajo Tribal Police officers Jim Chee and his wife Bernadette Manuelito are looking forward to a pleasurable getaway in Monument Valley when their plans are thrown into disarray. Chee is asked by his boss to fill in with the Monument Valley police while he is there, and Bernie is forced to return home when her younger sister is arrested, leaving their frail mother alone. In his official capacity, Chee becomes involved with a film crew that may be trying to use a fake grave to publicize their zombie movie, while Bernie puzzles over a man she arrested in a drug operation who acted guilty but whose car revealed nothing more unusual than two boxes of dirt. Retired police lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, who is still recovering from being shot in the head in Spider Woman’s Daughter, plays a small but crucial role in unraveling this book’s mysteries. Fans of the author’s father, Tony Hillerman, will enjoy this mystery using his characters and Southwestern settings, while Anne Hillerman’s increased focus on Bernie Manuelito makes the continuing series her own. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=rock+with+wings+hillerman&te=

 



The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James (2015)

The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James (2015)

Author Tania James explores the ivory trade in rural South India through the three braided stories of a killer elephant named Grave Digger with a tortured past, an ivory poacher whose poor farming village is terrorized by Grave Digger, and a filmmaker from the United States who is profiling a famous, flamboyant elephant conservationist with whom she is having an affair. Unique, compelling, and unforgettable, this book manages to create flawed, sympathetic, unapologetic characters that give complexities and nuance to this tragedy and makes The Tusk That Did the Damage a fantastic choice for book group discussion. (Melissa)

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Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist (2014)

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist (2014)

Historian Gary Krist takes his readers on a whirlwind historical tour of New Orleans' infamous Storyville vice district and its colorful denizens (including Louis Armstrong) -- beginning with a sensational ax murder and waltzing into the Deep South city's messy post-slavery history and racial tensions, the rise of gambling and prostitution as economic institutions in the Storyville social experiment, and the conflicting values, morals, desires, and needs of Victorian high and low society. Fantastic sense-of-place and slice-of-history details (and a deliciously tawdry literary true crime), similar to Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, Karen Abbot's Sin in the Second City, and John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=krist+empire+of+sin&te=

 



Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski (2015)

Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski (2015)

The cover may look a little provocative and facetious, but the information found within is anything but. Renowned sexuality educator Dr. Emily Nagoski gives smart, straightforward, sensitive, science-based, shame-free, sex-positive information to help cis-women (if you don’t know the term, Dr. Nagoski explains) get to know their intimate parts (body and brain) more, well, intimately. Funny, disarming, empowering, filled with facts and research, and very positive for women of all ages, body types, sexual orientations and also for their partners. (Melissa)

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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (2015)

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (2015)

Part magical realism, part romance, part mystery, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a delightful tale of friendship, acceptance, and understanding. It takes place in 1880s London and centers around a telegraphy clerk, Nathaniel Settleton, working for the Home Office. Irish nationalists set off bombs around London, and a Japanese watchmaker becomes a suspect in that activity. Nathaniel is asked to spy on the watchmaker, who has become a friend, and that sets up a moral conundrum for Nathaniel. Add in Grace Carrow, a young woman experimenting (and occasionally blowing things up) with physics and chafing against gender strictures of the time. With some inventive added gadgets (watch for the clockwork octopus), this story is perfect for fans of steampunk, historical fiction, and magical realism, such as any Gail Carriger series, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, or Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life. (Maggie)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=watchmaker+of+filigree+street&te=

 



The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (2014)

The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (2014)

Jenny Malcolm, physician and mother of three, knows that her family’s life is hectic but feels connected to her twin sons, their younger sister, and her neurosurgeon husband. Naomi, her fifteen-year-old daughter, is extremely busy with the lead in the school play, so Jenny vows to leave her alone for now and reconnect with her after the play closes. But Naomi disappears before the final performance. Police are called, and friends and family are questioned to no avail. As the family falls apart, Jenny finds she is no longer able to work as a physician and leaves the family’s home. The book alternates between the time of Naomi’s disappearance and a year later, when Jenny is still searching for answers with the help of the police family liaison officer. When clues come to light, Jenny imagines every possible scenario and realizes how little she really knew about her children. Did Naomi plan her own disappearance or did someone take her against her will? Is she still alive? How will Jenny find the answers? A debut novel by a physician who is married to a neurosurgeon and the mother of five children, so the scenes of daily life and the anguish of a missing child ring painfully true. For fans of Tess Gerritsen and Joy Fielding, as well as those who enjoyed Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. (Joycelyn)

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943)

If you or your book group are longing for the pleasure of discovering a "readable classic," this novel is for you. Neelie and Francie Nolan grow up poor but much-loved, with a very strong mother, a tormented but caring father; and a supportive cast of well-done characters that includes aunts, uncles, teachers, and shopkeepers. Francie's sensitivity and her determination to "rise above" thru education make her a memorable heroine. Her dreams of love and a better life are set against the challenges of her everyday existence in turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn. If you’ve already read this much-loved classic, you may also want to try The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers or Montana, 1948 by Larry Watson. (Luann)

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Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor (2003)

Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor (2003)

Secret Service agent Scott Harvath returns in the second in the thriller series by author Thor. Here the hero Harvath attempts to prevent a global holy war. A supposed Israeli group called The Hand of God, is attacking Arab sites, provoking cries for violent retaliation. Harvath doubts the identity of the group and believes a feared assassin is responsible. As he tries to locate the killer, Harvath requires the help of Meg Cassidy, a beautiful businesswoman. Unfortunately Meg is also the assassin’s number one target, as she is the only person who can positively identify the killer. Harvath and Meg frantically chase the assassin as they are pursued themselves. (Murray)

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In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (2015)

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (2015)

Miri Ammerman, a fifteen-year-old in Elizabeth, N.J., experiences an eventful year in 1951-1952. Three airplane crashes occur within eight weeks, all in her neighborhood. Inspired by the actual crashes that she experienced as a New Jersey teenager, Blume creates this fictional account of Miri, her family and friends, and nearby residents as they deal with the aftermath of the crashes. The story spans 35 years and is told through the eyes of many survivors whose lives become connected in unexpected ways. Blume has indicated that this is her final novel and says it is the one she was meant to write. An engaging story with unforeseen twists and turns from a master storyteller. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=in+the+unlikely+event&te=

 



Plum Island by Nelson DeMille (1997)

Plum Island by Nelson DeMille (1997)

John Corey is quietly recuperating on Long Island after being shot on duty as an NYPD detective. His rest is disturbed when the local sheriff asks for help in solving the murder of a young couple, who Corey happens to know casually. The circumstances appear simple enough, except for the fact that the victims worked as scientists at Plum Island, a shadowy research center reputed to be involved in the manufacture of biological weapons. The possibility of a theft raises national security implications, but Corey believes a secret plot entangled the couple and led them into a fatal double cross. When more people are murdered, including a beautiful woman who attracted his attentions, Corey decides that nothing will stop him from finding the perpetrator. The first book in a thriller series starting John Corey. (Murray)

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Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (2015)

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (2015)

This final novel by the author of Plainsong continues his tradition of telling stories of the good people of Holt, CO. In this case, widow Addie pays her neighbor Louis a visit and asks if he'd be willing to come to her house in the evenings so they can talk, fend off loneliness, and sleep together (platonically). He agrees, and thus begins a true friendship which grows even deeper with the arrival of Addie's 6-year-old grandson, who desperately needs a man in his life. Haruf writes characters and relationships in fly-over-country so well and so real. He will appeal to fans of Ivan Doig and Marilynne Robinson. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=our+souls+at+night&te=

 



Beauty by Hubert and Kerascoët (2015)

Beauty by Hubert and Kerascoët (2015)

This is a fairytale for grownups that is just as much a philosophical musing on the nature of beauty as it is a breathtakingly gorgeous work of art. After a chance encounter with a fairy, kind and ugly Coddie asks to be made the most beautiful, with plenty of twists, danger, and wars ensuing. Be forewarned – contains about as much sex and maybe a little less violence than your average episode of Game of Thrones. (Melissa)

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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

Looking for a great summer read with wonderful characters and an intense plot? This may be the novel for you. In 1959, fiery Baptist preacher Nathan Price brings his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo to advance the cause of Christianity. In the attempt, he alienates not only his family but the locals as well. The Prices tell their story in alternating voices that show the situation through different eyes. Kingsolver does a masterful job of blending family dynamics, religious and cultural clashes, and African politics and history. The story’s background of political upheaval is similar to In theTime of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez; it also creates an amazing sense of place reminiscent of Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=poisonwood+bible&te=

 



Moonlight on Butternut Lake by Mary McNear (2015)

Moonlight on Butternut Lake by Mary McNear (2015)

The third entry in the Butternut Lake trilogy centers on Mila Jones, an abused wife trying to get as far away as possible from her abuser. Mila travels from Minneapolis to Butternut Lake in northeastern Minnesota to work as a live-in home health care aid. Her work is cut out for her because she is the third such aid to Reid Ford, a man recovering from an automobile accident; Reid is rude and doesn’t seem to care if he improves. As Mila gets more comfortable with her new surroundings, instead of constantly looking over her shoulder, her frustration with Reid surfaces and changes their relationship as well as the way he interacts with others. How can Mila be falling in love with Reid when she represents danger to others with her husband in pursuit? Will the accident really change Reid to the point that he would let himself fall for Mila when he has been a playboy all of his life? Fans of the series will welcome this addition. (Joycelyn)

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Girl at War by Sara Novic (2015)

Girl at War by Sara Novic (2015)

In 2001, ten-year-old Ana sees her world disintegrate as the civil war in Yugoslavia divides Croatia. (Her voice reminded me of Scout's in "To Kill a Mockingbird"--the naivete of the young narrators in both books only makes the events surrounding them more tragic.) Ten years later, Ana is a college student in New York, haunted by the war and what she did to survive it. She returns to Croatia to try to make peace with the past. The story of Ana's family illustrates the cruel and arbitrary nature of war. (Luann)

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Happy Are the Happy by Yasmina Reza (2015)

Happy Are the Happy by Yasmina Reza (2015)

You never know what to expect from a book that begins with a couple arguing over cheese. Translated from the 2013 original French version, this is an aching, maddening, delightful collection of interconnected stories, each told from the perspective of one of the characters and each revealing more about the surprising weavings and fateful tangles of human relationships, love, loyalty, infidelity, and all the ways people seek happiness. A recommendation for those who have enjoyed Milan Kundera’s classic The Unbearable Lightness of Being and those who appreciate the warts-and-all approach to life, love, and literature. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Reza+Happy+Are+the+Happy&te=

 



Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (2014)

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (2014)

This collection of essays paired with art is at times hilarious and heartbreaking, and, while some may dismiss Solnit’s slippery slope connection between mansplaining and gender-based violence, there is a lot of nutritious food for thought, whatever your palate. Another worthwhile volume to stand alongside Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists. (Melissa)

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She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry (2014

She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry (2014

Rabbit is born hearing the voices of the dead as her family tries to survive the rising troubles around them. This book is a haunting intergenerational story of a Vietnamese family told in dreamlike sequences flashing back and forth in time from the Vietnam War to present day. Fans of Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses will want to check this out. (Melissa)

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The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria (2015)

The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria (2015)

The story of Zakaria’s family unfolds amid the backdrop of the dynamically changing political landscape of Pakistan. Her Muslim-Indian family relocates to Karachi, Pakistan, after the Partition, and Rafia watches how relationships change under restrictive new laws, how her aunt falls apart after her uncle breaks family custom and takes a second wife, and how life get more complicated for women during and despite the rise of Benazir Bhutto. Highly recommended for readers of contemporary history and will be appreciated by anyone who devoured Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=upstairs+wife+Zakaria&te=

 



By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates (2015)</

By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates (2015)

After ending a long but lukewarm relationship, Lucy Richardson quits her job at Harvard as a rare books librarian and takes a job in a small public library housed in a converted lighthouse on the North Carolina coast. The job comes with a cozy apartment near the top of the lighthouse and a library cat who makes himself at home in Lucy’s quarters. Within a week of her arrival, she is being courted by two attractive men--Butch, a macho police officer, and Connor, the town’s mayor and a teenage crush from Lucy’s past. Life seems perfect, until a disagreeable member of the library board is murdered in the rare books room, minutes after being threatened by Bertie, the head librarian. Lucy doesn’t believe that Bertie could hurt a fly, so she decides to conduct her own investigation. But when the books in an exhibit of Jane Austen first editions begin disappearing one by one, the police begin to suspect Lucy herself of both the murder and the thefts. The first in a new cozy mystery series, this book is loaded with appeal for lovers of books and libraries. (Chris)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=by+book+or+by+crook&te=

 



Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (2014)

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (2014)

Though difficult emotionally, especially during the early pages, this is an amazing exploration of terminal illness and dying—and how poorly our culture and our medical system handle both. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, argues that safety and technology have trumped quality of life for end-of-life patients. But the book’s strength is not just in illustrating the problems but in sharing the ways in which some medical professionals, institutions, and others are finding solutions. The author’s stories of his own father's illness and death are educational and emotional, adding a warm personal touch to this New York Times bestseller. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=being+mortal&te=

 



Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson (2015)

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson (2015)

An ambitious satire that plays on identity, perceptions, and prejudices. University of California Berkeley student D’aron Davenport’s small close-knit group of multicultural activist friends plans to stage an interruption (read “mock lynching”) at a Civil War reenactment in D’aron’s hometown of Braggsville, Georgia. What ensues is a witty, tragicomic skewering of everything from the lingering Confederate pride in the South to the well-intentioned activism of academia’s ivory towers. (Melissa)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=inside+the+obriens&te=

 



Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (2001)

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (2001)

This novel is a beautiful melding of plot and characters. When terrorists disrupt a lavish diplomatic party in an unnamed South American country, guests of many nationalities are taken hostage, and all rules of normalcy are suspended. If you’re a fan of Anne Tyler or Sara Gruen, you’ll want to try Ann Patchett. The audio book offers an amazing performance by narrator Anna Fields. (Luann)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=bel+canto&te=

 



Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner (2014)

Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner (2014)

Karen, a widowed mother of two, Abby, a wife and mother of an autistic child, and Michael, a husband and father of two grown children about to lose his business, don’t know each other until a personal crisis occurs in each of their lives and they find themselves in the same group therapy session. As they begin to open up, they learn coping skills so they will be better able to deal with the day-to-day events in their lives. The importance of friendship and their new coping skills are tested when a tragedy occurs. The author, who has dealt with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, wanted to show readers how easily circumstances and personalities can play a role in the mental health of all of us. (Joycelyn)

https://search.dakota.lib.mn.us/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=Another+Night%2C+Another+Day&te=

 



Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts (2004)

Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts (2004)

Concerned only with raising her two young sons and her new job as manager for the thriving In the Garden nursery, the last thing widowed Stella Rothchild wants in her life is a man--especially one as obstinate and disorganized as sexy landscape architect Logan Kitridge. But Stella soon learns that some of the best things in life are unplanned. A pair of realistic, delightful children, a tormented ghost, and two unique women—who will, undoubtedly, have their own stories—add depth to this fast-paced romance that features a pair of beautifully matched protagonist, both of whom are used to calling the shots. Roberts nicely resolves the issues surrounding Stella and Logan's story; nevertheless, because this is the first of a trilogy, readers should be aware that a number of loose threads remain to be dealt with in succeeding volumes. Recommended for fans of light paranormal romance. (Natasha)

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Heat Lightning by John Sandford  (2008)

Heat Lightning by John Sandford (2008)

Virgil Flowers – a laid-back, long-haired, surfer dude from … Minnesota! — investigates a murder that grows into multiples. Only the Vietnam war seems to connect the victims. As he struggles to find answers, Virgil suddenly discovers that his car is bugged and people aren’t who they say they are, including his girlfriend! To stop the killings, Virgil races across the Twin Cities and up north to the Canadian border. For thriller fans. (Murray)

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Prudence by David Treuer (2015)

Prudence by David Treuer (2015)

Don’t be surprised if you see this on the list of Minnesota Book Award finalists next year! Treuer weaves together a childhood romance, a murder mystery, and a historical clash of cultures and individuals, all set in World War II-era Bena, Minnesota, a tiny town in Leech Lake Nation that is also home to seasonal resorts and a German prisoner camp. If you love the sense of place and community in Louise Erdrich’s books, the sweeping epic of Ian McEwan’s novels, or the intense, artful, and rich writing of Toni Morrison, make sure this is on your summer reading list. Perfect for a day in the hammock by the lake! (Melissa)

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It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario (2015)

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario (2015)

Addario's story of rising to the status of a New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist includes stories from geopolitical crises to her own personal battles with sexism and fundamentalism. She is good story-teller and a keen observer of the people and situations that make news, as well as the people who are victims of the wars, famines, and other disasters that she covers. Word in Hollywood is that Steven Spielberg is set to direct the film version of this memoir, with Jennifer Lawrence portraying Addario. (Luann)

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Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie (2012)

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie (2012)

Sherman Alexie’s stories read like poetry with their indelible images, their impeccable phrasings, and their perfect, precise, precarious balance of wit, sympathy, and criticism. His work doesn’t just capture contemporary American Indian experiences, it also resonates with universal emotions, frustrations, and (always) humor. A great read as the weather gets sunnier, as time spent inside and attention spans get shorter, and as powwow season begins in spring. (Melissa)

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Inspector Specter by E.J. Copperman (2014)

Inspector Specter by E.J. Copperman (2014)

Ever since she suffered a bump on the head while renovating an old Jersey Shore Victorian, divorced mother Alison Kerby has been able to see and hear ghosts, starting with the house’s previous owner, Maxie, and Paul, the private investigator who failed to save Maxie’s life. Paul, bored and unable to leave the property, convinces Alison to set herself up as a P.I. so she can front for him while he continues in his profession. In exchange, Paul and Maxie put on “spook shows” for Alison’s guests twice a day. In this sixth in the Haunted Guesthouse series, Alison and company investigate the supposedly accidental death of a police officer and the subsequent disappearance of his former partner. And how does all this relate to the drowning of mobster Harry the Fish, whose body was found not in the ocean but in a car in a Walmart parking lot? Recommended for readers who like cozy mysteries with a mild supernatural element and a strong sense of humor. E.J. Copperman is the pseudonym of Jeffrey Cohen, who has written mysteries under that name. (Chris)

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Before I Go by Colleen Oakley (2015)

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley (2015)

At 27, Daisy Richmond is looking forward to her husband’s graduation as well as completing her own degree. It will mean the end to Jack’s veterinarian training, so they can begin a new chapter in their married life. Then the unthinkable happens. Daisy’s fight with breast cancer of four years ago is not over. Now she has been diagnosed with “lots and lots of cancer,” and the prognosis is dire. She retreats from many aspects of her life but decides that Jack needs a new wife--and who is better able to find one for him than she is? With help from her childhood friend, Kayleigh, she thinks she has found the right women to replace her. But as her goal looks to be accomplished, Daisy begins to unravel and questions how best to spend the rest of her life and whose happiness should have priority—hers or Jack’s. A debut novel written with humor while tugging at the heartstrings. (Joycelyn)

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Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann (2014)

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann (2014)

The early days of the motion picture industry were wild and wooly, both onscreen and off. The prevalence of sex, drugs and alcohol in the movies created a call for censorship that the fledgling industry resisted with all its might -- until the scandals started to spill off the screen and into the lives of the members of Hollywood’s film community. Popular stars such as Wallace Reid and Mabel Normand were known to be drug addicts. Comedian Fatty Arbuckle was accused (but acquitted) of raping and causing the death of a starlet at a booze-soaked party. And then there was the murder of William Desmond Taylor, one of the most successful directors of the era. Never solved, the crime has spawned numerous theories and several books over the years, the latest being Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood. With careful, in-depth research presented in short, readable chapters, Mann constructs an original and plausible scenario that fits the known facts of the crime. Recommended for true crime readers and fans of old-time Hollywood. (Chris)

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Unforgettable: A Son, A Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime by Scott Simon (2015)

Unforgettable: A Son, A Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime by Scott Simon (2015)

NPR broadcaster Scott Simon sent out tweets (messages on Twitter, for those who might not be familiar with the social media site) from his mother’s hospital bedside during the last days of her life. That was the impetus for this utterly charming, thoughtful, beautiful memoir about a mother and son and a powerful, disarming musing on life, death, and living and loving well. Have tissues nearby! A great book for anyone who is experiencing terminal illness and death, whether personally or with a loved one. The audiobook is read by the author and is intimate, warm, and enchanting. (Melissa)

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A Sudden Light by Garth Stein.  (2014)

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. (2014)

In 1990, Trevor Riddell and his father, Jones, travel to Seattle to help Trevor’s aunt move his grandfather from the family home to a senior residence. At age 14, this is Trevor’s first visit to Seattle and first meeting with his relatives. As he takes in Riddell House, with its 200 acres built by the logging fortune that once was massive, he begins to learn more about the family history and secrets and wonders why his father has not been back for 20 years. Trevor becomes attuned to the mansion and encounters ghosts who help him learn some of those family secrets and stories, but he has trouble convincing anyone else of it. His British mother has returned to England and cannot comprehend the significance of Trevor’s concerns for everyone’s welfare. His grandfather fights to stay in the house while Jones and his sister want to sell the house and land to a developer. Trevor feels caught in the middle and is forced to grow up quickly. This is not a horror type of ghost story, but an inspirational one about generations of fathers and sons and the connection between nature and man. (Joycelyn)

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The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson (2014)

The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson (2014)

Who says fairytales aren’t for grownups? Inspired by but not beholden to classic fairytale tropes, Thompson modernizes stories from Hansel and Gretel to Little Red Riding Hood, from Cinderella to Bluebeard. She populates the tales with average people and sets them in contemporary times, but keeps the witches, monsters, curses, and magic, while shapeshifting everything into new forms. Dark but hopeful, disturbing but redemptive, and a delight for readers who can find magic in everyday events and slivers of happiness in any ending. (Melissa)

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The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum (1987)

The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum (1987)

The State department desperately needs the talents of Jason Bourne. A Chinese warlord who could become the chairman of the Communist Party is actually a traitor plotting to seize control of Hong Kong. To save the British colony and prevent civil war the Department wants Jason to neutralize the warlord. Only two things stand in the way. The warlord hired a vicious assassin to kill his enemies, and the assassin is posing as Bourne himself! And Jason now enjoys a retired life and doesn’t want to leave home. Everything changes when the State department kidnaps Jason’s wife Marie and secretly transports her to Hong Kong. Jason decides to leave at once and vows that anybody who gets in the way of finding his wife will die! (Murray)

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Who bombed the train

Who Bombed the Train? by Judith Yates Borger (2014)

This third volume in the Skeeter Hughes mystery series is set in Minneapolis. Skeeter, a newspaper reporter, is searching for answers after a bomb rips through a light rail train and kills 63, including Skeeter’s best friend, the mayor of Minneapolis. A fabulous contemporary mystery with strong local appeal, Who Bombed the Train delves into the current hot button issues of terrorism and the treatment of the Muslim immigrant community. An interesting plot and strong characters make this a real page-turner. (Jenifer)

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (2014)

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (2014)

Set in 1680s Amsterdam, “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton introduces us to eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman. Nella has arrived in Amsterdam for an arranged marriage to the wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Nella’s married life is not as she had hoped for. Johannes is often away for business, and so Nella is left alone in the house with her sister-in-law Marin and the domestic servants. In an effort to keep his new bride occupied during his travels, Johannes has a miniature house delivered as a wedding present. Nella is impressed and intrigued at how closely the house resembles the house that she is now living in. When her sister-in-law presses her to engage the services of a miniaturist to furnish the dollhouse, odd things begin to happen. The miniaturist, whose identity is a mystery, starts to have unsolicited pieces delivered to the house. These pieces seem to somehow foreshadow future events that happen in the Brandt household. As Johannes becomes involved in a scandal, the mysterious pieces keep arriving. Nella can’t figure out whether the miniaturist is trying to warn her or intimidate her. “The Miniaturist” is recommended for historical fiction fans, as well as those who enjoy reading psychological suspense novels. (Erin)

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The Alienist: a Novel by Caleb Carr:

The Alienist: a Novel by Caleb Carr:

In 1896 New York City, a serial killer is mutilating and murdering child prostitutes on the Lower East Side. Although the police usually look the other way with these types of crimes, this time new police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt (yes, that Roosevelt) has assembled a team to secretly investigate. The group--a psychologist, a crime reporter, two detectives, and a female secretary with hopes of becoming New York’s first policewoman--attempts to profile the killer in a time before psychology was respected and citizens found CSI cool. (Donell)

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Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (2014)

Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (2014)

This is Child’s newest in her cozy mystery series, the Cackleberry Club mysteries. In this entry, the three co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café bring their very different personalities to the solution of an explosion at the county courthouse that kills one of their friends. Suzanne, Petra and Toni are 40-something women who use their many talents to run their successful café, knitting shop and book corner, leading to humorous and heartwarming plot lines. Recommended for lovers of cozy mysteries with recipes. (Annemarie)

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An Untamed State by Roxane Gay 

(2014)

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (2014)

Mireille Duval Jameson, the daughter of Haitian immigrants who have returned to their homeland after amassing wealth in the United States, is kidnapped in front of her husband and infant son and held for a harrowing thirteen days. This gripping novel flashes between the experiences of Mireille and of her family, and Mireille’s chapters flash back-and-forth between her lucidity during her moments of captivity and her bittersweet memories of freedom. A brutal-but-beautifully-told survival story. (Melissa)

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (2011)

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (2011)

Sarah Nickerson and her husband, Bob, are working parents with three young children, both with intense jobs trying to utilize their Harvard degrees to make the world a better place. As Sarah, who is always moving in fast mode, speeds to work, an accident stops her in her tracks. As she surfaces with a traumatic brain injury, she must face several new realities. One is that she no longer sees the left side of anything. As her rehabilitation occurs, she learns to adjust her expectations and reconcile with her mother whose help proves to be invaluable. Fans of Lisa Genova (Still Alice, Love Anthony) may want to adjust their own lives as they explore the new world of Sarah and her family. (Joycelyn)

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Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin (1997)

Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin (1997)

If you’re a memoir fan but are tired of reading about dysfunctional families, try this one by Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize winning author of histories such as No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals. She recalls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940-50s, including loving memories of sharing a passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers with her father. In addition to personal memories, she uses her historian's eye to put her memories into the context of the era, remembering events such as the first TV on the block, school integration, and the Rosenberg trial. For those who enjoy Patricia Hampl or Kathleen Norris. (Luann)

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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom 

(2010)

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (2010)

This ambitious debut novel is set on a tobacco plantation in rural Virginia in 1791. Lavinia, a 7-year-old Irish indentured servant, is loved by and bonds with Mama Mae’s black family and Belle, a biracial 18-year-old, the big house’s cook and the illegitimate daughter of the plantation owner. Lavinia’s and Belle’s stories are told in separate chapters as events over a 20 year time span change the course of their lives. This exploration of slavery, plantation life, and family dynamics will offer book groups many points for discussion. It will also appeal to fans of historical fiction titles such as Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. (Joycelyn)

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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (2014)

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (2014)

In this story of a kidnapping gone wrong, Mia, the 25-year old daughter of prominent Chicago judge James Dennett, impulsively decides to go home with Colin, a young man she meets in a bar. Colin forces her into his car in the middle of the night, and Mia learns he’s been sent to abduct her for ransom. At the last minute, Colin, for reasons unknown, decides not to hand her over to the man who has hired him and instead takes her to a remote cabin in Minnesota. Back at home, Mia’s mother, Eve, cannot understand why James doesn’t seem to take the news of his daughter’s disappearance as seriously as she does. Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, wonders the same thing. The narrative unfolds in four different perspectives—from Mia, Eve, Gabe, and Colin, in alternating chapters—which are also structured as “before” and “after.” Will appeal to fans of stories with a strong sense of place. (Natasha)

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March: Book One (2014) and March: Book 

Two (2015) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

March: Book 

One (2014) and March: Book Two (2015) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

March: Book One (2014) and March: Book Two (2015) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

This two-volume graphic novel, based on the memoir of American Civil Rights leader and Georgia’s 5th Congressional District Representative John Lewis, entwines the story of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s with the inauguration of our nation’s first African-American president. This is an especially meaningful and moving read upon this year’s fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the recent release of the movie Selma, and the books will be appreciated by mature readers, from older teens to those who actually lived through the Civil Rights era. (Melissa)

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The Paris Achitect

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (2013)

In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money - and maybe get him killed. But if he's clever enough, he'll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist. (Chris)

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Die Trying

Die Trying by Lee Child (1998

When Jack Reacher stoops down to pick up a woman’s cane, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by gun men who push him into a car, along with Holly, an unknown woman. Soon it becomes clear that the men belong to a murderous militia group determined to secede from the Union, and the woman is the daughter of a high-ranking Army general. Jack needs all his skill to save Holly and defeat the militia before it takes even more lives. This second book in the popular Jack Reacher series will appeal to readers of thrillers and suspense novels. (Murray)

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Saving Grace

Saving Grace by Jane Green (2014)

To the world, Grace and Ted Chapman seem to have a perfect marriage and life. Grace is happiest when cooking and working at Harmont House, a local women’s shelter, but she also enjoys being a part of her husband’s literary career. When Ted’s longtime assistant leaves, more duties fall to Grace until Beth comes to their rescue. Slowly, Grace begins to feel less needed, first at home and then socially, which initially pleases her. But as events unfold, Grace fears she is becoming like her mentally ill mother. As her life spirals out of control, Grace must decide how to rescue herself as she uncovers uncomfortable truths. Can her life and marriage weather the storm and return to their former state? Is that what she even wants? Fans of Jane Green will welcome her new novel. (Joycelyn)

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How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

How did a device designed to keep ink from smearing in a humid office change the political orientation of the American South? How did the discovery that bacteria and microbes in drinking water can spread illness change women’s fashion forever? How did the invention of the printing press lead to the invention of the microscope? What does the invention of the telephone have to do with skyscrapers? How We Got to Now illuminates the history of world-changing ideas and innovations in a way that brilliantly reveals the connections between them. Johnson coins concepts you'll wonder how we’ve previously lived without—like the adjacent possible, the slow hunch, and the long zoom. An engrossing read, recommended especially for those who love “nonfiction that reads like fiction.” A companion PBS miniseries is also available on DVD at Dakota County Library. (Emily)

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Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013)

In a departure from his Cork O’Connor series, Krueger explores the mysteries that teenage Frank Drum encounters in the summer of 1961 in fictional New Bremen, Minnesota. Forty years later, an adult Frank remembers a schoolmate dying on the train tracks and everyone questioning whether it was murder or suicide. Shortly after, an itinerant is found dead. Thirteen-year-old Frank tries to cope as his minister father conducts services for the victims. When a third death hits closer to home, his family must deal with the consequences. A coming of age novel set in a small town that will resonate with readers who have enjoyed Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Montana 1948 by Larry Watson. (Joycelyn)

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A girl is a Half-Formed Thing

A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (2014)

This is a stark, startling novel told in the stream-of-conscious narrative of a working class girl growing up in Ireland. The unnamed girl narrates her tough life: she is blossoming into a teenager with hormones and desires, her brother suffers from a brain disease that affects his whole life, her mother does not “spare the rod” with either of her children, and she is sexually abused by her uncle, but still she persists in trying to find love and redemption in her life. The writing style may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as the author was inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses, but it’s accessible, poetic, and harrowing – similar to Anne-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees. (Melissa)

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Texts from Jane Eyre

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg (2014)

Imagine if Hamlet had a smart phone. One of the major forces behind popular website, The Toast, Mallory Ortberg distills the works of great classics and popular literature into their essence with their classic characters irreverently and joyfully thrown into the modern medium of texting. Delightful and deceptively simple, this is not a summary of books into text-speak; rather, this is an inside joke lovingly crafted for book lovers with a wry and wicked sense of humor. (Melissa)

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The Guernsey Literary and Ptoato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (2008)

An utterly charming novel whose story is told entirely through letters. In post-WWII London, writer Juliet Ashton is looking for inspiration for a new book. She begins to exchange letters with the inhabitants of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between England and France, which was occupied by the Nazis during the war. The islanders formed a 'book group' when caught out past curfew one night, a group which helped its members survive the hardships of the war. A read-alike for Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay or the classic epistolary novel 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. (Luann)

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Hand to Mouth

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado (2014)

This book on economic policies and social class is anything but boring; it’s fiery, funny, and frustrating. Tirado takes issue with politicians, economists, sociologists, and other experts who have never actually lived in poverty, which she defines as a lack of money as opposed to a symptom of moral or personal failure. She has lived in poverty, and, with honesty and without self-pity, she outlines the harsh realities faced by many poor and working class individuals and families. Whether you agree or disagree with her opinions and conclusions, Tirado’s brassy, unapologetic voice of experience draws attention to and gives an unforgettable insider’s look at poverty. (Melissa)

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Suede to Rest

Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere (2014)

Born in her great aunt and uncle’s fabric shop and christened Polyester, the heroine of Suede to Rest is understandably in love with fabric. She has a job as a designer of cheap prom dresses in Los Angeles when she inherits the fabric shop from Uncle Marius. After her great aunt Millie’s murder on the premises ten years earlier, Marius locked the doors and walked away from the business, leaving everything inside intact. Poly intends to sell the store and return to her everyday life, but a series of crimes and misadventures keep her in town long enough to rekindle her feelings for the store and make her question the official explanation of Millie’s murder. While this is the first in a series, Vallere has written other mystery novels and her experience shows. Recommended for craft lovers and readers of cozy mysteries. (Chris)

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Glimping Heaven

Glimpsing Heaven: the Stories and Science of Life after Death by Judy Bachrach. (2014)

In order to work through her own fear of death, the journalist volunteered at a local hospice and began researching experiences of those who have died and returned from the dead. She believes these experiences are not “near-death” experiences but instead are death experiences. Interlaced with personal stories of these voyagers are Bachrach’s interviews with scientists involved in explaining death and the various types of experiences described. Differing from personal accounts of death such as Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, and To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal, Glimpsing Heaven adds a scientific component to the discussion. (Joycelyn)

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Experiment in 

Murder

Margaret Truman’s Experiment in Murder by Donald Bain. (2012)

A Capital Crimes novel featuring Mackensie Smith and his wife, Annabel, as they are involved in the defense of an acquaintance, Sheila Klaus, who is accused of running down her psychiatrist. Also involved in Sheila’s defense is Nicholas Tatum, an expert in human behavior, especially as it relates to hypnosis. He is convinced that the accused killer was a pawn used in the murder since she has no memory and emphatically denies being involved. Who is controlling Sheila’s mind, if mind control is the link to the murder? Could the CIA be incriminated since it is rumored in Washington that the CIA or some rogue agents would like to control minds and create the perfect assassin, as Tatum has heard? Fans of Truman’s Capital Crimes novels will welcome this addition and may be unnerved to discover the activities in which our government agencies are engaged. (Joycelyn)

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Hour Game

Hour Game by David Baldacci (2004)

A woman is found murdered in a small Virginia town. Curiously, a watch placed on her wrist is set to one o’clock. The message becomes clear when more victims turn up, each wearing a watch advanced to a succeeding hour, as if numbered on a list of planned killings. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, ex-Secret Service agents, must find the serial killer before the hour strikes them too! (Murray)

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People of the book

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (2008)

Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize winner for March, is the perfect author for historical fiction fans who love to be transported to different times and places. In People of the Book, Hannah, a specialist in rare books, is called on to travel from her home in Australia to Sarajevo, where she will analyze a rare illuminated Jewish manuscript from medieval Spain. Hannah traces its history through a series of clues that she finds within the book--wine stains, a fragment of an insect wing, a white hair... Book groups will find much in this novel to discuss. (Luann)

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Killing Floor

Killing Floor by Lee Child (1997)

Jack Reacher knows he’s in trouble when the police enter the restaurant he’s sitting in. Being arrested for murder is bad enough, but then he learns that one of the two victims is his own estranged brother. Now set on revenge, Reacher discovers a conspiracy of corruption, counterfeiting and murder. Killing Floor introduces the memorable character of Reacher and starts the long-running series by author Lee Child. (Murray)

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In the garden of beasts

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (2011)

Larson, the author of Devil in the White City, tells the story of the first US ambassador to Hitler's Germany, William Dodd, and his family--including his promiscuous but oddly principled daughter, Martha. When the Dodds arrived in 1933, Hitler was consolidating his power. This gripping nonfiction account details the mounting anxiety and paranoia, the internal Nazi power struggles, and the tepid US response. (Luann)

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Reconstructing Amelia

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (2013)

Set at an exclusive prep school in NYC, this novel may appall you with insights into the world of teen social media. Amelia, a smart and successful 15-yr-old, always said that she wouldn't join the sorority-type clubs at her school. But as she struggles with loneliness and her sexual orientation, she's drawn into such a club--with horrific results. After Amelia's death, her mother struggles to learn whether it was a suicide or something more sinister. Readers who enjoy authors of suspense like Gillian Flynn or Dennis Lehane will want to consider McCreight as well. (Luann)

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The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe. (1999)

A book club of five female friends forms the basis of the friendship that goes beyond the joy of sharing books. When one woman’s husband dies, the others support her while facing their own difficulties—infertility, adultery, unemployment, and an aging, meddlesome mother returning to be near her daughter. Focusing primarily on the widow and her children as they cope with their new lives, the interactions among the friends becomes crucial as each faces her own challenges. Similar authors include Barbara Delinsky, Elizabeth Berg, Kristin Hannah, Fern Michaels, and Nancy Thayer. (Joycelyn)

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Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009)

If you are looking for one of those great family sagas that make you stay up half the night, consider Cutting for Stone. Marion and Shiva are the twin sons of a nun who dies in childbirth. Their mother was an aid to the boys' father, a surgeon at a hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who abandons them and flees to the US. The boys are raised by two doctors at the African compound, and the story of their boyhood gives a rich feel for the time and place. When Marion is forced to leave Ethiopia during a time of great political unrest, he ends up in the U.S. and meets his father. The author weaves together many settings, characters and story lines with beautiful wiring and wonderful pacing. (Luann)

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The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (2006)

Based on stories heard from his European-born parents, Australian author Zusak tells the story of Liesel, a foster child in Hitler’s Germany. When her brother dies, Liesel steals a book even though she is illiterate. As she assimilates into a foster home and a new life, she learns to read and continues as a book thief, relishing the power of words. As World War II breaks out, she tries to come to terms with the injustices she experiences and observes, while growing to love her foster parents. Death, the narrator of the book, is especially effective in telling Liesel’s story. While often advertised as a young adult novel, the subject matter of The Book Thief easily commands the attention of adult readers. The movie of the same title is a faithful recreation of the book, and they complement one another. Read alikes include Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum and Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. (Joycelyn)

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No Ordinary Time

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin (1994)

If you enjoyed the recent PBS series which featured the Roosevelts, check out this beautifully written Pultizer Prize-winning history. No one makes history come alive more vividly than Doris Kearns Goodwin. In this book she explores a country, a presidency, and a marriage—all caught in the grip of WWII. (Luann)

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When We Fall by Emily Liebert (2014)

Widow Allison Parker and her ten-year-old son move from New York City to the suburb where she grew up, hoping to start fresh and gain new friends for both of them. Charlotte, the wife of her husband’s best friend, Charlie, becomes a friend to Allison but becomes jealous of the time he starts spending with Allison. In the meantime, Allison feels she is betraying her husband as she begins to explore a new relationship. Both Allison and Charlotte learn how misunderstandings can threaten new and old relationships, but they also learn how to redeem those relationships. (Joycelyn) For fans of authors such as Carolyn T. Dingman, Diane Chamberlain, and Susan Mallery

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The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (1980)

Jason Bourne is frantic! Why are people shooting at him? And who is he really, a paid killer or an agent for the CIA? If only he could remember, if the amnesia would only dissipate. His beloved Marie can surely help him find his memory and recover his identify. The assassins are loyal to Carlos, a shadowy terrorist who wants him dead! Get Carlos, trap Carlos, before the darkness falls forever on him, on Jason Bourne! A classic read for fans of thrillers by a prolific and famous author. (Murray)

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Butternut Summer by Mary McNear (2014)

Following Up at Butternut Lake, McNear focuses on Caroline, the owner of the town’s diner, Pearl’s, that has been in the family since her grandmother started it.  But will she be able to retain it as a single mom sending her only daughter to college and with a second mortgage due now that the economy isn’t good?  And will her daughter, Daisy, throw away her college life for the love of the town mechanic?  To top it off, her ex-husband is back in town and Caroline is not sure she can handle what might be on his mind. (Joycelyn)

Fans of Up at Butternut Lake with its northern Minnesota location will enjoy this second outing even though the characters from Up at Butternut Lake do not make an appearance.

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Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers (2014)

A contemporary family of five with two working parents is in turmoil which only increases when a car accident occurs.  Will the marriage and family survive and stay intact?  At look at one marriage, what makes it work and which aspects do not.

Read-alikes include works by Liane Moriarty and Jane Green. (Joycelyn)

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The Healing by Jonathan Odell (2012)

The setting of this absorbing historical novel shifts between 1860, when Granada is a young slave on a Mississippi plantation, and 1930, when she is an old woman trying to mentor a young girl who has lost her mother.  As a girl, Granada was stolen from her mother to be a substitute for the daughter that the mistress of the plantation lost.  She leads a sheltered existence in the master's house until the arrival of Polly Shine, a healer who combines natural potions, her faith, common sense, and an independent nature to not only heal the plantation's slaves physically but to lead them to thinking about Freedomland.  (Luann)

For fans of historical fiction, especially those who liked The Help and The Secret Life of Bees.

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Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson (2012)

This celebrity chef’s story of being adopted from Ethiopia by a Swedish couple and then working in restaurants around the world, is a fascinating blend of cultures.  His book made me taste the wonderful ethnic dishes and put me right into the sights and sounds of Addis Ababa. The audiobook is read by the author and is a very enjoyable “listen.” (Luann)

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Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline (2014)

The latest addition to the Rosato & Associates series focuses on lawyer Judy Carrier as she tries to balance her work life in the hopes of making partner, her family life as her favorite aunt faces cancer surgery with her mother at her aunt’s side, and her love life as her best friend and co-worker, Mary, plans her own wedding.  After her aunt’s best friend dies unexpectedly, clues accumulate that make Judy think that the death was not as innocent as it appeared.  As a favor to her aunt, Judy does more digging and finds herself threatened and in danger. (Joycelyn)

Fans of previous Rosato & Associates novels as well as Scottoline’s stand-alone novels will enjoy this blend of both.  Also for those who read Mary Higgins Clark and Linda Fairstein.

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The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor (2002)

Protecting the President is the sworn duty of Secret Service agent Scott Harvath. He is put to the test when the President is kidnapped at a ski resort in Utah. Even worse, the entire Secret Service detail is massacred, except Harvath. Driven by duty and loyalty to his fellow officers, Harvath sets out to defeat the criminal gang and rescue the President, a journey which takes him to the top of the Swiss Alps. Read the first book in the exciting Scott Harvath series. (Murray)

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The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return by Kenan Trebinčević (2014)

This memoir has an impossible-to-answer question at its core:  What makes ethnic groups who were living together peacefully suddenly turn on each other?  The author was just 11 when his Muslim family was forced to flee Bosnia and move to the US.  Now, almost 2 decades later, he and his brother decide it's time to bring their father back for a visit.  Kenan writes a list of things he must do while in Bosnia, a list which has the flavor of revenge and retribution.  But because of his late mother's influence and his own intelligence, the list becomes a means of processing what happened to his family and making peace with his own demons.  (Luann)

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