Posted by on Saturday, Jun 9, 2012 - 2:58 PM

DARE ME by Megan Abbott

 A dark and unsettling crime story focused on the inner lives of adolescent girls.

SPRING FEVER by Mary Kay Andrews

Southern romance in a charming novel of unique personalities and clever plot twists.

THE DEMANDS by Mark Billingham

British detective story  that is intricately plotted and unfolds perfectly.

THE LAST TRADE by James Conway

Wall Street treachery is linked to international terrorism in this thriller.

THE CONVICTION by Robert Dugoni

A satisfying legal thriller plot-driven by both complications and  serendipity.

JASMINE NIGHTS by Julia Grigson

A novel of love and loss in London as World War II rages.

BETWEEN YOU AND ME by Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin

The nannies are back with another unstable employer; this time it's a rock star.


A stalker lives at the center of this light-hearted romance.

RISK AGENT by Ridley Pearson

Shanghai thriller with non-stop action, shady characters, violence and double-dealing.


A brilliant & eccentric Cambridge scholar is a healer...or is he?


Posted by SusanM on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 - 3:19 PM

sisterI feel very fortunate that I come from a large family.  Through good times and bad I can always count on my siblings for advice, help, support and comfort when I need it.  I feel especially fortunate to have three sisters.  A British study a few years ago found that those of us who grew up with a sister in our lives were more open and willing to discuss feelings. Additionally, girls who had sisters also tended to be more independent.  Yes, sometimes we have a love-hate relationship, but we are always there for each other when something important happens in our lives.  Books about sisters have always held a place among literary favorites; the March sisters in Little Women and the Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility come to mind.   In the last few months I’ve noticed a few other books about sisters that look interesting and should provide some good discussion points for book more


Posted by on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 - 1:42 PM

How do you feel about re-reading your favorite books?  Usually, I do not like to re-read anything. However, I have found that some of my long-ago favorites take on new dimensions from my current life experience. Recently, I decided to re-read a book I remembered as especially more

The Scarlet Letter Retold

Posted by on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 - 9:09 PM

Remember The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood?  I have never forgotten the scene in that future dystopia in which the ATMs suddenly do not work for females.

Hillary Jordan  takes us into another female future with her dystopian thriller, When She Woke.  This is how it starts: "When she woke, she was red. Not flushed , not sunburned, but the solid, declarative red of a stop sign. "read more


Posted by on Friday, Sep 9, 2011 - 5:00 PM

Author Amy Waldman came to the Library this week to talk about her novel The Submission. The former New York Times co-bureau chief for South Asia tells a tale of the roiling effects of a 9/11-like memorial competition  for which the winning designer turns out to be a Muslim more

Press play...

Posted by on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 2:59 PM

Have you heard about Thirteen Reasons Why: a Novel by Jay Asher? It's a book written for teens and I recommend it to anyone with a teenager in his or her more

Three Stages of Amazement

Posted by on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 12:53 PM

It's a love story; the couple are married with children and if they seem whiny and self-involved, they reflect the times. It's 2008, a year of hope (Obama) and despair (giant recession.) Love has prevailed through the worries of  a stillborn daughter and her very ill twin, a constantly traveling and exhausted husband, an overly serious toddler son, a part time job, and unpaid bills. The husband is about to make it big, but history intrudes with past loves and family secrets. Will the marriage survive?

For those who indulge a curiosity about human motives and reactions, Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian is engaging. Readers looking for a  fast-moving plot with surprising twists will yawn.  But, if you appreciate the keen observation of how everyday life shapes our destinies, you will savor the graceful writing that portrays the quiet heroism that sustains a family and tries to keep love alive.

Carol Edgarian is the author of the critically acclaimed Rise the Euphrates (1994), another novel about family truths, in this case, arising out of the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians.

Edgarian and her husband Tom Jenks  founded  Narrative, the online magazine  "dedicated to storytelling in the digital age."

Fiction, Novel

Fiction: Character or Plot?

Posted by on Friday, Apr 1, 2011 - 4:45 PM

My fiction reading goes through cycles. There are times when I "discover" one engaging book after another and then dry times when every book I pick up is far too easy to put down. I like my fiction books with lots of psychological depth and character study. The plot can evolve slowly, as long as new facets of the characters' personalities are being revealed.  I guess this puts me in the category of literary fiction fan, although occasionally the speed and escapism of a plot-driven story is a pleasant exception. (Like a bag of McDonald's French fries in the midst of an errand marathon.)

I've read some good literary fiction lately. In Emily, Alone, Stewart O'Nan dips into the psyche of an elderly widow coping with loneliness, physical ailments, nostalgia, practical concerns and the deaths of her contemporaries. Not much plot, but he nails the vagaries of life through the eyes of a financially secure woman dealing with the insecurities of old age.  This is a sequel to Wish You Were Here.

Another sequel I enjoyed was Compass Rose by John Casey. The characters from Spartina re-appear, but a new baby has been added to the scene. The unmarried mother, the father married to someone else, friends, in-laws, relations reveal their personalities as life goes on in the small Rhode Island fishing town. Each character is deftly drawn and the personalities drive the plot.

If you like a touch of magic in your story, you can always rely on Alice Hoffman to relate human passions that extend way beyond logical into mysterious. Her style is magic realism; it blends history and the supernatural with romance and family secrets.  Her latest is The Red Garden.  Other Hoffman titles.

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier is a strange and fascinating book. Blending fantasy  with characters animated by the author's lush writing, the premise is that all human pain - physical and maybe, spiritual- has become visible. The effects are far-reaching, not only in treatment (less diagnosticians needed, for instance), but in social conventions. How do you respond to cancer, self-mutilation, or old age?  Brockmeier is an experimental and careful writer. Other Brockmeier titles.

Fiction, Novel