Siracusa book cover


Delia Ephron

FICTION Ephron Delia

"An electrifying novel about marriage and deceit from bestselling author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from each other are exposed and relationships are unraveled. New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine--Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow."From the beginning," says Taylor, "it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together." Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. With her inimitable psychological astuteness, and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming"--

Candice's picture

I initially picked this book because it takes place in Italy, and partially, in a town on the island of Sicily--I love reading books that take place in areas that I want to travel to. The story itself captivated me pretty quickly, and I enjoyed it in its entirety. It's told in turn by each of the main characters, which makes for interesting character development--seeing the people and the events as described by everyone, who's interpretation differs and how--makes the telling pretty rich! -Candice

Shmutz : a novel book cover

Shmutz : a novel

Felicia Berliner

FICTION Berliner Felicia

"An arranged marriage is expected for Raizl, but she's not like the other young women in her Hasidic sect in Brooklyn. Raizl has a college scholarship to study accounting, a part-time job that supports her family, and a hidden computer making it all possible. That's where she finds the porn, through the slippery slope of an innocent Google search. As Raizl dives deeper into the world of porn at night, her daytime life begins to unravel. The porn is thrilling, cracking open a world of desire and experience that is becoming irresistible to Raizl-but it also threatens to tear her away from the family she loves. As the novel moves between Raizl's combative visits to the shrink she requested, arranged dates, and loving but complicated exchanges with her family, readers will be drawn to confront their own paradoxical sexuality and the trade-offs we all make for the sake of stability and familial love. A singular, compulsively readable debut, Shmutz explores what it means to be a fully-realized sexual and spiritual being amidst the contradictory messages of both the traditional and modern world"--

Amanda's picture

Raizl is a fascinating character with very complex feelings, and this is a different angle to view a religious community. It reminded me some of Deborah Feldman's memoir Unorthodox. -Amanda

Ramona Quimby, age 8 book cover

Ramona Quimby, age 8

Beverly Cleary

jFICTION Cleary, Beverly

The further adventures of the Quimby family as Ramona enters the third grade.

Hanna's picture

Summer Reading is here! This time of year always reminds me of Ramona, because I read this book for summer reading the summer before 3rd grade. My best friend was a higher reading level and zoomed through the book. I really struggled to get through it. But, it was a good book! It's still one of my favorites today. -Hanna

Hammer book cover


Joe Mungo Reed


"An art auction house employee helps a Russian oligarch sell his prized collection, ensnaring himself in a dangerous romance and an even more treacherous political plot"--

Anne M's picture

If there can be a quiet, yet disquieting thriller, this is the book. Joe Mungo Reed's Hammer is a little like a slow burn. At first it is about the rich and powerful and about art, art appreciation, and its commodification. It's about Russian oligarchs and the precariousness of their positions in the world of Russian politics. This was a solid book that I enjoyed. And I found it surprising in a number of ways. -Anne M

Cress Watercress book cover

Cress Watercress

Gregory Maguire

jFICTION Maguire Gregory

"When Papa doesn't return from a nocturnal honey-gathering expedition, Cress holds out hope, but her mother assumes the worst. It's a dangerous world for rabbits, after all. Mama moves what's left of the Watercress family to the basement unit of the Broken Arms, a run-down apartment oak with a suspect owl landlord, a nosy mouse super, a rowdy family of squirrels, and a pair of songbirds who broadcast everyone's business. Can a dead tree full of annoying neighbors, and no Papa, ever be home?"--

Anne W's picture

This gentle, wise, funny, sad but ultimately hopeful animal story is paired with lush illustrations and is a great family read-aloud. Mama Rabbit is an inspirational figure who carries on despite obstacles and takes care of business. Meanwhile, Cress learns important life lessons, including about the power of community. -Anne W

Wildcat book cover


Amelia Morris

FICTION Morris Amelia

"Amelia Morris's Wildcat is an uproariously funny, surprisingly touching story of one woman's journey through motherhood and female friendship, in a society that plays fast and loose with information. New mother, aspiring writer, and former shopgirl Leanne has lost her way. As she struggles with both her grief and the haze of motherhood, it also becomes clear that her best friend, the default queen of East Side Los Angeles, Regina Mark, might not actually be a friend at all. As Leanne begins to investigate and undermine Regina, she also strikes up an unexpected friendship with the lauded writer Maxine Hunter. Feeling frustrated and invisible next to Regina's wealth and social standing, Leanne seeks security wherever she can find it, whether that's by researching whether she should vaccinate her son, in listening to the messages she thinks her father is sending from beyond the grave, or in holding her own against a petulant student in her creative writing class. Most of all, however, she looks for it within Maxine, who offers Leanne something new. With a keen eye for the trappings of privilege, class, and the performative nature of contemporary domestic life, Morris's tender and wicked debut shows us a woman who bucks against the narrative she's been fed, only to find power in herself and the truth that emerges"--

Anne W's picture

A quiet but funny and oh so relatable and timely book about parenting a young child, navigating the culture wars, distancing yourself from a toxic friendship, feeling out of place among the affluent, struggling to make career decisions, and reeling after the death of an imperfect parent. I found this to be wholly original with a swift pace and incisive writing. -Anne W

The time traveler's wife book cover

The time traveler's wife

Audrey Niffenegger

FICTION/Niffenegger, Audrey
Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of a passionate love affair that endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap.

Alexander A's picture

Added by Alexander A

House of Leaves book cover

House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski

FICTION/Danielewski, Mark Z.
Fiction, Horror

“A novelistic mosaic that simultaneously reads like a thriller and like a strange, dreamlike excursion into the subconscious.” —The New York TimesYears ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.Now this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and second and third appendices.The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

Alexander A's picture

Added by Alexander A

A line to kill : a novel book cover

A line to kill : a novel

Anthony Horowitz

MYSTERY Horowitz Anthony
Fiction, Mystery

"When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don't expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation--or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past. Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival's other guests--an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children's author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian--along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line. When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who?"--

Candice's picture

I love this series, and this might be my favorite one so far. The basic premise is ongoing, ie, Anthony Horowitz is an author who follows and documents a private detective, Daniel Hawthorne, in order to give his books a insight and some pizazz. The setting is great in this book--a small island off the coast of England, where they are there for a book festival. This series isn't exactly a cozy by any means--the violence can be graphic, the characters can be pretty awful--but there is a humor and hard-won camaraderie between author and investigator that is kind of heartwarming, in a murder-y sort of way. -Candice

Hot and badgered book cover

Hot and badgered

Shelly Laurenston

FICTION Laurenst Shelly
Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, Humor

When her father places her entire family in danger, honey badger shape shifter, Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan, tries to protect her sisters and grudgingly accepts the help of a grizzly bear shifter, Berg Dunn.

Melody's picture

I first heard about Shelley Laurenston from an urban fantasy online book group I followed. This book drew me in because the main character was a HONEY BADGER shifter. (And, ya' know, honey badger don't care...) Wolves, vampires, necromancers--I'd thought I'd read through all the paranormal fantasy archetypes. Honey badger shifters were something new. Shelley Laurenston's book are wacky and off the wall, completely ridiculous and not always politically correct. But in my humble opinion, they are wildly entertaining and hilarious. Find her audiobook series on hoopla: -Melody