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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Evening Book Discussion Book Picks 2017-18


May 30: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 
by J.K. Rowling (309 pages)
Image result for harry potter and the sorcerer's stone
Say you've spent the first 10 years of your life sleeping under the stairs of a family who loathes you. Then, in an absurd, magical twist of fate you find yourself surrounded by wizards, a caged snowy owl, a phoenix-feather wand, and jellybeans that come in every flavor, including strawberry, curry, grass, and sardine. Not only that, but you discover that you are a wizard yourself! This is exactly what happens to young Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's enchanting, funny debut novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In the nonmagic human world--the world of "Muggles"--Harry is a nobody, treated like dirt by the aunt and uncle who begrudgingly inherited him when his parents were killed by the evil Voldemort. But in the world of wizards, small, skinny Harry is famous as a survivor of the wizard who tried to kill him. He is left only with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, curiously refined sensibilities, and a host of mysterious powers to remind him that he's quite, yes, altogether different from his aunt, uncle, and spoiled, piglike cousin Dudley. A mysterious letter, delivered by the friendly giant Hagrid, wrenches Harry from his dreary, Muggle-ridden existence: "We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Of course, Uncle Vernon yells most unpleasantly, "I AM NOT PAYING FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!" Soon enough, however, Harry finds himself at Hogwarts with his owl Hedwig... and that's where the real adventure--humorous, haunting, and suspenseful--begins. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, first published in England as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, continues to win major awards in England. So far it has won the National Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Children's Book Award, and is short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the U.K. version of the Newbery Medal. This magical, gripping, brilliant book.

June 27: The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais (272 pages)
This book ties in with the summer reading club theme of  “Feast on a Book”
Image result for the hundred foot journey book
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan Haji first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.

BOOK DISCUSSION MOVIE
Image result for the hundred foot journey movie 
Thursday, June 29 - 4:00 – 6:30 PM
Located in the auditorium.

The Hundred Foot Journey film is 2 hours 2 minutes.
Followed by a brief discussion about the book and the movie.
Hassan Kadam is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. When Hassan and his family, led by Papa, move to a quaint village in the South of France with the grand plan of opening an Indian restaurant in the picturesque countryside, they are undeterred by the fact that only 100 feet opposite stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery. However upon encountering the icy proprietress, Madame Mallory, the Kadam family realize they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash and food flies, an all-out war escalates between the two establishments -- until, that is, Hassan's passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can't deny this young chef could have what it takes to garner even more acclaim for her beloved restaurant. This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite, starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and, despite their different tastes, they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.

July 25: The Medal by Kerriann Flanagan Brosky  (292 pages)
Image result for the medal by kerriann brosky
Bethany Fitzpatrick is a recent graduate of a renowned culinary school with ambitions of becoming a pastry chef in Manhattan. But when Bethany's mother dies in a tragic accident, Bethany foregoes a perfect job to care for her father, who is stricken with multiple sclerosis. She moves back home to the seafaring town of Northport, Long Island, where she eventually opens a bakery, but running her own business and acting as sole caretaker for a dying man is no easy feat. Despite her enormous love for her father, she finds herself stuck in a world no one seems to understand-after all, her closest friends are married with children and enjoying life. Bethany begins to question her own life and her faith.

As her father's condition worsens, Bethany is on the verge of a breakdown until a stranger named Jimmy enters her bakery. With the persona of an Italian mobster, he informs her of a mystical Italian friar, Padre Pio, who bore the five wounds of Christ and performed miracles. Despite his many gifts, Pio was shunned by the Catholic Church. Jimmy over time, gains Bethany's trust and gives her a medal containing a relic of Padre Pio, which just might give Bethany's father a second chance at life...and might bring Bethany back to a life worth truly living. Bethany's journey is one of discovery, love, acceptance, and faith. True historical accounts of the life of Padre Pio are woven throughout the book until its shocking end. 

Five-time, award winning author Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times, Newsday and Distinction magazine. She has appeared on CBS' Sunday Morning Show, "Ticket" with Laura Savini, News 12 Long Island, and The Thinking Writer in East Hampton, for her previously published non-fiction books. Kerriann hosts a weekly Internet radio show on Blogtalk Radio, "The Kerriann & Joe Show - Spirit Connection," and she blogs for Patch.com. Kerriann is the President of the Long Island Authors Group, and is a well-known speaker who draws standing-room-only crowds to her lectures. Kerriann lives in Huntington, Long Island, and when she's not writing she enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband Karl and their two sons. The Medal is her debut novel. 



MEET & GREET BOOK SIGNING
WITH AUTHOR OF “THE MEDAL”
Image result for the medal by kerriann brosky 
Monday, September 25 – 7:00 – 8:00 PM

You may purchase copies of her book at the event and have them signed, or bring your own copy to have signed. Look for more information on this program in the September/October newsletter.

Kerriann Flanagan Brosky Author of “The Medal”

Five-time, award winning author Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times, Newsday and Distinction magazine. She has appeared on CBS' Sunday Morning Show, "Ticket" with Laura Savini, News 12 Long Island, and The Thinking Writer in East Hampton, for her previously published non-fiction books. Kerriann hosts a weekly Internet radio show on Blogtalk Radio, "The Kerriann & Joe Show - Spirit Connection," and she blogs for Patch.com. Kerriann is the President of the Long Island Authors Group, and is a well-known speaker who draws standing-room-only crowds to her lectures. Kerriann lives in Huntington, Long Island, and when she's not writing she enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband Karl and their two sons. The Medal is her debut novel.

August 29: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (320 pages)
Image result for homegoing
This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations of descendants of a Fante and his captured Asante house slave. After giving birth to a daughter, Maame manages to escape, making her way alone back to her own village. She is taken in by an Asante warrior, becomes his third wife, and has a second daughter by him. The two sisters, Effia and Esi, will never meet, their lives will follow very different paths, but their descendants will share a legacy of warfare and slavery. Effia will marry an Englishman who oversees the British interest in the Gold Coast slave trade. Esi will be captured by Fante warriors, traded to the Englishmen, and shipped to America to be sold into slavery. Progressing through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history, the narrative unfolds in a series of concise portraits of each sister's progeny that capture pivotal moments in each individual's life. Every portrait reads like a short story unto itself, making this volume a good choice for harried teens, yet Gyasi imbues the work with a remarkably seamless feel. Through the combined historical perspectives of each descendant, the author reveals that racism is often rooted in tribalism, greed, and the lust for power. Many students will be surprised to discover that the enslavement of Africans was not just a white man's crime. VERDICT Well researched, beautifully told, and easy to read, this title is destined to become required, as well as enlightening, reading for teens.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

September 26: A Man Called Ove  by Fredrik Backman (337 pages)
Image result for a man called ove book
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).




BOOK DISCUSSION MOVIE
Image result for a man called ove movie

Thursday, September 28
4:00 – 6:30 PM
Located in the auditorium.

A Man Called Ove film is 1hour 56minutes.
Followed by a brief discussion about the book and the movie.
Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it's shared. One of Sweden's biggest locally-produced box office hits ever, director Hannes Holm finds the beating heart of his source material and Swedish star Rolf Lassgård, whose performance won him the Best Actor award at the 2016 Seattle Int l Film Festival, affectingly embodies the lovable curmudgeon Ove.

October 24: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (343 pages)
Image result for in cold blood
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
November 28: Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America by Amy Belding Brown (368 pages)
Image result for flight of the sparrow
She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit easily into English society again. The wilderness has now become her home. She can interpret the cries of birds. She has seen vistas that have stolen away her breath. She has learned to live in a new, free way....  Massachusetts Bay Colony,1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson was captured by Indians on a winter day of violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, made a pawn in the ongoing bloody struggle between English settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her. Based on the compelling true narrative of Mary Rowlandson, Flight of the Sparrow is an evocative tale that transports the reader to a little-known time in early America and explores the real meanings of freedom, faith, and acceptance.

December 19: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (368 pages)
Image result for the magical strings of frankie presto
A Spanish war orphan born in a burning church and raised by a blind guitar teacher, Frankie Presto was gifted with extraordinary musical abilities that shape not only his life but the lives of those around him. At nine years old, Frankie meets the love of his life, Aurora; that same day, civil war tears apart his home and he is sent to America, smuggled in the bottom of a boat with only guitar and six strings imbued with the power to change lives. Relying on music to survive, Frankie’s talent weaves him through the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from Detroit’s jazz scene and the Grand Ole Opry, to Elvis mania and Woodstock—all the while searching for Aurora. As his fame grows, Frankie finds love, friendship, and celebrity. Even so, his gift becomes his burden, driving a wedge between him and his beloved Aurora—now his wife. Overwhelmed by life, loss, and the power of his strings, Frankie disappears for years, only to reemerge in a spectacular and mysterious farewell. With its Forrest Gump–like journey through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. “Everyone joins a band in this life,” Albom observes, “only some of them play music.”
January 30: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (389 pages)
Image result for the snow child
If you live somewhere where a white Christmas is inevitable, The Snow Child is the perfect book to read with friends this season. It captures the story of Jack and Mabel, two newcomers to the harsh land of Alaska, that are breaking apart like thawed ice as the stresses of being childless and overworked wears them down. But during the first snowfall, the two build a child out of snow, and the next day it's gone — only to be replaced by a small blond girl running through the wintry forest. Over time, the couple come to love this fairy-tale snow child as their own, only to be reminded of how quickly things disappear in this violent Alaskan climate.

February 27: The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje (288 pages)
Image result for the cat's table
She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit easily into English society again. The wilderness has now become her home. She can interpret the cries of birds. She has seen vistas that have stolen away her breath. She has learned to live in a new, free way....
Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson was captured by Indians on a winter day of violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, made a pawn in the ongoing bloody struggle between English settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her. Based on the compelling true narrative of Mary Rowlandson, Flight of the Sparrow is an evocative tale that transports the reader to a little-known time in early America and explores the real meanings of freedom, faith, and acceptance.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Afternoon Book Discussion List 2017-18




AFTERNOON BOOK DISCUSSION PICKS 2017


May 11: Driving With The Top Down by Beth Harbison (384 pages)

Image result for driving with the top down book
Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband's first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive. Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot. The daughter of Colleen's brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she's so much more. She just wishes her father could see it, too. The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen's college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier. Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen. Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there's more that Bitty isn't sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida. So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast. It's a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara's poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty's secrets reach a boiling point. With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you're really looking for.

June 8: The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais  (272 pages)

This book ties in with the summer reading club 
theme of  “Feast on a Book”
Image result for hundred foot journey
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan Haji first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.

BOOK DISCUSSION MOVIE

Image result for the hundred foot journey

Thursday, June 29 - 4:00 – 6:30 PM


Located in the auditorium. 

The Hundred Foot Journey film is 2 hours 2 minutes.
Followed by a brief discussion about the book and the movie.

Hassan Kadam is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. When Hassan and his family, led by Papa, move to a quaint village in the South of France with the grand plan of opening an Indian restaurant in the picturesque countryside, they are undeterred by the fact that only 100 feet opposite stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery. However upon encountering the icy proprietress, Madame Mallory, the Kadam family realize they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash and food flies, an all-out war escalates between the two establishments -- until, that is, Hassan's passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can't deny this young chef could have what it takes to garner even more acclaim for her beloved restaurant. This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite, starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and, despite their different tastes, they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.

July 13: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (544 pages)
Image result for all the light we cannot see book
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

August 10: The Medal by Kerriann Flanagan Brosky  (292 pages)
Image result for the medal by kerriann brosky
Bethany Fitzpatrick is a recent graduate of a renowned culinary school with ambitions of becoming a pastry chef in Manhattan. But when Bethany's mother dies in a tragic accident, Bethany foregoes a perfect job to care for her father, who is stricken with multiple sclerosis. She moves back home to the seafaring town of Northport, Long Island, where she eventually opens a bakery, but running her own business and acting as sole caretaker for a dying man is no easy feat. Despite her enormous love for her father, she finds herself stuck in a world no one seems to understand-after all, her closest friends are married with children and enjoying life. Bethany begins to question her own life and her faith.  As her father's condition worsens, Bethany is on the verge of a breakdown until a stranger named Jimmy enters her bakery. With the persona of an Italian mobster, he informs her of a mystical Italian friar, Padre Pio, who bore the five wounds of Christ and performed miracles. Despite his many gifts, Pio was shunned by the Catholic Church. Jimmy over time, gains Bethany's trust and gives her a medal containing a relic of Padre Pio, which just might give Bethany's father a second chance at life...and might bring Bethany back to a life worth truly living. Bethany's journey is one of discovery, love, acceptance, and faith. True historical accounts of the life of Padre Pio are woven throughout the book until its shocking end. 

MEET and GREET BOOK SIGNING WITH AUTHOR OF “THE MEDAL”

Image result for the medal by kerriann brosky 

Monday, September 25 -7:00 – 8:00 PM


You may purchase copies of her book at the event and have them signed, or bring your own copy to have signed. Look for more information on this program in the September/October newsletter.

Kerriann Flanagan Brosky Author of “The Medal”

Five-time, award winning author Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times, Newsday and Distinction magazine. She has appeared on CBS' Sunday Morning Show, "Ticket" with Laura Savini, News 12 Long Island, and The Thinking Writer in East Hampton, for her previously published non-fiction books. Kerriann hosts a weekly Internet radio show on Blogtalk Radio, "The Kerriann & Joe Show - Spirit Connection," and she blogs for Patch.com. Kerriann is the President of the Long Island Authors Group, and is a well-known speaker who draws standing-room-only crowds to her lectures. Kerriann lives in Huntington, Long Island, and when she's not writing she enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband Karl and their two sons. The Medal is her debut novel.

September 14: A Man Called Ove  by Fredrik Backman (337 pages)
Image result for a man called ove book
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with tw chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).


BOOK DISCUSSION MOVIE

Image result for a man called ove
Thursday, September 28

4:00 – 6:30 PM


Located in the auditorium. 
A Man Called Ove film is 1hour 56minutes.
Followed by a brief discussion about the book and the movie.
Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it's shared. One of Sweden's biggest locally-produced box office hits ever, director Hannes Holm finds the beating heart of his source material and Swedish star Rolf Lassgård, whose performance won him the Best Actor award at the 2016 Seattle Int l Film Festival, affectingly embodies the lovable curmudgeon Ove.

October 12: River’s End by Nora Roberts (480 pages)
Image result for rivers end by nora roberts
Olivia’s parents were among Hollywood’s golden couples…until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever. A monster with the face of her father… Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror—but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story. Now, assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance. Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history. He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart. But once the door to her past is opened, there’s no telling what’s waiting on the other side. For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again…

November 16: The Reversal by Michael Connelly (512 pages)
Image result for the reversal by michael connelly
Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After twenty-four years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years. With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again.

December 14: The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein (321 pages)
Image result for the art of racing in the rain book
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

2018

January 11: Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox (288 pages)
Image result for always looking up
Considering that this audio book opens with the author detailing the laborious steps necessary just to get out of bed, it's miraculous that Fox's voice sounds just as charming, stalwart and nearly as steady as it did during his long film and television career. There are no frills of any kind with this recording, but none are needed; Fox's tale is engrossing on its own. He pulls no punches describing the hardships—both physical and emotional—that accompanied his diagnosis with Parkinson's, but listeners are quickly reminded that for every challenge the disease brought, Fox trained himself to find the silver lining. The first CD is enhanced with five photos (both viewable and printable) featuring Fox; his wife of two decades, Tracy Pollan; their children; and his eponymous foundation—photos are accessible by using the embedded PDF or via a Web link. A Hyperion hardcover. (Apr.) 

February 8: The Life We Bury  by Allen Eskens (303 pages)
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College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder. As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.  Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?