MariansLibrary’s Spring Reads 2015

  

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden
I’ve quite appropriately chosen this quote for my Spring Reads 2015 list  since our book club has chosen, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as our April selection.  It’s the year of the “classics” for our book club!
The sun will most definitely be shining down upon these new book releases in 2015!  I’ve already gotten a head-start by reading, Christopher Scotton’s, debut novel, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth.  Set in the Appalachians this intensely emotional and poignant coming of age story told from the point of view of young fourteen-year-old Kevin, will tug at heart!  Hope we hear more in the future from Scotton!
 A book is like an old friend as is a favorite author! I was so very pleasantly surprised and honored to see my name listed on Sarah McCoy’s acknowledgement page in her upcoming historical fiction book, The Mapmaker’s Children!  Thank you again Sarah!! I’ve been interested in the life and times of the infamous abolitionist John Brown since I was very young so I was giddy with excitement to discover the subject matter of The Mapmaker’s Children!  A sensational book which interweaves the lives of two characters, one set in the past (Sarah Brown) and the other in present day (Eden Anderson)! A more in-depth review will follow closer to the May 5th publication date.
I never tire of reading books by best-loved authors and this Spring is no exception! Sara Gruen, Greg Iles, Jane Smiley, Stephen King, Seth Graeme-Green, Rachel Joyce, Kristin Hannah, Anne Tyler, Annie Barrows, Harlan Coben, Erik Larson, Alice Hoffman, Jane Yolen, and Doreen Cronin once again have new books that I’m eager to read! 
Enjoy and as always, Happy Reading!
Kathy
Adult Fiction

  
Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone
  
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
  
The Bone Tree by Greg Iles 
  
Early Warning by Jane Smiley
  
  

 

An Exaggerated Murder by Josh Cook

  

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

  

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

  

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

  

Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon

  

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

  

The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy

  

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

  

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

  

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton

  

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

  

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

  

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott

  

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

Adult Non-Fiction

  

1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music by Andrew Grant Jackson

  

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

  

Tinder Box: The Iroquois Theatre Disaster 1903 by Anothony P. Hatch

  

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Young Adult

  

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Middle Grades

  

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

Children’s

  

Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

  

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

  

I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty

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MariansLibrary’s Winter Reads 2014!

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Can you believe another Winter is upon us?!! Christmas will be here in a matter of days and what better gift to give or receive but a book?! You might decide to purchase one of these titles I chose for my Winter Reads 2014 selection — there’s still time for that last minute gift!

As always, I love reading new books by authors I’ve previously read! I’m looking forward to reading another Alan Bradley book, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, starring his young sleuth, Flavia de Luce. Lisa Unger’s book, In the Blood, kept me on the edge of my seat, and the reviews have already been praising her February release of, Crazy Love You! Don’t miss it! I fell in love with Graeme Simsion’s, The Rosie Project, this past year so I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel, The Rosie Effect! For those of you who enjoyed Amanda Eyre Ward’s, How To Be Lost, you’ll be happy to hear, The Same Sky, will be released on January 20th. Jane Smiley’s, A Thousand Acres, was beloved by so many, including myself, that I’ve added, Some Luck, to my list. My list wouldn’t be complete without Stephen King’s short story, A Good Marriage!

I’m ready to begin reading from this newest list of books! If last Winter was any indication of what we might have in store for us, then I have no doubt that I will be able to get plenty of reading accomplished!

As always, Happy Reading!!

ADULT FICTION

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As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley

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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger

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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

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A Good Marriage by Stephen King

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The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

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Long Man by Amy Greene

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The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

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The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

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The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

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Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

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The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad

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My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

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Some Luck (Book 1 of 3) by Jane Smiley

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

YOUNG ADULT

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

ADULT NON-FICTION

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Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

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Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James Loewen

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

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Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier

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Marianslibrary Review of: “Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night,” by Barbara J. Taylor

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This book is very rich in detail! Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J. Taylor is set in the early 1900s in the coal mining town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The rich characterization and story are realistic and memorable. Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night is a heartbreaking picture of how dramatically a family can be ripped apart by grief in one tragic freak accident.

On the 4th of July, 1913, 9-year-old, Daisy Morgan, the fair-haired and beautiful daughter, falls victim to a tragic accident. The majority of those who live in the town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, blame her 8-year-old sister Violet. They suspect the accident was spawned by jealousy on Violet’s part. Each member of the family reacts differently to this tragedy. Owen, the father, drinks and moves above a gin mill. Owen works in the coal mine, and continues to take care of his family financially, but he can’t bring himself to move back home. Grace, their mother, can barely function and goes into a deep depression and quite consumed with grief. Grace literally finds solace by talking to Grief, an imaginary figure only she can see. Violet forms a friendship with a young boy her age, Stanley Adamski, a motherless outcast who works in the coal mines as a breaker boy.

The aspects of the story dealing with the dangers of working in the mines, and the culture of the immigrants immediately brought to mind my Italian grandfather, Joseph Marchesi, who worked in the coal mines of Central Illinois as a young boy himself. Interestingly enough the time period is somewhat identical. The dangers of working in coal mines are prevalent throughout the book and immediately I thought of the tragic coal mining devastation that occurred on November 13, 1909 in Cherry, Illinois, nestled in my own area of Northern Illinois, The Cherry Mine Disaster. It claimed the lives of 259 miners. To this day, it is still considered one of the worse coal mining accidents in history.

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Not to be missed upon completing the book are Barbara Taylor’s author’s notes. The notes bring to light the very real family story which is the inspiration behind her book, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night. This superb historical fiction is a must read and I recommend it for book clubs as well. It’s a story that will be long remembered.

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Fall Reads 2014!

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
― Jim Bishop

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I have a pocketful of golden books for you to read this Autumn as we slowly watch the green leaves of Summer transition to their autumnal colors! Of course I’m not one to quickly close the door on Summer but I did get a jump start on my Fall Reads by reading Liane Moriarty’s newest page-turner, Big Little Lies. Needless to say you’ll find this every bit as suspenseful as, The Husband’s Secret!

The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill is now on my “Currently Reading” shelf and Dad, Stephen King’s, Revival, has been preordered at Amazon for it’s release on November 11th. Another season of King & Hill gracing my list!

I’m continuing in my quest to read more books by a few authors whom I’ve previously enjoyed! John Green, Lisa Unger, Rainbow Rowell, Jodi Picoult, Tana French, Jo Nesbo, William Kent Krueger, & Aaron Reynolds. Did I say a
few?!

While in New York this past April, for the 2014 Shorty Awards, I was fortunate to meet two young women who were recipients of a 2014 Shorty Award, Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo. They have a new book entitled, This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life. I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book which touches on a topic that in all likelihood might be pretty tough to discuss. Danielle and Kristin have handled it brilliantly! It’s a book that lends advice to parents along with a plethora of resources, draws from actual family experiences, has helpful chapter ending summaries, and questions & answers to deal with this delicate subject. To learn more visit their website: www.everyoneisgay.com

This is a great time of the year to vacation & enjoy the beautiful colors! We all have our favorite destination site in mind but mine is Door County, WI, specifically, the Edgewater Resort, nestled on the shores in Ephraim. A vacation spot with so much to do! It’ll be a fun busy week, but one place you’ll find me will be in one of the rocking chairs on this exquisite front porch reading one of my Fall books at any time of the day. What more could you ask for? A scenic calming view!

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Hope you enjoy my list of books I’ve chosen and maybe several will find their way to you! Happy Tuesday! Happy Autumn!

ADULT FICTION

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

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Darkness, My Old Friend (The Hollows, #2) by Lisa Unger

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The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

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Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

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A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

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The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

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Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

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Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

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The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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Revival by Stephen King

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Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens

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The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French

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Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J Taylor

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The Son by Jo Nesbø

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We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

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Windigo Island: A Novel (Cork O’Connor #14) by William Kent Krueger

NON-FICTION

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K Blows Top: A Cold War a Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Krushchev, America’s Most Unlikely Tourist by Peter Carlson

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

YOUNG ADULT

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An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green

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Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

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Paper Towns by John Green

MIDDLE GRADES

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The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

ELEMENTARY

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Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds

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Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

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Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

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Marianslibrary’s: Summer Reads 2014!!

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It’s official! The Summer season is finally upon us! Such a breath of fresh air as we segue into the “fun in the sun” time of year. Reading plays an integral part for many of us as we leisurely spend more time reading while vacationing.
You’ll find my Summer Reads 2014 are a potpourri of books! As always, these are titles I personally will be reading so I spend much time perusing reviews to come up with my final selections.

Several of my favorite authors have new books available this Summer that I absolutely can’t wait to read! Father & son, Stephen King and Joe Hill are gracing my list once again with King’s, Mr. Mercedes, and Hill’s short story, By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain.
Lisa Unger scared the bejesus out of me with her book, In the Blood (The Hollow Series #3), so I’m on a mission to read the first two books in The Hollow Series.
Rainbow Rowell’s adult novel, Landline, debuts July 3rd and one I’m sure you won’t want to miss!
Revolution, Deborah Wiles sequel to her book Countdown, is now available. It’s a historical fiction must for middle school aged kids!
For the younger set, Battle Bunny, by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers (Illustrator), is an absolute must! A few years ago, If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, was featured on our Illinois Monarch Nominee List and now he’s following up with, If I Built a House. Can’t wait to read this newest one to my grandkids!

Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion, which will be released on July 1st, is one I’m greatly anticipating! Of course I’ve already preordered my copy! Each of these special ladies have all contributed to the anthology: Sarah McCoy, Jenna Blum, Erika Robuck, Melanie Benjamin, Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, & Karen White, with an Introduction by Kristin Hannah.
If you’re in NYC on June 28th, stop by Grand Central Station Terminal at Posman Books for their book launch! Unfortunately my schedule didn’t coincide to be in NYC at this time but when I was there back in April, I made a special trip to the book store so I feel I’ll be there in spirit with this lovely group of writers on their extra special day!!

As always, I hope you find a few books to add to your own Summer reading list!
Enjoy & Happy Reading!!

ADULT FICTION

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill

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Conversion by Katherine Howe

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The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

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Fragile (The Hollows #1) by Lisa Unger

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Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

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Grand Central: Original Stories of Post War Love and Reunion by Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Sarah McCoy, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, Erika Robuck, Karen White, with an Introduction by Kristin Hannah

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How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer (Release date 7/1/14)

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Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

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I Shall Be Near You by Erin McCabe

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Looking For Alaska by John Green

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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

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Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

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Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

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Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

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Ruby by Cynthia Bond

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Wake by Anna Hope

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The Wishing Hill by Holly Robinson (Our July Book Club Selection)

ADULT NON-FICTION

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1939: The Making of the Six Greatest Films From Hollywood’s Greatest Year by Charles Adams

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A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred by George Will

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Sous Chef by Michael Gibney (August Book Club Selection)

YOUNG ADULT

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

MIDDLE GRADE

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Revolution (Countdown Trilogy Book 2) by Deborah Wiles

CHILDRENS

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, & Matthew Myers (illustrator)

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If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

Grand Central Girls….here’s my somewhat selfie photo at Grand Central Station Terminal on my way to visit Posman Books back in April!! I’ll be there in spirit on June 28th!!

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Marianslibrary’s Spring Reads 2014!

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Is it Spring yet?!! It’s having quite a difficult time in arriving here in Illinois & other parts of the country even though today is the first OFFICIAL day. And…there’s a bit more snow in our forecast. Hopefully by posting my Spring Reads 2014 it’ll give Mother Nature a nudge in our favor.

This winter, with the 70+ inches of snow that has already fallen, it gave me quite an opportunity to read over 20 books and read an amazingly amount of book reviews! I wanted to put each and every title on this list but realistically I knew I had to tweak it.

In a book club? Then I need to mention our book club has selected The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd for April and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for May!

Make sure to take a look at the Children’s books I’ve included for Spring. One can never go wrong for a read aloud with a Judith Sierra book & I can wait to read EIEIO! I’ll be filling my grandsons’ Easter baskets with all three books I’ve listed.

Do you fondly remember, E.L. Konigsberg’s classic middle grade book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?! You’re in for a treat with Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.

I fell in love with the YA book, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, from my Winter Reading List, so I’m onto Fangirl next and looking forward to July 8th when her newest book, Landline, launches!

You’ll spot many books you’ll want to add to your list in my lengthy Adult Fiction section. I have several new books by authors whose works I’ve read previously and many authors who are new to me that I’m being introduced to this Spring!

I’m always intrigued by any true story about crime and Douglas Perry’s newest, Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero, won’t disappoint your fascination either.

Thanks for the memories Old Man Winter but this girl is ready for Spring!
Happy Reading!!

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ADULT FICTION

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Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood

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The Boy in the Suitcase (book 1) by Lene Kaaberbole

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Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

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Hyde by Daniel Levine

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The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (April Book Club Selection)

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The Kept by James Scott

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (May Book Club Selection)

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The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

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The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6) by Elly Griffiths

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Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

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The Rosary Girls (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #1) by Richard Montanari

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

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The Stolen Ones (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #7)by by Richard Montanari

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (April’s LibraryReads #1 Favorite)

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The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

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The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

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The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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Wolverton Station by Joe Hill

ADULT NON-FICTION

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Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero by Douglas Perry

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Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy Book 1) by Sally Green

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

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A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

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The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

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Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

CHILDRENS

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Dot by Randi Zuckerberg

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EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra

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The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

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Marianslibrary’s Review of Tiffany Baker’s newest book, Mercy Snow

Mercy Snow: A NovelMercy Snow: A Novel by Tiffany Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I don’t know why that lady’s ghost is upset. It just is. Something about the river, I think. (Tiffany Baker)

Author, Tiffany Baker, has once again created a heart wrenching novel that is mysterious, spellbinding and powerful. She weaves her story with her lyrical and magical style of writing. The characters will linger in your memory…

Mercy Snow is on a mission, to right the wrongs of an accident which occurred one Winter night on Devil’s Slide Road. The Snow family have always been looked down upon by the citizens of Titan Falls. Mercy has an uphill battle with those in power to right a horrendous wrong. It’s a tall order for a nineteen year old girl.

In the small New Hampshire community of Titan Falls there are secrets that have been kept and are being kept but eventually like many hidden secrets they become unearthed. They’ve now been stirred up & Mercy Snow is just the persistent person to follow her mission through til the very end.

What do a few of the townsfolk of Titan Falls know and what are they hiding — like one does when escaping behind a mask? Mystery surrounds Titan Falls as their Androscoggin River keeps a tight grip around this small river town hamlet.

Don’t miss out on this hauntingly exquisite story! It had me in tears by the end.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” (Sir Walter Scott)

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