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MariansLibrary’s Winter Reads 2014!


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!!


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

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

A Good Marriage by Stephen King

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Long Man by Amy Greene

The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

Some Luck (Book 1 of 3) by Jane Smiley

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

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


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


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.


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


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

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:

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!



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


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

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

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Revival by Stephen King

Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens

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

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

The Son by Jo Nesbø

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

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


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

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


An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Paper Towns by John Green


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


Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

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Marianslibrary’s: Summer Reads 2014!!


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!!


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill

Conversion by Katherine Howe

The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

Fragile (The Hollows #1) by Lisa Unger

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

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

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

Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

I Shall Be Near You by Erin McCabe

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Wake by Anna Hope

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


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

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

Sous Chef by Michael Gibney (August Book Club Selection)


Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Revolution (Countdown Trilogy Book 2) by Deborah Wiles


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

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!


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!!




Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood


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


Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck


Hyde by Daniel Levine


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


The Kept by James Scott


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


The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh


The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman


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


Precious Thing by Colette McBeth


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


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson


The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert



Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen


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


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


The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert


The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh


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


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


Wolverton Station by Joe Hill



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


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



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


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



A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd


The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt


Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald



Dot by Randi Zuckerberg


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


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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Marianslibrary’s Review of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

New schools.
Mean girls.
Dysfunctional families – very dysfunctional.
First love…..

You’ll absolutely cry, smile, & yes, your heart will ache…

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