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Autumn is upon us, baseball championship series (GO CUBS!) are underway, Halloween costumes are ready, and my booklist for Autumn is ready! These favortie authors of mine, Jojo Moyes, Stephen King, Rainbow Rowell, Kate Morton, Robert McCammon, Mo Willems, Drew Daywalt, and Don & Audrey Wood all have new books out this season! I can’t wait to dig into each of these books along with new authors’ books I’ve discovered over the past few months!

Enjoy these titles from Adult Fiction to the littlest person in your household!  Happy Reading & I’m hoping I’ll be singing “Go Cubs Go” into the World Series!!!

 Adult Fiction


After You, by Jojo Moyes


The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo


The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg


The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young


The Girl In the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, Steig Larsson (Creator)


The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood


The Lake House by Kate Morton


The Last September by Nina De Gramont


Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter


The Race For Paris by Meg Waite Clayton 


The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain


The River of Souls (Matthew Corbett #5) by Robert McCammon

Adult Non-Fiction


Storm of the Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900 by Al Roker

Middle Grades


Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty


The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Early Readers-Chapter Books


The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

Children’s Books


The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywait


The Full Moon at the Napping House by Don & Audrey Wood

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Marianslibrary’s Review of The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy


I became at a young age very inquisitive about the life of abolitionist John Brown and the infamous event at Harper’s Ferry. As I grew older, I continued to read historical non-fictional and fictional books about John Brown and the raid on Harper’s Ferry.  When I learned Sarah McCoy’s next project would be a historical fictional book based on John Brown’s daughter, Sarah Brown, I was thrilled!  My dear author friend via telepathic transmission must have known I would find this historical subject matter most pleasurable and appealing!
Sarah McCoy has brought to life the abolitionist work of Sarah Brown after the death of her father at Charlestown, Virginia (now Charles Town, West Virginia) in 1859.  Shortly before John Brown died, he shared his legacy with his family concerning the abolitionist movement. “The abolishment of slavery does not end with me. You must carry on.”  Sarah made a vow to her father to carry on his wishes and in doing so, continued to support the struggle of the Underground Railroad.  Using her artistic ability as a painter she intertwined maps and routes into her paintings, inadvertently becoming a mapmaker.  While she continued with her father’s work romance ensued between Freddy, a family friend.  A childhood disease had left her barren and she feared she could not marry and not be truthful to Freddy about her condition. Therefore, Sarah’s quest to fight for the rights of others became her passion in life.

Sarah McCoy as only she can accomplish, connected the past and present exquisitely. She introduced Eden Anderson of New Charlestown, West Virginia, located near Harpers Ferry. She was a wife suffering with the anguish of infertility which caused a rift in their marriage. Recently she and her husband had moved into a time-worn home where Eden discovered a decrepit root cellar. Hidden in the cellar was a head of a very old porcelain doll sporting one black eye and one green eye.  Eden began to unravel the mystery behind this discovery when her young, spunky, and ever-curious neighbor, Cleo, came to her aid. Eden soon uncovered the connection that the doll head and her home had ties to Sarah Brown and the Underground Railroad.

The Mapmaker’s Children combined with the historical aspect of the era, was also a love story that dealt with two women’s lives who came to terms with their personal choices. Sarah McCoy’s style of writing is superior as she tells the story of these two individuals who, even though time separates them, share similar angsts. The story of Eden and Sarah told in alternating chapters, escalates both of their personal experiences in a smooth and transitional manner.  From the onset, she has done her historical background homework for The Mapmaker’s Children. The book is very well researched concerning depicting Sarah Brown’s time period.  It’s not difficult to be swept into the lives of both Eden and Sarah and have empathy for them as they journey through their personal struggles especially their inability to bear children.  Both women across time and history discover their true destiny and what is most important in their lives.  Eden surmised it best, “We can’t force life to do what we want when we want it.  We can’t change yesterday or control tomorrow. We can only live today as best we can.  And it just might turn out better than expected.”

It is with such a proud feeling, like that of a mother, that I personally congratulate Sarah McCoy on yet another very truly compelling story!! I am completely exuberant to announce the newest book, by New York Times Best Selling Author Sarah McCoy!!!  The Mapmaker’s Children hits the shelves on May 5th!  

Happy Reading!

Sent from my iPad

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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!
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



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!


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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