Book Discussion Kits for Adults
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 13:57
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 09:48
American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Be careful what you wish for.
Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 09:59
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.
Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when the long-missing Degas painting—the one that had been hanging for one hundred years at the Gardner—is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 09:53
Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to reuin his future.
College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooner's team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:06
Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:08
At Home: a short history of private life by Bill Bryson
Houses aren't refuges from history. They are where history ends up. Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 08:55
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:14
Before I Go To Sleep: a novel by S.J. Watson
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love-all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis-all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:10
Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell's classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s. As a kitchen maid - the lowest of the low - she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5:30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress's nephew, Margaret's tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating "downstairs" portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 09:10
Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman.
Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property. On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents—some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:15
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley conjures up a horrifying, but often comic, vision of a future Utopia in which humans are processed, conditioned, regimented, and drugged into total social conformity. The story, set in a futuristic London, focuses on the misadventures of Bernard Marx. Disaffected with the regimentation of society, Bernard and his girlfriend, Lenina, visit the American Southwest where Native Americans are permitted to live in an "uncivilized" state. There they come upon a fair-skinned young man named John, who turns out to be the son of a Londoner, and Bernard brings John back to "civilized" London.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 09:15
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsom, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:16
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother's tragic loss and one man's last chance at gaining salvation. Can we save ourselves, or do we rely on others to do it? Is what we believe always the truth?
One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 15:49
The New York Times bestseller and the USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she's in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:10
With its corrugated iron siding and cramped interior, the Cherico, Mississippi, library is no Antebellum gem. But for young librarian Maura Beth Mayhew, it’s as essential to the community as the delicious desserts at the Twinkle, Twinkle Café. It’s a place for neighbors to mingle and browse through the newest bestsellers, for the indomitable Miss Voncille Nettles to host her “Who’s Who in Cherico?” meetings. The library may be underfunded and overlooked, but it’s Maura Beth’s pride, and she won’t let the good ole boys on the City Council close it down without a fight.
Which is why Maura Beth has founded the Cherry Cola Book Club—a last-ditch attempt to boost circulation and save her job. Over potluck dinners featuring treasured family recipes, the booklovers of Cherico come together to talk about literary classics. But soon it’s not just Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee being discussed over chicken gumbo and homemade biscuits with green pepper jelly. Secrets are shared, old dreams rekindled, and new loves slowly blossom.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:16
Chosen by Chandra Hoffman
In Chosen, a young caseworker becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of adoptive and birth parents, with devastating results.
It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her "signing paperwork" charcoal suit standing alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn, set against a fluorescent-lit delivery-room backdrop. It's this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of the Chosen Child's domestic-adoption program, happy while juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of both adoptive and biological parents.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:20
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 10:06
Destiny of the Republic: a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president by Candice Millard
James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:21
Distant Hours by Kate Morton
It starts with a letter, lost for half a century and unexpectedly delivered to Edie's mother on a Sunday afternoon. The letter leads Edie to Milderhurst Castle, where the eccentric Blythe spinsters live and where, she discovers, her mother was billeted during World War II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives caring for their younger sister, Juniper, who hasn't been the same since her fiancé jilted her in 1941.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:22
Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope and heartbreak, of love and courage, of a journey from wounded to indomitable. In August 1954, Jubie Watts, a white teenager, leaves Charlotte, NC, with her family and their black maid for a Florida vacation.
- Published on Thursday, 20 February 2014 02:59
“What are you reading?”
That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.
This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:26
Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:28
Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Weiner travels the world in search of the happiest places. As Weiner makes his way from Iceland (one of the world's happiest countries) to Bhutan (where the king has made Gross National Happiness a national priority) to Moldova (not a happy place), he calls upon the collective wisdom of "the self-help industrial complex" to help him navigate the path to contentment.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:34
House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Grace Bradley had gone to work as a servant for the wealthy Hartford family when she was just a girl. During that time she had become quite friendly with daughters Hannah and Emmeline. In the summer of 1924, at a society party there, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they--and Grace--know the truth. Grace, now 98, tells her story to a young movie director, revealing some secrets while keeping others hidden.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 15:47
Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in an elite Manhattan law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that can make her career: find the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for the descendants of American slaves. An unexpected lead comes from her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, who tells her about a controversy currently rocking the art world. Art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of slaves from her plantation Bell Creek, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine. A descendant of Josephine’s would be the perfect face for the firm’s lawsuit—if Lina can find one. But nothing is known about Josephine’s fate following Lu Anne Bell’s death in 1852. Did Josephine die at Bell Creek? Was she sold? Or did she escape? Searching for clues in old letters and plantation records, Lina begins to piece together Josephine’s story—a journey that leads her to question her own life, including the full story of her mother’s mysterious death twenty years before. Alternating between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing tale of art and history, love and secrets explores what it means to repair a wrong, and ask whether truth is sometimes more important than justice.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 15:53
"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation…"
It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 10:14
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town.
For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to - an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil - but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 14:36
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:32
Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans' defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
In his tightly structured narrative, Nathaniel Philbrick brilliantly sketches the two larger-than-life antagonists: Sitting Bull, whose charisma and political savvy earned him the position of leader of the Plains Indians, and George Armstrong Custer, one of the Union's greatest cavalry officers and a man with a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage. Philbrick reminds readers that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was also, even in victory, the last stand for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations. Increasingly outraged by the government's Indian policies, the Plains tribes allied themselves and held their ground in southern Montana. Within a few years of Little Bighorn, however, all the major tribal leaders would be confined to Indian reservations.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:41
An aristocratic French family, a legendary château, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire.
La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt—and almost as many questions . . .
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:05
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first s gbreath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula's world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization -- if only she has the chance?
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 10:28
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Award
Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 10:19
Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
This mesmerizing Australian novel has been a bestselling book around the world, and Hollywood movie rights were recently snapped up by Dreamworks, with David Heyman (Harry Potter) set to produce. Winner of the Indie Awards 'Book of the Year' 2013.
They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:06
A luminous and enchanting sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients….
Lillian and her restaurant have a way of bringing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And then there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:25
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
When Major Pettigrew, a retired British army major in a small English village, embarks on an unexpected friendship with the widowed Mrs. Ali, who runs the local shop, trouble erupts to disturb the bucolic serenity of the village and of the Major’s carefully regimented life.
As the Major and Mrs. Ali discover just how much they have in common, including an educated background and a shared love of books, they must struggle to understand what it means to belong and how far the obligations of family and tradition can be set aside for personal freedom. Meanwhile, the village itself, lost in its petty prejudices and traditions, may not see its own destruction coming.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 11:45
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
As Madeleine tries to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France,” real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old “friend” Mitchell Grammaticus—who’s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:08
Inspired by Migrant Mother, the iconic Depression-era photograph snapped by Dorothea Lange in 1936, Silver reimagines the lives of both the photographer and the subject. Interweaving the stories of MaryCoin, a young mother grappling with the cruel realities of raising a family during an enduring economic crisis, and Vera Dare, the brilliant young photographer facing life-altering decisions of her own, this dual portrait investigates the depths of the human spirit, exposing the inner reserves of will and desire hidden in both women. Though their paths cross for a brief moment, their fates—stretching into succeeding generations—are permanently altered by the meeting. The luminously written, heart-wrenching—yet never maudlin—plot moves back and forth through time, as history professor Walker Dodge unpeels the layers of the photograph’s hidden truths.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:46
Midwife Patience Murphy has a gift: a talent for escorting mothers through the challenges of bringing children into the world. Working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience takes the jobs that no one else wants, helping those most in need—and least likely to pay. She knows a successful midwifery practice must be built on a foundation of openness and trust—but the secrets Patience is keeping are far too intimate and fragile for her to ever let anyone in.
Honest, moving, and beautifully detailed, Patricia Harman's The Midwife of Hope River rings with authenticity as Patience faces nearly insurmountable difficulties. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light and life into an otherwise hard world.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 10:03
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:51
Nothing Daunted: the unexpected education of two society girls in the west by Dorothy Wickenden
Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood attended grade school and Smith College together, spent nine months on a grand tour of Europe in 1910, and then, bored with society luncheons and chaperoned balls and not yet ready for marriage, they went off to teach the children of homesteaders in a remote schoolhouse on the Western Slope of Colorado. They traveled on the new railroad over the Continental Divide and by wagon to Elkhead, a tiny settlement far from the nearest town. Their students came to school from miles away in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:38
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell examines some of the most successful people today, and tries to determine what exactly contributes to their success. He finds that, as a culture, we often analyze a person's success based on what that person is like. Rather, we should look at contributing factors such as culture, family, and the idiosyncratic differences in their upbringing to determine what makes a person successful.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:11
1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant 17 francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.
- Published on Thursday, 20 February 2014 04:54
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 15:04
The Prophet, Gibran’s most famous work, has sold more copies and been translated into more languages than any of his other writings. Its popularity has been attributed to its simple style, metrical beauty, and words of wisdom.
Almustafa, a young prophet, has lived in Orphalese for twelve years and is waiting for the ship that will take him home. The townspeople beg him to stay, but Almustafa remains firm in his decision. Then they ask him to speak to them one more time, to share his words of wisdom on love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. His final words are a promise that he will return to Orphalese.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:41
Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:12
In 1810, a sister and brother uncover the fossilized skull of an unknown animal in the cliffs on the south coast of England. With its long snout and prominent teeth, it might be a crocodile – except that it has a huge, bulbous eye.
Remarkable Creatures is the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:46
Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody's three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents' ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:48
School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:56
Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
With the rich detail of Cold Mountain, the strong female bonds of The Help, and the untold history of The Warmth of Other Suns, comes a powerful debut novel about the secrets a woman keeps, and those she will risk everything to tell.
Based on the remarkable true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates, The Secres of Mary Bowser is a masterful debut by an exciting new novelist.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:51
Sister: a novel by Rosamund Lupton
When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn't be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics).
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 15:02
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to the Amazon to find her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared while working on a new drug. No one knows where Dr. Swenson is, and the last person sent to find her died before completing his mission.
Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey in hopes of finding answers. Now in her seventies, the uncompromising Dr. Swenson dominates her research team and the natives with the force of an imperial ruler. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices are those Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she is still unable to live up to her teacher's expectations.
Replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and cannibals, State of Wonder is a tale that leads you into the very heart of darkness, and then shows what lies on the other side.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:13
Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana, is home away from home for this inseparable trio. Dubbed the "Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they've weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage, children, happiness and the blues. Now, however, they're about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. Join these strong, funny women as they gather each Sunday at the same table at Earl’s diner for delicious food, juicy gossip, occasional tears and uproarious laughter. With wit, style, and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together four intertwined love stories, three devoted allies and two sprightly earthbound spirits in a warmhearted novel that celebrates friendship -- and second chances.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:49
In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 10:47
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Tea Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.
In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.
- Published on Friday, 02 May 2014 16:14
This is a story about accepting the people we love—the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we’re given and the families we make. It’s the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost orphan, each searching for someone she’s lost. It’s the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby.
Lorca spends her life poring over cookbooks, making croissants and chocolat chaud, seeking out rare ingredients, all to earn the love of her distracted chef of a mother, who is now packing her off to boarding school. In one last effort to prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to track down the recipe for her mother’s ideal meal, an obscure Middle Eastern dish called masgouf.
- Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:47
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.
- Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 15:11
Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Emily Wilson would be the first to admit that her life has seen better days. Her best-selling novel debuted eight years ago, she has struggled to write since, and she is now coming face-to-face with divorce from her once perfect husband Joel. Emily needs to heal, and she decides the best place to renew herself is across the country in a dear spot from her childhood: Bainbridge Island.
While staying with her beloved Aunt Bee, Emily's attempt at healing becomes complicated when she discovers the diary of a mysterious woman named Esther. Esther's story leads Emily on a path through a timeless love story, a painful series of misunderstandings, and a devastating secret that has vexed her family for decades.
The Violets of Marchis a story about love and fate. It's about the power such love has over us over space and time, and how it can haunt us when it goes unfulfilled. It defines love as an eternal bond that may drive us toward irrationality, but, ultimately, brings us hope for happiness and forgiveness.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 10:58
Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
There is no problem that a library card can't solve. The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women.When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other very much. But the sisters soon discover that everything they've been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 11:01
Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatric
One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 11:04
Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told.
Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived—those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave—Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
As only great history can, Egan's book captures the very voice of the times: its grit, pathos, and abiding courage. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:32
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:36
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. More than a century after its publication it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:38
After by Amy Efaw
In complete denial that she is pregnant, straight-A student and star athlete Devon Davenport leaves her baby in the trash to die, and after the baby is discovered, Devon is accused to attempted murder.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:39
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:42
Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
Fourteen-year-old Anthony "Antsy" Bonano learns about life, death, and a lot more when he tries to help a friend with a terminal illness feel hopeful about the future.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:20
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:44
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:22
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:46
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:48
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:08
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school's varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:49
Bystander by James Preller
Thirteen-year-old Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people, but although school officials are aware of the problem, Eric may be the one with a solution.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:09
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:53
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
When sixteen-year-old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:10
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:54
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:58
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
Seventh-grader John 'Crash' Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:59
Crunch by Leslie Connor
The oldest Mariss brother, fourteen-year-old Dewey, attempts to be the "embodiment of responsibility" as he juggles the management of the family's bicycle repair business while sharing the household and farm duties with his siblings after a sudden energy crisis strands their parents far from home.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:24
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:59
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:26
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:12
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:14
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:06
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. . . to burn books, along with the houses in which they were hidden. He had been a fireman for 10 years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames . . . never questioned anything until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think, and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do…
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:15
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king's long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:17
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Despite the medical miracle that has bought her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, but when Augustus Waters suddenly appears at the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be rewritten.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:09
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years. Julia Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:10
Girl Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:42
The giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:13
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:14
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:17
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Danica Shardae is an avian shapeshifter who has taken the form of a golden hawk. As heir to the avian throne, she'll do anything to stop the war that's been raging between her people and the serpiente for as long as she can remember. Including marry Zane Cobriana, the leader of the serpiente.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:18
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Chronicles the off-beat and occasionally extraterrestrial journeys, notions, and acquaintances of galactic traveler Arthur Dent. Arthur Dent, a refugee from the late planet Earth and his pal from the planet Betelgeuse, Ford Prefect, thumb their way thru comic misadventures throughout the Universe.
- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:45
The hobbit, or, There and back again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:21
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:22
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:47
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:30
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Set in New England during the Civil War, it chronicles the lives and loves of Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth, four sisters who must rely on each other for strength in the face of tragedies both large and small, after their father leaves for battle.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:32
Matched by Ally Condie
Cassia has always followed the autocratic Society without question. So when Xander's face is displayed on the screen at the Matching ceremony, she knows that they are the perfect mates. However, Ky Markham's face also flashed on the screen, if only briefly. Although the Society claims it was a glitch and Cassia knows she is to be with Xander, she cannot stop thinking about Ky.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:33
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:28
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
Michael Vey, a fourteen-year old who has Tourette's syndrome and special electric powers, finds there are others like him, and must rely on his powers to save himself and the others from a diabolical group seeking to control them.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:31
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:34
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
While Doug struggles to be more than the thug that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, as they explore Audubon's art.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:37
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:38
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.
- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:50
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents' death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves "outsiders."
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:18
Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:50
Rot & Ruin by by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:53
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
After running away from her fifth foster home, Holly, a twelve-year-old orphan, travels across the country, keeping a journal of her experiences and struggle to survive.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:56
The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
Antsy is fascinated by 'The Schwa Effect,' which is essentially the fact that no one ever sees Calvin Schwa. Even when he acts weird and dresses like a total freak, The Schwa is only barely noticed. The two boys form a partnership and get away with all kinds of mischief, from conducting experiments at school to confounding opponents on the basketball court. However, when even Antsy starts losing sight of him, The Schwa vows to do something that will make him so visible, no one will ever forget him.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:36
Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:00
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
After calling the cops to an end-of-summer party, Melinda is outcast at Merryweather High. Through her work on an art project she is finally able to face what happened at that terrible party and gain courage to fight back.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:02
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don't stand out. Then Stargirl arrives and changes everything for Leo and the entire school. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. And somewhere along the line, Leo has fallen in love with her.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:08
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:11
Tulsa Burning by Anna Myers
In 1921, fifteen-year-old Noble Chase hates the sheriff of Wekiwa, Oklahoma, and is more than willing to cross him to help his best friend, a black man, who is injured during race riots in nearby Tulsa.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:19
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa, and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp, people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens and, in the same stroke, providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but expand, allowing the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:13
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs--and, perhaps, save their own lives.
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:15
Wednesday Wars by Gary D .Schmidt
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.