Oct 02

National Book Award Longlists

Every year, the National Book Foundation chooses winners for the National Book Awards. Started in 1950, the National Book Award is an American Literary Prize. Entries, submitted by publishers, are judged by a panel of writers or experts in the literary field. The criteria for entries is as follows: the author must be an American citizen and the book must have been published between 12/1 and 11/30 of that year. The judges work through the entries and select 10 titles for the long list of potential winners, published in September. They then narrow down the list to 5 finalists in mid October. The winners are announced at a banquet in November. Each finalist receives $1,000 and the winners receive $10,000 and become part of the family at the National Book Foundation. There are four categories and each one will have a winner. They are: fiction, non-fiction, young people, and poetry.

Below are the long lists in each category. The 5 finalists will be chosen on October 15. These are great books to check out if you are looking for something to read, as they have been chosen as having exceptional literary merit. Stay tuned in October for the finalists and in November when the winners are announced. Books with links takes you to our catalog entry for that title.


An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Redeployment by Phil Klay

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandal

Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

Orfeo by Richard Powers

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Some Luck by Jane Smiley


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic by John Demos

No Good Men Among the Living: American, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942 by Nigel Hamilton

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom

Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart

The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson


Roget’s Illusion by Linda Bierds

A Several World by Brian Blanchfield

Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck

Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch

Second Childhood by Fanny Howe

This Blue by Maureen N. McLane

The Feel Trio by Fred Muten

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Road to Emmaus by Spencer Reece

Collected Poems by Mark Strand

Young People’s Literature 

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Skink – No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

Green Glass House by Kate Milford

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson



Sep 29

New Books for the Week of September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends by Ellen Harris







Although Handel’s music is known worldwide, the man himself is a bit of a mystery. Harris spent years tracking down any information she could and has compiled it into a book that weaves Handel’s music into tales of loyalty and betrayal. Readers will find that Handel was an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man who hid behind his public persona.

The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis







Martin Amis tells a love story with a violently unromantic setting in The Zone of Interest. It is a portrait of life and love in a concentration camp, begging readers to ask the question – can we meet each other’s eye after we have seen who we really are?

On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss


Biss investigates the myths surrounding our notion of immunity and what those mean for individuals and the social body. She searches for an answer to the question – why do we fear vaccines, a question very prevalent in today’s society.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker







Pinker applies insights to challenge the ideas of prose, demonstrating how writing depends on imagination, empathy and grammatical knowledge among other things. In the end, the reader will come to learn how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer







The bestselling author of The Interestings is back with a young adult novel about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance. Jam’s boyfriend, Reeve, is is dead and Jam is at a therapeutic boarding school, wondering why life isn’t fair. When a journal assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, she can feel Reeve’s presence and she must confront hidden truths on the way to reclaim her loss.

The Lost Key by Catherine Coulter







Coulter is back with the next book in her A Brit in the FBI series featuring Nicholas Drummond. Called to investigate a stabbing, Drummond and his partner Caine discover a secret life of the victim, bringing up more questions than answers. The victim’s final words are the key to this case, but FBI agents must find his kids who have disappeared to help solve it, leading to an international manhunt.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel







The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher is a collection of short stories ranging from ghost stories to memoirs. Mantel explores the themes of gender, marriage, class, family and sex, grabbing the attention of readers with this collection exploring what England has become today.

Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly







After Giffords was shot in 2011 and nearly died, she and her husband wanted to take action on the topic of gun control. Enough talks about the founding of Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization dedicated to promoting responsible gun ownership and founded by Gabby and Mark. Readers will get a look into the recovery of Giffords and how she, along with her husband, have become co-advocates on this pressing issue.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham







Lena Dunham, talented director, actress and producer establishes herself as a writer with her new book, revealing life stories that her fans and fans of celebrity memoirs in general will enjoy.

The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I) by Teresa Rhyne







The author of The Dog Lived (And So Will I) is back with a new memoir about her dog who developed cancer a second time, exploring how you move forward when everything you can do is still not enough.

Only the Dead by Vidar Sundstol







Only the Dead is the second book in the Minnesota trilogy by Sundstol, following the Land of Dreams. A tourist is found dead on the shore of Lake Superior in the same spot an Ojibwe man may have been killed 100 years prior. When the investigation goes cold, the forest service officer who found the body uncovers clues in his own family. Sundstol’s novel follows two tales, one of Scandinavian immigrants and the second of Native Americans in this mystery readers of the first book will love.

Close to the Bone by Lisa Black







Forensic Scientist Theresa Maclean returns to the medical examiner’s office to find a homicide scene. Piecing together clues, Maclean finds she is a big part of the killer’s agenda and must solve a cold case in order to survive.

French Pastry Murder by Leslie Meier








Beloved sleuth Lucy Stone is back with her 21st adventure in the French Pastry Murder. Stone is taking in the sights of Paris until the city of lights turns deadly …

The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen







Teresa Casali has the ability to read people’s memories but the seemingly powerful ability is really a curse. She must enter the Witness Protection Program to protect herself due to this ability, living as Allie Girard. When her cover is blown, she must run, using her gift as a threat as she takes on the past.

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott







A plane crashes at an air show in a small town, resulting in a number of casualties. A 13 year old girl, Ava, is found in the rubble next to her best friend Wash. Ava has hidden her gift, the power to heal others, but now the whole world knows and people from all over the world come to town to get help. With each healing she does, Ava grows weaker and must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to save the one she loves most.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein







Garth Stein, known for his popular novel The Art of Racing in the Rain, is back with this new novel, A Sudden Light. Fourteen year old Trevor tries to save his parents’ marriage when he uncovers a ghost in the family’s legendary mansion. The ghost will not rest until the family patriarch’s wish for the house is fulfilled, leaving Trevor to face the past in order to impact the family’s future.

All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai







Matt Bai, a former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, has compiled research exploring the Gary Hart affair. Leading in the polls for the Democratic nomination and against George H.W. Bush in 1987, rumors of Hart’s infidelity did him in. This marked a turning point in political media as the character of candidates became more important than political experience. Bai argues this incident is when private lives of politicians became public and news became entertainment.


Sep 22

New Books for the Week of September 22nd, 2014

September 22, 2014

The Day of Atonement by David Liss







Sebastian Foxx, pulled away from his home at age 13 due to the Portuguese Inquisition, returns to the city of Lisbon in 1755 to find the man who killed his father. As he gains a crew, he is pulled into the heart of the Inquisition and a horrific event that is looming. The Day of Atonement is a tale of obsession, loss and redemption.

You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman by Mike Thomas







Phil Hartman, best known for his years on Saturday Night Live, had a seemingly charmed life but it was cut short when he was shot by his third wife. For the first time, the years and moments leading up to his death are described in this new book by Mike Thomas. It is a celebration of Hartman, a powerful and humor-filled man loved by many.

The High Divide by Lin Enger







Gretta Pope wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving the family on the edge of Minnesota’s western prairie. When her sons set off to find him, Gretta has no choice but to follow. This tale of a family’s sacrifice and devotion is set against the historical events of expansionism, the demise of bison and the subjugation of the Plains Indians.

The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson







Jean Thompson takes classic fairy tales and brings them into the modern age, captivating the magic and horrors in everyday life.

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Johanna Morrigan, a 14 year old, decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde. As she lives this new identity, she realizes she built Dolly with a fatal flaw. Moran’s tale is one of self discovery and invention that readers will love.

The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis






A novel that takes place over the course of one day in the life of Baruch Kotler, The Betrayers is a story for the ages. Kotler, an Israeli politician, must face the ultimate reckoning with those who have betrayed him and whom he has betrayed, including a daughter, a son in the Israeli Army and his wife in this tale of love, duty, family and sacrifice.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix






Strange things are happening in a furniture store in Cleveland, Ohio and five employees volunteer for a long shift to try and unravel the mystery. Horrorstor is a traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting in the form of a retail catalog. Those looking for an unusual tale and format will enjoy this novel.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs







Hobb’s biography of his former college roommate tells the tale of conflicts in American society – race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship and love. Robert was a brilliant student and escaped his rough life in Newark to study at Yale. He was unable to hold off on the dangers of the streets when he returned home, leading to a violent, heartbreaking end.

The Contract by Derek Jeter







This is the start of a middle grades series about Derek Jeter, focusing on a boy who sets high goals for himself and makes his dreams come true. Fans of baseball will love this new series about this great player set to retire this year.

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly







Following in the footsteps of his popular works Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus comes Bill O’Reilly’s newest, Killing Patton. Patton died under mysterious circumstances following the end of WWII. O’Reilly takes readers inside the events leading to Patton’s death, revealing the many individuals that wanted him dead.

Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs







Dr. Temperance Brennan is put on a case involving a child killer who has resurfaced. Brennan must rise to the challenge to stop this psychopath, facing her own demons in the process. This is book #17 in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs.

To Dwell in Darkness by Deborah Crombie







Detective Kincaid, a recent transfer to Camden, must investigate a bombing at historic St. Pancras station. As he begins to gather the facts, he digs deeper into the truth about his transfer as well, it makes him question his belief in the job that has shaped him.

Hyena by Jude Angelini







Angelini has put together this collection of autobiographical stories, switching between his adult life and his childhood in Detroit. The stories take readers on a journey of heartbreak, depravity and hilarity. If you think you recognize the author, you might – he is one of the top hip hop radio hosts on Sirius radio.

Skink – No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen







First introduced over 25 years ago, Skink has become one of Hiassen’s most iconic characters. Teens and adults alike will love reading about Skink’s adventures trying to stop internet predators, turtle-egg poachers and litterbugs in this new novel.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver







Rooms is a tale of family, ghosts, secrets and mystery. Richard Walker, a wealthy man, left behind a country home and his estranged family comes for their inheritance. Haunted by ghosts, all involved must face painful truths, leading to catastrophic results as the spirit and human worlds collide.

A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel







A Deadly Wandering follows the story of Reggie Shaw, a college student who killed 2 scientists while texting and driving. The story explains the tragedy, the police investigation, the prosecution and his redemption as he becomes a leading advocate against distracted driving. Filled with scientific research, Richtel forces us to ask the question – what is all our technology doing to us?


Sep 20

New Books for the Week of September 15th

September 15, 2014

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce







Marie, a young single mother, gets a job at a Dallas steakhouse and begins to give in to the self destructive impulses surrounding her. The novel is, ultimately, a portrait of a woman on a precarious path through early adulthood.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg







Jenny Nordberg, an investigative journalist, uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan, known as Bacha Posh. This custom occurs when a girl is temporarily raised as a boy. Nordberg presents a new perspective on the sacrifices of Afghan women, following those born as an unwanted sex but who live as the socially favored gender only to be forced later on into marriage and childbirth. 

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett







Edge of Eternity is the conclusion to Follett’s epic trilogy, The Century trilogy. Following five families through the 20th century, this last book follows them from the 1960s to the 1980s, bringing readers into a world we thought we knew but will never see it the same way again.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty







Caitlin Doughty took a job at a crematory, and in the process learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who cared for the deceased. In this book, she recounts bizarre encounters and tells of the history of creation and the varied funeral practices that take place around the world.

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey






The Infinite Sea is a follow up novel to Yancey’s popular book The 5th Wave. Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world and is confronted with the others ultimate goal – the extinction of the human race. 

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes







A nightmare killer is unraveling reality as half human, half animal corpses begin appearing. As Gabriella works the case, her daughter Layla embarks on a crime fighting project of hunting down pedophiles. Broken Monsters exposes the decaying corpse of the American dream and asks what we’d do for 15 minutes of fame. 

Raging Heat by Richard Castle







When an illegal immigrant falls from the sky, NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat works with her boyfriend, a journalist, to solve the case. When he insists she has arrested the wrong man, their relationship is tested and she worries it will end.

The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton







When a popular baker is murdered, Agatha puts her team of private investigators on the case. As the team gets close to the killer, they face danger. Although this is the 25th book in the Agatha Raisin series, she still has flaws, making this cozy mystery intriguing.

The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathon Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman







A burned out L.A. detective, a woman of mystery and an ancient monster collide in this suspense novel. As detective Jacob Lev embarks on an odyssey to solve a case, everything he believes to be true will be upended and his world, and the entire world, will be changed forever.






Sep 08

New Books for the Week of September 8th

September 8, 2014

The Children Act by Ian McEwan







Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London, presiding over family court cases. When her husband moves out after an argument, she throws herself into a case involving a 17 year old whose parents want to deny her a lifesaving operation due to religious reasons. The pressure to resolve this case and her crumbling marriage will test Fiona, keeping readers engaged until the end.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel







Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would be savior, and a nomadic group of actors risking everything for art. The novel spans the course of decades, depicting life before and after a flu epidemic, telling a story about relationships, the nature of fame, and the beauty of the world.

The Distance by Helen Giltrow








Charlotte, an elite socialite, turns into Karla behind locked doors, where her business is making information disappear. Her new job – to take out an inmate inside a prison colony. As she is making progress, it seems all leads are false and she must solve this crime and protect a killer.

The Dog by Joseph O’Neill 








The hero of the novel leaves New York after a breakup for Dubai, where he struggles with his job as a family officer to a wealthy family. The Dog explores what has become of humankind’s moral progress.

A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez








Daisy Hernandez writes in this coming of age memoir about what she learned on the subjects of love, money and race from the Cuban-Columbian women in her life. Readers learn from Hernandez what is means to grow up female in an immigrate home as Daisy tells the story of how she found herself and created a new life.

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns






This engaging book looks intimately into the lives of the Roosevelts – Theodore, Eleanor and FDR. In looking at the history of the Roosevelts, the book ultimately explores how humans overcome obstacles and find the need to forgive and be loyal to family. The book ties in with the PBS documentary that will air in the fall.

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman


Ackerman confronts the reality that Homo Sapiens are shaping the future of the planet. She takes the reader on a journey through our new reality, introducing us to people and ideas that will help save our future.

Hold the Dark by William Giraldi







Wolf expert Russel Core is called in to Keelut, an isolated Alaskan village, to investigate the disappearances of 3 kids. He soon discovers the horrifying darkness of one of the children’s mothers and a truth of the village, coming face to face with this secret about the bonds of family and the untamed animal in the soul of every human.

The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami







Lalami tells the tale of imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America – a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of any records. This work of historical fiction provides readers with an alternative narrative for the famed expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez. Readers will learn that black men played large roles in New World exploration, a fact that is often not explored in other books and history narratives.

In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno







A rookie EMT responds to a call outside a mall where a man only tells her “I can’t function.” This question, of how to function, haunts her as her experiences as a rookie EMT break her down and open her up. Moreno does a good job exploring the theme of trauma – its causes, methods, and disguises.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why it Happens by Benedict Carey







How We Learn explores what we really know about learning and memory today and how we can apply it to our own lives. Carey writes about how our brains absorb and retain information, demonstrating how we should be training our brains to make deep learning possible.

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory


The King’s Curse is the final novel in the cousin’s war series.

Festive in Death by J.D. Robb








In the latest In Death book by bestselling author J.D. Robb, Eve Dallas deals with a homicide and the holiday season.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann








Jen Mann is the author of a popular blog and is known for her hilarious observations. Drawing on her popularity, she has debuted a collection of essays along the same lines as her blog.


Sep 04

New Books for the Week of September 1st

September 1, 2014

As summer winds down, we have begun the Fall 2014 push for new books. Although many people have less time to read as lives get increasingly busier after the Labor Day holiday, publishers and authors are churning out books in hopes that people will make time for reading. If you are looking for a new read, this weeks selection has a wide variety of genres.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks follows the life of Holly Sykes, who readers first meet as a 15 year-old girl that runs away to live with the love of her life. Her lost weekend is a prelude to a shocking disappearance that echos throughout Holly’s life, impacting all those she loves. The story is told through different perspectives that shed light on Holly and her story.

Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Personal, out this week, is the 19th book in the Jack Reacher Series. This book takes Reacher to Paris and London, where the stakes have never been higher because in this case, it’s personal.

Leaving the Pink House by Ladette Randolph

Randolph explores the contours of her life, heavily shaped by her roots in Nebraska, including how she overcame devastating losses in her young adult years. Her memoir focuses on the themes of home and family, and how they never really leave us even if we leave them.

The Permanent Nature of Everything by Judith Cowan

The Permanent Nature of Everything is a memoir about growing up in Canada. Cowan draws on recollections from a vanished time and traces awareness in the world of a child.

Silent Witnesses by Nigel McCrery

McCrery provides an account of the major areas of forensic science from around the world in this new book. Readers are taken through narratives and scientific principles that allow them to figure out the crimes as he writes about them. This book is perfect for true crime fans who want to learn more about the science behind forensics.

Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Seven individuals open up and tell their stories of being transgender, helping readers understand what it means to be trans in America.

The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein recounts 175 years of teaching in America, finding answers to controversies that exist in our public schools today. The book opens up conversations about American education by using history to shed light on present dilemmas.

The River by Beverly Lewis

Two formerly Amish sisters are plagued by unresolved relationships upon returning to Lancaster County for their parent’s wedding anniversary. The two sisters want acceptance and redemption, but will it be given to them? Find out by reading this new book.

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera

Island of a Thousand Mirrors follows two families as they are engulfed in opposite sides of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The story explores how the eldest daughter in each family negotiates war, migration, love, exile and belonging.

An Italian Wife by Ann Hood

An Italian Wife focuses on the story of Josephine Rimaldi, told over more than seven decades. The mother of seven children, Josephine is engulfed in the joys and hardships of motherhood, and Hood does an excellent job detailing the life of this fictional mother.

Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich

A mathematician goes missing and his estranged brother must find out what happened, leading him on a journey to a variety of countries. During this journey he unravels the mystery that links the seven wonders of the world. With the help of a scientist, he discovers a conspiracy to hide a map to the Garden of Eden and the truth behind an ancient culture. This is the first book is a new trilogy that fans of the Da Vinci Code will love.

Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer

Acceptance is the final installment in the Southern Reach trilogy by Vandermeer.

10:04 by Ben Lerner

The narrator of 10:04 must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in New York City, which may soon be underwater due to frequent superstorms. Lerner captures what it is like to be alive during the twilight of an empire, when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our relationship to the past and the present.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Set in 1922 in a London filled with anxiety, a widow and her daughter prepare to take in lodgers to help out financially. A modern young couple moves in and shakes up the house, altering the course of the daughter’s life.

Women in Clothes by Shella Heti, Heidi Julavits & Leanne Shapton

Women in Clothes is a conversation between women of all nationalities about the clothes we put on every day and how they define and shape our lives. The book embraces the idea of how complex our style choices are, revealing the thoughtful impulses that influence our daily ritual of getting dressed.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon

After a long hiatus, Karon returns to her popular Mitford series with Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. The characters are back with new struggles and fans of this series will love spending time with these individuals.

Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson

This is the 17th book in the Scumble River mystery series. Skye Denison and her new husband Wally Boyd are on a honeymoon cruise when she spots her mother on board. After discovering a dead body, they get tangled up in another murder investigation rather than enjoying their honeymoon like had planned.

Reluctant Witnesses by Arlene Stein

Stein writes in Reluctant Witnesses a part memoir, part history and part sociological analysis to explain the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. The book documents how this group of people managed to find a voice at a time when most Holocaust survivors are in the last years of their lives.

Books that Cook by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldtwaite

Books that Cook is a collection of American literature written on the theme of food. Each section begins with an excerpt from a well known American Cookbook followed by writing that is an extension of the excerpt. The book reveals the ways authors use recipes in writing and all cooking fans and those who like to read about cooking will enjoy this new book.

The Low Road by A.D. Scott

The fifth book in A.D. Scott’s series finds journalist John McAllister caught up in gang warfare in 1950s Glasgow, where he must search for his friend. In this pursuit, he finds himself in danger of losing everything. This book is a portrait of extremes, exploring the issues of city v. glen, law v. street rules and love v. passion.

All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Kat, a single 26 year-old, is still deciding what to do in life while working at her aunt’s bakery. Her best friend, Lucas, enters her into a reality TV bake off and while the competition heats up, Lucas must decide whether to help his friend achieve her dreams of sabotage her changes to keep her where she is, satisfying his dreams.

Rock n Roll Soccer by Ian Plenderleith

Rock n Roll Soccer explores the short history of the North American Soccer League, the world’s first truly international league. The book explores how it sold itself to a country not very interested in the sport to its bankruptcy.

The Secret Place by Tara French

The Secret Place is French’s next novel in her Dublin Murder Squad series. A photo of a boy who was murdered on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school is brought to Detective Moran and he must find out who pinned the photo to a bulletin board and why. Teaming up with another detective, he investigates this and finds out what goes on in the private lives of teenage girls. French explores the themes of friendship and loyalty in this new novel.

The Moment of Everything by Shelly King

The Moment of Everything is a romantic novel about a woman, recently laid off from her high paying job, who finds her calling while trying to save a used bookstore.


Aug 25

New Books for the Week of August 25th

August 25th, 2014

Summer brings a plethora of new books and an increased amount of reading time for many individuals. As summer winds down and we enter fall (hard to believe September is next week), here are some new books for this last week of August. If your fall is turning out to be busy, these might be good titles to keep in mind for the holiday break, or a cold winter night.

F: A Novel by Daniel Kehlmann 

F: A Novel is about three brothers whose father takes on the occult, with themes of truth, family and the power of fortune.

Harbor Island by Carla Neggers

Neggers is back with her next addition in the Sharpe and Donovan series. Sharpe and Donovan investigate the murder of a woman on a frozen island in the Boston Harbor and must also face do or die questions about their relationship. Before they focus on their relationship however they must outwit one of the smartest killers they’ve ever encountered.

 Her Last Whisper by Karen Robards








When Charlotte Stone is called upon a case involving the Cinderella killer, a predator who lures women to their deaths, she heads to Vegas to follow a lead. But in Vegas she ends up gambling with her life.

Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland







Lisette and her husband move to Provence to care for a family member and in doing so Lisette must give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice. In learning from her husband’s grandfather, Lisette creates a list of vows, taking her on a journey where she learns to forgive the past, to live robustly and to love again. It is a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France – to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life and to love in the midst of war.

Lock In by John Scalzi

One of the most popular authors in modern science fiction writes about a time in our near future. In 15 years, a new virus appears, leaving 1% of the population locked in – fully awake and aware but unable to move or respond to stimulus. New technologies appear in an attempt to solve this state, and certainly nobody attempts to misuse it … or do they?

Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason







The next installment in the Inspector Erlendur series, Strange Shores begins when a young woman disappears from the fjords of Iceland. Decades later, Erlendur is on the hunt for this woman as well as his lost brother who disappeared in a snowstorm as a child. He comes to realize that many people prefer their crimes to stay buried.

Fives and Twenty Fives by Michael Pitre







This heart-stopping debut novel follows three ex-marines as they battle with their experiences once home. As they struggle to find their place in a world that no longer knows them, they realize the war has left nothing in their lives untouched and that salvation may come from an unexpected quarter.

 Private Down Under by James Patterson and Michael White







Patterson teamed up with White to write this new paperback debut in which the world’s most exclusive detective agency opens a new office in Australia. Within days the agency’s caseload is full, but it is a horrific murder in the suburbs that stretches the team to the limit.

 The Life of Corgnelius and Stumphrey: The Cutest Corgis in the World by Susie Brooks





Corgnelius was living the good life in LA when his new brother Stumphrey came along. The two learned to share the spotlight and a blog written about them became a sensation. Known for their fasion-forward style and love of adventure, these two share their trials and tribulations as they navigate the world in this new book.

 Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller







The third novel featuring the journey of Bell Elkins and her return to her hometown, Summer of the Dead introduces a new character, Lindy Crabtree, who has secrets of her own that threaten to explode into more violence.

Shattered Secrets by Karen Harper








Tess, who was abducted and held captive as a young girl, returns to Cold Creek and is certain she put the past behind her. When she inherits the family home, she must confront the demons that still haunt her and the town. As she learns about another child in the town that goes missing, she is certain it is related to her return and she works with the sheriff to try and save the child and heal her damaged soul.

 The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow







A captivating story of two young women bound together by two different wars. As the wars have terrible consequences for Jess and Rose, will the poppy factory that was set up to help injured soldiers rescue them both from these heartaches?

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan







Darcie Chan returns to the town of Mill River in a novel of family, self-discovery and forgiveness. A young mother and her daughters move to mill River to build a new life for themselves until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart. The sisters return years later to read their mother’s will, which states they must work together to locate a hidden key to a box containing their inheritance. The sisters move back to Mill River for the summer to begin the search, discovering that an even greater treasure awaits them. A perfect book for fans of Maeve Binchy.

 Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips






When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now she is trapped on a snowy island with him off the coast of Maine. While her head says he is still the villain she remembers, her heart is telling her he has changed.



Aug 21

New Books for the Week of August 18th

August 18th, 2014

This week is a big one for releases, including some new books from well known authors.

Adultery: A Novel by Paulo Coelho

From the author of the bestselling novel The Alchemist comes a new novel about a woman attempting to overcome a midlife rut by rediscovering herself in a passionate relationship with a man from her past.

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

A professor of creative writing and literature at a small liberal arts college has a life full of woes – his job, his love life, etc. This novel tells his story through a series of hilarious letters of recommendations he is called to write for his students and co-workers at the college.

Haunted by Randy Wayne White

This is the third novel in the Hannah Smith series. In this installment, Smith must investigate a haunted house, finding out that some things are more dangerous than ghosts.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

A woman disappears on a mountain road and all eyes turn to her husband, with whom she had a recent argument with. As Emory gains consciousness, she finds herself held captive by a man who will not disclose his name. As time goes on and Emory comes into contact with others, she begins to wonder if this man is in fact her rescuer.

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Cain is back with a new and less gruesome series featuring Kick Lannigan, a 21 year old who was abducted as a kid. When two kids in her area go missing, she is approached as the one person who can use her past experiences to help rescue the abductees.

The Language of Houses by Alison Lurie

A companion to Lurie’s previously published book The Language of ClothesThe Language of Houses explores how the architecture of buildings and the spaces within them reflect and affect the people who inhabit them.

Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger

Minnesota author William Kent Krueger is back with his 14th novel in the Cork O-Connor series. Cork must battle the rivals of the bloodthirsty Windigo, a mythical beast in the Ojibwe culture, to help find justice for a teenage girl who washed ashore on an island in Lake Superior.

The Story Hour by Thrity Umbrigar


The Story Hour is a novel about friendship, family secrets, forgiveness, and second chances. Maggie, a psychologist, befriends a patient despite the doctor/patient code when she realizes that the woman doesn’t need a shrink but a friend. Their friendship, however, is warped by conflicting expectations and is threatened when revelations come out, forcing them to confront their painful choices.

Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz

This book, written by a Yale professor, takes a look at the direction of American society and the high pressure we place on students to achieve perfection.

A Dancer in the Dust by Thomas H. Cook








Ray Cambell must look back on his time in an African country 20 years earlier when a friend from that time is murdered in New York City. The real connection however might be to his one time lover from Africa who he was unable to keep due to her love of the country.


Aug 12

New Books for the Week of August 11th

August 11, 2014

Starting every Monday, we’ll highlight some of the new books coming out for that week. Many of these books will end up in our library system, however if they do not and you are dying to read them, we can order them through MNLINK, a database that allows patrons to request materials from other libraries in Minnesota when their home library system does not have that item. Best of all – this service is free to those with a library card. You can even order them yourself by using this website or you can stop in or give us a call and we’ll do it for you. Let us know if you’ve read any or are dying to read one by commenting on these posts.

Love Letters: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber

This is the 3rd book in the Rose Harbor series by popular author Debbie Macomber. Macomber celebrates the power of love to inspire hope and mend a broken heart in this new novel.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazakki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami






Tsukuru Tazaki had 4 best friends at school until they decided they didn’t want to ever see him again. Unable to form connections years later, he is encouraged by Sara to find out what happened all those years earlier.

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof

This debut novel tells a tale of a college profession, a new woman at a bookshop and the 10 year old son he never knew he had.

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell






A captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long forgotten peace and to unearth the secrets hidden in their home.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins






The third book in the Anna and the French Kiss series by Perkins.

Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray







A debut novel of doubt, faith and preservation in the aftermath of a family tragedy.




Jul 25

Willmar Area Author Round Table

On Saturday, August 2nd from 2-4PM, we will be hosting the second annual Willmar Area Author Round Table at the library. We have 7 authors slatted to attend, all living within about an hour radius of Willmar. The books include fiction, nonfiction, mystery, and romance. This week, I will highlight a little information about the authors and their works. The event will include a panel discussion followed by a meet and greet. All attendees will be entered to win copies of the books authors have chosen to donate. Don’t miss out on your chance to meet these local authors and read their books!

Chuck Brown

 Chuck Brown is a retired corporate manager who has written three novels and numerous short stories that have been published in regional literary magazines. His novels, Barn Dance (2006), The Lake Hayes Regatta (2010), and Dunn Days (2013) are all humorous satires set in fictional Minnesota Locations.

Cynthia Coyle 

Cynthia Coyle resides in Spicer and wrote a book titled My Little “Schnook-Doodles” *A True Story (2014), a personal account of her experiences with Schnook-Doodles, an orphan fawn who lived with her for seven months.

Megan Kiffmeyer 

Megan Kiffmeyer is originally from St. Cloud and now resides with her family in Kimball, MN. Her husband is a firefighter and wrote her novel based on that experience. Her book, Moving On (2014), is about a woman whose firefighter husband dies while responding to a call. She fears finding new love but when sparks fly with a new member of the fire department, she must decide if she will take another chance on a fireman.

Doug Knick 

Doug Knick and his wife are new to the area, moving to Spicer to open up a charter school called DREAM Technical Academy that will open this fall on the MinnWest Technology Campus. His book, The Kingdom of Collectible Treasures (2013), gives the reader an inside look at the job of a pastor, taking readers inside the worship services that serve as backdrops for the stories presented.


Cinda Kohls 

Cinda Kohls is a retired teacher from Nevada who now splits her time between her hometown and her summer cottage, both in Minnesota. Her book, The Narrow Gate (2013), is written under her pen name K.L. Keith. In the book, crime reporter Sophie Stangler, diagnosed with a brain tumor, turns to God for guidance and works to solve what she believes will be her last case. The big question is whether she’ll have enough time.

Arthur Norby 

Arthur Norby is a well known sculptor from New London who has written two books. His first book, Journey – the Art of Arthur Norby (2002), focuses on his sculptors and the transformation of clay into figure. His new book, The Deadly Winter (2014), is a historical narrative about the death of a transient worker that causes one community to be rocked by subsequent tragedies.

Gene Stark 

Gene Stark lives, writes and works in rural Minnesota. He enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities when not engaged in work or writing. He has four books published, all focused on different themes. Flyover Seasons (2011) is a work of poetry that takes the reader on a journey through the seasons of the land. Tracks in the Mud (2012) is a historical memoir that tracks through the times of the wild fur trade in rural mid-America. Water and Dirt (2013) focuses on the hardships and joys of living in Minnesota in the 1960s. His latest novel, Deep Tracks to Follow (2014) is about the bond between humans and canines.