For some, summer provides the best opportunity to read. Many big releases by popular authors occur during the summer months. In Minnesota and other cold weather states, winter provides an equal opportunity as we are often stuck inside. Sometimes there is nothing better than a mug of your favorite hot beverage, a warm blanket to keep you toasty, and a story to transport you to a different world.

Try these winter related reads or let us know what you like to read and we’ll be glad to assist you in finding your new favorite book.

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin









An orphan attempts to rob a mansion yet finds the daughter home, beginning the love story between this Irish burglar and a dying young girl. Drive by this love, he is determined to stop time and bring back the dead in a city with unprecedented winters.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey









Recent arrivals to Alaska, Jack and Mabel are drifting apart. During the first snow fall, they build a child out of snow and suddenly a girl comes into their lives that they treat as their own daughter. The shocking truth about the girl, however, will transform them all.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern









Le Cirque des Reves arrives with no warning and occurs only at night, leaving town members mesmerized and excited by its appearance. Behind the scenes, two young magicians are set to duel. Yet a magical love between the two competitors threatens the game they’re involved in.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon









A town in Vermont, known for its strange disappearances, experiences another when Alice vanished without a trace, leaving her daughter to investigate. As she gets sucked into her mother’s mysterious disappearance, she discovers ties to past disappearances and may be the only one who can prevent history from repeating itself.

In the Woods by Tana French









The Dublin Murder Squad is called to a case of a 12 year old girl found murdered in the woods, the same crime scene site as a murder involving three young children twenty years prior. Now, two detectives must look to the past case in order to solve the present. Reader beware – the ending will surprise even savvy mystery readers.

The Lost by James Patterson







The Lost is the fifth and final book in Patterson’s bestselling magical series. As they city turns against all magic users, the siblings begin to question everything, including their abilities. They must confront their own doubts in order to face a new enemy, but can they do it in time?

The Voices by F.R. Tallis







In the summer of 1976, Christopher, his wife Laura and their daughter Faye move into a new home. Soon after, Laura begins to hear sounds and voices through the baby monitor. Norton, a composer, begins a project to use the strange voices in a composition, and discovers one voice in particular that is determined to be heard.

Chasing Gold: The Incredible Story Behind the Nazi Search for Europe’s Buillon by George M. Taber







This is the story of how the Nazis attempted to get their hands on Europe’s gold supply in order to finance their war efforts. Readers will be surprised by the drama Taber conveys, and the true tales of giants in world history who took heroic actions in an extraordinary time.

Thief by Mark T. Sullivan







Robin Monarch is back in the third book of the series carrying his name by Mark T. Sullivan. Monarch breaks into a famous Christmas party and secret vaults belonging to the same man. He must use his skills to keep a secret he learned of from the vault or risk the information about a secret society falling into the wrong hands.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant







Addie was born to immigrant parents who were unprepared for life in America. Telling her story to her granddaughter, the 85 year old Addie recalls her adventures as she came to age in Boston in the 20th century.

Here by Richard McGuire







Here is a graphic novel based on the comic strip of the same name. It collapses time and space to tell the story of a room and its inhabitants across a wide period of time. Fans of the comic will be delighted by McGuire’s compilation of the story in a graphic novel.

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz







Moriarty is the second book in Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes series. This tale of murder and menace brings readers back into the world of Sherlock Holmes, as detectives search for him and Professor James Moriarty after they disappear.

Hard Limit by Meredith Wild







Erica and Blake are a power couple who have had their fair share of ups and downs. On the verge of the wedding, she discovers an unsettling chapter in Blake’s past. Will secrets destroy their promise? This is the 4th book in Wild’s series Hacker.

The Keeper by Tim Howard







Tim Howard, goalie for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, opens up for the first time about his life and how a kid with Tourette’s Syndrome beat the odds and became a professional athlete. In addition, he chronicles the sacrifices he has made to have a successful sports career.


The year is rapidly coming to an end and that means publishers, media outlets, and others are putting out their “Best of 2014″ lists for books. If you’re struggling with what to read next, these lists can give you some of the favorites from this year. They are also a good guy to buying books for other people if you have a reader on your holiday list. I’ve listed below two of the many “Best of 2014″ lists, one from the New York Times Book Review and one from NPR.


New York Times Book Review: 100 Notable Books of 2014

Divided into three categories (fiction, poetry and nonfiction), the 100 Notable Books of 2014 are chosen by the editors of the Book Review. As a companion to this list are the 100 Notable Children’s Books of 2014, for the children on your list.

NPR: Best Books of 2014

NPR’s list includes over 250 titles in a viewer friendly format. The books were chosen by staff and critics and can be viewed according to various categories.

Think you have a book that should have made the list? Let us know your favorite books of the year!

The 2014 Goodreads Choice Award winners were announced today. Goodreads, a popular social media website that lets users keep track of the books they’ve read, want to read and are currently reading. Along with that feature, it provides book reviews, book recommendations based on tastes, a group function, and more. Every year, Goodreads holds a Best Books of the Year voting, where users get to vote on their favorite books. It is the only major book award that is chosen by readers themselves. If you’re on Goodreads, check us out at Willmar Public Library Reads, where you can find out what books your Librarians are reading, along with information about our book clubs.


Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Historical Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Mystery & Thriller

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King


The Book of Life by Deboarh Harkness


Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Science Fiction

The Martian by Andy Weir


Prince Lestat by Anne Rice


Yes Please by Amy Poehler


The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Memoir & Autobiography

This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl

History & Biography

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Business Books

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Food & Cookbooks

Make it Ahead by Ina Garten

Graphic Novels & Comics

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon


Lullabies by Lang Leav

Debut Goodreads Author

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Young Adult Fiction

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Young Adult Fantasy

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Middle Grade & Children

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Picture Books

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

If you’ve read any of these, let us know what you think! Did you vote but your favorite didn’t win? Tell us which books you’d like to see make this list!

How to Be Both by Ali Smith








How to Be Both is the story of two tales of love and injustice set hundreds of years apart that focuses on the versatility of art. The books are intentionally printed in two ways, so readers won’t know which edition they are getting until they pick it up, giving readers different experiences reading the same text.

God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi by John Safran

John Safran, an Australian journalist, spent a year in Mississippi digging into and following the murder of Richard Barrett, a white supremacist, by a young African American. Safran details his findings, realizing that what seemed like a cut and dry case was about so much more, as often crimes are. Fans of true crime will love this brilliant, haunting and hilarious story.

Independently Wealthy by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal







Independently Wealthy is Rosenthal’s sequel to New Money. Savannah Morgan is living her dream life, yet she can’t ignore the questions surrounding her father’s fatal accident. As she searches for justice, she will be led to Washington D.C., where she discovers more surprises than she could have imagined.

Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler








Arthur Bryant and John May are back in the newest book featuring these London detectives. They are put on a case where a cemetery becomes the scene of a crime, and as the body count spikes and more coffins are unearthed, they must dig deep in order to catch the killer.

The Sweetness of Life by Paulus Hochgatterer








Hochgatterer, an Austrian writer, makes his U.S. debut with The Sweetness of Life out this week. A child psychiatrist treats a girl who is traumatized by finding her grandfather’s faceless corpse in the snow.

Enter Pale Death by Barbara Cleverly







Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is put on the case of the death of Lady Truelove, a death classified as an accident yet Sandilands believes foul play was involved. He struggles to separate his personal grievances toward Truelove’s widow however as he investigates this death of one of society’s most powerful families. Will he risk a future with the girl he loves to uncover the truth behind Lady Truelove’s death?

Hope to Die by James Patterson








Detective Alex Cross’s family has been taken away and he is being stalked by a psychotic genius. He must follow along with the mad man to save his family, but what will he have to sacrifice? Hope to Die is Patterson’s 22nd book featuring Alex Cross.

After We Collided by Anna Todd






After We Collided is the sequel to Todd’s previous book After. Harry and Tessa’s relationship will be tested in ways she couldn’t predict yet he knew all along.

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline





The women of Rosato & Associates are back after their debut in Accused. Judy’s life is at a crossroads and she in unsure how to proceed when her sick aunt’s friend dies mysteriously. Judy investigates and is led into a dangerous world that will bring up family secrets she must deal with.

Lying in Wait by Ann Rule






True Crime writer Anne Rule is back with another collection of fascinating and disturbing true crime tales in her 17th volume of her Crime Files series. Through detailing these crimes, she reveals the dark side of the American family unit. Fans of Rule and True Crime novels in general will enjoy this new one.

Land of Careful Shadows by Suzanne Chazin







Land of Careful Shadows shings a light on a small town’s darkest secrets and obsessions. A body found in a reservoir is discovered to contain a picture of a baby, yet police can’t identify or find the baby. Homicide Detective Jimmy Vegas is forced to rethink everything he believes as he tries to uncover truths about his community to solve this murder.

Ticket to Childhood by Nguyen Nhat Anh








Ticket to Childhood, a best selling book in Vietnam, is finally being published in English. It tells the story of a man looking back on his life, informing readers of the miracles and tragedies of his childhood. Anh captures the innocent times of childhood beautifully in a book that will capture the hearts of readers young and old.

The 2014 National Book Award Winners were announced on Wednesday in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature. The honorees were chosen from shortlists of five finalists that were announced in October. (See this post from October to review the finalists).

This year’s winners are:


Redeployment by Phil Klay


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


Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck

Young People’s Literature

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The 2014 Anthony Award Winners were announced recently. The Anthony Award is a literary award for mystery writers given annually. The award is given in a number of categories. If you’re a mystery fan, these are great reads if you are looking for your next whodunit.

Best Novel

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Best First Novel

Yesterday’s Echo by Matt Coyle

Best Paperback Original

As She Left It by Catriona McPherson

Best Short Story

The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository by John Connolly

Best Critical of Non-Fiction Work

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower

Best Children’s or Young Adult Novel

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Best Audiobook

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

This week is fairly light in terms of new books, but nonetheless there are some good ones.

Captivated by You by Sylvia Day







Captivated by You is Day’s next novel in her popular Crossfire series. The characters face a choice in this novel – the safety of the lives they had before they knew each other or to fight for a future that seemed an impossible dream.

The Escape by David Baldacci







John Puller is back and this time he must fight to save his brother. When his brother escapes from prison, John must decide who to help – and in the process he learns troubling details about his brother’s case.

The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke







TV producer Laurie Moran has a new show on TV focused on cold cases. She has the ideal case for her next episode, known as the Cinderella Murder. But will the killer appreciate the close-up, or is something else in store? This is the first book in Under Suspicion, a new series by Mary Higgins Clark.

There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me by Brooke Shields







Brooke Shields explores her up and down relationship with her mother, Teri, in this powerful memoir.

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson







Maude came to Academie in Paris to paint, but the city is expensive and she slips into poverty. She takes a job as a companion to Sylvie to earn money but soon finds that Sylvie is addicted to opium and she pulls Maude into her world.

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons From an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin






Zamperini is one of the men featured in Laura Hillenbrand’s biography Unbroken. In his own words, he reveals the values and lessons that sustained him throughout his journey. Zamperini was a U.S. Olympic Runner, a WWII Bombardier and a POW survivor. He founded The Victory Boys Camp for at risk youth when he returned to the U.S. following the war. This book was finished shortly before he died.

The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg







In this addition to the Fox and O’Hare series, Fox and O’Hare must bring down the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. If they survive a chase around the world, it would be their biggest win yet.