Book Club Picks – Thrillers


Open book resting on stack on booksThe days are getting shorter and the nights longer!  Pick up a thriller for your book club to read!

storied lifeThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin – When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

The Life We Bury – Allen Eskens – After Joe Talbert interviews a dying the life we buryVietnam veteran for a college writing assignment, he discovers that the veteran is a convicted murderer recently released from prison and, suspecting that the veteran was framed, he begins a dangerous investigation into the thirty-year-old murder.

red sparrowRed Sparrow – Jason Mathews – Drafted against her will to serve the regime of Vladimir Putin as an intelligence seductress, Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against first-tour CIA officer Nathaniel Nash, with whom she engages in a charged effort of deception and tradecraft before a forbidden attraction threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow.

Dept. of Speculation – Jenny Offill – An unflinching portrait of marriage dept of specby the award-winning author of Last Things features a heroine simply referred to as “the Wife,” who transitions from an idealistic woman who once exchanged love letters with her husband and who confronts an array of universal difficulties.

silkwormThe Silkworm – Robert Galbraith – While investigating the brutal murder of a novelist who had just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knew, which would ruin many lives, P.I. Cormoran Strike must race against time to catch a killer unlike any he has ever encountered before.

Missing You – Harlan Coben – Spotting her ex-fiancâe’s photo on an missing youonline dating site, NYPD Detective Kat Donovan reaches out to him, hoping to rekindle the past, but her hope turns to suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy is revealed.

blue labyBlue Labyrinth – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – Investigating the murder of a long-time enemy, Aloysius Pendergast journeys to an abandoned California mine only to uncover a dark secret from his family’s past and a plot by a vengeful killer.

descentDescent – Tim Johnson – When their daughter disappears while out for a morning run during a late-summer vacation in the Rocky Mountains, her parents embark on a harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths where they must answer some difficult questions to find the truth

Wolf In the White Van – John Darnielle – Creating fantastical mail-order wolf inthe white vanrole-playing games from his apartment where he endures a life of solitude after a disfiguring injury, Sean is blamed for a disaster involving two high school student clients, an event that compels him to reevaluate his own past.

officerAn Officer and A Spy – Robert Harris – A tale inspired by the infamous Dreyfus Affair finds Georges Picquart, the recently promoted head of Paris’ late-nineteenth-century counterespionage agency, leading the effort to convict Dreyfus only to succumb to gradual doubts that a high-level spy remains at large in the military.


Book Club Picks – Literary Fiction



A selection of great fiction for your book club to enjoy.

spool of threadA Spool of Thread – Anne Tyler – “It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.those who leave

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay – Elean Ferrante –  In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have attempted are pushing against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.

ordinary graceOrdinary Grace – William Kent Krueger – Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.lila

Lila – Marilynne Robinson – Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church–the only available shelter from the rain–and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.

when i found youWhen I Found You – Catherine Ryan Hyde – While duck hunting one morning, childless, middle-aged Nathan McCann finds a newborn abandoned in the woods. To his shock, the child—wrapped in a sweater and wearing a tiny knitted hat—is still alive. To his wife’s shock, Nathan wants to adopt the boy…but the child’s grandmother steps in. Nathan makes her promise, however, that one day she’ll bring the boy to meet him so he can reveal that he was the one who rescued him.

Fifteen years later, the widowered Nathan discovers the child abandoned once again—this time at his doorstep. Named Nat, the teenager has grown into a sullen delinquent whose grandmother can no longer tolerate him. Nathan agrees to care for Nat, and the two engage in a battle of wills that spans years. Still, the older man repeatedly assures the youngster that, unlike the rest of the world, he will never abandon him—not even when Nat suffers a trauma that changes both of their lives forever.

Book Club Picks – Fantasy

book clubIs your book club looking to escape the here and now?  Try reading a fantasy and discover a new dimension.

written in my ownWritten In My Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon – After being presumed dead, Jamie Fraser returns to find that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitmate son has discovered who is father is, and his nephew has decided to marry a Quaker.bone clocks

The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell – Interweaves six narratives spanning the period between 1984 and the 2030s to chronicle a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and a small group of vigilantes who would take them down.

the oceanThe Ocean At The End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman – Presents a modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, and sacrifice in the story of a family at the mercy of dark forces, whose only defense is the three women who live on a farm at the end of the lane.fool's assassin

Fool’s Assassin – Robin Hobb – llegitimate royal and former assassin FitzChivalry Farseer masquerades as a country squire with his beloved wife, but finds himself drawn back to his former life by old allegiances.

visionsVisions – Kelley Armstrong – Estranged from Gabriel when his past comes to light, Olivia Taylor-Jones receives a sinister warning in the form of a murder victim dressed to look like her and struggles to learn the truth about the victim, the role of her new home, and her susceptibility to old enemies.heavens rise

The Heavens Rise – Christopher Rice – When Niquette Delongpre is exposed to a small parasite deep in the swamps outside of New Orleans, she must come to grips with her mysterious and dangerous new powers to battle against a rising evil.

innocenceInnocence – Dean Koontz – Foraging for supplies by night in a beautiful but hostile urban world where strangers would kill him on sight, Addison endures a solitary existence before meeting a quicksilver girl engaged in a dangerous duel of wits with a malicious, well-placed enemy.witch's daughter

The Witch’s Daughter – Paula Brackston – Witnessing the death of her witch mother in the spring of 1628, Bess Hawksmith turns to secluded warlock Gideon Masters for protection and learns formidable powers, including immortality, skills she begins teaching to a new apprentice centuries later.

Book Club Picks – Politics and Social Sciences

book club

Pick up one of these books for a lively discussion at your next book club meeting.

carry onCarry On, Warrior: thoughts of a life unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton – A New York Times essayist shares her journey from a self-destructive college student to a devoted family woman and teacher while illuminating the importance of trusting in a higher power and being truthful about life’s challenges.tibetan

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinopche – A discussion of teachings on which the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” is based examines the possibility for healing that can occur when death is viewed as another chapter of life.

five daysFive Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink – A Pulitzer Prize-winning doctor, reporter and author of War Hospital reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its generators to reveal how caregivers were forced to make life-and-death decisions without essential resources, an experience that raised key issues about practitioner responsibilities and end-of-life care.magic

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins – Addresses key scientific questions previously explained by rich mythologies, from the evolution of the first humans and the life cycle of stars to the principles of a rainbow and the origins of the universe.

presidentsThe President’s Club by Nancy Gibbs – Traces the history of the presidential fraternity conceived by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover during Eisenhower’s inauguration, exploring the ways in which the nation’s Presidents depended on, sabotaged and formed alliances that had world-changing impacts.unwinding


The Unwinding – by George Packer – Paints a picture of the last thirty years of life in America by following several citizens, including the son of tobacco farmers in the rural south, a Washington insider who denies his idealism for riches, and a Silicon Valley billionaire.

glitterGlitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan – Presents an account of the author’s perspectives on motherhood, which have been shaped by her job as a nanny for a grieving Australian family and her character-testing experiences with her daughters.saturday

Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman – Describes the author’s experiences as a young widow and the pivotal relationships she forged with five other widows, recounting the stories of their losses and bravery as exchanged throughout a year of monthly Saturday night meetings, during which the author met and fell in love with her current husband.

Book Club Picks – Historical Fiction

bookCold winter nights are perfect for settling into a great historical fiction book!

perfumeThe Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro –  After receiving a large inheritance from a complete stranger, London socialite and newlywed Grace Monroe searches for the identity of her mysterious benefactor and uncovers the story of a unique woman who inspired one of Paris’ greatest perfumers, which transforms her own life.ordinary

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger – Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.

doveThe Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker’s wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.last

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell – Captured and raised by Danes in the ninth century, dispossessed nobleman Uhtred witnesses the unexpected defeat of his adoptive Viking clan by Alfred of Wessex and longs to recover his father’s land.

houseThe House Girl by Tara Conklin – A novel of love, family, and justice follows Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in a Manhattan law firm, as she searches for the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.