Librarian’s Picks Book List

Here are some favorite picks of the library staff.

House of Cards (USA)

House of Cards (USA)

Author: Michael Dobbs
Publication Date: 2014-03-11

Francis Urquhart has his hand on every secret in politics—and is willing to betray them all to become prime minister. Mattie Storin is a tenacious young reporter who has a knack for finding the real stories hidden behind the spin. When she stumbles upon a scandalous web of intrigue and financial corruption at the very highest levels, she vows to reveal the truth. But to do so she must battle her own demons and risk everything, even her life.

The Stranger on the Train

The Stranger on the Train

Author: Abbie Taylor
Publication Date: 2014-05-27

A mother’s worst nightmare: the subway doors close with her baby son still on the train. In this suspenseful debut novel, a woman goes to unimaginable lengths to get her child back.

A struggling, single mother, Emma sometimes wishes that her thirteen-month-old son Ritchie would just disappear. Then, one quiet Sunday evening, after a sinister encounter on the London Underground—Ritchie does just that.

Emma immediately reports his abduction to the police but there she faces a much worse situation than she ever imagined. Why do the police seem so reluctant to help her? And why do they think she would want hurt her own child?

If Emma wants Ritchie back, she’ll have to find him herself. With the help of a stranger named Rafe, the one person who seems to believe her, Emma sets off in search of her son. She is determined to find Ritchie no matter what it takes…but who exactly is the real enemy here?

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

Author: The Countess of Carnavon
Publication Date: 2011-12-27

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.

The Last Town on Earth

The Last Town on Earth

Author: Thomas Mullen
Publication Date: 2007-07-31

Set against the backdrop of one of the most virulent epidemics that America ever experienced–the 1918 flu epidemic–Thomas Mullen’s powerful, sweeping first novel is a tale of morality in a time of upheaval.
When Commonwealth votes to quarantine itself against contagion, guards are posted at the single road leading in and out of town, and Philip Worthy is among them. He will be unlucky enough to be on duty when a cold, hungry, tired–and apparently ill–soldier presents himself at the town’s doorstep begging for sanctuary. The encounter that ensues, and the shots that are fired, will have deafening reverberations throughout Commonwealth, escalating until every human value–love, patriotism, community, family, friendship–not to mention the town’s very survival, is imperiled.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

Author: The Countess of Carnavon
Publication Date: 2013-10-29

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Catherine Wendell. In this transporting companion piece to the New York Times bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, Catherine, a beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina’s son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, presides over the grand estate during a tumultuous time for the British aristocracy. Following the First World War, many of the great houses of England faded as their owners fortunes declined in the new political and social world of the 1920s and 1930s. As war loomed, Highclere’s survival as the family home of the Carnarvons was again in the balance—as was peace between the nations of Europe.

To Marry an English Lord

To Marry an English Lord

Author: Gail MacColl
Publication Date: 2012-03-15

From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles--just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details--plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette--To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.

Ghost Waltz: A Family Memoir

Ghost Waltz: A Family Memoir

Author: Ingeborg Day
Publication Date: 2014-06-24

A woman comes to terms with her family’s dark Nazi past in this memoir from the author of Nine and a Half Weeks—A moving and profound exploration of the legacy of war and hate on an individual life.

Born in Austria at the height of Word War II, Ingeborg Day grew up knowing little about the early years of her life. When she came to America in 1957 as an exchange student, she heard for the first time references to Hitler, Nazis, and the Holocaust, topics that were forbidden in her homeland and her own house.

Day married an American and stayed in the U.S. permanently, a separation that created great physical and psychological distance between herself and her father— a Nazi nobody, an out-of-work locksmith’s apprentice who ended up joining the Austrian army, where his musical talents blossomed in a military band. An early member of the Nazi Party, he was automatically incorporated into the SS after the Anschluss in 1938. But with the fall of the Third Reich, he refused to speak of the past, determined to remain silent.

Last to Know

Last to Know

Author: Elizabeth Adler
Publication Date: 2014-07-22

Evening Lake: an idyllic, peaceful, western Massachusetts getaway with a close-knit community of families. Detective Harry Jordan sees his lake home as a respite from solving crimes on the streets of Boston...until crime comes to Evening Lake. Harry Jordan is out for a walk when the night is rocked by an explosion: the Havnel house is engulfed in a conflagration and Bea Havnel is seen fleeing, hair on fire, plunging into the lake. Mysterious, rough-around-the edges, and private, Bea and her mother Lacey are newcomers to Evening Lake and nothing like the well-heeled families of the community. Bea survives the fire, but her mother does not, and Harry is pulled into the investigation. As is young Diz Osborne, who, unbeknownst to any of them, carries a weighty secret about who else he saw rowing on the lake that night. When it’s discovered that Lacey Havnel died not from the explosion but from a knife wound, it’s clear that a murderer is on the loose. And this murderer is poised to strike again, and again. Told with Elizabeth Adler’s inimitable style, illuminating descriptions, and intricate family dynamics, Last to Know is the definition of a page-turner.

The Son

The Son

Author: Jo Nesbo
Publication Date: 2014-05-13

Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit—or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes.

Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him high and in jail. And all of them under the thumb of the Twin, Oslo’s crime overlord. As long as Sonny gets his dope, he’s happy to play the criminal and the prison’s in-house savior.

But when he learns a stunning, long-hidden secret concerning his father, he makes a brilliantly executed escape from prison—and from the person he’d let himself become—and begins hunting down those responsible for the crimes against him . . . The darkly looming question is: Who will get to him first—the criminals or the cops?

Miss Peregrine\'s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine\'s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs
Publication Date: 2011-06-07

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

The Perfect Witness

The Perfect Witness

Author: Iris Johansen
Publication Date: 2014-09-30

She had the perfect life.
She had the perfect cover.
She was the perfect witness.
Until they found her.

When Teresa Casali was young she discovered she had a strange gift: the ability to read people’s memories. But the gift seemed more like a curse as her mob boss father used her to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence. Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa is alone and unprotected. She realizes that if she is to survive, she has to run.

Out of nowhere, or so she believes, a man by the name of Andre Mandak appears. He kills her pursuers—but that’s not nearly enough for Teresa to trust him. It is his promise to get her into Witness Protection, along with his mind-blowing ability to help her control her gift before it consumes her, that convinces Teresa Casali to become Allie Girard. Living a normal life with a new family, she shuts the door to the past …although Mandak is clear: when the time is right, he too will benefit from her powers.

For years Allie flourishes …until the day her cover is blown and the truth comes tumbling out. Once again she is on the run, with her own life and those of her loved ones at stake. But this time she will not be a pawn. This time she will use her finely honed gift to end the threat that began with her family’s betrayal. From perfect target to perfect witness, Allie Girard is ready to take on the past even if it kills her.

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