Next Up with Chris

Next up on Chris’ to be read list: Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders “February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies…

Rachel Reviews: The Ex-Talk – Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Ex Talk—two rival coworkers pretend to be exes in lieu of unemployment!—is a fresh take on enemies-to-lovers with that certain charm I loved in Today Tonight Tomorrow. The addition of Shay’s personal life and her feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, and lingering grief gave an otherwise tropey romance layers, but I especially enjoyed how Solomon…

What Jen is Reading…

“A timeless murder mystery with the fascinating, glamorous Mitford sisters at its heart, The Mitford Trial is the fourth installment in the Mitford Murders series from Jessica Fellowes, inspired by a real-life murder in a story full of intrigue, affairs and betrayal… It’s lady’s maid Louisa Cannon’s wedding day, but the fantasy is shattered shortly after…

Fran Reviews: Eternal – Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline has brought to life the fear and terror of Mussolini’s reign and the horrors of Fascism in World War II Italy. Through the characters of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro and their families. the reader can visualize what it felt like to be a Jew or a friend of a Jew and the inhumane consequences…

What Jen is Reading…

“IN A TIME OF RASPUTIN’S MAGIC AND ROMANOV MYSTERY, A YOUNG GIRL FINDS HERSELF AT THE HEART OF THE ROYAL FAMILY She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majestry. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for…

Michelle Reviews: Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

“We order our lives with barely held stories. As if we have been lost in a confusing landscape, gathering what was invisible and unspoken…sewing it all together in order to survive…” Nathaniel and his sister Rachel were children when their parents left them in the care of a man they called The Moth. The connection…

What Jen is Reading…

The Mitford Scandal – Jessica Fellowes (Also available in Large Print) “In the third book in the Mitford Murders series, lady’s maid Louisa Cannon accompanies Diana Mitford into a turbulent late 1920s Europe. The year is 1928, and after the death of a maid at a glamorous society party, fortune heir Bryan Guinness seizes life…

Sue Reviews: Writers & Lovers – Lily King

Lily King is a local author, having grown up on the North Shore, her father was a teacher at Pingree and she is an alumni of the school. Her latest book Writers & Lovers is a book about grief, determination and challenging decisions. Casey Peabody, a young girl living in Brookline is mourning the unexpected…

Notes from Spring 2021 Book Buzz Presentations

After watching several webcasts presented by marketing teams from various publishing houses my notebook is now full up with lists of upcoming titles of interest. Below is a very small selection of fiction and non-fiction titles pulled from those lists (release dates range from February to June). Happy (future) reading! We Begin at the End…

Julie Recommends: International Mysteries

  Three of our more popular mystery authors are Louise Penny, Donna Leon, and Ann Cleeves, whose books are set in Quebec, Venice, and England respectively.  Always on the lookout for new (to me) mystery series with international settings, here’s one I’m enjoying now, and a few I’ll be trying soon.  And if you’re looking…

Fran Reviews: White Ivy – Susie Yang

What a delightful surprise this novel was! The reader goes from feeling sorry for Ivy to castigating her for her choices. Through the many plot twists and turns, this hard to put down novel will have the reader guessing and making their own choice on how to perceive the main character. About White Ivy: “Ivy Lin…

Skylis Reviews: Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a captivating, exploratory speculative fiction novel set in a pandemic-ravaged United States. The narrative follows the entwined stories of several people across time, all connected to an actor who dies the night the pandemic begins. St. John Mandel’s writing is intimate and lyrical in this melancholy work…

Patron Recommendations

A patron recently returned the two books below and said: “These were both really good.” The Paris Orphan – Natasha Lester “New York City/Paris, 1942: When American model Jessica May arrives in Europe to cover the war as a photojournalist for Vogue, most of the soldiers are determined to make her life as difficult as…

Patron Recommendation: Lies – T.M. Logan

“Six days ago, Joe Lynch was a happily married man, a devoted father, and a respected teacher living in a well-to-do London suburb. But that was before he spotted his wife’s car entering a hotel parking garage. Before he saw her in a heated argument with her best friend’s husband. Before Joe confronted the other…

Ari Reviews: Pride and Prometheus – John Kessel

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley I highly recommend reading the book Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel. Kessel combines the novels Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein that sparked my interest in coming across this book. I was curious to see how the two books combined would play out. Kessel uses Mary Bennett…

Rachel Reviews: Incendiary by Michael Cannell

Long before the specter of terrorism haunted the public imagination, a serial bomber stalked the streets of 1950s New York. The race to catch him would give birth to a new science called criminal profiling.   The most interesting chapter of Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling was its epilogue, when…

Sarah Reviews: New People – Danzy Senna

In many respects the world that my generation grew up in has changed for the better. Gone are the days of enforced segregation, slavery, and Jim Crow laws. And while the society we have created is not nearly close to perfect, it is a far cry from the social injustices that people of color have…

Recommended by Fran

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (a local author; she also wrote The Good Thief) “Samuel Hawley isn’t like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back.…

If You’ve Read…History of Wolves

If you’ve read Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves: “Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new…

Tracy Reviews: The Hopefuls

I randomly picked up the audiobook The Hopefuls as I was finishing my shift on the circulation desk. I started listening to audiobooks a few years ago when my commute time nearly doubled, when I was at my previous job, and now I find it hard to be in the car without listening to a…

Tracy Reviews: Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

“On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and…

Tracy Reviews: The Forgetting Time – Sharon Guskin

I can’t recall how I first heard about this book, but I will admit that one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult’s quoted recommendation on the front cover, calling the book, “Provocative, evocative, fresh, Guskin’s book is an explosive debut,” may have played a part in my decision to check it out. The beginning chapters…

Rachel Reviews: A Gathering of Shadows

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift…

Jim’s Bedside Table

Once again my bedside table has gotten so full of books that my eyeglasses case and alarm clock are threatening to move to some other bedside table. Lets see what’s on there. 1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffery When I picked up this book originally I thought, “oh goodie, another World War I book,”…

Jim Reviews: Clash of Eagles – Alan Smale

If you read enough history sooner or later someone asks you: “What would happen if a Roman army were to go up against [insert anachronistic warrior culture here]?” I’ve gotten Romans vs Vikings, Romans vs Samurais, and Romans vs Incas. I always hate these because it’s always comparing apples and oranges, but that is exactly…

Jim Reviews: Immortals – Jordanna Max Brodsky

Brodsky’s Immortals is the first book in her Olympus Bound series, a fantasy of Greek gods and goddesses in present day New York City. It’s a great concept. As people gradually stopped believing in the gods of Olympus they started to weaken. Finally, hundreds of years ago, Zeus decided to throw in the towel. The…

Jim Reviews: Trinity Six – Charles Cumming

Trinity Six is a modern spy novel that hangs on the search for the fabled Sixth Man. In the 1930s, the NKVD (the predecessor to the KGB) recruited five spies at Trinity College, Cambridge. Now known as the Cambridge Five, these individuals– Kim Philby, Donald MacLean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross– went on…

Rachel Reviews: City on Fire

City on Fire is a behemoth of a novel – clocking in at over 900 pages – but it feels overwrought and excessive, as if author Garth Risk Hallberg simply wanted the world to know that he was capable of writing such an opus. The core action – which spans about seven months in 1977…

Rachel Reviews: The Martian by Andy Weir

If it weren’t for the big-budget movie starring Matt Damon that just came out*, I don’t think Andy Weir’s The Martian would be flying off the shelves as much as it has – but that’s kind of a shame, really, because it’s super (ridiculously) good. And not just good in a hard sci-fi kind of…

Reading List: In the Heart of the Sea

You’ve already read Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex, you’re this-close to making plans to see the film (starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw), and the whole thing has provoked a deeper curiosity about the whaling industry, perhaps, or maybe you’d like to read…

Jim Reviews: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley

I admit I picked up this book because of the cover. I first saw it in the new book display by the circ desk (if you haven’t checked that one out you really should there are a lot of gems there). And everything on the cover of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street has a connection to the story which makes it even cooler. Plus it has really great endpapers. This is Natasha Pulley’s first book and it is a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy.

Fall Reading: A Few of My Favorite Mysteries

Quieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson “Karen Pelletier abandoned her life in New York for a professorship at Massachusetts’s elite Enfield College. But she quickly learns that New England is not the peaceful enclave she had imagined–and that not even the privileged world of academia is immune to murder….Professor Karen Pelletier’s prime literary passion is…

Rachel Reviews: Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes

Where Station Eleven cornered speculative fiction with a flu virus turned pandemic, Broken Monsters turned its spotlight on a probable schizophrenic serial killer roaming around the city of Detroit in real time.

And, yes, both hooked me with narratives, and kept me reading past bedtime, and fed me answers just as quickly as they kept me asking questions…

Lowell in Letters | Reading Intersections

Fall down the rabbit hole with us! In our Reading Intersections series, we’ll give you a place to start and where to go next, piling titles on until you’re neck-deep in books, graphic novels and movies on a similar theme. | Perhaps the title is a bit misleading, perhaps you thought this was going to be about the city, but no…No, this is going to be about the poet Robert Lowell and the many, many letters he wrote during his lifetime.

Jen Reviews: The Ingredients of Love – Nicolas Barreau

Reviewed by Jen “A charming restaurant A book and its mysterious author A little secret A romantic meeting Paris and all its magic . . . Cyrano de Bergerac meets Chocolat and Amélie in this intelligent, charming, and entertaining publishing sensation from Europe. While in the midst of a breakup-induced depression, Aurélie Bredin, a beautiful…