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Click to search this book in our catalog Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

Library Journal With her third novel (after the acclaimed Sharp Objects and Dark Places), Flynn cements her place among that elite group of mystery/thriller writers who unfailingly deliver the goods. On the day of her fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne vanishes from her home under suspicious circumstances. Through a narrative that alternates between Amy's diary entries and her husband Nick's real-time experiences in the aftermath of her disappearance, the complicated relationship that was their marriage unfolds, leaving the reader with a growing list of scenarios, suspects, and motives to consider. Meanwhile, the police, the press, and the public focus intently on Nick, the journalist-turned-bar owner who uprooted Amy from her comfortable New York life to return to his Missouri hometown. VERDICT Once again Flynn has written an intelligent, gripping tour de force, mixing a riveting plot and psychological intrigue with a compelling prose style that unobtrusively yet forcefully carries the reader from page to page. [See Prepub Alert, 12/19/11.]-Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly There's the evil you can see coming-and then there's Amy Elliott. Superficially, this privileged Gotham golden girl, inspiration for her psychologist-parents' bestselling series of children's books, couldn't be further from the disturbingly damaged women of Edgar-finalist Flynn's first two books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. But as Amy's husband, Nick Dunne, starts to realize after she disappears from their rented mansion in his Missouri hometown on their fifth anniversary-and he becomes the prime suspect in her presumed murder-underestimating Amy's sick genius and twisted gamesmanship could prove fatal. Then again, charmer Nick may not be quite the corn-fed innocent he initially appears. Flynn masterfully lets this tale of a marriage gone toxically wrong gradually emerge through alternating accounts by Nick and Amy, both unreliable narrators in their own ways. The reader comes to discover their layers of deceit through a process similar to that at work in the imploding relationship. Compulsively readable, creepily unforgettable, this is a must read for any fan of bad girls and good writing. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog River, Cross My Heart
by Breena Clarke

Library Journal YA-Set in Georgetown, this poignant coming-of-age story begins with the drowning death of six-year-old Clara Bynum. Johnnie May, at 12, was supposed to be minding her the morning the children went down to the river, knowing they were not allowed to play near it, much less swim in it. The Bynums had come to Washington, DC, from North Carolina looking for a better life, and life for the colored in Georgetown in the 1920s was better: plenty of work and good schools for the children. But Johnnie May's independent spirit causes trouble from the beginning. She is always asking why-why couldn't she swim in the pool on Volta Place, right across from Aunt Ina's house? Why does she always have to mind her little sister and clean up after her? Johnnie May is a natural leader, and "knowing her place" is a struggle. The story, which follows the Bynum family and friends in Georgetown for about a year, ends in triumph as Johnnie May wins a swim meet held in the new pool built for black people. Much of the book describes Johnnie May's relationships with her mother, her relatives, and her friends, painting a revealing picture of a river, a family, and a community.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Ten-year-old Johnnie Mae Bynum is haunted by the memory of her sister Clara, who drowned in the Potomac River at a point where the neighborhood children had been routinely warned against swimming. Five years older, Johnnie Mae had always been charged with Clara's care, so Clara's death stirs up guilt and confusion. Had she pushed Clara into the water or was she only guilty of neglect? The drowning changes the dynamics within the Bynum family, still coping with the move from South Carolina to the Georgetown area at the insistence of the mother, the strong-willed Alice Bynum, who wants opportunities for her children that she perceives exist in the North of the 1920s. Hence Alice both admires and fears Johnnie Mae's defiant resistance to segregated swimming pools, which chafes her own sense of racial injustice and political expedience. Clarke's first novel beautifully ties together themes of family tensions after the death of a child, a young girl's coming-of-age, and racial animosities in a small community. --Vanessa Bush

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Debut writer and Washington, D.C., native, Clarke has written a novel as lyric and alternately beguiling and confounding as its title. It is the story of the drowning of a six-year-old child, and the tragedy's ramifications for her family and neighbors in the black area of Georgetown in 1925 D.C. Clarke's scene-building skills are the novel's strengths and occasionally its weaknesses, as each chapter is an intense set piece that sometimes provokes more questions than answers. The story is ultimately that of the effects of Clara Bynum's death on her 12-year-old sister, Johnnie Mae, who was babysitting Clara at the time she fell into the river. Johnnie Mae suffers guilt, fear and loss, endures dreams, imaginings and confusion as she sees visions of her sister everywhere: in a trauma-stung classmate who wears braids like Clara's, and the vapor from a boiling pot of green beans that resembles her sister's face. Against a felt, poignant and meticulously detailed panorama of the African-American (then called "colored") community of Georgetown, Johnnie Mae struggles to find her bearings, to cope with institutional and family expectations, and with puberty and race. Johnnie Mae ultimately derives strength from her element, the water, as she becomes a talented swimmer, but her parents Alice and Willie struggle with inextinguishable grief. From the first vivid description of the Potomac, liquid elements provide themes and narrative tension in this plangent coming-of-age story, granting the reader a necessary, if temporary, distancing from the blunt fact of a dead child. Indeed, Clarke's research about African-American Georgetown in the early 20th century revisits a time and place as intricate as any, but so remote from most memories that the historical details are fascinating footnotes to an era. While authorial asides are sometimes intrusive, this is a haunting story. Agent, Cynthia Cannell. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The War that Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-Bradley turns her keen historical eye from Monticello (Jefferson's Sons, Penguin, 2011) to the British home front during World War II. Ada isn't exactly sure how old she is; for as long as she can remember, she's been a virtual prisoner in her mother's third floor one-room apartment. She was born with a clubfoot and her mother uses her disability as an excuse to abuse her both emotionally and physically. Ada watches the world through the narrow confines of the apartment window, waves to neighbors in the street, and carefully gauges the danger of being beaten during each encounter with her hateful mother. She envies the freedom of her little brother, Jamie, who goes to school and generally roves the neighborhood at will. When her mother prepares to ship Jamie out to the countryside with other children being evacuated from London, Ada sneaks out with him. When the two fail to be chosen by any villagers, the woman in charge forces Susan Smith, a recluse, to take them in. Though Susan is reluctant and insists that she knows nothing about caring for children, she does so diligently and is baffled by the girl's fearful flinching anytime Ada makes a mistake. Though uneducated, Ada is intensely observant and quick to learn. Readers will ache for her as she misreads cues and pushes Susan away even though she yearns to be enfolded in a hug. There is much to like here-Ada's engaging voice, the vivid setting, the humor, the heartbreak, but most of all the tenacious will to survive exhibited by Ada and the villagers who grow to love and accept her.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Who fears death
by Nnedi Okorafor

Publishers Weekly Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu-whose name means "Who fears death?"-was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale-gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition-and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal In her astonishing debut, Okorafor has created a desolate, postapocalyptic Africa of endless desert, failing technology, superstition, and magic. But life is not without hope. Prophesy speaks of a sorcerer who will change the future, end the wars and slavery, and reunite the people. Onyesonwu is a child of rare talent. Conceived by rape, physically different from her peers, Onyesonwu has the light skin, fair hair, and freckles that traditionally mark her as unworthy, frightening, ugly, and evil. But rather than accepting her outcast role, a defiant Onyesonwu uses her magic to prove herself, avenge her mother's rape, and lead her people. Verdict Beautifully written, this is dystopian fantasy at its very best. Expertly exploring issues of race, gender, and cultural identity, Okorafor blends future fantasy with the rhythm and feel of African storytelling.-Jennifer Beach, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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