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This is the true-crime that inspired one of the most beloved and disquieting novels written; yet the name of the real-life victim is rarely known and her story rarely told.
What Weinman has put right in this painstaking researched book is what really happened to Sally and how Nabokov became nearly as obsessed with following Sally's kidnapping as he was about catching butterflies.
Proof that the truth behind how the much-loved prose came to be can be more chilling than the tale we are told.
Ten softly spoken, bittersweet words: "You can still smell the smoke in some of them" is all Susan needed to hear the librarian say to be pulled in to the history of the L.A. Library.
The true story the 1986 fire that burned so perfectly that the way in which the blaze burned not only has a unique name, it is nearly impossible to create outside of a lab environment; fire so perfect it burned absolutely clear.
Who would ever set a library on fire, and why? This intriguing mystery pulls you in, and has you flying through the pages. Part history, part love letter, this book will give you a true taste of what goes on in a library and what it took to bring one back from the ashes.
Is it fitting that while reading the opening essay about swimming with the dolphins, the pages got slightly ruined by my tears from laughing so hard that I couldn't put the book down? Yes.
The reflections shared within these pages are beautiful and will make you think as Maeve's observations are both heart-felt & hands-down hilarious
Left to tend to her father and family ranch, Jess takes on a dangerous journey in attempt to bring her brother home. On the trail, Jess discovers not only her true calling, but that home is where you are.
A sweeping and breath-taking tale of the untamed west comes to life as Jess recounts her journey of the search for home and family on a harsh land. I simply loved this wild-west novel.
-Great read to enjoy a dram of Whiskey and for fans of One Thousand White Women
This magical & imaginative novel will remind you of Rumpelstiltskin with a twist. Jewish history is flawlessly woven into this tale of winter kings, queens and bad agreements. Told in six determined, practical and strong voices, the tale that Novik spins here will leave you torn between devouring every page and savoring them.
An intimate portrait of a nation and its people, this debut collection of stories gives the reader a unique glimpse of the immigrant experience that reaches from Jamaica, to the bustling streets of New York to the quiet towns of the Midwest. Rich in details and beautifully written, these stories reach across boundaries, cultures and time.
Perfect for fans of both Junot Díaz and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is the story of Gabriel, a young man coming of age in a country on the edge of war; while at home his parents suddenly get divorced. Gabriel and his friends who once ruled the neighborhood are starting to drift in different directions, just as he starts to question what he believes and what he's been told. These changes take him down a different path; will his choice protect him from the realities that surround him? This is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read.
The story of Ellis, Michael and Annie unfolds like a sunflower, slowly, as to better hold your gaze. The three friends seem to have the perfect relationship, until Michael leaves without warning.
A heartbreaking exquisite book of friendship, love, longing and loss that took a while to pull me in, has now become one that I can’t forget.
One of the most passionate investigations of one of the darkest times in American History; I could not put this book down. The dedication found within these pages to follow leads that end up hitting walls gives the reader insight into how one faceless man and his actions can haunt not only the victims, but those that hunt for the clues that will one day lead to justice.
A book that will have you looking over your shoulder, and not quite able to sleep as peacefully as before you read it; but full of hope because: This book is the flash in the darkness that has shed light on the face of a killer.
Tara's extraordinary experience is akin to a bittersweet love letter to the past.
I have devoured every page in utter awe.
A nearly unbelievable, astonishing & beautifully raw account of a life lived off the grid.
This collection of stories takes you to other lands only to bring you home. Ausubel has a mesmerizing way with words. The grace & wit in the telling of these tales will get you hooked on a journey you never thought you would take.
Mary thinks she knows all the secrets, lies and stories of her hometown, until Richard, who was blamed for his older brother’s death, returns years later to take care of their dying mother.
An unlikely friendship blooms as the people let their true feeling of the past known and Mary discovers just how unforgiving small town life can be.
A lyrical meditation on life lived outside the city; this powerful novel of resilience, redemption and human imperfection will leave you breathless. I simply loved this novel.
I simply could not put this collection of essays down. This collection is a love/hate letter to a passion that drives one to swear and cause non-crafters to swoon. Written with sharp, funny wit and heartfelt moments of love and loss, this true page-turner will have you soon curling up with your knitting with her stories echoing in your mind between the stitches.
A novel inspired by true events that opens with one unexplainable moment of recovery; which in turn, leads Cameron down the path of unexpected self-discovery.
A true-to-life novel that will leave you wondering: which was the true miracle?
One of the most compelling novels I've read in a long time.
A tale of hauntingly beautiful suspense that grabs you from the opening line. This brilliant debut will leave you riveted by how shattering the little tensions can be to the idyllic lives we all build.
A nearly impossible book to find; a pouch with three things; A bone, a comb and a feather; importance unknown. On the pages within this book is a beguiling tale full of mysterious disappearances and rumors that will have you captivated from the first page.
A tale so true and raw, that you'll swear that it is non-fiction.....rich in detail, elegant in its telling, the story that unfolds will have you reminding yourself "This is fiction" on repeat. One of the most daring and important true-to-life tales to be imagined.
The Bear and the Nightingale left Vasya with one of three choices: either marry, live in a convent as a nun or go home and live where everyone claims she is a witch.
In this second book of the Winternight trilogy, Vasya’s choice and wanderlust sends her down an unplanned path that leads to a grand adventure full of mysterious secrets, disguises, battles and bandits. Can Vasya save her family before Moscow burns?
An incredibly well-done Russian fairy tale that I could not put down, I simply love this Winternight Trilogy and I can't wait for the final book.
Charlie is lucky to be the son of an American diplomat, he gets to visit places all over the world with his father, but he has no friends and he is bored, so bored.
The only thing he has found to resolve the ennui (Ennui: ahn-wee: A feeling of discontent resulting from lack of interest; boredom) is to make up and write stories about all the people he sees in the cafés and shops while his father is working in France.
Everything changes when he discovered that his extra special engraved fountain pen has been stolen.
This book has everything! Flight on boards that defy gravity, robots, dinosaurs, ladies from Victorian times Women pilots & pirates.
A can't-put-down high-action tale across time and waves that will keep you at the edge of your seat. An Absolutely enthralling, thrilling adventure perfect for all!
A photograph, new friends and a new start.
Opening in disgrace due to bitter circumstances, this coming to age story in 1950’s Ireland is as much a portrait of a changing society as it is a masterfully woven tale of acceptance and grace.
"It spite of efforts to convince the reader to the contrary, this book book is entirely a work of fiction" -Author's note
Inspired by an actual 1854 event, this is one of the best historical fiction novels I've ever read. Already read this title? Re-read it before reading his new title Vengeance of Mothers where Mary's story continues!
The vignettes painstakingly documented on these pages reveal the hidden side of the prism of war.
At times memory, at times confessions, these true accounts finally permit us a view of the past that textbooks overlook to tell the tales of the battles within the war.
Each story will leave you breathless and pondering
I finished this novel in a day. A beautiful woven story full of tenderness, suspense and quick-wit that will have you on the edge of tears one moment and dabbing them away from laughter the next. A refreshing bright and thoughtful debut.
Lee is seventeen and ready to head to college when she takes the fall for her best friend. The simple act not only changes Lees path in life, it leads her into the world of of a S.A;. a group of misfits that throw lavish costume parties. As Lee discovers more about the group, she finds that she is more than an invited guest.
An absolutely addictive, can't-put-down high-speed debut.
A look at the forgotten, overlooked outcasts of South Korea; This tale of two orphans will pull you in with an extraordinary unexplainable magic trick, take you to places you may not want to go and remind you of the power of friendship. The wild ride will mesmerizes you then surprise you. Couldn't put this novel down.
Daisy’s disappearance is big news in her small town and as each person that knew her shares their narrative of what they thought happened; what unfolds is a beautiful, raw and hopeful portrait of a town and its people searching for atonement amid the bitterness of loss.
A hauntingly dark and powerful debut.
"That is part of the greatest danger to our souls, a pride that can come when we set ourselves apart to be servants, but then assume that our servanthood makes us better" (Page 167).
This debut novel is as much a meditation on the ways of Amish & the past it is a reflection of today's world and possible future.
This book grabs you at the opening lines and won't let you go.
Elsie dreams of fire and doesn't fully understand how deep her mother's ties to a group called the Seekers was until her mother's death. The discovery of a bundle of photos & a priceless ring take Elsie from her home in Canada to Africa on a journey that leads her to the past she never knew she had.
A stunning, rich and heartfelt debut of suspense.
Marnie knows she doesn't fit in; she and her brother have been raised by there eccentric grandmother ever since their mother disappeared; and she has taken up reading tea leaves after reading a book found buried on a bookshelf. Soon everyone wants a reading, but when Marnie starts reading signs outside teacups, she finds herself in the middle of solving her town's biggest missing person case.
A smart, thoughtful tale of suspense... with tea!
A riveting, unimaginable & utterly astonishing look into Native American history that will hold you in suspense till the last page.
What Grunn reveals thanks to his research of primary and unpublished materials is the sinister web of plots that lead to the mysterious and brutal deaths of the Osage by the hands of those that were there to protect their wealth.
A unbelievably raw and heartbreaking tale of undying hope & love, this fast-paced travel mystery will have you on the edge of your seat shortly after the opening pages.
The unlikely tale of love that unfolds within these pages will start out a soft whisper only to spin you around till you find yourself somewhere shadowy and peculiar. This story captures the imagination and will leave you breathless.
Emotional, intimate and richly detailed, I found myself seeking out a bottle of Chanel No. 5 just so I could better imagine Edgar's world.
A Beautifully crafted, Simply brilliant & mesmerizing debut of suspense. At first, wasn't sure I wanted to read a twin story. To my surprise, I couldn't stop thinking about Ava & Zelda as the story unfolded; the twists and turns kept me guessing and rethinking what I thought I knew about Zelda and Ava. The attention to detail is amazing, the story of a puzzle within clues is cunning & crafted perfectly upon the page, will you catch on to the hide-and- seek Zelda puts on? It's all there in the letters...
An eloquent and detailed collection of aspirations and dreams tells of those torn between two worlds, the country and family left behind in trade for a distant place of hope and desires fulfilled. Each chapter is an experience of memory suffused with subtle moments that will leave you breathless.
I'll be honest: in all my years of selling books, I had never read anything by Joyce Carol Oates. As I sit here in my sublime book-hangover, I can't believe I waited this long to find my way to reading what Oates has given to the literary world. I'm not sure I can write a review worthy enough to express how this raw and striking tale of two families is told.
An exquisite portrait of one most provocative topics of our time told with unexpected and deep intimacy.
Albanese detailed prose transports you between the 1900 Vienna art world where everything is beautiful, dazzling and forty years later when Maria (Adele's niece) and her family are forced from their Austrian home by the Nazis.
One of the best and will researched historical fiction reads I've read in a long time this family story of love, survival and sacrifice will have transfixed from the first chapter.
Adam & Julian are friends made brothers. Adam is a senior just trying to finish High School, Julian is the quiet freshman kid who likes to keep to himself, write stories, stays out of trouble & spends his lunch hour in a secret room in the school theater.
As the school counselor helps Julian to work thorough the loss of his parents, there is more than meets the eye.
When the truth of Julian's living situation is revealed, both of their lives are put on the line. This raw, heartbreaking story is one that beautifully speaks to the true meaning of friendship, brotherhood & family; You will need time to let this amazing debut sink in, and will linger long after the story is over.
Once you meet Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt you won't forget him; He has "been know to fence with a quill" believing that "All poetry is a call to action" and he claims to have returned to Russia because he missed the climate.
The way in which the Count's story of confinement is beautifully woven and influenced by the ever- changing Russia that unfolds beyond the doors will transport you to a different time and place and draw you in.
Intelligent and rich in detail; a story you will want to linger over and revisit. I am so glad that the author took his own advice and took the leap to write this novel --"For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim." Brava & Encore to the author.
"A beautiful portrait of longing, memory, friendship and betrayal that is as raw and sharp as it is true and tender. The rhythm of writing mirrors Brooklyn in a way that will have you finishing the pages before you are ready to let August and her story go.
I finishished this in a day. I could not put this Victorian tale of magic, tricks & monsters down. As London & England's future hangs in the balance, Henretta must learn who her true friends are & face the truth of her past to overcome the ancient forces that wish only to destroy everything & everyone in their way.
A dazzlingly detailed & dramatic ecological fiction that is vibrant, complex & raw. Proulx crafts a family saga around two families that is a stunning, fierce tale of the past that is also a look into the future.
The most beautiful, deep & affecting work I've read this year. Simply put? Sublime.
A fast-paced, beautifully woven crime, mystery & historical fiction novel that had me hooked from the first page.
Spring 1978; Cambridge, England. Malory, an organist has a one-time, intoxicationg and life-changing encounter with Louiza who just earned her PhD and tells Malory i=u before she disappears.
Brilliantly crafted, heartbreaking beautiful & honest, I have never read something that took on the details of grief, love & mental illness with so much thoughtfulness, understanding & hope.
A new and imaginative lost-on-an-island adventure (with Robots!) from one of my favorite authors. This is a wonderful read aloud book!
A small town with big secrets story that is full of suspense & tension that has kept me reading. What a debut!
An engaging, heartbreakingly raw, eye-opening investigation of the epidemic of eviction in America. Before reading this book, I had no idea that "Eviction can unravel the fabric of a community" or that eviction causes more loss than just a place to call home. Desmond's groundbreaking research will re-define what you think of poverty; the struggles the families he followed will remind you that we are all one paycheck or (even small) event away from finding a similar path before us.
Wow. This short memoir by one of my favorite authors reflects on so much more than what she sees in the mirror. The questions that this lyrical meditation brings up makes you see the world differently.
If you are sick of the question "When are you going to have kids?" This book is for you. The sixteen essays found within will remind you that you are not alone & sometimes the dcision not to have kids wasn't your choice.
In an attempt to master Italian, Lahiri moves her family to Rome. "The effort of making the language mine, of possessing it, has a strong resemblance to a creative process." How daring, courageous & bold! Lahiri's attempt to master another language is perfection.
This raw & true-to-life, behind the satin & ribbions story will shock you as much as the beauty & grace will mesmeize you. This debut story is brilliantly crafted & simply exquisite. Wilson mira's cult-like, obsessive world is unlike any other author I've read.
Full of suspense & intigue, this art world novel had me hooked at the prologue. If you've ever hoped to find a priceless object at your loval second-hand store, this novel is for you. Wow.I couldn't put this down.
Another wonderful, lush, simple, thought provoking collection from one of my favorite authors
"She belived it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us...."
Loved this. A perfect collection to discover Van Booy for the first time!
"Alma continued with her silkscreening, as she had done for sixty years, although she no longer sought artistic inspiration in her work, but simply to avoid dying of boredom before her time." This novel is a simply exquisite, beautifully crafterd, epic love story that will charm you!
A magical box, a dragonfly pendant and an ancient and very secret society. I read over 100 pages before I knew it. This is the first book that gave me the same feeling as reading the first Harry Potter book so long ago. Pure Magic!
This truly weird & wonderful two-story read is unlike anything I've ever read.
A novel that is set in 1843 Chicago & three hundred years later in the dystopian city-state of The Texas Republic, this love story/mystery will keep you reading. creative, wacky & weird; a book that is gorgeous in both story & art...with Bats!
Truly an amazing read. Definitely a conversation starter as this senior year/final summer together with friends touches on so many important topics with good humor. A gem of a book, that I know I'll be thinking about often.
I love Julian Barnes's work. Thanks to this group of essays I discovered Penelope Fitzgerald and her novel The Blue Flower and Keri Hulme's The Bone People. (and the connection to both) This book is one for book lovers!
Wow; what a read! I, like so many others Love this poem but even I was surprised to learn that there was more to the poet and his most most famous poem. You think you know this poem? Think again- Amazing!!
The stories found within all have a small connection that is fun to catch. These stories are thought provoking, edgy & beautifully written.
Breathtakingly beautiful & raw. This story of two friends made brothers is a gem of a read. I finished this in a day and I am still thinking about the story.
"Back then, all we wanted was the simplest things" This first line grabbed me and took me on an unforgettable journey;one with an amazing, unexpected end.
Love, family, hope & dreams all collide in this powerful novel.
This unique fantasy had me from the first chapter and before I know it I had finished over one-hundred pages of this can't-put-down novel.
Aza Ray's story is full of great humor, friendship, love and hope.
“Pouring a glass of whisky felt less like the right thing to do and more like the only thing to do (124).
In this fast-paced detour of a novel, Ray embraces the dream adventure to discover what it would be like to live on an island with no one around on a completely different level; moving to the island where the locals knew Orwell as Mr. Blair; where the locals don’t really want Ray there to sort himself out and there is a very distinct possibility that a werewolf roams the island.
The rich, piquant descriptions of the scotch will have you running off to research so you can enjoy a wee dram of your own. The humor and Ray’s misadventures on Jura will keep you reading.
"If you feel broken, or know someone who does... we've all been lied to but its no one's fault.." This is the page heading that this book fell open to when I first opened this Amazing book. This is the book I wish I had had years ago and should be part of Everyones sex education. This book won't just change your sex life, it will change your whole life forever.
Special P.S. to the author: Thanks & Wow.
A bitter-sweet story of friendship, family, love & obsession. Sharp & Beautiful.
I LOVED this book. My favorite story was the first one, The Summer People. Kelly Link's prose is amazing. I savored every phrase while also racing through the pages.
Hands down, this is the BEST book about grief.
I can't say enough about this book. I can't give it enough stars.
I have hand-sold this to so many friends, neighbors, customers, family members.
I revisit this book whenever I'm having a difficult day with grief, or helping support others.
I hope that someday, I can meet the authors of this book to thank them in person.
A young librarian. The delivery of a very old book and the discovery of ties to carnival life. If you are a fan of The Night Circus or Geek Love, this one is for you! Quirky, fun, weird and wonderful.
"Then I realized that we all think we might be terrible people. But we only reveal this before we ask someone to love us."
In this first novel, Miranda July takes us by the heart and hand at race car speed to places you may never want to visit but you don't want to miss.
Intoxicating, unforgettable, magic. Link's writing is so unique and clever after you finish just one of her stories, you will know you discovered short story writing at its bets, but you still won't know just how she crafts such amazing vignettes.
"A Beautifully tragic and thought provoking tale that perfectly reflects the elegance and style of Murakami and the skill and ploting of Julian Barnes." -Good Reads...I couldn't say it better.
A new favorite of mine.
The perfect book for book lovers; Are you ready for The Game?
I love how pearlman takes a slice of life in her short stories and shines a light on one small moment to reflect on the true "Predicaments of being human".
"In a sense we are all prisoners of some memory, or fear, or disappointment-we are all defined by something we can't change."
After reading this beautifully crafted novel, you'll want to re-read it and set out to commit random acts of kindness of your own. This novel; inspired by true events, reminds us that we are all connected...everyday.
The manuscript for this novel; Pearl's last book, was found after 40 years. It is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The story of Rann was truly mesmerizing and gave me a "Book hangover".
Cassia lives in a society where you are matched by officials. Will Cassia stay with the person she is matched with or follow her heart? Couldn't put this book down!
This is a perfect summer read! Ausubel's fantastical style reminds me of Karen Russell; however, this is a unique collection of stories; a journey through the sages of life and the transformations that transpire.
A beautiful, bittersweet love story that is full of wit and written in poem form. Amazing... simply amazing.
Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgetten Books; where "According to tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, whichever he wants, and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear..." One of my all-time favorite books about the magic of books.
I'm not vegan, but this cookbook was a great find.
I loved the Summertime Cherry-Basil Bruschetta, the Apple Pie Oatmeal is a new breakfast favorite and the Green Monster soothie? Yum.
Civil war time swiftly changes focus when the dead start walking the battlefields. Soon after this shift, combat schools are developed with the goal of turning girls into proper Attendants for the wealthy as protection from the un-dead. The schooling is considered a path to a better life, but Jane McKeene, (our plucky heroine) doesn't want any part of it; she has her mind set on returning to her home and her family on Rose Hill; until people start to go missing and Jane uncovers a conspiracy. A fast-paced novel of twisted history that is smart and witty.
Russell's imaginative, textured, funny & quirky stort story world makes this the perfect twisted & fun read for summer.
If you liked the Kite Runner, you'll love this debut novel.
How far will the main character go to have a chance to weave a priceless rug?
This love story inspired by a true experience will stay with you.
The best, laugh-out-loud funny re-telling of the pied piper story ever; with an amazing cat & rats that both can talk!
A book where you learn that EEEEKKK! Is not a word.
A book where you find out that the demon doesn't always want to be good. And then, well, the part where they both have to bring the end of time to the world...
Little House On the Prairie for grown-ups!
Jeannette's grandmother is back with a poweful tale to tell in this true-to-life novel.
The earth has just six months till asteroid 20011GV1 will distroy everything. What would you do? For detective palace, he can't help but do his job.
The 1st book in a 3 book seriesl I just finished World of Trouble (#3 in the series) out in June.
A pre-apocolyptic series I never though I would read turned into three books I could Not put down.
"Secrets, I've discovered, have a way of working themselves free of their keepers."
One of my favorite true & local mysteries.
Steve remembers his mom always saying that she was an only child, but that changes with a single phone call in April of 1995.
** Chosen as the 2013-2014 Great Michigan Read book**
Thanks to the wonders of genetic engineering, Rhine lives in a society where males die at 25 years old & females only live to age 20. Due to the time limits, girls are kidnapped and sold as brides to have children. Rhine ends up in a world of 'Wealth and privilege" but what happens when what she really wants is Freedom?
this is one of my favorite historical fiction novels for young adults.
New York state-1906, 16 year-old Mattie wants badly to attend college to become a writer. While working at the inn to earn money for college, a guest named Grace Brown asks her to burn a stack of secret letters. Shortly after the request, Grace's body is found in the nearby lake; might the letters hold the key to her murder?
This is a debut novel that I'm still thinking about. A bitter-sweet story of how the determination to reach the American Dream can blind to what is truly important.
Beautiful, thoughtful, dark & sharp, this letter to a best friend, Nina (aka Butterfly) written by the unnamed narrator will absorb you, then stay with you!
Paris 1862. Artists & Cafes. Once Edouard Manet meets Victorine, and unconventional love blooms and the portrait we know as Olympia comes to life to change the art world forever. A lovely, fun read.
This is the perfect read for the outcasts, nerds & others that just don't fit in. Quirky and full of good humor, this novel speaks to the issues of bullying, violence and forgiveness unlike any other book I've read.
One of the best epic love stories I've read in a long time.
"For the first minute or two, I do nothing but luxuriate in the smell of the study. It is my favorite smell in the world, a noble smell..." (page 17) Wow. The way Grushin writes is dazzling, her descriptions mesmerize, the memory of her prose is unforgettable and rich.
Before I had even reached half-way through this book, I went looking for her other two books.
An amazing, eye-opening look at an "unknown" Afghanistan. Nordberg uncovers what is behind a custom that has an unspoken understanding & magic that has been a Hidden Resistance not just in Afghanistan.
This collection of stories takes you to other lands only to bring you home. Ausubel has a mesmerizing way with words; the grace & wit in the telling will get you hooked on a journey you never thought you would take.