A Site about Libraries, Information Technology, and the Random Questions You'll Encounter Along the Way
So, it’s 2016: a new year with new books, new authors, and new trends to follow! After reviewing Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, etc. here are (some) of the titles your patrons will be asking for in the coming year. Also my apologies for getting this post up so late, I didn’t realize I’d be including so many books!
This is not an exhaustive list, so as always, if there’s a title or author you think I missed, be sure to let me know in the comments section!
My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
“It’s the mid-1980s, and Lucy Barton is in the hospital recovering from what supposed to be a simple operation. So imagine her surprised to wake up to see her mother, who she hasn’t spoken to in years, at her bedside. Keenly observant and filled with all the little want that make up a life, this is a powerful, heartwarming story of how redemptive small acts can be.”
The Past: A Novel by Tessa Hadley
“Four adult siblings gather with their families for one last summer at their grandparents’ old house in the country before the sale. Yet beneath this seemingly idyllic existence fester old resentments, devastating secrets, and forbidden passions that threaten to consume. Nuanced yet plain, and surprisingly compassionate, Hadley’s astute understanding of the intricate dance of human nature makes this a must read.”
Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
“Ruth and Nat are orphans who claims to be able to talk to the dead. Years pass and Ruth, now grown into a strange, silent woman, turns up on her very surprised, and very pregnant, niece’s doorstep. The only thing she will say is that she is traveling across the entire state of New York on foot, and invites her niece to accompany her. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who — or what — has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road? Elegantly structured, this darkly gothic, yet surprisingly humorous novel will have readers guessing until the last page.”
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
“Following up on her revolutionary The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Spark Joy includes step-by-step illustrations, advice on frequently asked questions, and a breakdown of how to tidy different types of clutter. This book brilliantly captures Kondo’s laser-like focus in this comprehensive companion that is sure to spark joy in anyone looking for a more organized, and happy, life.”
The Bitter Season (Kovac and Liska) by Tami Hoag
“The unending grey skies and dreary cold would be cause enough for Detective Nikki Liska to be restless. Stuck with cold cases, she misses the rush of the hunt, but mainly she misses her partner Sam. Sam has issues of his own, saddled with a rookie partner who isn’t much help in the investigation of the brutal double murder of a university professor and his wife. But as the trails of their investigations begin to cross in unexpected ways, Sam and Liska find themselves thrown back together in a desperate race to find the killer before he strikes again.”
NYPD RED 4 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp
“Shots ring out in the night as what was to be a glitzy movie premiere becomes the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, When NYPD Red is called in, Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald must negotiating the glamor of celebrity penthouses and the grim of the city’s criminal underworld in a race against time to stop a dangerous serial killer before it’s too late.”
The Queen of Night by Alexander Chee
“In 18th century France, the world-renowned opera singer Lilliet Berne is offered every singer’s dream: an original role. A role, she realizes with growing alarm, based on a past she’d rather be forgotten. As her deepest secrets are exposed, Lilliet finds herself torn between her need for privacy and her desires for fame. Stunning, passionate, and richly detailed, Alexander Chee is an author to follow.”
The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson
“Provocative and deeply insightful, Dyson explores the way the politics of race have shaped the Obama presidency. From his embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement, his rocky relationship with traditional black power brokers such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, to the racist backlash during his first presidential campaign, this is a fascinating examination of how race, identity, and politics have impacted America’s first black President.”
Youngblood by Matthew Gallagher
“It’s been 13 long, bloody years since the start of the Iraq war, and as the US military is preparing to withdraw, a newly-minted lieutenant Jack Porter struggling to maintain a fragile peace, a peace threatened by the arrived the aggressive Sergeant Daniel Chambers. As the region descends into chaos and Jack begins to lose control over his men, he becomes obsessed with the story of a tragic romance between a missing American soldier and Rana, a local sheikh’s daughter, who might hold the key to calming the warring factions. As Jack struggles to find answers to the war, to what he is supposed to do, to what happened to the missing Rana, their fates become intertwined in this morally complex, deeply human story of the struggle for answers in the midst of war.”
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
“In this beautifully written, linguistically exquisite autobiography, Jhumpa Lahiri tells the story of her long courtship with the Italian language, from her first trip to Florence as a newly graduated college student, to her decision to move to Rome with her family to fully immerse herself the in the language. Written in a dual-language format, this funny, earnest, and passionate investigation into the journey of a writer learning a new language is a wonder to behold.”
The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
“In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal that hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that would redefine history. Decades later, a Portuguese pathologist with a love for Agatha Christie novels finds himself at the center of an all too real mystery. Later still in the 1980s, a Canadian senator returns to his ancestral village to mourn the loss of his wife. Exquisitely worded, filled with tenderness and humor, this haunting exploration of love, loss, and faith told through three intersecting stories is a brilliant follow up to Martel’s Life of Pi.”
Off the Grid (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C. J. Box
“Nate Romanowski is off the grid, healing from his injuries and trying to deal with past crimes. No one should be able to find him. So when he finds himself surrounded by a team of black ops agents, he fears the worst. Yet rather than kill him (he’s grateful for that at least), they promise that if he helps them infiltrating a terror cell in Wyoming’s Red Desert, they can make his past disappear. His friend Joe Pickett thinks this all sounds too good to be true, and as he investigates the group further, he discovers they have a different, much darker plan in mind in this fast-paced, action-packed thriller that sees familiar character facing enemies more dangerous than they could ever imagine.”
Finders Keepers: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) by Stephen King
“Wake up, genius.” Those are the last words that John Rothstein, former author and current sellout, hears before he is brutally murdered by Morris Bellamy, his biggest fan. Hands still bloodied, Morris discovers Rothstein’s notebook, which contains one last novel. But before he can decide what to do with his treasure, Morris is arrested for another crime. Decades later, Pete Saubers finds the notebook, making him, and his family a target for the now released Morris, who is more deranged – and dangerous- then ever in this dark reprise of how a fan’s love of an author can lead to the darkest Misery.”
Seven Wonders Book 5: The Legend of the Rift by Peter Lerangi
“Aly has been kidnapped by King Uhla’ar, dragging her back through the time rift. The only way through is past a monster of leviathan proportions. Jack McKinley’s only hope to save his friend is to get to the last Ancient Wonder and find the rest of the lost Loculi. With time running out to save Aly, and the world, Jack and his friends will battle armies, travel to the Temple of Artemis, before finally returning to where it all began: Atlantis. Fast-paced and action-pact, Lerangi gives his readers fittingly epic conclusion to his popular series!”
All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
“In this provocative and thought-provoking work, Rebecca Traister’s newest work traces the often surprising history of unmarried women in America. Filled with colorful anecdotes ranging from the contemporary to the historical, Traister examines how class, race, gender, and sexual orientation have affected the lives of single American women throughout history, all the while painting a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life. This is a must read for history lovers and feminists alike.”
Work Like Any Other: A Novel by Virginia Reeves
“In the rural Alabama of the 1920s, Roscoe T. Martin is an electrician obsessed with his work, to the neglect of his wife and children. But when his wife inherits her father’s failing farm, Roscoe is forced give up his work, a fact that weighs heavily on his family. Desperate to save his marriage, he siphons energy from the state to use on the farm, only for a man to accidently electrocute himself on Martin’s illegal lines. Now in prison, Martin must make peace with his past in this morally complex, starkly beautiful debut novel by Virginia Reeves.”
Clawback: An Ali Reynolds Novel by J.A. Jance
“One bad decision, that’s all it took. Now Ali’s parents have lost it all in a Ponzi scheme. Going to confront his financial advisor, a man he thought was his friend, Ali’s father finds himself in the middle of a bloody double homicide. With her father the main suspect for murder, Ali and her husband find themselves not only racing against time to prove her father’s innocence, but also get justice for the scheme’s other victims, knowing all the while that any one of them could be the killer in this carefully crafted, heart-stopping thriller.”
The Gangster (An Isaac Bell Adventure) by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
“1906. New York city. The Black Hand is back at it: kidnapping, extortion, arson, the usual, and Detective Isaac Bell has had enough. As part of a special “Black Hand Squad,” it’s his job to bring these scum to justice. But the gangster’s numbers keep growing, so much so that Bell wonders if he’s just dealing with imitators. His questions begin to seem less important though, as the murders begin, with each body belonging to a more powerful on than the last. Hot on the heels of the killer, Bell soon realizes that he might be in over his head when he discovers the final target…is the most powerful man of all.”
The Last Mile (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci
…There really isn’t a description for this, just that this will be the second installment of the Amos Decker series.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
“In her late thirties, Liz is a magazine writer living in New York alongside her yoga instructor older sister, Jane. Called back home when their father’s health fails, they discover the Tudor house they grew up in in disrepair and their family in disarray.
Enter Mr. Bingley, the handsome doctor who recently appeared on the TV dating show Eligible, and his neurosurgeon Mr. Darcy, both of whom seem to have a keen interest in Jane. And, as always, first impressions can be deceiving in this wonderfully playful and tender homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that sees the Bennet’s brought firmly into the 21st century.”
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower
“From the author of the groundbreaking behind-the-scenes look at the White House, The Residence, comes a fascinating study of one of the most powerful, and often overlooked residence of the White House, the First Lady. Drawing on a wide array of sources, from residence staff to friends and political advisers, Bower paints a vivid portrait of the lives of these remarkable women who are expected to be wife, mother, politician, and CEO, all while under constant scrutiny by the press.
Filled with fascinating details of the political infighting, personal crusades, fraught marriages and shocking tragedies that shaped the lives of the Frist Ladies, First Women is an eye-opening look at the women who reside at the world’s most powerful address.”
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
“In 1631, Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s. Centuries later, the wealthy inheritor of the only work attributed to de Vos – a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood – commissions Ellie Shipley, a young Australian grad student, to paint a forgery of the landscape. Half a century later, now the curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, Ellie finds herself undone as both versions of the paintings threaten to arrive in this gripping story of art, lies, and how the decisions we make in the past can forge our present.”
Extreme Prey John Sandford
“Fresh off the Travelers case, Lucas Davenport finds himself doing something entirely different: helping his friend’s presidential campaign. It’ll “be fun”, he says, and it is, at least until an assassin puts his sights on ending the campaign, permentatly. An action-packed, fast-paced political thriller that proves once again that Sandford is still at the top of his game!”
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry By Fredrik Backman
“Elsa is different. Her grandmother is crazy, as in shooting painballs guns at random strangers crazy. The two are best friends, with Elsa taking refuge in her grandmother’s stories of the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. This all ends when Elsa’s grandmother dies, leaving behind a series of letters apologizing to people she’s wronged. Thus begins Elsa’s greatest adventure yet, in this funny, heartwarming real-life fairy tale, a worthy successor to Backman’s A Man Called Ove.”
Zero K by Don DeLillo
“Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, has all the money in the world, but his young wife is dying. The primary investor in a secret compound where the bodies of love ones are cryogenically frozen until the medical technology exists to resurrect them, Jeff joins his parents to “an uncertain farewell” to his mother as she surrenders her body euthanasia and an icy sleep in this mordant and dazzling examination of death, life, and what it means to let go.”
The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon
“A fascinating meditation of isolation, loneliness, and the inexplicable events that tie us together, this anthology follows men and women from across the walks of life, from a mythical princess who is marooned in the midst of war to a man whose life is marked by a single afternoon and a rusty .45. Emotionally taut and as amazingly imaginative, this is a great suggestion for any patron looking for a thought-provoking read!”
15th Affair by James Patterson
“This latest installment of Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club sees Lindsay Boxser settling into motherhood and a happy marriage. But her happiness is brought to an end when a beautiful woman with links to the CIA disappears from the scene of a brutal murder. Even as she scrambles to find the suspect, San Francisco is plunged into chaos after a horrific plan crash, and to top it all off, Lindsay’s husband Joe disappears! Packed with international intrigue, mystery, and romance (not necessarily in that order), this newest installment proves that Patterson’s quantity of works has not diminished his quality!”
The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
“Apollo is vain and cruel, and after angering his father Zeus one to many times, he is stripped of his immortality and cast down from Olympus. Now a weak, regular teenage boy, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn how to survive in modern New York City until his father forgives him.
But as a God Apollo made many enemies, enemies who see their chance to get revenge on a God who is so much more…mortal now. In desperate need of help, Apollo goes to the one place he can think of, the secret training camp for demigods called Half-Blood. Filled with mythic beasts, adventure, and teen angst that Riordan’s become known for, this is a great companion companion piece to his Percy Jackson series!”
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
“In their youth, Elizabeth’s frown was omnipresent, Andrew’s hair grew long and wild, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. But now nearing fifty, with their children growing up (and sleeping together), the secrets of their youth are beginning to surface – secrets about themselves – and about the fourth band member who flew higher and fell lower than any of them. The passions of youth and the shocks of middle age play out in this insightful and surprisingly heartwarming, meditation what it means to grow up.”
Marked by Jenny Martin
“Now is not a good time for Cash, the prince of Bisera and leader of the rebellion, to go missing, especially now that Phee’s uncle James dead. Torn by grief, traumatizing flashbacks to the horrors of war, and the need for revenge, Phee is struggling just to function, let alone aid the resistance. To make matters worse, she is still trying to navigate the tangled web of love and affection between Bear and her loyalty to Cash. But as the fight grows ever more desperate, Phee will be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to win the war once and for all in this heart-pounding, action-paced sci-fi thriller!”
The Fireman by Joe Hill
“A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country. The symptoms are simple: First, beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies, then they burst into flame. Harper Grayson treated the infected until her hospital burned to the ground, and now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. She and her husband Jakob has agreed that if they became infected, they would “take matters into their own hands”. But Harper has a reason to live: her unborn child.
As the world begins to collapse and her husband Jakob becomes increasingly unhinged, Harper must attempt to survive her disease and roving gangs, as she attempts to find The Fireman, a madman dressed in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, who holds the secret to controlling the fire within Harper, at least until her child is born in this chilling story of an apocalyptic inferno.”
The Girls by Emma Cline
“It’s the late 1960s, and in Northern California, as violence rages through the cities, a lonely and thoughtful teenager named Evie Boyd catches a glimpse of another world outside her window: a group of girls who are freer than she could ever imagine, with a more than a little aura of abandon to them. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, who draws her into a soon-to-be infamous cult.
As home, her mother, school, and the rest of the world becomes a faded memory, and her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie discovers she is capable of more than she could ever imagine, as her days of love and LSD becomes nights of blood and horror in this spellbinding debut novel. Written with startling insight and razor-sharp wit, Emma Cline is one to watch!”
The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
“It’s been nearly six decades since humanity found it could travel to an infinite number of parallel Earths. Now the Next – the next stage in human evolution, has received a signal from the stars contacting instructions to build a continent-sized artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Joshua Valienté, now nearing seventy, is saved from death when a troll (a specices that can naturally travel along the long Earth), discovers him and nurtures him back to health. As he learns more about the trolls, Valienté discovers the profound purpose of life on the Long Earth in this smart, funny, and deeply joyous ending to the Long Earth series, a fitting last novel to the much missed Terry Pratchett.”
End of Watch by Stephen King
“In a small, non-descript Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, the body of Brady Hartsfield, the man behind the Mercedes Massacre, lies in a vegetative state. But within the darkness of his non-functioning body, Brady Hartsfield is awake, and growing in power every day. Even as Brady Hartsfield dreams of chaos, former police detective Bill Hodges investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, the woman who put Hartsfield in the brain injury ward in the first place.
When the two are called to a suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, as Hartsfield begins taking his revenge, not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city in this heart-stopping, terrifying conclusion to King’s Mr. Mercedes series!”
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
“It’s the late seventeenth century, and two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, working as indentured servants, arrive in New France where they work as wood-cutters–barkskins. René suffers great hardships, from the oppressive forests and a forced marriage to a Mi’kmaw woman, while Charles, breaking his contract, founds a prosperous timber business.
Over the next three hundred years, the descendants of Sel and Duquet again and again take what they want of Earth’s presumed infinite resource, until their modern-day descendants face the possibility of ecological collapse. An epic dance of misunderstandings, greed and consequences, this ecological masterwork from Annie Proulx—the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of Brokeback Mountain, is one that your patrons will be talking about for a long time.”
Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard
“Things were not off to a good start: by the time Mark and Maggie got on the road for their annual drive out to Virginia to visit their family, the sky is darkening as a storm looms over the horizon, tempers are short, and ever since getting mugged at gunpoint, Maggie hasn’t been herself. Forced to stop at a remote in without power, threatened by strange cowboys, Maggie’s paranoia goes into overdrive. But when Mark finds himself threatened in a dark parking lot, it’s Maggie who takes control in this darkly Hitchcockian misadventure.”
Alert by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
“This is not a test.” That’s what they had said. Now, after two devastating high-tech attacks, New York City is on edge, and its up to Detective Michael Bennett and his old partner, FBI’s Emily Parker, to catch the criminals who claim responsibility. Things get worse after an assassination that sends shockwaves through the city. As the attacks get deadlier and the body count begins to climb, Bennett and Parker find themselves racing against the clock to stop the worst attack imaginable.”
Cross Justice by James Patterson
“Alex Cross has had enough of murder and intrigue, he’s left his hometown, for a better life with Nana Mama in Washington, DC, and he couldn’t be happier. But his happiness is short-lived when his cousin is implicated in a violent murder. Returning to a home he hasn’t seen for the better part of three decades, he discovers his once proud town grappling with poverty and residents who aren’t very enthusiastic about his homecoming.
Chasing the ghosts of his past, Cross will find himself confronted with the most dangerous, and personal, case of his life in this gripping, action-paced story of a decidedly deadly homecoming!”
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
“Marking Donoghue’s return to historical fiction, her newest work follows Anna, an 11 year old girl living in Ireland in the mid-1800s. Even as the country struggles to recover from the Great Famine, Anna mysteriously stops eating, yet is fit as a fiddle. Intrigued, a nurse from England is send to discover whether Anna is a fraud or a miracle in this psychological thriller of love, doubt, and hope.”
The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
“Cora is a slave, and to be a slave is to live in hell. So when newly purchased slave named Caesar tells her of the Underground Railroad, Cora leaps at the chance for freedom. Of course, things do not go as planned. Pulling no punches, Whitehead recreates the unique terrors of black life in pre-Civil War America in this powerful, horror-filled story of one woman’s quest for freedom, at any cost.”
The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride
“One night, an ordinary night, or at least it was supposed to be; an eighteen year old Irish girl recently London attends a drama class. There, she meets an older actor with whom, despite everything, she embarks on a tumultuous and passionate relationship. Set between the bedsheets and in squats of mid-nineties north London. McBride’s story of love and lost innocence is a joyous celebration of life and love.”
Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
No real description yet, just that the next instalment of Child’s Jack Reacher series is coming out.
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in 11 years, follows a Jewish family in Washington struggling to present a strong face to relatives visiting for one of their son’s bar mitzvah, even as the parent’s marriage is collapsing. The tensions and tribulations facing the family are quickly overshadowed, however, as the Middle East is struck by a devastating earthquake leading to the invasion of Israel. Tragic, funny, and written with an intense energy, Foer’s exploration of Jewish identity and the ties of family are a masterwork not soon to be forgotten.”